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Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Ladies Wear … Aisle Twelve

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I’m a sucker for contests, even when the deck is stacked against me. LOOK Elite Modeling has periodic “Quick Contests” where they announce a sponsor and models have two hours to put together a look using that sponsor’s stuff. It doesn’t have to be the whole outfit, but at least something. The goal is to rock the runway with this look and you can walk away with cash and prizes, etc. I’ve wanted to get in on one of these for awhile now, but today I finally got a chance.

The catch? The sponsor only sells women’s wear. I almost blew this one off but just for the heck of it, I took a trip to MALT to see if I could maybe find a tee-shirt that didn’t have boob-shading on it or something so I could at least show up and walk the runway. I didn’t really have a pixel’s prayer in paradise of winning, but I wanted to at least get in the game.

I’m glad I did.

malt

Khea Karas is the designer behind MALT and she’s got some brilliant stuff there. Followers of this space know my on-going search for texture and design for men. Yes, I know this is a woman’s jacket and a woman’s pair of jeans, but they’re amazingly well done. The Painted Jacket in grass green sports a unique collar shape consisting of two prims that give the flared jacket and inner shirt collars a very nice structure. The pattern of paint spatters and stenciling is very cool — as if the jacket were sewn from an old painting tarp or something. Moreover, the jacket is not overly shaded across the chest so I didn’t feel like I was trying to walk with extra emphasis on moobs.

The Recycled Jeans are likewise excellently executed with just the right amount of fraying and terrifically matched seams. They’re good solid, skinny legged jeans with some very nice prim-work cuffs that worked very nicely with my JCS Oslo Boots. These also came with a capri length with prim-cuffs and they might just be one of the pieces I’ve been looking for to put together an avant-garde look a la John Galliano.

As it sat, the jacket really is meant for a woman and the square cutout at the neckline would look wonderful on a bit of nicely shaded skin of the female persuasion, but the off-center look on a guy didn’t really do it for me, so I layered one of Simone’s Gun Tee’s in red under it to help emphasize the gorgeous green. The jacket and pants came in more than enough layers that I was able to layer the jacket over the tee and still have the trailing edge of the shirt show up untucked over the jeans.

Of course I didn’t win, but I did get a nice jacket, found a great pair of jeans, was introduced to a fine designer, and I had some fun doing it.

What’s not to like?

Stuff
Jacket: MALT Fashions – Painted Jacket – Grass
Jeans: MALT Fashions – Recycled Jeans – Brown
Shirt: Simone! – Gun Tee – Red
Shoes: JCS – Oslo Boots – Brown
Glasses: Role Optic – Recon

Skin: Belliza – Mathieu 6 SK
Hair: CriCri – CriCri-mShort04-D
Eyes: Amacci – Forest

I Got Da Blues

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Last night’s contest was Styling Blue and, since I happen to have a whole bunch of blue in my inventory, I managed to pull an outfit together in short order.

blues

We did this theme a while back and I decided to tone back my “blue-ness” for this trip out onto the stage. The shirt and pants are recent acquisitions from Simone Stern’s Style Starts Here store. The Casual Blue Striped shirt in blue has a rich texture including very subtle shading and wrinkles along with the rich details. It comes on all layers which makes it particularly versatile. The jeans are Russian Jeans in blue. They also come on multiple layers and the detailing at pockets and seams is exquisite. For shoes, my HOC color change sneakers gave me a nice pair of blue shoes that matched the deep blue of the shirt readily enough.

I added a pair of blue eyes, a sapphire ear ring, and a pair of Role Optic’s Recon sunglasses with blue frames.

The Results

I got my two votes. I wasn’t too surprised.

What Would I Do Different?

I’d follow Coco Chanel’s advice on accessory and take off the last item I added — in this case, the Role Optics glasses. The blue on the frames wasn’t a particularly good match and they obscured my eyes.

Without having a better idea of what the judge found appropriate about the three outfits that placed, I have no way to know what else might have worked better. They were a rather broad mix of styles and I really couldn’t discern what set those three apart from the rest. I will note that the description and creativity shown by the first place winner was exemplary – telling a whole story in a paragraph and backing it up with the outfit.

That goes back to advice I give myself here regularly. Get a vision of what you’re trying to do and fulfill that vision. My outfit tonight had that vision — “Lazing around in blue jeans” — but it lacked a narrative subtext.

Stuff
Shirt: Simone! – Casual Striped Shirt (blue)
Pants: Simone! – Russian Jeans (blue)
Shoes: HOC – Sneakers (set dark blue)
Glasses: Role Optic – Recon
Earring: Roland Zepp – Color Change Ear Stud

Skin: LeLutka – Absolute (pale)
Hair: MADesigns – Bernard (TB)
Eyes: MADesigns – ABYSS Atlantic Sea
Shape: Roland Zepp

Rich Corinthian Leather

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Last night’s event was Styling Leather. This is the kind of event that brings everybody and his mother out and last night was a packed house with a wide variety of leathers – mostly black – and styles. Me? I trolled through my inventory for pieces that worked together. I’ve got a lot of leather.

The jacket was a hunt gift from Jeckalicious called Nightwalk and the pants came from a SaniZen outfit called Incubus. I liked the way the leather textures worked together and the pants had a nice buckle feature on the thigh. The boots were my Arcavim Sky Sailors and I really admire the rich detailing.

The “dark and dangerous” look needed a darker skin and I went with my Mathieu 6 in tan, along with a more exotic looking Jin II hair from UW.st.

The Result
Two votes. I didn’t place. I don’t know why the winners did. It was another ‘roll the dice’ night with an experienced model, a relative newcomer, and one of the semi-regulars taking places. With that herd and with only one person to officiate, I wouldn’t blame him if he did roll dice. At least we all had an equal shot.

What Would I Do Different?

Themes like this *really* need a unifying ideal around which to form. I didn’t have it.

Still it didn’t cost much — not counting the two hours of my life that I’ll never get back — and I did manage to do some stuff in another window while I waited.

Stuff
Jacket: Jeckalicious : Night Walk
Pants: SaniZen : Incubus
Boots: Arcavim : Sky Sailor (black)
Gloves: V-Twin : Biker gloves (black)
Skin: Belleza : Mathieu 6 (tan)
Hair: UW.st : Jin II
Eyes: E’s : Broken Doll (silver)

Taking Care of Business

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

For Labor Day our assignment was “Styling Office Outfit Theme.” In one of the typical ironies of life in this pageant, like everyone else, I dressed, not as Labor, but as Management.

I started with the SF Designs’ Performance Suit in Marble. I love this suit’s use of texture and the styling. It comes with a variety of options but I picked the “straight up and buttoned down” configuration. For shoes I picked JCS Sebatian in charcoal. The wingtip styling fit the theme perfectly. The outfit needed the appropriate accessories so I dug out my briefcase and bluetooth earpiece, and added a discrete silver loop earring. For that final touch of ‘serious’ I added Role Optic’s Recon glasses but set the frames to highly reflective and put a pale blue lens gradient on to give them a glassy look.

The challenge with an outfit like this is picking poses that keep the briefcase out of the body. I had just enough of them to make a very simple routine and it worked well.

The Result

Two votes. I have no idea why the winners were chosen. It was a relatively large field that all looked pretty good. Taking nothing away from the winners, I couldn’t identify anything about them that made them stand apart from the rest of us. Obviously the judge did, but I couldn’t begin to think what.

What Would I Do Different?

Not knowing what the judge was looking for, I have no idea how to make this outfit better. I thought I looked very “office chic” but perhaps taking a different spin at “office outfit” and picked something like “Casual Friday” or “Mailroom Boy” would have provided a creative and different organizing idea around which to build an outfit.

Stuff
Suit: SF Designs – Performance Suit (Marble)
Shoes: JCS – Sebastian (Charcoal)
Glasses: Role Optic – Recon

Ear piece: Kazyanenko – Bluetooth Earpiece
Briefcase: Roland Zepp
Earring: Roland Zepp

Skin: LeLutka – Absolute (Tan)
Hair: UW.st – Hibiki (Coffee)
Eyes: Bowerbird – Posiedon

Jogging Suit

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The theme for last night was “Jogging Suit.” At some point just before the event it was modified to “Joggng suit/Two-Piece Athletic Wear” for reasons that are a mystery. I happened to have a jogging suit so, the event was an easy prep.

The suit itself is from KO Design and is nicely textured and shaded, given that it’s black with a white stripe. Doing all black clothing is difficult to do well and kallyfaith Rolland did an excellent job on this on. I added my best trainers – Horenbeek’s Black and Beige cross trainers to finish out the main outfit.

The outfit needed some accessories so I added an aviator style watch from Aaron, my Bukka iPod, and a pair of primOptic Crowe sunglasses.

The Results

I got my two votes.

What Would I Do Different?

Matching shoes and outfit. The black and beige look ok to me, but all the winners had matching shoes.

The poses were a bit problematic. There were a few line breaks that were particularly obvious given the open jacket.

Stuff
Jogging Suit: KO Design – Track Suit
Shoes: Horenbeek – Black and Beige Trainers
Glasses: primOptic – Crowe
Watch: Aaron – Aviator
iPod: Bukka – iPod Touch

Casual and Sophisticated

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Once more we have a theme with no clear direction and a limited vernacular upon which to draw. The theme for the evening is “Casual and Sophisticated.” The difficulty here is that one person’s casual is another person’s business suit, one person’s sophisticated is another’s trampy bar fly. I went for what I thought was casual and sophisticated in a laid back outfit from Sartoria.

I like the casual nature of this outfit. It’s a little dressier than jeans and a tee shirt, but it has the level of sophistication that I wanted without being pretentious. The slacks, jacket, and shirt make up the components of Sartoria Project in Green. This is one of several color keyed outfits that Traveler Bade put together and I like the very sculptural feel of the jacket and the open collared look of the shirt. For shoes, I picked a pair of JCS Oslo Boots in a rich brown to go with the jacket. The outfit by itself needed a little help so I pulled on a pair of Role Optic Recon glasses and chose an informal style of hair — UW.St Hibiki in coffee brown.

The Results

Largely inscrutable. I got my two votes.

Don’t get me wrong. There was nothing wrong with any of the outfits. Taken as a whole, they shared almost no attributes in common that would let me generalize as to what the judge was looking for and I just have no idea why that collection of outfits was selected. It was, however, the judge’s call and with a limiting vernacular based on purely subjective criteria, this event was another of the “roll the dice and take your chances” events.

Luckily it didn’t cost me anything. I just worked with what I had in inventory.

What Would I Do Differently?

It’s possible that the judge interpreted the jacket as not casual enough, so going with an outfit of shirt and slacks might have worked better.

It’s also possible that by “sophisticated” the judge and I mean different things and I have no criteria upon which to base any kind of change since I’m unable to generalize from the examples provided.

It’s also possible, that it was just a crap shoot, and I rolled snake eyes.

Stuff
Outfit: Sartoria – Sartoria Progect – green
Boots: JCS – Oslo brown
Glasses: Role Optic – Recon

Hair: UW.st – Hibiki
Skin: LeLutka – Absolute – tan

One Piece

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

The styling theme for last night was “One Piece Bathing Suit.” It’s a theme that doesn’t penalize men too badly because, when push comes to shove, all men’s suits are one piece. The challenge is what to wear with it.

I have several suits to choose from, but I really like the AlphaMale Swirls in blue. It has just enough pattern to be interesting, and great shading and wrinkles. On the top I put the SF Designs Toulon Linen Shirt, and on my feet, Shiny Things Boho Sandals. With an outfit so simple, I needed some accessories and I started with the primOptic Crowe aviator style glasses. I added some M.R.M. jewelry – the Planet Surfer Necklace (earth), and a couple of shell bracelets. A tanned skin from Belleza, and the Ilias hair from UW.st rounded out the ensemble.

I thought it did a good job showing off the suit without overwhelming it with a lot of ancillary accoutrements.

The Results

Two votes.

I kinda expected it. The judge was overworked and the field was pretty large. I have no beef with the three winners. They looked good and it’s hard to rate a guy in a swimsuit against gorgeous women in scanty dress, particularly for a male judge. A different judge might have picked different winners.

What Would I Do Different?

Picked a different suit. I have several and I’ve used this Swirls one a lot.

Skin. I need some new skin. This was tanned, but not “beach” tan. It could have been darker.

This wasn’t a theme I had a lot of chance in without an outside, female judge. Luck of the draw and the roll of the dice went against me. You can’t be lucky all the time.

Stuff
Suit: AlphaMale – Swirls (blue)
Shirt: SF Designs – Toulon Linen Shirt
Sandals: Shiny Things – Boho Sandals (brown)

Glasses: primOptic – Crowe
Necklace: M.R.M. – Surfer Choker (Planets)
Bracelet: M.R.M. – White Shell Bracelet
Ankle: M.R.M. – White Shell Bracelet (resized for ankle)

Skin: Belleza – Thomas 0 – Deep tan
Hair: UW.st – Ilias
Eyes: BowerBird – Posiedon

Leaping Leopard

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Tonight’s styling contest was one of those that sounds fair, but really isn’t. The theme was “Styling Leopard/Tiger Print Clothes.” It sounds like it would be fair. There’s lots of leopard and tiger print clothing. Yes, well. At the risk of offending those half dozen or so people out there who’ve actually made men’s clothing with animal print, let me just point out that — as with poses — where women have thousands of choices across a very broad spectrum of quality and look, men have a few dozen choices which rapidly reduces to a handful when you take out the purple leopard pimp suits, the unfinished bathing suits, and the no-mod underwear with the seam matching guides still on the bottom of the texture.

I found a couple of items that weren’t too bad, though, and I managed to put together a look.

The focal point for this outfit is the Bagor Bates Leopard Skin Jeans and Dell Battery’s DDD Leopard Heart Boots. The boots kinda grew on me, but I wish they’d been mod so I could adjust the color down a bit. The problem I ran into with styling this was that I really couldn’t put leopard on top without looking more contrived that it already was. A nice jacket and shirt would have been equally out of place. I went for the dirty biker look. And added the V-Twin biker jacket, gloves, tatts, and bandana. UncleWebs provided the long hair (Ilias coffee) and Belleza the tanned bearded skin (Mathieu 6). For accessories I added a knotted leather bracelet from Mustang Trading Post, Crowe glasses from primOptic, and the Ripped Pirate necklace. I liked that the necklace with the skull echoed the skull in the tattoo. Not a great tie in, but I thought it was a nice touch.

The Results

I was surprised but pleased to get a 3rd place finish.

What Would I Do Differently?

There are a couple of other relatively nice looking animal print items left out there to buy. A particularly nice waistcoat caught my eye, and it might have been the focus of a ‘riverboat gambler’ outfit. I also wondered if Avilon Hill might not have a leopard or tiger cloak that could work as a centerpiece for some medieval warlord style look. The problem with that is the expense. When we do this so often, and the top prize is less than the cost of a good suit, it makes it difficult to justify making those kinds of investments when the payoff is so low and so uncertain.

Stuff

pants: bagor bates – Leopard skin jeans
boots: Dell Battery – Leopard Heart Boots
vest: V-twin – Biker Jacket
bandana: V-Twin – bandana black
gloves: V-twin – biker gloves
Tattoos: V-twin – Rush
Glasses: primOptic – Crowe
Necklace: Ripped – Pirate Necklace

skin: Belleza – Mathieu 6 deep tan
hair: UW.st – Ilias Coffee

Boys of Summer

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Last night’s theme was “Summer Outfit” and while I know a lot of people think beachy thoughts and wide brimmed hats, I always think of the dusty brown smell of sandlot baseball.

Summertime

The event really called for a new take on the idea of summer and by dressing up as a baseball fan, I think I really got what I was going for. The shirt is a gift from Atui from the Make Him Over Hunt and is a perfect jersey for wearing to a AAA game. I added a comfy pair of Elephant Outfitter Jeans, and the BeReal Canvas Shoe, also a hunt gift. The outfit really was inspired by the Billy Boston cap with hair from MADesigns and it served well as the focal point of the outfit as well as really establishing that slightly rough feel of a guy at the park enjoying the day and letting the game unfold. I kept accessories to a minimum with just a pair of Role Optic Recons and my own ear stud.

Results

I was gratified with a second place win. It wasn’t the most glamorous look on the runway, but I did think it was pretty well executed and I hit my marks with some new poses to spice up the routine. The judge agreed.

What Would I Do Differently?

The jersey was good, but I couldn’t help but think that I might have found a better one. It’s hard to argue with Atui, but perhaps a team logo might have been better.

The jeans had just the right loose comfort fit that I wanted in the look so I wouldn’t change those, but perhaps a nicer pair of laceups — perhaps in a tall athletic shoe — might have worked out better as well.

Stuff

Shirt: Atui – HIM Baseball Jersy (blue)
Pants: Elephant Outfitters – Classic Jeans
Shoes: BeReal – Fabric Sneakerz
Hat/Hair: MADesigns – Billy Boston
Glasses: Role Optic – Recon
Skin: LeLutka – Absolute tan

Master of the Mansion

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Tonight’s contest was “Styling Playboy Bunny” up to about an hour before the actual event, when it got changed to “Playboy/Playboy Bunny.” I had already chosen the outfit for the night based on Playboy Bunny, so I was able to keep it and not have to scramble at the last minute.

hefner2

We’d done this theme before, and there was really only one choice then. Changing the theme to “Playboy” in the generic but keeping “Playboy Bunny” created many more problems but I avoided them by just re-visiting my earlier impression of the only buck hare in the hutch — Hugh Hefner.

The outfit is basically the same — Smoking Jacket from Oak Outdoor Outfitters, and Black Dress Slacks from AlphaMale. On my feet I wore a pair of Kung Fu slippers. They had the right texture and color.

My body has evolved some since then but the big changes were in hair — MADesigns, Brad — and skin. I changed from the LeLutka Pale to a Belleza Johan. I liked the facial features better for this. It didn’t really have the same kind of pale he-only-comes-out-at-night look that Hefner seems to have, but it had a bit of the smile around the eyes.

For accessories, I went with a simple pair of glasses in an aviator style he sometimes wore and a pipe. I had to make a bunny logo for the smoking jacket, but it was easy enough to add.

Results
I’m not sure if it was a mercy vote after the fiasco on Monday, or if I actually earned it, but I got third place.

hefner_august_3rd_place

I’ll take it. And I appreciate the effort to try to make the themes at least appear fair.

What Would I Do Differently?

The problem with making this “Playboy/Playboy Bunny” is that there are a lot of ways to style “playboy” that do not involve Hefner or the brand. There is no way to style “playboy bunny” without involving the brand, so from a judge’s standpoint, the theme sets up an unfortunate dichotomy. There’s no way that a man could go onto that stage dressed as James Bond, for example. It’s certainly true that he’s probably the archetype for playboys — it was his cover afterall — but when coupled with the Bunny, it’s just not in the same thing. It would, and should, be voted down as “not in theme.” While on the surface this theme makes it possible for men to enter, being able to place in it, is really restricting men to “Who can be the best Hef” …

Which is where I come up against it. Trying to redo Hefner a third (or fourth, or fifth) time without some very serious rethinking, perhaps about what time of his life or point in his career, there’s nothing really *different* a man can do with this theme.

Tonight, the judge was not looking for best representation of a Playboy Bunny, or even the most stylish use of the Playboy logo. That’s not to take anything away from the other winners. The judge interpreted the theme in a way that made us the top three. Another judge another night might be looking for something different. A great deal of the judging is dependent on the judge’s understanding of what the theme represents and how they interpret that understanding. I’m glad they picked me, but I have no idea why. Without knowing why, it’s terribly difficult to assess what might be more effective in a contest of such limited scope.

So, what would I do different? Chalk it up to just another theme I can’t compete in and skip it.

Stuff
Skin: Belleza : Johan (sk)
Hair: MADesigns : Brad
Eyes: Bower Bird : Chestnut

Top: Oak Outdoor Outfitters : Smoking Jacket
Pants: AlphaMale : Dress Pants (black)
Slippers:

Glasses: primOptic : Crowe
Pipe: Roland Zepp