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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

THE ENTICING FASHIONS OF TORRID MIDNIGHT

Part Two in a series, featuring Selectees of New World Notes Fashion Expo 2004. (Context here, here, and here.) Today we present Torrid Midnight, who also displays her wares at an off-world website here, and whose fashions are sold at her own store in Chartreuse (27,224).

TORRID ON THE FASHIONS DISPLAYED HERE

"I sent you some of my favorite outfits I've done: 'Ripped Up', 'Love Letter', "Identity", and 'Modern Romance'... This is a good representation of how varied my style is-- I can go from very casual to classic romance and everything in between. These were also original creations, mostly hand-painted, which for me was a big achievement.

"'Identity' turned out to be far more popular than I ever thought; just a casual outfit I put together, but for me it had a deeper meaning-- the labels we give each other and ourselves. I've been called a dork for all the time I spend online, but I'll wear that label with pride. I'm using my brain here and being around people who are creative like me gives me hope."

TORRID ON WHAT BROUGHT HER INTO THE WORLD OF SECOND LIFE FASHION

"Well, when I first started Second Life, I was more of a social bug than anything, and really had no knowledge of Photoshop. I hadn't even been on the computer much except to play The Sims Online a little. After awhile, I decided I should try my hand at something to make money, never thinking I might actually learn something valuable. Skeedalee Skidoo encouraged me to build, but building just didn't feel right for me. Finally a friend of mine, who doesn't play anymore, taught me the basics of Photoshop and how to make a T-shirt. That was the beginning for me. Later on Nephilaine [Protagonist] and Mistress Midnight both showed me some tricks as well. I never thought a year and a half later I'd be painting original creations of my own. This has given me a new path to follow in my life and I hope to get back into school soon to persue it."

TORRID ON HER UNIQUE FASHION SENSE

"I don't really have any real world designers that I follow. I kind of go by what styles I like to wear in real life, which is an extreme mix. [laughs] I love to be comfortable, but I also like to be a little daring here and there. I guess I'm what you call a 'tomboy', but I do like having a feminine touch in most of my clothing.

"As a matter of fact, a lot of my designs are made with a more womanly figure in mind. A lot of models you see on the runway are stick figures, and I see that A LOT in Second Life as well. [laughs] I think myself and Mistress were some of the first avatars I saw in Second Life to have curves."

TORRID ON COMPETITION IN THE SECOND LIFE RAG TRADE

"The fashion buisness is a different story, now that people can make money in real life from their profit in Second Life. Unfortunately, it's a tad bit more cut throat now...

The designing population of SL was a friendly and helpful one in the beginning. Now it seems that here and there you have those who are in it to make as much as possible, stepping on whoever they can. Jealousy seems to have spread like wildfire. [laughs] I think you got a taste of it from the Fashion Expo, am I right? [She is. - H.L.]]

"I do not make enough money to actually live on. It's not a stable enough income to be completely dependent on right now, and I don't know that it ever will be. There are a select few who make a lot of money, but they also produce like an assembly line. I just don't like the idea of mass producing clothing every day. I care a lot about the quality of it, and I'm afraid if I pushed myself that much, it would suffer."

TORRID ON SOME OF THE COLLEAGUES SHE ADMIRES MOST

"Hmm. Wow, tough question. I can hear the crowd now, 'Oh, she's only mentioning friends, of course.' I would just like to say 'PFFT' to that before I even begin.

"Nephilaine Protagonist is definitely one. I want to say that it's not because of quality or the popularity of her clothing. When I first met Neph, I was so impressed with her imagination. The ideas that swim around in that artist brain of hers are amazing. I love her for the simple fact that she is an original and she embraced Second Life completely.

"Of course Mistress Midnight, and there again, not for the quality or popularity. She keeps me on my toes. Working side by side with her for so long, I think it's only natural we kind of compete with each other. It's always healthy though, I believe. We don't really have the same style but we get ideas from each other. She's one of those power design pushers I was talking about [laughs]-- she makes a lot of clothing in a short amount of time, not to mention doing custom [designs] every day. I don't think the kid in me can handle that much work.

"Last but not least, I'd say Damien Fate. I remember having a conversation with him a long time ago, very early in the morning for me. [Fate lives in England, and Torrid, the US. - H.L.] He didn't realize that most people photo-sourced clothing in Second Life. Not that photo-sourcing is easy. Believe me, if you want it to look good, it can be VERY hard to pull off. The point is, it came naturally to him to draw everything he created. I was already so impressed with his art that I'd purchased before. He is so detailed in everything he makes. You can tell that he puts a lot of time and care into his designs, and for that reason, I admire him a great deal."

TORRID ON THE HARD WORK OF FASHION AND ON WHAT KEEPS HER GOING

"I probably spend anywhere from fifteen-thirty hours a week. It just depends on the degree of difficulty in my designs. One item might take me a few hours because I am a perfectionist. If something isn't lined up, it drives me crazy. At times this feels like a curse more than anything. [laughs]

"Hmm, how many hours did my best work take? Well, this is a funny story. I don't think this is really my best work, but it's up there: The first pair of blue jeans (in the Modern Romance outfit) that I hand painted. I thought, hmm, wonder if I can pull it off. Four hours later I had a massive headache and a pair of painted jeans. You might say to yourself, 'Jeans, hard?' Believe me, hand painting jeans and having them LOOK like jeans is not easy.

"Second Life is definitely my main source of income right now. I never thought I'd be able to say that. I'm trying to save up, so that I can go back to school. I would love to get into graphic design. My situation has probably influenced me to work harder more than anything.

"Water Rogers has had a lot of influence in what I create, as well. Water is my husband in Second Life. He encourages me way more than he even realizes in real life and Second Life to keep going and push myself to do better. I ask for his opinion on pretty much everything I make."

TORRID ON A DESIRE TO BECOME A FIRST WORLD FASHIONISTA

"I never really thought about it, to be honest. I don't plan on having my fashions strut down the runway. They have definitely helped me decide on what I want to do in real life."

TORRID ON THE STREAMED ROCK BAND SHE PLAYS IN, WHEN NOT DESIGNING

"I really enjoy singing, and I've actually worked with some other SLers. Water Rogers and Dragen Zaius play together in a band, and I've sang with them a little. They've streamed their music in Umber several times, they are great-- Water plays guitar and Dragen is the drummer. Mistress and I have sang together a few times. [laughs] She'll probably kill me for mentioning it."

TORRID'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FASHIONS BUYERS, ON A BUDGET OR ON A SPREE

"Well, I keep a discount section, which is mostly older items. I am going to try and keep inventory moving, so there isn't always the same selection there. I also have discount items that are new at a store called 'Cheap Thrills' in Midnight City (Umber). They are great quality items but cheap, because they are remakes of a [first life] design, or the texture itself is imported from elsewhere.

"As far as my more expensive clothing, it's generally a complete outfit. I actually sell the clothing separately as well, but it's less expensive if you buy the outfit. I've never hit the thousand Linden dollar mark yet on price, and I'm not sure I ever will."

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Comments

Thanks for all your hard work Torrid. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I'm looking at all your stuff in Umber

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Congrats T. I'm glad to see you found your knitch. Come find me someday soon. 458.
-ZeroLives

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