Archive for ‘Clothing’

August 14, 2011

Slink Vixen Catsuit – lookbook + review

Latex Two Ways (2)

To my way of thinking, a catsuit is a staple of sci-fi fashion. It displays the perfections of the futuristic form – a form which is, naturally, as toned and honed as science can make it. The shinier, the better, so when I saw this gorgeous picture from S.Luxury, I was struck by the intense, glassy texture of the latex. I also liked that it was a complete outfit in and of itself; it comes with a sculpted collar, gloves and prim shoes/feet so you really can get a painted-on look. There are plenty of latex outfits in Second Life, but the Slink Vixen Catsuit by Siddean Munro is one of the best.

(N.B. All following pictures are raw and unedited – save for cropping – as in all my reviews.)

SLink Vixen catsuit: front/back

I think one of the reasons it’s so good is that the reflections on the suit are not quite symmetrical. It’s highly unlikely that anyone wearing latex would be exactly positioned between lights at all times, so the asymmetry helps to make the reflectivity sit more naturally in the world.

SLink Vixen catsuit: close-up

SLink Vixen catsuit: feet

A few technical details: the collar prim is fully mod, but the feet prims are not. They’re controlled by a simple HUD (see below) and can either be stiletto heels or tippy-toe feet. There’s no “delete scripts” option, but the script count is 7 and the total script memory is 256k, which is very reasonable. (Under 3MB of scripts is a good goal to aim at, and I try to have as few as possible.) The lack of deletable scripts is the only thing I can find to criticise, but given the aforementioned figures, I don’t think there’s much to complain about.

SLink Vixen catsuit: HUD

At 650L$, it’s certainly among the pricier options. There are other catsuits I like, especially for layering, but none of them come close to this one in terms of both the quality of the effect and the completeness of the outfit. I could quite happily wear this and nothing else for weeks on end, except that I have a very full inventory and lots of clothing that begs to be worn. (My life is very hard.) It comes in eight other colours (ruby, blue, rose, black, metallic grey, red, gold and teal), should white not be your choice.

SLink – Vixen Catsuit (white) by Siddean Munro (650L$)

Other credits
First picture:
Skin: Curio – Cupid – Crave 1 in Moonbeam (Light) + cleavage option 4
Eyes: Insufferable Dastard – Quicksilver eyes (small pupil) + Eye Effects (Prim glow 3)
Hair: elikatira – Charmed (white)
Lipstick: KOSH – Glossy Lips (natural)
Lashes: Celestial Studios – Deviant (discontinued)
Pose: DARE – White – Me Me (discontinued)

Review pictures:
Skin: Curio – Cupid – Crave 1 in Moonbeam (Light) + cleavage option 4
Brows: Curio – Sweetheart brows (black)
Eyes: Sorry.Asia – Never.More eyes (vampire) + Eye Effects (Prim glow 3)
Hair: Kin – Cricket (white)
Lipstick: KOSH – Glossy Lips (strawberry) worn over Glamorize – Smart Mouth Lips (Diva)

February 8, 2011

Powersuit Profile: Ladies who Lunch – Jem Jacket

I have an incredible love for the late-80s/early-90s power-suit. It is simultaneously awkward and cool, as evidenced by Grace Jones and Rachael from Blade Runner.

Grace Jones, cover of Nightclubbing Rachael in Blade Runner

So, somehow my sci-fi fashion inevitably involves giant shoulderpads. I’m sure I’m being a product of my time, and this look won’t work for everyone, but it works for me.

The current resurgence of 80s fashion in RL means that there’s no shortage of it in SL, so I’ve been able to find several suitably be-shouldered outfits. Here’s the first: the all-prim Jem Jacket by Ladies who Lunch. It’s unisex, contains resize scripts (it’s no mod, but there’s an option to delete the scripts), and is deliciously glam.

Jem Jacket by Ladies who Lunch (close-up)

As with any outfit made entirely from prims, there are some caveats to be aware of:

  • There are two alpha layers included, as well as the alpha textures to make your own layer, and the notecard mentions that men tend to use the minimum alpha and women and maximum. I’d agree with this assessment, but I found that the maximum was very slightly the wrong shape for me. (You can see where the alpha is peeking past the jacket in some of these pictures, though it’s only noticeable from certain angles.) However, the inclusion of the alpha textures means that I can fix this issue myself. I imagine that making an alpha texture that will suit all shapes is pretty difficult, and I’m not bothered by this feature.
  • Your hips are going to poke through (if you’re female) unless you’re careful with your AO and poses. I created a separate category of straight-hipped poses for my ZHAO AO, but I prefer to cycle between poses rather than have a fully animated avatar all the time, so this is again not really a problem for me. The jacket is definitely more masculine in shape than otherwise, but that’s the aesthetic of the piece. You can make the jacket bigger to compensate, of course, or change your shape a little. In fact, that leads to the only real improvement I can think of: a glitch clothing layer to wear underneath the prims.
  • Speaking of shapes, those boob sliders are going to have to come right down, unless you make the jacket really big.

Jem Jacket by Ladies who Lunch (variations)
Jem Jacket by Ladies who Lunch (details)

Having said all of that, I think the small sacrifices you make to wear this piece are completely worth it. The textures and sculpted prims are good quality, and the gem embellishments really make it special. There are three variations for the body of the jacket: no gems on the lapels or back, gems only on the lapels, and gems on the lapels plus a gem cross on the back. (In all versions, the shoulderpads are gemmed.) The jacket itself comes in white, black, yellow, red and purple. It’s a detailed piece, and I think it merits the 320L$ price. It’s unusual, striking, and well-executed.

Jem Jacket by Ladies who Lunch

Jem Jacket by Ladies who Lunch (320L$ / Inworld / Marketplace)

Skin: Curio – Moonbeam (Light) Cupid – Crave 1
Hair: Exile – Ada (astral)
Eyes:Senasy Cybernetics – Rotating Mechanical Eyes
Lashes: Celestial Studios – Groupie (discontinued)
Trousers: PixelDolls – Empire Belted Suit – Dragon set
Tattoo: sYs – Gift 1 (freebie)
Makeup: Natural Beauty – Lipstick 30 (Lipstick set 3)

January 26, 2011

Review: Alpha Lyrae by Alruneia Sentry

I promised a review of the main component of yesterday’s lookbook post, so here it is! Click on any image to view it in a Flickr lightbox – I recommend this if you want to see all the details. I’ve used no post-processing apart from cropping/arranging the images and a light sharpening after shrinking them for the web. Credits and SL urls are at the end of the post.

Alpha Lyrae (options)

Alpha Lyrae by Alruneia Sentry comes in six colour options, where the latex-like panels and some of the details on the collar are the parts that change colour. I’m wearing Smokey (black) but there’s also Amethyst (purple), Cavansite (blue), Flourite (green), Pumice (orange), and Pyrite (white). The black surround, shown on the left in the image above, stays the same throughout. There’s a similar outfit in white called Alpha Lyrae II, so plenty of choices all round.

The basic outfit consists of top, bottom, glove and sock layers. As you can see above, you get various degrees of transparency to play with. From left to right: Cropped, Transparent, and Opaque. There’s a shirt and pants layer for each variation, but you also get the same thing on undershirt and underpants layers.

This leads to my only gripe: there’s a problem in Second Life with the seamless meeting of shirt/pants or undershirt/underpants layers, in that they don’t. The gaps are small, but noticeable. You can get around it by having the top on a jacket layer that covers the join, but there is none in this outfit. It’s not something that bothers me, and it’s easy to edit out in post-processing, but it might be irksome for you.

Alpha Lyrae (details)

That’s the only negative point I have. The textures are crisp and detailed, the joins are (other than the SL waist join issue) seamless, and the styling is futuristic and imaginative. I have a particular liking for outfits with transparent areas like this, because they make layering so much fun.

Like the rest of the outfit, the prim collar – there are two copies, one for the chest attachment point and one for the spine – is copy/mod/no trans. It’s made from sculpted prims (and possibly normal ones too) and adds some structure to what is otherwise a primless outfit. There’s also an extra option for the skin-baring variation: a pants layer with a lower crotch.

Alpha Lyrae (extras)

Alpha Lyrae (back)

Alpha Lyrae is priced at 380L$, which I think is a good deal. It’s a beautiful design in its own right, but it would also be an ideal base layer or component of another outfit. Out of all the catsuits/plugsuits/onepieces I’ve found in SL, it ranks very highly indeed.

Skin: Curio – Moonbeam (Light) Cupid – Crave 2
Hair: Truth – Jess (bubblegum) (freebie) & Exile – Scene (candy) (soon to be discontinued; currently on sale)
Eyes: Rakura Prime – Tech Azur Glow (discontinued)
Outfit: Alruneia Sentry – Alpha Lyrae (Smokey)