Bea Serendipity, a model since July 2011, has been one of the top models ever since. She has won many awards and top accolades for her creative styling. She has recently opened a designer store with Warm Clarity, “ghee”. The Miss Virtual United Kingdom does not limit herself to modelling; she has been an enthusiast to raise awareness for women and equality. Inspite of her fame, she is still a humble person. Read more on http://beatriceserendipity.blogspot.co.uk
Debby Sharma: You are one of the top models in Second Life. With the popularity and appreciation that follows you, how much does it impact your real life?
Bea Serendipity: It might surprise you to hear that I am still thrilled when I am described as a “top model” – it’s not something I take for granted, I am still excited that people like my work and read my blog or look at my pictures, in my mind I guess I am still the same person, just someone who loves fashion, playing dress-up and taking photos in Second Life. I have never really thought about how it impacts on my real life. I probably spend more time online than I should sometimes. Of course, nobody in my real life (apart from my partner, who I met in SL) has any idea of my virtual career, so in that sense, it has no impact at all. On the other hand, being part of the fashion community in SL connects me with people from all across the world – and in that sense, I would say I have a feeling of connectedness that I didn’t have before SL.
Debby Sharma: Which other metaverse are you in other than Second Life? And what do you do in those places?
Bea Serendipity: I’m not involved in any other virtual worlds yet. I do take a look from time to time, but I haven’t found anywhere with the scale or quality of Second Life.
Debby Sharma: Where do you find the inspiration behind each thematic challenge?
Bea Serendipity: Usually, when I am given a styling challenge, the first thing I do is run to Google Images to see what is there…I look for the overall themes, shapes, colours, textures etc. Then I get to work in SL, looking for pieces that will work together, with an image in my mind of what I want to achieve. Of course this can mean many hours trawling through marketplace and my inventory to find the right items. But often I find that once I have the key elements together, the rest just flows. Sometimes, it doesn’t work like that, and I just know straight away what I want to do, based on something from my inventory or something I’ve seen inworld, rather than any research. It could be a pair of shoes, an accessory, a dress…but something just gives me a starting point to work from.
Debby Sharma: Which is the most favourite costume that you have created or put together?
That’s a hard question, because I have loved lots of the looks I’ve created, but perhaps my favorite is the Avant Garde Fetishist look I created for the Avenue Rivals casting last year. You can see it here:http://beatriceserendipity.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/avenue-rival-avant-garde-fetishist.html Why this one? Well, I have a fondness for fetish fashion – tight laced corsetry, skin tight latex, shiny black leather and impossibly high heels. I was delighted when this challenge was posted, and it was one of the quickest stylings I think I’ve done – the whole thing only took a couple of hours. I am proud of the level of detail in the outfit, the combination of textures and shapes, the way it does exactly what I wanted it to – takes the architecture of the female body and exaggerates it in every direction. I can imagine a real life fetish designer recreating this look.
Debby Sharma: Do you wear any outfit twice or more? If so, which one and what is your favourite colour?
Bea Serendipity: I have a whole lot of more casual looks that I’ve blogged that I wear again and again. You will often see me around the grid shopping in my most recent blog post. The more complex, haute couture runway pieces are less likely to get worn again – which is a pity considering how much effort goes into them! I like to dress appropriately for the occasion, so I have a few sweaters/t-shirt and jeans looks that I keep for rehearsals, photo shoots etc. and I do tend to re-use beachwear looks for beach and pool parties
I love yellow. I drive a yellow car in real life – it makes me smile when I see it.
Debby Sharma: Why do you think Fashion Industry is so big in Second life?
Bea Serendipity: In SL we have relatively unlimited budgets and we have the ability to create the shapes and appearances we want – so we can live our dreams of being a fashion icon, a vintage movie star, a doll, a street urchin, whatever we fancy. And because creators enjoy making stuff for avatars to wear, we have a huge amount of choice. SL is about fantasy and creativity, and dressing our avatars is one of the main ways we can all express ourselves in this medium.
Debby Sharma: What was the motivation or inspiration to start blogging?
Bea Serendipity: I’d been posting photos on Flickr of outfits I’d put together for a while (before I even contemplated becoming a model) and people had started contacting me inworld to ask me where to buy the things I was wearing, so it made sense to me to start a blog to share that information. It was about that time I started training as a model as well, and I figured a blog would be a good way to promote my work, so “Simply Bea” was born! I had no idea I’d still be at it 3 years later!
Debby Sharma: What were the motivations behind "SL Say No to Violence"?
Bea Serendipity: I have been an activist against violence against women for many years in my real life, and I had always wanted to find a way to translate that work into SL. When I was in the Miss Virtual World pageant, I realized that I was in a unique position, with the eyes of so many on me and the other Misses, to do something that could have some impact. 25th November is UN Day to End Violence Against Women, and there is activity across the globe to draw attention to this crucial issue that touches all of us. I spoke with the other Misses, and asked if they would support the campaign – and they were overwhelmingly positive about working with me.
We worked on a video with Cold Media showing images of the Misses with black eyes, bruises and other injuries along with some basic information about the scale of violence against women. We got permission from Japanese vocalist Sayulee to use her beautiful acoustic version of “Oh Mother” as the soundtrack, and we released the video on 25th November. It had impact because people were used to seeing the Misses as icons of glamour and beauty.
The video was shared lots and reached nearly 3,000 people, and others also made their own photos to support the campaign. I know it won’t have changed the world, but it did reach people, and the most heartening thing was the messages I received from survivors of violence thanking me for doing it. If we can do something positive to give a voice to survivors, then we have achieved something really important.
Debby Sharma: Tell us something about "Stand 4 Love".
Bea Serendipity: Stand 4 Love is a Second Life campaign in support of same sex marriage, started by Editorial Clarity and Rico Racer Flux. Although I identify as “straight” I have always felt passionate about gay rights, and the right to marry is a human right that shouldn’t be denied any consenting adult. Once again, this was an example of Second Life being a platform to promote a real life campaign issue to great effect, and I was pleased to be able to add my voice.
Bea Serendipity: One Billion Rising is a global campaign against violence against women that focuses on V-Day (Valentine’s Day) and women and men coming together to dance in protest. In SL, there’s a 24hr dance marathon where people can I’m a member of the group and a supporter, and I have used my blog and social networking to promote One Billion Rising in the fashion community.
Debby Sharma: Will you start your modelling agency in future?
Bea Serendipity: I am already quite heavily involved in a small agency called “The Collective” which is really more a group of model friends who enjoy putting on small shows with less well known designers. I’m also represented by quite a few agencies already, and there are so many agencies in SL I’m not sure we really need another one, so probably not. I am considering offering private consultancy and mentoring for aspiring models though…the problem is, I’m so busy most of the time it’s hard to find the space to get organized to do something like that. I’m also taking tentative steps into designing, so watch this space!
Debby Sharma: What would you like to tell your fans? Would you like to share something with young models and fashion bloggers?
Bea Serendipity: Thank you. I am so grateful to know that there are people who enjoy my work; it means the world to me, so thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
When you start out in this business, it can be tough. You have to develop a thick skin – be ready for frustrations and disappointments along the way. Don’t expect instant success – it takes work, and a lot of learning, to hone your skills and build your brand. Remember that it’s your relationships that will make or break you as much as your look or styling skills. And have fun. Working as a model and blogger in SL can be exciting, challenging and rewarding, but you won’t get rich doing it!
Debby Sharma: How would you define Bea Serendipity in three words?
Bea Serendipity: Wow, that is so hard! Ermmmmm……Stylish, Passionate and Classic. Or Crazy Cat Lady….take your pick :P
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