Thursday, July 21, 2011

Progress Report! The store build is done, things are a mesh, er...mess.

In February of this year I decided to do something which I had wanted to do since I started my first shop on the mainland; To design a mens and womens line of clothing and accessories. (In fact, I almost chose that market instead of furnishings!) In sorting out how I could go about this, I realized that it would be best to separate this new product line from Rustica completely, rather than incorporate it into the castle and existing products. Thus I created a completely new line, and a new retail location which will be far above the castle on the Rustica sim. Below are some images of the new store build.

The main runway

Items will be in simple spotlight vendors

This is the landing point for TP's

As you can see from the pictures of the new store, it is a radical departure from the experience one has as a visitor to Rustica, almost to the point of being an opposite; The castle encourages you to explore, to wander the many rooms, floors and tunnels. The clothing store, however, is a graphic and minimalist environment designed to allow for a low-lag, quick-rezzing visit where you are presented with space and depth, almost no store at all. It uses light and shadow to define the space, rather than heavy architectural sculpts and textures. The focus is on easily accessing the items you want to find in a visually dynamic space.

bastard is on one side... 

The introduction of mesh has had a profound impact on the types of items I want to present. Though I have been part of the mesh beta program since prior to my experiments in Bluemars, I have been primarily focused on learning how to use it for the last several months. I had intended to introduce a variety of mesh clothing items in the new store.

bitch is on the other.

Unfortunately, due to the limitations of mesh as a worn object for the initial release, I will only be producing a limited amount of mesh clothing. It is impossible, because of the lack of adjustment capability, to provide a product which I feel confident in supplying to my customers; It requires you to adjust YOUR shape to IT, rather than it being able to conform to your existing shape. At a later date LL has mentioned the possibility of including some type of deformer system to allow for customization of purchased mesh clothing and avatars, but it will not be included in the initial release. If you are interested in this problem at all, please consider adding your vote to the JIRA which I created requesting a mesh deformer. It has much more information on this problem, and your vote can help!

I am very optimistic about the future of SL, my personal future in it, and the many interesting things which are coming to SL this year, including the possibility of a tablet-based connection! Onward and Upward!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Embrace your inner bitch.

I am very happy to announce the upcoming release of my mens and womens clothing labels, bastard & bitch, for summer 2011. They will be available above the Rustica sim in a completely new store designed for simplicity and ease of use, a new low-lag environment that is a very new direction for me both visually and functionally. I am aiming for an opening the first week of July and am planning a runway show on the sim. This is still a tentative date, and depends on how many items I can complete by then, and being able to line up an agency, etc...the thousand and one details to complete so I can open.

The clothing styles will be primarily urban casual and modern, though I will be designing an occasional fantasy item as well. From sculpted mens chinos to womens boots and handbags, from contemporary backpacks to gothic BDSM armor, I have a lot of designs in progress already. My sketchbooks have been filling up during the almost two years that I have been planning this radical departure from my years working in the furniture, housing and landscape markets.

One of my primary objectives with this new store, aside from being able to design something completely new and different, was to provide another much needed resource for the men in second life to shop for unique clothing and accessories. Its often hard to find more than a few shops with simple, interesting and high quality items for my avatar, particularly that blend with my existing inventory. This is what I will attempt to create for the men of second life. Bastards!

Bitches, you know who you are and you will not be ignored! My new store design is literally split down the middle, and I will design an item for the ladies of second life as often as for the men, 1 for 1. I have a lot of accessories, tops, jackets, boots, bags, belts and pants already started or sketched out, and I am having a lot of fun exploring all the many possibilities that your fashion demands.

In closing, let me clarify that the brand names I have chosen are not meant in a derogatory manner whatsoever. In fact, I see both names as empowering and offer them as terms of respect, not contempt. Embrace them as I have; If someone calls you a bitch or a bastard, let them know just how right they are, and leave them a plate full of envy to chew on. My clothing is made to be as subtle as you are, and I look forward to seeing it on you.

Maxwell Graf, bastard.