Saturday, February 20, 2016

Butch Safari

This week, the Safari was in the business of raising Male Avatar Awareness. Even with the latest shopping survey on Hypergrid Business, *thanks Maria!* finding what you need to create a look in OpenSim is always a challenge, and menswear is the toughest category of all to locate. Skins, shapes and clothes are all tricky. Shapes often give that gorilla look, shoes have traditionally been way too big and clunky, and hair varies wildly from super effeminate to unconvincing buzz cut. If you don't believe me girls, then just go out there and try putting together a look you can live with. No wonder many men give up and go girly, or furry, or simply wear the same tee shirt and jeans for about ten years... I found this Shrek skin and shape at Lani Mall in Jorink Devin's shop... definitely a boy thing.
Our first stop was on Bubblesz Grid, which is the small hg enabled grid of mesh enthusiast Taarna Welles.
          If you arrive at the Welcome sim on  

.... you'll see the portal that will take you direct to the shops...

.... You'll arrive close to the building called La Baronnie. as you can see from this photo, the new shop ReMake for men is a short walk. 
ReMake shop, for men, is on the left in this picture... La Baronnie, accessories for men and women, is top right.
            In addition to her own grid, Taarna has a sim on Metropolis grid called La Baronnie and for a very long time that has been the go-to place for shoes for men and women. On Bubblesz grid (hg addresses at the end as usual) you need to go to sim Savvy, where you will find a shop called La Baronnie containing the familiar trainers, boots and shoes, along with a whole lot of other stuff, including complete outfits, bare feet, hats, and other accessories.
           But now there is even more! a whole new shop dedicated to menswear. Jeans, tees and sweaters, all made of fitted mesh. The new kind of mesh is more sophisticated, and stretches with your body in a way older mesh won't. So you no longer need to modify your form to fit the garment, or have one item that comes in five different shapes or sizes. One size fits all!

          Taarna met the group and in Voice we talked about the challenges of designing clothes. The SL avatar form we're working with is in itself challenging - it's old technology, and not very mesh friendly. Taarna has always loved making things for herself, even her skin in SL was a custom job. Her shop is an extension of her artistic spirit, and natural generosity. She gets a lot of her inspiration from the internet, for example, the hat-lights in the new shop.

Ni Lemon: sorry I didn't came dressed like a man, I didn't look yesterday for a skin so I missed the male avatar today. Clothes I could get on Linda's shop...
Thirza.Ember: hats off to the guys, it really is hard to find stuff for men
Truelie Telling: in SL, I practically never wore anything twice... now, the rare things that make me comfy I wear over and over... but really, the guys are part of the problem... most guyz are still in the first outfit they put together, and never change clothes!
Selby Evans: But this is my brand.  I appear in lots of my pictures
Billy.Bradshaw: I change my socks
Korgi Silvercloud: well I may be small but I'm still a male av *giggles*
Dreaming of mesh... Taarna Welles

Taarna.Welles: Welcome in this little new shop. I can use voice if everybody likes it.
          ...I always feel bad when we use voice. I know how tiring it can be at the end of a long day to hear people talking fast in a language not your own. It gets boring fast. However, we made it work, except for Mal, whose Voice only kicked in at the very end! (Was wondering why he was so quiet...)
Thirza Ember:  Apart from this brand new store, Taarna is also involved in the upcoming Fashion Show, I understand When exactly is that?
Nara Nook: The end of April. I think the last Saturday, there are a few designing for males - I will have to share Avia's poster with Safari group.
Korgi.Silvercloud: in sl and another closed grid I have the fortunate luck of having a full mesh body with hideable alpha layers hehe. in the rest of opensim it always feels like turning back the clock appearance wise. It is nice to see more people taking the initiative for mesh like you.
          Amid the many complimentary remarks made by the 20 or so who came to look around the shop, Taarna tried to get the guys to say what kind of clothes they would really like... and here she hit upon a problem. Jeff Kelley proposed more space-themed items, a nice idea, but generally there was a lack of feedback - maybe because she put the men on the spot, but perhaps just because they don't think that much about clothes.
Billy.Bradshaw: The women at home (rl) always say male avatars look camp.. I must admit I don't know what they mean.
Thirza Ember: I'd like to see more jackets, maybe motorcycle or cowboy style, and long coats like the one Spike has on
Spike Sol, dark and dashing

Wizardoz Chrome: yes , bello il cappotto :)
Nara Nook: cowboy's are hot :)
Mal Burns: eyeing Spike's costume
Nara Nook: we dress male characters so we know how hard it is to find things
Korgi Silvercloud: Well your clothes are wonderful and i really like them, however even with them being fitted mesh i notice some very evident clipping on smaller shapes. maybe a small line for more "petite" males somewhere down the line is a suggestion.
Nara Nook: to get things for child size male avatars I had to use girl skins and clothes
Korgi Silvercloud: not just children..there are a fair number of people who use female base because it looks less muscly... but yea kids clothes would be cool too
Truelie Telling: I miss what mature men wear, need them for my characters... it's mostly 15-30 year old clothes. I want clothes for Harrison Ford, etc. not aged rock and rollers.
George Equus: Women do seem to have an infinite supply of great garments all over the grid to pick from,  Not such a greats selection for men...  footwear are the worst to find.
Thirza Ember: I've tried making shirts, but they often look really boring, and when I spice them up, they end up looking very gay... there may be a market for that, but it's frustrating when you're going for a heterosexual look.

         We walked over to the La Baronnie shop, to check out the mesh feet, for men and women. Taarna is self taught in Blender, she is an artist and has a whole sim of her sculptures right next to the shops on Hidden Leaves. She finds rigging and weighting the most difficult elements even with the experience she has gained over recent years. But one highlight of our visit was when she pointed out that you may take her items and export them into blender, modify then, and re-import them into open sim. It's a typically opensim attitude, a response to the thread of tinkering modifiers that seems to run through the veins of all of us.
Zweet ZurroundingZ
        Second stop was on OSGrid, in the lovely fantasy forest on a var region built by Amsterdam Bingyi
Amsterdam Bingyi
          It is called Zweet ZurroundingZ and indeed is a sweet spot for anyone looking for a romantic place to pass the time. Hey, he has got the Prince Charming look going on! There's hope for the guys, then...
Truelie Telling, dandy style!
Truelie dressed as a guy sang some tunes about love and loss... of people and bits. Great stuff, and dancing was available too! 

          It was the first time Am's ballroom had been used in this way, hopefully not the last, it is the perfect venue, and there was very little crashing - impressive! 
          Since our event was a concert, we didn't get out into the countryside, although camming was going on for sure... but you should definitely go for a walk here, it will make your spirit soar. Mesh grass, beautiful trees and statues are just a few of the attractions on Zweet ZurroundingZ.
Nick and Deosil on Santorini

          Finally we went to a new grid for us, Starlight. It's the home of Nick and Deosil Envoy. What does Deosil mean? Google it, and you'll discover another deliciously imaginative virtual name.
Starlight Grid has gone through a few incarnations, including GreekFour, and GreekLife, looks like Starlight World is the name that will stick. It is a big grid, Nick told us he has been around opensim since 2010. He took us on a whirlwind tour of several sims, including this stunning Santorini, which includes a nice notecard with historical information about the real life island.

Ni Lemon: We are in Greece that's what I can tell
Deosil Envoy: Nick says to fly to the island to get a better view if you can
Wizardoz Chrome: Bella!
Thirza Ember: what a gorgeous village!
George Equus: Think I could live here...
Ni, Korgi and Fr0zenhawk Chillsmoke on the Santorini terrace

Thirza.Ember: so... do you hav to be a little bit greek to live here?
Nick Envoy: yes but no too much greek
Deosil Envoy: no I am not greek at all, I live here and I have no greek
Nick Envoy: here is casino place

Truelie.Telling: oh, now that npc by the door of the casino, that's what I mean by mature, and real
Thirza.Ember: this is where you can go to the casino, and lost your shirt and nobody minds
Spike Sol: how many guest here per day?
Nick Envoy: all grid have about 700 guest per week
Dark Town
Thirza Ember: how many sims do you have Nick?
Nick Envoy: 368, and 58 region to hyper grid
Ni Lemon: that's huge, it's like the french cheese 1 a day
On the grid's welcome sim
        There's much more to see, including Sun City, Dark Town, Cylon, Urban City, Greece Hellas where there is the Parthenon and dancing, and plenty of freebies including free houses. Nick is a very quick and prolific builder, and  the Envoys are charming and generous hosts, this is definitely a grid you're going to want to visit again and again. 

HG Addresses
Taarna Welles shops
          on Bubblesz
          on Metropolis baronnie
Amsterdam Bingyi's var region zurroundingz
Nick and Deosil Envoy's grid

Greece Hellas sim

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