Lag. Incessant amounts of lag. Mile high vendors that take an hour to rez, a store so gigantic you can wander in it for hours and never find what you need. And the nagging conviction at the back of your skull that no WAY can all this be made by the one person, that there must be a sweatshop of chimpanzees highly trained in sculptywork toiling away in an barely ventilated building somewhere.
Right, we got all that out the way?
I love Bare Rose.
And I'm calling for a Bare Rose Appreciation Week.
For a designer that brings out items almost every day, its so rare to see anyone actually featuring them. I've seen the lovely Mist series a lot on the feeds, but that's about it. Even the Bare Rose Haute Couture line gets a fairly quiet reception, and the textures and primwork on that is superb. So here's an inspiration to occupy all of you Bloggers. We all have at least one B@R outfit in our inventories, surely? Even if just bought for a fancy dress party. Dust them out, show us your favourites. Make a mash up of what you have, or feature Bare Rose pieces with other designer's items and show us what you can do with them as a base. And if you don't have any, then here is your excuse to go and discover, drift amongst the aisles in wonder.
I'm sure this is a story that has been repeated again and again. But I remember wandering into Bare Rose Tokyo as a fresh off Orientation Island noobie with a whole 1kl under my belt to find "me." And I remember my delight in discovering that it was true, all the fantastical looking avatars I'd seen on television that drew me to Second Life in the first place existed, and that they were within my reach. That someone knew how I wanted to look before even I did - and had made it up in all my favourite colours and beckoned me to come, join in. I'm now at a point where I don't care to try count just how many B@R outfits I have, and I KNOW that I've bought a lot of them and never been able to find a place to wear, for example... a giant golden set of scales - but it just doesn't matter. My personal style is always evolving but I still go back there every few weeks to see what's new. Bare Rose Tokyo, I love thee. Let me count the ways.
For the amazing "bang-for-your-buck." So many options in a myriad of colours. All for 180l or less. No one else on the grid offers as half as much value as June Dion. She understands that we have 3 clothing layers for a reason. So she offers versatility at a rate everyone can afford. You can wear ensembles out of the box or mash them up with other items, and do so at a price that even campers won't begrudge. There is also a mountain of freebies with essentials for every avatar just finding their feet - AO's, facelights, skins and clothes. So we get prettier noobs to look at - she performs an important public service.
For the transfer option. You crave the Wastelands Cowboy but you only want the pink chaps? (Okay, okay, yes - the pink ones were in the Cowgirl not the Cowboy - I bought it. I'll admit it!) Then buy it, and split up the brown, the black, the blue and the grey and farm it out to your friendslist. Or stop by when you are bored and pick out impromptu gifts to delight your friends upon log in. No filling out giftcard requests and waiting a week for the store owner to deign to pass on the goods. See. Want. Buy. Transfer. Reap love. No wait. Or buy a French maid's uniform to wear just once as a dare and then pass it on to someone with better legs. *cough* There is a lack of stores that offer transfer, and I cherish B@R for that alone.
For the endless variety. You all know that Bare Rose has fantasy and gothic outfits, and geisha robes, right? But there is also urban streetwear. Evening wear. Lingerie. Shoes. Handbags. Flowers. Hair. Jewellery. Castles. Tattoos. Skyboxes. Cages. And marvels hiding in the aisles that defy classification, as I discovered for myself yet again when Newdoll and Sasy sent over this "Pioneer" Mecha Avatar a few days ago. Stomping around making the Transformers noise as I ran Noodle into the wall several times reminded us afresh of just how much fun Second Life can be, and this was what prompted this - my open love letter to June.
For the audacity. Who else would release 4 sculpty dragons, gargoyles, an entire set of costumes for men and women based on the Zodiac, highwaymen capes, knight's armour, mermaid tails, demon wings and kimonos in 17 different styles? It's obvious that some things aren't going to sell. It must be fuelled at least in some small part by the joy of creation, and a sense of "just because we CAN." I'm not under any delusions, I'm fully aware this is a business. But it seems to me as an observer that maybe, just maybe it isn't always just about the bottom line at Bare Rose. They put on concerts, competitions, hunts, and maintain a sandbox for their customers. And June is seen rarely, and never seems to do any interviews. Feel free to fling tomatos and howls of derision at me for this line... but I think it's kinda nice that Second Life has a Willy Wonka too.
This was my paean to B@R. And I'm going to spend my next few blogs on this subject - all this week - making some mashups and highlighting a few of the interesting items I've found there. If anyone wants to join in on this, please post the links to your blogs here in the comments so we can all admire your elite blogging skillz. We have such a diverse array of styles in the SL fashion blogging community, I'm sure that everyone is going to bring something different and inspiring to this challenge. Bring it on Tokyo style!
P.S. - I've been asked to establish a Flickr group for those of you who dont have blogs, or want their pics posted here. Never let it be said that I don't give people want they want. It's getting me to stop that's the problem.
P.P.S. - I've since taken out my email addy, because in the last 24 hours I've won 4 lotteries and had 11 rich relatives die. (Note to self - stop holding family reunions in Nigeria.) So if you post to the Flickr site, mention on your blurb whether it's okay for me to re-post your pictures here.