It’s the Season of the Steampunk Witch

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My model mentioned to me a while ago that it was difficult to find decent Steampunk attire in Second Life these days.  I have to admit I was surprised to hear this, since Second Life has always had a large contingent of Steamfolk, Victorians, and various odd dieselpunk people.  You would think with all that wandering blithely around the grid, that it would be a simple affair to hit the shops for a bit of a Steampunk lark to add to your already bulging, straining at the seams inventories.

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Honestly, who am I to argue these points with someone who clearly shops way more than I do.  So, leaving it to the experts, I set forth on a quest to create a Steampunk gown that LO! contains no gears.  Sorry about that.  But slapping gears on something and calling it “Steampunk” is rather like dying your flannel shirt black and calling it “Goth”.  While that practice is, in theory, correct, it’s pretty cliche.  He said, surreptitiously nudging that gear covered waistcoat under the Axminster.

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After hammering out a basic design, and giving it the metallic sheen it so richly deserves, the Malefica was born.

Malefica means “witch” in Latin.  Not that this is strictly a witch costume, or that I’m disparaging my model, or anything, but it evolved from something kind of Steamy to something kind of Steamy and Gothic and Witchy all at once.  It’s elegant in its simplicity.

Malefica is a complete wardrobe all on its own:  You can wear it as a corset with leather pants (included), a miniskirt with corset, wear it with or without the blouse, with or without the full flexi skirt.  On top of that, you get eight color options for the skirt and skirt bell, two color options for the blouse, and two colors for the skirt, as well as the pants.  How can you go wrong with all of this?

To top it off, there’s an Omega HUD controlling the pants layer for those of you with Omega compatible mesh bodies.  Oh yes, I’ve literally got you covered this time.

Available at the store and on the marketplace now.

Heavy Metal

Avatar-Bizarre-Metallurgist-IIIMy arrival in the infamous Steamlands was uneventful after such a prolonged absence.  I hadn’t really expected folks to realize I was back, after many long months traveling the world, creating new outfits, and generally enjoying the life of an explorer and gentleman.

I, being of the well-dressed sort, have tailored a semi-formal, yet workaday outfit of finest metals.

My latest fashion hearkens back to a fascination of metallurgy; a love of metals and alloys, and the chemical properties that can be derived from certain materials.  I was wearing my latest invention:  An outfit forged in the searing flames of the Western mountains, hammered flat and pliable, and worked into a useful shield of waistcoat armor.  The shirt, stitched together by sheer force of will, was made of finest carbon fiber.  But what good is a clothier who does not cater to the Gentleperson in us all?  A functional bow tie, a lightweight metal top hat, and metallic garters to hold up the fabric of the sleeves complete this fare.

Avatar-Bizarre-MetallurgistThe trousers, a fine fighting pair though they are, were created for those who still wish to practice the fine art of Equestrianism.  Of course, fine riding gear can also be worn while astride your fantastic two-wheeled steam bike, or driving with your lover on a bright country lane in your favorite gyrocopter.  Trousers such as these should be worn with fine Dressage, or other knee high riding boots.

Boots are sold separately, of course, as folks have their preferences.

AB-Metallurgist-IIAlas, my tale is nearly at an end, but you will find this, and other new Steam outfits available at Avatar Bizarre very soon.  This outfit, in fact, not only comes with a color HUD (giving you eight metallic colors), but it will be available for daring young women, as well as men.

For the more traditional among you, there is a gentlelady’s gown being released within the next few days as well.  My model insisted upon it, and who am I to argue with the distaff on what would look good on the lovely female form?

Stay tuned, my friends.  More to come in the tale of Avatar Bizarre’s Heavy Metal.  This outfit will be released by Monday, January 28.

In the Depths of Mania – The Die Form Suit and a Pair of Shoes

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Die Form is German for Form or Shape. I’m sure Florian, or any of my other friends well-versed in German could confirm this, or at least correct this if I’m completely wrong.  Die Form is also a post-industrial dark electronic band that formed out of France sometime in the late 70s, and continues today.  If you really want to dive deeper into some sort of meaning here, it’s also a play on words, a splitting of the word, “Deform”.  It’s kind of like how DEVO is short for De-Evolution, only somehow more austere and Goth.

When making a Goth outfit for Second Life, one must come up with a clever name, based on something out of the Goth subculture.  Most of the time, creators pick out words in a song lyric, or just use the title of a song that strikes their fancy.  In the case of this outfit, it seemed rather fitting (heh) to use the name of an entire band.  I’m sure they won’t mind, particularly as it’s an actual German phrase anyway.

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“Inspiration is a cat.  It never comes when you call it, but when it does finally wander in you’d better pay attention, or it’ll claw your leg pretty hard.”

While casting around for inspiration, a thought hit me:  Why not update something that got made in the past and make it better?  Yeah, except I’m kind of done with those older designs.  Let them fester on the Marketplace for folks who are still interested in buying system clothing with prim attachments.  There’s nothing wrong with that, mind you.  The texturing on those outfits is still pretty darn good.  But honestly, I’ve been on a mesh kick for a while now, and nearly the whole Second Life store (you know, the one inworld) has been nearly completely converted to mesh things.  Then I thought, “Well, Vintage things work really well for the whole Goth look.”  That’s when the epiphany hit:  MIX THE STYLES!  Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with mixing historic and Vintage and whatever else, as long as the ensemble works, right?  Real Life fashion designers do this all the time, to varying effects and degrees.

So Die Form was born.  This is a heavily brocaded Pseudo Edwardian Jacket with a bit of a modern Versace flare.  The coat has medium lapels, and a single silver button closes it in the front.  The velvet coat layers over a silken black narrow collared shirt, and a darkly jewel-toned satin neck tie.  The ensemble ties together with a pair of pleated herringbone pants.

Die Form, like all rigged mesh at Avatar Bizarre, has a free demo available.  Available in several colors, it’s materials enabled for your viewing pleasure, and includes five standard sizes.  My avatar (the one shown, naturally) is a medium.  The cost for this fashion feast is 375L per color.

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No suit would be complete without a nice pair of shoes.  Although shoes do not come with the actual suit, Avatar Bizarre has just released this nifty pair of Saddle Shoes (unisex) with a color HUD.  The HUD includes eight colors:  Black, Silver, Brown, Red, Green, Blue, Teal, and Purple. The shoes themselves were built for SLink flat feet, but there’s also a pair of shoes to fit the system avatar feet.  An alpha is included for the system feet, and these shoes have been materials enhanced.  They are also modify and copy, and unrigged so you can easily resize them as needed.  The cost for the shoes is 175L.

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Die Form, and Saddle Shoes available inworld and on the Marketplace now.

Style card:
Shape – Mine
Eyes – Avatar Bizarre Lorelei with Color HUD
Skin – Nivaro Crow Cream
SLink male hands relaxed
SLink male feet flat
Hair – Exile Vindicated Naturals with color HUD (mesh)
Suit – AB Die Form Purple
Shoes – AB Saddle Shoes with Color HUD (shown in purple and in black)

Unhallowed Metropolis – Phinaea Suit

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In a city, dark and eerie, surrounded by the Vernian Wastelands, a lone figure emerges from the increasing fog in a final showdown…

She gazes unblinkingly at the menacing Dirigible of Doom, flown by her mortal arch-nemesis, a mad man bent on destroying the whole of civilization for his own nefarious gain. Reaching for the weapon in her coat, a powerful electrically charged object designed by Nicola Tesla himself, she takes aim and fires.  The white-hot lightning projects from the muzzle, hitting the dirigible, enveloping it in a blaze so super heated that a shock wave from the explosion could be felt for several hundred meters.  Phinaea remains stoic, unflinching, as her hair is blown back by the shockwave.  The war machine of her arch nemesis seems to drift lazily to the ground, supports and beams floating gently in all directions.  She bends down to retrieve her top hat, wipes a film of dust and soot from the goggles, and wanders off…

Phinaea is the counterpart to the mad men of the Steam age; a woman of strength, who is highly intelligent, yet lives in a Patriarchal society that values beauty over brains.  She works in secret as an agent of Artifact Recovery, seeking out devices and strange items imbued with magical properties, many of which are highly dangerous in any hands.  She is an author, using a famous pseudonym to publish her very real adventures as fiction.  She is Phinaea.

The suit worn by the Inventor, Author, and Adventurer is a twist on a previous release from Avatar Bizarre.  The Phinaea is rigged mesh that has been materials enhanced, and includes a full suit with pocket chain, and a high top hat with tintable goggles.

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Become the adventurer you always wanted to be, and do it in style with this beautifully crafted outfit, made from the finest mesh velvet brocade, and lovingly stitched with the strongest of pixel threads.  The sleeves and pants cuffs were made to accommodate SLink hands and feet.  As with all things at Avatar Bizarre, this ensemble is available in several stunning colors.  Available inworld and on the Marketplace.

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Around the Grid in Eighty Days – or – How Phinaeus Got His Groove Back (Sneak Preview)

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One of the wonderful things about Second Life is an abundance of Science Fiction and Fantasy fans inworld building things for role play and other stuff.  When you throw together a virtual world where you can build anything you want, and a few thousand rabid fans of various genres, your imagination really is the limit, and you end up with some wonderful things to find and explore.  If you set foot in this virtual world, you could end up cavorting under the waves with mermaids, flying through the air in World War I Sopwith Camels and Fokker Triplanes, running with dragons at Avaria, or you could even end up on the deck of a Steampunk Dirigible in Caledon.

Of course if one ends up in the Steamlands, one must be properly attired.  To the layman, if you just slap a few gears on something, you can call it “Steampunk”, but the genre goes much, much deeper than that.  Steampunk rose from the World of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells in the 19th century.  Loosely based in Victorian times, Steampunk is the science and the imagination of that era.  From the mighty flying dirigible to the whimsical fighting trousers, Steampunk encompasses a vast range of wearable doo dads and clothing, in addition to some spectacular vehicles and buildings.

For Steampunk clothing, you can’t go wrong with a frock coat and pin striped pants, or a corset and puffed sleeve gown.  Add a pair of goggles and some clockwork jewelry and you’re well on your way to immersing yourself in a wonderful whimsy of imagination.  Let your flight of fancy begin…!

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“But Mr. Eel,” you might say, “What’s up with this Phinaeus character in your blog title?  Wasn’t the hero in Around the World in Eighty Days called Phileas?”  Well, you do have a keen eye and a great memory for literature.  The thing is, I actually kind of forgot this till the suit was already made and Phinaeus was already mired in my brain.  Plus it turns out there’s a King Phineus in Greek Mythology, who appeared in the voyages of the Argonauts.  So I mixed up my literature a bit…the suit’s still pretty cool!

The Phinaeus is a classically styled psuedo Victorian suit, made from the finest virtual velvet and delicately stitched and rigged to fit the most stalwart male avatar.  It’s available in five sizes and several colors.  The suit is all one piece and includes the coat, waistcoat, turtleneck, and pants.  The finely detailed frock coat is beautifully accessorized with a silver chain.  Not shown here, because I hadn’t uploaded it when the pictures were taken, is a wonderful tall top hat, which is one part Mad Hatter and two parts Wide Bell Top Hat.  For a little extra flavor, this outfit has been materials enhanced.

This suit is perfect for Steampunks, Goths, Vampires, or whoever wishes to include a classic dark almost-Victorian flare to their wardrobe.  The cost is 450L and includes the hat.  Shoes are not included.

A bit after the release date, the jacket/waistcoat combo will be available as a standalone garment, with a color HUD that includes all the Phinaeus colors.  TBA.

Available NOW on the marketplace and inworld at Avatar Bizarre.

Edit:
This top hat comes with the suit.  The goggle lenses have a touch menu to change the color.
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Style card:
Shape: Mine
Hands – SLink male relaxed
Eyes – Avatar Bizarre Crystalline mesh eyes with color HUD
Shoes – Avatar Bizarre Two-Tone Hazzard in black
Hair – Argrace Akira Black
Skin – Nivaro Crow Cream
Facial hair – Nivaro Snazzy Jaw Black

Dancing Through a Gothic Wonderland

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Once Halloween comes to a screeching halt, all Hell breaks loose as we gear up for one of the biggest holiday events in Second Life:  Gothmas!  Whatmas?  Gothmas!  It’s that black and romantic time when all the darklings come out of the woodwork and celebrate in a weird and wonderful way.  We don our goth apparel and dance to the ethereal carols of Pretentious, Moi?, Sisters of Mercy, Imperative Reaction, and Thoushaltnot.

Gothmas by Gaslight is nigh, and as you wander the hallowed streets of the cursed countryside, you will be regaled with many fine Gothic wares from a wide swath of merchants across the Second Life grid.

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It’s time once again to give those blackened blue eyes an advance look at what’s coming up from Avatar Bizarre during this most sacred of holidays.

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“Ozymandias Female” – Modeled by Misha-Selene

The Ozymandias, named for the poem by Percy Bisshe Shelley is resplendent in six gorgeous jewel tones.  Although it is a simple outfit with leather pants, silken shirt, and waistcoat, you will look positively stunning in any of the hues.  This outfit is available for men and for women, and the sleeves and pants are materials enhanced.  Shoes are not included, but both pants and sleeves were made to accommodate SLink hands, and SLink boots.

Gothmas opens in December, and both versions of this outfit will be available for 250L.  Please try the demo before you buy.

Vernian Process – Gothmas by Gaslight Gacha Sneak Preview

It never hurts to be prepared and, in the event of the Second Life Gacha crowd, it’s never too early to start thinking about what to put into a Christmas Gacha machine.  If you are unaware of the ubiquitous Gacha in Second Life, think of it as a sort of old-style drug store gumball prize machine.  You put in a quarter, and you get a random prize.  Sometimes, if you were a kid like me, you’d spend a good bit of your meager allowance trying to get that one prize you coveted; the one prize that never seemed to drop out of the chute, no matter how many quarters you dropped into the coin slot.  Yet, this prize would taunt you from a board in the glass face of the prize machine, urging you on, and cultivating a love of gambling that may follow you into adulthood and Las Vegas.

If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, then I’m sad, and will now crawl into the fetal position for feeling old beyond my years.

Gothmas by Gaslight is a shopping event in Second Life.  It started off as a hunt, where people would search for hours to find various hunt objects hidden in stores across the grid.  But, as hunts have become a little passe, and more than a huge nightmare for organizers, the powers that be turned Gothmas by Gaslight into something much, much better.

Every year, the Cursed sim prepares itself for this wondrous event.  Merchants sign up to have that special spot in the sim where they can hawk their wares.  Of course, those wares include the insidious Gacha.

Avatar Bizarre is happy to announce a sneak preview of ten pairs of boots in jeweled Gothic hues, to be placed in the Gacha, and sold for 25L per play.  The Vernian Boots are transfer, so if you end up with a dozen pairs of green boots, you can trade them for other things with folks, give them to a best friend, or even sell them at a Second Life yard sale.  Whatever you end up doing with your new leather SteamGoth Boots of Awesome, I hope you like them.  A lot.

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As Christmas marches inexorably at us, ready to slap us with good cheer, peace on earth, Santa, and all that other stuff, I will be unveiling more goodies to be debuted at Gothmas by Gaslight.

Meanwhile, feel free to visit Avatar Bizarre inworld for all of your fantasy, historic, Gothic, and Lovecraftian needs.

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A Clockwork Spiral – and the Madder Hatter Preview

A Clockwork Spiral
A Dark and Steamy Event to benefit the National Kidney Foundation
September 18 – 22 on the Cursed Sim.

You can get all the information you need on the official blog.

Avatar Bizarre is thrilled to be involved in this incredible fund raising event.  We will have a booth with a few exciting new items, including the Madder Hatter, and the Gothic Reginald Waistcoat for men.  All mesh items (attachments and otherwise) are original, and straight out of the slightly warped mind of Sredni Eel.  Most of the items offered are  completely brand new, so keep an eye out!

The first thing I’d like to tickle your eye bones with is the Madder Hatter. 

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The Madder Hatter, which will be available in seven colors, was inspired by the darker side of Alice in Wonderland.  Darkly Victorian with a Tim Burtonesque twist, this outfit includes everything but the dude wearing it.  It would be advisable to keep an eye on that hat, because evidence shows it’s plotting something nefarious.

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This delightfully demented ensemble can be worn by both genders, thanks to some artfully textured system layers.  The coat, waistcoat, socks, and pants are all made up of heavily textured system layers, while the rest is made up of original mesh attachments.  The cravat, however, is a mix of flexi prims and mesh, because cravats of this nature should flow with the breeze of passing tea times.
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Be sure to find the Avatar Bizarre booth at A Clockwork Spiral.  You don’t want to miss out on this fantastic new Alice in Wonderland treat.

Credits:
Hair:  Wasabi Pills Zach Black Royal
Eyes: Avatar Bizarre Mesh Plasma Eyes Blue (not yet available)
Skin: *Birth* Li LIght tone
Shape: Sredni Eel exclusive
Location:  LEA – Mechanical Circus (limited time)