Windlight Magazine features Art in Second Life and has quickly become one of the hottest cultural magazines available for the art enthusiasts of Second Life. The Edge is a new fashion reporting division in WM which features articles by Eleseren Brianna. She is a seasoned Model with an eye for fashion. Some of the article you will find showcase top fashion designers, new releases, jewelry, accessories, what’s in season, fashion shows and more.
The SL Enquirer caught up with Eleseren Brianna to learn more about her passion for fashion, The Edge and what to expect in upcoming features.
Interview with Eleseren Brianna
Hi Eleseren, congratulation on becoming a new addition to Windlight Magazine and for all your accomplishments in Second Life’s fashion Industry. Can you tell our readers about your background as a model and how it has impacted your Second Life?
Eleseren: Hi Lanai, I have been a model now for 3 years. I did my first model training basically so that I could make better vendor pictures for my store (Romance Couture which has now closed). What hooked me more and more about modeling was the creativity of it. It can be a performance art in a runway context, and a visual art when presenting fashion in an image. Styling itself is hugely creative, especially when doing 'out of the box' experimental stylings. SL has always been a creative outlet for me, ever since I rezzed in early 2009 and modeling has become a major facet of that.
Fashion comes in a wide variety of styles and trends. What are some of the things you like to do to keep up with the world of Fashion and how often it changes?
Eleseren: I follow Fashion in SL and in RL. In RL I like to keep abreast of the Fashion Weeks which showcase the seasonal collections of the major designers. I follow a lot of magazine, designer and styling facebook pages, which constantly keep me updated, and I of course love to treat myself to glossy magazines like Vogue for instance. In SL I check out as many Events as I can manage to get around and often follow up new designers who catch my eye. I also love to see people's blogs and flickr.
With Mesh being on the top of Trends in SL Fashion, do you have any tips for our readers who might feel a bit apprehensive about converting to mesh avatars, clothing and accessories?
Eleseren: Mesh has been around now for over 4 years and I think most avatars have probably at least experimented with it. It does initially take a bit of getting used to as it is so different from system clothing (having to hide parts of your body to wear it for instance).
Mesh accessories are probably the easiest way to begin to experiment with mesh, and there are lots of wonderful designs now, exploiting the superb modeling and texturing potentials inherent in mesh.
Mesh clothing isn't too hard to try either, just remember to wear the alpha's provided. You will find it hard to layer mesh over mesh, unless you are expert and experiment, as mesh will break through mesh, so I would avoid this as a beginner. There are lots of designs around though so you will have plenty of choice to find your own style.
Mesh bodies are definitely the most challenging to get to grips with, the huds can be terrifying at first, with their myriad of alpha 'cuts' to select (the mesh body is mapped out in areas which can be selected to turn alpha, to meet the demands of lots of different mesh clothing). Huds also enable other options, like adding tattoos and a form of system clothing applied to the mesh, plus things like skin sheen and sometimes even whether you want nipples or not! I do recommend persevering with learning the huds, perhaps with a help of a friend as mesh bodies definitely are a visual improvement over the default SL avatar body. You can have elegantly molded limbs, beautiful natural looking shoulders (and other parts!) and clothing looks wonderful on a mesh body (it looks tons better in photos too). Remember though, if you get a mesh body you will not be able to wear your old system clothing with it.
If you are not yet ready for a mesh body then get mesh hands and feet, which are simpler but vastly improve your overall finish. I even wear mesh ears for the same reason. As for mesh heads, they are ubiquitous now but I haven't succumbed yet. I don't want to be a clone and until mesh heads are truly moddable by the SL sliders I won't get one. However, that is me, and I will say there are more and more beautiful mesh heads out there, and more and more makeup and skins made for them.
We’ve come across dated avatars who don’t understand how vital alpha layers are to wearing mesh, can you explain why it is necessary and worth the effort to try it?
Eleseren: Alpha layers in essence make parts of your default avatar body invisible. They are vital for mesh clothing as mesh is not made to your exact sliders, and it doesn't change shape in the exact way your sl avatar changes shape when you move around. You cannot just try and pick a size big enough to wear over your avatar body, you will just look huge and there will still be problems. Without wearing the alpha the mesh will constantly 'break' and look full of holes or ragged (it doesn't actually break, it dips inside your avatar body). If you wear an alpha you make the parts of your body underneath the mesh clothing invisible, so avoid the mesh breaking. Wearing the alpha which comes with the mesh clothing means you will achieve the smooth and perfect look that the designer intended. One word of warning here though, which has caught me out occasionally. Some designers now sell mesh clothing only for mesh bodies..with no alpha included..so check any mesh clothing you buy is also for 'Classic Avatar'.
You certainly know a lot about trends and the fashion industry in SL, and now you will be writing about Fashion for Windlight Magazine. Can you tell me about The Edge?
Eleseren: The Edge has a mission to explore and represent the most creative facets of SL Fashion and modeling, and especially the most creative styling and fashion imagery in SL. As part of its general remit I do cover aspects of RL fashion, designers and trends for instance, but I will be focusing primarily on SL. I have a team of Edge Stylists who will be showcasing their styling and photography skills (both in the magazine, but also in other opportunities that arise as part of the Edge's wider work, promoting creativity in Fashion and Styling. The Edge has a section of the Windlight website and our Stylists can link their blogs to it, plus it covers other issues and features as they arise.
The Edge will be represented at Burn2 in the Autumn and there are other exciting projects in the pipeline. The Edge has also opened a Gallery, the first (I believe) in SL which features fashion and styling imagery. Fashion is an art in itself (at least an Applied Art and I think it can go beyond that, as shown by some well known RL designers like Alexander McQueen), and I am very happy that John Herring who owns Windlight had the vision to include a voice for it within the Windlight Magazine.
Why do you think fashion is so popular in Second Life?
Eleseren: Fashion is popular in SL I think for the same reason Fashion is popular in RL..it is a way of expressing and making visible our personalities and identity. It is a way of making ourselves look (and feel) more attractive and confident. It can be a way of making a statement or feeling part of a group of people we identify with. It can be used to seduce or intimidate even..there are so many facets to Fashion, whether that is in SL or RL. Plus, we can have perfect ever youthful bodies here and wear the things we would love to but dare not in RL!
What are your favorite topics to cover?
Eleseren: I think I have alluded to them really in previous questions. My focus is to showcase the creativity in SL Fashion, and its related spheres of modeling, styling and imagery. I write about topics but also cover designers, competitions and trends. My articles reflect my own personal interests related to this, but also pick up on wider issues in SL.
What can readers expect to see in upcoming issues?
Eleseren: More of the above! I don't plan months ahead and I am not formulaic in what I cover, ideas form organically and get covered.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Eleseren: The Edge is still growing in its concept and I am continually open to developing it in new directions. For instance I will be running styling seminars on the Windlight sim as part of the Edge fairly soon, and hope to explore the interaction of art and fashion in other ways as time goes on. The Edge isn't an agency, it is not a school, and it doesn't claim to be a full magazine in itself..its a Project, a Collective, and a platform to push the most creative aspects of SL Fashion, styling, modeling and fashion imagery.
Preferred Contact: Eleseren Brianna