AVENUE ultimate style Magazine issue 62 / December 2013
SL LIVE Radio
Style & Photography by ThePierrot
In the blink of an eye, another year has passed by. In fact… in the blink of an eye… six years has passed by since AVENUE was born. For 5 years, a dedicated team of men and women from around the world committed themselves to growing a simple vision of bringing a high quality lifestyle magazine to Second Life®. And that they did.
and every one of you a beautiful and blessed Christmas… holidays filled with love and kindness, forgiveness and giving… for life at any rate, for a day, a year or 5 years is too short, as it can all flash by in the blink of an eye.
Month after month, AVENUE as a magazine, a team, a virtual family - has stretched and unceasingly challenged themselves to reach higher heights, raise the stakes in the realm of virtual publishing and superseded expectations. To each and every one that has placed their mark, their touch through word, vision, style, and action between the pages, I lift my glass to you and salute you for your contributions that have left an indelible mark in Second Life.
So let’s close our eyes for a moment and awake again to see a new tomorrow full of promise, hope and verve. Here’s to a new year and new life.
Rusch Raymaker Publisher
AVENUE as the magazine as you know it, will discontinue in the format that you have come to know so well. The team as a whole will be on sabbatical - to take some time to rest and recoup, reconsider and re-energise to forge a new path and journey ahead. AVENUE has always thrived in the spirit of reinvention, and it is with this same spirit that we approach the New Year with a new vision of what we can create together. We look forward to your continued support and wish each
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Cover Story 158 SL Live Radio Couture Clash 172 Queen Vivienne Featured Designer 184 Ozi La Femme 196 The American Princess Homme 202 Encore Lâ€™Avante Jean Paul Gaultier Revisited His Details Odd Conceptions Focus On Extraneous Grunge Fashion Agenda Jewelry & Accessories Expo Blogspot City Style Liv Glam Monthly Contest Glam Girls
Lifestyle Feature The Semiotics Of Cool Interesting Sims Experiencing The Den Architecture & Interiors Can We Play? Trending Singularity Viewer Perspectives On Faking Your Death In Second Life
Magazine cover Digital Imaging + Art Direction Citta Wiskee
Arts Feature Nitroglobus Gallery
Creative Direction Rusch Raymaker
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: email@example.com Ad queries: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising and vendor requests: Amazon Silverweb, Amita Yorcliffe, Xandrah Sciavo
Staff & Contributors
Publisher Rusch Raymaker Editor in Chief Xandrah Sciavo Creative Director Grant Valeska Fashion Editor Anna Sapphire Lifestyle Editor Umberto Giano Graphic Designer Grant Valeska Marketing Executives Amita Yorcliffe, Leezah Kaddour, Tandra Parx
Writers Cajsa Lilliehook, Cali Karsin, Huckleberry Hax, Isadora Fiddlesticks, Lexie Jansma, Liat Reina, Louise McWinnie Roundel, Prisilla Avro, Spruce Canning Stylists Amazon Silverweb, Amita Yorcliffe, Angels Milena, Anna Sapphire, Arscene Dubrovna, Asia Rae, Calima Dufaux, Dantelicia Ethaniel, Eira Juliesse, Gabe Bookmite, Hikaru Enimo, Honey Bender, Jax Aster, Neva Crystall, Pierre, Syra Hyun, Winter Jefferson Photographers Annough Lykin, Asia Rae, Arscene Dubrovna, Calima Dufaux, Citta Wiskee, Eira Juliesse, Eve Kazan, Jordan Giant, Leah McCullough, Linda Reddevil, Neva Crystall
Contributors Volupturaptor Perl
SL Live’s Radio’s
Bringing The House
DOWN! Writer Cali Karsin Photographer Citta Wiskee
ne fantastic thing about Second Life® is the variety of unique forms of entertainment and lifestyle opportunities which thrive all over the grid. From avant-garde eccentric fashion, to masterpiece architecture, art, and photography, this virtual world never fails to entertain. Nowhere else can you get such eclectic facets in all of these things but in SL®, and the musical scene in our virtual playground is one that teems with diversity.
People from all walks of life come together to share something that has the ability to virtually connect us all... music. From all of the different forms of entertainment in the music industry to engage in, including clubs and live DJâ€™s, to venues and live singers, to radio stations and streams, the world is opened up to you with any genre of music you could possibly dream of. Tired of standing around in clubs just to hear good music? Wish you could take your music everywhere you go in SL, or even real life, but still be connected to the SL grid? Then SL Live Radio is for you. SL Live Radio has been prospering in the music scene since January 2013 because of their 24/7 accessibility to good tunes on their website. As the first station in SL to stream in high definition on professionally managed dedicated servers, they take pride in their goal of providing a media home in our virtual world and in building a community. The owners of SL Live Radio, Esme Capelo and Thorn Andel, have been working hard, giving it their all. Capelo and Andel put in countless hours of editing music, dealing with server idiosyncrasies, talent auditions, scheduling, marketing, editing and producing shows and many other tasks. All of these are what make a real radio station. â€œWe enjoy the challenges that broadcasting throws at us and work well as a team to deliver the quality service we aspire to,â€? the pair informs.
Mainly broadcasting electro house dance music, as well as live music, chat shows, and news updates with happenings in SL, SL Live Radio is the one stop place for virtual entertainment and staying in the loop. The station is flexible in their genres, and they have many marvelous versatile DJs. A couple of the DJs who play outside the usual genre are DJ Arc with Trance Around the Grid, and DJ Kess, spinning Indie-Rock Live From the UK. Honored to recruit some of SL’s most amazing talents including many DJ veterans like DJ Sarco (Sarcophilus Haldermann), DJ Shep (Aeschylus Shepherd) and DJ Insyx (N6 InsyX Piranha) or the chat show sensation The Dar and Carter Show, (Dar Writer and Carter Giabocini), there is never a dull moment. “As well as those mentioned above, aall of our DJs go above and beyond. We would like to mention them by name. Thank you, Johny Alderton, Mikedacook Dinzeo, Dodgman DeCuir, Heloq Tomsen, Preston Benoir, Cupric Router, Ryder Yowman, Duncan Bradders and Miwa (LovelyMiwako7399Menna).” Also, the company is soon to be joined by DJ AFI. When asked for a wacky fun fact about SL Live Radio, the owners comically explain, “We’ve been informed that some of our DJs don’t wear under garments when they broadcast. True.” The owners reminisce with a little story about how they made their dream a reality: “In the spring of 2012 it
seemed like the time was right to start. As an accomplished DJ, knowing how to mix and stream live music laid a solid foundation for our seamlessly edited signature sound. But as a wise person once said, “the devil is in the details”, we quickly realized that there were scores of micro details to sort out.” With blood, sweat, and tears, running off their fuel of achieving their dreams, and not forgetting to have fun along the way, they have finally accomplished an important impact on the SL music industry, but this is only just the beginning. Streaming some of the musical extravagance behind an amazing AVENUE Fall/Winter Fashion Week, they enjoyed tremendously the gorgeous designs, fabulous models, parties, and shopping. They are working hard towards future projects, including their scheduled event to stream live at The Jewelry and Accessories Expo by Siren Productions in December, and the SF Designs party, celebrating nine years of successful business in SL. Not forgetting to give back to the community, they helped to promote Autism Awareness and Stand4Love, and are open to taking on new charitable fundraisers. Reporting in September to have 11,447 unique listeners from 121 different countries around the globe, it’s only up from here for SL Live Radio. If you would like to book SL Live radio as a full service radio station for your next event, charity, business, or to have a live remote
party broadcast from your location, contact Esme Capelo. Stop by their website today and tune in to see what everyone is talking about, and follow their Facebook to keep in touch with the latest events and sets, or join their group. Where ever you are, whether it is out and about or relaxing at home, tune in and listen to some of SL Live Radio’s fabulous entertainment. For all of the latest events and set schedule, check out the calendar on their website. One thing is for sure - SL Live Radio is here to stay and will always be there to celebrate SL’s love for music and to remain a driving force behind the scenes at all the hottest events. So stay tuned, plug your headphones in and join the fun, because you’re about to hear some of the best head-nodding, funky foot-tapping music on the grid with a truly talented and one of a kind set of DJs. It doesn’t get much better than SL Live Radio. http://radiosllive.blogspot. com/ https://www.facebook. com/SL.Live.Radio?hc_ location=stream
Her Royal Fashionness,
QUEEN VIVIENNE Writer Louise Roundel Photographer Anna Sapphire
he flame-haired fashion goddess that we all see at the end of runway shows four times a year, whether it be in London or Paris; the woman we see supporting so many causes to preserve the planet and to defend human rights; the artist who has been given so many distinct and distinguished awards and titles, with collections with her name on them in several museums across the globe; the rebel with a causeâ€Ś to change minds and wardrobes. Her name is Vivienne Westwood.
Hair: Say My Name by Vanity, tattoo: Psycho by Corvus, necklace: Amira by Finesmith, piercing: Tertutup Bibir by Soedara. 43
Hair: Tossing n Turning by Vanity, hat: The Soldier On Big Maneuvers by La Malvada Mujer, dress: Bad Girl Knotted Dress by Mesh Head, sunglasses: Divine by Je Suis, stockings: Seamed Fishnet by Blowpop, gloves: Fingerless Glove by Shi, booties: Suede Skull by Mesh Head.
For nearly four decades and still going, her career as a designer is a sole testament to the power that rebellion, shock, eccentricity and a little thing called talent, can wield in the world of fashion. She began her unofficial career by creating her first marriage’s wedding dress - which did not last long (the marriage, not the dress). When she met Malcolm McLaren - Sex Pistols’ band manager and also clothes designer - her world would change and the two would wed soon after that. The joint force of the Westwood and McLaren couple was seen as a true a weapon of mass destruction and nonconformity, this while the hippie movement was still fully alive and well in the late 60’s. Their aesthetic was the antithesis of this movement, as it drew inspiration from youth rebellion from the 50’s, all music-related. Soon, the
Crown, armpiece, neckpiece: Vivienne by Solidea Folies, lashes: Dots Lashes by Glam Affair, hair and bows: Babilone by Vanity, bra: Ruffle Bra by Whatever, corset: Rib Cage Belt by Epoque.
Sex Pistols would be wearing their garments on stage, ranging from rocker to fetishist attire. Some of those pieces from their Sex (1974) and Seditionaries (1975) collections are highly prized (and clearly highly priced) items for vintage collectors to this day; they mark the era of music and fashion that had been born, as the world welcomed punk into their lives. A few years later, with the introduction of the beloved tartan and the Union Jack into clothing, Westwood marked yet another era in her collections, much like queen Elizabeth or Victoria had done in the past, waving their patriotism and their sense of fashion at the world. Being proud to be British had soon become the â€˜itâ€™ thing.
Gritty, dirty, barely-holding-up by safety pins fashion, the world of leather, pvc, tartan, colours - in both clothing, hair and makeup - has come to stay. To this day, anyone wearing anything of the sort is portrayed as a rebel, or, the trendy adaptation, the punkchic girls and boys. In a world where black is the most purchased colour, an explosion by the name of Vivienne Westwood was bound to happen. Thank goodness she did. Drawing inspiration from all kinds of realities, Westwood worked to develop her lines as the muses came to her, whether they happened to be in the London underground or in her bedroom. The Anglomania, Red and Gold labels always have and still are very much acclaimed in both her native country or on a worldwide range. And as fashion moves in cycles (not circles), this is the year of the punk rocker trend, or as we should call it, an homage to the fiery lady herself. Every collection in every runway unveiled designs that would not have been possible had she not dared to rebel and allow people to express themselves, and rightfully so. Her collections, however, continue to evolve, as she is quite active with â€˜save the planetâ€™ type of causes, using her sustainable fashion, another way of non-conforming, whether it is regarding style or environment.
Guepierre: Retro Bustier by Solidea Folies, jacket: Tuxedo Revers by Baiastice, pants: Rock Chick Jeans by Mesh Head, scarf: Skinny Scarf by Zeery, shoes: Makayla by ALB, head jewelry: Pris by Solidea Folies, eyes makeup: InColor2 by La Malvada Mujer, hairbase: Street1 by Sys.
This Autumn/Winter 20132014, Westwood’s lines gave us a range of her still satirical and patriotic self, slightly toned down and more focused the expression of sustainable art. Clothes to make a statement, always. As the world reflects something she started a long time ago, she jumps to something else, smirking as if she’s done yet another naughty deed, waiting for everyone else to get it and then follow - all this while wearing her ‘I Am Julian Assange’ t-shirt. This IS Dame Vivienne Westwood. Long live the Queen.
Gown: Inspirations by Vindi Vindaloo, jewelry: Just a Formality by Violator, hair: Carmem by Cheerno, headpiece: The Wayward Dutchess headress by Sky Everett.
by Ngozi Faith Writer Prisilla S. Avro Photographer Amazon Silverweb “You have to be unique, and different, and shine in your own way.” ― Lady Gaga
intage with a modern flair… that is a brief way to describe the chic designs of Ozi by Ngozi Faith. Recently featured as a Vanguard designer at the AVENUE Autumn/Winter 2013 Fashion Week, Faith’s designs lit up the runway with their unique, trendy, and urban take on style. This was not the first time styles from Ozi had graced the AVENUE stage. Faith was a part of the inaugural AVENUE Spring/ Summer 2013 Fashion Week and brought many brightly colored, flirty designs to share with the fashion world of Second Life®.
Dress: Basic Hi Low by Ozi, shoes: Mutant pumps by Ozi, hair: Anemone by Chemistry, crown by Lelutka.
It is certainly fitting that Faith’s designs found their way to both the AVENUE runway and its pages. When asked what brought her to Second Life, Faith replied, “I came to SL® after stumbling upon the AVENUE Magazine website. I was so fascinated by the fashions. I had no idea something like this existed in SL. It took some time for me to figure everything out, but what keeps me here is the desire to create things I like and hope others enjoy it too.” Faith views fashion as a universal canvas. “Each garment a designer creates is a work of art in their eyes. I guess I can say fashion to me means art in motion.” While Faith has been in SL since 2009, Ozi is 6 months old. The main store opened in March of this year just about the time of AVENUE’s Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion Week, and needless to say, that was quite an exciting time for Faith. She has learned a great deal since coming to SL and has been fortunate to work with talented designers along the way. “I was lucky to be able to work with some of my favorite designers that I still admire to this day as a fashion model. I was intrigued to understand how the actual construction of a garment works. I quietly practiced for a while until I had the courage to team up with a wonderful individual in which together we launched our first brand.” When thinking on what inspires her, Faith remarked, “As much of a cliché this is, I can
Dress: Twiggy by Ozi, shoes: Boho Fringe by Ozi, necklace: Strong Hold by Foil, bracelet: Leather and Spikes by Foil, sunglasses: Jiggy Glasses by 7891
say my creations are inspired from music.” She continued, “This season in particular, the inspiration came from Thrash Metal. I wanted create something fun, wild and daring but universal enough to wear in many different ways relating to one’s personal taste.” Faith commented on the process of designing an article of SL fashion. “It’s a long process... a very long process for me. It can take well over 10 man hours to finalize one item, which could be why I tend to take my time with new releases.” Nonetheless, she has enjoyed the experience and the journey. She counts among her accomplishments “the number of amazing people I’ve met along the way who share the same interest of fashion designing in SL.” She confirms and testifies to the creative outlet that SL is for many. “I think everyone is an artist in their own way. That’s what most of us came here for. An outlet to express one’s creativity.” When it comes to what matters most to her as a designer, she replied, “If viewers actually ‘get it’ meaning, do they understand the message I was trying to convey in each look.” Faith offered encouraging words for budding virtual fashion designers. “Never give up. Keep practicing, and take your time. Many times I’ve wanted to just shut down operations because I
Skirt: Curve by Ozi, top: Origami Crop b Ozi, shoes: Boho Fringe Wedges, hair: H by Taketomi, bag: Traffic Jam Clutch b 7891, jewelry: Tips enamel necklace by
by Hana by Foil.
felt my clothes were not that great compared to many of the other designers out there. However, I realized you can only do you. I’m still learning new things every day. There are no ‘set’ rules. Find your own outlet and work with that. Someone will appreciate it.” As with most things, there is a positive and a negative to each endeavor for Faith. “My favorite part of designing would be when I’m boxing everything and setting the vendors up for sale. The worst part would be making alpha layers. It takes the most time for me.” The style of Ozi is not to be missed. Faith invites you all to stop by her shop and form your own opinion. “There’s something in there for every woman.” Shop Ozi in-world: http:// maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ Cicciottella/27/155/4001 Marketplace: https:// marketplace.secondlife.com/ stores/106487 Blog: http://ozi-sl.com/
Dress: Leisure Maxi by Ozi, shoes: Aztec sandals by Ozi, jewelry: Maelle Shoulder by Indy and co, hair: Bedhead by Lamb, hat: Roller by House Of Fox.
An American Princess by Honey Bender
Gown by Apple May, tiara by Krystal. 69
Top and skirt by Dirty Mind, shoes with socks by KR Design, ripped tights by Erratic, bracelets by EdgeGrafica.
Top by The Secret Store, sheer seamed pantyhose by Blushed, Miss Imperial mini tiara by Krystal, bracelets by Perturbattion.
Babydoll dress by The Secret Store, shoes by GField, tiara by Alienbear. 72
Blouse by The Secret Store, leather mini by Happy Undead, ballerina flats by Switch, ripped pink tights by Erratic.
Dress by Mutresse, hairband by LaGyo, beads by JD. 74
Dress by Volstead, tiara by Alienbear, flower bracelets by Low. 75
"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore
Mini corset dress by Sugar, sneakers by 20five, guitar by Glitterati.
Hair: James by Action, top: Caplet Tank by Shi, pants: Ripped Leggings by Miss Canning, boots: Suede Zipped Military Boots by Lucien Marcelo, sleeves: Sleeve by Shi, tattoo: When the Beast by Aitui, necklace: MurV by Cheerno.
Hair: Taylor by Argrace, tanktop: Tank hole by Ronsem, pants: Tucked Up Jeans by Villena, boots: Tall Cargobasket Leather Boots by Lucien Marcelo, gloves: Long Gloves by Saikin. 83
Hair: Taylor by Argrace, Hoodie: Ryu by Xiaj, pants: Tucked Up Jeans by Villena, boots: Tall Cargobasket Leather Boots by Lucien Marcelo, gloves: Leather Gloves by Gabriel, bracelet: Nico by Kosh.
"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore
Hair: Taylor by Argrace, jacket: Hooded Jacket by Pumpkin, shorts: Denim Shorts by Aitui, leggings: Ripped Leggings by Miss Canning, boots: Tall Cargobasket Leather Boots by Lucien Marcelo.
Photographer Jax Aster Stylists Amita Yorcliffe & Jax Aster
Jax: Jacket: Napoleon by NSD, pants: Low Rise Mesh Emo by Apple May, shoes: Triumph by GOS, necklace: Hannya by Mandala, suspenders: Unisex by Shi, hair: Revolver by Exile. Amita: Tops: Selena Boosteeyay by ABC, skirt: La Cannoise by L Amant, pants: Tartan by Cadys Emo, belt: Bolts belt by 1992, boots: Dread Boots by Razor, bangles: Spring Street by Illmatic, bandana: Twill Doberman by Illmatic, hair: Shock by Tuty.
Coat: Anthje by ALB, pants: Mccleod Meggings by Shi, scarf: Hesed Neck Warmer by Shi, hand accessories: Chrono Fangs by DRD, hair: Fifi by Madesigns Hair, headset: Steampunk by Yasum. 90
Jacket: Rebel by FAD, pants: Mads by Go, shoes: Walkers by Redgrave, shirt: BT Tank by Aoharu, necklace: Soul by Mandala, hair: Varsity by Coma.
Dress: Buffalo Plaid Maxi Dress by Nylon Outfitters, jacket: Morrighan by Miamai, hair: Venice by Tuty, headband: Karma by DRD. 94
"To me you're strange and you're beautiful. You'd be so perfect with me, but you just can't see..." -- Aqualung! (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZwGWRrIlz68) j'addore
Jacket: Dr Apalolo by Just Cool, shirt: BT Silk by Aoharu, pants: Cropped Slim by Love Re Me, shoes: Christian by Entente, glasses: Delta by Adjunct, ring: Achilleus Armor by Gabriel, belt: Rock n Rolla by NSD, bag: Curragh by FIR MNA, hair: Revolver by Exile.
ODDconceptions By Hikaru Enimo
Hair: Kawashima I by Tableau Vivant, earstuds: Ero Sensei Pierce by Mandala, sunglasses: Shane by Legal Insanity, scarf: Scarft Male from Gizza, watch: Hokusai bracelet by Mandala, bracelet: Okaki by Mandala, jumpsuit: Cropped Jumpsuit by Nyu.
Hair: Ryu by Taketomi, makeup: Bolt by Little Bones, top: Idonea Uomo by Zibska, pants: Dress Pants by Dynasty, boots: Boots by Kboots.
Hair: Ryu by Taketomi, makeup: Vincent 10 by Tableau Vivant, blazer: 3pc Blazer by Kauna, shirt: Loose Tie by Iruco, pants: Trousers by Kauna, shoes: Brogues by Kauna.
EXTRANEOUS Grunge by Eira Juliesse
Hair: Velma by MMS Hair, lipstick: Ink by Pink Fuel, hat: Veiled Beanie by Milk Motion, tights: Grace Attire by Diram, shirt: Yang Li by Lucien Marcelo, boots: Tall Cargobasket by Lucien Marcelo.
Hat and Hair: Isha by LeLutka, hairbase: Hairbase by Diva, earrings: Fan Earrings by HANDverk, necklace: Brigets Faith Heart by Maxi Gossamer, shirt: Mesh Morgan Flannel Shirt by Snatch, tshirt: Johnny Cash V neck by Psycho78.
Hat and hair: Lyric by Chemistry, lipstick: Glossy Pout by Pink Fuel, gloves: Fingerless Glove by Shi, necklace: Brigets Faith Heart by Maxi Gossamer, tank: Top Le Tigre by Emery, capris: Brian Cargo Shorts by R3VOLT, stockings: Rapped Tights by D, boots: Johnny Rotten Boots by Razor.
Hair: Ivy by Naomie Dirval, eyebrows: Cara brows by Beauty No1, freckles: freckles and moles by Ryuukou, piercings: Chic by BlackLiquid, flowers: Korin Hat by Bliss Couture, necklace: multiplex necklace by Kosh, sweater: angora sweater by Ison, tied shirt: Shirt tied around waist by Coco.
Amita wears: Cae by CAELAN HANCROFT Shena wears: The Elle Onyx Collection by 37C
JEWELRY & ACCESSORY expo Photographer Lexie Jansma Photographer Amita Yorcliffe
Shena wears: Artifact by ECLECTICA 120
Shena wears: Hat: Couture Umbrella Hat by Pure Poison, makeups: Trinity by Madrid Solo
Amita wears: Bag: Passion Bag by Innuendo, shoes: Passion by Innuendo
Amita wears: Jezebel mask by SYS
City STYLE By Volupturaptor Perl
Hair: Femme Fatale Bun by Clawtooth, owl: Owlets by Birdy, skin: Runa by The Skinnery, top: Burkina Tee by Gato.
Blazer: Casual Blazer by Kal Rau, pants: Casual Chino by Kal Rau, sneakers: Spiked by Chic Zafari, bag: Bolt Duffle by Deco, beard: Shifty Hair by Deco, ring: Rinen by Sey.
Skin: Song by Essences, hair: Morganbaby and Oliviababy by FD, dress: Vivienne by Overhigh, necklace: Cat by FD, bag: Heart Purse by FD, shoes: Jean Pumps by Baiastice.
Hair: Emeli by LeLutka, glasses: Vintage by LP, headphones: Hope by DDL, walkman: My first cassette player by The Secret Store, bracelet: Skull by DDL, bangle: Aurbierre by 7891, clutch: The Vice Grip by Faun, pants: Leggings by Drift, vest: Denim bny Moda, top: Ink Cunt Crop Top by TRU, shoes: Break Me by DDL, milk: Got Milk by DDL, watch: SS Bracelet Watch by ILO.
LIV Glam Contest
Writer Liat Reina Photographer Linda Reddevil
Glamming the Grid
he holidays are upon us once again, and with the New Year just around the corner, there is so much to look forward to. Yet before we say hello to 2014, there is one important bit of business to see to yet. The crowning of THE GLAM GIRL 2013. There is only one round left in which semi-finalists will face off to secure one of the last coveted spots in the final competition. For eight more hard working and super chic ladies, the time has come to celebrate.
bundle including Lindenâ„˘ dollars, a Liv Glam gift card, an outfit named after them, the chance to model for an upcoming vendor display, and a $1000L voucher for AVENUE Models Academy. Last but not least, each of the finalists will have their own spread in AVENUE magazine. Now, without further delay, Liv Glam and AVENUE are pleased to present the GLAM GIRLS for October and November 2013.
Featuring a design by Liv Glam, contestants showed their interpretation of Casual, Business, Cocktail, & Club glam. Initially selected from the submission pool on Flickr, the semi-finalists were able to strut their stuff on the catwalk before the panel of judges and an eager audience. The finalists will go on to compete with other winners from each month in the grand finale taking place on December 20th, 2013 where THE GLAM GIRL will be selected.
Each of the finalists for the month will walk away with a prize
CONTEST INFORMATION & RULES
SLURL http://maps.secondlife.com/ secondlife/zenshi%20east%20 two/125/175/28 FLICKR http://www.flickr.com/ groups/2038164@N25/pool/
To present a polished look in everyday life, the fashionista knows how to jazz up even a relaxed ensemble. That is exactly what October 2013 Casual GLAM GIRL Tivi Spiator (Tiviyah Resident) brought to the runway with her styling of [LG] Boutique-[ FALL13] Request. “October brings chilly weather. The warm browns of the printed cotton just say comfort, and the three-quarter sleeve, is perfect for fending off the weather in style! The style of the top and the flare-legged pants are casual but very chic. Casual or not, Liv Glam makes any girl, in any style, glamorous!” Spiator is an inspiring example of one of the ways Second Life® can truly enrich our first. “I was a real life dancer and lacrosse player who had just blown out her knee. I needed something that filled me with as much passion as dancing had. I came to Second Life in 2008, and in 2009 had discovered and begun dancing. From dancing, I gravitated to the fashion community and to modeling in December of 2012. I’m still a competitive, title-holding individual and tandem dancer here in SL, but I compete less and less as I grow more and more into modeling. I am very happy for this new challenge, and am determined to take it head-on.” “As far as the single most thing that drives me in fashion... there are two, actually. My passion for 138
anything and everything I do... and the idea that I want to use any sort of influence that I have in SL for the greater good.” Her introduction to Liv Glam came when she was assigned as a last minute replacement for one of their shows. “My first overall impression of Samantha and Aisha were that they were wonderfully organized and generous. From styling those first few outfits, I fell in love with the brand as a whole and have since then spent WAY too many lindens in that store!” She expounds on her feelings of what is glamorous best in her own words. “Glam, to me, has been whatever it is about you that makes you pop. What is UNIQUE in you? That will make you shine above the others when you enter a room, and it’s what will make you noticed and make them remember you.” For any of those who are anxious to secure one of the final spots as a GLAM GIRL 2013, she shares some advice. “Don’t be afraid to give it a shot. I submitted my casual photo on a whim after not being satisfied with my club photo, and it was so worth it. Agonizing over poses... the stress of the walking... it was all so worth it. And it’s completely attainable. You’ve just got to be willing to do the work.”
For the chic and fabulous, the job is only half done if you don’t look your best while doing it. Business GLAM GIRL October 2013, Sienna Bellios, presented this concept with her flawless styling of [LG] Boutique-[Summer 13] Naila JumpSuit. “I chose this outfit because I love the structure. The lines of this jacket combined with the pattern create a very powerful statement of ‘I am in charge’ while the deep V-neck and the soft draping of the pants highlight feminine curves. I also was so inspired by the perfection of the mesh of power and femininity that this outfit stood out to me as one that is a perfect example of Liv Glam.”
her work fresh. “Inspiration can be found anywhere and in everything. I turn to fashion designers photos and videos often, but also sites such as Pinterest, Second Life blogs. I also look to nature, architecture and art to find that one element that sparks my own creativity.” Through Liv Glam, she found one more way to express her own personal style. “There are so many designs to choose from! No matter what look you need or want to style, you can count on finding the perfect outfit at Liv Glam. The textures are wonderful and you can be sure that their designs always make you stand out in a crowd with their amazing fabrics and unique looks.”
She considers herself a Second Life® old timer as she first arrived in world back in 2007 and has been influenced by both the people and experiences she’s found along the way. ” I have been privileged to work with and for some amazing people… and in working behind the scenes of fashion, decided that I wanted to model. I currently work for Blacklace and GizzA and count myself among one of the luckiest residents of SL in that I am able to work with people that I can count not only as friends, but family”
In considering how she would term glam, she had some very clear and powerful ideas to share. “Glam to me isn’t glitz and bright lights. It is the way you carry yourself, a quality that exudes from confidence. It’s that attribute that makes a person stand out.” It is no surprise that these strong sentiments are also reflected in her advice to those who are eager to be one of the GLAM GIRLS 2013. “Above all, be yourself in your styling. Find what makes you unique and use that in the personality of what you create. Don’t try to be what you think someone else wants.”
When in need of an aide to her imagination, Bellios draws ideas from a variety of sources to keep
No matter the hour, when the occasion calls for a little something semi-formal and stunning, that is when the truly stylish slip into their cocktail best. Flidais Etchegaray, October 2013 Cocktail GLAM GIRL, exemplified this feeling beautifully in [LG] Boutique-[Summer 13] Vida la Vida. “I chose to use this outfit in particular for its exciting blend of patterns and its strong silhouette. Like a true fashionista, my styling was inspired by the screen stars of old, when fashion left just enough to the imagination to tantalize the senses of any onlooker. That’s the Liv Glam way!” As a resident in Second Life since 2007, she took some time to find her way to modeling. That journey began for her in 2009 when she attended a modeling academy for the first time. “Since then I have worked for several agencies (most of which have come and gone). I can honestly say that making it into the finals of Glam Girls has been my biggest modeling accomplishment to date. I’m thrilled!” She has graduated from three other programs, is attending courses in a fourth now, and is looking forward to enrolling with AVENUE Models Academy. “I am definitely inspired by old Hollywood vintage styles from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. I love glamorous, ladylike looks with unique touches such as a strong silhouette or unexpected 142
adornment. In real life, I do pin-up modeling and burlesque, so I enjoy rocking the vintage/ rockabilly look quite often there too!” There’s almost no end to her favorite things about Liv Glam fashion house as well. “I love Liv Glam because of the variety! Samantha turns out SO many wonderful creations and is one of the hardest working designers in SL. I love how the store is laid out with clearly marked sections, and now with the addition of skins and shapes it is truly a onestop shop.” Etchegaray shares her straight forward thoughts on what glam is with a passion all her own. “Being Glam is being a head-turner! It is how you carry yourself, having confidence and sex appeal, and (of course) a stylish wardrobe that complements you.” To all those hopefuls who dream of sharing the stage with her for the upcoming finale, she offers this wisdom. “Remember that anyone can be beautiful but it is who you are on the inside that really matters. Be kind to one another, always be willing to take constructive criticism, and never give up! It’s taken me a while to get here and at times in my career I would get discouraged and want to quit, but your time will come as long as you never give up on your dream.”
Looking chic on the dance floor is a must at any hour of the night because no matter who you arrived with, it’s important that everyone see the fabulousness of you. This is something that October 2013 Club GLAM GIRL Gisa Bayn demonstrated in her representation of [LG] Boutique-[ FALL-13] Tough Mary. “I love to have fun with my friends on the weekends, and this choice of dress has to do with my personal taste for style. I love dark rock and this dress - embroidered with spikes - screams the essence of dark rock to me.” Bayn has almost five years of experience with Second Life® and she’s been interested in fashion since her very first job in a shop here. “A friend invited me to watch a fashion show, which left me fascinated with such beauty. That’s when I decided to enter the fashion world. I’ve done the basic course and have already participated in various contests. I love what I do, and I do as much as possible to keep updated, reading magazines and fashion blogs. I know that the fashion world is not just made of glamour and flashes. It takes hard work and long hours to go to castings. Discipline, a good attitude and humility are some of the ingredients that can help you be a successful model. To me joining the GLAM GIRLS finalist group is wonderful, but I want more. I want to be the winner, because it’s worth dreaming.”
She has no shortage of places she looks to when she needs to draw some inspiration. “In real life creations of Valentino, always full of life and drama, is a true work of art to be inspired by. As a model, Gisele Bundchen is a great inspiration; her simplicity and sympathetic characteristics are very inspiring for anyone. In SL several great models are inspiring for their tasteful daring, but one that I really like is Lanna Axel - I think she is wonderful.” Then when it comes to Liv Glam, she also finds much to love as well. “I must admit I have a special affection for the Liv Glam creations because it has an incredible finish for modeling, fits perfectly to the body and everything is extremely tasteful, leaving me glamorous in any occasion.” When asked to express her thoughts on what it means to be glam, she shared that it is more a state of mind in her opinion. “Glam for me is to live life intensely, always feel good about yourself, be gorgeous and glamorous at all times.” Finally, for all those eager to secure one of the coveted spots as a finalist to be a GLAM GIRL, she has a simple message but right to the point. She advises them all “to believe in their dream to be GLAM girls.”
A relaxed occasion provides the simply fabulous with one more venue to display their chic style sense in new and subtle ways. November 2013 Casual GLAM GIRL Deborah Vos (Missdeborah88 Resident) gave us all a glimpse of her fashion savvy in her presentation of [LG] Boutique-[Summer 13] Tik Tok. ‘’My inspiration for the styling was the Tik Tok outfit itself - it was my start point; then I completed the look wearing casual hair and accessories. I have chosen this outfit because I see myself wearing this for a casual day shopping, walking through the park or having a coffee out with a friend it’s something perfect for relaxed and casual situations yet remains stylishly glam.” Vos’ experience in the world of Second Life modeling began six months ago when she was named a finalist in another competition. As an avid follower of fashion, a passionate photographer and a blogger, she embarked on her career by attending modeling courses and entering more competitions. “I was busy with the fashion industry in SL. I have done so much and along the way I met many people to support me and I will always be thankful, for without them I wouldn’t have come this far. I will be here trying hard and working even harder to grow in the modeling industry, where there is so much to learn every day. I am the same person 146
in both worlds; I like fashion, shopping and photography.” It is from a diverse amount of sources that she takes her inspiration and builds her ensembles. “(I am inspired by) magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Cosmo that I am subscribed to as well as my real life sister. But sometimes even a piece of cloth or accessory can inspire me to style something, and my blog is my attempt to improve my styling everyday .” This versatile perspective is further reflected in what appeals to her about Liv Glam. ”Liv Glam gives you a wide selection of clothes and styles , from casual to elegant all in an outstanding exclusive decor. Quality at affordable prices is possible - Liv Glam brought that to us.” In her words, glam “… is a mix of clothes, makeup, accessories, the way you style them, and on top of that, attitude that is able to make a person attractive through all this. I am very grateful that the judges could see this in me.” For all those who have aspirations of becoming one of the GLAM GIRLS, she shares a bit of wisdom. “My advice to every girl is to get inspired by others but add yourself into it as well. Have your own style because fashion fades; only the style remains.”
The nine to five grind has more than enough routine to fill a day, so why should that be reflected in a fashionista’s wardrobe? This challenge was more than answered by November 2013 Business GLAM GIRL Cynara Theirin (Cynara Cortes) through her showing of [LG] Boutique-[ FALL13] A New Flower. “Glamorous, powerful, inscrutable—this is who I am when I’m wearing LIVGlam’s A New Flower Power Suit, with its meticulously printed suit jacket, sensual lace top and pencil skirt. The inspiration comes from the element of glamour itself—the sprezzatura, the ability to transcend the everyday and be enveloped in mystique... engrossing anyone the glam girl meets.” As a six year veteran of Second Life, she’s seen the grid evolve by leaps and bounds, and it is this evolution that recently brought her to the world of modeling. “I was actually getting bored with Second Life until the age of mesh came, and sculpts, prim hair, and system skirts were suddenly out of fashion. I saw how everything drastically improved, from the silhouettes of clothes to the shapes of accessories, and how gorgeous the models looked on photographs and magazine covers. These rekindled my love for Second Life fashion — and eventually its sprawling modeling industry.” After completing her first modeling courses, she decided to throw her hat into the ring for GLAM GIRLs, a process which was stressful but rewarding for her and she’s grateful to her partner for all
the support along the way. “My style is inspired by Dior, Lacroix, Alexander McQueen, Tadashi Shoji, and Chanel. I’m also inspired by the beauty of top models Adriana Lima and Natalia Vodianova. Whenever I create a look, even in real life, it has to have a story.” In her opinion, Liv Glam has a myriad of delights to offer as well. “SamanthaSJones is very consistent with her designs, producing high-end affordable fashions that her customers can wear in any occasion. Her creations never fail to amplify the wearer’s elegance, femininity, and class. She combines rich textures with sophisticated shapes.” For Theirin, glam means a few things, and she explains each of them in detail. ” Glam is the quality of being effortlessly bewitching, enchanting, and slightly indecipherable. It is elegance minus restraint, intrigue plus distance. The Glam Girl mesmerizes everyone who glances at her, making them fixated about who she is, what she does, what she thinks. Glam keeps its holder at a distance, without making her completely out of reach.” To those who think they have what it takes to be the next GLAM GIRLs, she shares a few words. “The cliché truism ‘be yourself’ is always a handy advice, but remember that there is nothing wrong with reinventing yourself if the former does not make you content. Do research, recreate your style, glam up with bravura, and live glamorously!”
Whatever the hour, if the affair calls for something with a bit more piazza, but a formal gown is a bit too much, then it is time for a cocktail look. A stunning example of this category was offered by one of the November 2013 Cocktail GLAM GIRLs, Lanna Axel in [LG] Boutique-[Summer 13] Let Her Go Dress. “In real life, I’m always being asked to work cocktails or celebrations of friends. The category Glam Cocktails is the best way to represent my personality and my routine. Like all women, I love to feel pretty and feminine, thereby choosing the dress [Summer 13] Let Her Go Dress, I was looking to feel sexy, stylish and a powerful woman as any glam girl has to be. That’s the Liv-Glam way!”
participated in several competitions over the years, she’s gained a number of memorable experiences and made wonderful connections.
This shy Brazilian is reluctant to speak of herself but she shared some of her story which began in Second Life in 2008. “In 2010, I had my first contact with fashion. I heard about what was happening in the casting for a (now) defunct Brazilian agency and resolved to participate and it worked. From that moment, I was sure it was what I wanted to pursue as a profession in SL. I started investing in the career, and I attended several competitions of Brazilian agencies. I won some, lost some, but currently I have a fashion blog where I have posted what I have used, my style, and my interests. And now I want to be able to represent Glam Girls and Liv Glam with praise.” Having
To her, Glam is more about the person representing it than it is any other elements or qualities. “Glam to me is a woman of attitude who is strong and confident and always looks beautiful and elegant.” To each of those out there who are already dreaming of the title of GLAM GIRL 2014, she shares her opinion of what it takes to be a finalist and perhaps the GLAM GIRL herself. “A Glam Girl must be beautiful, fashionable, welldressed, but must be honest and truthful, carrying family values. All of this sets to make a glamorous girl.”
When she reflects on the things which inspire her own personal style, she offered the following. “I usually say everything inspires me, from a flower to beautiful creations of famous designers. It all depends on my state of mind and how I’m feeling right now.” Her feelings about the fashion house of Liv Glam are also best expressed in her own words. “The Liv Glam is a very special store by the quality of the creations that taste and variety of products. I think all this is only capable because of the incredible design team that is Liv Glam.”
Displaying another interpretation of the category is the second November 2013 Cocktail GLAM GIRL, Slowly Bury, in [LG] Boutique-[ FALL-13] Heart Shaped Sea. “I chose this outfit because of the classic, bold, modern and non-traditional elements. The gold color and draping reminded me of 70’s disco glamour, which inspired the look. The overall look is simple with just the right amount of sass to spark flames at any event. As unique as every LIV-Glam design is, on any woman who chooses her creations, I feel The Heart Shaped Sea dress, in gold, is a bold take on a classic cocktail dress. The v-neck halter exposes a generous yet modest amount for a touch or sexy.” Bury has been modeling in Second Life since 2009, and in that time she’s graduated from four different academies. “My involvement with SL fashion started after joining a contest. Somehow I took the title (I had no idea what I was doing) and was propelled into the industry. Since then, I have attended academies, been a part of several agencies and have participated in a number of print/runway projects. In addition, I love fashion/general photography. I can say for the most part my fashion career has been exciting and enjoyable.” She prides herself on maintaining a unique shape and a look that incorporates mixed textures, modified clothing and high end fashion.
“My fashion inspiration has many sources. It can be based off a mood, an emotion, an object, an observation, etc. I am very much so an ‘in the (my) moment’ fashionista. I have an array of styles/looks but avoid anything, trendy, overdone, imitated, replicated or limiting, among other things. However, the common factors in my style are cohesiveness and simplicity. Overall, I feel style/fashion is personal and try to make it my own.” It should come as no surprise then that Liv Glam is a wonderful fit for her. “My favorite thing about Liv Glam is the variety of the clothing offered. The brand offers clothing for any occasion and all women. I also like the simplicity of the designs and the rich, bold and unique texturing. Also, I am a huge fan of the weekly sales!” She is able to describe not only what she thinks of as glam, but to envision it and share it eloquently. “To me glam is a fascinating and exciting attribute of something, When I think of doing something or looking glamorous, a picture comes to mind that is filled with sparkle and brightness, extravagant and rich. I think of the glam in fashion and lifestyle as high-end, chic and never dull.” Her advice to GLAM GIRL hopefuls is, “Be yourself and don’t be afraid to be unique! It might be said that this advice is cliché, but it is very true. Lastly, the most important requirement is to have fun and make it an enjoyable 153
Some nights all you need is a beat to move to, but that is never an excuse not to steal the show with just the right look - one like the one that November 2013 Club GLAM GIRL Crista Wellens (Chilicalifornia Resident) put together using [LG] Boutique-[ FALL-13] Sugar We Are Going Down. “My target has always been perfection. Since I became a model, I started seeing perfection as the end of a long stairway. Glam Girls represents, for me, a considerable number of steps which I will proudly advance on. The look was inspired by the concept of glam itself. Looking good is the best revenge, and a lot of heads will turn when I walk into the club in this gorgeous creation!” Wellens is about to celebrate two years in Second Life, and she has already met some amazing people who have helped her to achieve her current level of happiness and success. “I have reached this level - and hopefully will reach higher without uploading one single linden. Everything I have is worked for. I never lower my standards - nor my expectations - and I believe that when I wake up in the morning, the show starts and I need to be perfect. To whom? To me, myself. I am rather young in the modeling field of Second Life. I believe I behold one of the greatest qualities a model on the grid can: professionalism. I treat everyone with respect, even my clothes (laughs), and I believe that politeness and being nice will open the gates to a fair beautiful future.” She takes her inspiration from 154
some very influential names both in-world and out. “Coco Chanel is my role model of elegance, attitude and fashion. Every time I wear something, I think ‘What would Coco say about this?’ In-world, there are several inspirational people for me. I would like to state Suki R. Barrowstone and Elisabeth Lilliehook, two amazing women with whom I have the pleasure to work with, and of course the fabulous fashion magazines available on the grid.” As a self-professed addict to Liv Glam, she knows she can find whatever she needs in the store. “If I were to choose one particular thing I love about Liv Glam, it is their stores. They are glamorous and fabulously decorated, and let’s not forget to mention they are the home to those ravishing fashion elements which make all the fashionistas out there go ‘Wow!’” Glam, to her, means a great deal, and she has a very detailed concept of how she chooses to incorporate it into every facet of her life. “Glam is on my short, yet important list of principles. In short words, glam is my attitude, my feminism, my power, my fashion sense and my sensibility, all bonded by a delicate smell of Chanel No. 5.” Finally, to those aspiring to follow in her footsteps to become a GLAM GIRL, she shares some advice. “Be yourselves. I know, it is a cliche, but it can’t be more true… manifest your fashion sense and your glam, express what or how you feel through your look and attitude, and there you have it.”
The Semiotics of Cool Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Zazie
hen you incorporate a Sho Kenin creation in your decor, you are not just adding some random tchotchke. Keninâ€™s creations add not only color and detail, they add context. They create a mood; they tell a story; they say something about you. They are signs and signifiers, and Kenin is the semiotician of cool.
The thing about “cool” is that it has nothing to do with what is in or out. It does not follow trends nor create them. When Kenin describes his designs for Standby, Inc. as being “unpopular” he is telling the truth. Not because they are not sought after, but because they are not swimming in the mainstream. Instead they are surfing the zeitgeist. As Kenin describes it, “I try to put a lot of thought and care into my designs to make them visually striking, but I really don’t go with what’s “in” or “out”. I mostly make things I like and preferably never seen in-world before. I always want to give Second Life® something that hasn’t been made yet.” While his designs range from retro to modern, he naturally gravitates toward retro. Often his inspiration is seeing something in everyday life and thinking, “Hey, that’s really cool!” If it’s something he wants to have, he will make it. He will often turn to music to set the mood for inspiration, but “being a visual person,” he says, “I need to be able to see what I want to create, either by sketching or having a physical object right in front of me to see or touch.” While creating, he mostly listens to video game soundtracks. His favorite is from Final Fantasy by Nobuo Uematsu. He also likes original scores from Japanese anime. “It may sound weird for most, but I find it relaxing and most definitely, productive... My designs end up being more visually
striking if I had this type of music playing in the background, or in my headphones. I just get lost into my own immersive world and sometimes, work doesn’t even feel like work.” Describing his creative process, Kenin explains that even before opening the software, he visualizes the process of creating it. “When I see a design, I break it down in physical pieces in my mind and try to understand which tool I can use to accomplish the shape I want it to be. When I was a kid, I ALWAYS took my toys apart because I wondered how they worked, so I guess my visualizing process has something to do with that.” No wonder his objects have such a tactile appeal. He is most proud of his World Tour set he made for The Arcade in June 2013. It is an amazing collection of seventeen musical instruments and tour equipment down to the electrical cable wound in a circle on the floor. It give more than context, it can give an entire biography - a cool biography. “I’ve put a tremendous amount of time, effort and soul in that set. From modeling the tiniest bit of detail, texturing everything from scratch, including multiple options, making animations from scratch, it just took too much of my time to not be an absolute favorite.” Kenin is quite humble about his design skills, though he insists he is merely being realistic. While he acknowledges that modeling comes easily for him, he claims it
is because “I start very simple and stick with simple.” He continues to challenge himself, little by little expanding and improving his skills. He would love to create something interactive but lacks the scripting skills he needs. As he describes it, “I tend to stick with a more realistic approach and according to my level of creating.” That does not mean he is content to stay where he is. “Limits are there to be challenged,” he says, so he pushes himself with each new creation. He says the best advice he ever was given in his Second Life® and in his first is to always stay true to himself. As he explains, in trying to be something they are not, in SL® or in real life, people lose themselves. “I can honestly say that I am always true to myself, hence the reason why I think of my brand unpopular. Following that advice has overall made me a better person, and I think most would benefit out it, if they only stopped for a second and soaked in the positive.” Kenin is charmingly selfdeprecating, or as he says, “I’m really just a regular, down-to-earth guy.” He has a happy first life. “I really love my real life. I have a beautiful, understanding wife, a cute dog that occasionally eats all my leather belts, my games and comics... I live and breathe martial arts and always have been, ever since I was a kid.” That must be the inspiration for the kick boxing bag he made.
Perhaps that is why his store has such an eclectic selection of items from an espresso machine to musical instruments to a desk to a punching bag. His inspiration does not flow from the mainstream. When he creates he does not ask what people are buying. He makes the things he wants himself and that authenticity is the essence of cool. Visit Standby Inc.: http:// maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ Fall/100/157/24 Marketplace: https:// marketplace.secondlife.com/ stores/131180
Experiencing the Den Writer Liat Reina Photographer Eira Juliesse
ne of the amazing things about Second Life速 for many of its residents is the fact that this is a world driven by player created content. It is our own visions which shape the world around us, and we have an unparalleled ability to share that vision with others. This facet of the grid has given rise to many beautiful, interesting, and entertaining locations which capture our attention for a time and then fade away. There are some places however, which face the test of time and server updates and continue to thrive. The city of Hathian or the Crack Den as it is also known is one of these.
A stroll down one of the grungy streets could lead visitors to a dingy looking dinner or into an alley hosting any number of unsavory characters. That experience is exactly what inspired the immersive urban community which is now hosted on six sims. In 2006, sim owner and designer Nadir Taov encountered a group of role players who crafted stories focused on the more edgy scenes. “After playing in the community, I was inspired to further develop a city that pulled from the back stories of the founding community. This process required solving some challenging scenarios - I wanted to scale the Crack Den up while reducing the time required to maintain it. The process of solving those challenges was often a source of renewed inspiration throughout the years that followed.” Taov had a very clear vision of what he wanted for his sim which has remained consistent throughout the years. “I was inspired by research and photos of a post-Katrina New Orleans; I wanted to develop a city that depicted urban decay and despair with that Southern accent.” This theme was maintained even through a tremendous rebuild which occurred between 2010 and 2011. “A lot of work was done to standardize textures to reduce load times for users; also, I thought it was important the entire sim be redeveloped with visual scale in mind. We had a lot of over-sized buildings, compared to avatar height, and through the redesign I was able to establish
a perspective that made the sim feel even more sprawling. It was also an opportunity to inject some Cajun/French architecture styles I had been researching at the time.” From the crime ridden main streets, to the extensive Columtreal University campus, to the multiple residential locations; there’s a little something to interest all modern metropolitan role players. A clear delineation has been made for areas which host the more graphic and aberrant behavior from locations which are more appropriate for those who wish to play younger characters, allowing all differing interests to cohabitate the city. “I think the one driving passion I have, in both worlds, is the need to create the perfect user experience. I work a lot on new media technology and the web; as a UX designer, I challenge myself to simplify processes and design easy work flows. With the steep learning curve that’s associated with Second Life, I take it as a personal challenge to create an experience for new visitors to want to stick around - to get hooked to the sense of community and the creative aspects of role-play.” An aspect of Taov’s passion also manifests itself in the city’s sleek web site which offers support, up to the minute information and multiple resources for current and perspective community members. With the promise of some big updates on the horizon for both the city and the university, it’s clear to see that the constant work both Taov and the sim leaders have
invested continue to yield results. “I feel that over the years, I’ve been able to work with the community to solve so many problems and develop some really cool new features. A community that has stuck together for over seven years, including leaders who are still here since the founding days, really is the greatest accomplishment.” This support system lends itself perfectly to welcoming and encouraging new role players into the fold. “Don’t be shy. I see a lot of new players who arrive, even apply for membership, but eventually fade away because they do not take initiative to start a scene with another player or reach out for guidance. You can’t simply stand around and wait for the role-play to come to you. I really hope role-players and visitors will remember the sense of community the Crack Den is all about - it’s the reason why we’ve been able to grow consistently.” This advice from Taov can both enhance and guide any visit to the city of Hathian along with his parting thoughts. “Role-play, the Crack Den, and Second Life are outlets for creativity and just having fun. That mindset has allowed me to continue to work and play here. It’s something I often remind our community members - something I hope readers will take away from this article, too!” SLURL: Hathian (191,130,2605) Web: http://thecrackden.com/
Flickr: http://flickr.com/ groups/crackden
Architecture & Interiors
Writer Cajsa Lill Photograp Jordan G
Play is obviou part of our de teaches social creative thinki imagination and part of cognitive development. A recognized the im since our beginni by play artifacts d Paleolithic era.
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Play is culturally universal as well. Toys have been found in archeological excavations around the world from China to Peru and from Alaska to Australia. In fact, play is such an efficient way of learning and developing the skills needed for success, that humans are not the only animals who learn through play. Yet in our hyperambitious modern world, play is disappearing. Children have lost eight hours a week of unstructured free time in the last two decades. Schools have dropped recess to add more academics and parents have increasingly enrolled their children in more and more extracurricular activities from dance to music to sports. These are all valuable activities and hobbies, but they are not the kind of unstructured play that is so important for developing children. Scarlet Chandrayaan of Alouette knows the value of play. In fact, she is in the business of play. Chandrayaan’s furniture and lifestyle store has a variety of builds and contraptions for play, from a sandbox to play houses and children’s forts and more. As she explains, “I think play is extremely important for both adults and kids. I feel like we lose a lot of that fun, childlike quality when we get older. We seem to forget how to just relax and enjoy the things around us. I love that Second Life® allows us to bring that back out, especially when we’re not always able to do so in real life.”
Her play creations reflect her own experience as a child who definitely got to play. “I really enjoyed anything that required me to be outside. We lived right along the edge of a forest when I was younger, so my sister and I would spend hours in the woods, building forts or playing in the stream.” It is memories of her own play-filled youth that infuse her creations with not just a sense of whimsy and joy, but with that sense of extemporaneous, unstructured play that is so critical for healthy development. Her forts are made of cardboard and colored with marker, far from the pre-assembled plastic castles and forts out of a box that leave no room for children to create and build their dreams. There is an unstructured authenticity and simplicity to her play builds that suggest a profound and empathetic understanding of childhood and of play. Of course, Chandrayaan also creates for adults. Her family friendly store has furnishings for adults and children in addition to the wide variety of play creations. Even the adult decor, though, is imbued with playfulness. From the book shelves that look like a fire escape to the lovely and fanciful forest canopy bed, Alouette furnishings are recognizable for their gentle humor and their whimsical construction. She finds inspiration from many sources. “Sometimes it’s inspiration from something I’ve
seen in real life. Or it could be based on a movie or a book that I’m reading currently. I have some friends that come up with really neat ideas, as well. Their imagination when it comes to stuff like that absolutely amazes me.” There is movement back and forth from Second Life to real life in her decor. “I really love things that make you feel cozy and comfortable at home, and I quite enjoy having both of those types of items in my SL and real life home.” Chandrayaan may not have become an interiors creator but for a Blender® tutorial. She did a chair tutorial for Blender and decided to make a table to go with it. She enjoyed it so much, she just kept going. The first thing she ever made was a chess piece, but the first thing she released was a porch swing. She credits her growth as a creator to the help and support she received on Plurk. She says, “I so appreciate the support that the SL/Plurk® community has shown me while I’ve progressed with the store. Without them, Alouette wouldn’t be where it is now, and I definitely wouldn’t have continued learning mesh. “ Her creative process is very spontaneous. “I kind of just go with whatever is inspiring me at the time. Sometimes something else will pop up and the item I’m working on will end up being something totally different from what I originally expected it to be.” It was natural for her to focus on family-friendly furnishing as
the family community has always been a big part of her Second Life. She continues, “While I’ve never adopted any SL kids of my own, I have quite a few family members with kids and I’ve always loved the fun that they have together. I’m also kind of a big kid at heart, so what better way to bring that side of me out then to create things for kids!” Aware of the askant looks given to SL families, Chandrayaan wishes people would take the time to understand before forming opinions. “While I understand that not everyone gets child avatars, I wish they would give them a chance. Get to know them before passing judgment against them. That really should be applied to all sorts of different people though. Just because you don’t understand them, doesn’t mean what they’re doing is wrong or weird.” Looking forward, Chandrayaan plans to develop more fantasystyled items for Alouette. Perhaps there will be doors painted like a magical forest, bringing something she did as a child right into Second Life. While she is uncertain what will come first or what the end result will be, her customers can be certain that it will be infused with a naive authenticity and the abiding joy of play. Visit Alouette: http://maps. secondlife.com/secondlife/ Larette%20Island/10/88/1711 Marketplace: https:// marketplace.secondlife.com/ stores/130035 193
Writer Spruce Can Photography provided by
he mention of the Third Party Viewer or TPV in many Second Life® circles often gravitates between the latest release of the Phoenix/Firestorm project and that of Siana Gearz and the Singularity Viewer team. Singularity Viewer is very much like the Singularity spoken of by Ray Kurzweil and others. It melds the user interface of Viewer 1.23 and the modern improvements in the SL® experience such as mesh, and server side baking, as well as the display name. AVENUE had the opportunity to try out Singularity as well as speak with the driving force behind the Singularity project, Siana Gearz. AVENUE: What does Singularity bring to the table in the Third Party Viewer options and how does it stack up against Firestorm and the official Linden Lab Viewer? Siana Gearz: Singularity is a
viewer which retains classic lookand-feel. It has a number of unique technologies under the hood and strives to be technically up to date. Another important goal is openness. We conduct all development on a public IRC channel on a popular network, it can be easily found on the website. We don’t hide our work in progress code, and everyone can participate in testing. This is quite typical of most open-source projects out there, but astonishingly not in the SL viewer development scene, where sect-like structures prevail. AV: How would the Viewer 1.23 experience be maintained with the future changes that Linden Lab would bring with new versions of the official viewer? SG: Just as we have been doing so far. There is some anticipation that some of the features might become maimed; for example, regarding search or profiles.
nning y y Singularity Technically, we use the exact same protocols as Firestorm, even though official Viewer 3 has abandoned those. Now, itâ€™s not a big secret that Firestorm is the most popular client on the grid. Firestorm team went through serious effort to re-instate these features and older protocols and satisfy users. If Linden Lab were now to make server-side changes which severely interfere with these features, weâ€™re hoping to team up with Firestorm for the common benefit of all our users. Should we not be successful convincing Linden Lab, we can easily and quickly replace just those specific user interface pieces with the corresponding ones from Viewer 3; the technical underpinnings are already all in place. We do not anticipate that it will necessarily happen, though. So far, mainly thanks to our architect Shyotl, we have managed Linden Lab overhauling viewer code very well, and we are hopeful
based on our experience that this will continue to be the case, across changes of various calibers - and larger changes tend to affect other third-party viewers just as much or even more than they affect us. AV: I have used Singularity for the past week and have noticed faster loading times even with mesh objects and clothing. Would that advantage be maintained with future changes that the Lab comes up with? SG: Great that your experience has been positive! This is not the case for everyone. For some, Singularity currently performs worse than other viewers because we are the first to restrict the number of connections that are made for mesh, inventory and in total. This is a good thing as it reduces the overburden on the servers and network infrastructure, however under contention, puts us at a disadvantage until the other viewers catch up.
The newest changes in Singularity Alpha take advantage of very recent server-side improvements, so check it out if you like - you just might load even faster!
putting down considerable effort to improve theirs and by extension all other viewers, this can only get better for everybody! We are super excited to be a force in this progress.
Singularity uses a unique communication engine for HTTP, the standard web data transfer protocol increasingly adopted by Linden Lab during recent years. We strive for it to be as fast as possible, but its more important goal is to be reliable. As to how it came about, it’s a long story with a sad beginning, and yet we’re quite happy that we have it. Aleric, developer of our HTTP engine, has been a real champ at maintaining it. It has proven nonintrusive and flexible, and has given us ability to investigate and resolve issues. If you assume that every sufficiently complex system will have its weaknesses - and a system involving the big bad internet and stringent performance requirements is always very complex - I firmly believe alternative implementations are a good thing; they have always been a cornerstone of open protocols. This way, people can evade to the other implementations if one of those doesn’t work well for them, and might even help authors of the other implementation investigate issues they might discover in theirs. So it’s definitely a keeper! Whether ours is always going to be the fastest one for you, or for people in general, is not a promise I’m able to commit to. Given that there is an element of active competition, and Linden Lab is
It’s way past time for things to get better. With transition of Second Life from custom protocols to HTTP standard, quality-ofimplementation issues have been accumulating and are just now starting to get resolved.
AV: How do you see Singularity in the future of the grid? SG: Popular. Just like it is now. Hopefully technically competent too, and not always doing the very same thing as everybody else. The future might not lie within one grid. We’re currently cooperating with OpenSim core development team and keeping our eyes open with regard to goals of various grids out there. I believe together we can improve inter-grid cooperation. This does not mean that we’re losing focus on Second Life, which is our primary deployment platform, but we have been approached by the OpenSim community and Avination grid; they have been making code contributions, and we just leverage our expertise and our contacts both there and among the viewer development teams for the grand benefit of everyone. AV: What would you say to the new resident who comes
to Singularity from the official viewer, and how will they bring the viewer to the forefront? SG: Probably not much. Singularity’s user interface will likely not accommodate the habits of a Viewer 3 user, though it has other strengths and more improvements are planned, with Lirusaito doing the bulk of implementation. We also have a distinct lack of educational material, though most users coming from other 1.x derived viewers already know what to expect. Attracting new users has never been a priority for us. On the other hand, we have an existing user-base which loves us and depends on us, and we love them back, so we allocate our scarce time accordingly such as not to disgruntle them, keep them as happy as we can - usually at the expense of new users. And yet, our user-base keeps growing, validating this strategy. AV: In conclusion, will we see Singularity in the Third Party Viewer Directory for as long as the grid remains operational? SG: I’m not fond of long-term predictions or promises I might be powerless to keep. Who knows how long SL and TPVD will last at all? Would you have predicted that Imprudence team basically dissipates, would have anyone? Would you have predicted that Emerald core team will cause dishonorable demise of their project? And if they knew it themselves, they would have
hardly done what they had done. Three years ago, the overwhelming sentiment was that Viewer 1 had to die utterly and completely, else it would hold up progress, and we have countered that prediction, maintaining the classic interface and merging old and new code. Now, I don’t see us going down. We’re going steady, and don’t have any immediate weak points, nor do we have the slightest intention of giving up. If we were to give up, anybody would be free to pick up the pieces and continue where we left off. Though people with that kind of skill or dedication, they don’t have a reason to wait for our demise, they can just as well come to us now and lend a hand, if they like. Will Singularity catch fire with the SL community? It remains an option among the third party viewers that exist as a part of Linden Lab’s Third Party Viewer directory. As to viewer market share, it is behind Firestorm in user base but it is a solid choice for those who wish to chart their own course in SL without using the official Second Life viewer offered by the Lab. For most SL residents who wish to stay true to Viewer 1.23, Singularity thrives as the goto viewer of choice. Web: http://www. singularityviewer.org/
Photography by Leah McCullough
On Faking Your Death in Second Life® Writer Huckleberry Hax
here ought to be a word for when a comment left in response to a Facebook friend’s post piques your curiosity enough that you click on the commenter’s name to see what other sorts of thing they’ve written elsewhere (I make no apology for this snooping; I’m endlessly interested in how people express themselves online)… and a resulting chain of profile hopping ensues as you move from comment to profile to comment to profile, a sometimes hour-long exploration of random people you’ve never met connected only by the thread of your happenstance curiosity. ‘Browsing’ doesn’t quite capture it for me, somehow. ‘Browsing’ implies you’re waiting to find something of interest, whereas this little bounce from personality to personality reveals new fascinations with every single step. One such carefree hop and skip
across Second Life® Facebook profiles a few months ago led me to a comment about a man who was described as having died in real life some time ago, only to return in SL® about a year later. I’ve heard about this sort of thing before, but never actually met someone who did it. Also, I was under the impression that people who ‘came back’ tended to do so in a new account so that they didn’t get found out (although, of course, they usually did get found out because they just couldn’t resist getting in touch with old friends in their new persona and giving themselves away through their textual mannerisms; it would be nice to think that the number of people who use ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ in SL do so only to distract from signature phrase slippage and that it hurts their soul to do this just as much as it does mine to read it). I did a web search on this returned avatar’s name and found several posts across various 203
forums about his real life death, plus a couple of later – less than complimentary – confirmations that he was, in fact, alive. I looked up his profile in-world and saw that he is, indeed, currently active. He made no comment there about his earlier ‘death,’ but there was a mention of sending those who didn’t ‘understand’ him to a dark and fiery place. Why would someone do such a thing? Just to be clear here, I’m not talking about people who tell everyone they’re leaving SL and then later return – we all have a right to change our minds. What I’m interested in are cases where a person goes out of their way to give people the impression that they’ve died in real life. I don’t know how this was achieved in this case, but a number of potential methods come to mind. One could log in as an alt, for example, and pretend to be a real life friend of the deceased; one could send emails as a family member according to your ‘dying wishes.’ It turns out that faking your own death on the internet is as sufficiently significant and old a phenomenon that it’s been researched. As an example of ‘Munchausen by Internet,’ a term coined by Dr Marc Feldman (thanks to Mistletoe Ethaniel’s very informative blog post on the topic - http://tinyurl.com/ qxvw9hl - for pointing me to this), the prevailing hypothesis on faked internet death appears to be that the main motive for doing this is to inflict emotional pain on people,
perhaps some sort of revenge for actions they have previously taken or as a gauge by which to assess how much you were loved. I’ve personally never heard of such a thing actually happening within my own SL, although I’ve certainly seen emotional blackmail used in spades – including someone hinting about considering killing themselves in real life in response to the actions of SL others. Hinting is a long way from actually doing, of course, but then, well, so is pretending. Dare I say it, but could another rationale be to get out of an unwanted relationship? We can criticise such a strategy for being cowardly, but we’ve all been in a situation where the noble, the sensible, the intelligent thing to do feels either completely impossible or, frankly, too much bother. Breaking up with someone because they’re insecure and needy, for example, is an insanely hard thing to do without a) leaving them feeling criticised and worthless, and/or b) becoming a cold, uncaring bastard. How much easier must it be to simply die, terminating the relationship and leaving the ex-partner griefstricken, but with their self-esteem and the memories of their love intact? If you’re really into the rationalisation of being a total shit, you could even argue that the bereaved might end up this way with a better sense of perspective; it’s the win-win approach to breaking someone’s heart. Perhaps the reason for faking
one’s death in SL that I have the most empathy with, however - and I should probably add at this point that I’m not considering this as an option; if you should hear that Huck’s driver has completed his mortal doings, you can be relatively certain that this is genuinely the case (although if I was planning to fake my death I suppose I would say that) – is the possibility this offers for witnessing the reaction to your demise. Perhaps ‘empathy’ is the wrong word; what I mean is that I can understand the curiosity people might have about the esteem in which others actually hold them. After all, how often do we actually tell people whilst they’re still alive what they mean to us? However many irritating Facebook memes on floral backgrounds we see telling us to do this, it’s just not a thing we’re comfortable with; we save our best, most comprehensive praise for people until after they’re gone. I should point out that I see a clear distinction between this reason and the Munchausen by Internet motive outlined earlier. Were I to contemplate such a thing (I’m really not, ok?), it wouldn’t be to measure my worth by the size of others’ pain; it would be out of a genuine curiosity to know what people thought of me. I have no idea what impact I’ve had on others as Huck. I have a few friends who I’m reasonably certain like me more than they dislike me, but beyond that I really don’t have much of a clue. And what about my novels? Would they receive some sort of posthumous recognition
denied me denied me during life? I can’t deny that makes me curious. Of course, one of the reasons why we don’t hand out praise whilst people are still alive is that no person comes in a package of good qualities only. Whilst someone’s still alive, their negative attributes are often just as visible as all the positives. Whilst positive attributes such as notable achievements or generosity continue to be true after death, however, negative issues pretty much cease to be a concern. If I’m considered to be impulsive, temperamental and unpredictable whilst alive, for example, my capacity to shock and upset pretty much stops the instant I pass away. That truth becomes less meaningful posthumously than the truth of my achievements. To put it another way, how we think about people is different after they’ve died than whilst they’re still alive; it’s not necessarily the case that people are withholding what they think of you whilst you’re still around. So what I hear people say of me at my virtual memorial might not be what they think of me whilst I’m still alive; that doesn’t mean to say, of course, that I’m still not curious as to what it might be. And this is where a real life faked death really comes into its own in SL, for where else on the internet could you find an actual gathering of people collected for the sole purpose of paying tributes to a deceased friend? Comments on a discussion forum is one thing, but an event held in your honour
at a place and a time is where SL claims the trophy on online remembrance. But a note of warning for anyone who mistakes this piece as an instructional article: be careful what you wish for. People don’t always celebrate the deceased. You might put on your very best alt and very best suit and very best black tie and turn up to your virtual memorial to find yourself the only person there. You might even discover that no one was especially moved to hold one. Don’t be too surprised to discover that you have no friends if they meant so little to you in that first place that you were prepared to let them think you’d died.
Huckleberry Hax was the author of ‘AFK’ and other novels set in Second Life®. He passed away after an aggrieved reader dropped a 1000m x 1000m x 1000m megaprim on his head for daring to suggest that the possibility that her ex-lover’s death was faked as a result of him being unable to tolerate her constantly referring to him as her ‘hubby’. You can still read his novels for free at www. huckleberryhax.blogspot.com
rt is an experience that should touch you deeply and transport you to another level. All five senses should be taken into consideration when stepping before a piece of art. Not only is what you see important, but what you feel is, as well. Does the work have a texture to it or is it icy smooth? What you smell oil painting smells different than watercolor work and transports you to a different place like that of the old masters. Do you hear anything? Is there music playing in the background or are you alone in an old world chapel with a glorious magnificent piece like The Passion of St. Theresa? A good gallery takes all of these considerations into account when setting up an exhibit. A great gallery tries to heighten your experience of the art. Nitroglobus Gallery and the owners, Nitro Fireguard and Dido Haas, try to push the boundaries of what a gallery is and can be in Second LifeÂŠ.
Writer Cajsa Lilliehook Photographer Ziki Questi
Nitroglobus Gallery transports you the moment you step into the space. Large spacious rooms present the work of guest artists and the gallery owners in larger than life size. You could literally almost walk into the paintings and be a part of them. The current guest display is Madness Fantastique with artist Catchafire and Cold Frog. Fireguard has transformed the gallery into a fantasy wonderland with a shimmering water floor effect, fish swimming through the air, an autumnal colored row boat sailing serenely through the space, and a large pile of leaves that all accentuate and add to the fantastical nature of Catchafire & Cold Frogs work. Fireguard and Haas met two years ago and there was an instant connection. “We both had an interest in art. I was working on my blog at the time and it became more focused on photos rather than text. At the time I was exhibiting my art work at Auggers. Nitro suggested we open a gallery ourselves,” Haas recounted. At first they were completely lost at it, but with the help of many friends, they created something they were both proud of. “We decided it should be large. No walls and small rooms where you cannot move your camera around, but empty with big walls, where everyone can see all the work.” The gallery features two permanent spaces featuring the work of Haas, a photographer, and Fireguard, a sculpture and machinima artist, as well as a large central space for guest artist.
The couple has very different ways of approaching their artistic work that pairs well. Fireguard’s work is alive and moving. It captures the eye. He not only creates living sculpture but also films the gallery’s exhibitions. He approaches his work wanting to make the viewer feel something. Fireguard said, “I want to meet people with my work, to touch them and make them feel something. I try to add music and readings to get to their heart. The more direct that your art is perceived, the better it is. People watching art are looking for emotion.” Haas works in a more interpersonal space focusing on herself and people that she knows and cares about. She needs to have a connection with her subjects and a feeling for them. Her work is very grounded, connected, and erotic at times. The need for a connection extends even into the guest artist invited to the gallery and the process for Haas. “The connection with the artist is important for me. The process of installing the work and the weeks before of brainstorming how the gallery should fit around the art; it is awesome creative.” The couple has been able to work with an amazing amount of high profile artist in SL®. For each one, they have turned the gallery itself into part of the art exhibition. Fireguard’s work is much more extroverted while Haas is a bit more introverted. To hear them together is to think the exact opposite. Haas is the free
talkative one and Fireguard the quiet listener. They make a very powerful pair, working together to create a new gallery from the ground up and pushing what a gallery does to the next level. They take the entire surrounding and touch all of your senses. If you would like to stay up to date on all of Nitroglobus Galleryâ€™s exhibitions and happenings, you may do so at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/dido. haas. Visit Nitroglobus Gallery: http://maps.secondlife. com/secondlife/Costa%20 Blanco/192/117/770