ManiStyle: In the Design Studio at LUXE Paris Fashion House

I never really learned how to sew. I can hem a skirt and reattach buttons but actually making clothing is way beyond my skills. Now in Second Life we have […]

I never really learned how to sew. I can hem a skirt and reattach buttons but actually making clothing is way beyond my skills. Now in Second Life we have skilled clothing designers and creators. They work with pixels rather than fabric.

I wondered how a SL seamstress worked so I asked Parisian Skytower and Mika Palmyra to let me into their design studio at LUXE Paris to find out how it’s done.

Palmyra showed me around, Here is our “huge studio where we work. There is nothing in it but 2 photo studios and a LOT of space to display our templates and to cam in and out! We also put the fabrics of the season on large boards to stimulate our inspiration.” In the photo are several Miss SL Ireland ball gowns in different sizes waiting to be boxed and put in the store.

I asked Skytower to explain a little about the technical process that goes into creating a mesh item of clothing as frankly it seems like magic to me. She replied, “It is kind of magic. It is like drawing in 3 dimensions! First we find a mesh template, the shape of the clothes, that will inspires us to create what we feel is elegant, to represent our brand. Then we test how the mesh will fit on standard bodies and mesh bodies. To build our own fashion image, we mix and match different mesh clothing pieces from different mesh makers into one outfit. Once we have the perfect template, the work begins in Photoshop.”

The next step is the textures for the fabrics and Palmyra creates those. She explains, “The first step is drawing the outline in real life.  Then, we color in the outline with markers.  Once we have the idea on paper we import the drawing into Photoshop and recolor it for a better look.”

Then, Skytower picks up from here, “We import the UV file which is a wire-frame shape of the mesh clothing piece. Then, we start to build the clothing in layers.  We first apply the fabric [using Palmyra’s textures], then shading, wrinkles, creases, buttons, stitches… There is no end to the details you can add to your clothing in Photoshop. When you are finished, imagine looking down onto the clothing piece from above. As if you were looking at your city on a map. The Photoshop work done, we upload the file in Second Life and apply it to the mesh.”

Palmyra adds that they make five standard sizes and three mesh body sizes for each item. Further, she said, “Each of those five standard sizes gowns that are rezzed has an impact of 257 prims on the land. So after those are boxed we will derezz them and rezz the mesh bodies sizes. Sometime we have 14 sizes in a folder with the Maitreya, Slink Physique and Slink Hourglass, Belleza Freya, Isis and Venus, Eve, TMP and Curvy mesh bodies! Fortunately most of the clothes are not 253 prims. Normally we can rezz all the sizes in one shot. But as you see we are very, very far from the time when one only textured outfit fit all.”

So, that’s the technical process… now, how does the creative element fit in? I asked them both about developing ideas for their designs. Palmyra said, “Ideas come from everywhere! The RL trends, the spirit of the season, the theme of an event, a fabric, a drawing… It is like poetry, you write it with your feelings.”

Skytower agreed and added, “They come from everywhere. RL trends, seasons, personal taste, something cute on the street …”

I knew they also do men’s fashions and wondered how they knew what men want to wear? Skytower said, “Well, it is difficult because it is very hard to find quality mesh for men in SL.  When I do create men’s clothing, I just try to stick to what I would like to see the men in my life wearing. In addition to whatever is trending in men’s fashion at that time.”

“Oh boy!,” asserted Palmyra. “Men want to wear brown or black but I do not listen to them! It is too boring! I like my man in colors and they go for it once it is offered to them.”

Palmyra summed up their work philosophy, “We each make our own outfits but we present them to each other for critique and make the final version with that input in mind. So yes, in a way, we create together because this way we can get more balance in our look. Parisian is very classic and I am a little wild so I need to be calmed down sometimes and sometime she needs to be shaken up.”

Written by Deepthinker Oh. Photographs by Mika Palmyra.

What is ManiStyle?
ManiStyle is a monthly column that explores an idea, a style, a trend or a realm in SL and gives you some links to go explore and draw your own conclusions. MANIERA SL expresses an outlook on life that is part Vanity Fair and part Rolling Stone. In ManiStyle, we introduce you to our take on life and ask that you share your views and reactions.

LUXE Paris Face of the Year 2017 Contest Information

To enter the contest is easy. Wear a LUXE Paris outfit, style it, snap a picture, put your name in the title and send your picture, full perm, to LUXEParisLookOfTheYear resident. If you add the magic password ”STYLE”  after your name in the title of your entry, you will automatically receive the LUXE Paris Look of the Year dress 2017.

You can submit a picture every week for five weeks.  Each week, five semi-finalists will be chosen and their picture published in MANIERA SL magazine. The first publication of the 5 semi-finalists will be June 8th. All the candidates pictures will be presented to the judges every week so the sooner you participate the better your chances are of being selected.

The winner gets 25,000 Lindens and: one year of free shopping at LUXE Paris (a value of L$ 30,000), a fashion feature in the magazines; MANIERA SL, ModeLS & Confidencial (a value of L$ 30,400) and a scholarship at One on One Modeling Tutelage & Academy (a value of L$ 14,600).

This contest is open to all SL women. You can enter the contest as many times as you wish as long you wear a different LUXE Paris outfit in each entry. The deadlines to submit your picture and qualify for the weekly semi-finals are: June 3rd, June 10th, June 17th, June 24th and July 1.

After 5 weeks, there will be 25 semi-finalists. From these the judges will chose 10 finalists who will be revealed in MANIERA SL magazine on July 15th and simultaneously in ModeLS and Confidencial magazines. The finalists will each win 10 LUXE Paris outfits. The 10 finalists will be invited to a LUXE Paris 2017 Brunch on August 6th where they will meet the judges, shop for their 10 free outfits and finally find out who is the LUXE Paris Look of the Year 2017! Pictures of the winner will be published in MANIERA SL, ModeLS and Confidencial magazines on August 15th.