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Friday, August 7, 2020

Congratulations are in order for Avalon Chrome! The New Face of LUXE Paris!- Lanai Jarrico Reporting...

This contest took place over a course of a month for judges to vote behind the scenes as the contest came to an end at the finale on Sunday July 26th.  A total of 12 finalists walked the runaway in style and grace  and 12  judges involved in fashion, business and media convened at a 4 hour competition.  

Each contestant was a star in their own right. From a fierce runway model for over a decade to the beginner who handled herself like a pro .  These ladies did a fabulous job! It was a pleasure to serve on the board of judges for the 2nd year in a row and an honor to present the new Face of LUXE Paris… Avalon Chrome!

SLE: Hi Avalon,  I want to congratulate you on your title! After months of hard work it has to feel amazing! What were your first thoughts the moment your name was called? 

Avalon:  Thank you!  I couldn’t be more honoured to be chosen as the 2020 LUXE Paris brand ambassador and am so excited to work with co-owners Parisian Skytower, & Mika Palmyra and COO Julia Brand.  At first, I was in complete disbelief. But once I picked myself up off the floor and let it sink in, I thought, “Wow, I guess hard work really does pay off!”

SLE: Where are you from and how did you discover Second Life and your passion for fashion in SL?

Avalon: I’m from southwestern Canada (British Columbia). I discovered SL right at the end of its beta period, so my first avatar who’s now 17 yrs old,  is one of the originals. That avatar was mostly for RP games as there was really no fashion industry to speak of. But as SL evolved, I created Avalon specifically for the fashion industry as it’s a way for me to express my creativity. I love styling Avalon and then photographing the different looks in unique ways. I also love blogging ( about it as it’s a great way to support the industry I love so much.

SLE: You have a very distinctive vintage elegant look from beachwear to formal. Can you share with our readers your inspiration for the outfits you chose for the competition?

Avalon: Although I have fun styling everything from glam to AG, to Fantasy, I'm most comfortable wearing stylish haute couture, while adding just a hint of gracious sensuality and a dab of edginess. Thankfully, my style sensibilities seem to be in alignment with the LUXE Paris brand. 
It was how the garments made me feel when I put them on that inspired my styling.  For the Shopping on the Promenade theme, I wore the sassy little polka dot dress called “Larimar”. When I tried it on, I felt graceful and sophisticated and when I added the classy arm wrap and the flowing bow sash from the “Fabulous” gown, I felt like doing the Swan Dance across the room. So I ran (or pliĆ©d) with the whole ballet theme and before I knew it I was wearing en-pointe style heels and choosing poses resembling ballet stances. I playfully named this look, “A Ballet of Polka Dots”.
The AMARYLLIS gown I wore for the opulent Met Gala theme invoked some powerful emotions in me when I tried it on. I was completely taken by how feminine and regal the stunning peach and gold gown made me feel. I was also moved by an overwhelming and unexplainable feeling of hope and joy.  My vision was to express a celebration of femininity while invoking a sense of hope and joy to a world that could really use that right now.  I named this styling, “The Divine Feminine” to not only honour the gown itself but to celebrate all women.  The chiffon train, which pours out of a golden rose bloom, was created from the veils and rose accessory of the KRYSTELLE bridal gown. The regal golden fans I wore on my head and back feature decorative birds to symbolize hope for mankind during these challenging times and the promise of a bright, new future.
And by the way, I chose to mix and match elements of different outfits to show the jury that I am creative and versatile. Also, I purposely added as much gold as possible to accessorize this gown because gold is part of the LUXE Paris branding. 

SLE: What inspired you to enter the contest to be the new face of Luxe Paris?

Avalon:  It’s more of a question of who inspired me. Belle Roussel of Chop Zuey Couture Jewellery, A woman I adore and hugely admire, contacted me one day while  I was modelling in the store. She told me about the LUXE Paris Look of the Year pageant and sent me the link. She encouraged me to enter saying, “I think you’d be perfect for it” followed by some very flattering comments about my sense of style. I really trust Belle’s instincts, so without question, I hopped off that pose stand and raced over to LUXE Paris to quickly get an outfit so I could enter. I had it styled and photographed in about an hour, just making it in time for that round’s submission deadline.  I’m really grateful for Belle, who’s always been so supportive and encouraging of my career. Had it not been for her faith, encouragement and confidence in me,  I wouldn't have had the wherewithal, confidence and determination to enter this pageant and succeed.

SLE: Have you gotten any advice from Quinte; last year’s winner about this role?

Avalon: I had a great chat with her at one of the rehearsals. She’s a lovely person and a wonderful role model. I asked her about her role as LUXE Paris’s Brand Ambassador and what she enjoyed about it. She gave me a few tips but mostly her advice was to have fun with it. I’ll do my best to follow in her footsteps in representing LUXE Paris with grace and elegance.  

SLE: Second Life is a grid with endless creativity and imagination. Would you say SL is just a game or an extension of your real life? How has your experience in this virtual impacted you?

Avalon: First of all, I don’t believe that a social-based MMO environment can be experienced exclusively as a game.  There are real friendships and feelings that develop here that make it difficult to be emotionally removed. So for me, it’s definitely an extension of my RL. 

You’re right in pointing out how endlessly creative and imaginative Second Life is. I’ve watched this world grow from infancy to what it is today and am still awestruck by the ingenuity of its residents.  

Second Life has helped me grow in more ways than I can count. I’ve made some amazing friends here who inspire me to be the best version of myself in RL and SL. On a professional level, I’ve been able to use my SL editorial modelling and photography skills as a means of perfecting my RL technical skills, which has made me a more creative and effective graphic designer. As a result, I now have my own successful graphic design company. SL also provides a balance for me, since I can often get too focused on RL work and forget to have fun. But when I get involved in the process of styling, photographing and blogging, hours pass in what seems like minutes - a good sign that you’re enjoying yourself.

SLE: What are your plans holding this prestigious title? 

Avalon:  I plan to go over and above the traditional role of a brand ambassador by using my RL and SL skills to support LUXE Paris in whatever capacity they need me.  As I mentioned earlier, in RL I’m a graphic designer and I also have an associate degree in public relations. In SL I’m a model, photographer and fashion blogger. So when LUXE Paris needs photography, graphic design or PR services, I’m there for them.  As LUXE Paris’s brand ambassador,  I’ll represent the brand visually and through effective, on-brand communication as well as blogging about the products. Also, as the winner of the title, I was given a VIP membership to the prestigious ONE on ONE modelling agency. So I’ll represent LUXE Paris on and/ or off the runway of any shows that feature their product line.  Overall, I’m completely dedicated to collaborating with and supporting Luxe Paris to help them achieve great heights in their success.

SLE: What advice would you give to models who might be inspired by you to  try for next year’s Look of the Year Face of Luxe Paris Competition?

Avalon: The Look of the Year contest is so much more than a beauty pageant, it’s an extensive job interview and should be treated as such. This is a unique and wonderful opportunity to represent an established haute couture designer for a full year. So, put your business hat on and think in terms of what LUXE Paris stands for. Learn as much about the company as you can. Also, research what a brand ambassadors’ job is and think about what your strengths are and how you could benefit the brand. In other words, think in terms of what you can do for the brand instead of what it can do for you. Also, if the opportunity to improve your skills presents itself during the pageant process, grab it. No matter how seasoned a model you are, be open to learning something new. Show them in every possible way that you're collaborative and perfect for this role. And finally, even though it is a competition, support and encourage the other contestants. As women, we need to elevate and empower each other.

SLE: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Avalon: Wearing this tiara is a big step for me.  So far, I’ve spent most of my time in SL in blissful obscurity and this all happened so wonderfully fast. In all honesty, I’m still in a bit of shock.  Being a brand ambassador to an established designer is something I’ve always wanted but I didn’t think was within my reach.  However,  if winning this title has taught me anything, it’s that if you put your mind to it, push through the difficult times, work hard and have a little faith in yourself, you can make the most seemingly impossible dreams come true.

Additional Information:

Flickr: Avalon Chrome


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