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Archive for February, 2009

60s Style Contest

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

The contests must be getting too easy or something because the organizers announced a change to the basic walk on the stage. Rather than using the full width of the stage, models must now use only a very narrow path with only a step or two between the key marked at the front of the stage. In concept, it’s a very easy pattern. In practice, it’s damn near impossible to do well so it’s pretty much guaranteed to make everybody look as bad as possible.

The contest last night was “60s Style”

HIPPIES!!! STYLING 60’S LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. WE WILL BE STYLING TODAY..I WANT TO SEE THOSE 60’S LOOKS.

Being a child of the 60s, I’m pretty familiar with the look so it was easy for me to recreate a relatively accurate representation.

60s Night On Stage

These “Indian print” shirts (*Zanzo* Rajasthani Sheer Shirt – Bhilwara) were even more common than the tie dye outfits that most people associate with the era, especially for men. The hair is likewise an extremely popular style. I chose the Beckham shape over my normal one to get a little extra beefiness and I liked the way the Connor Strap beard looked on the chin. This is also a very common look for the 60s. While some few guys had full beards, the relative youth limited the exhibition of facial hair. The jeans are loosely fitted Elephant Outfitter Classic jeans what would have been a typical style.

The piece de resistance on this was the two different Peace gestures I found at Long Awkward Pose. I was sure these would be the key.

I was wrong.

Once more the judge picked three women. The three in question were, without a doubt, very well representative of the 60s fashion scene but given that, there was little rationale given for why these particular three were chosen out of a line up consisting largely of stereotypical Go-Go girls, Carnaby Street costumes, and tie-dye is beyond my ability to fathom.

One other factor may have been the answer to the “Who do you represent?” question that was tacked on by the contest organizer. Like the movie star contest, there was no warning going in that we were supposed to “represent” anybody or anything at all. Adding the stipulation at the last minute was unfortunate.

Things I might have done differently:
– Added a bandana around my head a la Cheech Marin
– Swapped out the utilitarian jeans, typical and common among the 60s flower children, in favor of the later-style wide bell and embroidered ones
– Traded in the “hippy shoes” for something more stereotypical like sandals.
– Worn an anti-war button.

One of the problems with being creative in this contest context is that the judges need to be able to recognize what it is they’re looking at in the absence of any real information. If the judge relies on “fashion specific” knowledge and not general cultural identifiers, then the notion of “creativity” becomes stunted by the confusion of creativity with cliche.

At any rate, I got my two votes and I’m learning a lot about the games that are being played.

Peace, man.

Peace, man.

Stuff:
Shape: Body Doubles – David Beckham
Skin: Defective – Connor Tan Strap
Hair: Distorted – Odin – Midnight
Eyes: E’s for Eyes – Gleaming Forest Green
Shirt: *Zanzo* Rajasthani Sheer Shirt (Bhilwara / Untucked)
Pants: (Elephant Outfitters) Classic Elephant Jeans – Regular
Shoes: HOC Apparel – Skoochers – Brown

Glasses: PrimOptica – Plume (freebie)
Necklace: Roland Zepp – “Peace, Man!”

Special Poses: Long Awkward Pose – Peace Up, Peace Out

Movie Star Contest

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The call went out early in the day for the evening contest.

“OUR FREE CONTEST FOR TODAY !!
Styling youself [sic] to look like a movie Star Theme. This contest is for male and female, Be fabulous with your outfit and Style how ever you wanted and be creative. ”

After my first experience with these contests (“Updo’s”), this seemed much more like something a male could participate in. I spent the day thinking about what kinds of things would make me look like a “movie star.”

First thing, clothing! I’d seen a bit of the Oscars but didn’t really see a tuxedo as being something quintissentially “movie star.” I needed advise so I headed to Mimi’s Choice for Men. Alun Dudeck suggested a tux but I really had my eye on the new Sartoria suits. I was thinking something between “Cary Grant” and “Johnny Depp” in terms of style and there were two new Sartoria Suits there.

I went with the S193 SARTORIA PROJECT OUTFIT in green. It’s really the pants that are green. The coat is a very deep brown and the shirt is a rich chocolate color. The details are very nice and even the prim collar works.

Sartoria Project

Next, Accessories! Movie star == Sun Glasses! “Who’s that behind those Foster ..?” well you get the idea. Primoptica has some great glasses and good customer service too. I went with a new offering in the store – Crowe. As in “Russell” I’m assuming.

Crowe from Primoptica

But what sets a movie star apart from, say, any other fashionably dressed young man? Tools of the trade! I made a copy of the current issue of Variety and tucked that under my arm. How else would I find out about casting calls and the latest projects?

Variety

The judge for the evening was the recent winner of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Pageant – Peach Jarvinen. That struck me as odd. I guess it’s not really a conflict of interest except that the people on stage were being judged by one of their friends. Many of the contestants there had been on stage in the final with Peach on Sunday afternoon. I wondered how she’d be able to separate herself from that.

The contest went off smoothly, although the lag in that venue is horrendous, even when there’s nobody there. Adding an audience just multiplies it. I thought things were going well until the final curtain call went out and we were told to come to the front and announce which movie star we were dressed like and we’d be judged on how well we represented that star.

Which star!?!?

While several of the models were dressed as Marilyn, few of the others were dressed as a *particular* star and several of the participants had the same shocked reaction that I did. I looked at me and decided I looked more like Hugh Grant than Cary Grant and so that was what I picked.

It didn’t matter. Peach made a statement about how lovely all the ladies looked and how difficult the choice had been. It was obvious that she wasn’t considering me at all, so the results weren’t all that surprising.

I got my two votes out of it.

And I learned some lessons about the contests.

Stuff:
Skin: Redgrave – Emil 3 Pale Skin 01
Hair: Armidi – The Poynter Midnight II
Eyes: E’s – Gleaming: Forest Green
Shape: Roland Zepp

Suit: Sartoria – S193 SARTORIA PROJECT OUTFIT
Shoes: JCS – Shanghai Black and Red
Glasses: Primoptica – Crowe

Making a Model

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

My goal this week is to investigate what “model” means in the metaverse in terms of look. There seems to be about a 100 female models for every male, but looking thru past issues of Second Style magazine there are enough examples of model to at least start analyzing “the look.”

One of the first things that struck me was neck size. It’s not universally true, but it seems like a large number (at least three out of five) have very long and wide necks. In many cases the model’s neck is almost as wide as his head and rather on the long-ish side.

The next thing was that my preconceived notion about what a model looks like just doesn’t hold up. While there are a few who are what I’d call beefcake pinup boys — a la Oscar Page — there are a a goodly number who are built more like Matt Damon (solidly built but wide in the shoulder and hip) than Arnold Schwartzenegger and more still in the Christian Bale mold (relatively narrow shoulders with body tapering to the hip). I suppose it makes certain amount of sense. A model is, at heart, a clothes rack and the outfit should be the focus, not the hanger it’s on.

Armed with this information, I set out to build my model bod. My budget is 3000L and needs to include shape, skin, and hair.

Here’s where I started out:
My original "normal" body and Connor skin.

This is what I consider my “walking around” look – altho I normally wear a low ARC prim hair. I know models are bigger than normal people so I made a version that was about 7 1/2 feet tall.

Original Model Sized Me

These two pictures don’t really portray the relative scale so here are a couple that show the two bodies on the same grid (larger) grid background:

Normal HeightModel Sized

This really underscores the need for a more realistic skin for photo and runway work. The question is which.

I talked to Lovena Allen, one of the models at Classic w/Style — the venue where I’m in the picture contest — and asked her advice. Her very first tip to me was:

Lovena Allen: but i do have one major tip if u want to model…
Lovena Allen: they love tall models

Having anticipated that much at least I put on my “model size” shape which was a more appropriate one. She gave me several sources for skins and shapes.

Starting with shapes, I made a decisions to purchase a “David Beckham” shape from Body Doubles basically on the recommendation of one of their image consultants. I went that route, rather than “Christian Bale” because I wanted to start with a more beefcake build and plan to add shapes as I need them.

Beckham Shape

The really striking portion of this anatomy is the relative size of head and neck. To my rather unsophisticated SL eye, this head looked too small for the body at first. As I worked with it more, I came to see it as more normal

Ms. Allen also recommended several places for men’s “model grade” skins including Redgrave, Soul One, and Indulgence. I tried several and eventually decided on the Pale Tan Emil 3 from Redgraves.

Beckham Shape and Emil 3 skin

The decision on Redgrave was based primarily on look but also on the repeated observation that Redgrave is a de facto standard in the modeling industry. Price was less a consideration but also factored into my choice. The Soul One skin worked pretty well on the shape altho I think the Scorpio Eclipse (I had the demo left over from my Free Skin Shootout post) created a more striking look. All of them were within my budget, even after purchasing the mod-shape.

So, looking at my new shape in a little more realistic mode, here’s the new shape and skin with my normal walking around hair (Matthew in black from ETD)

Beckham shape with Redgrave skin

And here’s my “model sized” Roland shape after some modifications to make the head/body proportion just a little more pleasing to my eye — a byproduct of working with the Beckham shape.

Roland modified and Redgrave skin

And here are two pictures of my normal “walking around shape” – one each in the Emil3 and Connor.

Roland Shape and Redgrave Skin

Roland shape and Connor skin

If nothing else, this exercise has made me look more closely at my assumptions about skin and shape, and I’m looking forward to participating in this world a little more in March.

My First Contest

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I entered the contest today. My first time on the runway!

This group apparently runs contests through the week for runway practice and they give out 2 free votes to the participants along with picking 1st thru 3rd places.

Roland's First Event

I didn’t expect to win — or even place. The contest was set up so men couldn’t compete even though the notice invited men and women to participate. The problem was the theme of the contest. Here’s the first line of the notice that was sent to members of the group.

“Styling Updos Hair outfit Theme. This contest is for male and female, Be fabulous with your outfit and Style how ever you wanted and be creative.”

Call me old-fashioned but “Updos Hair” for men? I wonder if that’s in the back room at Armidi, or perhaps Calico Ingmann has a special rack for them that I’ve never seen.

It was a learning experience, though, and I can’t complain. I got two votes for my picture, and that puts me in first place for now.

Something New

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

I’ve been looking for something to write about and maybe I’ve found the right thing.

Some time ago I started noticing these “pay to vote” cards around in various venues and I’ve been asking around about them. Basically, you get your friends to vote for you and there are various “winning” scenarios. I’ve wondered about these for awhile and today I had the chance to enter one.

I forget now how I found this place. I was looking for jeans or hair or something and found it. It’s called Classic w/Style and they have an interesting operation there with a kind of mall, modeling, contest operation running. When I visited the other day, I saw preparations underway for ending one competition and starting the next. Today, I went to follow up and met the CEO, a nice guy who got me set up with a card and everything so I’m now officially in the Hollywood Walk of Fame contest or pageant or whatever they call it.

I don’t know how far I’ll go. The application materials said mid-June before it’s over. I don’t know if I’ll get that far or not.

But it’s something to write about and related to SL Fashion.

Now I need to find an “updo” hair to participate in this contest they’re having at noon. If I participate, I get 2 votes.

What the heck does an updo for men look like?