Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Then and Now

Like the majority of people in SL, I'm a long time fan of Strawberry Singh and her amazing blog.  Each week, she posts a challenge for other bloggers to take part in.  This week, it was to take a photo from your first blog entry and a recent picture of yourself.  Now my blog isn't that old, so I decided to do something slightly different and post the very first picture of myself, or at least the first picture I have that wasn't deleted....and compare it to where I am today.  I believe this picture was taken within my first two weeks of Second Life.

I started SL May 17th, 2008.  It was 3 days after my 23rd birthday.  I was young and way over my head.  I was a bit naive, altogether too trusting and had no idea of the ride that this virtual world would take me on. Obviously, I'm wearing silks in the first picture, which gives away the lifestyle I was/am involved in. I started Second Life to explore some things I had no way of exploring in RL. I moved on from that after about 6 months in SL and did other types of Roleplay, moving then into photography, and then modeling.  

Looking closely at the first picture, it's easy to see that I had terrible editing skills, I have jewelry going into my arm, my shape was completely disproportionate. and my hair color was pretty terrible as well. But I was blissfully unaware of this at the time, and my first few months in SL were probably part of the most enlightening time of my entire life.

I can honestly say that if I had not started using Second Life that my life would have charted a much different course.  It may have been better.  It may have been worse.  But I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't taken that first tentative step and created the avatar Occasus Jayaram.

My first day in SL, I met a man who changed my life forever.  If I hadn't met him, I probably wouldn't have logged a second time or a third, or started the journey that has been my second life. I wouldn't have made the friends and loves that I've gotten to experience and I don't think my RL would have been the same either.  It was through my journey in Second Life that I was brave enough to explore things in my RL and made some amazing friends in the process.  Even though we lost touch about 5 years ago, I've never forgotten him or the impact his existence had on mine.

My most recent photo was done by Alia Novo of Oh Snap! Photography and she does amazing work with a lot of hand drawn details.  This was something I had never had done before and I really wanted to see how my avie could be captured in a more artistic sense.  I chose to use this photo as my now picture because of the contrast between me in 2008 and me in 2015.

The girl on the left was bathed in the light.  The girl on the right, in darkness.  I can say that the girl who logs into Second Life today is more guarded, more cautious, and stands up for herself a lot more than the girl that first made that first tentative click of her mouse nearly 7 years ago.  It makes me shake my head in wonder over what an impact a virtual world has had on my real world.

I have had ups and downs in Second Life, but I know for a fact that I would not have traded them for anything in the whole world.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's day!

I was initially going to ignore the fact that it's Valentine's day, the fact that I'm single, and the fact that I ate frosting right from the jar today and it's not even lunch time yet.....

But, I got the urge to take some pictures today and I really liked this jumpsuit from Alanis that was a marketplace find one day as I was perusing for a sleek and sexy jumpsuit.  The front of the jumpsuite has a plunging, daring neckine and the back is completely bare.  I think it's just beautiful.  I paired the jumpsuit with a beautiful necklace from Earthstones that was a Christmas gift from my amazing friend, Mythic and a bracelet and armband from Ryca.

I also really wanted to showcase this hair.  It's the new group gift from Lelutka, to showcase the new hair textures.  The group gift came with a different HUD for all of their shades and I have to say that I'm very impressed.  I have always loved Lelutka and now I think I love them more, if that's even possible.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Inspired by Androgyny

This past week for the Mr. And Miss Model International runway event, was the "trunk challenge."  Solde Rothmanay of Soul Designs and Cacilia McMasters of CM Obsessed, both generously donated several items of clothing that were placed in two separate trunks.  Some items were placed in Trunk 1 and other items were placed in Trunk 2.  The requirements of this challenge was that each model had to look through the trunks, pick a total of 3 pieces and put them together in a cohesive look, using at least 1 piece from each trunk.

When I received my trunks, I was pleased to see that they didn't give separate trunks to males and females.  We were all presented with the same items.  From the pieces presented to us, I chose to go with all male clothing, and use one of my RL style icons, Tilda Swinton as my inspiration.

From the first trunk, the male item I chose was a smoking Jacket from CM Obsessed.  I paired it with a pair of pants from Soul Designs and a pair of men's dress shoes from the trunks to complete the requirement of 3 pieces.

Style Card
Jacket : Sakura Smoking Jacket - CM Obsessed
Pants: Men's Chino Pants - Soul Designs ( Marketplace Link )
Shirt: Black Tube Top - MichaMi - (Marketplace Link )
Shoes:Men's Lace Up Dress Shoes - CM Obsessed
Hair: Darmody Veganic Hair - Action Hair 
Makeup: Paisley's Wish - Male -  Madrid Solo Cosmetics
Necklace: Pearl Rain Necklace/Onxy - Mandala

I needed a shirt to go under the mesh jacket.  Because it's a menswear jacket, I had to wear the extra small version so that my shoulders didn't look super broad and out of place on my petite frame.  Because of that, any additional mesh items from the trunk would not work underneath the jaket, so I chose a system layer shirt from MichaMi that I had in my inventory.  The way the shirt hung on my chest almost made it seem as if it was a shirt that either a male or female could wear.

I initially was only going to wear a dark cheekbone makeup and black eyeliner, but earlier in the week we were presented with several makeups from Madrid Solo Cosmetics for a photo challenge. There was a men's makeup in their whose colors coincided perfectly with my color scheme, so I chose to wear that instead.

I didn't win the challenge.  That went to a very deserving Vin Cinquetti and Portia Pexington who honestly WERE the clear winners.  But I walked away from the challenge knowing that I asserted my own point of view very clearly and I hope that I left an impression.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mr. & Miss Model International - Makeup Challenge

I have to say that I am really enjoying being a part of the MMI competition.  Aside from making a lot of great new friends, I'm also getting a chance to be creative in the many challenges that are being presented to the models.  This week we have two challenges, a photo challenge and a runway challenge.  I'll be posting my look from the runway challenge this weekend after the show is over.

The photo challenge this week is sponsored by the amazing Madrid Solo and we were given a box with 4 female makeups and 4 male makeups that we could mix and match however we'd like.

I chose to mix and match two of the makeups from the box, and I'll be wearing another at the runway show this coming Saturday.

I just love the level of detail in this makeup and how bright and colorful it is.  Because unicorns seem to be the theme of the moment in Second Life, my thoughts were immediately pulled in that direction.  I found the unicorn horn on Marketplace from Head Candy, called Ice Unihorn.  And I paired it with a hairstyle from Olive.

See below for full style card:

Horn: Head Candy - Ice Unihorn - MP Link

Saturday, January 10, 2015

MMI Fashion Pose Off

I've been a "model" in Second Life since 2009.  I use quotes around the word model because most of my work has been behind the camera, taking pictures for my flickr and occasionally doing a runway show casting.  I have only ever graduated one academy, and have only a handful of professional contacts.  I'm absolutely TERRIBLE at networking.  I tend to curl up on the other side of my computer screen and keep to myself in photoshop.  Being an introvert is complicated in the extroverted world of fashion modeling in SL.

Anyway,  I chose to take a chance and audition for Mister and Miss Model International, also known as MMI.  It's a brand new pageant where contestants represent themselves and not a country.  Sounds simple, right?!  I was intrigued.  I liked the idea of representing myself and being able to be myself, with the look and shape that I like, and not what others deem acceptable.

Our first runway competition was today and it was a fashion pose off set inside of a wrestling/boxing ring.  Now for this diehard WWE fan, it was my chance to be the diva I've always wanted to be and since we could style for it anyway we wanted, I thought it would be easy peasy....

Boy was I wrong.  Last night, I was on my 5th variation of an outfit and I hated everything. And since I hadn't figured out my outfit, I hadn't even started on poses yet.  I wanted to quit.  I was second guessing everything and was terrified that I'd humiliate myself on the runway and fall off, and succomb to the monster we all lovingly refer to as "Lag."  I'm glad I didn't quit, but boy oh boy, was I close!

I only wanted to pull from what I already had in my inventory since the styling is supposed to represent us.  With over 60k of items to choose from, it should have been the easiest thing in the world, but it was not.  I was getting frustrated, felt uninspired, and dead creatively.  Until I remembered that I had purchased this armor from DRD.  I decided to build my look around it.

I had wanted to use a pair of high waisted armor pants from Pixicat, but I couldn't find anything to go with it.  Once I decided to build my look around DRD, it all just fell into place.  I had purchased my top from Baiastice a few months ago at a collabor88 event and the hair is one of my faves from Boon.

Of course for a pose challenge, I couldn't do without my favorite pose designer in SL, Del May.  Our sponsor for the event was Katink Poses, and we were given some poses to choose from, courtesy of that designer as well, and they were amazing poses.  I already had a lot of poses in my inventory to choose from since I have many poses for photography purposes.  I purchased a few more on the off chance I made it past the first round and I would need additional poses.

The runway competition was so much fun, though lag was a complete monster.  We all did it! We made it through! And even though I didn't win, I did make it to the final pose off round and that was such an accomplishment in and of itself. I honestly and truly didn't expect to make it past the first round.  This week we have a photo challenge and next week we have another runway challenge, sponsored by some amazing designers!

Stay tuned, I'll be using this blog to document my journey over the next few weeks!  It's going to be amazing.

Style Card

Pants:       Pixicat
Top:         Baiastice
Armor:     DRD
Necklace: Mandala
Hair:         Boon
Hands:      SLink
Skin:         Glam Affair

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Date Night

It's been a while since I've blogged anything, but I've been having fun with styling recently and entered my first modeling competition in a very long time.  It's a new competition put on by Ava Jhamin of L'Amour Model Management and L'Amour Nexxus Modeling Instructor Cacilia McMasters.  Today was the audition and I should find out tomorrow whether or not I've made it into the contest.

I decided to style a chic night time look that would work as a chic gallery opening, or a sexy date night look.  I should note that this styling is not what I wore to the audition as the audition was to wear something casual that represents ourselves... this is just something I felt like putting together.

I found this gorgeous high waisted skirt from BLOKC with a thigh high slit that just makes me feels super sexy and powerful.  I've paired it with a big trend for the coming season, a cropped sweater top from Mute which comes with a HUD and several color options.  Crop tops are super in right now.   Because of the height of the skirt, however, there is no exposed midriff with this look.

I kept the jewelry simple and understated with a Pearl Choker from Tres Beau and and a pearl bracelet and earrings from Yummy!  Finishing off the look is a statement hat from Glam Affair that I've had for years.

The hairstyle is a simple slicked back ponytail from Baiastice.  This is also from years ago, and to be honest, I'm not sure it's even sold anylonger.  Style Card is below.

Skirt -                            Blokc - Maxi Slit Skirt
Sweater - Mute -           Cropped Sweater 
                                      Hands, Feet and Shoes - SLink
Necklace -                     Tres Beau - Ribbon Pearl Choker - 
Bracelet and Earrings - Yummy! - Jennifer Pearl Set
Hat -                              Glam Affair - Oly Hat 02