Fashion Designer Destany Laval’s gothic, fantasy and Classic Victorian, Steampunk fashions, has resulted in large part, to establishing retro-futurism as a thriving lifestyle in Second Life® (SL). Laval’s clientele flock to her store, Unzipped, to clothe themselves in the unique, beautiful, yet outrageous creations so desired to achieve the realization of their role-play (RP) adventures.
Laval came to SL in June of 2007 already having a passion for all things Steampunk. With a real life background in multi-media and teaching university courses in Photoshop and web-design, she was well equipped to design clothing in SL. Her incentive to be a designer started with her personal desire to wear Steampunk fashions in-world.
An artist in RL, Laval met fellow artist Barbnabas Moonshadow and influenced him to join SL and create with her as her business partner. Already sharing their RL together, they then embarked on a collaborative SL business partnership that has been amazingly successful. Laval offered, “We both work on accessories, armors, outfits and designs together 100%. Our design work is Gothic, Fantasy, Steampunk, Victorian and post-apocalyptic. We design using zbrush, blender and Photoshop.”
Laval spoke of their process of design, saying that they first envision the story. She explains, “It’s like having a story-line in my mind. I guess that’s why role-players love the designs because they can add their own story-line. It’s all imagination. I just imagine, and then create.” Going further, she says, “What I try to do is imagine myself in an era, what materials I would have, how best to use them.”
Laval and Moonshadow like their ensembles to portray the strength of those who wear them. Laval maintains that through their creations, “All the women appear strong and independent yet sexy. The men, always strong, fighters, protectors but with finesse.”
The future shines bright for Laval and Moonshadow as they build upon their amazing product line providing only the best in RP fashions for their anxiously awaiting fan base.
Written by Sherrie Shepherd and photographs by Angeli Optera