Since the Olympics began I’ve adopted a kind of Oriental themed look. Not strictly Chinese, but outfits that reflect my admiration for Chinese,Japanese and also the culture of Far East as a whole. Like many people the Beijing Olympics have proved to be a difficult issue for me- as much as I want to support the British athletes who are taking part, I find it difficult to reconcile my feelings of support for them with my disdain for the regime that controls that beautiful country. Each time I see Tiananmen Square I think of the 1989 protests and the image of the student stood in front of the tank…However the citizens of China have every right to be enthusiastic about the Olympics in their country and they do deserve our support. After all, they aren’t the ones to blame..ahem, enough politics.
So, today I’m in a Japanese mood (cue The Vapours ‘Turning Japanese I think I’m turning Japanese I really think so’) and when I’m feeling in a Japanese mood that usually means I need a trip to ‘Orchid Dreams’, a firm favourite of mine. I’ve blogged Emeriselle Theas’s store before, but she’s redesigned the layout since my last visit and it looks lovely. It’s one of those stores that provides a soothing experience for your virtual soul; it sort of makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and that’s before you’ve even shelled out any Lindens!
When I received a mail-out to advise of some new releases I had to pay another visit, and I am so glad I did. but before I go on, regular readers will be aware of my dislike for amazingly ‘sticky-out skirts’. You don’t have to look far to find the ones I mean. Often they’re sported by newbies (Not their fault, they’ve usually found them in freebie boxes) and they are without a doubt the foulest things I’ve ever seen. Alas, they’re often extremely poorly designed and made too. Why bother to make something when it’s going to look bloody awful? I’ve no doubt that it’s a ‘trend’ unto itself-it usually goes like this: sticky out skirt, stupidly long legs with skyscraper heels, the BIGGEST norks this side of LA, a hint of some sort of body oil and *massive* prim hair 9 hate to say it, usually blonde. There’s only ever been a few exceptions to this rule and the skirts in question have had to be superb for me to even consider wearing one. To me, sticky-out skirts may as well have blades on the corners..really bad ones look as though they’ll slice the legs off any avatar who happens to be unfortunate enough to wander past. Rant over. ( I’m in a funny mood today-can you tell?)
You know what’s coming next now don’t you? The outfit I’m wearing from Orchid Dreams has a sticky-out skirt. HOWEVER, it’s bloody beautiful and it flows and flounces as you walk.so that’s ok then! The outfit is called Kawaii and is best described as a half-Kimono, with a huge prim Obi to complement. There’s the briefest whisper of a camisole underneath and the plum colour that I’ve chosen is absolutely yummo. There’s a slight texture to the fabric, and the seamwork and structure of the outfit is simply lovely. The back boasts a prim detail to suggest a draping effect, but it’s the Obi that stands out. It’s a stunning accessory-best seen from the back really as it’s a huge sculpted bow and makes the whole ensemble very impressive. There are prim flowers on the front to compliment, and the fabric design that has been used for the Obi is extremely pretty. This’ll probably require some minor adjustment to achieve a more acceptable fit, but it’s well worth fiddling about with it as the overall effect is greatl. The skirt is bouncy and lovely..just the right side of sticky-out and very effective. As I’ve already said the movement on this is spot on, and with that in mind I consider it a great outfit for a formal dance, rather than your run-of-the mill ballgown. Available in four colours it’s a snip at just L$250. Bravo Emeriselle for such great pricing!
To compliment you can also buy some stockings and shoes..which I’ll talk about in just a moment but bear with me, because I’m going to go off topic a little here. You *need* to get these stockings,’Candy Kneehighs’, because not only are they a great price, superb quality and lovely colours too, but you should have as much hosiery ( stockings and socks) in your inventory as possible in my opinion. Stockings are a must with the majority of dresses/skirts that I wear in world as they really help to finish off a look and when you pay such complete attention to your avatars appearance it really pays dividends. Details matter folks. I *always* wear a manicure to compliment my skin, the skin that I choose to wear has to compliment the overall feel of my outfit as does my hair and accessories. I think a lot of Second Life outfits ‘fail’ because just like in real life they need accessories to round off the look, and people often forget to include them.
That’s such a shame as shopping for accessories is as much fun, if not more, than shopping for clothes. I’d say to any aspiring grid fashionista that you need to devote a folder purely to accessories and obtain as wide a variety as possible. Don’t sniff at freebies, in fact this is the kind of area that FabFree will really help you with..but ensure that the items you use are quality. Here’s an example-Miriel create some of the best jewellery in Second Life and you get a ton of bracelets and earrings in her freebie package-they’re all excellent and perfect for enhancing your look, and that’s the trick- *always* enhance, *never* overpower your outfit. Also get yourself some coloured chunky bead necklaces ( Yummy! is good for those) and classic pieces like pearl necklaces and earrings( Checkout Earthstones for sublime crystal and pearl concoctions and stop sniggering at the back!!) SLExchange and Onrez are also your friends here. Don’t forget scarves and gloves. Sn@tch has some great ones ( as well as manicures and even pedicures) but the ones I *always* wear came from a Sn@tch outfit called ‘Film Noir’ that Ivey distributed as a group freebie. It’s a black dress/gloves and scarf combo and the gloves and scarf are *perfect*. The scarf itself has movement to it like no other I’ve seen in Second Life. If you missed out, go to Snatch and buy it, because even if you don’t wear the dress( which is lovely btw) you’ll certainly get some use from the scarf and gloves. Last but not least collect bags and sunglasses from creators like Tesla Miles, Starley Therain and stores like Muism. (Also get yourself some plain glasses..I often wear them to add a more professional appearance to a look even though I don’t wear them in real life at all.) For posh stockings you can try specialist outlets like Number 9 hosiery, but Canimal also sells a great pack of ripped stockings that I wear to great effect with my Panjen gloves and dresses from Nekorifik! when I want to be Neko. No excuses now- you’ve been told!
Right lecture over, back to the stockings at Orchid Dreams. These candy coloured knee-high delights feature prim bow attachments for the top and I really do rate them. They’re subtly shaded and at only L$100 for a complete set you’d be seriously dim if you didn’t invest. I’m wearing teh Butterscotch shade in my Flickr photos, but you can’t really see my legs. My bad, I didn’t take enough photos BUT you’ll have to trust me when I tell you how good they are. To round off the ensemble you need shoes, and Orchid Dreams has some stunning cork wedges that are utterly perfect. They’re called ‘Iki Sculpted Wedges’ but there’s nothing remotely icky about them. There’s a great choice of colour options and a lovely buckle details, but I just had to get the ‘Sable’ pair, and even though these are cork sandals you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll look great with trousers, jeans or even a suit. I insist that if you only do one thing in Sec ond life today, it’s visiting Emeriselle’s store, by clicking HERE. Remember to let her know that Kitty sent ya!