Notecard: “The Imaginarium has opened for its very first round! Filled with over 60 new gachas and unique exclusives, hundreds of deeply discounted items and dozens of gifts this event is sure to be one like no other!”
Landmark: The Imaginarium Event
I landed in the middle of what seemed to be a giant’s artist’s studio and half expected to hear a rumbling “fee fie foe fum…” but it turned out that there were only average sized people perusing the stands. Besides gacha sets, there were also plenty of items that could be bought in the good old direct way. There didn’t seem to be a specific theme for the items and it was a mix of clothing, hair, jewellery, decor and furniture. As usual male avatars were underrepresented and I’m not too sure about that claim of hundreds of deeply discounted items. Naturally I did not pick up any of the gifts for female avatars, so there could be some wee gems in there that I’m not aware off. I’ve lumped some bits and pieces together from the gift stash to take a picture and I’ rather charmed by the pineapple lamp and the cute little giraffe. There are worse ways to spend an hour or so in SL than by looking at cute stuff and getting freebies.
A while ago a friend told me that an acquaintance of a neighbour of the niece of his sister in law would be tapping me on the shoulder for some advice concerning the availability of suits for the Signature Gianni body. I rummaged through my wardrobe (underpants! so many underpants!) and looked at freebies as well as demos to put together some looks.
First let me get some technical information out of the way which for some of you will seem like I’m teaching grandma to suck eggs, but for others it may be an “aha!” moment (and then you’ll start humming the 80’s smash hit “Take On Me”). Please keep in mind that I’m just talking from experience here and I’m not fully aware of all the technical ins and outs.
Left: (Fitmesh) This Black Three-Piece Suit from Gabriel comes in a check and striped fabric with shorter and longer trouser legs (shorter version worn in this image). Depending on your usual butt-size, you may have to turn it down a little because this suit tends to exaggerate the derrière. Personally I also reduced my love handles, to create a sharper more tailored look. There seems to be a slight clipping issue in the neck area.
Middle: (Fitmesh) Switch things up with the Casual Blazer and the Original Chinos from Kalback. Perfect for a Starbucks date or casual Fridays at the job because sweetie, the sweatpants and crop top are not for work. NO! The jacket comes with a bunch of options for the shirt and t-shirt and the pair of chinos has several belts.
Right: (Standard Sizing) Get ready for autumn with this Grey-Black Suit complete with scarf from Gizza. It’s one of those all-in-on pieces and it’s a Group Gift at the moment.
Left: (Standard Sizing) If you like your legs lean and lanky, you may enjoy this silver 2BN Suit by Kauna. Without the alpha cuts I would be busting out of it at all sides and I noticed that my neck was poking through the collar every now and again.
Middle: (Standard Sizing & Fitmesh jeans) Here’s another sharp casual Friday option with the Ghoran blazer and shirt from FE Style and a pair of jeans from Deadwool. I always love it when I can get away with combining pieces from different creators.
Right: (Fitmesh) Whether you have an important meeting at work or you’re a guest at a high society wedding, you can’t go wrong with the Peak suit from Deadwool. You can even get a matching coat to arrive in truly fabulous style on cold evenings and of course everything is available in a range of colours.
Left: (Fitmesh) Let us stay with Deadwool for a little longer. There is a very snazzy and sharp tux version of the Peak suit that’s bound to make you the beau of the ball, if it weren’t for the fact that Deadwool is extremely popular among the suit-favoring crowd, so basically they’ll be lots of beaus to go round… Yay! The tux comes with its own hud with some colour options for the shirt, buttons, bow tie and pocket handkerchief.
Middle: (Standard Sizing) I’m not done with Deadwool yet! After all, they are dominating the suit baring community in SL. This is their aptly named Dandy suit. It’s not a perfect fit, as the Large version makes me look chunky but the Medium version clips on my wrists. However, I love the look of this suit and the extensive colour options for the tie, handkerchief and shirt, but I wish it was fitmesh.
Right: (Standard Sizing) I’m on the fence about this tweed suit from Hoorenbeek too. Much of what I said about the Dandy suit can be repeated here and while I do like the materials and the ribbon around the edge of the jacket, I think it could do with a big update.
Left: (Standard Sizing) The XIV Blazer, Trousers, Shirt and Vest can all be bought separately, allowing you to put together your own suit. Again, as it’s not fitmesh I do feel some displeasure with the shape, but overall it is a pretty sharp look. I went for a dark chocolate brown, but Kauna have some more extravagant colour options at their store.
Middle: (Signature size) A better option from Kauna for the Signature body is the more recently created UPCL Jacket & Jumper. The name doesn’t clearly mention it, but the package does include a pair of trousers. With the hud that comes with this outfit you can choose between a tan and a grey base colour which you then can tint, giving me this nice blue version.
Right: (Signature size) A little more flamboyant yet masculine is the Marc Jacket, combined with the Jack Cargo Pants by Ascend. In short: I love everything about this combination.
I’m sure there is more choice out there but I also feel there still is a gap in the market for well made interesting, edgy suits as well more classic designs.
Mesh body and mesh head by Signature.
Skin appliers by Stray Dog (note: the skin used on the mesh head is not currently available, but the body applier is).
Hair by Stealthic (black) and Burley (brown)
Sneakers and dress shoes by Deadwool.
Boots by Ascend.
Jockstrap by Noche.
Glam Closet (with altered textures for clothes) by Bazar.
Monday evening, 10:30 pm. It’s been a long day and I decided to brave the first-rush-lag of an event and get my kink on. That’s right, my ever so slightly slutty readers, Kinky Event has oiled (or lubed?) the hinges and has thrown its doors wide open again in a very welcoming gesture. Of course, as usual, it’s mostly the ladies that will be getting their kicks here. Or rather, they will be getting items out of which their partners most probably willget a kick too, so in a way there is something for everybody.
So I thought I’d have some fun with short first reaction comments on every participant this time, just because I’m feeling inspired, or is it enticed? I’ll be skipping some of the pictures though, because I think you should get your buxom behind over to Kinky Event before September 19th to check it all out for yourself and make sure you don’t miss out on this round.
After all that perusing I finally treated myself to the Noche crop top. I went for a combination of leather and sheer in red and black. It reminds me just a little bit of the Star Trek Next Generation uniforms so it tickles my nerd bone as well as my funny bone. Beam me up Scotty!
Weeks and months rush by, seeming to be in such a terrible hurry to get themselves behind me and yet days can have a tedious tendency to trudge, thus I find myself looking at the clock and calendar and realising that we are already about a week into a fresh round of Men Only Monthly and I haven’t even made ONE visit yet! Scandalous! Sure I have till 15th September, but who waits that long? I dusted off the good old TMP mesh body and head, put on one of my older wigs and whooshed over to The Men Only District. I thought it would be interesting to see how much support there still is for The Mesh Project’s body. So keep in mind that the comments below should all be seen in the light of the TMP body (no no, it’s not on full bright, it’s just a figure of speech).
I tried the hairstyle by Vango and found it lacking in the refinement we are currently seeing from other creators. On the plus side, the little hat is pretty sweet and some months ago I would have bought this.
The “Widower” tank top by [[Z:E:N]] was a black silky pleasure to slip into. I had to reduce the love handles on my shape to prevent clipping and I probably should tone down the muscle mass just to make sure, but I’m feeling all kinds of sexy in this.
FE Style brought a simple pair of shorts to this event, with a nice subtle pattern that doesn’t really show up in the navy version, which just happens to be the TMP demo. It’s clear that these will be more suitable for blokes with a flatter bum, because I kept busting the seams, even after reducing my butt size to 45.
Finding a bottom piece to wear with the sleeveless hoodie from Meva was a challenge. Every pair of jeans in my wardrobe I tried, was clipping and in the end only a skimpy pair of sweatpants (almost) worked. Perhaps you need to take a look at the rest of Meva’s collection to find something that really works with this top.
The layered “Jayden” top from Aitui is probably the kind of thing kids are wearing these days (oy vey, I’m getting old!) and the extra material and space at the bottom will make this easier to combine with whatever jeans and trousers you have in your wardrobe.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know I like my SL underwear (and if you haven’t been following it, why not?!) so I got a little bit excited at the booth of Loulou & Co, but felt disappointed at the sight of that very modest little bulge on their boxer briefs. Honey, if you’re going to design things for grown men, then please make them fully grown.
I would like to see some of the Etham pieces reworked with a little bit less extra space in the back. Everything looks comfortable and casual but the fabric stands away too far from my pixel butt, which is a shame because I do like the style and texturing of Etham’s collection and I did actually buy this jacket and t-shirt combination because I found it fitted better than usual.
The sweater from MG Men’s Store annoyingly kept clipping on my collar bone, which is a rare thing, cause with the TMP body it is often the back of the neck that’s causing the issues. I thought the alpha hud would blank out that part of the body, but apparently it doesn’t go up high enough to fix this.
Squeezing myself into Grabriel‘s skinny cotton pants required heavy duty use of the alpha hud and they made my legs look quite, well… skinny. However, these trousers are fit mesh. This means that after cranking up the leg muscles to 100%, my thighs looked slightly more chunky and I appeared to have calves again. I had to remove my feet to fit properly in the shoes, but at least there’s is no exposed ankle in this case, so it works.
The shirt with rolled up sleeves and a t-shirt from A&D works surprisingly well with the trousers from Gabriel and the texture hud for the fatpack is quite extensive. Interesting fact: sometimes when shirt collars are clipping on the neck of the TMP body, it can help to actually broaden the neck.
I am going to assume that the white jeans in the picture at Blank Line‘s booth work so well with this half tugged-in shirt because it is also available at their store (I’m guessing). A more marketing savvy person with any kind of understanding of cross-selling would at the very least mention this in a footnote on the poster. In any case I seemed to have clipping issues round the neck and shoulder again (see circle of shame).
The “Zeeba” sneakers from Native Urban did not include a TMP version, but the unrigged version was very easy to put on and adjust.
Last up is a pair of shorts by American Bazaar which didn’t really want to fit, even after some rather extensive shape editing. It’s a shame, because it looks like there are some cute textures in the hud and this was supposed to be a TMP version.
Participants: PM, Yasum Design, Soul, Vango, Ohëmo, The Oak, Petroff, XXY, Riot, Identity, Fli, 7 Mad Ravens, Secrets, Senses, Modern Clothing Co., [[Z:E:N]], FE Style, Meva, Grafica, Body Mod, Aitui, Loulou & Co, Hipster Style (by !BAAH!), Etham, Purple Poses, Real Evil, MG Men’s Store, Zoom, Lock & Tuft, Gabriel, Y-Ü, Animosity, Infinity, Cheeky, A&D Clothing, Volkstone, Unkwn, Mesange, Dappa, Avenge, Come Soon, Rebellion, Blank Line, Legal Insanity, Native Urban, American Bazaar.
I’ve always thought that I would love to live by the sea. There was a vague dream of saving up and retiring early to open a B&B somewhere on the coast – any coast really – but life is what happens in between plans. Over the years I have figured out that it’s not really about owning things but that life is for rent. I have realised that if you don’t exactly get to live your dream it never goes stale either. The silver lining is that you will never experience that anticlimax of having arrived at the final destination and thinking: “this is nice… NEEEEEXT!”
Regularly renting a modest cottage somewhere near the sea will go a long way to scratch that itch and keep the dream fresh. Second Life is perfect for recreating those dreams in virtual reality and escaping from the little rut you may find yourself in after a long day at work. Of course I’m not saying it is a satisfying replacement for the real thing, but at least it can help you get in a more relaxed mood and it doesn’t involve actual travelling. You can find a sweet little studio by the beach, enjoy the sunset and the soothing song of the crashing waves and the wind blowing through the dunes. Create a little comfortable nest for yourself out on the deck with a sofa, some old fur rugs and an outdoor fireplace to keep the cold at bay, when the nights start creeping up on you as summer nears its end. Most important of all, you should be with someone you really like.
Shutterfield will be showcasing the Coastal Sofa and Outdoor Fireplace at Shiny Shabby coming September. You can get their Garden Path and Garden Torches at the current round of On9, which runs till the end of August. If you like the whole outdoor/indoor vibe, you should check out Shutterfield’s main store.
The Man Cave event is now in its second edition and I’m a little relieved to find that it has not exploded from the manageable size it was in its first edition to another one of those huge beasts among the commercial events.
Participants: le primitif, Isuka, Vrsion, TonkTastic Industries/Hermony, Stray Dog, Identity, Onvair, Volkstone, Sync’d, Drot, Gutchi, NX-Nardcotix, Vexiin, Codex, Zoom, Shoeminati, Modulus, mind carlberg, MadPea, 220 ml, Speakeasy, Noir, Krescendo, 22769, Etham, Dappa, Fancy Decor, Sabotage, Kalback, Hxnor. That’s 30 creators in all, for those of you that get a tiny bit excited in the nether region over a bunch of numbers.
My first order of the day at this event was to take care of my little pet project, i.e. getting clothes for the NX-Nardcotix David mesh body. The creator of this body is participating in this event and is showcasing a new pair of shorts, specifically created for David, which of course means that they fit beautifully and make the most of this body’s ass-ets (pun intended). A single colour is L$ 250 and the 9-colour fatpack is L$ 1600.
I also got myself a bit of scruff from Volkstone. The beard is part applier (Catwa & Omega) and part tintable prim. Getting the prim part right was a bit of a kerfuffle, but I think that was mostly just me being pedantic. The price tag for this beard is L$ 345.
With a swish and flick of my magic wand, or just a click of the mouse, I switched to the Signature mesh body & head to broaden my range of shopping options. I snatched up a cute striped t-shirt from TonkTastic meets Hermony ($ 290). There are different sets available each with a mix of 12 colours and prints for L$ 2000 per set. This t-shirt also works for Aesthetic, Belleza, Slink and TMP mesh bodies as well as the classic avatar. Here my little shopping spree ended and now I have demos to delete and stuff to organise cause this inventory isn’t going to keep itself clean.
Just imagine someone flicking the switch on an oversized light beam, sending the TMD logo high up in the air and calling for all us crazy-ass SL fashionistas to congregate and cause serious lag at yet another monthly commercial event and the scene loaded with super hero pop culture references is set. Of course I don’t have a batty cave or a super car or a secret identity (do alts count?) nor do I have Michael Caine doddering around at my place, being my man servant. I just have a hunger for new stuff and an eagerness to take on the challenge of finding wearable items for the NX-Nardcotix David mesh body. The Mens Department event runs monthly from the 5th till the end of the month, so it was quite easy to get in at this time of the month.
I like it when a demo can be unpacked without having to rez a box on the ground or when the demo items land in your inventory ready to be worn. It means you don’t have to go home to put things on. The first thing I tried on right there and then at TMD (hence the DEMO markings) and which actually fitted with some help of the alpha hud, was a “blouson” jacket with a long t-shirt with side slits and a hood combined with a pair of layered pants with a geometric pattern. I imagine I’ll be seeing this outfit from Scars around on the grid quite at bit. The t-shirt was also available separately but wasn’t suitable for the David body.
Vale Koer has a new pair of sneakers and in a twist of annoying real life realisme, the demo box contained the right shoe only. I liked the shape, the detailing and the range of available colours but I’m not a fan of overly branded pieces. With the big fat VALE on my right foot and equally large KOER on my left foot, I would forever be marching to the tune of this brand and it would eventually drive me crazy (well, crazier).
Gizza brought a pop of colour to the event with their newest range of suits. Except for my hands and a small area of my neck, this suit completely covered the mesh body and dictated my shape. For my personal taste the back looked too boxy and the overall effect was just a little bit too cartoon-like, but I can see how some people might actually appreciate that style.
Stealthic is slowly expanding their range of hairstyles for men and are helping us to get ready for autumn with this boyish beany look. I recommend making your ears quite small (mine are at 40 in this shot) so you can make the beany fit tightly and avoid an awkward looking gap. I dived in my wardrobe and pulled out a sweater from Etham to complete the casual look.
As the focus for this visit to The Mens Department was yet another effort to expand the wardrobe for the David mesh body, it is only fitting that I finish this post by showing off the sandals NX-Nardcotix has created especially for this body. I was looking for some breezy footwear to go with the jumpsuits I got for this body some time last week. Mission accomplished! Always nice to finish a shopping trip on a high note.
Last spring I was asked by a friend to decorate a small guesthouse which he keeps available for one of his friends who has an on-again / off-again relationship with Second Life. As it has been a while since we’ve last seen her, my friend asked me to make some moderate changes to the place, to make it more suitable as a pied-a-terre for a young guy.
(Studio Guesthouse Kinkardine Concepts)
I left the layout as it was and mostly concentrated on replacing the furniture and mixing up the colour palette by creating a new wallpaper. The new bed is luxuriously dressed yet not too fussy for this place and perfectly positioned to gaze out into nature on a lazy Sunday morning.
The openness of this studio does not make it very suitable to be filled with heavy furniture. Instead of a clunky wardrobe I will probably always prefer to use a clothing rack here. Artwork casually leaning against the wall accentuates the free-spirited character of this little house, while an elegant armchair gives you a place to sit and put on your socks or creepily watch whomever happens to be a sleep in the bed.
The other side of the studio with its double doors leading to the deck, is perfect for a small living room. The sofa and armchair offer enough seats for a couple of guests and have been arranged in such a way that there is a clear path from the bedroom to the outdoor area. An orange ombre carpet adds a warm splash of colour and a set of white washed shelves offer some room for books, pictures and those vases you got from a distant family member.
Let’s imagine that this place has superb double glazing and it can be used as a little winter hideaway as well as a summer retreat. The simple mid century fireplace is perfect for keeping the studio nice and toasty on those cold winter days and provides a strong focal point to this room without interfering with the flow. In the corner there’s just enough space for a comfortable wingback chair, making it the ideal little nook for reading or having a romantic cuddle in the warm glow of the burning wood.
A modern desk is placed by the large window for day dreaming, organising one’s life on social media and perhaps if need be, doing a bit of work.
A total of 125 prims were used here for the house, furniture, decor and potted plants on the deck. If you’re curious about the previous interior for this studio, take a look at the first Quasi Boho Chic Retreat.
On my first visit to aQua my mind was set on finding the Clef de Peau’s jumpsuit, but something else caught my eye that was worth a second visit. I switched from the NX-Nardcotix “David” body to Belleza’s “Jake” for this visit, because the item I was after was not going to fit on the David body. (You still with me?)
The tiny bits of fabric I was ogling earlier, were the “U-briefs” from Mind Carlberg. I thought the contrasting circles on the front and back were rather enticing and the little metal eyelets a nice touch. The colour pallet is understated, yet not dull and there are two versions exclusive to the aQua event. In the picture above I’m wearing the “hell” version, the other one is named… wait for it… heaven.
The crotch is rather modest, so those of you that like to be packing will have to pretend they’re tucking. There is an opaque set, as shown above and a semi transparent set. Both the exclusives are the extra sassy semi transparent version. A 4 colour fatpack is L$ 440, a single colour L$ 140 and the exclusives are L$ 280 each.
aQua is a new player in the Second Life commercial events arena. The organisers describe the venue as “the ultimate floating entertainment resort.” The layout lends itself well to wandering around at your leisure and taking in the views. Booths are seemingly casually arranged, making it feel less like a space that urges you to make purchases and more like somewhere you can relax and just hang out.
The number of empty booths made me wonder if this first round had been organised at very short notice or if the terms and conditions weren’t very interesting for the creators. I’m not really interested in finding out that kind of thing, I’d rather just stand here and ponder about the pros and cons of owning a yacht.
What definitely drew me to this place was an advert for something new that works with the NX-Nardcotix body and is showcased at aQua. I’m talking about a very nice fitting, hugging-in-all-the-right-places jumpsuit from Clef de Peau. It’s available in a wide range of colours, but when it comes to something that looks this specific I usually don’t go for more than one colour and definitely don’t get the fatpack. This time however I threw caution to the wind and got it in turquoise, white, sand and red. You only live once… Well o.k., you may have an alt or take a break from SL and come back… O.k., the saying doesn’t work in SL. Sue me!
Let’s wait and see if this event picks up a bit by the next round. Though there is a lack of products on offer, it definitely already is a more unique SL shopping experience than the usual boxy space with lots of booths. I’m looking forward to getting wet more often while I do my shopping… Wait, that sounded different in my head.
Earlier this month a notification popped up on my screen with a note card attached to it, telling me that The Gacha Garden was returning for its August 2017 round with more than 100 new gacha sets and 61 FREE GIFTS! I wasted no time and zipped over there like my pants were on fire and presumable the only means of putting them out was to be found at that place. Or maybe I was simply compensating for my recent shopping splurges by trying to score free goodies. So here are just some of the the gifts you can pick up at the magically whimsical Gacha Garden.
“I Love My House” frame from Irrie’s Dollhouse | “Stay Wild Moon Child” poster from BoWillow | “But first, coffee” sign from Little Llama | Decorative tin lantern from Velvet Whip | Vase with flowers from 22769 |Piece of driftwood with a buoy from Bee Designs.
You have until August 31st to indulge your gacha cravings and pick up the gifts.
I won’t beat around the bush (pun intended), one of my favourite underwear brands in Second Life is Noche. As a TMP boy since my early SL days, I soon experienced that the body from The Mesh Project was difficult to dress and at times it could be pretty testing. To paraphrase a couple of lines of the wonderful Toni Collette’s character from the movie In Her Shoes: “Clothes never look any good. Pixel food just makes you fatter (not really). Shoes always fit.” And so does anything from Noche! So it’s no wonder that I’m very happy that both the Metallic Thong and the Essential Jockstrap have now been updated for the Belleza Jake body, which is rapidly becoming a new favourite of mine… or not… maybe… I CAN’T CHOSE!
Carpe Noche and go grab your update at the Noche store now, just hit the redelivery terminal behind the counter. If you’ve bought the Essential Jockstrap a while ago, it might not be in the system, but I’m sure you’ll work out some proof of purchase solution with the designer (send him loads of dirty pictures)