AVENUE ultimate style magazine issue 50 / November 2012
Photographer Absinthe Montenegro
all has always been my favourite season of the year, and when I first experienced it two years ago, I was enraptured by the warm hues and the trees lining the roads that seem to be on fire. It represented a season of power... the comfort of change that is so welcomed. Then came winter, which was a slightly dreaded season for me since having spent my entire life in the tropics, I was afraid of the cold. This coming winter, I will not see snow now that I am back home in the East. I recall the first time I saw snow then. It was truly magical for me... that first moment as snowflakes flurried in the wind and every moment henceforth when I would try and catch them in my hand or on the tip of my tongue. When snow came, the whole world changed before my eyes, blanketed by this magical white soft sheet coating everything that once looked familiar turned new. It was like being in a snow globe - in a magical world. And even though I will not see snow this year in the flesh, the memory and vision of it stays fresh in my mind - a memory that has become a part of me.
it. Sometimes being out of your comfort zone leads you to new places and shows you new ways to grow. As the seasons unfold and change, may you be transformed as you follow that path of unlimited possibilities.
Rusch Raymaker Rusch Raymaker Publisher
Such is life; as the seasons of life change, memories and experiences which are so beautiful remain embedded in you, transforming you, becoming a part of you. It is funny how I used to be afraid of the cold, and now I have grown to love
30 Cover Story
Fashion 30 44 54 68 78 92 106 128 142 152 162 174
Cover Story Bazar Fashion Icon Takuya Jinn Couture Clash Chanel in the Metaverse Featured Designer Violator Trendspotting Barocco Fashion Forward Après moi The Details Qu’ils mangent de la brioche Edge of Style Rue de la Fantaisie Homme Extravagant Obscurity Blogspot Syra Hyun AVENUE Models Baroque Chic Fashion Agenda AVENUE CINQUE
Lifestyle 190 202 214 232 246
For the Love of Tolerance is the Only Way Interesting Sims City of Edmond Feature Interview Colpo Wexler Entertaining Table Spreads Perspectives Huck’s novel ideas
Arts 260 268 280
Featured Artist Kyrie Source Arts Feature Cica Ghost Arts Feature MacBeth and Merchant of Venice
Magazine cover Featuring Arizona House by Bazar Photographer Piedra Lubitsch
AVENUE Magazine is published and managed by AVENUE Inc which owns and operates AVENUE Models + Academy and AVENUE Marketing + PR. Online issues: issuu.com/avenue AVENUE website: www.avenuesl.com Visit us inworld at: Zenshi East 62.118.26 For exclusive updates, gifts, events and latest releases, join our inworld group: AVENUE Magazine Readers Press releases to: firstname.lastname@example.org Ad queries: email@example.com Advertising and vendor requests: Absinthe Montenegro, Amazon Silverweb, Elyna Carver, Faith Aljon, Kerasia Hexicola, LisaJ Coveria, Xandrah Sciavo
Publisher | Editor in Chief Rusch Raymaker General Manager Xandrah Sciavo Creative Director | Photo Editor | Designer Paola Tauber Lifestyle Editor Umberto Giano Copy Editor Vivienne Graves Vice President of Marketing Amazon Silverweb Marketing Manager Absinthe Montenegro Marketing Executives Elyna Carver, Faith Aljon, Kerasia Hexicola, LisaJ Coveria Writers Augusta Carver, Breezie Noel, Cajsa Lilliehook, Huckleberry Hax, Imani Enzo, Isadora Fiddlesticks, Lexie Jansma, Louise Roundel, Quan Lavender, ShaiLi Alex, Silly Avro, Spruce Canning Stylists Anna Sapphire, Boe Cortes, Brie Wonder, Dantelicia Ethaniel, Diconay Boa, Gabe Bookmite, Hikaru Enimo, Lulu Jameson, Miaa Rebane, Strawberry Singh, Thalia Heckroth, Winter Jefferson Photographers Annough Lykin, Eve Kazan, Natasja Schumann, Neva Crystall, Piedra Lubitsch, Priscila Orlich, Seashell Dench, Tillie Ariantho, Ziki Questi Contributors Eve Petlyakov, Syra Hyun
ne of the joys of Second LifeÂŽ is the ability to indulge ourselves with a dream homeâ€”or two, or three, or more. Houses can be picked up and stored and new houses laid down as the seasons change. We can have a pastoral cottage in the spring, a beach house for
Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Piedra Lubitsch
the summer, an architectural masterpiece for autumn and a snug cabin for the winter if we choose. Then we can play out our interior design ambitions with art, furnishings and landscaping. And nary a drop of paint in our hair nor one bruise on our knuckles.
Ria Bazar, the design and architectural mastermind of Bazar, is a genius at not only designing beautiful, distinctive houses and furnishings, but at molding them into a coherent expression of a lifestyle. When you walk into her buildings, with their furnishings scripted for living well, you find yourself in the middle of a narrative. There’s already a story in play, you just need to provide the verbs. Bazar designs with a narrative, or as she described it, “When designing my furniture and my houses I always think more about the feeling that piece is going to give to a person looking at it rather than just specific style...The most important to me is that my furniture and houses have a story, a personality. I like to give the interiors a feeling that someone is living there. On the other hand, it is important to me that if you take all the decorations away, you still have a great piece of furniture and can build your own story around it.” Interior design is a huge passion of hers and she graduated from an interior design school in real life, though she ended up taking a different career path after college. She reads design magazines and blogs, keeping herself informed of trends and innovations. She finds inspiration in every part of her life. As she describes it, “Sometimes it’s from traveling around, sometimes I just see my neighbor’s yard and I think how I would make it all cozy. Other times I’m just lying in bed
before sleep and idea for a great poolside comes to me and the next day I just have to build it. Mostly my ideas come like this, I imagine a particular place or a room and then I build the rest of the house around it.” Bazar joined SL after seeing a TV documentary. Her first day was typical of so many of us — some underground freebie store filled with people, that strange loneliness intensified by the crowd when all is strange, new and unknown. Bazar said, “I felt so bad, homeless and without money. It was a strange experience.” She soon began to build and it was building that drew her into SL. Her first attempt was a boat. She had seen some nice boats, but couldn’t afford them, so decided to make her own. That first boat was less than successful, but she eventually mastered the building tools to the point that she was able to create something that pleased her—and so her adventure began. She tried her hand at everything— houses, vehicles, clothing, avatars—but always circled back to furnishings and homes. Through SL, she has a medium to express her lifelong passion for design. When you walk into a Bazar home, you’ll be impressed by her mastery of the central problem of SL home-building — scale. Asked how she was able to effectively achieve such human dimensions given the high and wide camera offset that is the default viewpoint in SL, she explained that she
tours her houses with different sized avatars to see how they feel. “When the smallest avatar doesn’t feel lost in a space and the biggest one doesn’t feel like the walls are going to crush him, I consider it successful,” she said. She concedes it is a difficult issue for homebuilders. Most avatars look quite small when they stand outside their homes, but she believes it is critical to get the proportions right on the inside. She also gives her customers modify rights so they can adapt their homes if they need. She always pushes herself to do better, to constantly learn and to adapt to the ever-changing potential of SL. However, to keep from getting lost in unlimited possibilities, she centers her efforts on her customers’ criteria and expectations.
to build anything she would like while in real life, compromise is inevitable. She may have incorporated more of SL than most of us. Four years ago in SL, she met the person she calls “the greatest person I know” and they have been living together for two years now in real life. Aside the same issues of copyright and IP theft that bedevil all creators, Bazar is happy with her life and career in SL. For her, SL is full of surprises and endless possibilities, where she can project her every desire and is unfettered by the compromises of reality. She is profoundly grateful for the experience and for all the people who support her and her work. Visit Bazar in-world at L A Dreams [80.167.21].
Bazar loves that mesh has been added to her creator’s toolkit and is eager to see its full potential realized in the coming years. The one thing she has always wished Linden Lab would add to the user experience is built-in social interactions such as hugs and handshakes. While there are HUDs to execute those interactions, she feels it would express the importance of the social role of SL to have those as standard tools. When asked if she brought elements of her own home into her SL designs, she said that it was actually the opposite. She brings elements of her SL creations into her real life home. In SL, she gets
Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Annough Lykin
akuya Jinn is an alchemist, but he isn’t turning lead into gold. His chemistry is much more evocative. He’s taking polygons and colors and turning them into sex, elegance and romance—into an aesthetic of cool. He distills the essence of “Cool” and splashes it liberally on himself and his designs, and, by transference, on those who wear them. Cool has a label and that label is Gabriel.
Jinn came into Second Life® already aware of many of the commercial possibilities it offers. He started in SL real estate, purchasing land for rental and resale. He enjoyed clubbing. Inspired by the fashions of other clubbers, he began upgrading his personal style but soon discovered that if he wanted to get his style right, he needed to make his own clothing. Jinn is a tall, lean man with a bold, casual style. He has striking eyes that combine with a full mouth and a strong jawline to give him a look of easy elegance and a hint of sensuality. His look is clean and simple. There’s nothing fussy or complicated. He’s not the tucked in, buttoned up go-getter. He’s the relaxed, unbuttoned man with amused eyes and an easy smile. While Jinn’s personal style is very uptown, epitomizing elegance combined with sex appeal, his personal view of style is much deeper. When asked “what are a man’s essential wardrobe elements”, he didn’t name a single article of clothing. For him, the essential elements of style are found in one’s character - in keeping a nobility of mind and a positive attitude. While inspired by Dolce & Gabbana’s eroticism and sensuality, Jinn hopes to add the element of romance to his design elixir. While he notes that there is a wide variety of tastes, preferences and lifestyles in SL, it seems to
him that when it all comes down to it, no matter the style, “there is Romance.” His personal style and that of his designs for Gabriel is oriented toward the object of one’s attraction, or as he says, “Love is the subject” of his designs. While Jinn has a definite uptown vibe, he prefers a casual style that is geared toward an easy, fun lifestyle. Many of his pieces are caught midnarrative. A shirt unbuttoned, lifting lightly in the breeze, is more than just an article of clothing, it’s a story. If Jinn has his chemistry right, he says it’s a story of “a cool guy who fell in love.” Like many residents of SL, friendships are the best thing about SL. He loves spending time with friends and visiting clubs with them. He’s deeply grateful to the many people who have played a role in his success, the staff, models, friends and most of the the customers who like his chemistry. Like everyone, he has a little wishlist, at the top of which is the dream of flexible mesh. “It’ll be another SL fashion revolution!”, he says with a smile. Visit Gabriel in-world at Gabriel [127.123.23].
CHANEL in the Metaverse
Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel
n order to be irreplaceable, one must always be differentâ€? is something anyone is fashion has heard at least once in their lives, sometimes without even knowing where it came from. These words of wisdom come from none other than the ever-so-glamorous godmother of all fashionistas: Coco Chanel.
Coat: Reptile Cape coat by 22769, scarf: Cozy Sweater Collar by Drift, dress: Toga dress by Shi, hat: Fascinating Fascinator Violet by 22769, brows: Swan Jeweled brows by Purple Moon, skin & lipstick: by Leverocci.
Jacket: Hound Tooth jacket by Monso, scarf: Chic Collar by Drift, gloves: Rilla by Miamai, hair: by CheerNo, brow: Crystal Brow Diamond by LaGyo, lipstick & skin: by Leverocci, dress: Toga dress by Shi.
Chanel was the woman most responsible for changing the way we dress, for changing the way we look at our closets before deciding what to put on. She is the one who made us think “I will put this on because I want to, I will not wear things imposed by men”, freeing us from our corseted shackles and providing us with new wardrobe options, such as collared shirts, two-piece suits and the infamous little black dress. Oh, and let’s not forget Chanel No. 5—and yes, fragrance matters in fashion; as Chanel herself said: “A women who doesn’t wear perfume has no future”, meaning women should care about themselves and embrace their femininity so they can take control of their lives. Isn’t that what fashion helps us do? Be thankful for Chanel and the other designers who liberated women’s fashion in the 1920’s and ‘30’s; without them we might still be lacing into corsets.
Coat: Overcoat lace Nay by Ricielli, scarf: Cosy sweater Collar by Drift, pants: Gyll Fall Trousers by Baiastice, eyebrows: Swan Jeweled brows by Purple Moon, skin & lipstick: by Leverocci, hair: by Lelutka.
Now, as fashion keeps reinventing itself, the autumn/ winter collection from the house of Chanel presented us with an array of cuts and patterns that evoke the spirit of their founder. The haute couture collection focused on metallic tailored tweed pieces and Chanel’s iconic two tone shoes, both quite rare in Second Life(R). At the same time, the prêt-à-porter collection from Karl Lagerfeld used the same colours and gave the cuts a boost, keeping the lines but turning the volume up from soft to almost screaming. The twotone shoes were also reinterpreted, being cut to reveal the skin as the
second tone—this, you can find in SL® quite easily, and if you can, please make sure you rock them at least once this season. Not only that, most SL couturiers have released collections with quite a lot of metallic, so just make your way out of the house and get shopping—I’am pretty certain you will find something to please your fashionista taste buds. AVENUE has selected a few stylings inspired by these collections just for you, and this goes to show you that if we can style it, so can you. Things to remember while styling something Chanel - or simply because you want to look effortlessly elegant: metallics, tweeds, two-piece suits, round collar cuts and two tone shoes. Got it? Let’s get styling then!
Dress bottom: Highwaist Skirt by 22769, shirt: Copacati tucked shirt by The Secret Store, scarf: Chic Collar by Drift, skin: by Leverocci, brows: Swan Jeweled brows by Purple Moon, fur puffs: part Rossi Jacket by Celoe, hair: by Lelutka.
While you indulge yourself in shopping, keep chanting the mantra: sometimes it is not just always about being different and following trends. Sometimes it’s not about wearing things you see, or things you think are pretty. Sometimes it is all about choosing the right outfit and being confident, completely ignoring the trends, which can sometimes be good. If you are able of putting together a little something Chanel inspired, you can be sure you will find yourself feeling the elegance that has flown through the years. Remember that regardless of what you choose to wear, one must wear it with confidence, and that is what matters. At the end of the day invention, reinvention, choose whichever you prefer, but
Shirt: Tuxedo BodySuit by Ladies Who Lunch, over skirt: part of Kaftan Buttondown mesh by Ladies Who Lunch, pants: Marlene mesh pants by Miamai, brows: Swan Jeweled brows by Purple Moon, hair: Gosling hair by Burley, scarf: Chic Collar by Drift.
rest assured of one thing, timeless glamour is something not many fashion designers are capable of achieving. Coco Chanel, the woman who refused to follow trends and created her own achieved it. You can do it too because in the end, quote â€œfashion fades, only style remains the sameâ€?. Amen.
Jacket: Corseted tweed jacket by The Sea Hole, scarf: Cozy Sweater Collar by Drift, jair: Ulla by Lelutka, wrap over waist: Waist Scroll by Ce Cubic effect, skirt: Lilly Set Skirt by Vero Modero, brows: Swan Jeweled brows by Purple Moon.
Soraya V aher
Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel
nown to many as Mistress Prim Killer, Soraya Vaher, creative designer and CEO of Violator, has been one of the avant-garde fashion leaders of Second Life® for over 4 years now. From the moment of Violator’s debut up to now, her work has expressed her art and her emotion, making a bold statement that calls out to those seeking something beyond the everyday. AVENUE Magazine sat down with Ms Vaher to ask her a few questions about her brand and her work, not only in Second Life® but outside it.
AV: How long has Violator been around? SV: Around 4 years I would say... But I have lost track of time... AV: What inspired you to start designing? SV: To build up a business... (was) the main reason I joined SL®. I found it a very clever new business idea, and I found it realizable, no matter how some other people could consider it... crazy. Building a business in SL then, ok, but what kind of business? Renting land was really not my thing but fashion and style has always been my element, in RL as well. So, the direction of my future was clear since the beginning. What was unclear yet was how to realize it concretely. The truth is, when I first joined I concentrated on learning how to use SL, making friends, exploring, working in some clubs and role playing. The role-play scene was the absorbed most of my time at a certain point. I used to role-play in Gor and a few sci-fi sims. That’s when I started experimenting with outfits, mixing and matching the clothes I was buying from other designers. The success of my choices of styling was pretty clear from the beginning: people could recognize my avatar from afar and say “hey, that’s Soraya”. I was unique. In Gor I used to dress elegantly in white to distinguish myself for the mainstream, who usually wore black. In sci-fi role play I was mixing and matching formal gowns from Vindi Vindaloo
with cyber shoulder pads, horns and various accessories. My character was a spoiled rich nonhuman lady, outside time and space…from the future. From this inspiration, I started conceiving my own fashion line. I wanted to create the perfect dress for that kind of woman. One of my first creations, which I proudly claim as Violator’s innovation in the SL fashion world, was a tentacle formal gown: Creatura. Tentacles already existed in SL, formal gowns as well, one could mix and match, but a hybrid tentacle haute formal gown didn’t exist. So I made it. Hybridism then became the main theme behind all Violator, as well as spoiled elegance. The ability to work outside known categories and trends and to create new categories and trends, in a virtual world that after all gives us many choices different from the ones we get in RL, creating dresses that could speak for themselves and not as replica of RL creations, I believe has been one of the biggest reasons for Violator success. Another reason why I started creating... is... based on what I wish ... to represent: This woman I have in mind, fierce and terrible like the goddess of nature (represented in works like The Castigation of Venus, Eva and the snake and the Swan Line), dominant, brave and sweet at the same time, full of contradictions. Contradiction is the main theme behind my creativity. AV: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
SV: Dreams, movies, books, cultural background... my own mind, my hands and the mouse. AV: What would you say is one of your biggest concerns when you are designing? SV: My biggest concern always is the design itself. The outfit must look elegant, balanced even if extreme, and the textures (must) as well. To make a good looking outfit that I can sell isn’t enough... I want the balance, the study and the elegance, which makes the difference between a good product and a product of design. AV: Violator has been an evolutionary process, we have watched you from the very beginning with designs such as “Black Swan Theory” and “The Lady in White” (featured in AVENUE Cinque). How do you feel when you look back at those designs and compare them with your current direction? SV: I partly see a continuity with Violator’s signature Hybrid style, and partly an evolution in a more romantic and formal direction. I like to stay fresh, reinterpreting of Violator’s known patterns in new ways. My preferences change over time, so do my designs. AV: You’re known not only for your avant-garde design, but also for having created one of the most expensive dresses in Second Life history—the “Castigation of Venus”. How do you think people view your work?
SV: Both Castigation of Venus and Eva and the Snake sold out at the price of 15.000 Linden as special artworks. They are both that wild goddess I mentioned before, so fierce and terrible. She is pure chaos in a way. She is pure romanticism in another way. I believe my costumers, at least most of them (but of course I can’t speak for everyone), see my work both as living art and high fashion design, able to channel emotions, on one side, or simply to make you feel absolutely elegantly dressed on the other side. AV: You are known for channeling emotion through your outfits, what would you say is the one emotion that fuels your designs most often and why? SV: In the past I would have answered: Rage. I was convinced that the creative act of designing was directly bound to my emotions. So regarding that kind of emotion, I would say rage, violence and love, all together. Now my views on creating and creativity have changed. I no longer believe that emotions are directly bound to the act of creation itself, I see them more as a subtle theme behind a very rational act. Sometimes is not even about emotions or rationality. I just start to play around with prims and the dress comes out... AV: What can our readers expect from Violator in the near future? What are your plans for your brand? SV: Apart from creating more clothes and making Violator a highclass femdom? (chuckles)
AV: We know that you also own Luckynumberblack. com, your real life fashion blog, and that you sell both jewellery and clothes. Do you think Second Life inspired you to make that transition or was it the other way around? Can we take a peek? SV: Of course you are more then welcome to peek: www.luckynumberblack.com www.finerblack.com I will start to sell very soon my own RL necklaces, bags and clothes with the brand Finerblack. A mix of style, trendy, uniqueness, darkness and light, to stand out from the crowd with elegance. Style and elegant eccentricity are always my main “Must”. AV: Will you ever create a bridge between your real life designs and your Second life? Can we expect to find them in both realities? SV: For a haute couture dress like Violator’s Haute Couture? That’s my dream and I will realize it one day. Do you know by chance someone interested in investing in my talent? (winks) AV: Is there anything you would like to say to the AVENUE Magazine readers? SV: Kisses and whips! (smile) Visit Violator in-world Violator HQ [127.125.22].
by Dantelicia Ethaniel
Top: part of Imogen dress by Sasha Designs, skirt: Renaissance mesh skirt by Aliza Karu, head piece: Net fascinator by Chantkare, hair: Studio hair by Urban Lutz, blush: by La Malvada Mujer , lipstick & skin: by Leverocci.
Dress: Toreador Bodysuit by Faster Pussycat, scarf: Mortifera by Cheerno, hair: Baroque Wig by Epehemra Designs, hat: Fascinating Fascinator Violet by 22769, blush: by La Malvada Mujer, lipstick: by Leverocci, skin: by Leverocci.
Dress bottom: Roxana long dress by Diram, hat: Savina Turban by Diram, veil: part of Berry Bush black veil by Violator, fur shawl: Relax Tunic Collar by Molichino, skin & lipstick: by Leverocci.
Dress bottom: Caged birds skirt by Faster Pussycat, corset: My Feathered Waspie by La Penderie de Nicole, scarf: Mortifera by CheerNo, skin: by Leverocci, shoes: Lily pumps by Miamai.
Sweater: Baroque top by Faster Pussycat, shorts: Maja pants by Faster Pussycat, hair: Absent by Loovus Dzevavor.
Jacket: Sijourne Jacket by Apple May Designs, chest & shoulder pieces: part of Galia dress by Donna Flora, corset: BlackCarnival corset by E-Clipse, gloves: Rilla mesh gloves by Miamai, head piece: Baroque Shell hat by Valentina Couture, pants: Floral Ankle pants by Bliss, shoes: Ankle boots by Kungler, hair: by CheerNo.
by Anna Sapphire
Top: Ashima by Terra D’Ombra, corset: Vintage Striped Satin by NV Corsetry, skirt: Rilla Satin by Miamai, hair: Metal Headdress by Paper Couture.
Blouse: The Last Royal by Vanguard, pants: Joanne by Ricielli, thigh highs: Black Leather by Ison, belt: Mairey by Pacadi, gloves: Zarema by LaGyo, shoes: Contessa by Bax, hair: Carmen by CheerNo, chocker: Cabinet Des Antiques by Violator.
Bodysuit: Golden Thorn by Bare Rose, sleeves: Daydream by Bare Rose, necklace: Varushka Collar by Zibska, hair: Croc Queen by Loovus Dzevavor.
Jacket: Avril by Sonatta Morales, skirt: Gina by Kunglers, hair: Wind Hair and Red Roses by Baiastice.
Blouse: No.53 OjiBlouse by KC, jacket: Maja by Faster Pussycat, pants: Metallic Shine by League, hair: Battleship by Boudoir, boots: Karya by Miamai.
uâ€™ils mangent de la brioche by Absinthe Montenegro
Hair: Sphinx by Amacci, crown: Fake plastic crown by LaViere, earring 1: Pearl stud by Glow studio, earring 2: Rosea by Donna Flora, watch: Samara by Donna Flora, necklace 1: Long Pearls by YS&YS, necklace 2: Rosea by Donna Flora, purse: Cunt clutch by Handverk, bolero: Kaxh fluffy bolero by Bliss Couture, pants: Tweed tuck pants by Tram, shoes: Rose Pump by Handverk.
Shoe 1: Ankle boot by Kunglers, shoe 2: Rose Pump by Handverk.
Hair: Venice hair by Tutyâ€™s, make up: by La Malvada Mujer, necklace & bracelet 1: Princess Set by Donna Flora, necklace 2: Pearls in a row by Glow Studio, bracelet 2: Pearl bracelet by Mandala, ring: Mita Ring by Donna Flora, corset: My feathered waspie by La Penderie de Nicole, skirt: Angel gown by Ladies who Lunch, tights: Favorite Wool tights by Mon Tissu, shoes: Ankle boots by Kunglers.
Hair: by Vita’s Boudoir, sunglasses: Baroque by Guardian’s, jacket: Clash Fur Jacket by Mimirki, top: Macrame Body suit by Baiastice, skirt: AVE gown by Lelutka, lipstick: by Loovus Dzevavor.
Hair: Salome by Lelutka, earrings & necklace: ethnic necklace by h.m.a.e.m, purse: Laurelle bag by h.m.a.e.m, shoe: rump pump by Handverk, make up: by La Malvada Mujer.
Hair: XFE by booN, jewelry: Lovers cameo by DeSSion Jewelry, bracelet: My fav bracelet by A&M, top: Angel gown by Ladies Who Lunch, skirt: Baroque crinoline by Vitaâ€™s Boudoir, make up: by Les Petite Details.
Edge of Style
Rue de la Fantaisie by Gabe Bookmite Hair: Jeremy by CheerNo, eyes: Early Frost by Poetic Colors, skin: Breeze by Body Co., nails: Check by Lovesoul, jacket : Finn by Stripâ€™d, sweater: Seeker Sweater by Philo, pants: Boots pants by Tableau Vivant, lip piercings: Snake Bites by Sugar Heart, ear piercings: Tiny Plugs by Aitui, boots: Jump Boots by Deco.
Hair: Jonny by CheerNo, eyes: Deepening Spring by Mayfair, skin: Fox by Body Co., coat: Earl D by Bare Rose, shirt Collar: Pleated shirt by Mr.Poet, pants: BaggySlim by Balkanik 2.0, boxers: Boxers by Kal Rau, shoes: Drunks by Urban Bomb Unit.
Hair: Sammy by Burley, hairbase: Tintable Hairbase & Stubble by VyC, eyes: Deepening Spring by Mayfair, skin: Sky by Body Co., tattoo: Freedom by Blackfeet, coat: Etienne coat by ASS, shirt: Fishnet Shirt by Tableau Vivant, pants: Pant R.F. by Emery, legging: Leggies by Duck Nipple, necklace: Tat Anchor Necklace by Kari, boots: 8 hole by Gos.
Extravagant Obscurity by Hikaru Enimo
Hat: Gacha hat by Sleepy Eddy, attachment to hat: Rococo Hat by GizzA, neckerchief: Neckerchief by Drift, jacket with shirt: Finn Jacket by Stripâ€™d, pants with boots: T.Combat Trousers by Tokugawa Heavy Industries, googles: Inventor Goggles by LWL, face tattoo: Magissa by Madrid Solo, mesh hands: Relaxed by CheerNo.
Hair: Gosling by Burley, hat: Creatura Headpiece by Purple Moon, cape: Maxime Feather by Bliss Homme, suit: Military Coat Outfit by GizzA, mesh hands: Relaxed by Cheerno, face tattoo: William by Madrid Solo.
Hair: M-04 by Salon de Glow, hat: Bird Skull by LoQ, cape: Jack a Dandy (part of outfit) by Violator, riding crop: Jack a Dandy (part of outfit) by Violator, suit: 2pc Suit by Kauna, face tattoo: Red Henna by Madrid Solo, mesh hands: Relaxed by Cheerno, hairbase: wild-forest by MADesigns.
Baroque Flavour by Syra Hyun - syrahyun.blogspot.com.es
Top: Elahna by Bliss Couture, jewelry: Toro by Kunglers Extra, leggins: Fall Mesh Leggings by Baiastice, clutch: Stud Clutch by HANDverk, cardigan: Pismaniye by LeLutka, skin: Roza by Glam Affair, eyeliner: Couture by Glam Affair, hair: TYU321 by booN, headpiece: part of Blind Mask by LaGyo, pose: by Del May.
Shirt: Baroque Fiori by GizzA, pants: Lou by Glam Affair, boots: Troopa by LWL, jewelry set: Ribbon by WTG, eyeliner: Couture by Glam Affair, makeup: Gia by LpD, skin: Roza by Glam Affair, hair: Ballerina by TuTyâ€™s, pose: by Del May, chair: Vintage Boudoir by LISPz.
Earrings and collar: Absolute by Violator, eyeshadow: MK MEB by Alge’s Designs, makeup: Combo by Alge’s Designs, hair: Malibu by LoQ Hair, eyeliner: Couture by Glam Affair, skin: Roza by Glam Affair, bracelets: Polly by Mandala, dress: Hedda Leather by MichaMi, shoes: DARE by Diktator, bag: Rockstud by Swallow, pose: by Del May, sofa: 099 by LP2.
Angelik Lavecchia Pants: Etienne by Utopia, jacket: Etienne and Raphael mix by Utopia, cape: Leather cape by Mimikri, shoes: Henry Morgan by LdeV, hair: Talk Dark by Urban December, hairbase: Buzzcut by Lanevo.
Baroque Chic Photographer Annough Lykin
Mavi Beck Hair: ADORABLE Updo hairstyle by TuTyâ€™s, skin: Roza BaroQ by Glam Affair, jewelry: Polly by Mandala, jacket: The Last Royal Dress (modified) by Vanguard, skirt: Frou Frou Skirt by Tres Blah, leggings/shoes: Mesh Leggings by Maitreya, gloves: Rilla Bombazine by Miamai, headpiece: Winter Deer by LaGyo, lashes: Catwalk Lashes by Miamai.
Tadeu Gartner Hairbase: LIMBO short wet hairstyle by TuTyâ€™s, earrings: The Miracle Business Earrings by Chop Zuey, necklace: The Miracle Business Choker by Chop Zuey, shirt: Baroque Afrique by GizzA, corset: Restrained Corset by ASS, bracelets: Business Cuff by The Miracle, hands: Jolie Hands by SLink, ring: Relativity Ring by Yummy, leggings: CutMeLeggins by House of Fox, socks: Lazy Boy Socks by House of Fox, shoes: Jealous Bootie by House of Fox, clutch: Le Sac a main Clutch BABEL Cuir by AZOURY.
Veronica Krasner Eyelashes: Apparence Lashes No.001 by Je Suis, hair: YNO421 hair by booN, pants: Dead Poet Mesh Jeans by Faster Pussycat, top: Baroque Fiori Bra by GizzA, blouse: Baroque Fiori Lace Shirt by GizzA, boots: Rococo Fiori by GizzA, jewelry: PASQUALINA earrings by Donna Flora, purse: Knuckle duster bag 02 by ChicZafari, makeup: Layla lipstick by Glam Affair, mask: Le Fleur Mask by Illusions, nails: Nails French nude by Finesmith.
Matteo Bettencourt Shirt: Elegant Suit with Bow Tie by AOHARU, shoes: Mr. Fancypants Slides by LWL, jacket: Richard jacket by Utopia, vest: Vest_Jacket by Mr.Poet, gloves: Prim Gloves Homme Connor by Miamai, hairbase: Army by no.07, hair: Robert by Pocket Mirrors, belt: Loose Belt Brack Unisex by Gabriel, pants: Mesh Executive Chinos by ISPACHI.
Writer Winter Jefferson Photographers Eve Kazan, Eve Petlyakov and Annough Lykin
o one really knew what was waiting for them at Cinque. There had been whispers of things that were Pure, flickers of Onyx shadows, and a dramatic number repeated many times... 255. But the intrigued crowds that flocked to the new sims at zenshi knew that no matter what they were about to see, AVENUE was going to make sure that it would be something they would never forget.
White. Black. Red. Absolutes, stripped of all vagaries – this was the way that AVENUE celebrated both its fifth anniversary and anticipated rebirth as one of the most spoken names in Second Life® style. These colors have always represented the agency, but now they were taken and emblazoned across the stage in a three day spectacular of art and fashion. We selected the best designers on the grid to choose which one of these colors spoke to them the most, then express it in their most dazzling manner whilst remaining true to their own styles. The magnificent four sim set was built by the talented William Weaver, a fusion of the industrial and the organic – stately concrete pillars arising from dark waters bordered by stone detritus, all merging in front of a stunned audience. The demand was for the witnesses to watch in moonlight to take the best advantage of Weaver’s signature lighting effects. The choreography was composed so no one had to move their view at all, and so none of the impact of the setting was lost.
PURE On Friday the 19th of October it began. Like snowflakes drifting across the sky, so the AVENUE models flaunted, twirled and dazzled with the achievements of the PURE creators. We beckoned the crowds to join us with an explanation and introduction.
White. It is the embodiment of a calm state of mind as one becomes surrounded by light. The earthly representation of what we humans perceive as pure and innocent, a reflection of the soul. Zen. As we slowly become immersed by the bright lights and the purifying clear waters, our whole state of mind develops peaceful and serene contemplations. We become... pure. Bright. Allow yourself to be surrounded by the white shroud. As it wraps around your body, feel yourself becoming free of any trace of fear or pain. You are safe in the surrounding light and calm waters...And then the triumph of the light began. PURE opened with Aliza Karu of AD Creations, Vikeejeah Xevion of LD Major, and Molichino by Aurelia Chauveau. It flowed on magnificently with Soraya Vaher from Violator, Ngozi Faith and Xi Zane of Lush Limited, and Faint Paulseâ€™s Ladies Who Lunch. Then we revealed Vegacelli by Tori Toricelli and Bahar Vega and ended with NV Corsetry in collaboration with Dahlinks Jewellery, designed by Khurt Vargon and Alexandra Nicholls. People left, still shaking their heads to clear them after they had been struck by the beauty of the models matched perfectly to each item they were chosen to display, but all determined to return for the next day.
ONYX Saturday dawned brightly in SL®, and the audience filled quickly - the fashion savvy crowd of the night before elbowing for room against the people who had caught wind of what they missed, not wanting to be left behind. Everyone loves black. It’s the great equalizer; the most wearable color in the fashion pantheon. It has such scope, such room for interpretation – and there will never really be “a new black.” So the AVENUE models proved, this show having designs for both the men and the women of SL. The ONYX design team which gravitated to black did more than justice to this deepest shade. The essence of haute design flowed up the runway, emerging from the waters to engage the audience in dark worship. Black. It stirs many emotions. For some, black is the colour of sadness, of the gloomy dark moments in life. For others, it is a magical cloak that keeps you safe from the world’s judging eye. Shadows. Dark and veiled is the colour that can take you down or lift you up. It is how you perceive yourself and others. It is how you want others to perceive you. Introspection. Memories may want to shape you into something twisted, but it is how you rise from your ashes that dictates who you are. Now is the time to open your eyes and reinvent yourself...
ONYX ascended onto the walks with the chic designs of Shinichi Mathi of Shiki; collaborating with his artist friend Vinn Wong. Orage Creations by Elettra Gausmann made the next appearance, followed by Photos Nikolaidis and Storm Torvalar for A:S:S. ONYX also featured Hucci by Eboni Khan, Thetra Blackheart’s E-Clipse, blackLiquid Tokyoska’s eponymous label, Faint Paulse’s Ladies Who Lunch and LD Major by Vikeejeah Xevion. Finishing the show was ZanZe by Zzoie Zee, sYs by Systi and Syane Cisse, and revealing her namesake collection for the first time, Raven Pennyfeather of House of RFyre. Over one hundred people attended ONYX and they all left knowing they had seen something incredible. AVENUE drew out the tease for one more day, promising the public that everything they had seen on the stage and ached after would be available after the final show in the Cinque event.
255 Red is all about passion, lust, craving, heat, desire – and the design team for 255 knew that and applied it to every stitch, every seam, embroidered to the last floating ribbon and beaten into the most strained corset. Like liquid magma, the models emerged from the waters with their flames unquenched. The austere concrete build created the perfect backdrop against this most vibrant of colours, and AVENUE 255 exploded into the hearts of the assembly.
Red. The spawn of both fire and flame. The colour that warms your thoughts and makes you want to give in to rage. The fuel to most of mankind’s biggest stories. Passion. Pulsing pain and raw pleasure, a combination of the opposites that make our lives interesting. It nurtures the soul and soothes the body. It calms the storms and feeds the chaos. It is the route to selfdestruction... but do you dare stop? Rebirth. Burn, let the flames consume you; but when you are done... rise. Rise above all the chaos and confusion and find yourself reborn. The time has come open your eyes and gaze upon the land... 255 blazed along the pathway with the stunning companion pieces of Mila Tatham’s Solidea Folies. Eboni Khan’s Hucci added some extra class, then Bouquet Babii’s Vero Modero flowed on. Maria Elena Barbosa of MEB created two very diverse designs, followed by the bodycon slink of LD Major by Vikeejeah Xevion. Aliza Karu of AD Creations inspired gasps, and Selena Maskylene made her individual debut. Indyra Seigo of Indyra Originals followed with two extravagant designs, and blackLiquid Tokyoska’s own label was dazzling. R.icielli’s Fhara Acacia was glamour personified and Bahar Vega and Tori Toricelli of Vegacelli owned the runway. Monica Outlander of Miamai’s gowns dominated the final walk, and then... it was complete.
CINQUE received an ovation from the audience, all in awe of what they had experienced. On this cue, the waters dropped away to reveal the new headquarters for AVENUE as part of the rebirth – the zenshi shopping district, the nightclub, the agency offices and the training academy. Best of all the announcement was made that all three show’s creations were now exclusively available to the public at ground level, and the exodus was deafening. Twenty four of Second Life’s most talented and daring creators. Twenty eight dedicated and accomplished models. A brand new production team, an amazing artist and hundreds of audience members over three shows all combined to create Cinque, a fitting celebration of AVENUE as it enters a brand new life and a new year as the epitome of style. PURE, ONYX, 255. Vaunted agency, respected academy, daring publicists, cutting edge magazine. This, however... this is just the beginning.
For the love Of
To l e r a n c e
is the Only Way Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Annough Lykin
he day was October 27th and the clock struck two in the afternoon SL® time when the announcer shouted “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our event: Tolerance is the Only Way”. These were the words marking the moment when the Second Life® community gathered to express their support of tolerance and opposition to discrimination against gays and lesbians.
In order for an event like this to succeed, the organizers must devote themselves body and soul to the cause. This is what Shena Neox, in collaboration with several other entities, has done, to raise awareness of the fight against homophobia. The numbers reveal that there are more than ten countries that punish homosexuality with jail — some of them with life imprisonment —and five other countries that still punish homosexuality with the death penalty. It’s never enough to remind people that love isn’t a choice, and nobody should be punished for it. With a packed audience, Tolerance is the Only Way’s debut show brought together all those who hope to one day see a change in the world. It was an evening of love and acceptance. And regardless of all the glitz, glamour, ruffles, colour and sparkle, this event meant so much more to those watching and participating. The models were “honoured”, as some of them told us, and some of the people in the audience confessed to be moved and humbled to feel that people would work so hard to fight for their right to express their love. With over forty designs featured, the event had to be held over two days. The designs showcased will be available for purchase and all the profits will revert to COGAM: the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual collective of Madrid.
When asked her reasons for organizing this event, Neox simply smiled and said it was something she had been wanting to do for a while, but which she had postponed due to lack of time. Her goal is to make the world a little better and more tolerant. In the present times, where the boundaries of personal space and freedom of expression are constantly being put to the test, tolerance is the only thing that will allow us all to live peacefully, accepting and embracing difference as a part of our world.
Writer Isadora Fiddlesticks Photographer Piedra Lubitsch
ar is in the air. The city reeks of dead bodies, gunpowder, and gasoline. Above you, helicopters and planes buzz about, and before you know it a bomb falls. The atmosphere turns very tense, so you run for the nearest shelter. You run until you stumble into a church, the only safe haven nearby, and gather about your wits before daring to venture out again. You wonder where your comrades are and before you know it, they appear in the church as well, so you turn to them and regroup. You heave a sigh and put your helmet back on.
Welcome to the city of Edmond, where military role play is at its best thanks to the presence and dedication of the Merczateers group. This group is headed by brothers Anthony Lehane and Lurdan Huszar, and is one of Second Lifeâ€™s oldest role playing groups with a focus on military combat and tactics. Military role play has a long and colorful history in Second Life, and you can encounter almost every kind of military role play when you fire up the search engine and look under groups. There are those that donâ€™t take the role play seriously and those that do, with their settings varying from the Middle Ages to the Second World War to postmodern warfare. The Merczateers are serious about gaming and role playing in a post-modern, paramilitary style. They are very organized, they have an established recruitment process, and they train assiduously. Their history and back story is detailed, but concise enough to allow players to easily get into their characters. They are well equipped with uniforms, weapons, vehicles, and the city of Edmond as their base. Edmond was created entirely in mesh in the Central Plexus sim, standing resolutely proud even in the midst of battle. Despite some sections being charred and bombed-out ruins, the cityâ€™s past glory is evident in the rich detail that of the textures, and the play of light and shadow illuminating the character to the build. The city,
though designed for immersive combat rather than sightseeing, nonetheless has some picturesque areas, and is somewhat easy to get lost in…and if one is running from an enemy it presents an abundance of hiding places. As with most combat-themed builds, there are safe zones where visitors can take a look around. The Merczateers celebrated their seventh anniversary in September, and the City of Edmond’s new look is a worthy update to their wargaming experience. To last so long, when other groups and sims come and go all too often and all too soon, speaks to the group’s cohesiveness and leadership. Like them or not, they still remain Second Life®’s premier military role playing group, and having a wonderfully made sim like Central Plexus is icing to the cake. So if you’re looking for a new SL® pastime, you may want to consider visiting Central Plexus and joining the Merczateers in their ongoing battle. Visit the city of Edmond in-world if you think you have what it takes. Visit the Merczateers at Central Plexus [220.218.84].
Modern Zen with
Writer Lexie Jansma Photographer Ziki Questi
here are exciting changes in the air as AVENUE prepares for its brand new 4 sim opening. Many exciting events are set to take place. We felt that we needed a bit of a face lift to give us a fresh new feel as we move forward. Nothing too garish or gaudy, but something fresh, modern, and very zen would be the only way for AVENUE to go. And who better to bring the modern vision of Rusch Raymaker alive then the fantastic Colpo Wexler of Digital Cult Lifestyle Builders?
Wexler began his artistic journey by studying set design in Milan at Accademia Di Belle Arti Di Brera (Academy of Fine Arts Brera). As he studied he imagined a virtual world where he could work on set design projects (this was in 1987, before the Internet). By 1994 Wexler began to learn about html and vrml (Virtual Reality Modeling Language). This led to his becoming a web designer. By 2006, he joined Second LifeÂŠ and quickly began to realize his student dream of designing sets and building in a virtual environment. In 2007 Wexler began working for private clients, doing commissions, and in 2008 he opened his first showroom. From these humble beginnings, Wexler has gone one to do many great things. He has worked with many great sims including the San Francisco Sims recreating SOMA (the San Francisco Museum of Art), and The Eiffel Tower for the Arab Community. His latest project though is one that we are most excited about. The zenshi & AVENUE Sims are an eclectic mix of a modern aesthetic with a hip, refreshing Zen- like vibe. The cutting edge build is a concrete-and-glass paean to minimalist modern design. The aesthetic gives a sense of calm to the sims that will play home to AVENUE, as well as some of the most fashionable SL brands including Baiastice, CheerNo, and Ladies Who Lunch. There will be two residential sims where fashionable and trendy SLÂŽ
socialites can find their own happy home to hang their virtual hats. Colpo Wexler and AVENUE CEO Rusch Raymaker came together in early 2012 to discuss the revamping of the sims. They share a very similar modern aesthetic and have several future projects planned. Wexler had this to say about the development of the sims: “zenshi and AVENUE are two very good SL® brands due to the quality of their activities. I knew that the buildings had to be a mix of Minimalism and Zen. The buildings had to be hyperrealistic.” Digital Cult works in a variety of styles, but always with a signature modern twist. “Our goal in SL is to invent some variation of minimalism... Ethno/Minimal, Futuristic/Minimal, Concept/ Minimal, or Zen/Minimal,” Wexler says. All of this hearkens back to his original roots in virtual reality modeling, which he applies to his builds. In 2008 Wexler gave up designing in RL and now designs full time in SL®. Wexler’s work can be seen at the AVENUE zenshi Sims. Take some time and check out the wonderful designers, the AVENUE Academy, and the new home of AVENUE Magazine. More on Colpo Wexler can be found at his personal site and on the Digital Cult site.
Festive Holiday Table!
Writer Umberto Giano Photographers Neva Crystall and Piedra Lubitsch
s the holidays edge closer, you may already be considering entertaining family and friends in your virtual home. You want the setting to be memorable, to create a certain ambiance for your guests. But how to create the look? AVENUE Magazine is here to help. We recently asked two Second Life® interior designers to create table settings for the holiday season to serve as inspiration for our own readers’ in-world holiday meals. Taking us up on that challenge, both Neva Crystall and Samantha Hellmann took advantage of the grid’s freedom from weather restrictions to create beautiful, unconventional outdoor table settings. Calling her table setting “Sunday Casserole with Cherry Tomato and Mild Spices,” Neva Crystall says, “For this particular day—it is a Sunday—I am expecting friends to return from a long walk behind the grapevine hills that are around a twenty minute walk from here. The fresh country air is said to have an effect upon the appetite, so there are steaks waiting, smothered in baked gorgonzola cheese for the guys…and, for the ladies, we have bread, wine, and cheese, with some grapes on the side.” Accentuating the rustic feel of the setting, Neva chose The Loft’s reclaimed ash-textured Roxanne Table as the anchor around which she assembled a collection of different chairs. The massive wood dining table is placed outside on the patio, separated from the living
room by glass panels, so the dining experience integrates the natural beauty of the outdoors but still feels like a seamless extension of the home. “The Roxanne Table is the only table you’ll ever need: sturdy, heavy, but smooth and familiar to the touch,” Neva says. “This dining table loves company. A smaller table was never planned. It had to be a big one—that is what I had in mind from the start—preferably long enough to accommodate six or more guests. There should always be enough room for family and friends whenever they might be around. The table is a true hub for everybody, not only during dinner, but for conversation afterwards.” The holidays are all about entertaining friends and family, and Neva describes her table setting first and foremost as “family friendly and capable of catering groups of people in a comfort zone after a long stressfilled day.” In keeping with that sentiment, she doesn’t limit her in-world dinners to once a year, insisting that regular family meals are a much-needed respite from the day’s toils. Samantha Hellmann presents another unconventional but equally sophisticated spread. With subtle nods towards Christmas, such as the stockings hung on the backs of chairs, Samantha’s setting is charmingly housed in an exposed wooden frame shed surrounded by a snowy winter wonderland outside. Fun and inviting, her table top features a tableau-style centerpiece with rustic wooden
Wine bottles by Dutchie, Dinner Set by Follow Us , Dish with Hamburger Steak by BP, Decanter iced lemonade by BP, Wood apple, avocado by BP, Wine glasses by ARIA, Lemon by FLECHA, Candle glass light by iTuTu, A Jar of Raspberry & Champagne Preserves by Alchemy Immortalis, Glass of water and can by Dutchie, Pumpkins by MMG, Candleholder “pumpkin” by JoHaDeZ, Soup Bowl and Spoon by LISP modified, Chicken and corn by FLECHA, Lantern Autumn by nonino , Pepper shaker by FLECHA, Bread and cheese by Dutchie, Bowls, empty box by Dutchie, Garlic by FLECHA, Pinecone by Turnip, Pinot Noir 2008 by theosophy, Pumpkin Party Cooler by what next, Barbecue by C&D Designs, Roxanne Table by The Loft, Chairs by The Loft, Round Chairs by Y’s HOUSE.
The Build and Decor: Weathered Greenhouse Mesh by The Domineaux Effect, Curtains by AF BREEZE & Dutchie, Blue Tabriz Sculpted Rug by La Galleria, “Vintage” Ribbon Ornaments by C&D Designs, The old Stove by Kari The Table: Chisholm Industrial Table by POST, Artist Reclaimed Chair Vote & Liberty Belle by AK flowey / ohmai , Priya Rock place setting by MudHoney, Tabletop decorative dummies by Art Dummy with hats from Mesh Market (closed) Sleepy Eddy and Deco, Dummy stockings by Art Dummy, Dinner fork, spoon and knife by What Next, Bryony napkin pile by ARIA, Glass of Red wine by LISP, Pear on a plate yellow and green by BP, Toy Tree by AB , Boho Bedroom Chandelier by CP.
dolls standing at attention by place mats of smoothed stones. Dubbing her creation “The Setting is Strange, but the Food is Good,” Samantha purposely eschews many traditional rules for laying out a table, with one important exception. “Make sure your centerpiece is interesting but doesn’t dominate the table,” she advises before adding, “…don’t forget to leave room for the food!” Samantha describes her decorating style tongue-incheek, calling it “eccentric with societal norms,” and notes, “To me, anything can be beautiful. I love fine bone china and crystal chandeliers; then again, I think dandelions stuck in a colored bottle sitting in the kitchen window are just as lovely.” When asked if a holiday table setting should be more special than usual, Samantha echoes Neva’s sentiments on the subject, saying, “It shouldn’t, really. The table should always be a place to invite conversation with family and friends; it should reflect your taste and make dinner fun, even if it’s Wednesday night’s meatloaf. In a perfect world we would all have time to do that.” Happy Holiday decorating from all of us at AVENUE!
novel ideas Writer Huckleberry Hax Photographer Eve Kazan
ovember marks for some an attempt to grow a moustache and for others an attempt to grow a novel. Since I happen to have an RL professional presentation to give just a few days into the month and would prefer it if my audience were focused on my messages rather than a struggling stain-like growth above my top lip, however, my participation in ‘Movember’ will be – sadly – a metaverse-only affair.
I will though, once more, be taking part in National Novel Writing Month, creating my fifth novel set in Second Life®. The thing with NaNoWriMo novels is they tend to take on a life of their own, so any plot I have right now (at the time of writing) will probably have long ago been abandoned by the time you read this. That said, I do nonetheless have a storyline of sorts laid out. No spoilers here, I’m afraid, but if I complete it (which I’ve managed to do four out of five times so far), you’ll be able – as always – to download the end result for free from my website (see the plug at the end of this article). You’re welcome. Of course, far more ideas get shelved than completed in the finishing of any novel. In an AVENUE exclusive, therefore, I present to you some of the SL storylines that didn’t end up making it into fully fledged works of metaverse fiction. Naturally, my lawyers will be onto you should any attempt be made to develop any of these without the appropriate licensing agreements. In fact, inspired by Apple, I’ve recently taken out a patent on ‘the story’: “an arrangement of words depicting a happening, said arrangement consisting of a beginning part, a middle part and an end part”. This should cover most works of fiction, but the works of Paul Auster will probably elude me. Fifty Prims of Grey. Wealthy mesh hair designer Clive meets young student Amy at a shoe fair and seduces her into an SL BDSM
lifestyle. A trilogy, with cliffhangers for the first two novels provided by (1) a fatal crosspost during lovemaking (Clive accidentally responds to an alpha layer query from a pubic hair customer in Amy’s window) and (2) the discovery by Amy of Clive’s female alt, a journalist well known for her outspoken views on words like ‘throbbing’ during cybersex (here’s the thing: Clive says ‘throbbing’ all the time). In the very last chapter, we learn that Amy is in fact an eighty year old Muscovite. The Stuff. Timid Thomason Targwen is in love with the curvaceous Caroline, but his nonDom ways just aren’t a hook for this submissive doctor of neurobiology. Determined to win her over, Thomason creates a muscular alter-ego called ‘The Stuff’ (he likes the idea that people will announce his arrival with phrases such as, “Here comes The Stuff” and “The Stuff is coming,” and hopes he can introduce “Thank God for The Stuff’ into the English language as an urban catchphrase he can retrospectively claim credit for). A combination of bold – some would say crude – attachments and a personal polar shift in the use of four letter words wins this mask a dedicated following amongst the bored pseudo-intellectuals of the Post-Modern Prim Manipulation (PMPM) community. Alas, Caroline is not one of them. When she outs herself as Switch during his last-ditch attempt at propositioning her, Thomason comes suddenly to the realisation that there is such a thing as a
sub(Dom), a person who claims themselves to be submissive, but who secretly desires control over a dominant. In a tense final chapter, the avatar and his alt confront each other at the fourth annual PMPM awards ceremony (just after the first prize in the Two Prim Category has been announced as ‘Pine Cube Next To A Pine Cube’). A tremendous battle takes place, with Thomason emerging as the surprise victor (even he didn’t see it coming). Caroline falls instantly in love and the two take off together as fugitives from the PMPM community. In the epilogue, however, a brief glimpse of a shady observer of the two (whilst they consummate their passion in the novel’s only sex scene) leaves everything unresolved: is Thomason who we think he is and his account has just been hacked, or has something far more sinister been going on? For the observer is revealed in the last three lines as none other than The Stuff. Readers will be kept guessing through the sequel – More of The Stuff – and a disappointing resolution will be reached in book three – Knowing The Stuff – paving the way for a reboot of the franchise five years later, in which Thomason is redrawn as a much younger man with a talent for Italian cooking. The Affairs of Barnaby Bedsheet. Embittered by his RL love life, Barnaby embarks on a mission to bed as many SL residents as possible, only to discover that all twenty of them are in fact the alts of the same RL person. In an ironic twist, Barnaby
then finds out his SL account has been hacked and that nineteen other people are intermittently logging on as his avatar. Alternate title: Being Barnaby Bedsheet. Mission Unprimable. A crack team of five Second Life residents are hired by a mysterious organisation to penetrate an OpenSim (aka ‘The Other Side’) region and steal a top secret script codenamed ‘The Cat’s Claw’ (the function of ‘The Cat’s Claw’ is never revealed). On entering the enemy grid, the team must fool target avatars into thinking they’re in their familiar daily haunt (a lap dance bar with a perfectly textured sculptie water fountain, a detail that the expert builder on the team is unable to perfectly duplicate – he has a big tantrum at one point where he complains about having to go back to working with sculpties, likening this to building “by throwing lumps of wet mud at each other” – leading to a moment of tension when the chief bad guy goes for a walk around the fountain whilst he soliloquises about what the metaverse will look like under his new order). Just when it looks like the mission has gone without a hitch, the team are betrayed by none other than the guy who hired them in the first place (it turns out he’s one of those bloggers who’s been predicting the doom of SL for years and got fed up with all the waiting). All seems lost until the last few pages, when a confusing exchange establishes that the chief good guy suspected the double cross from the start and in fact defeated him three chapters ago.
For Your Prims Only. Similar plot to Mission Unprimable, but with more girls. And tuxedos. And Vodka Dry Martini. Carry On Emoting. An eccentric scientist invents an SL/RL sex interface in this comedy romp. No sooner is the prototype constructed, however, than it’s stolen by a pair of bungling burglars, hired (at arm’s length) by corporate sex company boss, Oursyerf Ather. Ather figures this device will make him millions, but hasn’t counted on the incompetence of George and Sid, who attempt to duplicate the invention themselves using cardboard and gaffa tape (inspired by the movie Apollo 13) and a USB memory stick. Testing their copy on the objects of their SL desire – in the hope that this technology will distract these beauties from their constant demands for better emoting (George: She told me I had to grow my ‘vocabulary’, Sid. Sid: Wimin! They’re never satisfied! George: What’s a ‘vocabularly’, Sid? Sid: It’s words, innit! George: Do you think she wants me to use a larger font?) – the two buffons are dismayed to find their attempt at the tech does nothing to improve their chances. A discussion with local adolescent ‘Tommy the Techie’, however, provides the suggestion that their device requires a driver. George and Sid resolve, therefore, to kidnap a chauffeur… Further tenuously related comedy capers added to pad this thing out to full novel length include the boys’ attempt to test the device for themselves by logging in as their
girlfriends (naturally, it hasn’t occurred to them to create their own female alts and this requires a convoluted sequence of subterfuge in order to obtain the passwords) and the original inventor’s mission in the final chapter to reclaim his device/avenge its theft through the remote activation of ‘Super Climax Mode’. Hilarious. Second Second Life. A resident creates a fully functional computer in SL which becomes a Marketplace hit. Computers around the grid are linked up and a metaverse is created on them. A scene featuring a truck falling backwards in slow motion off a bridge will be the central theme of the latter half of this overlength novel. Huckleberry Hax writes novels set in Second Life®. You can download these for free from www.huckleberryhax.blogspot. com.
Writer Ziki Questi Photographer Dantelicia Ethaniel
Source A New Kind of Aesthetic Quest
VENUE Magazineâ€™s Featured Artist for November, Kyrie Source, challenges herself to push the boundaries of expression in her explorations of fashion and photography. We featured Source as our Fashion Icon in July, and we revisit her this month to delve deeper into her interests, influences, and the intersection between her real life and Second LifeÂŽ artwork.
In the real world, Source is Karoline Georges , an awardwinning writer and interdisciplinary artist whose photographic selfportraits often bear a striking stylistic resemblance to her work in SL®. She readily speaks about the interplay between her real life and SL artwork: “Second Life has affected my RL work in so many ways. At the beginning, the simple fact of having a virtual body was very inspiring for my writings, as I write sci-fi novels. I started to be very interested by all 3D possibilities and it appeared in most of my artworks too.” In a broader sense, Kyrie Source herself is artwork, the first phase of a Georges’s project entitled Objects of Sublimation, which explores her “ever-increasing collection of ‘sublimation objects’”—those contributions from the designers and creators of virtual clothing, accessories, skin and hair who are “refining virtual corporeality.” Her self-named SL fashion blog, Kyrie Source (link: http:// kyriesource.wordpress.com) last month enjoyed its 400th post and over the years has featured work by more than 150 designers. But this for her is only the beginning. “SL fashion is a new kind of aesthetic quest. And we have not reached yet our first decade of creation. It’s only the beginning. At that early stage, it’s all about exploration and building skills. Trying to be very realistic can lead to powerful designs, and pure creativity, inspired by virtual possibilities can also open a new area of design. We have to explore it all.”
Photography and fashion have advanced markedly since Source began to develop her SL character in 2006. When asked what changes have most profoundly affected her work since then, she exclaimed, “Meshes! That’s the most exciting change. Now, creativity can explode. And I was very excited with shadows, too. It improved the way I can capture a design.” Source restrains her photographic palette to accentuate the interplay between light and shadow. “I’ve been a black & white RL photographer for many years. Light & lines interest me. I always try to capture the essence of a situation. In a strange way, I see way more accurately with a B&W palette. I could live in a B&W world. In fact, I only wear B&W (and grey!), and my whole house is also design with this palette.” Her SL images reflect this tendency, often employing only a touch of color and frequently shot entirely in black and white. The opportunity to participate in the creation of a new online world fascinates and inspires Source. “Meeting people from around the world, each of us being solo behind our computer, in our own country, thousands of miles away from each other, but really feeling we are face to face, intimate, that was, and still is, a powerful human experience. For me, since day 1, SL is the real beginning of our virtual venture, the real purpose of Internet. We are creating a new dimension where our creativity will rise, more and more.” She continues, acknowledging the
pooled contributions of the fashion community to her work: “In SL, it’s the collective work we are all doing together that fascinates me. Most of my work in SL is to reunite many creations with my own sense of style. I think of myself as a kind of fashion DJ (how could we call that? A Fashion Jay? A FJ?) I like to harmonize pieces together, to create unity.” And where in real life does Source look for inspiration? She replies, “I love so many artists, from so many disciplines, for so many different reasons! ... My favorite art period might be the early Modern period, at the beginning of the 20th century, when all points of view just exploded. Futurism, Expressionism, Surrealism, all brought an electroshock wave to art. Art became a quest for itself and creativity just burst in a powerful way. Photography was a new & fascinating experiment, it all had a great effect on my perception of art. What really matters to me, more than one single artist, is the big picture: art as a magnificent process revealing itself through humanity.” Is there anything waiting on the horizon? She offers, “I have not explored machinima in SL yet, but I will, one day...” Additional information about Kyrie Source’s artwork can be found her blog, and more about the artwork of Karoline Georges can be found on her site.
Writer Quan Lavender Photographer Piedra Lubitsch
e make friends, visit scenic places, shopping, decorate our homesâ€Ś Second LifeÂŽ provides countless activities. But the most special, the most challenging is building, the thing that enables every one of us to create whatever we can imagine, even if we arenâ€™t artists or computer specialists.
Curiosity brought Cica Ghost into Second Life. “Before i came to SL®, i didn’t even know it existed. I was spending lots of time on a Facebook application called Yoville. It was a funny virtual world where avatars have big heads and small cartoon bodies... I had a house there and even neighbours and friends... Once I met some person and while we were making jokes about how we looked, he asked me if i had ever heard of SL—he said it was a much better looking virtual world. So, i could say that curiosity has brought me here... i just wanted to see what is this like. I obviously liked it since I have stayed more than 2 years now,” she says. She spent quite some time in exploring SL and taking photos, and eventually slowly learned to use SL’s building tools. With the help of friends she learned to create. Her creations are eclectic; her Marketplace shop offers, as she says, “some clothes, trees, flowers, grass”…and other things, as well, all touched with the same sense of whimsy. Her favourite colour is obvious. Cica Ghost smiles: “Hmmm... yes, I like black clothes, even in RL.” Cica Ghost is not an artist, but as child she loved to create pictures…something that learning to build in SL inspired her to pick up again. “I was drawing for fun at first... just to decorate a home or to make pictures with it... Some of those decals i have on market, like flowers, crow, cat and tree... Then i was drawing ‘myself’ like ‘’Cica
and flower’’, Cica and rain’’, ‘’Cica and crow’’... till i found out i could make animated textures and that opened many new ideas. And with every new animation, I had another new idea... something to add to the pictures I was making. It was like drawing a life,” she smiles. “So, my little platform became too small for the ideas I had.” Second Life brought her creativity back. Needing a larger canvas to realize her vision, she sent an application to the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA). Linden Lab provides artists with use of sims for free for a certain period of time. The grants are given by a committee. Cica Ghost was accepted for the current series, and within a short period of time she filled her sim with an enchanting world in black and white, reminiscent of scenes from a children’s book. We see children playing with a kite, the wind blowing simply with sweet animated textures. We can walk along the paths over a bridge to cute little houses, where we can try the interior. Her style has the whimsy and naive charm of skilled juvenile art; it’s hard to look at it and not smile.. Ghost had a lot of trepidation before opening, chiefly the worry of whether her ideas and vision would be good enough to please visitors. She is very grateful for the support of the LEA committee: “The LEA was very encouraging to me and they helped me get past those fears. All….. has been unnecessary. The installation constantly attracts visitors. It’s
fun to watch them trying the animations and taking photos. And it is not to oversee that they love it! C I C A playfully takes us back to childhood. Visit Cica Ghost’s “Black and White World” at LEA13 [165.24.22].
Shakespeare in Prims
Writer Quan Lavender Photographer Xandrah Sciavo
ome people are gifted to inspire others to think. And maybe they make the world a bit better by this. Nino Vichan, artist in both lifeâ€™s, is one of them. The Italo-American has higher goals with his art than just to entertain.
This year he presented two installations with themes that strongly moved the visitors. Vichan tells: “My installation ’Homeless’ was based on pencil drawings I did of various homeless people. I tried to present a picture of homelessness that represented this diverse population. They are men and women; they are the elderly and the very young, the veterans and the mentally unstable. I wanted, through my drawings, to document their existence, to make these human beings visible, to help people to see them and to say – yes, I see you.” In the installation the visitors heard in the local chat real facts about homelessness, which made them freeze. The other installation that touched the visitors deeply was called ‘American Nobility’, which made aware of the genocide of Native Americans, which was one of the most aggressive and devastating programs of genocide worldwide. Currently Vichan is presenting a full sim project which is celebrating two dramas of William Shakespeare: “The Merchant of Venice” and “Macbeth”. Vichan: “The characters and events that Shakespeare created hundreds of years ago, and that unfolded on the stage of the Globe Theatre still exist. They exist in the minds of everyone who has been fortunate enough to experience the dramas, tragedies, and comedic adventures of so many of these amazing heroes and villains.”
And exactly here he is aware of a strong connection between art and Second Life®. Vichan explains: “I believe that if you become absorbed in a play of Shakespeare or one of Dostoevsky’s novels or perhaps a painting of de Chirico or Dali, or any work of art for that matter, you enter a realm of reality that was created in the mind of another human being. Where do those realities exist? When Macbeth and Banquo wander onto the heath and meet the three witches who prophesize their future, or when Lady Macbeth wanders the castle of Inverness plagued by the hallucination of the indelible mark of King Duncan’s blood on her hand; in what reality do these events take place? The characters and events that Shakespeare created hundreds of years ago, and that unfolded on the stage of the Globe Theatre still exist. They exist in the minds of everyone who has been fortunate enough to experience the dramas, tragedies, and comedic adventures of so many of these amazing heroes and villains.” Is this the same concrete reality of our physical daily existence? Do these realities, created by so many great artists exist in a separate reality? Are those realities qualitatively different then the one we call “Real Life”? Vichan’s answer is that they are both part of a larger, fuller experience of reality: “One that is far deeper and more real then what we comprehend with
our conscious minds.” How much of our daily lives is spend remembering events of the past, or perhaps remembering a dream from the night before, or fantasizing about a future we hope will come to pass? How much of our waking hours do we spend absorbed in a novel or lost in the cinematic realities of the digital effects so pervasive in film today? We obviously live in a mixed reality of the “real” and “imaginary”. We transition between our inner and outer lives multiple times during the course of a single day. And our virtual life is just a continuation on these switches between different realities. Vichan smiles: “So, to me, this amazing reality of flying avatars, that have the strength of Hercules and the magical abilities of Merlin, is not qualitatively different then my experience of the artistic realities I have experienced in the plays of Shakespeare or so many other great works of art. It is simply one of many different realities I experience every day.” And this causes the passion with his artistic work in Second Life: “To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of this virtual world is how it facilitates the creative process and enables the mind to manifest its abstract constructs into an experience that can be shared by an amazingly large and diverse community of unique and talented people. SL, like anything else in my experience, is an extension of my complex reality. It enables me to explore my creative energies
and concepts in a way that is quite unique. It was this potential that brought me to SL and it is an adventure that has only just begun.” So, let us follow him into his latest adventure, the world of William Shakespeare. He thought long and hard about this project: “In my life, the theater has and always had a strong influence. If I think of my most memorable experiences in the theater it is probably going to involve the work of Shakespeare. The stories he wove and the characters he created live in my mind with such clarity and color. They are always there just below the surface. I have been involved in creating works based on Shakespeare’s plays for quite some time here in SL. I began creating small versions of these Shakespeare installations…and I began to expand on the work I was doing with Shakespeare’s plays.” “The Tragedy of Macbeth” is a drama about the raise, turn to tyrant and fall of a king. Vichan’s installation is entitled “Cries and Whispers” (a reference to Ingmar Bergman’s film): “It is situated in a post apocalyptic world where only the cries and whispers of Shakespeare’s characters float through the ether of a crumbling dystopia. This can be taken literally in a temporal sense but it can also be understood metaphorically as the aftermath of the assault on the arts that is taking place by reactionary forces in society that seek to cut funding to the arts and censor artistic expression based
on financial, moral and religious objections.” The second covered drama, “The Merchant of Venice” is a typical Shakespeare comedy with a twisted love story and serious background about dept and forgiveness. The installation shows Venice on bright colours. Vichan is glad about the outcome: “It really was a joy to see this vision take shape in a way that I had never thought possible!” His artistic work in Second Life has just begun. Regarding the future of virtual art, Vichan believes in huge growth: “When I think about the potential virtual reality environments provide, I see environments that bring together the visual and auditory arts, the dramatic and theatrical arts - music, movement, literature and graphics all weaving a tapestry of emotional, conceptual and spiritual expression.” Teleport: LEA28 (213, 204, 21).