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Sunday, September 29, 2019



One of the great perks of life on the grid is the opportunity to visit sims and events I might not normally get to and meet people from around the world.  I recently had an opportunity to interact with some of the Grid’s most stunning ladies and gents at LUXE international. After culling through dozens and dozens of applicants last May, the officials at LUXE chose an initial pool of 25 Men and 25 Women to move into the Luxe Look of the Year competition.  That number was further reduced to 10 men and 10 women as the final phase began. After an extensive vetting process that began last May, the LUXE Paris and LUXE Dot Be winners we announced. I had the privilege of interacting with these individuals and some of their answers to my questions were quite telling.

QUINTE, Winner of LUXE Paris

YEBEN, Winner of LUXE Dot Be

The winners come from all around the world, from China to Peru; from Columbia to Reno Nevada – all had stories to tell and different paths to becoming Luxe winners.
Winning this contest is something that takes some seniority in SL.  Most of the winners had been in SL for nearly a decade or more. When asked how long they had been SL residents, the average length of time was eight years and ten months here, with individual lengths running from three years to over 13 years in residence.

Did you think you had a good shot at the LOOK of the YEAR, or was your ranking there a complete surprise?
Respondents answers indicated a range of emotions, and varied from complete surprise, to matter-of-fact expectations.  Half of the winners expected to win, with comments like “I thought I would do well because I knew the styles very well having modeled LUXE Paris for years” , or, “I have prepared for two years for this moment, I am very confident in my abilities and although the contest was very competitive, I was confident that I would get a good place”.   But other winners were surprised by their unexpected good fortune, with comments like “It was definitely a surprise!  There was some pretty great talent participating!” or, “It was a surprise to win. I wasn’t very confident after the classes they held for contestants, but I was encouraged by my other model friends”.
SELENE SNOWPAW, First Runner Up LUXE Paris
AHN AVION, First Runner up LUXE Dot Be

When asked How did you take the news when they first announced your name?
One contestant reacted with “The first feeling is shock...did I really hear my name? ThenWe have members who were I panic...what do I do? Then pure joy as it sinks in that all that hard work and time was very worth it.”  Others were equally surprised, noting “ My first thought was that I was glad my avatar's expressions didn't look like my real life expressions! I'm sure I looked like a fish out of water with my mouth hanging open because my jaw was on the floor.”

How was the experience? What was the most fun part? The most difficult?
Some of the contestants were truly humbled by the experience.  “The contest was an amazing experience. To be surrounded by so much talent was humbling. The management of the contest was very well done and we were all treated with the utmost respect and yet had tons of fun.  Another noted that “I had never been in a competition before so the whole thing was a learning experience. I enjoyed seeing everyone's interpretations of style, especially from the men since our style choices were far more limiting. There are some great ideas out there! I don't know that there were any difficult aspects to it.” And then there were the actual mechanics of modeling itself.  “It was a new experience for me and I did learn many things. It is not easy to walk a runway and be a model. It looks easy, but not so much true. I was very hard on myself and was afraid I might make a bad mistake.”

How would you describe the brand that you now represent?

Luxe Paris is a very elegant and current brand, which is always aware of everything from fashion trends and the well-being of the community.  Youthful, fresh, elegant and above all very nice to wear. LUXE Paris is for women that care about how they look and wish to wear the elegant and classy clothing of current fashion trends.  Dot-be has fashions for those looking for something not quite typical yet not overly eccentric.  Different yet not outlandish or garish. I have found it easy to bring the Brand to life as my personal style is very closely aligned to that of Mika and Paris. I enjoy the range of the designs from sassy and saucy to elegant, smart and sophisticated. Luxe Paris is the Brand that can dress you for every occasion.
MELANY AGUILERA, Second Runner Up LUXE Paris

NASAO ELTON, Second Runner Up LUXE Dot Be

Why is fashion important to you?
All contestants agreed, Fashion is Important.  One noted that “Fashion for me is my love, my passion and a very important vehicle to help make a difference in the world.  Fashion is my artistic medium for expression, who I am always comes through. Fashion allows me to express myself, my moods and important causes that I can further through my modeling and fashion exposure.  I see fashion as a means of empowerment for women which can reach every corner of the globe.” Another contestant noted that “Styling is the key. How you wear is as important as what you wear. We only get one chance to make a good first impression, and depending on the situation, that first impression can be vital to create a strong professional relationship.”

And of course, what is a Fashion Show without social commentary? The candidates were asked What social stigma does society need to get over? What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?
Responses were concise.  “Society should respect and tolerate differences in many ways of thinking, feeling and being. We need to overcome the differences in skin color, ethnicity and sexuality, we need to respect and admire everyone equally. Just because we may disagree, it doesn't mean that we have to hate each other.  One contestant identified a truly practical issue and noted “What really disturbs me is when too many cars are on the road for my drive to work.”
Saving the best question for last  we asked If magic was real, what spell would you try to learn first?
One person answered, “to be able to travel through time. Also to be able to give peace and joy in afflicted hearts, to live in a world populated by good people who have neither time- nor desire to harm others.”  Another thought the ability to teleport at will would be excellent. Finally, one contestant who most fully embraces life on the grid responded with “What?! Magic isn't real?! I quit!”


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