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Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Not Tonight

Monday, August 10th, 2009

There was a contest tonight. I participated.

Normally in this space I would talk about what I did, why I did it, how it worked out, and what I’d do differently. Along the way I’d say where the goods came from, how they worked, what I thought about it.

Unfortunately the experience this evening was so egregiously unpleasant — from the flippant comments suggesting gang rape from one of the models backstage, to the organizer not even taking my name down to participate except as an after thought, and then the awards presented for best “Styling Provocative Gown” — that I’m afraid I can’t be particularly objective in my commentary.

In the classic movie “Bambi,” Thumper is called on the carpet by his mother for speaking ill of someone and she asks him what his father had told him. He replied:

“If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say nothin’ at all.”

So that’s what I’ll say.

UPDATE: I have corrected the text above to reflect the reality more accurately. I would further like to add my thanks to those who have offered their ongoing support and sympathy for an unfortunate situation. I do have a lot of very adamant supporters in the model corps. I am blessed in that regard.

South Beach

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

The styling contest tonight was “cut off jeans.” This wasn’t my favorite contest last time, but I’ve been keeping my eyes open over the last couple of weeks and I spotted this outfit at Mimi’s Choice for Gentlemen’s store.



cutoff_august, originally uploaded by roland_zepp.

I went back and took my own advice about this event from the last time around and I added a few things — like “have an idea to build the style around.” In this case it was inspired by this light an breezy tropical look from SF Designs – the bleached cutoffs and toulon linen shirt. My first thought was “Riviera” but the bold open styling made me shift to a trendier and perhaps more bohemian Miami’s “South Beach.”

From that mental picture it was a short trip to Maverick Design’s Disorder Shape (slightly modded for upper lip and hands), Belleza’s Dark Tan Mathieu 6 skin, and a cropped mop from UW.st, Hibiki in Coffee. I tossed on a pair of BoHo sandals from Shiny Things and my favorite primOptic Crowe glasses set just a bit opaque. A kitschy necklace of hardware parts – Goth1c0’s Covent necklace, and a single earstud set to ruby red.

The outfit was really the inspiration and after that the rest fell into place.

The Results
A very surprising second place finish:
cutoff_august_2nd_place

It was a small field and the judge had his hands full.

What Would I Do Differently?

I need to invest in another pair of sandals.

My accessories list is very limited. That needs to change. The Covent necklace from Goth1c0 was from a recent hunt, I need more accessories.

Poses, poses, poses. This has been my mantra lately. I’ve started stealing women’s poses to try to get some variation in my routines.

Stuff
Outfit: SF Designs – Bleached cutoffs and toulon linen shirt
Shoes: Shiny Things – BoHo sandals (brown)
Necklace: Goth1c0 – Covent
Ear ring: Roland Zepp – Color Change Ear Stud
Glasses: primOptica – Crowe

Shape: Maverick Design – Disorder
Skin: Belleza – Mathieu 6 (dark tan)
Hair: UW.st – Hibiki (coffee)
Eyes: Maverick Design – Intense light blue

Shocked!

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

The finals for the Maverick Designs “Best Look” Contest were this afternoon. I’ve been looking forward to them all month. I wrote up my look and why I picked previously and also dissected the shape on in comparison to my own normal shape, so I won’t spend a lot of time on it here. In case you’ve forgotten, this was the look:

The field was very large for women with over 20 contestants, and while the men’s field wasn’t quite so large, the competition there was fierce. The region had serious challenges dealing with the load placed on it, but it didn’t actually crash. It made it very difficult to do simple things, like walk, but the 30 odd contestants all did their best.

I’ll cut to the chase, in case you haven’t guessed by now. I won the first place for men’s look. I’d like thank Ivy Maverick and the other judges for the hard work and dedication it took to actually watch all the contestants struggling with the lag, and then grade them. It was a long contest, spanning close to three hours, but it was a great deal of fun – and I confess that I have really been inspired by this foray into shape design.

I’m looking forward to perhaps working with Maverick in the future to create new looks and even new designs.

Dressed in White

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Tonight’s contest is “Styling Lady/Male in White.” Overlooking the syntactical gender bias for the moment, the question is what kind of white? What kind of outfit would a guy wear that’s white? There’s the tropical white suit. There’s the idea of “tighty-whities and tees” … and then there’s this:

This outfit is Molto Bello from SF Designs and it’s available in white. Good whites are hard to find, because ultimately you need to put some other color with them to give them shading and structure. Swaffette Firefly did great work with Multo Bello and it’s available in several colors. I just happened to have the white one, and I think it looks smashing.

One of the challenges in styling white are the shoes. I have a pair of JCS Carl Perkins shoes in White, but they’re too casual for wearing with a tux. They might work ok with a tropical white suit, but the tux needed something else. I wound up with a pair of Tesla Men’s Oxfords in white. I’m still not happy with these. The outfit really needed something like a pair of spats with simple gray buttons on them. I searched for some, but had to make my own.

The skin is LeLutka Absolute in Suntan and I didn’t bother with prim hair under the hat. It would have just gotten in the way.

For accessories, I went with a red rose in the lapel for a splash of color, the simple diamond stud in my left ear, and a pair of SF Designs dress white gloves.

The Results

I got two votes.

I’m not even gonna try to analyze this one. One of the largest fields in recent memory. Simulator lag causing time dilation of .2 and .3. Walking was an exercise in futility and posing was a contact sport. It took almost three hours to do a one hour event.

What Would I Do Differently?

Dropped the spats, or made them shoes. Half way thru, I noticed that they shifted in unfortunate ways.

Gone with a less formal look. Perhaps a summery linen suit.

Stuff

Suit: SF Design: Molto Bello (white)
Shoes: Tesla: Men’s Oxfords (white)
Gloves: SF Design: White Gloves

Earring and Spats: Roland Zepp
Boutonnierre: Essentia: Groomsman’s Buttoniere (red)

Skin: LeLutka Absolute (suntan)

Cut Off Jeans

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Tonight’s contest was cut off jeans. I’m never at my best in these contests geared for women’s clothing, but I gave it a shot.

There’s not really a good thing to wear with cut offs. I tried several things before settling on the “normal male Second Life avatar” look. Shirtless. The cutoffs came from a value pack out of SLX and I’m not sure if I’d looked longer it would have mattered. As these things go, they are actually pretty well made and didn’t leave my crotch exposed the way some short shorts can. The sandals are my favorite BoHo from Shiny Things and they worked pretty well with the casual beachy look I was going for.

The interesting thing was the shape/skin combo. This is the same Maverick ‘Disorder’ shape and Belleza Mathieu 6 skin that I’ve entered into the Maverick Best Look competion. It works pretty well and I learned yesterday afternoon that I’ll be a finalist in Saturday’s competition for nearly 100,000L in cash and prizes.

The Results
Given the field and the poor overworked (and male) judge, I got what I expected.

Two votes.

What would I do differently?

Maybe a shirt. I have a couple of SHIKI’s Aloha shirts – one in red and another in pink. The male judge may have been more kindly disposed if not faced with the hairy chest.

Stuff

Shorts: Aaron Value Pack (SLX search on cut offs)
Shoes: Shiny Things – BoHo Sandals
Glasses: Role Optic – Recon
Necklace: Rhiamon’s Realm – Gold Dubloon
Watch: Ishmael Ihnen – Gold watch

Hair: UW.st Hibiki, brown
Skin: Belleza – Mathieu 6 (Deep Tan)
Shape: Maverick – Disorder (un modified)

Mardi Gras in July

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

The theme tonight is Mardi Gras. It seems like an odd time of year to be doing it, but why not? In Second Life, it’s whatever season you want …

We did this theme last March, and I used a real Mardi Gras Indian outfit without much success. Looking at it now, I understand why. I took my own advice from then and went with something less authentic and more stereotype, picking the piratey goodness of a Jeanne LaFitte look and – since it really only needs a mask to be Mardi Gras – added the great Columbia Veniza from Illusions, colored blue and gold to match.

I did not find a great pair of boots in my inventory. The outfit really called for a pair of SF Designs Slouch Boots and someday I’ll own a pair, but for the contest, I was too cheap to buy a pair. None of my other boots had the right feel but the Make Him Over Hunt treasures included the Wrap Boots from Frock You. They weren’t exactly piratey, but they had a kind of costume feel and they looked ok. Note to Frock You: the boot tops are No-Mod and there’s no resize script. Fitting them on my almost 8foot frame was impossible. I wound up having to turn them upside down to get them even close. Ultimately it worked.

The Results

I was shocked to be named in a tie for third.

It was a small field and I was more than a bit surprised that I tied for third place. Xenobia Foxclaw’s Lady Pirate costume was brilliantly executed and I was basically scraping thru my inventory.

What Would I Do Differently?

Boots. These were weak.

Poses. The prim tails on this coat made pose picking much more of a challenge than normal.

Different avatar. King Neptune would have been good. So would Bacchus.

Stuff

Outfit: INDI – Jack (blue and gold)
Boots: Frock You – Wrapped Boots (black)
Mask: Illusions – Columbia Venezia

Skin: LeLutka – Absolute (tan)
Hair: UW.st – Ilias (coffee)
Eyes: MADesigns – INNOCENCE (emerald and peach)

Casual Days

Monday, July 20th, 2009

We all like the casual days. A good chance to retire the business attire and jump into the comfy clothes. Whether it’s a day out or a day in, casual is great, but it doesn’t have to mean sloppy. Tonight’s contest was Styling Casual, and after having to skip Friday’s Fishnet Stocking event (way to encourage more male participation there), I was happy to see an event that I could get into.

When I’m not on stage, or getting ready to go on stage, or writing up what happened when I was on stage, I like to kick back and relax in some of the bits and pieces that I’ve collected over the last few weeks.

Tonight I decided to wear the Marinesta Navy Parka that I got at the clothing fair along with the jeans that came with my Sartoria Sorrento suit. For footwear, I picked my new JCS Oslo boots in brown for the softer look.

To dress it up, I added a pirate skull necklace from Ripped, and my Bukka watch and iPod. Of course, to look cool, I needed my Crowe glassed from primOptic set to a medium dark.

Because the future’s so bright, you know I gotta wear shades.

Results

I got my two votes. The judge picked some pretty casual looks and I can’t fault the choices tonight.

What Would I Do Differently?

The Shiny Things Bo Ho sandals are a bit more casual and might have gone better with, say, a pair of boardies rather than the long pants.

Less formal poses. Tonight’s outfit didn’t require them to be quite so stiff. I could have picked a few more playful ones.

Picked something a little more urban or current. Casual for me is just not casual for the grid. Call me old fashioned.

Stuff
Marinesta – Navy Parka
Sartoria Sorrento Suit Pants
JCS – Oslo Brown

primOptic Crowe
Ripped Pirate Necklace
Bukka Watch
Bukka iPod

UW.st Hibiki (coffee)
LeLutka Absolute Tan
MADesigns Emerald and Peach

All That Glitters …

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

The theme for the evening was “Gold.” It’s always a challenge when the themes are so open ended but at least in this case “gold” has a concrete meaning that’s other than just the color.

“I am Midas, King of Pessinus in Phrygia …”

The skin is Belleza’s Mathieu in Deep Tan 6 that I got for another contest, but it just said “king” to me and coupled with the UWst “Ilias” hair, I established the basis for a king of ancient Macedonia. My tunic is SF Designs Toga and on my feet the elegant – and ubiquitous – BoHo Sandals from Shiny Things. I looked all over for a pair of strap-up “gladiator” style sandals but the only ones I found didn’t match the look I wanted.

The gold was the next problem. What kind of gold would Midas wear? Crown, natch. I added a torc, matching armbands, and a belt of golden plates. I really didn’t have time to shop for all of these items so I spent a very pleasant hour making them. The crown was the only weak part. It started as a simple circlet, but that didn’t really say “crown” to me and I added the three triangles to it. I thought it looked less polished but possibly more crown-like so I went with it.

Then I had to figure out what to say about this outfit. (At the end of the show, the master of ceremonies calls each model to the front of the stage to explain something about their outfit and how it fit the theme before they take their places for the judging.) If I depicted Midas after he met Dionysus – when his touch turned golden – then everything should be golden – including his tunic and I didn’t have a golden tunic. My solution was to pick the moment just before Midas got his power and used this paragraph to kick it up.

“I am Midas, King of Pessinus in Phrygia. In return for my hospitality in caring for his friend, the drunken satyr Silenus, the god Dionysus will grant me one wish. I go to meet him now to ask that all I touch be turned to gold. I do this for the love of my people so that we may all live in wealth and comfort until the end of our days…”

Of course, the gift becomes a curse as “everything” is interpreted literally by Dionysus, with tragic results for Midas and his people.

The Result
Midas Wins!

Unexpected is an understatement. It was a huge field and there were a number of gorgeously golden outfits there, including another male contender for a change.

What Would I Do Differently?

I liked this response to the theme. I was not happy with the crown so replacing that would be my first priority.

Finding a golden tunic and sandals would have let me be Midas in a full blown “everything I touch” mode.

Stuff
Tunic: SF Designs – Roman Toga
Sandals: Shiny Things – BoHo Sandals

Skin: Belleza – Mathieu Deep Tan 6
Hair: UW.st – Ilias Coffee
Eyes: (*> Bower Bird <*) Everyday Eyes – Mahogany (lge)

Maverick Designs

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

The prize package is up to 90,000L and while some of it is merch, some of it is cash and it’s a rich prize indeed.

I’ve been wrestling with this for most of the month and I think I’m ready to submit it. I’ve taken a bit more care with the look than I would on a regular styling competition because it’s worth a lot more in terms of prizes.



body_shots_A, originally uploaded by roland_zepp.

My strategy on this has been to find a look that’s not mean looking or dark. Almost all the prototypes available for male avis involve frowns, cigarettes, tattoos, and metal sprouting from places that, personally, I’d rather not incur the abrasion. Call me old fashioned.

So, with the rest of the possible continuum of male look and behavior to draw on, I chose to go with a look I’ll call “Prêt-à-Porter” or “Ready to wear.” Working out from the Maverick Design’s “Disorder” shape, I painted on a nice Mathieu Deep Tan skin from Belleza. I love the detail and definition on the Belleza skins and Mathieu represents some of the best of what the line has to offer. In spite of my wanting to avoid the dark, I went with the Deep Tan. It’s a nice color and the full beard is nicely trimmed to give a nicely sophisticated look. I was trying for the idea of “tickle her fancy” not “threaten her children.”

I picked MADesigns David 2 for the hair because it kept my face open. I have several hairs that hang down in my eyes, but this look needed a style that let me see out, and to be seen in return. I wanted something that was slightly retro, but still stylish and the MADesigns hair fit the look I had in mind perfectly. I stayed with MADesigns for the INNOCENCE eyes in emerald and peach to give the face a bit of color and I like the depth that comes from the highlights.

After that, it’s all about the clothing.

It’s not the newest thing on the rack, but the Sartoria Project is a collection of themed, casual outfits including pants, shirt, and jacket. These are each unique items and work terrifically as mix and match components. The jacket is superb and layering the jacket over your own pants and shirt combinations is a great way to extend and shape the look. I kept the look simple here, but a hot pair of jeans and a patterned tee-shirt under this jacket make a completely different feel. The possibilities are almost limitless.

I’ve wanted this pair of JCS Oslo Boots for a long time. This contest seemed like a good excuse to pick them up. Every man needs a pair of brown boots and these Oslo Boots have a richly textured brown leather with great details like x-stitching on the toes, a buckled strap across the arch, and even an elastic gore in the side. I want these boots in RL!

With the main look established, the next challenge was getting two photographs put together for the submission. They need to really show the Best Look in a way that says what the look means, but not necessarily the picture that might be on the vendor box. It’s rather a balancing act to find a way to present the look comprehensively, while at the same time, artistically.

The photo that accompanies this post is not one of the photos I included in my submission. For those, I went more for feel than content.

We’ll see if the chance pays off.

Pins and Needles

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Tonight’s theme was Body Piercing. It’s a difficult theme to do because of all the parts and places you can pierce, and then have to make visible. I did well in this theme before so I was not expecting to place this time, particularly since I was using almost the exact same outfit, but it gave me a opportunity to take some chances.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know I’m working on a Maverick Designs contest to create a Best Look using one of their shapes. I’ve selected Disorder as my base and that’s what I wore in the contest tonight with a Belleza Thomas Tan skin. It looked ok with the abbreviated beard, and I changed out my normal hair for a MADesigns hair called David 2. It’s a little more “swept back” than I usually wear, but it got out of the way of my piercings and I was able to fit it without a lot of trouble.

I was tired of the same old footwear tonight as well, so I got into my modeling gear and found the pair of Arcavim Sky Sailor boots from the Walk of Fame Final a couple weeks ago and used the color change feature on them to turn them black. I still needed to use the V-Twins “biker jacket” to show off the navel piercing but I put on a nice pair of blue jeans from Thalia to soften the dark edges a bit. Topped off with a :sey “edokin” necklace and a pair of V-Twin biker gloves and the look came together for me. Again.

The Results
A shocking second place finish.

I really wasn’t expecting to place, let alone do better this time than last. First and Third Places were great examples of body art and I really don’t consider myself in their class on this event, but I’ll take it.

What Would I Do Differently?

Go back and read this section for the last time I did it and then see if the advice still makes sense. I’m not sure it does, but it would have been a good idea to follow throuth with that.

Come up with something more formal or more interesting than a grubby biker dude. Lots of people have piercings.

Stuff
Thalia 505 Jeans
V-Twin Biker Jacket (Black)
V-Twin Biker Gloves
Arcavim: Sky Sailor Boots

Necklace: sey “edokin”
Piercings: Roland Zepp
Tattoo: Atui Vintage Hawaiian (faded)
Shape: Maverick – Disorder
Skin: Belleza – Thomas Tan 3
Eyes: MADesigns EYES – ABYSS – atlantic sea
Hair: MADesigns – David 2