Little Gems For the New Year
Posted by Caliah Lyon on December 31, 2007
Ever since we explored Metabirds and Kabuki back in April of 2007 in our search for Donmai Frederick’s Back and Forth (the only Japanese designer we were well-acquainted with at the time), to us, Japanese sims have provided a wealth of unique shopping opportunities. The variety and innovation to be found in their shopping districts is astonishing, as well as the adaptability and range that the designers showcase in commonly having a wide range of products under one label. Only in a Japanese sim have I seen boutiques selling katanas side-by-side with nail polish and cowboy boots.
Although for some time the focus has been upon such talented clothing designers as Kotobuki Jewell of Bijou and Bettypage Voyager of BP, I visit Japanese sims these days for smaller, but no less delightful finds: beautifully made eyes, delicately hand-painted stockings, inexpensive but well-done poses, and other treats.
I would never have discovered this boutique without the help of Beyonce Quinhua, even though I’d visited Higashioasaka many a time. A member of the virtual “idol group” Piatto, I came upon her blog and immediately noticed the lustre of the eyes she was using in many of her photos. A helpful IM and landmark later, and I was hooked on what I believe to be some of the best eyes in Second Life.
The Transparency Shine series eyes by Tsuru Shan have detailed, shimmering irises combined with sharp highlights for an exceptionally luminous quality that’s evident even to people not zoomed in on your face, and well-shaded, realistic whites devoid of the excessive redness and veins that mar many otherwise decent eyes. They come in sets of two sizes (medium and large) for 300L, which is higher than most, but considering the quality and detail that went into these eyes, and the fact you get two sizes, they are well worth it. These eyes are no-copy and transfer and look good in both Windlight and without atmospheric shaders.
L-R Top: Glanz Eyes in Clear Grey; Glanz Eyes in Noble Purple; L-R Bottom: Glanz Eyes in Ocean Blue; Glanz Eyes in Fresh Blue. 300L each for two sizes, M-L.
The poses sold here by alu Voom are promising as well, and like many in these sims, relatively affordable at 30L for photo poses and 80L for animated ones; I already have two of her animated stands in my ao and replaced my old sit with the free one from their store. I’m looking forward to the poses that they’ll be putting out in the future. Glanz also sells stockings, and Tsuru graciously provided a few samples of her new offerings – metallic knee stockings with black lace trim.
Named after its two proprietresses, Halhi Yoshikawa and Hinako Runo, a branch of their store was my first stop in the Aventi Islands, a string of shops located in an idyllic little beach atoll (the “Hal*Hina open!” drawn in the sand is a cute touch). I came too late for their free Christmas gift, a set of lace-trimmed stockings in jewel colours, but you can still buy a free set of stockings, some basic eyes, or join their group to avail of a charming set of eyes with coloured hearts in the pupils. These, like many of the eyes I’ve discovered in the Japanese sims, are of good quality and a noticeable lustre, and I immediately went back when they released the plain version, Pure Eyes, the next day in their main store. All their various eye sets are very reasonably priced at 120L per pack of five colours.
L-R Top: Pure Eyes in Malachite; Heart Eyes in Purple (group freebie); L-R Bottom: Pure Eyes in Blue; Heart Eyes in Pink (group freebie). Pure Eyes – 5 sets of eyes for 120L.
To make up for missing their Christmas gift, I rewarded myself with their stockings, a steal at 150L for a pack of ten stockings in a variety of colours. Note the scalloped lace edges and bow detail on the backs of the ankles.
I stopped by Deracine in my search for poses (sparked by the ones I’d found in Glanz). The owner, Jackkerouac Kidd, was very friendly when I imed him about what I thought to be a mistake – the two full-perm sets of modelling poses by Larcoco Matthy for sale in his store. At 80L per set they’re a steal, and according to Jack, he wants everyone to have such poses at their disposal, hence the full perms.
He also makes some casual clothing for both men and women, some with built-in poses for fun:
Cova AO, owned by cova Paine, offers a well-rounded starting selection of AO poses, available in sets for around 250-300L each, or singly from 10L-50L – very low-priced indeed for ao poses that already are on par with those from many other AO and pose shops. I picked up a few more sits here at a price I’d have normally paid for just one, as well as some charming animations for flying (some of the better ones I’ve tested so far), hovering and swimming.
Men should come pay this pose shop a visit; it has some of the better stands for male avatars that I’ve seen, remarkable for such low, low prices.
Exploring these sims is rewarding if one has the time and patience, as evidenced by the little bonuses:
– Free poses at Oteanimate, three each for men and women;
This is the last post for Soigné in 2007. Wishing you and your loved ones the best on the New Year!
Glanz by Tsuru Shan and alu Voom, Higashiosaka (88, 96, 22
Hal*Hina by Halhi Yoshikawa and Hinako Runo, RekidStyle (100, 173, 35)
Deracine by Jackkerouac Kidd, Nishi AZABU (225, 116, 22)
Cova AO by cova Paine, MagSL Nagoya (100, 200, 23)
Don’t forget the Stamp Rally being sponsored by many established Japanese designers giving away a good many free gifts – we ran into quite a few people with their stamp cards in hand. Details are on the Edelweiss blog (thanks Xia).