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Soraya Blachere’s no stranger to glamour; a visit to her store Serene Sensations will show you that, but what interests me is where she gains her inspiration, and whether she foresees her designs making that step over into RL. I met up with her this week to ask her just that…ooh, and a whole lot more.

Harriet Gausman: For those who do not know, how long have you been in SL and when did your business begin?

Soraya Blachere: I came to Second Life in March of 07′. Frankly, it doesn’t seem long, for Second Life…well, soo long ago. The first design was created in July. It was never intended as a business, more for fun. Then in September, I had a little more time than my usual schedule, so I thought it would be fun to open a store and that’s how all started.

Harriet Gausman: Did you have any design or fashion experience in the RL or were all your skills learned inworld?

Soraya Blachere: I have always had fun with design itself in many forms, but never did anything with fashion. I have wanted to do a sewing class in real life, but it never happened.

Harriet Gausman: Where do you gain your inspiration?

Soraya Blachere: Well first of all, my motivation came from looking around and seeing the outfits that avatars were wearing, especially the outfits that showed a lot of skin. I did not find the styles satisfying. My belief was at that time, something had to be done to get a classier taste into that fashion design sector.

However, recently, my designs have been geared to the fashion I adore in RL, which are truly pleasing to my eye. As far as where my inspiration comes from, I get it from international travels, magazines & living in southern California.

Harriet Gausman: You often use a combination of multi textures and feathers in your creations, do you base your designs on RL creations?

Soraya Blachere: Not really. The feathers are fun and flirtatious and were just a natural thing to try out after doing all the super transparent airy textures. Also the fact that its winter, and feathers..what do they suggest? A very good feeling of luxury and warmth.

Harriet Gausman: Which RL fashion designer do you aspire to?

Soraya Blachere: I adore all the puristic designers who have come up with the greatest cuts and use the finest materials. So Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Elli Tahiri and Prada in the old days.

Harriet Gausman: How would you describe your brand values?

Soraya Blachere: Eye pleasing in an elegant way, with an absolute good portion of playfulness.

Harriet Gausman: I’m always interested in hearing if top designers have their own favourites, so what was the last item you bought and who was the designer?

Soraya Blachere: Well….the skin thing had been a looong issue for me and Soraya, I was and still am very attached to her look the way I created her in her earliest conception. However, I have found myself at least every month admiring, trying and even buying the amazing skins SL has to offer, but still never changed her look.

Now finally Minnu’s ‘Blood’….made it onto my avvie. I love it!

It speaks with the sophistication and feminine attitude I love to see.

Harriet Gausman: Do you have a favourite of your own designs?

Soraya Blachere: That is a hard one. I am very attached to my first design which was the Chaine line, especially the rouge and noir since they still look different than anything I have seen in SL. When I see a woman wearing it with sophisticated ‘big’ hair, I am still blown away by the erotic & fashion factor of it. It’s singularly quite aesthetically bold and daring. Quite beautiful.

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Harriet Gausman: What is the most expensive single item of clothing you’ve bought and how much was it?

Soraya Blachere: I believe it was a red SWS dress for a good friend of mine, which was around L$2000.

I have to admit that since I started designing my own fashions, I haven’t bought any clothing.

Harriet Gausman: Have you ever made any fashion faux pas that you will admit to?

Soraya Blachere: Yes, the salad drippy lettuce thing between my teeth; doesn’t happen that often but makes me blush badly. Oh and last week I did the sandals with socks thing, but was the opinion that it worked.

Harriet Gausman: Ok, so you’re lost on a desert island, name five items you would not be without.

Soraya Blachere: Well, as my avatar, I’d definitely go for a pair of Sylfie’s sandals, my french style hair, an airy golden Serene Sensations dress, my original skin (less makeup) and my A/O.

……and……… in real life, right up to this moment, I would take 2 songs, one Gimnopedies by Eric Satie and Honey or Tar by Cocorosie; and of course, lets say the iPod with speakers, my fur vest (for the chilly night), my snake boots, a good new book, eye goggles to swim with the fish, hmmmm…. is there power for my laptop too? and a friend, well the friend should have the first position. You see! I am having a hard time with the selections even when you ask me before hand.

Harriet Gausman: Have you managed to bridge the gap between RL and SL and attract any corporate interest? If not, is that something you would want?

Soraya Blachere: I know some fashion designers in the real world. Most definitely, I have thought about presenting my designs. I truly believe they are very close to what would work in real life.

Right now, I have much going on in the outer world, and I am happy and satisfied to see the SL community pleased and happy and pretty looking.

Harriet Gausman: What are your future plans?

Soraya Blachere: Contribute to Second Life’s residents, giving them different fashion options and Continue to help make SL a better looking place, of course!

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