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Comfort clothes – DE Designs

January 15, 2010

It’s been a rough couple of months — both in RL and SL, and while I don’t have the wherewithal (or the energy) to do much therapy in RL other than increasing my exercise, In SL… I’ve found a lot of outlets, from exploring to building a bit, to yes, retail therapy as they say. But even buying clothes gets old (and frustrating at times) and with my inventory getting out of control I made a few pleasant discoveries.

De Designs Wishmaster Silver

De Designs Wishmaster Silver

Arguably the first item of clothing I ever bought myself in SL was from Rfyre. Raven tapped nicely into my sci fi/fantasy  RP background, and there’s nothing like the cut of a good cloak to cheer a guy up. But until recently she didn’t have a lot to offer int hat range between high fantasy and super casual. Her RP Cutoure  line is filling that niche nicely now, but at the time — almost two years ago, I went looking and found Doc Eldritch’s,  DE Designs.

My own assessment is that DE Designs fills that necessary niche between the ripped grunge of Little Britain and the slightly slicker rough look of GothiCatz and the higher end fantasy looks of Rfyre and Avid. There’s a bit of a Steampunk feel to most of what you find there but it’s not an absolute.

Doc does some amazing things with textures. His men’s line has few sculpt pieces at all: Sculpt cuffs and collars and damn few of those unless they add something to the design that his own texture work can’t accomplish. But the texture work is really worth paying attention too. Expertly rendered shading and highlights will make you look twice to make sure it isn’t prim work. His buckles shine and his leather’s have that worn suplleness real leather gets after it’s been worn for awhile

DE Design 1846 Vest

DE Design 1846 Vest

He’s also not one to put out a lot of layers if he can help it seems. Which is a shame because his shirts, when not meant to be worn under coats or vests, only come in jacket layers and there’s a few of them I wouldn’t mind wearing with other things. But honestly, it’s a pretty minor complaint, because he is good about providing you with multiple jacket layers when there is a coat and vest involved, usually three: Coat alone, vest alone and coat vest combo. That gives a mixer like me plenty to play with.

DE Designs 1846

DE Designs 1846

Styles-wise, DE Designs offers a pretty broad range. There’s a whole section of causal and formal wear (versus the more fantasy/roleplay geared apparel in the main section) I admittedly, do not have a lot of clothing from that section, since I tend either go for the dramatic look or really slouch around in a pair of jeans and  t-shirt. But the Onyx shirt set is a favorite, as are the cords (which I swear, you can almost feel the nubby texture to them.)  Whether you want to dress down in jeans, look a little rough and ready in his military wear, shrug into a leather harness and  riveted buckle jacket, or find an outfit that will take you from the battle field to the ballroom… you can’t really mess up to much here.

Price wise is nothing to sneeze at either. there are some incredibly versatile sets in the $600L range, but the average (I stress average) price is between $3-400L for complete sets (not including boots and such. On the second floor are some real bargain finds for the $100-$200L range for separate or simple sets. So, no, none of it is cheap, but it’s not really the high end of the cost spectrum either — and the quality of the textures makes that a little amazing even to my freebie-hunting eyes.

DE Designs doesn’t offer freebies — or not that I’ve seen; or participate in hunts as far as I know. I’m not even sure there are outlet stores — I’ve always gone to the main store. There are the occasional bargains — announced in the subscribo group, and I believe the anniversary set offered every year makes its debut at a lower cost initially.

DE Designs Cyclone

DE Designs Cyclone

DE Design Diablo

DE Design Diablo

The two most recent releases came out at the end of last year. Cyclone is a a really nice leather jacket with the option of a fur collar or hood, or the slicker look of a bomber jack  if you wear neither. It comes in black or brown, and is currently priced at $250L. The other outfit, more recent is Diablo — a full set with a really, amazingly nice cable knit sweater option in jacket, shirt and undershirt layers which made me ecstatic. The Sweater alone is very smart looking with a nicely rolled neck. But under the jacket layer it’s both classy and sleek looking.

Diablo will run you $399L for the set. There’s no vest but you can wear the open-waisted jacket without the shirt, or with any other favorite shirt you have.

All the pants come slightly loose and cuff flared. A good many of the outfits come with two pant’s options; one for sculpted cuffs and one without. Pants are moddable though, so you can tuck them in your boots if you like, or detach upper portions of footwear and go for the fuller leg look.

You will find some color choices, but the bulk of the work is neutral colors as befits natural or carefully dyed leather. Colors do hold true across his lines so, you can mix and match those black pants or fawn colored vests and not worry about colors rendering oddly.If you’re still not sure, I do recommend the 2nd floor. By something and give it a try. My guess is you’ll be back.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Also wearing:

Skin: Redgrave Emil

Boon: Y85k5 in black

Jewelry: Sable Rose Logan set

Bandanna: Rocker’s Wear Reloaded ($25L)

Boots: Dino’s Bootique Soft Leather in black ($150L)

Elegance is not just for Audrey Hepburn

July 30, 2009
Pheasant Brocade by Brocade Tiger (lexi Vargas)

Pheasant Brocade by Brocade Tiger (Lexi Vargas)

For a good portion of my Real Life, from high school and beyond, I was involved in live theatre. Dramas, Comedies, Musicals, Mysteries, works that made profound observations on humanity and works that had no other reason for being than to make people laugh and smile and entertain them for a couple of hours. There’s nothing quite like it — but I haven’t entirely missed the parallels between 2nd Life and Live Theatre.

In some ways, 2nd Life can be viewed as the next evolutionary step in theatre and performance; from the early oratoria and chorus style of the Greeks and Romans, to the early passion plays of the Christian Church, the loudly proclaimed style of Shakespeare to  the advent of gaslights which pushed theatre into the realm of evening entertainment.  Radio plays to Television, Burlesque to Variety shows, highly choreographed news reels to the modern documentary, from “This Is Your Life” to reality television…the spectacle of observing life, of observing people and their motivations from one step beyond is a constant in mankind’s history — and what is online life but that again, once step removed by virtue of our keyboards and monitors, but able to step into a moment, into a story — our own or someone else’s — and not merely observe but interact.  So perhaps it’s a little more improvisational theatre than high art, but the desire to tell a story or be told one lingers.

During my theatre career (and I use that term lightly) I stepped into a lot of roles — not all on stage. I was a lighting technician and a set designer, I worked in both the set shop and costume shop in college and was the tap on the shoulder person for make-up. I learned to dance for the shows we did (jazz, tap, and ballroom) and yes, I stepped on stage while a director tried to guide me through his or her vision of how the play should be, and I’ve sat in that seat and worked for hours and weeks with actors to ensure that my vision of a show was what the audience saw.

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One year…one week…one day.

July 30, 2009

….as stated elsewhere, I rezzed in world on 07/22/08. I really had no idea what to expect, no real idea of what Second Life was about.  I had a couple of friends inworld already, a few more who were in but  I didn’t know it, but mostly I’d been intrigued by an NPR piece on 2nd Life, and after doing a bit of web surfing, I’d come across two things: Photographs of Lash Xevious’ La Reve sim (currently closed to the public), and the virtual, renewable, sustainable greenspace of Etopia.

Raeyn @ Two Days

Raeyn @ Two Days

I had a couple of false starts — the very first av I created is still viable but rarely makes an appearance — mostly because it’s linked a little too closely to my Real Life in ways that make me slightly uncomfortable. Still, every iteration was a learning experience and I can’t deny there’s a great deal of fun and satisfaction in creating a new av from scratch, with a different purpose, different look…be it for participating in an inworld RP, or messing with gender, or taking on a non-human, non-anthropomorphisized av.

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What a long strange journey

June 24, 2009

Okay, not so long and not so strange but I didn’t plan on being absent from this blog for quite so long, but a few things have happened both in SL and in RL that have contributed to my impromptu hiatus.

1.) I go married inworld to a wonderful guy named Renard on May 6th.
2.) I started writing for the Free Finds For Men Blog.
3.) I took a few days off from RL work here and there.
4.) Did I mention I got married? =)
6.) I opened my own pose shop, ~Poetic Poses~.
7.) I started doing a little modeling in world in addition to dancing.
8.) Oh yeah, I got married in SL!

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Organic Accessories — Sable Rose

April 1, 2009
Sable Rose - Rustic Granite Choker & Feather Earring

Sable Rose - Rustic Granite Choker & Feather Earring

Women have nailed the idea that a few choice accessories can take an outfit and snaz it up; make an old favorite look new again. I’m fond of handkerchiefs (and am glad some designers are adding them to their lines) but they aren’t the most original way to dress up a look  and  I’m kind of a stick in a mud when it comes to jewelry. I think I found a choker and silver wrist cuff I liked my first month in world and wore them with almost everything — or I didn’t wear jewelry at all. I’ve detested bling since my first rez day, and while there is some excellent jewelry in SL, most of it was either too high profile, or too costly to wear every day — especially if every day consists mostly of your favorite blue jeans and a tank top.

And then Rosie Barthelmess of Sable Rose started making jewelry and I found I liked wearing it a whole lot more than I thought I would.

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When you have no style, buy from people who do…

March 21, 2009

I am your basic all jeans, all t-shirts all the time kind of guy, with occasional forays into office fare.  Fashion, or even personal style, aren’t really things I’ve ever developed or found a need to — but when one of the biggest industries and the most common past time in our virtual play ground is fashion and shopping, you have a couple of choices: get with the program and find a style that works for you or continue to look both like a newb and your possibly less -than-impressive Real Life self.

A lot of SL designers give you the whole shebang, and for me, at first, that was the best possible outcome. But there’s only so much you can get from GothiCatz or DE Design before your whole wardrobe looks like a catalog advertisement for a particular style house. Then you have to venture into the realm of separates, which for someone as color challenged as I am… can be a hysterical disaster at times. When you run across someone like Damon Dollinger of Fear & Clothing, you get someone who has both  style and a real eye for colors that can be mixed and matched; not just with his stuff, but with that of other designers.  He gives an excellent way to take that favorite shirt and snazz it up a bit.

Fear&Clothing, Tartan pants and LMAO shirt

Fear & Clothing, Tartan pants

Those of you who did or are doing the Twisted Hunt Most Random Hunt Ever, or who read Rosie Barthelmess’s blog, have already encountered Damon’s work. For the hunt, he offered up a fantastic pair of tartan plaid pants in muted blues and violets,  complete with a separate attachable belt buckle that, seriously? works with a lot of casual slacks I already had in my inventory.

These are the slacks in the picture. The shirt is also one of Damon’s… the bangle set is from Fashion Bar PeppermintBlue.

Fear & Clothing, Olive striped slacks and two tone henley

Before I got this in the hunt though, I’d bought some sets based on Rosie’s recs and photo shoot of her partner Eirik. Now, Eirik and I are built very differently and I’m about as far from the still vibrant punk/goth/brit aesthetic as you can get, so I wasn’t entirely sure what worked for Eirik would work for me. The plus is, that Fear & Clothing is very reasonably priced, even for us working stiffs in SL, so giving it a shot didn’t set me back a night’s pay.

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When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut…

February 25, 2009

…not something you hear much any more, but once upon a time, that was a goal of many a child; to step beyond the limits of our solid Earth and and face the vast depths of space not unafraid, but uncowed.

Shipyard

Shipyard

oh, nice...jets

oh, nice...jets

The first launches into space were before my own childhood, but the magic and wonder of them lingered in my family. I devoured science fiction classics by Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov as a kid, credit Haldeman’s Forever War with formulating many an ethical thought, and stole my older sister’s copy of McCaffrey’s Crystal Singer and The Ship Who Sang when she wasn’t looking. I caught Star Trek in reruns, was completely captivated when Battlestar: Galactica was relaunched, own multiple copies (no matter how bad) of the Star Wars Saga, and  have been a scifi/fantasy geek for as long as I can remember.

*cough*

So, SL is a wonderland for someone like me, and yet I’ve kind of resisted the lure of many a hi-tech build even while trying to visit most of them. I’ve been to SICK 1 & 2, drifted in the shadows of Insilico, and explored Leviathon before it really came on line.

On teh open dock

On the open dock

I’d heard about Shipyard, but hadn’t really tagged it yet, but the article at New World News prompted me to move it to the top of my list. So, given that I had to be up at the crack of dawn this morning, I spent a little time there and got more excited with every turn of the corner.

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