First Fusion Designers
Pictured above: The four designers of the First Fusion Event sitting at the lounge of Iconica, from left to right: Sysy Chapman, Aphrodite Outlander, Nicky Ree and Indira Bekkers.
How do you create an exciting collaborative event where the participants ate come from different worlds, speak different languages and use different tools to realise their creations? Take an innovative real life company like Femis Fashion, four very talented SL designers and creative fashion agency and you get First Fusion! EFA is proud to be in collaboration with the likes of Nicky Ree, Sysy Chapman, Indira Bekkers and Aphrodite Outlander to create this ground-breaking project. All four ladies are well-known, established designers in the fashion world and when approached to participate, didn’t hesitate and jumped right in. This displays their pioneering spirit as the clothes being showcased will not be their own.

Once the designers were on board, each was presented with rough sketches, drawings and photographs of fabrics were given to them the designs by from Femis Fashion and they got straight to work. It wasn’t easy, since working with real fabrics is a very different story from working in a 3D platform. Special consideration had to be taken as fabrics “hang” and move differently on avatars than on real life human beings. Here is some of what they had to say about the preparation.
How different were these designs from your own?
Sysy Chapman: Very different! But its also hard to answer that question, since it remains hard for me to compare RL and SL fashion. Thats because i’m not a RL fashion designer and look at everything fashion-wise with a SL point of
view, how things would look on an avatar, how things would move on an avatar, which is different as how things look on a RL model. I personally can’t wait to see the RL show with the designs!
Indira Bekkers: Very different! my designs would be more detailed, I like to use more layers in an outfit and use different kind of fabrics.
Aphrodite Outlander: Just that they weren’t made up by me. Because I only had a rough sketch to work with I still had a bit of room to add my own swing to it.
How do you feel about creating and showing designs that are not yours?
Sysy Chapman: Double feelings… This is the first time i’m designing something like this, so not my own and its exciting and challenging, but it also is more hard then i thought it would be. What’s also a point i never thought about before starting on this project, is that it can be hard to work on something that is very different from your own personal style. Usually i design with inspiration on how i feel at that moment, or something i saw, something i hear in nice music and go from there. This starting point was totally different since I was trying to do justice to the creators work and intentions which stretches beyond transposing from a picture (clothes in SL always look and behave different from clothes in RL). All in all it was a good learning experience and I’m quite honored to be involved in this project
Nicky Ree: Mostly I prefer to do my own designs but creating a illustration base on designs not my own requiries co-operation on both parties, like having enough resources to draw upon and to guide. I have done some custom work in the past and mostly it worked fine but it is not something I would like to do all the time.
Indira Bekkers: This is a very nice challenge and the fact it’s for a RL-SL Fashion Show makes it very special (and also to work with 3 other very talented SL designers is great).
Aphrodite Outlander: It is just a whole different approach to things because normally you can start of with something you have in mind, and then turn out creating something completely different without a problem. Now I really had to stick with the basic design.
How did you experience preparing and working for this event?
Sysy Chapman: First of all very excited! It’s nice to be involved in such a project which is new and challenging. I also encountered some problems ofcourse, this has to do with the RL reference materials wich were quite hard to work with honestly (i.e. sketches and pictures of fabrics, not the RL dresses as I still to this point don’t know what they will look like). This is a bit a “technical” story, but as many designers in SL know, designs like these have to be done using the system skirt. Personally I’m not a big fan of those, since they can make us ladies “derrieres” to use a nice word, look larger then we want :P. To me it was the first time working with the systemskirt and it was a challenge to make it look good.
Nicky Ree: Basically I found that not enough information were given in the initial stages and as the time for the actual show grew near, we were running out of time to work on the illustrations. But towards the end, we were given more details and some information allowing us to start work on the designs but still not exactly enough to make an actual accurate presentation of the rl design, alot of it had to fall upon the individual sl designers creativity and individual imagination and limited tools we had in SL at this present time.
Indira Bekkers: It was quite hard to prepare well, because we got the sketches and pictures only 2 weeks before the show. The sketches raised a lot of questions, because they were not very detailed, so we had very little time to work on our designs. The team however is great and that makes it a great experience.
Aphrodite Outlander: I love doing it, I think it is a great initiative. I think it gives a nice vieuw on what’s possible in combining RL and SL ideas. It also gives people the chance to see the creative side of SL. Because that truly is what SL is about. This whole world is created by it’s residents, and now we add a bit of RL into it 🙂
I will not give away the show already, but I can tell you these ladies did a perfect job! I think the designs will breath the atmosphere of the RL designs..and like Sysy already said… I can’t wait to see the 2 worlds coming together. After the show, there will be a Meet the Designer Session, I want to invite you all to ask them your questions about the preparations, experiences and their normal designs and styles.
Join us as First Fusion, 25 February 2008, 11.30 AM SLT @ First Meta II sim