Noelani Lightfoot: Outfit Genius

“It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas.” – Charles Peguy

Best. Tip. Ever.

Every so often someone will share an idea that is so common sense it seems impossible it is not the given norm.

My first memory of Noelani Lightfoot goes back to April of 2007 when she attended the Linden Lifestyles birthday carnivale and snapped a squee-tastic photo of me. Since then we’ve been acquaintances and friends in one way or another although most of our conversations involve snarking in IMs at concerts and engaging in hair inventory comparison at the competitive level.

Recently, Noe shared an idea with me that is so fan-fucking-tastically brilliant I cannot believe I haven’t been doing it since the introduction of the outfit feature. In fact, it’s one of those ideas that is so basic we agreed everyone else must have already figured it out. However, since it’s possible you, dear reader, may have been suffering in the same outfit ignorance I’ve been fogged up in, I figured I’d share.

Many of you probably have oodles of HUD-based color-change treats in your inventory. Everything these days from hair to shoes to jewelry seems to come with HUDs that allow you to customize certain settings. The problem arises when you want to use the same item with different settings for different outfits. That pair of shoes looks luscious in red leather with your favorite dancing, but then you want to switch to a swanky little black number and you find yourself digging for the HUD — or worse, saving different copies of the shoes in order to preserve settings. Which kinda defeats the benefit of color change items.

Mesh Hands Saved Multiple Times By Nail Color

Mesh Hands Saved Multiple Times By Nail Color


This ^^^ is an example of my inventory folder for my mesh hands with some of my most used nail polishes saved for different outfits. Now imagine this per skin per type of hand per nail color. Exponential craziness.

So what’s an inventory-conscious fashion addict to do?

Well, Noe’s solution is to simply wear the necessary HUD(s) when you save the outfit. So you put on your outfit, click the right colors on the HUD(s), detach, and POOF! you’re ready to go. No more 10 copies of the same item for different outfits. No more scrambling around for HUDs. The minute you load the outfit they’re RIGHT THERE and all you have to do is click and go.

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Hair, Nail, and Shoe HUDS Ready To Go!

Hair, Nail, and Shoe HUDS Ready To Go!

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I suggest having different on-screen attachment locations for different types of common items. Say hair goes in the upper left, manicure/pedicure on the lower left, shoes on the upper right, jewelry on the lower right and the center positions for clothing items, etc.

This technique alone might get my inventory back down under the 150k mark.

…maybe…

Posted in Fashion SL, Second Life, SL - Fun, SL - Shopping, Virtual Living | 3 Comments

Apples Falling: IP Theft And Cronyism in SL Event Culture

“The rotten Apple spoils his Companion.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

I am not a Plurk user. When I see Plurk refers in my blog stats I generally want to just crawl back to bed and wait until whatever they’re on about passes over. So when friends say “you have to read what’s going on in Plurk” I am rarely eager to do so.

Those of you that are like me probably missed this week’s scandal. In most cases that would be a good thing, but in this case, there are long reaching consequences linked to the controversies and squabbles. So much so that I’ve had to break them into two blog posts – this one (which addresses the incestuous relationships between some big name designers and event coordinators and the lack of consequences this creates) and one that I’m working on which addresses the ethical implications of gacha events like The Arcade.

First, let me recap what appears to have taken place.

  • Isla Gealach of Cheeky Pea noticed that Apple Fall was putting out an iMac clone he called the iFall. Isla sent a private message to Apple Fall telling him to remove the item from sale / promotion or she would bring it to the attention of event coordinators, etc.
  • Apple Fall responded on his Plurk with the usual class he exhibits in all his public dealings. His “you can’t touch me” response:
    So, i’m fed up of your shit, your antics, your feeble attempts at trying to underhandedly attack me. And not just me, sweet heart (Yes, Isla Gealach, I’m talking to you),
  • Isla Plurks that she has gotten an anonymous text threat from an unknown number in Australia. It reads: “gurl your secret is out. world wide. time to step down. karma is about to slay you.”
  • Tegan Serin, owner of Floorplan, first Plurks that Isla has stolen fabric textures herself and has no room to go after Apple Fall. She then Plurks that she has gotten a text threat from Isla. It reads:
    Amanda. I know about the arcade scripts. Thomas showed me and I have proof. I know your alt got all the rates only. Stop this witch hunt. Now. I know you use shit from etsy bc you showed me how. So stop. Before I tell everyone. So far I’ve told no one. Piss me off and see. Delete your plurk or I’ll put one out there of my own.
  • Colleen Desmoulins, owner of The Loft, asks what is going on and in her (now hidden) Plurk; comedy and cat-fights ensue. Jezibell Thorne (co-owner of C88 and Apple Fall’s public relations / customer service partner) ignored Apple’s infractions and went after Isla. Voshie Paine (Enchantment) hilariously tried to assert some moral authority and Octagons “Pizza” Yazimoto (The Arcade) spent time trying to kill any notion of wrongdoing by The Arcade. The usual fanboi types rah-rahed their two cents. Isla Gealach was accused of copyright violation on some of the fabrics of her pieces as if that negates everything else under discussion. The group also demanded Isla provide “proof” of the Arcade script accusation, even though it was Tegan that made that public.

Stop laughing. This is so what happened.

Most of this is now hidden behind public Plurk streams turned private — because once their income is threatened and their high school behavior is revealed, suddenly all these brave kids with their “bring it” attitudes just want everything to go away. But the damage, in this case, lingers and raises some big questions for consumers regarding the ethics and behavior of the big name event organizers and the way trademark and copyright infringement is often ignored when it involves popular designers.

Popularity + Copyright / Trademark Violation = No Problem!

Apple Fall is unrepentant about his copyright and trademark infringement. This is not surprising since the Apple Fall store shows that he has no problems infringing upon the intellectual property of Hasbro/Mattel, Vogue, and Burberry (those are just the ones that are obvious at a glance). There is no indication he intends to refrain from selling his “iFall.” And why should he? He’s got the co-owner of C88 as his business buddy, so why should rules even apply to him?

This is not the first time one of the big players has demonstrated flagrant disregard for copyright/trademark. It is not the first time that it will be completely ignored by organizers. The truth is that designers and event organizers have little reason to care at all. Items that remind ignorant consumers of their favorite things are good sellers. And, in the unlikely event the items are reported to the larger companies and the larger companies act to have the items removed by Linden Lab, it’s the consumer who is punished, not the event staff or designer. The consumer loses money and merchandise without reimbursement. In fact, other than a three day ban (with their stores still able to collect sales) designers of infringing content rarely get any flack.

Many people, even surprisingly big design names, have been skating the rules their entire SL existences. When caught they disappear for a few months, then rebrand with their buddies and contacts intact. Because stealing is easy and creativity is hard.

Why isn’t there a bigger demand for ethics and transparency on behalf of organizers? Why aren’t designers removed from future event rounds when their intellectual thefts are discovered? Why aren’t they at least suspended from participation for a few rounds? Why don’t events demonstrate even a hint of interest in protecting their consumers?

Event Coordination Rule $1 #1: Stick With Your Buddy!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify the relationships that exist between most of the promoters and owners behind the bigger events. The Arcade clearly focuses on harvesting the popular designers from C88 particularly. C88’s co-owner is partners with Apple Fall. The Liaison Collaborative just announced their events will be moving to the Apple Fall SIM. These are just things that can be pointed to within the current controversy.

SL is a smaller pool than it used to be; the players have concentrated. It’s understandable that there will be crossover. But this isn’t crossover; this is lockstep. And when so many of the coordinators are using events to promote their own brands or shadow brands, then where is there any consideration for the consumer?

This is where we are in SL mainstream fashion and design. This is where event culture has led us. No one cares when popular designers break rules. No one seems to mind that a very small pool of people are controlling the biggest events.

I give credit where credit is due. The networking and promotion efforts by this entwined little clique is impressive. Most creative types don’t possess promotion skills, so there’s enormous value in promotion. But when that promotion has no ethical obligations and does not create inroads for new talent, then consumers lose.

There are a handful of brands and designers (Zaara, Wasabi Pills, Kriss Lehmann, Cory Edo, Barnesworth Annubis) that often participate in these events that I consider to be among the best offerings in SL, if not the best. Their reputations are hard-won and enough to make someone like me go to events that I otherwise find tedious and objectionable. It honestly saddens me to see these designers and brands alongside someone like Apple Fall.

I’m often accused of being an elitist snob, and it’s a fair accusation. I loathe the mediocrity that gets over-promoted in SL and I can’t stand the fact that so many events are about promoting friends as opposed to showcasing the best in what SL has to offer. But this is entirely different. Quality has nothing to do with it. You can create the best forgery in the world, but it’s still a forgery and you’re still a forger.

Copyright and Trademark violation is committed in an effort to gain from someone else’s work. If you think “well, Scrabble won’t miss the income” ask yourself why a creative person capable of making anything they want puts someone else’s brand on one of their own creations. Why go to all the work of creating it in the first place? Then ask what other ethical shortcuts such a person might be making.

When such a person is so closely entwined with the movers and shakers and promoters, who is there to hold them accountable for their actions?

Do the responsible and ethical creators of SL who work hard to build their brands really want to participate alongside this person?

Are those of us who love SL fashion and design really so eager to buy, buy, buy that we’re going to keep turning a blind eye to these incidents?

Posted in Second Life, SL - Business, SL - Shopping, SL - Social Dysfunction | 44 Comments

Sax Shepherd Designs Fae

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” ~ Douglas Adams

Sax: You aren’t blogging my stuff.
Salome: I’m not blogging in general.
Sax: When are you going to blog my stuff?
Salome: When you make something that doesn’t require me to walk around like a half-naked slut?
Sax: What about a half-naked fairy?

Seriously.

Sax has gotten involved with the Fantasy Gacha Carnival again and while I am a reluctant gacha junkie that really hates no-copy wearables, I had to admit that I do love the Fae Set.

The official poster for the Fae Set looks like this:

Fae Gacha Items

Fae Gacha Items

So you have to spin (L$50/try) for choker, earrings, belt and circlet. Happily for me, my favorite (the gold) is a common.

Fae - Circlet, Earrings, Necklace

Fae – Circlet, Earrings, Necklace

The basic jewelry pieces are lovely filigree with an embracing metal cross over the main jewels. Each piece comes with a HUD that allows you to change everything but the metal. And if you’re wearing multiple pieces, any of the HUDs will work on all, so you don’t have to change them individually. Which is nice because there are 24 options for the various stones as well as cord options for the belt and necklace.

Fae Belt

Fae Belt

Fae HUDs

Fae HUDs

As you can see, you get six matte color stones, 6 starburst jewels, 6 mother of pearl, and 6 metallic/pearl. I’m partial to the Gold/Antique pearl combo that I used for this post, but you have plenty of options.

The HUD is slightly different for the rares because the rare pieces allow you to swap between 4 “fairy metals” while there are no metal options on the commons. Also worth noting is the FULL BRIGHT button on the HUD. Because the pieces are no modify (I know, I know, I’ll talk to him about it) the Full Bright button allows you to change between full bright settings (on, off, jewels only).

Interestingly (or annoyingly depending on your POV) there are three pieces to the full set that aren’t included in the gacha machine itself.

The nipple covers and filigree wings are going to be sold separately at the SSD mainstore. Being me, I asked what the hell was up with that and Sax had his reasons. Apparently, a few people complained that his machine last time had too many items and he wanted to keep the number lower this time. Then he wanted the nipple covers to include Lola Tango versions and to be modify for fitting (I’ll avoid going into the “why can’t you just make them modify in the gacha” conversation that followed). Lastly the wings weren’t (and still aren’t) completely done. I’m wearing a prototype, but he assures me they’ll be in the store soon. The nipple covers definitely will be. We’re giving him a pass on that because he’s been ill and fell behind his plans for the full set.

Fae Nipple Covers

Fae Nipple Covers

Fae Filagree Wings

Fae Filagree Wings

The wings are one full mesh piece and stationary (no fluttering or anything), but I love how delicate they are despite being metallic. And attached to the spine they move pretty nicely with the avatar; not as stiff as I feared they might be.

The final piece of the Fae set is the one that I find most controversial. While I understand Sax’s reasons I am not entirely sure how I feel about it. In truth, it’s partially my fault. Two Arcades ago, I told Sax about how OMEN had given a reward for people who spun 100 times on his machine (not that we wanted to, we were just after the damn fairy tail pieces). So last gacha Sax gave out rewards for anyone who spun 25 or more times (there were rewards for 25, 50, 75, and 100). I didn’t mind that because they were just different variations on the same pieces in the machine.

This time, there are only two rewards – one at 25 and one at 50. The rewards are special edition versions of his Mata Hari Stilettos that work with the Slink High Feet.

They are variations you cannot buy in the store. Thus my irritation.

Like most of SL I am in absolute lust with these shoes and the idea that I have to spin 50 times on a gacha to get them is sort of annoying. I asked why he didn’t just sell them and his answer was “I don’t like them enough to offer them for sale.” Like. WTF?

Fae Shoe Reward

Fae Shoe Reward

The 25 spin reward is a pair of Mata Hari that are HUD controlled to swap between Metallic Bronze, Gold, and “Iron” which really looks more like a dark gunmetal. You don’t get as many stone options (just a handful of the metal and pearl, really) but I honestly don’t care. If there’s a color of these shoes I don’t have, I’m getting them.

The 50 spin reward is a similar pair in the 4 rare Fae fairy metal colors.

While I do like the idea of items that vendors give out for people like me who spin crazy numbers of times, I am not wild about not being able to get them any other way except spinning X number of times.

At least these are transfer so you might be able to buy them at a yardsale from someone that didn’t need them but spun on the jewelry. You can also sell them or give them away, but no matter how many times you spin you can only get them once.

Mercifully, Sax has promised that he’ll honor his store policy to exchange gacha pieces for mod/copy versions if you ask.

Gacha is so very complicated. I need a nap.

Posted in Fashion Accessories SL, Fashion SL, iheartslFeed, Shoes & Feet SL, SL - Shopping | 2 Comments

Violent Seduction & [Noctis] @ GxG

“And the rest is rust and stardust.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

I’m still sorting through Gothmas blogger samples. But one of the items that made me actually squee is this Royal Star Lolita outfit from Violent Seduction.

Royal Star from Violent Seduction

Royal Star from Violent Seduction

The set comes with a number of pieces. The dress itself is mesh as is the adorable little hat that comes with it. Also included is a basic version of VS’s Lolita Blouse (available in their mainstore). The non-rigged system blouse has mesh sleeves and collar that were easy as pie for me to adjust and worked flawlessly with the Royal Star. If you get the full blouse in different colors from the mainstore, apparently you can mix and match and those full versions are the ones that include the little collar bow in the vendor ads.

The item is rich in details. The illusion of thick tapestry fabric is very impressive. The gold embroidery and edging is also well done, although it gets chopped off on the edges which is unfortunate. Making the dress edges scallop would have been a much more realistic effect, but I’m probably the only person in SL who notices such details. Elements like the puffy gold stars on the bodice and back bow also work to make this a charmer.

There are a handful of issues uber picky shoppers will want to evaluate on a demo. The way the mesh is textured at the top of the bodice is distorted. From a normal distance, it’s fine, but up close it gets a bit warped. There is also an odd choice in the back — a sort of half-belt that ends abruptly on either side of the waist. I think it’s supposed to look as if it’s a buttoned half sash but it’s hard to say. All of these are forgivable sins because the overall effect is such a darling, but if you’re a persnickety prat like me, you’ll at least want to be aware of the issues prior to purchase.

There are two different alphas included for different sleeve options, but I was able to wear the outfit without an alpha. This is nice if you’re like me and don’t particularly care to walk around 60% invisible.

The set comes with stockings that I didn’t care for, so I opted for Izzie’s Overknee Socks.

Izzie's Overknee Socks & Sax Shepherd Designs Saddle Janes

Izzie’s Overknee Socks & Sax Shepherd Designs Saddle Janes

The socks are available with and without Slink appliers and go adorable with Sax’s Saddle Janes Flats (which I’ve yet to stop crushing on).

Incidentally, if you’ve been having a problem with stocking appliers for Slink feet where you see a sliver of skin at the back where the foot meets your leg, check to make sure your Body Fat and other settings are right. I often have to push my Body Fat down to 0 for jeans and forget to move it up again for stockings.

Slink Stocking Applier Body Fat Glitch

Slink Stocking Applier Body Fat Glitch

To compliment the outfit I picked up the Gothic Victorian Monocle from La Petite Morte. I like the dangling chain with pearl, but it’s a very delicate piece that is really only useful for close-ups.

Moving on to decor, [noctis] was a new brand name for me, but I’m having a mad love affair with their Baron Von Scarlet’s Secretary Desk. The desk is packaged smartly with all the smaller decor items provided both individually and as a non-linked set. The lamp turns on, the brandy bottle gives you a wearable glass, the cigar box a wearable cigar and the books a wearable book. There’s a pouty little gargoyle on the book set that may be my favorite thing about the whole set. Complimenting the desk (and also included) is the Baron Von Scarlet Drawing Room Chair which has about 20 poses to Page Up / Down through.

[noctics] Decor Items

[noctics] Decor Items

I also included a shot of their Gothmas Decorated Tree. I’m a little over holiday trees right now but it has another pouty gargoyle at the top. The cuteness demanded attention.

Oh. While you’re at the store make sure you check out their little holiday feast gacha. All the ham and yams you can eat without any worry about your virtual waistline!

Where Does She Get Those Wonderful Toys:

Violent Seduction @ GxG
Royal Star Lolita Dress – L$300

[noctis] @ GxG
Baron Von Scarlet Desk Set – L$355
Gothmas Tree – L$155

Izzie’s
Overknee Socks – L$240 (L$99 Slink Appliers)

Sax Shepherd Designs
Saddle Janes Flats – L$249 (in store)

Posted in Fashion Accessories SL, Fashion SL, Second Life, Shoes & Feet SL, SL - Fun, SL - Home & Landscaping, SL - Shopping | 3 Comments

Paper Moon & AZE Jewelry @ GxG

“Let arms yield to the toga, the laurel crown to praise.” ~ Cicero

I’m going to try and do a few drive-by posts regarding some of the items available at Gothmas by Gaslight.

Paper Moon Toga Dress in Silver

Paper Moon Toga Dress in Silver

I really liked the Our Lady of Electric Liberty Toga by Paper Moon. Maybe more so because the name is something Dylan would have come up with for an instrumental. I’m not sure if this is a Paper Moon original mesh or if it’s a template, but I love the bunching above the tight waist and the shaping of the skirt. I’m not wild about the sleeve straps or the way the texture was applied to the mesh, but this seems to be a common problem area for mesh items so I give it a bit more leniency. Definitely try a demo if that area is a pet peeve for you.

There has been a big effort to provide detailing to the gown with lots of hemming and edge stitching as well as shadow work that really pays off. The illusion of fabric folds is successful, especially on the lighter colors. Some of the highlights may be a bit too dappled on the red and darker colors which works much better for photos than being right on top of something.

Also, I noticed that the trim around the bottom of the red dress was incomplete and notified the creator. If you’re interested in the red, definitely drop her an IM before purchase to make sure that’s been addressed.
***UPDATE*** I heard from the creator and she has updated the dress with corrected textures. Shop freely ;)

The St. Lucia Wreath I’m wearing is also from Paper Moon and is available at the Genre Event. Okay so they’re not from Gothmas, but they remind me of one of my favorite Christmas comedies, so I had to wear them.

Sold alongside the dress are Tungsten bulb tiaras and rings in silver, gold, and multicolors. The pieces feature light-up effects and while they didn’t jazz me, I suspect they’d be faboo for a Holiday party.

AZE Snowflake Necklace

AZE Snowflake Necklace

I also chose to highlight the AZE Magic Lantern Snowflake Slides Silver Necklace. At first glance those may look like opals in the settings, but it’s actually tiny snowflakes swirling about between two glass slides. The peices are quirky industrial and the snowflake effect is different. Sort of like walking around wearing oodles of miniature snow globes.

From the creator:
Earrings & necklaces, in gold, silver, dark copper and gunmetal (dirty snow for the last two). Bracelets coming soon.

As a side note – yes, I’m blonde. I really love the Genesis hairstyle from Truth but I hate all his gingers and reds since the color shuffle. So I’m subjected to blondeness. Do not freak out.

Also I’m barefoot. Because…toga.

Where Does She Get Those Wonderful Toys

Paper Moon @ Gothmas
Our Lady of Electric Liberty Toga – L$325
Tiara (not shown) – L$285
Ring (not shown) – L$150

AZE Jewelry @ Gothmas
Magic Lantern Snowflake Slide Jewelry
Necklace – L$200
Earrings – L$150
Necklace & Earrings – L$300

Posted in Fashion Accessories SL, Fashion SL, Second Life, SL - Shopping | Leave a comment