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…)

The Medieval period in Europe roughly spanned the time covering the 11th through 13th Century. While fashion did change over time, and differed among countries and regions, a person’s social standing determined a lot about ‘one’s’ wardrobe. The common or lower standing people would naturally have few clothes due their financial status and their clothes were much simpler than the upper classes. A discussion of all the facets of class-based fashion is too large a topic to cover here, but, in general, ‘common women’’s dresses were long and simple. They were sometimes made from animal hyde and would likely be dyed a single color. The hair of the lower classes would have been long and loose or tied back in tight braids.  Those of a slightly higher standing would have had more detailed fabrics with some brocading and simple sleeve adornments.  The complexity and detail of the gown increased with class and social standing. For this first part on Medieval fashion I am presenting some examples of common dresses as interpreted by a couple of Second Life’s designers.

When I first decided to do an entry on Medieval fashions I knew there was some available, but it turns out that there are many designers in this area. The two presented here both have a range of designs covering the social ladder and are considered some of the best and most authentic. Pictured below are a couple from Morgaine Hathor of *M*.



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.