A RL treat for all SL models

My last post was about the first MVW 2013 photos and how the first pre-finalists are going to be chosen.

We all know that SL can be a separate reality, the one we want to create, although in terms of fashion and modeling, in my opinion, it should be as closest to RL as possible.

So here you have an example of one of Ford Models - Anna J.

You'll see her portfolio, as a print model and also take a look at her polaroids. Polaroids are the very raw photos the agency takes when a model casts. From those polaroids, as simple as they are, a RL model starts developing.

Clients start looking for a certain type of model and the agency will send them the polaroids they have of that model.
And this is the beauty of RL modeling. It takes a very good eye to chose a real good model from such a simple snapshot. That's why in RL there are model scouters; they scout models for a living, young girls who have all the possibilities of becoming professional models.

The first thing they do is, they just have a glipmse of the girl. They spend lots of time looking at her, observing her and then contact her, directly. On the spot.

This is how it happens in RL to so many models that were just 'found' at the mall, supermarket or having a drink with some friends.

How could we ever have this in SL? It's such a different 'world'.

And here is the thing about MVW, now that a new search is about to begin. MVW organization isn't looking for 'THE' model. They are looking for a beautiful avatar, that can already be a SL model or not. That's the concept of any beauty pageant.

I've written about this over and over and SL models don't seem to learn. MVW is a beauty pageant - like RL Miss Universe. It's not a search for a high fashion model, even though there are several styling challenges throughout the pageant itself.

In RL, a model doesn't style herself. There are stylists, makeup artists and designers that prepare everything for them. They just have to put their personalities into everything. And the outfit shines through, or the jewelry, or the shoes.

SL is, by definition, a world where we can recreate ourselves. So, it's only fair that people behind MVW organization play it by their rules. Just keep in mind that even in SL, there are beauty pageants and there are model agencies. And both are very very different.

Just like RL, a SL model is exactly that - a model. Not necessarily a pretty face but sometbody that can somehow put an outfit on and convey emotions with it.
This is the hardest thing for a SL model to understand - models can be 'ugly' in the classic meaning of the term. Actually, they should if they want to be different and stand out among so many lookalike avatars.

If you're a SL model and you want to work inworld, you really have to stand out and I don't mean be 'beautiful'. Be yourself. One of a kind.
Applying to beauty pageants is a choice. But be sure that's the second life you want for yourself.

If you have that sense of style in you and you want to become a model, go to castings. Apply to several SL model agencies, send your books, send notecards to SL model agencies' owners.

Look at what SL designers do: they have an insight, an idea, they know what the next season's looks are in RL, the next trends and they apply that idea to their creations. They do research a lot! Why don't SL models do the same thing?

I'm guessing no SL model googles Miss Universe pageant. That really doesn't matter for a RL model nor for a SL model.

Here's some food for thought. Why do SL models want to be in a beauty pageant? Just ask yourselves that question. For fame? To have a 'name'?

And watch how a RL model lives and works. How modeling is a job, like any other. It requires that you have something special, or else, in SL, anybody could get a great shape, a good skin, have the most outstanding avatar and be a terrible model. That something 'special' can be seen in SL, it can be felt by those who have a catchy eye for fashion.

Fashion, even in SL, is an art. Not many people can model high fashion in SL. If you can, then do it and forget about beauty pageants.

Immerse yourselves in RL fashion and modeling. Forget about winning or losing. Modeling is extremely competitive as it is, already. And that happens in both lives.

MVW 2013 and SL photographers

The announcement is out. MVW 2013 has the first entries' photos at BOSL blog.

I read the press release and public announcement. The document also explains how to apply and the kind of photos the candidates must submit.

I particularly like point 9.

9. Photoshop is allowed, but please keep photographs realistic so that it reflects how you actually look in Second Life.

And if you take a good look at all entries, you'll see that most of the photos have been heavily editted in PS. Some entries are just SL photos - quite unprofessional, I must say - others are skewed and twisted. Bottom line, if the idea is to actually see the avatar's face, heavily editted photos make their all faces look alike. So, we have several entries with avatars looking 'similar', sometimes because the photographer is the same.

Don't get me wrong, some of the photos have been taken and worked by SL photographers that are considered to be the best. But, in a case like this, a simple, tasteful photo, showing the avatar's face should suffice.
What matters is not the skill of the photographer , but the face of the female avatar.

Let's see some? I do declare, hereby, that I do not own any rights over the photos below. The names of the photographers are clearly stated on top of each row of photos and are used here, to illustrate my opinion .

Photos by Elle Ahren (view her work)

Photos by Julie Hastings (view her work)

Photos by Skip Staheli (view his work)

Even though the photos are very well done, they are heavily editted and we don't actualy see the real avatar behind it.

In RL, a model that goes to several agencies for castings takes her own book, however frequently, the agency they cast for takes a quick snapshot of their faces, as they are. No makeup, simple hair, etc.

To be eligible for MVW, these ladies hired some good photoshop editors in SL. It's quite frustrating, because we actually love the quality of the photo, but how's the avatar really like?

You may say, that's what live auditions are for. That's a fact, but before the live auditions, the first pre-finalists are going to be chosen among this group of photos. Are they going to consider the quality of the photographer or the beauty of the avatar? Because in the photos you see above, they all look 'the same'. Different eye color or hair color, but they all look so much alike!

There are very good photos though. Photos that really show the avatar's face, they stand out for me, because they are so simply worked, that 'what you see is what you get' and this should be the whole point, right?

Another year, another round at MVW. I'll be watching, as usual ;)

A full fashion show in SL in real time - Video is on

I watched a fashion show this week that was below reasonable, in terms of quality.

This time, I decided to have my camera roll and really recorded in video the whole show.

The link to Youtube is only here. If you click on it , you can see it in Youtube, as well.

It's an entire fashion show; no editting. No pauses, no making things beautiful.
I just let the show go on and never stopped recording.

You'll see what I saw; some skins and outfits not rezzing, ruthed avatars - sometimes - but the most important thing is that through video, you can all see models posing and walking.

It was laughable to see that these 'models' had different tags on - Elite Model and Top Model. I won't tell you the names of the SL models; however, I can tell you that some of them were last year's MVW finalists (!!!) and others were unfamiliar names, at least to me.

The show was set to start at 3:30pm SLT and started more than 30 minutes late.
You'll see lag - in real time, obviously this cannot be controled by the 'models'. Lag is natural under these circumstances and so are crashes.
You'll see the oufits rezzing slowly - from my viewer.

Other things were controlable, or better said, they should have been more organized. Watching a video of a SL fashion show in real time, shows clearly several severe mistakes, in terms of runway production:

- the runway was empty several times. This simply isn't professional. Period. Not only was it empty, it was empty for long periods. The video will show.
- the so called 'Elite Models' were poor on posing; walking can be questioned and one of them had the tag of 'Top Model' and did a terrible job, posing and styling.
- probably only two of these 'models' had quality skins and were well shaped.

But posing. Posing was a complete disaster in general. I won't tell you the 'models' names; I don't want them to be known for the wrong reasons.

And guys, especially the management of this event, before you say anything else, you're welcome. Here you have your entire fashion show on video.