“Our dreams are a second life.” ~Gerard de Nerval
There is something so darn noble about being a fashionista and caring so, so much what we look like and what we wear in Second Life. Extreme committed shopping (an informal definition of what a fashionista does) is a calling, a spiritual obsession. But a strange calling, since I (and most of my fashionista sisters) do not shop to drop in real life. What is this Second Life fascination?
a) A search for perfection. (Perfect outfit? Perfect you? This is a goal never to be reached in either world, but hey, it’s all in the journey.)
b) A true representation of our inner self (The silk-banded fedora and asymmetric hemline say it all.)
c) A game of look what I found and look at me, aren’t I pretty and smart! (Some bloggers fall into this category. Usually the best fashion bloggers, too.)
d) An escape from the stresses of the real world.
e) An experiment in expressing yourself to the world as someone totally different from your RL physical self, whether in real life you are a soccer mom, poverty-stricken student, granny, or man.
Whichever category, whatever the reason, ultimately it is a pleasurable task or there would not be so many of us propping up the Second Life economy with our purchases.
So after I picked out a modest but adorable lil outfit from this month’s Collabor88, I retreated to a quiet spring garden to mull over my choices and ponder the meaning of mesh. I mean, of life. Second Life.
And I came up with this brilliant observation: Second Life is not real life. There is no one telling me I can’t dress myself up as much as I want. I often use the term Barbie doll to describe myself and others, and our girlish love of dress up. In RL, it’s hardly a respectable pastime for a grown woman or man, but in SL I can be a Barbie doll as much as I like.
And while I’m not a full-time fashionista or one whose every sentient SL moment concerns the fashion and shopping world, I still neglect exploring SL, actually working at a job, and even hanging out with Second Life friends to cater to my main interest/obsession, my appearance: clothes, skin and hair. I shop. I mostly look for bargains, but I shop and shop and shop.
First phase: The reason; a special occasion perhaps, demanding a fresh outfit. If no special event presents itself, tune into groups and listen for deals, freebies, or anything that sounds especially delicious. Then go check them out. If nothing catches your fancy, then do a tour of likely group gift locations, to get the ball rolling. This fashionista loves demos. The delectable demo is like an appetizer–gets you drooling for the main course.
The second phase is bringing your loot home and trying on all the clothes and skin and hair, and playing with different combinations, and switching in older pieces, and accessorizing your ass off.
Third: Take pictures! Lots of pictures!
Fourth (optional): Go find your friends to show them, or take yourself to a public place where you will be admired and fussed over.
Depending on your level of obsession, this can take a couple of hours or a couple of days. I’m more the Casual Fashionista, as opposed to the Serious Fashionista who is very very tall and thin, pouty, cool and unapproachable, all dressed up (including a hat and handbag) but with nowhere to go except to a fashion show or other gathering of like-minded sorts. And all the power to them. Fortunately there is room for everyone in Second Life.
I like to shop and share here in slum magazine, for other Casuals like me. Then I like to wear my new outfits shopping. I kid you not. My only other regular activity is going to the beach. I just love a virtual sandy beach and a bikini, and quiet. (The new sunglasses will come in handy next time.)
So, Fashionistas of Second Life: Continue to set trends! Spend! Admire, display, strut, share and take pictures! Be your noble selves, and enjoy the escape!