Fashion is a global phenomenon with every cultural having its own histories that influence development of local styles.  With Second Life being accessible from around the globe, it stands to reason that we would see fashion styles from many cultures brought here.  The fact that many residents like to learn about and experience designs from other areas bodes well for designers of authentic regional fashion.  One such designer that is worth knowing about is Vlinder Reitveld of Vlintuition.  Vlinder specializes in the design of authentic asian styles, among them, Indian, Chinese and Mongolian.  Her travels throughout Asia allow her to keep abreast of local fashion trends and she strives to recreate these fashions accurately in Second Life.

Above is pictured Vlinder’s most recent Indian release, the Kala Gown in Navy.  What is striking about this garment is the highly detailed embroidery at the hem, waist of the lehenga and on the cap sleeve choli.  The prim parts of the lehenga blend almost seemlessly with the underlying pants layer.  The matching dupatta is sculpted at the shoulders with the front and back ends flex for natural movement.  This outfit includes a pair of bracelets.  The Kala Gown also comes in Orchid, Coal, Sky and Crimson. 

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Aradhana Voight, owner of Mashooka Designs, continues to expand her offerings at a rapid pace.  As anyone who frequents her store knows, Mashooka Designs carries not only the authentic Indian styles it is famous for, but also casual and formal lines as well.  This past week, Aradhana added a range of new items, each available in a selection of wonderful colors.  Jewelry is an important aspect of Indian dress and Aradhana hasn’t ignored this fact.  She has also added to her ever-growing selection of Indian styled jewelry with a new release this week. 

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This casual look, above, combines the Gilet dress in metallic blue with the Tristin blouse in darkrose.  This dress, shown with the flexi A-line skirt option, can also be worn with a non-flex pencil skirt of the same length.  The Tristin blouse features semitransparent wrist cuffs and multiple layers.  Both the dress and blouse are wonderfully textured for realism.  The Gilet dress is also available in black, bordeaux, lilac and moss while the Tristin blouse also comes in beige, blue, light blue, ocean and red.  For a more daring look the dress can be worn alone with the wide shoulder straps offering just enough coverage.  Also worn for this photo is C’est si bon hair with hat from Vanity Hair and a Donnarama Gloss peach skin with make up 4 BK from Baiastice.

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On June 14th, Mashooka Designs opened  a new store at White Taj and the Ewing Fashion Agency was pleased to be there to present the latest designs of Aradhana Voight.  The models of Ewing graced a runway situated in front of the new shop in a selection of designs from casual to authentic Indian formals.  Mashooka Designs is well known for it’s high qualityIndian clothing as well as asian inspired western styles.  The fashion show this day demonstrated the range of Aradhana’s work and the assembled guests were excited to get their first look at her newest creations.  Each item, from a brand new sexy two piece beach dress to the full Indian bridal raiments, brought applause of appreciation.

As if Aradhana’s clothing line isn’t enough, she also produces jewelry of intricate and detailed design.  Each model was accesorized exclusively with Mashooka jewelry for this show.  Seen were items from exqusite necklaces and earrings to full Indian sets, all of them finely crafted.  The precious metal and jewel textures used produce a realism not seen from many and the craftsmanship is amazing.

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Aradhana Voight of Mashooka Designs is possibly best know for her fantastic and authentic Indian designs, but regular shoppers at her store know that she does much more.  Recently, she released a new spring line.  This new line is a wonderful mix of Indian and Western styles, covering the full gamut from casual to formal. Texturing in Second Life clothing design has reallyadvanced over recent weeks, in the amount of detail and true to life shading, and Aradhana is keeping right up with the state of the art.  This level of quality combined with her sense of style and the wonderful color pallette she uses, makes for a truely exciting spring selection.

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Pictured above are a couple of variations of the Linda denim skirt paired with the new Indian Summer Tunic.   The tunic comes with a number of options, just a couple of which are seen here.  The base top has the long and short sleeve versions on both the shirt and jacket layer and can be worn alone for a tight fit, or with one of the optional prim attachemnts for a looser fit.  Included is a prim collar and sculpty-prim puff sleeves (not pictured) as additional options.  Besides the Pink and Beige shown here, other colors available are Green, Lime, Red and Sea.  Both lengths of the Linda skirt are available in various denim shades.  

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Zaara Kohime is a rather new face in fashion world, her first shop was opened in January 2008. But she stool very quickly many fashion hearts. It seems like everybody, including me, is in love with her designs. A fusion of rich textures, bold colors and contemporary silhouettes is {Zaara}‘s forte.  Packed in an Indian style it gives you the luxury 1001 night feeling, while it is still very wearable for any occasion. Recently she added matching accessories to her collection and… to taste even more the Indian style, she started 2009 by opening her own sim. How will this exotic lady translate the down to earth dutch designs for the EFA-AIFW2009 event?

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Zaara Kohime pictured by Connie Arida

For the EFA-AIFW2009show you have to reproduce 4 outfits from the RL-show. The RL-designer describes her designs as follow: “My common designs are simple and wearable dresses. Those are most of the time make from the unusual choice of material.”  How far does your style meet this style? And can you replace yourself in this style and work with it?

Zaara: I woudnt say so… my style tends to be more layered… casual, whimsy with a hint of opulence. However being a graphic designer in RL, I am used to delivering a job on the given brief.. so this is how I look at it. Though I am sure a bit of Zaaraness would be evident in the design.

You are placed in the theme “Then”  for the show. Do you have some feeling with this theme related to your common style? Does it fit you?

Zaara: Well if I take it literally as the word “Then”(past)… for me my designs are influenced by by various time frames.. from the luxurious styles of the maharajahs to the bustling bazaars and busy city life of Bombay today. Nostalgia appeals to me so probably “then” as a theme suits me fine.

The color of the designs you will create for this show is black. Do you use this color a lot? What is the special challenge for this color? Do you have a special connection with this color?

Zaara: Oh I love black and its not difficult for me to work with this color at all..  its timeless. But I just adore color… and color harmonies is one of my strenghts and I love playing with them in my designs which I guess I cannot do with black. So in that sense it would be ‘different’ for me.

Outfit Zaara

Photographer of the picture and model on the picture: Connie Arida, wearing Zaara: Chaya “pipal”

Go visit the {Zaara} sim, to shop or to make the winning picture for the ZaaraSimContest, you have time until 31 January 2009 to enter.

EFA-AIFW2009 (logo red)Zaara Kohime is part of the designer team of the EFA-AIFW2009 show. Her creations will be presented in the theme “then”.