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Take a pinch of rubber, a dash of latex, a mix of casual and sporting wear and you have the eclectic collection of A2NZ. Stocked with everything from latex cat suits to tennis skirts, the store is a haven for all those that love anything a little different. I had the opportunity of speaking with designer Raindrop Drinkwater this week and jumped at the chance. Well, read on, you know you want to!

Harriet Gausman: When did you first start designing in SL?

Raindrop Drinkwater: I started shortly after I joined. I think I uploaded my first wearable top when I was two months old. So that would be… almost a year and a half ago.

Harriet Gausman: Did you have any RL design skills or did you learn inworld?

Raindrop Drinkwater: I paint, draw and take photographs in RL. I’ve also always had an interest for fabrics in general.

I didn’t have much experience with Photoshop, and none at all with Blender. Making clothes in SL also prompted me to buy a RL sewing-machine o.O. Go figure.

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Harriet Gausman: What or who do you consider your inspiration for your designs?

Raindrop Drinkwater: Back when I was living in London, I used to go to Camden Town every weekend. This place and the people there have the biggest influence on my alternative collection.

For my casual creations, I find ideas in my closet. I also search for colour combinations, interesting texture effects, fabrics, themes… I have a huge scrapbook on my hard-disk. It’s a complete mess, and mainly, has nothing to do with fashion.

I also have SL role-models I admire for their creativity, their attention to details, this “little something” that allows me to recognize their designs instantly. They are mostly of the hand-painting / 3d-baking school, as that’s the style I prefer. I won’t name them because there are so many of them, but I’ll try and coerce some of them into dropping a landmark-giver in our store!

Harriet Gausman: How would you describe your collection?

Raindrop Drinkwater: Eclectic and colourful.

I’m a fidget, and I think it shows in my designs.

Harriet Gausman: Who do you think buys your designs?

Raindrop Drinkwater: As far as I know, interesting and nice people! All the customers I have had the chance to talk with were smart and friendly. I guess I’m lucky!

They’re also just as eclectic as I am. That was to be expected.

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Harriet Gausman: Where do you see yourself headed in terms of business and design?

Raindrop Drinkwater: A2NZ is a collaborative venture between Abyssin Otoro and me. We bounce ideas off of each other and talk about our designs at length. The aim this year is to actually create outfits together, which should be an interesting experience as we do have very different skill sets and personalities.

We’ve already started by dismantling the old store (again) and re-building it together from the ground up. It’s under heavy construction and there are still ruins of the old store standing around. We aim at giving our visitors a more interactive experience with places to hang out, have a glass of riesling, or do sports, as we would like people to come to A2NZ for more than just shopping.

We also want to open up to the outside SL-world, with landmarks to other interesting places or stores and our first guest’s shop: “Knitwitch” by Diana Offcourse. I saw her designs worn by a friend and instantly fell in love.

My immediate personal projects are: a line of transparent latex, continued experimentation with patterns and fabrics, club gear… and keep doing what I like, no matter whether it’s fashionable or not.

Visit Raindrop’s store and slip into some rubber today.

A2NZ

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