The SuperELITE

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Designer Interviews

 SophistiSHAPES



When people think of designers they normally think of people designing clothes, but of course here in SL your whole avatar is made from separate custom parts, and a shape can make or break your avatar. I managed to ask Sophia the owner of Sophistishapes a few questions, read on and find out all the secrets from one of Second Life's premier Shape Makers.

How long on average from concept to store do your designs take you ?

I began like all us girls here, finding fun in dressing my "Barbie" which evolved to changing shape to match my embarrassing collection of skins and hair that I eventually gathered. It seemed that a person's shape has a huge effect on the skin they are wearing. I believe you can have the best skin ever and it can be ruined by a badly made shape and vice versa, which is why I only style my shapes using the best designed skins and hair in SL.


I make the shapes once I have chosen the skin I want to use. Then the skin will look it's optimum, as it is specific to that skin. However, I do make sure that my shapes work well with all the other major skins so that people can use their own skin if they want to. I also think it's vital that people can modify their own shape if they choose to. You never know, those boobs might need to be a teeeeeny bit bigger?! I don't do custom shapes any more, but I can always tweak someone's shape if requested :)

I know you are teamed up with skin designers, can you tell us a little more about it.
I do work closely with a few well established skin designers like Belleza and DrLife and happy to say there are some new and upcoming ones that are just great like Al Vulo and Birth skins.

Do you draw inspiration from people you see in magazines and on the television, or do you make them up entirely?

I sometimes use magazines for facial shape ideas and in fact, the ones I have done that for, are the ones that have sold extremely well. Unusual, unique and realistic shapes are what I seek to create.

How long on average from concept to store do your designs take you ?
It generally takes me a week to create 2 styled shapes, one male and one female. That is from choosing the skin, making the shape, going on a hair hunt that looks JUST right with the rest, shooting the pics, carefully placing them in their boxes and sending out the notices ...lol

There are other projects like female clothing, the Sophia Collection range, I'm involved in so sometimes it's only one.


Of the other designers in second life who do you admire?

I just love to watch businesses in here grow, watching the evolution of their creations, their styles mature, I just hope I can evolve in the same way making the sometimes difficult shopping experience of putting together a sexy, realistic and unique avatar is made easier by the detailed styling card that comes with each shape to recreate the exact look on the poster. I also hope that Sophistishapes is becoming one of the main places where people can come to and know there is a shape and look that "feels" right and represents them in SL.


As a final note, I just wanted to mention that Sophia sent me a copy of her new shape Noami which just happens to be paired up with the Elle Skin from Belleza which is the current group gift, so as an experiment I did everything the style card said, with the exception of the eyes, I don't like to change them it weirds me out. I have to say the style was impeccable, I looked lovely, the face is gorgeous and the voluptuous body, I am sure this avatar will turn many a pixel eye in her direction.







Fab.Pony,... Giddi'up


The Designer behind the very cool clothes available at Fab.Pony is Tatianna Faulkes, I managed to catch up with her and ask her a few questions, Our Interview is below.
Please tell a little about yourself and how you got involved with second life's fashion industry?
- I've been reworking my own clothing and sketching since I was like 5. I then later acquired my degrees in Fashion Design, and Fashion Marketing. I worked for many RL fashion firms immediately, then later created my RL women's fashion label however producing overseas was against my personal ethics, so I decided to venture in the graphics side of fashion, which naturally led me to Second Life Fashion. I have not stopped since February 2008 - it's the perfect fit for me and foresee it as my longterm career.
- Personality-wise... I can be silly, but also serious; it depends on the situation. I suppose that translates well to my creative and also business mind. I love to party, but I can pull off a 12-hour work day so I'm definitely pretty intense in that regard.. so yes Fab.Pony is bold and wild, but quite organized, lol


Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
- Many RL fashion blogs, indie fashion magazines, checking out people on the streets of downtown Montreal (where I live) urban fashion stores, vintage shopping, etc. Many times I am inspired by a typical "Fab.Pony girl" and an 'occasion', so I think, "what would my customer wear to an informal cocktail party" and I use that as a starting point to lead me in the right direction.

There is some controversy regarding dollarbies and freebies, do you think it is benefiical or detrimental to the second life ecomony?
- I don't think it directly benefits or is detrimental to SL economy, however it's a good way for a designer to have a customer come back and shop the regular priced items in the store. I hear the more controversial topic is the weekly cheap day events, but I am neutral on that topic.

You have many beautiful clothes in your store, which is your personal favourite?
- The "Rebel Rebel" Jeans in Classic Blue. I wear them a lot, just because it's great for every day and I wish I owned these in RL :(

How long on average from concept to store do your designs take you and which medium are you using?
-Average 1-2 days, but longer if I am changing my mind on elements of the design. For example, I started a dress a week ago, but I keep changing the darkness of the black fabric since it has to be *just right*.
- I use Adobe Photoshop CS3, sometimes Illustrator CS3 and various 3D sculpt programs depending on my needs. For poses, I use QAvimator, very basic.


Which of your designs is the best seller and do you know why it is so popular?
- The "Diplo" Dress; it's popular perhaps because it's offered in 22 colors and striped mini-dresses are always fun, especially since this one shows the perfect amount of cleavage..

Of the other designers in second life who do you admire?
- The successful ones, especially those that have the time to release new items very often

The two photos of me, I am wearing the cool gift in store matched up with Fab.Pony's sequined shorts which I fell in love with immediately. I also purchased a couple of ballet tops in different colours, a nice staple in your wardrobe and they are expertly done.

Style Card
Hair Irena by Bouquoir
Skin Dekade Claire Fair/pale #06 ( big sale on at Dekade right now)
Dress Fab.Pony Instore gift
Shorts Fab.Pony Sequin shorts in Silver
Boots, BAX Prestige Boots in Silver

Suede



Elettra Gausman


One of the most popular stores on Fashionista is of course Orage. Beautiful well designed clothes that are on the feeds on a daily basis, So I thought I would ask Elettra for an interview which she graciously accepted.

Below is one of my favourite skins from Orage.. I love pink shimmery eyes and soft lips.

Elettra...

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
By the real fashion trends and from my fantasy.

There is some controversy regarding dollarbies and freebies, do you think it is beneficial or detrimental to the second life economy.?
I make some dollarbies and freebies regularly I think they're useful but we have to decrease the quality...


You have many beautiful clothes in your store, which is your personal favourite?
There are many favourite dresses I love maybe my Spring Dream, it's a cocktail of elegance and sensuality in a pink dream fabric.

How long on average from concept to store do your designs take you and which medium are you using?
It depends, each dress has its own history.

Which of your designs is the best seller and do you know why it is so popular?
I suppose they're well done (good textures, they fix well) and for their originality. I'm Italian and we have the fashion in our soul.

Of the other designers in second life who do you admire?
I admire the Japanese work on sculpts, it's stunning...


Additonally to the interview I went wandering around her main store and into the skin section, there I found, two skins on super discount, Gala and Georgina only L10 and L25 each.. incredible I have two photos of them below, I was thinking with the glam makeup, that I just needed a seventies disco party to go too and my look would be perfect.



So, if you haven't done it yet, go and check out Orage, so many lovely things and some bargains as well, and the store in Fashionista also has this lovely little wicker summer bag as the gift.



Suede

The Fashionista Tower


The Builder of the Fashionista Sim, is an avatar called Gwen Carillon, a multi talented lady who not only built our beautiful sim but also dabbles her hand in jewelry and clothes and something which took my breath away sculptures.. with movement and colour, but more about that later.

I talked to Gwen and asked her about her foray into SecondLife, here are her answers:-


How did you discover Second Life and how long did it take you to discover you had a talent for building?
I didn't really *discover* Second Life. I got dragged in by a long time friend. She started pushing me to try Second Life in 2004. It took me two years to give in. I don't know that we ever see our own talents that way. I just love making things. I design and sculpt in the physical world. I'm a formally trained jeweler.
How did you come up with the concept for the Fashionista Sim?
The concept for Fashionista was built on a collaborative foundation. Yasmine Kidd came to me with her vision of how she saw Fashionista's elements. Aisling Sinclair and I got our heads together and created the layout. Aisling is my building teammate. She assists in most aspects of my work. I wanted to design the sim as a celebration of the female form. From an areal view you can see the paths forming a woman. I hoped to make Fashionista a refection of the best that Fashion can be. Fashion as art and a statement of beauty. Super Elite is unlike any other modeling agency, so the sim needed to exemplify that.
Are you interested in Architectural Design in RL and do you have any kind of formal training in this field?
I have no formal training as an architect. I love form and have always loved the marriage of form, color and texture. I know that there are so many more aspects and variables to consider in *real life* architecture, than what I do. I just follow that golden rule of form follows function and then have fun.

How long did it take to you complete the Fashionista Project?
It's done? LOL It's a complex project so, so we've been at it for months.
Do you find that your builds are similar, with your unique touch to them or is every build dramatically different.
Some of my builds are similar, but I tend to design based on the personality of the project. I guess I have my signature elements. lol We all do.
I see you also have a shop called Dreamscapes Gallery and also a jewelry store how do you find time to do it all ?
Oh that's easy. I just subtract the time I would normally spend sleeping. *grins* I am also starting a new clothing line. The "Tease" cocktail dress is my latest release.

I walked around Gwen's own sim which is called Elements in Design and saw the dress she is talking about it. I liked it a lot with a nice bow on the bottie . I will wear it in the next post in which I will continue this interview with Gwen as I wanted to really ask her about her sculptures which I will be showing you in the latter portion of this interview which i think will be up in a couple of days.. so be sure to check back.. the sculptures are really worth seeing.
** In case your wondering how I got the sim photos, I used the long draw on Emerald and pulled way way way back**

Suede Sixpence




Lexi Roxan Designs
I met Lexi at the Graduation on Wednesday last and was taken by the beautiful face of her avatar and I actually asked her if she would like to be on the Fashionista Focus series, when she told me she was actually a designer in SL.. Blushes.. was I embarrassed, but she was so nice and so we decided to to do a blog on her designs instead.
Please tell a little about yourself and how you got involved with second life's fashion industry?

From the time I was a little girl I've drawn pictures of girls in beautiful dresses. I can still see my first picture of that princess in her pink dress I drew at the age of 5. My mother told me I was a talented artist but I didn't really think anything of my skills. In fact, my last art class was at the age of 12. Then I came here to sl, a world of fashion and beauty. And.. a need to design grew inside me so much so that after making my first tshirt I was completely hooked. I shared my creations with my friends who encouraged me to open a store. And I must say, without these supportive people in my life I know I would have never made it this far.



Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Where don't I get my inspirations? I could see a beautiful fish and think wow I could use those colors in a gown. I am forever looking a pictures of designs, watching what people wear, and scribbling pictures on scraps of paper, dreaming them when I am asleep.... My favorite way I am inspired is to ask my friends about their dream gown and try to create it for them.

There is some controversy regarding dollarbies and freebies, do you think it is beneficial or detrimental to the second life economy.?Well.. I give away a lot of items all the time. I don't know if it is hurting the sl economy but I feel that if we give to others we are likely to be rewarded. I would hope that people would see an example of my work and long to have more and therefore, buy , buy, buy!


Flexi sculpties are have a incredible difference to how clothes are made in second life, how did you find this transition?
Laughs.. I'm too young to know the difference.

You have many beautiful clothes in your store, which is your personal favourite?
Well.. my personal favorite is my dress called Crystal Glam. And it's my favorite as it is the one I am currently working on today. Every design is my favorite when I'm creating it. I put a lot of love into my work.

How long on average from concept to store do your designs take you and which medium are you using? oh... sometimes hours.. sometimes days. I run my work by many people from my models, my shoe and jewel associates.. and of course, my friends.

Which of your designs is the best seller and do you know why it is so popular?
My best seller would have to be my Distraction gown. I've had people say they saw it on the dance floor and loved it's flow. It's just a very pretty dress that you can't help but love.


Of the other designers in second life who do you admire?
This is not a dress designer but I have to say, Whisper Gravois. She designs such intricate works of art that we call jewelry. I am constantly amazed by her skill.

Check Lexi Roxan's profile for her shop location.
Suede
AnneJoy Paine, Designer for aDiva Couture

AnneJoy Paine of aDiva Couture will be collaborating with superELITE during our next graduation of Models from the Academy, I am sure you are familiar with her beautiful well draw clothes, and so I thought it would be interesting for us to look a little behind the avatar..


Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with Second Life's fashion industry?
Hmm.. I am a RN in Real Life. handling emergencies in a hospital. If I have some free time , I use to sketch with my graphic tablet. I came to SL through a show on TV here in Germany and thought, this is what I always wanted, all my life I was interested in designing. So after being here two weeks, I simply started ;)

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Mostly from the street, from TV . From self sewed rl designs for myself

There is some controversy regarding dollarbies and freebies, do you think it is beneficial or detrimental to the second life economy.?
hmmm.. very difficult to say, i often do specials and give out many things for free, its just that i love the fun of designing and creating. I am sure, there are many in SL who cannot afford to spend RL money. Through my RL job I am not really dependant on earning much money here. So this is for me more fun, but I think designers, who have to live from what they earn here, have sometimes a hard time through all those freebies and dollarbies.

Flexi sculpties are have a incredible difference to how clothes are made in second life, how did you find this transisiton?
I am ok with , currently I am experiencing with Sculpties more and more and wish that one day we have the chance to get flexible sculpties for a much better look.


How long on average from concept to store do your designs take you and which medium are you using?
Using Photoshop and gimp, Blender and Sculptypaint. I love to work with many mediums, best of all is my wacom. I love love love it ;) Hmm.. and I cannot say, sometimes, if textures are very high detailed and with lots of nice pattern, they take me days, cause all is handsketched, other things are much quicker. So .. depending on my time, and how busy my RL and SL is ;)

Which of your designs is the best seller and do you know why it is so popular?
One of my best sellers is Lush, Beyonce, Camille High Waist, Madeleine Cold Shoulder , Hot Chica. I think its the variety. From romance to sexy, classy to hot. There are many styles in my shop, which I think are all great. For me personally I could not say which one I love most. I only design what I like, so I love them all



Of the other designers in second life who do you admire?
Hmm.. To be honest, I rarely look around. I like free minds, same on bloggers who are free and open minded, and independent. That's what i love for me, and I love people who use their own head to make up their minds. So I could not say that I admire one here in SL. But there are for sure many , lots of good designers on SL ;)


and just to remind you aDiva Couture will also be showcasing their lovely apparel on superElite Graduating Models, more information will be posted on that exciting event when all the details are finalized.
Suede