Frolic Mills says farewell to BOSL and MVW Organization

Fashion in SL© is now poorer.

I was always one of the people that thinks beauty pageants aren't connected to any sort of modeling, in both lives.  So MVW Organization was always absolutely ridiculous for me, since my goal, all along, has been to focus on fashion and models in SL©.

Everything is changing so fast in SL © fashion!
Frolic Mills is no longer the owner of BOSL and MVW Organization.  No matter my worst critiques towards beauty pageants, this man - Frolic Mills - has been a force, a character, a personality;  wether we like him or not.

He clearly focused more on beauty pageants in SL, which was always terrible,  in my personal opinion.
However, what he did, was good - beauty pageants once a year, usually in a place full of glitz, lights, all big, all looking sumptuous, totally the opposite of what fashion shows in RL are all about,  but quite similar to the sets that are used in RL beauty pageants - he created 'names';  but MVW was never quite successful  after Miaa Rebane started to work for Avenue, just like Anna Saphire did.  These two SL© models,  through the years,  took all the attention from MVW and brought that same attention to fashion, fortunately.

Again, I do think there is a huge difference between beauty pageants and  fashion. After Miaa and Anna,  MVW was never the same.  Only one 'Miss' remains, old and outdated, so outdated that I'm not even going to say her name here - she is NOT a role model to follow. If you know who I'm talking about, take a look at her Flickr photos, terrible quality photos, the only print work that has quality has been done by SL © photographers. But the poor woman insists on taking photos herself, unfortunately for the rest of the SL© models who still look up to her and get trained at her 'academy', so to speak.

And now, that Frolic Mills is no longer the owner of BOSL and MVW Organization,  I am sorry.  He ran his own thing, he has a character of his own and he was a force to reckon.
BOSL and MVW now belong to Reign Congrejo and her followers. This is the photo Reign has in her RL tab.

This was Color of Couture Competition 2013 , organized my Reign. Note the extreme low quality, in styling, and especially posing! I can't wait to see what she is going to do with the entire Organization that she now owns.

Then, MVW Academy is ran by a woman whose name I'm not even going to pronounce here, I don't want to bring attention to people who deserve none.  The same woman that has her profile photo morphed in SL©.  Our profiles inworld say everything about us and this MVW Academy CEO profile is so bad that is only laughable.
It's public, so take a look.  So sad, isn't it?

Following SL© model for so long, I wonder, what does this woman actually know about modeling that she can teach new models (poor new models)?  Besides being closely involved with Frolic Mills, what else does she know, how cultured is she to be able to actually teach new models how to use SL© tools for them to become good at what they do?

Some time ago, she explained to her 'students' what beauty was, giving as a bad example, the face of one of the unique print models in SL©, trained at Avenue Models Academy.  So, it seems that even with Frolic leaving,  the same perspective remains in all that organization.   Everybody should look the same,  all girls looking 'pretty' and that's it. And of course, the best way to learn bad posing is going to MVW Academy.

Unfortunately, things are getting worse again, for those new models who are looking for a good model academy to train. Without Frolic there, BOSL and MVW , the entire thing will go down quick.

Even if I didn't like what he did, as a fashion critique, I have to recognize his strength, his personality  and he, himself, was one of a kind.

Now with Reign Congrejo as owner, and this woman as MVW Academy CEO, I can only be so sorry for everybody involved with BOSL and MVW Organization.  Actually, I can't wait to see a fashion show organized by these people.

Last time a friend of mine spotted this woman in SL©, she was looking like this, in a public event. Take a look at the way her necklace is edited and the great quality of the hair(!!!), the styling in general . How can she even teach?

To have a better picture of the whole low quality thing, take a look at this woman's Flickr;  again how can she even teach what she herself cannot deliver?  As we all know, in SL© modeling, Flickr is the best way to network with the best models that are, some of them, amazing photographers too.  Poor woman!

Here is how things are right now, with Frolic Mills out of the picture, this is the announced death of BOSL and MVW Organization.

The new beautiful

Long time without writing a word about fashion, magazines or models.

However, I'm not dead and burried yet.
Some things I noticed have been happening to some SL® Models.

A need, a kind of crave to look unique. I've said this often before: it should be the ultimate goal for a SL® model -  to have a  recognizable avatar  in a simple snapshot, with no name on it.

And a new generation of unique models has arisen. 
Some time ago, it came to my knowledge that a blogger who isn't very active inworld modeling or someone connected to her,  claimed that a very active and known SL® model 'stole' her image, meaning copied her look.

Let's go back a little in time and see what happened, regading the type of look that we are talking about.

I'm also going to post some images taken from some Flickr accounts to explain my point of view and I obviously state that the photos you are about to see aren't mine, the link to the rightful owners' Flickr accounts will be included.
I, therefore, do not own the rights to the images you're about to see, but I use portions of them,  according to DCMA Fair Use (the explanatory legal aspect can be read at the end of this post).

To have a 'different' avatar in SL isn't easy or better said, a recognizable avatar, without the name tag over it's head. In photos that is even more evident and clear.

The first SL® model I remember being very different and unique was Jesika Contepomi.

In the beginning of 2010, Jesika's face was already extremely recognizable; original image can be seen in the owner's Flickr.

A very square jaw and full lips, ears more to the the outer part of the skull , that she developped as her image until 2012.

 Full original image on Jesika's Flickr photostream.

Another SL® model, emerged with a very similar facial structure as Jesika: Anna Saphire.  Let's go back to 2011, this is how Anna Saphire looked like. This photo belongs to her and is used here for explanatory purposes only -  original image on Anna's Flickr photostream.

In 2012, Anna Saphire won MVW with a face shape similar to Jesika's.  The photo next is published in Anna's Flickr and the photographer was Daniele Eberhardt.

It's only natural that, with time, SL® models work on their avatars; after all, it's their jobs if they don't want to be 'look-a-likes'.

Anna's face remain unique, one of a kind; a work in progress since that first photo we see from 2011.
Here is a photo cropped by me,  taken by Falballa Fairey, published in Anna's Flickr, this year, last May.  Please, check the original photo.
All credits to the owners of these images. 

Going back to the beginning of this post,  I've heard that someone related to a blogger that takes photos and  publishes her work on Flickr, claims that Anna Saphire 'stole' her look, or better, copied her look.

It's extremely important to see the original photos and see the dates when the images were published.

This photo you are about to see, from that blogger I mentioned above,  was published in March this year.  Does Anna's avatar even look remotely like this?  To see the original image, please click here.

From March until July this year,  as you can see,  some facial aspects of this avatar were modified  - original work here - and some photos of this blogger suggest that she may look like another very distinctive SL models's avatar, not Anna's , nor Jesika's. 

It obvisouly depends on the skins that are used with certain shapes and with the growing illegal activities in SL®, such as copybotting, anybody can have a distinctive look in less than six months.  All that is needed is to work with a shape for some time and there we have it: a distinctive look a unique avatar's shape, however strangely similar to some very known SL® models.

Just by following the timeline, it's really easy to see who actually copied who.
It was brought to my attention later that the person who had  accused Anna Saphire of copying this look eventually apologized.

A good thing to do, surely. But the attitude of accusing in the first place is nothing more than a call for dramatic situations.  These situations should be ignored.

These accusations, the copybotting, illegal activities in SL®, all these point not only to harrassment,  but also trolling. Either way, they should be ignored and all models that have worked years to come up with a different look should just ignore any type of accusations.

The reason to ignore and move on is simple: most trolls* and content thieves in SL® are after some kind of recognition and if possible, extreme attention. To stop it, every illegal copy of a shape, skin or outfit, should not be revealed and should be dealt legally. So far, LL® have failed to protect creators who pay to be in Second Life®, which means so far they have failed to protect their own customers.  Nothing that a good group of lawyers can't fix. All this should be dealt in silence, in a legal manner and it has to be done in the USA.

In SL®'s fashion scene, it's important that most successful models know they will be eventually harrassed; they just need to be very aware of this: let all accusations fall into silence. No answer, no reply.  If necessary, in terms of Flickr, users can report or flag content published by others that belongs to them.  In SL®, however, it's not that effective. Stealing creator's authorship has been regular for years and so far LL® hasn't dealt with it in any way, shape or manner. 

*Trolls : online slang to define people who - very fond of large audiences - stir up  drama abusing their online anonimity. To stop them, the first step is to publicly ignore them, not making one simple comment or answering to any provocation. Trolls reveal  sociapathic tendencies because they show no remorse, therefore they are imune to any common reasoning or logic argument, which means there is no point in even answering to them once.  Trolls usually thrive in online forums or public chat places, or websites where people can add comments. They have adapted to SL, in this case it's called 'harrassment';  we can stop this harrassment just by ignoring any contact made by any of them, wether it's on open chat or in a private message.  Next step is to mute them. Each and every one of them.  They are relentless and gain energy every time they get an answer to one of their comments. The only way to stop them is to completely ignore them. Not one single word.

** The images I used here belong to their rightful owners, with links provided to the original body of work.  This is not a copyright enfringementent according to DCMA Fair Use - Title 17 › Chapter 1 › § 107.

L'Homme Magazine - The authority in SL's men's fashion (?!?!)

'The Authority in SL's Men's Fashion'

 This is the subtitle of L'Homme Magazine for June 2013.
Let me write it again:  'The Authority in SL's Men's Fashion' (?????)

Whose authority, may I ask?

Zachary something [I forgot his last name] 's authority?
Are we talking about SL fashion regarding a boy in his twenties who pulled together a magazine he thinks it's focused on male fashion?

I'm not even going to have link to the magazine; for sure you'll find it and take a look at it if you haven't already.

Good news is that Zachary  states in the first page of the magazine he's going to step down as Editor-in-Chief.  Last thing the fashion community in SL needs is a kid to run a fashion magazine in SL.

In graphic terms, imagery is regular; this Zachary person is well connected. He got some 'famous' SL photographers to pull the magazine together; again, I'm not going to say some names, because these 'famous' SL photographers are extremely popular, yet that doesn't mean they are very good in fashion photography. They can be good at PS, sure!

These photographers have created quite a reputation in their Flickr accounts; liking their photos or not is a personal opinion. Maybe one is worth mentioning - Marcopol Oh who is actually  a visionnaire and more artistic in creating his imagery.

There is a section in the magazine that is quite childish, fashionwise,  called Paparazzi. The paparazzi 'victims' are a couple of models in SL , that, again, may be considered popular; however, this particular section, the way I see it, has nothing to do with fashion. It's a SL couple with their SL child.  The outfits' description is there, indeed; here, the photo quality decreases greatly.

There is also a spread called Road Trip. The photos were taken by a SL male model that has achieved quite a good professional reputation in male fashion and is, in RL,  a woman - Hikaru Enimo.  Personally, I have no problems with that.  In the first pages of the magazine, the SL photographer Petra Messioptra [who we all think is a woman in RL, but we can't tell] poses with her male avatar. 

And finally, I'd like to mention Marcopol's vision on a fashion spread that is really editorial; photos taken with a white or black  background, focused on the model and his style.  Here is what we could easily see in a RL fashion magazine -  the concept of an editorial spread.

Basically, this edition of L'Homme magazine is this person's goodbye - Zachary, I mean. Being focused greatly on SL fashion for years,  having attended myself many fashion shows, having read several SL fashion magazines, I don't even  know who this Zachary character is.

He may have been Mister Virtual something. I'm done even considering pageants as part of the fashion scene in SL.  If he was, that explains me not knowing who Zachary is. 
Indeed I mentioned his age - he is around his twenties, that I was told - just like most of you I'm well connected among the fashion/modeling world in SL and people talk. Nevertheles, I have never met or seen any fashion show with this male Zachary ' model'.

It's a very good decision of his to just go away.  Being so young, it's unlikely he has the personal and professional maturity to do a good job and there would be a good chance that he could get the 'Editorial Clarity' disease (another one that is in his twenties) - 'I'm a nobody in RL; but hey, people know my SL name'. Laughable, of course!

To read L'Homme magazine this month,  is like going through Flickr. Some photos are average - considering that more and more SL fashion photographers are raising the bar - always taking into consideration that I'm talking about fashion and fashion magazines, not talking about PS effects. 

Farewell, Zachary!  Take your time to mature and eventually be good at what you want to do. 

A fashion limbo on SL Magazines

Fashion has evolved very much in SL over the past couple of years.  Fashion shows and designers' showcases have become more realistic - apart from one or two Agencies that keep on providing low quality services.

I do believe that the closer it is to RL, the more quality both client and seller will have in SL.
Lately, many SL Models have created their own fashion blogs, fortunately for the rest of us, because in general SL Fashion Magazines are now in a limbo - nothing really new or stands out.

Print work is done by SL Models themselves. Some are very good at it, others are not but we do have a good range of fashion blogs to chose from, to read and to enjoy their aesthetics.
This situation - I believe - has been putting SL Fashion Magazines in a place where we almost don't need them.  The importance of a magazine in RL fashion is huge. Magazines make trends, their staff is carefully selected in order to provide services that no other magazine has.

What I see happening now in almost all SL Magazines is that models are actually promoting themselves, instead of  being just a model. Meaning what?

In every RL Magazine staff the role of Fashion Editor is pretty much what everybody wants and only a selected few get. That's the person who has that catchy eye and finds designers, models and photographers that make trends.  One 'simple' editorial article changes a model's life, a photographers' life, the magazine's success. That's the person who isn't obviously a model, but has to know everything in the fashion industry and move extremely well in all social circles.

In SL this so important role in every fashion magazine doesn't exist, per se. It's portrayed by SL models.

As an example, Leah McCullough is working very actively in print, both with her own magazine - Haute -  and being the Creative Director of Avenue Magazine
On the other hand, Avenue Magazine has now Anna Saphire as fashion editor, as far as I could see in their latest issue.

There are several problems here, one of them being Anna Saphire isn't really a fashion editor.  She is actually promoting herself as a model in the magazine.  Try to go through the latest Avenue Magazines; it's becoming extremely boring to see the same print female models: wether we see Anna or Absinthe or Leah or Miaa. Avenue Magazine is becoming a nitch of a few, the same featured models over and over and lastly, there is a boring aesthetic to it: every photo, every editorial looks the same as the last one. We don't really know which month we are looking at. It all looks the same.  And why? Because they are all the same, same models, taking their own photos.  It's not even a matter of finding a design that is cohesive.  There has to be variety!

And here is where the role of fashion editor takes over.  To provide a secure and professional attitude,  the fashion editor shouldn't be one of the models at all or remove herself from that position.  The fashion editor moves always in the background, stays backstage and finds the best models, the best photographers for the magazine.  That's the person with that eye that no one else has,  the fashion editor has a vision that isn't obviously centered in herself.

Another example - this one being exactly how it's supposed to be - is Avenue's Lifestyle Editor, Umberto Giano. We go through the magazine and we read all the lifestyle articles, with a quite good variety of topics.  Where is Umberto? In the background. That's his job, his place.
When it comes to fashion, things are different and many of us, readers,  are now wondering why.  One of the reasons for this boredom can be the fact that the models featured at Avenue Mag take their own photos, which saves time, true. But this is not good for the overall magazine.

Anna Saphire should excuse herself from being in the magazine as a model, month after month. As fashion editor, she should find new paths for Avenue Magazine that don't include photos of her, nor Absinthe's nor Leah's or Miaa's.  Avenue has had a recent casting for new models, so what is going on that only three or four of them are actually in the magazine, featured month after month after month? How come?  Where is that Avenue mag that used to have several models featured each month? All different?  It almost makes us go back to the times of Modavia Fashion Directory in which one of the models featured was the owner herself, Poptart.  That was never Dea Mills' idea for Modavia. Poptart used to give a very diplomatic excuse for this 'designers ask for me, so I model'. Now Avenue is doing the exact same thing. Promoting a few that are obviously part of their staff members.  Does this look good for you?  Not for me. Does this happen because designers - who pay for their articles - ask for Anna or Absinthe or Leah?  I don't think they do; even so, there can be exceptions, of course. But to have the same models featured over and over and over again, this sounds more like a comfort zone than a 'designer's request'. 

I know SL isn't exactly RL, but for sure, Avenue Magazine has had better days. There used to be  a variety of imagery that would keep us interested in reading more, next month and the next.  Somewhere, Avenue has lost it's track and right now, even before the Magazine is out, we all wonder, in which style are we going to see Anna Saphire in, or Absinthe or Leah, or Miaa in the next magazine?
It's very unfortunate that this is happening with a magazine that was the best fashion magazine inworld. Was, past tense.

Not to mention that , in my opinion, there is a clear conflict of interests in Leah McCullough's case; she has her own magazine, as she is now hiring staff, so I assume that Haute Mag is moving up. Where does that leave Leah as Avenue's magazine Creative Director?

What will happen to Avenue as soon as Leah has her own team formed and ready to print?

Maybe we're watching a new era arising in the fashion print panorama.
Is Avenue going down because of their own choice of staff members? Probably. Feeding egos has never been a good business choice.
Let's see which magazine is going to be the next big thing,  That's fashion, indeed. One day we're up, next day, we're gone!