Friday, November 19, 2010

Mariko Magic: Princess Anna

Princess Anna by MEB Fashion

The MEB 2010 Winter Collection from MEB Fashion was officially released earlier this week. There's always excitement around the release of the seasonal collections of MEB's owner and designer, MariaElena Barbosa. Oh, I may have built up the wrong expectations for this post. No, I'm not featuring items from the Winter Collection today; but, they are exciting. Look for them in future posts - guaranteed. What I want to blog, while autumn is still in the air, is my very favorite outfit from the 2010 Fall Collection. Its a delightful creation called Princess Anna.

Princess Anna is exactly what I want and expect from Italian fashion. It's smart and stylish. It's playful and sexy. And it's so flattering on me. Can an outfit be all these things? Well, you tell me. Princess Anna will have you answering with an emphatic yes. Princess Anna sells for L$490 at MEB Fashion.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing.

Where to photograph a princess? At Le Mont Saint Michel, of course. Mont Saint Michel is a Second Life treasure. It is an accurate and full size replication of the famous tidal island in Northern France. This small rocky islet was consecrated to the Archangel Saint Michel in 708 AD and is famous for its Benedictine abby, a 13th century Gothic masterpiece, towering over 500 feet above the sea. Mont Saint Michel is actually an outcropping of granite conspicuously jutting out of a vast sandbank and exposed to powerful tides that can rush in over the tidal flats at speeds, famously described by Victor Hugo, ‘as swift as a galloping horse.’ The rocky islet is entirely surrounded by water twice a month, becoming a tidal island. The actions of the tides give Mont Saint Michel a wonderful mystical quality. I wanted to photograph Princess Anna with the medieval charm of the island's village as a backdrop. I hope you like the result.

The hair that I am wearing is from DrLife and is called Leena. Leena was designed by Leena Ying and sells for L$350. With Leena, you get 9 hair colors which you can select from a menu.

Strolling and Shopping on the Grand Rue at Mont Saint Michel

Well, didn't I tell you that Princess Anna is all that. And there's more fashion magic at MEB Fashion. Be sure to catch the new 2010 MEB Winter Collection. I'll be blogging my favorites from the collection. So stay tuned.

MEB Fashion Main Store

DrLife Skins and Hair are available at Mariko in Mont Saint Michel


Previous posts for MEB Fashion:

From the MEB Spring Collection - Vogue (March 2, 2010)

MEB Photo Contest Winner (November 15, 2009)

MEB Anette at Mimi's Choice (August 21,2009)

Learn more about Le Mont Saint Michel in Second Life

Posing in front of Mariko, my fashion boutique at Mont Saint Michel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photo Mariko - Random Clicks and Notes

I haven't been blogging much lately. Applying to graduate programs and preparing to take the entrance exams have largely dominated my time and attention. With all that completed (and my fingers crossed), I now found time to put together this collection of pictures taken over the past few months. I hope that you enjoy them.

Bunnies are so darling. But it was rather disconcerting when a 50 foot lapin giant came crashing through the fairy forest. Thank goodness it wasn't a gargantuan monkey. The last thing that I need right now is to have a Fay Wray moment.  

Click on the pictures to enlarge them for better viewing

Gulliver's Second Life Travels

Speaking of giants, last month, I dropped by the Criss Museum of Contemporary Art to see the Gulliver's Travels exhibit by artist Ub Yifu. On the exhibition ground was Lemuel Gulliver washed up on the shore of Lilliput and staked to the ground by the diminutive Lilliputians. It was a delightful immersive experience. The Criss Museum has a schedule of exhibits by invited artists and is well worth visiting regularly.  

Criss Museum of Contemporary Art

Lilliputian Mariko

I was doing some shopping on Casablanca Boulevard and dropped by the Miss Virtual World Headquarters for a look-see. Miss Virtual World is the premiere beauty contest in Second Life. Surprisingly - perhaps not surprisingly - beauty contests are quite popular in this virtual world where anyone can have and most everyone has a beautiful avatar. The finalists in the contest all have sterling pedigrees in the Second Life fashion industry - all are popular models in the top agencies and are graduates of the prestigious modeling academies. They work very hard at their craft and possess avatars that exceed the exacting professional standards for runway models. No untrained and unknown aspirant is going to make the cut in the Miss Virtual World contest. I plan to attend the finals to see the fashions. Some of the finest designers in Second Life create the outfits for the contestants, and their creations are eye-popping fabulous. So I was here looking for the best seat in the house to view the runway. I looked up, and there it was.

The Best of Second Life - Presenting Miss Virtual World 2010

I wanted to practice my picture taking skills using windlight, so I called on my friend Lulubelle to model for me. Lulu was into the spirit of the season and wore a very autumn outfit made of autumn colored leaves. Okayyy! Well, she was the perfect fall goddess to photograph against the fall foliage of Opar's Hidden Forest. Of the nearly fifty pictures taken with various windlight settings, I especialy like this subdued and graceful picture of Lulu above and this dramatic one below.

Fall Goddess Lulubelle

Two more windlight pictures of Lulubelle - same pose.

Skye Galaxy in Concert

I attended my first Skye Galaxy performance. Skye Galaxy is the hottest performer in Second Life. His live performances are difficult to get into because he draws an audience that will fill a sim to capacity. Well, I wanted to see what this guy was about. What I found was an elf with a sweet voice and bursting with talent. In real life, he is Sean Ryan, and, like his avatar,  very elven. Some say that he is on the cusp of crossing over from Second Life and breaking out large on the real life stage. Perhaps with the right concatenation of opportunities, we'll see it happen.  If you haven't been to a Skye Galaxy performance, see the talent and potential in the video below.

New World Notes has been following Skye Galaxy developments:

I was doing a fashion shoot at Mont Saint Michel when my dear friend Leena Ying,
owner of DrLife, dropped by.

Leena rezzed a flying saucer and told me to hop on.

She took me on a harrowing ride. We were buzzing buildings, swooping up and down, and turning sharply at high speeds, always barely averting disaster. Then Leena started setting off thermonuclear explosions (DrLife is a nuclear power in SL). Avatars were being blown up and carried high in the air. I held my breath, hoping we wouldn't be jettisoned and banned from the sim. I mean, Moeka, the sim owner, once got angry with me for just turning on a light at night in my fashion boutique on Mont Saint Michel's Grand Rue. She is a stickler for maintaining the Old World ambiance of the place. And here was Leena setting off huge fiery explosions, and me seen as a  accomplice. Luckily, Moeka was not inworld. (But it was oh so much fun!)

I spent an enjoyable afternoon with my friend Mony Markova. She is one of the few SL residents that still uses a typing animation. She types one handed as you can see in the pic. And it works so well for her. Its a delightful part of her character. 

Yes, I had a shotgun slung across my back. Its an 1865 double shotgun. I was into a western pioneer look at the time.

It went so well with the wildnerness areas of my estate at Opar.

An array of Japanese Lanterns illuminate the courtyard fountain of my villa at Opar.
I put up these lanterns over two years ago for a birthday party held for Jaysun at Opar.
They have been a part of the villa ever since. 

Waves crashing against the cliffs of Wild Shore Island at Opar

Jaysun and I enjoy the sunset seen from the top of Wild Shore Island.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Simple Gifts

Today, I celebrate my twenty-first birthday. It's a milestone that traditionally marks one's passage into full adulthood. And today, as in other birthdays gone by, a melody from the past flows from my memory and fills my consciousness. My late beloved grandmother was the Anglo member of our Japanese-American family clan. She brought a Yankee sensibility to the family. The story of my grandfather and grandmother is very moving. My grandfather came back from the war in Europe missing one leg and met his future bride, a hospital volunteer. He had the face of our wartime enemy; but, his wound was a badge of courage and of devotion to country. Grandmother said that she could only love a brave man. She was also brave because such a thing was just not done in those days. She lost much, but said she gained so much more. Grandmother  loved to play the piano and entertain us with her lovely voice in song. She would sing show tunes and songs of worship. On Thanksgiving, on Christmas, and on the birthdays of her grandchildren, she would always end her repertoire with Simple Gifts, an old Shaker tune, her favorite. To us, it became a standard that defined these holidays and celebrations. And, for me, Simple Gifts became my birthday song. So on this day, as on all my birthdays, my thoughts go to the simple gifts that I have been so blessed to receive. The Love of God. The Love of Family. The Love of Friends. They are simple gifts; but, how sublime they are. And my thoughts go to my grandmother and how her song stirs such reflections. And I know that this was her purpose and her gift to me. A simple gift; but, oh how sublime.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mariko Magic: Pretty Lilly

Lilly by ALB Dream Fashion

I stopped by ALB Dream Fashion to pick up the monthly gift for the store's group members. Store owner and fashion designer extraordinaire, Analee Balut, gives her very devoted group members the most generous gifts. The store is also a joy to shop in - tasteful, airy, and set in an exotic North African desert. Much of her fashions are influenced and inspired by the color and cultures of Africa. The designs are some of the most exciting in Second Life. When wandering about the store, a new collection of dresses caught my attention. Called Lilly, my first reaction was to draw in my breath and exclaim, 'Oh, how pretty'. Pretty they are indeed. Lilly is very fresh and very today, yet has a delightful redolence of nostalgia. Lilly would be just the thing for those occasions when we want to be feminine, soft, and pretty ... very pretty.

Lilly come in seven colors - turquoise, red, khaki, black, blue, violet, white. It sells for sells for L$390. All seven colors are available in a fatback for L$1500. I bought all colors. Readers of my blog know that my beloved community of Hallelujah Azul recently closed. For this post, I photographed Lilly at various locations around Hallelujah Azul to preserve one last look at my long-time home.

Mmmmm Yummy in Pink.
The strawberry ice cream at the Bumble Cafe is yummy too.

Surprised in Blue.
When running into that special someone,
it's best to be pleasantly surprised in blue.

Lilly in Black.
Sophisticated and Knowing.

He won't keep me waiting long. I'm in turquoise.

A Red Cherry Swirl goes so well with cupcakes and tea at the Brazen Tart.

Lilly in White. Lovely.

My hair is from ARGRACE and is called Soft Breeze. It was designed by rika Oyen. Soft Breeze comes in nine colors  - black, dark brown, light brown, red, copper, amber, platinum, blonde and dark blonde. They sell for L$250 per color. All nine colors are available in a fat pack for L$1500.

My townhouse in the Garden District. Goodbye.

ALB Dream Fashion

ARGRACE Mainstore