It’s Skin & Shape Expo 2011, and with SIXTY vendors on site you’re going to have a ruddy marvellous time! Even better; this year each creator has a charity item for sale, with 50% of proceeds going to Direct Relief International. Looking great AND donating to charity, made of win!
It feels a bit strange reporting about the Skin & Shape Expo seeing as last year I was a vendor there (in my shapemaker guise obviously) but judging from the amazing skins (and shapes) on display this year I won’t be missed. The standard is very high as you would expect, with many of the grid’s greatest names showcasing their latest skinwares. When it comes to skins it’s very hard to go outside your own personal comfort zone, but I do recommend that you try to. The expo is of course bursting at the seams with avatars (Meh-at least you can get in to Culture Shock now while you’re waiting!) so what I suggest you do is (when you can) go in and grab demos by the sackload and then rez out and try them at home. Strip off, and indulge in some serious avatar dress-up. A quality skin is an investment so treat it as such: try with it with ALL your favourite outfits, hairstyles, lingerie and shoes. TAKE YOUR TIME.
Zoom in on all the nooks and crannies, including the intimate ones. Does the skin ‘feel’ right on your avatar? Don’t forget to use different windlight settings with the skin that you’re trying out too.
Get demos from as many vendors as you can and try EVERYTHING because you may well be surprised. You may also be absolutely horrified. The old standard of not judging a book by it’s cover genuinely applies here; you may pass a store-front that looks more ‘Tres Bleurrgh’ than ‘Tres Blah’, BUT I strongly suggest you try every participating vendor’s wares. You never know how good your avi will look if you don’t take the chance!
Incidentally, Fabulously Free in Second Life has an OUTSTANDING list featuring separate links to EVERY SINGLE VENDOR BOOTH, so if you are looking for the latest from your favourite designer then you must hit Fabfree ( and thank Renee for her hard work in compiling the list!)
As for me? I’m going to share with you some images of some skins that I’ve spotted and really liked over the coming days. These are all head-shots, but I can tell you that I’ve examined each demo carefully and unless otherwise specified it’s passed the ‘Kittywitchin’ Seal Of Approval’. This year’s Skin Fair is a real eye-opener, I’ve seen loads of new designers that I hadn’t heard of before and tried on lots of skins that I thought would look yucko that have actually turned out quite nice..yay for me! ( Apologies for the obvious ‘Demo’ markings on these images, I’m keeping an eye on my pennies:)
First up is a belter of a skin from a new name to me, ‘Cashmere’. This is totally not my kind of thing at all, yet it looks absolutely stunning. There are great details on this skin, including some particularly good detailing on the erm, ‘ladyparts’. There are moles/skin imperfections built into the skin surface which, on the whole, work very well, although I did find a somewhat elongated mole on the forehead which was a bit irritating, but nothing that would spoil my experience of this skin too greatly. The eyeshadow is nice, a smidge fuzzy at the edges *but* this does not detract from the over-all presentation of the skin. As you can see it photographs just beautifully, and I chose to wear this style, ‘Cashmere-Smoke’ with an updo for a retro-couture vibe. You can visit Cashmere and try the demos by clicking HERE.
(Click the picture for a larger version of the image)