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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

British Best Dressed Competition

It's all happening this week in SL London, and on Friday there is a brilliant competition for the 'British Best Dressed.' I am just giving you some time to get yourself kitted out in something you consider totally British, remember this covers the British Isle, so we would love to see some kilts, trendy town stuff, countryside gear, pearly queens and kings, city suits, etc whatever you think will make you the best dressed Britain (by the way you don't have to be British to win the British Best Dressed, you just have to dress your idea of British!). For further details contact SLLondon Fashion Week Events Manager Cleopatra Charleville in world.

Catwalk shows in SL Kensington.

Day three of the SLLondon Fashion Week brings another two amazing Catwalk Shows tonight, the first one featuring Girlspeedo Lattes' great collection of smart casual wear and accessories from her 'Gbberish' Boutique, followed by Cher Demonge's beautiful outfits and accessories from his 'Bonjour' Boutique. Be sure to get there early as the shows are very popular. The first show starts at 1pm (SLT) (thats 9pm GMT) at The Kensington building in SL Kensington W8.

Interview With SL Builder Cid Ducatillon

A few weeks ago I attended a meeting at Ozone Conferencing’s virtual office (see Virtually London (lite) report of Sept. 3, 2008). Also attending was Cid Ducatillon, who in real life is part of a two person architecture office, and, as I discovered, one of the first builders to work in SL London.

In real life Cid is an architectural associate designer and member of the American Institute of Architects. He has spent many years working in design offices in San Francisco and Seattle. The projects he has worked on have included such things as offices, schools, municipal projects and urban renovations. During this time Cid became very interested in the use of technology and the power of the internet in bringing people together. He was hired by multimedia firms to test and validate building tools to make objects in Virtual Reality.

After joining Second Life Cid met a builder named Bob Bunderfield who asked him to build a commercial structure in Knightsbridge, and things continued on from there. I was delighted to learn that Cid was responsible for building Marble Arch, one of the most well known structures in real and SL London. Cid also created many of the prestigious and notable buildings along Bond Street.

As previously mentioned, Cid early on recognized the potential for using technology to bring diverse groups of people together. In his second life his objective is to bring real life businesses into SL and he is currently working on sim development for this purpose. As well, he has a great interest in vintage “sport purpose” Porsche 911s. He recently combined these two passions in a build he did at the Teller Motorsport sim.

Cid also showed me another project he is working on, a large sim model, which he calls “the giant black box”. Inside the box is a model of a full city done in the revival of a past style, an example of how Cid reflects on the masters of design and architecture, incorporating concepts learned from them into his SL work.

Cid is clearly an individual with varied interests and an all-encompassing vision of the benefits that can be had by creating links between real life and SL. He wishes to encourage individuals from all walks of life to learn and challenge themselves in order to bring out the visionary within. It was a pleasure to meet with him and learn about the earlier days of the London sims as well as the other projects he is currently working on.

Hibiscus Hastings

Monday, 29 September 2008

SLLondon Fashion Week Opens in Style (In Spite of SL!)

You may expect to have a few things go wrong on the first night of any new show or event, so everyone had been a little bit nervous as SL London launched its first Catwalk show for the SLLondon Fashion Week (Sponsored by The London Evening Standard, Virtually London (Lite) and Platinum).

Debs Regent and her team had worked really hard to get everything into place so it would be up and running in time for the show to begin last night. The word had got around and the sim was packed full of avatars, reaching a 100 people throughout SL London, and 70 actually at the Catwalk show.

The SLLondon Fashion Week show was officially opened at 12 noon (SLT) as singer Mapoo Little appeared on stage. Mapoo, has a raunchy sexy style and fantastic voice, she kept the audience enthralled as she belted out songs like ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Raining Men’ She had people dancing in the aisles and the first hour soon passed as everyone enjoyed her performance.

Then Second Life itself intervened, as it is so fond of doing. We waited for the catwalk show to start and we were totally unaware of the London team’s frantic efforts behind the scenes to sort out a major problem. The show was running late and Brie Janick, one of the London Directors bravely came out and told the audience that she would have to re-start the sim, which meant everyone leaving and coming back once the sim was re-booted. No one was to blame, it was just an SL fault, there had been an invisible prim object right in the middle of the catwalk, which could not be moved because of the lag, and the only way to cure the problem was to restart the whole region for the object to vanish. You had to admire the team, who appeared calm and in control, knowing just what they had to do to get the show back on the road.

Spirits were high though and people were already buoyed up from Mapoo’s singing, so they didn’t appear to mind having to relocate for a few minutes before returning for the rest of the show. Once it was safe to go back people readily took their seats to see the wonderful collections of skins and clothes by the top SL designers and companies, who had their own separate 15 minute slots to fill. The Kensington, where the show was held, was once again packed with avatars and the lag was pretty bad, but the show went down a storm.

‘Platinum’, who are one of the SL London Fashion Week sponsors, were the first to show their amazing collection of quality skins, and you could feel the excitement of the audience as the first male model stepped onto the catwalk. Taliesin Silverstar did an excellent job of talking us through the range of beautiful lifelike male and female skins and the audience loved it.

Kirk Claymore of KMADD Enterprises (owned by Kirk and Maddox DuPont), was next on the scene. He introduced us to the second show called ‘To-a-T’ which featured Victorian clothing created by the brilliant designer Terry Lightfoot. The stunning ladies’ and gentlemen’s attire brought a gasp from the audience as we were swept back to a gentler age with the elegant Victorian outfits.

Next on the catwalk was top designer Leezu Baxter’s fantastic outfits introduced by Serenity Mercier. Leezu never disappoints with her use of colour and textures to bring something quite unique to the fashion scene. Her clothes are very classy and stylish without being ostentatious, so they are the type of outfits you would love to own, especially for those formal occasions in SL.

After Leezu, Kirk once again took the stage to speak us through his own couture Autumn 2008 collection from the MADD Agency. And quality is the word, both in the ladies and men’s outfits. Like Leezu’s designs, MADD’s clothing is completely wearable, but with that look and feel of luxury and style that you would never find in the ordinary shopping malls in SL.

Well that was the end of the first day of the SL London Fashion Week. People stayed on to enjoy the first night party and Debs and the team can certainly feel proud of a great event, as can the designers, models and hosts who introduced each section. The music played throughout the catwalk show added to the enjoyment of the night, and in spite of SL trying to throw a spanner in the works, the evening was a total success.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Fashion Show in SLT (Second Life Time)

As my previous article showed all times as GMT, below is a list of the Catwalk shows in Second Life Time (SLT) for all our 'out of town' visitors coming to the show:

Sunday 28th Sept 1.15pm To-A-T Terry Lightfoot
1.30pm LeeZu Baxter
1.45pm MAD Risa Bright
2.00pm Opening Night Party

Monday 29th Sept 1.00pm SF Designs Swaffette Firefly

Tuesday 30th Sept 1.00pm Gbberish Girlspeedo Latte
1.30pm Bonjour Cher Demonge

Wed 1st Oct 1.00pm Fashion Competition 'Best of London' Look

Thurs 2nd Oct 1.30pm Fierce Designs by Sally Soliel
1.45pm Fierce Designs by Sally Soliel

Friday 3rd Oct 1.30pm Lion's Crest Jewellery Kingsgate Alter

Saturday 4th Oct 1.15pm Fat Designz Alfred Kabuki

Sunday 5th Oct 1.00pm DYN Kirst Oherlihy
2.00pm Final Night Party

Tickets are available at the door.
London Fashion week is sponsored by The London Evening Standard, Virtually London (Lite) and Platinum.

Schedule for SL London Fashion Week

SL London Fashion week will be officially opened today, and the virtual Capital is buzzing with excitement!!! Below is the schedule for the catwalk shows planned for the oncoming week from the 28 September to the 8 October.

Mapoo Little - Opening singer 8pm to 9pm (12 noon to 1pm SLT)
Sunday 28 Sept GMT 9.15pm To-A-T - Terry Lightfoot
9.30pm LeeZu Baxter
9.45pm MADD - Risa Bright
10.00pm Opening Night Party

Mondey 29 Sept 9.00pm SF Designs - Swaffette Firefly

Tuesday 30 Sept 9.00pm Gbberish - Girlspeedo Latte
9.30pm Bonjour - Cher Demonge

Wed 1 Oct 9.00pm Fashion Competition 'Best of London' Look

Thurs 2 Oct 9.30pm Fierce Designs by Sally Soliel
9.45pm Fierce Designs by Sally Soliel

Friday 3 Oct 9.30pm Lion's Crest Jewellery-Kingsgate Alter

Saturday 4 Oct 9.15pm FAT Designz - Alfred Kabuki

Sunday 5 Oct 9.00pm DYN - Kirsty Oherlihy
10.00pm Final Night Party

The above schedule may be subject to change, and I will inform you as far as possible of any changes, so watch our daily updates for further notices.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

SL London Fashion Week Starts Tomorrow

Well the date is finally here, a big event is happening in SL London tomorrow, its Fashion week in the virtual Capital and I can reveal there are many top designers showing their latest collections. You can come and see the catwalk fashion shows at the fabulous 'The Kensington' building from tomorrow at 1pm SLT (9pm GTM). There are four 15 minute catwalk shows every night of the week.
Opposite The Kensington there is a display area set up for the designers to show their creations and there are also many free gifts on offer as well, so be sure to get there early for a good look round.

The wonderful event has been sponsored by the Evening Standard Newspaper, Platinum and our very own Virtually London (Lite).

Also, not to forget our thanks to Events Manager Ruskin Thor (pictured above), who played a main part in organising the run up to the show, Ruskin unfortunately will miss the event as he will be away on real life business.

SS Galaxy Evening at the Underground Club

We had a really brilliant night on board the luxury liner, SS Galaxy, last week (see SL Team Visit the to the SS Galaxy) and the team at the Underground Club in SL Knightsbridge decided to have a special event to celebrate the great liner's visit to SL London. The dress was to be formal and the colour theme was black and white.

I went on over to the club, meeting Hibiscus outside and things were already underway. Seany1235 Blinker was dj'ing and Brie Janick was the host for the first part of the evening. People had gone to a lot of trouble to put on their best tux's and evening dresses and most of them had stayed with the black and white theme. there were a few people in other colours, plus a cute Aligator av called Clive, but they looked really good too.

Debs Regent popped in and enjoyed dancing the night away, and DBDigital Epsilon was there representing the SS Galaxy. Seany played a great range of music getting everyone in the mood and they had cash prizes to give away for the best dressed people.

Halfway through the evening Taliesin Silverstar took over as dj and Narcissa Larkham replaced Brie as she finished for the night. The great music continued and Taliesin had a general knowledge quiz as well, giving more cash prizes for the right answers. The Club was packed and the night a great success, thanks to the team who do such a good job there.

Friday, 26 September 2008

SL Imperial Wharf Under Construction

As Hibiscus said before in her previous article ‘Moving’, we live in SL Chelsea in the apartment blocks near the houseboats, and it’s a lovely location. Hibiscus lives in the next block to me and we are always calling round to each others apartments for a chat, so we are really happy there.

Well we were both a little bit sad to hear that the apartments are being replaced with new ones. However, now that we have seen the new buildings we are both pleased to stay in that location. The new Imperial Wharf apartments are a copy of the real life ones in Chelsea, so they will once again reflect the mirror image of London that Debs Regent has achieved with the rest of the virtual Capital.

At the moment the SL ones are under construction (as you can see by the main picture at the top) and builder Julia Litvak is doing a great job. Although we liked the old apartments because of the amazing floor space and the panoramic views offered by the large windows, I think we will feel equally at home in the new blocks, as these too are spacious and airy looking. We are both looking forward to moving back in and furnishing the new apartments. Another excuse to go shopping!!!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

JohnnyD Opens 'Juice' store in SL Mayfair

There is a great new men’s clothing shop called ‘Juice’ in Conduit Street, SL Mayfair, it was opened two weeks ago by the owner designer/builder JohnnyD Posthorn. I went over to have a look, and there is a fantastic range of quality smart/casual wear, ideal for the SL London man about town.

I contacted JohnnyD, who said he was in the middle of creating a ‘Ghost Town’ at his place on the SL mainland, and he invited me over. He explained that he has 3 sims, but this was his original land, which he is still attached to. As I arrived, I was met by a ghostly apparition of a monk and giant spiders walking about. A Giant skull loomed up a little way away and a spooky tree with a face carved in its trunk, spouted flames. There were giant pumpkins and a hangman’s galley. I could see JohnnyD was enjoying his work, and he told me he felt 10 years old again. He hung himself on the galley, dangling by his foot, so I could get some pictures, it was great fun.

JohnnyD lead me away from the ‘Ghost Town’ area and we sat outside a little coffee shop, I asked JohnnyD why he chose Mayfair for his store. He told me that he had his eye on Debs Regents’ SL London for a while, but Mayfair made him take the plunge. JohnnyD works hard, he has two ‘Juice’ main stores and 20 Mall rentals to take care of. As well as that he has ‘Market Town’ where he sells Prefab Town shops, plus he makes Beach Houses with a friend.

JohnnyD said he had been making mens’ casual clothes for about 14 months. He had originally come into SL after reading about it, and he told me he was hooked immediately! He added that he didn’t start to make content until he was about 3 months into SL, saying that he has to work hard balancing SL and real life. JohnnyD has a creative real life job, designing recruitment advertising for his clients.

JohnnyD said about his shop in the Mayfair sim “quality sells in SL….. and I have learned that the environment is equally as important.” He added that he has many cheap rentals in SL for say 75 to 250 Lindens a week and they perform ok, so he “decided to go for it (opening the Mayfair store) and so far sales have been great”

You can tell JohnnyD pays attention to detail and his designs are fantastic, look for JohnnyD’s stall at London Fashion Week too, you will be glad that you did. Meanwhile I said goodbye to JohnnyD, who was going to have a break from building and read his favourite copy of the Sun newspaper (that’s the edition with the headlines ‘Freddie Star ate my Hamster.’). I thought I’d better teleport out quickly as well, before the ghostly monk and giant spiders found out where I was hiding.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Dancing in the Street

The bicycle Tour of London, in honour of the real life Tour of Britain, was a great success last week, as people followed the route through the streets of SL London on their bikes. To mark the end of the Tour of London week, Seany and Brie of the SL London management team decided to have an open air street party in the Mayfair sim. It made a nice change from having the event in the Underground Club, as many people stopped by to see what was going on.

Talking about the Underground Club, there is a brilliant night planned for the 26 September, its a ball to be held in the Club to celebrate the presence of the SS Galaxy in the London sim. It's a Black and White event and requires formal dress, so a good chance to get your glad rags on, looks like I'll be hitting the shops again!!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

SL London Team Visit to the SS Galaxy

Debs Regent, who is the owner of SL London, treated us to a night out to remember last Saturday. She invited members of her team, residents and business people, all with connections to the London sims, to join her as guests at the Captain’s table, on board the luxurious SL liner, the ‘SS Galaxy’.

We were welcomed by Captain Nova Straaf and his team, Lars Donnelly, Hospitality Manager, Lady Krimmer, Catering and Special Events Manager, and Lilian Schumann, who is the Entertainments Director. The SS Galaxy is one of the wonders of Second Life, a magnificent ocean liner 3 sims long (65O metres), eight decks high with over a 100 cabins to rent, plus there are many places of interest on board. The Galaxy docks in a different part of the SL grid each month, in locations that represent real life, and this month they have been docked in SL London. Captain Straaf explained that this way they can offer their residents and passengers the ‘cruise experience’. Lady Krimmer had arranged the food and refreshments and we all sat down to a fabulous meal as we enjoyed the evening.

Captain Straaf asked Debs to say a few words and she told us “the Galaxy has been a great opportunity to work together with another inspirational team.” She continued “and I would like to thank Captain Straaf for having us here.” She said “This dinner is a celebration of our working together and hopefully, in the future too.”

Debs added “You have all been a real inspiration to me, as participants in this marvellous experience. And I love every one of you here at this table. Captain, we have a wonderful group of people here. Both residents, producers of content and also business people, as you have on the Galaxy, and I feel I have a special group of people around.” Debs added “Thank you everyone, and thank you Captain for inviting us to your table. I feel humbled to be here on this awe-inspiring ship created by Bill Stirling”

Well the cheers broke out, what a wonderful speech Debs had made, touching every one of us, and making us proud to be part of SL London.

I think Das Wade summed it up for all of us then he said a few words “One day a great Lady had a vision…. That vision was to recreate London, here in Second Life.” He went on to say “And with the help of you all, that vision is becoming a reality. I am fairly new to the team, but would like to say what a wonderful team there is now, and I’m proud to be part of it.” With that he told us “please raise your glass to all of us, with special thanks to Debs for allow(ing) us to be part of her vision/dream.”

Saffia Widdershins, the owner/editor of SL’s most popular homes and gardens Magazine ‘Prim Perfect’ told us “The Galaxy and London are two of my favourite places – both being lively, vibrant settings, and both caring passionately that those who visit should have a good experience” Saffia said “The time and energy you all put into achieving that, the creativity and originality you show, and the commitment you have, is just awesome.” She continued “People talk about Second Life being empty – and yes, there are bare, blank, faceless shopping malls, there are dull flat residential areas where no one wants to live. But not in London. Not on the Galaxy.” Saffia concluded “so …I would like to toast the creativity and commitment of London and the Galaxy!”

The evening had been fantastic and the service from the Galaxy staff impeccable. After the speeches we all sat round chatting and having a lovely time. The night had been very special and greatly enjoyed by everyone who attended.

Although colleague and friend Hibiscus Hastings and I are part of the media in the London sims, Debs kindly included us as part of the team, and we felt blessed, as did the others, to have such a wonderful person in charge, who appreciates all the hard work that the team do to make SL London, along with the SS Galaxy, the finest and most successful place on the grid.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Preparations for SL London's Fashion Week

SL London is getting geared up for the virtual London Fashion Week, starting on the 28th of this month. I travelled over with good friend Drax Ember to see what was going on in the main hall of The Kensington building. We met up with Events Manager Ruskin Thor, model Treasure Vhargon, joint KMADD owner Kirk Claymore, KMADD Manager Risa Bright and top designer Cher Demonge. Ruskin was deeply involved in making the final arrangements for the Fashion events and he has been working really hard to get everything organised. It looks like a fantastic week with many well known top designers showing their creations in SL London.

Sunday in the sim with Hibiscus

On Sundays I like to take a stroll through the London sim if possible. There are usually lots of people around and sometimes things are happening so it is a good time to just check the place out and discover what’s new.

I started off in Mayfair, near the Eros statue and low and what did I see but a lot of traffic cones and construction barriers surrounding the rental office. Seany123 Blinker was there, too, looking at them in a rather puzzled way. When I left he was talking with the rental office manager qwertybob Haystack, so everything was under control, but I still don’t know why the cones were out there. Perhaps they are doing some renovations. I came back later with my bicycle and wound in and out between the cones, which was good fun, even if they were not put there for that purpose.

Continuing on, I walked over to Chelsea and ran into a new person to Second Life who was visiting the London sim for the first time and wanted to practice speaking English. As Janey has written in another article, we often encounter people who come to the London sim because they wish to improve their language skills. We had a nice chat and I learned the visitor was from Hungary. He was very proficient in English, way ahead of my Hungarian skills, which are nil, although I have now learned one word, szia, which means “hi”. He had only been in Second Life for a couple of days but I was most impressed because he had been able to customize his avatar nicely and looked very much like someone from “Lord of the Rings”. When I was a few days old I had not made many changes to my avatar and was a slow learner. Unfortunately my new friend was rather shy and did not wish to have his picture taken, which was a shame, really, as he had done such a good job.

After that I continued on to Knightsbridge and met up with another first time visitor to London. He commented very favourably on the look of the sim and was also quite surprised at how well I stood up to being run over by one of the buses. I am much sturdier than I look. This visitor was looking for fun things to do, so I pointed him towards “The Underground Club”, which is always hopping and probably the most popular place in our sim.

My last conversation was with someone also looking for fun things to do but when he discovered I was older than him, he teleported out of the sim. Devastated by this rejection I returned to my flat to hide my wretched self away from anyone else who might be abroad. I don’t want to go scaring visitors away! But be warned, I have gotten over it now and am back out walking around.

Hibiscus Hastings

PS, the cones disappeared and we never did find out what work was going on!!! just like real life London.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Fashion in Second Life

Fashion is an art form, there are so many different sorts of fashions throughout the world. Different designers trying to make it with their own styles, most of them repeating designs that have been around before, just modifying them so they are updated and have a fresh new feel to them.

The amazing part is, there are rewards for working hard in Second Life, because there's always somewhere you can go to rent out a shop or building, whatever you choose, to show your work to the world. Letting people be inspired and making them want to buy the items on display.

You don't have to worry about getting your size, or making sure that the item doesn't run out of stock, this is Second Life, anything can happen, and is possible (most of the time).

I love fashion, and whenever I have money, I am always looking for new shops to spend, spend, spend. Yesterday I came across a new little shop in SL Chelsea called 'Coconut Ice' and I was able to have a chat with the owner, Maryrose Mariani. I asked Maryrose what exactly she sells in her shop, and she told me "In Chelsea I have the evening gowns, upscale casual wear and jewellery." She went on to say that she had set up a shop in Chelsea, because she already had an apartment there, so it was very convenient.

I saw a customer, who was looking around the shop, and asked them what they thought about it. They said "when you walk into the shop you see all the colours of the clothes, and the layout is very good, I will definitely visit this shop again."

Maryrose certainly has some great clothes for sale in her shop, from evening dresses to casual wear, it fits all the needs of a Second Life woman.

Another fantastic thing about Second Life, is the fact that it doesn't matter what you look like in your 'First Life', because you get to choose what you wear, know one knows your background, or what you look like. You can be a completely different person without people judging you for what you wear, every single person is unique.

Saab Ashbourne

P.S. Big event in SL London from 28 September, Fashion Week hits the Capital with Catwalk shows and lots of things going on. For further information contact Events Manager Ruskin Thor 'in world'

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Colourful Barge Moored at Chelsea

The houseboats at SL Chelsea are always a lovely sight, adding a bit of character to the embankment there. As I went for a stroll yesterday I spotted Seany1235 Blinker, the sims Manager, talking to two ladies, Selina Cazalet and Lady Krimmer. Just near them, next to the houseboats. there was a beautiful painted barge, decorated in bright vibrant colours. Lady Krimmer was taking a look at the interior of the barge, which was fitted out with cupboards and furniture, so you could live on it quite comfortably if you wanted to. The boat belonged to Selina and she wanted to know if she could moor it next to the houseboats, near the Big Ben clock tower. Seany got in touch with Debs Regent, the London sims owner, and she came over to meet Selina. Debs admired the barge as well and gave Selina permission to stay. It’s quite an addition to the embankment, bringing colour and charm to the harbour, lets hope Selina finds SL Chelsea a great place to stay in for quite a while.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Bungee Jumping and Santa

Inspired by Janey’s report on bungee jumping, I decided to try it for myself. It was actually lots of fun, not as scary as I thought it was going to be. When I arrived in London Janey contacted me to ask me if I wanted to try, so I said yes and met up with her in front of Big Ben. Seany1235 Blinker was there, too, so we all had a go.

I must say I was nervous when standing on the platform, which is very high up and does give a great view if you can work up the nerve to look around, but I gathered up my courage and jumped. Next thing I knew, the world was upside down and I was bobbing around. It was over with quite quickly, so I tried again and ended up going for a few jumps. I would highly recommend it, even for people as unadventurous as me.

On one of my jumps, while bouncing around, I saw a helicopter fly past me. It was Seany, who had brought out his new toy and was flying it around. This was a single person helicopter, quite small and streamlined. Seany also owns one that holds three people, which he showed Janey and me and promised to take us for a ride in one day. Clearly Seany is a man who likes vehicles, I have seen him at other times roaring around the sim in a very fancy car.

Later in the day I was walking around Knightsbridge, doing some sightseeing and shopping. I checked out an art display in the Mayfair Gallery and then stopped in at Girlspeedo Latte’s store Gbberish, when I heard someone shouting that he was stuck in a no-entry box. I left the store to look for this person, and who should he turn out to be but Santa Claus! Not a sight you see every day. Santa must have been a naughty boy and had been banned from the Underground Club, but for some reason he got stuck in a box and couldn’t get out. Fortunately Debs Regent was around and came to see what was happening. Eventually Santa got out of the box and left London, but not before he very kindly gave me a UFO. So it was a day of new experiences for me.
Hibiscus Hastings