Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fit for a Princess: Lacquer and Gilt

Stepping Back into the Sun

We're heading toward the end of the month and the wrapping up of Fit for a Princess, the romance edition, and I managed to make an entire outfit out of things available at the event. For instance, I'm wearing the cutest mini dress ever, from Nomi, with gorgeous detailing in the shape of elegant chandeliers and dangling chains. It's designed as overall style bands over either a white or black top, and rides the line between casual and elegant beautifully. The skirt and top look like different pieces but aren't, and sadly they're no modify, so you won't be able to tint your white shirt interesting shades of puce. The edges are extremely well done, however, with no jaggedness or oddness around the edges, and it's fully lined. It's also very well rigged and moves well in a variety of poses, even in the always difficult shoulder area. I also really liked the fit round the neck and over the bust - it's plunging without being indecorous, and necklaces layer well under it. It comes with a HUD which allows you to change the shirt color and skirt color - two colors for the top and four for the bottom. I love the growing trend of bundling colors under a HUD, even if it makes my sorting them more complicated. My largest accessories are all from Cila; the wings, bracelet, and ring all echo the same design and are pleasantly chunky. I really love the layered curves and curls which are reminiscent of wood carvings painted in gilt. They are a gacha prize, with gold as the rare set, and the other options are all pale pastels in red, green, orange, blue, and white - all lovely and tinted as if a soft lacquer was layered over them, ending up heavier in the cracks.

Light on my Feet

I paired the heavier Cila jewelry with a more delicate necklace, tiara, and earrings set from Cae. The design is curving metal woven in and out of each other in a lovely manner, with a single gem set in the larger pieces. Again, there is a fantastic HUD included; two sets of metals and a vast plethora of stone colors. The curve of the metal is the best part - smooth with delicately curling ends. I also love the idea of two sets of metals to mix and match for greater effect, though I chose a solid gold in this case. I echoed the gold in my delicate slippers, made for the SLink flat feet by Dysfunctional Designs. They are a simple round toe base with delicate metalwork over the top and down the sides. I ended up looking really closely, and those delicate balls sewn into the shoe? They actually are three dimensional. The texture of the rest of the shoe is equally well done, complicated enough to fade into interesting lights and darks from a distance, and simply lovely up close. Finally my nails, from an old favorite A:S:S, provide a variety of fleur de lis in a variety of colors, all of them simply perfect. Using just shades of a single color, A:S:S uses different shades to make the fleur de lis stand out and seem like it's shining of of each unrealistically elongated nail. Absolutely a class act.

Calm in the Bayou

The only part of my look, in the end, that doesn't come from the hallowed halls of August's Fit for a Princess is my Adore & Abhor hair, which was a Hair Faire release and is now available in their main store. It's a lovely, slick updo with the cutest hairbuns ever, and I completely fell in love. My favorite touch has to be along the back of the neck, though - always a challenging part of the head. In this Adore & Abhor hair, though, it is a perfect curve under my skull. It is also made up of a number of shapes, which means that if your head is not the same as the creator that you can resize things to cover the necessary ground. It also fits beautifully behind my ears, which is always a bonus with updos and pulled back hair. If you're looking for something cute and perky, this hairstyle is one to try the demo of.

Awe and Glory

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kagami - Part Two Walkthrough

Story: A Second Beginning

The end of the first walkthrough left you at the end of part one, back at the mall having saved your friend Kasumi. The second begins back at the beginning - walk down the same path as before, but wearing the same HUD. A different set of pictures and information pop up - telling how Kasumi had no memory of what happened on the other side of the mirror, and you weren't sure what to tell her. After a while, she stopped coming to school again - this time telling you that she was afraid of the mirrors. You remembered the lucky charm Luca gave you and looked inside, where there was a lock of Luca's hair. That encouraged you to tell Kasumi about what happened and about Luca. After Kasumi thought about things for a day, she asked you to return to Luca and bring her a lock of Kasumi's hair.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Murder of Our Young Men

I Don't See the Light

A white police officer shot Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager, after the officer harassed Brown and a friend for walking in the street. The friend, a witness to the entire event, has yet to be interviewed by police. Since his death, at least one more man was shot by police while somehow doing something they didn't like in public; his name is Ezell Ford. Violence and harassment from the police toward black men is normalized in the United States, and despite the fact that this violence is largely white-on-black where the black person is unarmed and in their neighborhood, the police officer(s) is(are) usually acquitted (as in the cases of Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell) or convicted of something milder than murder (as in the case of Oscar Grant). This is the legal implication of a far more damaging and persistent psychological reality - white and black people both assume black people feel less pain (study abstract).

The stories we tell drive our future actions, and the story of black men in particular is that they are adult, violent, and dangerous. This is reinforced by policies like stop-and-frisk, which reinforces black social inferiority and earmarks more black people for jail than white people (along with other judicial inequalities), which results in fewer opportunities for black people in general, and black men in particular. Even the language about the protests afterwards tends to focus on the anger of the black people as if it is somehow an over-reaction, while ignoring the things they have every right to be angry about.

I feel so angry, so disgusted, and so helpless. I can't even imagine how much worse it must be for people whose lives have been effected so personally and so arbitrarily.

The NAACP is working to address the systemic perversion for the justice system which results in the murder of so many young men. My heart is with the grieving families.

Growing Glowing Life

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Post Apocalyptic Style

Out Sightseeing

I know my biggest worry when I think about the apocalypse is what I'm going to wear. It's just impossible to face the inevitable end of all humankind without being stylish and styling - though that doesn't mean such paltry matters as whether my shoes and handbag match! I settled on Tableau as the perfect place to face the end, and it proved to be a gorgeous and wonderful  My base is this amazing dress from FATEplay, which I totally didn't make our of some sort of extra uniform from creepy end-of-days militia, or anything silly like that! In all seriousness, I love how the dress looks retrofitted from other clothing; the ragged edges like arms were cut off, the wrinkled t-shirt middle, and an arm for a tube top. It is actually three separate pieces - the tube top, bodice, and skirt all in different parts which fit together beautifully. It comes in a wide variety of colors for mixing and matching, but I went for a straightforward orange and white, like a creamsickle, in the clean version (each comes with a dirty version, too; very rustic, but I'm a cleanly apocafashionista). Released at the same time is the origin of this dress - an all-over jumper suitable for men and women both. I know what I'm wearing next time I need to fix something mechanical!

Painted Boards

I accessorized with a mace purse from Adore & Abhor which serves double duty as clutch and weapon. I figure that in the ends of days a girl can be both self-protective, and fashionable, and this does well at both - love the golden spikes. My hair is a new release from Wasabi Pills, a fantastic herringbone braid over one shoulder. This is a rarer braid, as the pieces laying over each other are much smaller and thinner than in a standard hairstyle, and I love how it lays across one shoulder. The hair tendrils are actually mesh pieces instead of a semi-transparent texture over longer pieces, which is really amazing and adds a great deal of verisimilitude to a casual style. Trying to keep the styling to more found items than mall fair, I added a necklaces from Bleinsen + MaiTai with a scientific bent. I just have this image of a futuristic woman slicing apart an extra table of elements to augment her newest look. And finally, most adorably, are these fishbone shoes from Lassitude & Ennui, which I have struggled to place in a cohesive look since I saw them. I totally adore the simpleness of the sandal which lets the literal herring-bones stand out under gold paint.

It's the Bomb

Kagami - Part One Walkthrough

The Kagami Hunt is HUD based, available in both English and Japanese. The initial landing point is on a bridge in the sales area of the event. On one side there is a spirit gate; it's easy to find - look where the foxes are looking. The sim is checking peoples' script count, so you have to be under 1M to get the HUD. You can also go shopping around the mall there for an outfit which will match the story you're going to explore Some places you may find snacks to munch on but beware - the scripts inside of the snacks may push you over the 1M level if you wear them. At that point, your HUD will give you two warnings then send you home, so be careful.

Kagami HUD Giver

In the middle of the path to the Kagami game is a sign where you can get your HUD. When you put it on it will ask for permission to move and affect you - go ahead and click ok. Walk forward past the HUD sign and a notice will pop up on your screen. Once you've read and closed it (x on the corner) keep walking forward into the darkened gate.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Genre: "The Discreet Princess" or The Adventures of Finette

Arriving at the Fete

One of my favorite stories of my young adulthood was written by Marie- Jeanne L'heritier during the late Baroque period - one of the periods covered by Genre right now - an era of sumptuous clothing among the courtiers and witty salons within which much was discussed - building up to the crescendo before the reign of terror in the late 1700s. It's the story of a careful, wise princess who navigates a number of troubling attempts at disrupting her honor, her safety, and her life at the hand of a single, vindictive man. I sometimes wish for her poise and clarity; being a fairy tale, the princess is one step ahead all along the way, and it's part of what I really love about the story. Finette is wise without being cruel - though her Fairy Godmother more than makes up for that lack of cruelty. Much as I love Finette, I fear I have far more in common with her sister, Nonchalant, than the estimable Discreet Princess.

A Fresh Face

My gown is a gorgeous release from The Library with the long bodice and wide skirts characteristic of this era. The gold is pretty consistent, but the colors vary - I chose blue but there's a whole range of rich, dark shades available. It's rigged in an interesting manner, bending slightly with my legs, but not too much - I'm not quite sure how she pulled it off, but it's a very neat effect. A gown this impressive needs an equally impressive hairstyle, and I got that and more with this astonishing confection from Bliensen + MaiTai, complete with roses and lace on one side. There are tiny curls all along the browline, and corkscrew curls for over the ears - my one wish was that they be linked separately, so I could move them around my enormous ears, but honestly the rest is so gorgeous I don't think anyone will notice my magic curls. I tucked in under the roses a lovely brooch from Eclectica set in a diamond pattern, which color changes on touch.

Every princess, Discreet or not, needs a slew of accessories. My lips are slightly pouty and decorated with shiny sheen from La Petite Morte, a perfect cupid's bow. There are a wide variety of shades available, but I went with rose red. I added on a lovely set of pearls from Lost Junction with a bow at the back of the neck. I particularly like the findings on the back of the neck - it's such a unique and delicate touch - and it comes in three shades: cream, pink, and white. You can also get it with large symbols in gemstones across the front, but I fell in love with the simple triple strand. Finally, perfect for flirting behind is my gorgeous pink and blue fan from The Muses. It's a gorgeous combo of ivory peacock feathers and gold embossed base, and there's one for each hand. I love the curve of the peacock feathers - two rows of them arching delicately out to the sides.

A Fan's Length


Monday, July 28, 2014

Royalty

Pause for Breath

I'm going through old folders, trying to catch up and clear things out a little. This gorgeous gown from Peqe is one such casualty of time - or rather the lack of - but I'm so glad I fished it out of the depths. I really love the side slits over the legs, and the arm detailing - with the color high around the neck in front and back - makes it truly an elegant gown with a unique silhouette.

Beasts of the Wild


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Moral Foundations

Where Planes Collide

Recently I've run across a new set of criteria for comparing and contrasting moralities, called the Moral Foundations. As of yet, they've identified five, possibly six, axis that seem to show up in a lot of different cultures. The five which are fairly solid in their system are: care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation, and the sixth new one is liberty/oppression - which was pealed off from fairness and offers a counterpoint to authority and loyalty. One of the fun things about the related Your Morals website is that you can participate in a variety of studies, getting a picture of your own moral compass and where you stand relative to other people. It's very US-Centric, and very focused on the Democrat/Liberal and Republican/Conservative divide, where the political party is assumed to have a 1:1 correlation to the ideology. It is also weirdly divorced from tangible things, and there's a presumption of monotheism/atheism and a use of some dog whistles which  gave me pause. For example, the term "unnatural" was used, as was "chastity", and the 'religious' question referenced God. I had to struggle with my knee-jerk responses to those terms, as they've been used a lot by people whose politics are different than mine, but they have native meanings beyond those dog whistles.

Cross Hatched

I also found myself struck by the ideas of sanctity, which could have a Christo-centric meaning, but which has religious meaning for myself as well - and also intersects with one of my basic moral axioms, which is of beauty. I am simultaneously intrigued and skeptical about this identification of axioms, and despite the claims of universality, I find the focus on US-Centric politics troubling. I've had some fun taking other tests to see how I play out in comparison to "liberals" and "conservatives" and it's been interesting to see where I leave both of them behind, and where I split the mean between them.I'm still turning the terms chosen and the various implications of the researcher through my head; while he talks a lot about how Liberals tend to not value loyalty, for example, I have found that Liberals don't value loyalty until you aren't being loyal to them; likewise, while there is a lauded and vocal disrespect for authority among many liberals, the backlash if one critiques one of their authorities can be harsh. They don't seem to have much in place currently to test for implicit values as opposed to explicit ones, and I'm not convinced the two are the same; either that, or implicit values can distort explicit ones rather severely.

Poise

In contrast to my heavy, thoughtful thoughts - my outfit today is all sorbet pastels. The whole look was inspired by this ANE miniskirt in an astonishing combination of pastels. It was available in other, less splooshy collections of colors, but I went right for the closest to rainbow I could find and never looked back. The design is very simple and edged such that it takes light very well, offering up a bright or dark line as the situation suggests. I also quite liked the slit in the back, which offered up interesting shadows depending on my leg position. The hair, a free gift at the Hair Faire from Exile, was simply perfect with the colors. I love how each color is stripy and blends with the others while remaining distinct. My shoes, a new release at My Attic from Has Been, were another handy find - with each section tintable, I could get the sorbet feel that had been set by my hair and dress only this time in layers of soft color.

A Long Reach


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sky Blue Dollies

Wide Stance

After a very long hiatus, Dilly Dolls is back with awesome stripy shoes from the depths of her inventory. They're completely cute, with offset stripes across the nose of the shoe. I also like the curve of the heel -with the flair out at the bottom for support. There are solid colored ones at her marketplace for sale, but you can actually pick up these at Freestyle for absolutely free. Yes, you read that right - free.

The pretty jewelry on my ankles - and also around my wrists, upper arms, and neck - are a torc set from Sublime Shroud Kreations that are color change on touch. They're simple but elegant - check out the gems on the open edge.

In Shadow


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Curlicue Couture

Along the Edge

There are five days left before The Secret Affair leaves us forever - on the 29th - and if you haven't been by, I highly recommend it. I ended up falling into adoration with a new store called Pixicat, which put together this really unique and sexy dress and these amazing Baroque shoes. The dress is a combination of corset-style and colorblock with intricate patterns overlaying the colorblocked panels. I love the weavework of the corsetry between the panels; if you look closely, you'll see that the ribbon slotted through lies perfectly, curving over and under the edges of the pattern smoothly and realistically. I also love it's subdued sexiness; the bodice is covering enough, but the additional ribbon along the top edge gives it a dangerous edge it wouldn't otherwise have. I also love the length - many would be tempted to make this kind of a dress a miniskirt, but the knee length balances out classy and sexy perfectly. The shoes, on the other hand, are simply a blast. Waves of curls reminiscent of a heavy picture frame support a high SLink heel held on with thick straps. The straps themselves are color changeable through a HUD; the heels are available in white, black, and a variety of metals. I indulged in this white pair as a way to keep my entire look white, but balanced it with black straps which I also echoed in the bracers from The Annex; strappy, dark, and bold.

Baroque Heels

The Annex bracers come with a lovely veiled hairband with large, creamy flowers on it. I bought the set for the veil - it's mesh, with large pearls sewn into the mesh, and the flowers are luxurious and lovely over the top of the head. Since I was trying to walk a sexy and elegant line, this additional bit of concealment is perfection. I tucked the veiling over another wonderful hairstyle from Discord Designs (available at Hair Faire), with braids tied back in a loose chignon. I'm showing off one of the lighter blonds here, but it's available in a variety of colors. In contrast with many of her other braids, this one has a curling, almost spiral pattern across the skill which I simply adore; I have an abiding love of the more complicated braid patterns developed by black, Caribbean, and African cultures. Discord Designs' styles are particularly perfect for close-held hairbands and crowns, offering a stylish base for your best princesses. My necklace is also from The Secret Affair, a deceptively simple curve from 22769. From a distance it appears like a thick chain necklace, but up close you can see the overlaid leafs in a gentle ombre from dark gray to a blinding blue-white. I really love how distance makes such a difference with how this particular piece of jewelry looks - that's an additional layer to a complicated look. It is a single piece, though; something I appreciated when I made it a little thicker to fit around my neck perfectly.

A Momentary Distraction

I ended up at the RFL Track for pictures; every year they do a number of amazing sims along the edges, and this year one of them was from Fallen Gods' creator Alia Baroque. Growth and Decay is a gorgeous NeoClassical landscape with bridges and rivers on either side.