There are many well-known and popular designers in Second Life.  They owe their success in large part to the quality of their work and uniqueness of their designs.  All these successful designers had to start as unknowns and build their reputations over time.  When I find a lesser-known designer with excellent and creative works, I like to call people’s attention to them.  Alba2 Rossini of Alba Fashions is a designer that I have been aware of for some time but is less known than she deserves to be.  Her designs are extremely creative and her work is exceptional.  She draws on many elements to create her designs, including fantasy and nature.  Below, I present several styles that demonstrate the range of her creativity.

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Fantasy is a popular genre in today’s works of fiction.  Many credit J. R. R. Tolkien for popularizing it through his Lord of the Rings trilogy, and many more have followed.  Authors such as Katherine Kurtz, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan and a host of others have added their own interpretations.  Although each one has a unique style and have developed different worlds in which their novels take place, there are some commonalities as well.  It’s common for the stories to take place in societies where magic substitutes for technology and the characters have unnatural abilities.  Often other types of races or creatures are included.  The fashions of such works are often derived from earlier ages of the real world.  Mostly from eras in which magic and other-worldly creatures were more commonly believed in.  There is a romanticism associated with these times that draws many to these novels and the manner of dress from Medieval and Renaissance times just seems to fit so well.

Second Life offers us the chance to experience worlds of this type in a way previously unavailable to us.  There have been many sims and role play groups created to reflect or pay homage to popular works of fantasy.  Naturally, designers make these places all the more rich by offering the styles required.  3star Tyne of 3star Design is one such designer.  Many of her gowns are created in Medieval style.  Below are two examples, her Fairytale Gown in the Gold Court option and Roses Roses.

The corset style bodice of the Court Gown has front lacing and prim cap sleeves.  The texture has a gemstone at the cleavage and two prim stones are included as options.  The corset portion is on the jacket layer and can be removed for a more comfortable look.  This gown can be worn with or without the intricate flexi-prim sleeves parts.  Shown here with the veiled circlet there is also a plain circlet included.  The flexi-prim skirts come in two lengths to fit both tall and short avatars. Prim ruffles at the waist and a prim collar add detail.  It’s easy to see where Roses Roses gets it’s name.  This dress is textured with a wonderful rose pattern and a wreath of roses at the waist.  The rose circlet for the head has the plain version shown and one with long streaming ribbons in many colors.  There is even a prim rose adornment at the cleavage.  The bodice can be worn as shown or without the red sleeves in a sleeveless version.  Another option is as a full red top without the rose patterned part. (more…)

Second Life has a wealth of talented designers and many of us seek out those that have a penchant for creativity and quality. Naturally, this leads to duplication of items in the wardrobes of discriminating fashionistas. Accessorizing and mixing parts of various outfits is often done to retain some amount of uniqueness so we don’t suffer that embarrassment of being caught somewhere dressed identically to another. This is a real life concern as well, but is exacerbated here because one size fits just about all in Second Life. Some designers help address this issue by offering options when you buy their designs. Jamie Holmer of INDI Designs is one such designer. Her outfits are generally complete, right down to the underwear, but often offer the wearer a myriad of choices. The fact that she produces clothes of excellent quality and exceptional creativity suggests that INDI Designs is a place well worth looking in to. Styles available range widely, from casual, including grunge and punk, to fantasy inspired designs. The few items presented below will hopefully demonstrate all these points.

The outfit called Kaylin is a casual set with torn jeans and denim jacket. The texture details of the denim are very realistic with natural looking tears in the fabric. The included top comes in four versions, black and red in both sleeved and sleeveless styles. Demonstrating the thought that goes into these clothes, the jacket is designed in two versions. One with the collar folded down as part of the texture and one that has no collar as part of the texture, which is meant to be worn with one of two different upturned prim collars. The prim tam hat and three sizes of prim belts are included. A set of red bra, panties and stockings make the outfit complete. Also available separately are matching sculpty shoes or boots. The Nobile shoes have both plain and riveted versions.

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Milady’s Fancy isn’t just your ordinary clothing store. If you dream of knights on white horses and damsels in distress, then this is the place to go – but you may find a few slinky short numbers too. The lesson here is expect the unexpected.

Harriet Gausman: So, Rachel, have you been a member of Second Life for long? What made you venture into this great big world, many of us now call home?

Rachel Darling: I’ve been a resident of Second Life since about June of 2006; so for a while, I guess you could say. Why did I come to Second Life? Well, I’d been a player of an older fantasy MMORPG game called Ultima Online for about 5 years and I felt I needed something newer and more up to date. I did a lot of “decorating” and custom home building in UO, but when I heard about the content creation tools in SL, I just had to try it. I guess you could say that my gaming is my creative outlet, and so far, there’s no other Online world with so many options to create.

Harriet Gausman: Were you very productive in your first few months? It always amazes me when designer after designer tells me they began designing two weeks after rezzing.

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