Sunday, May 11, 2008

Baiastice Sets the Bar for "Haute Couture"

"There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they would mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking."
-Virginia Woolf

After visiting Baiastice this past Friday, I was hardly surprised to learn that the creator behind the magic of Baiastice, Sissy Pessoa, is a sweetheart of Second Life fashion mavens everywhere. The designs offered up at Baiastice are, without question, original, striking, and absolutely worthy of the label "couture." Baiastice's designs range from the simple elegance of the Sovrana Dress (left) to a number of terribly chic ensembles that present some of the most fabulous cuts and colors of decades past in ways that can only be described as modern. I could (and will) go on at length about Pessoa's designs and style, but what I found truly noteworthy about the clothing at Baiastice and what makes Pessoa stand a full head-and-shoulders above the vast majority of designers and content creators in Second Life is the very obvious craftsmanship that has gone into the wearable artwork sold at Baiastice. Not only does Pessoa take the time and effort to "bake" lighting and highlights into her clothing textures to give her outfits a very realistic look and feel, but she has managed to master the use of the all-important alpha channel in ways that many other designers only dream about. The Sovrana Dress (above) is proof positive of the latter: the bottom of the prim skirt attachment genuinely appears as billowing layers of material with a slight shimmer that one can partially see through.

Pessoa's striking use of highlights in her clothing textures is profoundly evident in the Onda Outfit (right.) The Onda Outfit's simplicity ends with the fact that it's predominantly one color. This seafoam masterpiece shimmers and shines in the light (and appropriately shifts and changes as my Doll moves or changes her camera angle) to give the feel and look of very real material with very real reflections and lighting. The prim attachments that cascade down the bottoms of my Doll's legs are well-built and textured in the same fabulous seafoam to shimmer and shine with the rest of the garment (as though all of the pieces really are a single garment.) The Onda Outfit perfectly (and realistically) accentuates my Doll's bustline with intricate silver piping placed immediately below the bust while the weight and drama of the cascading prim leg attachments are offset by a very small, delicate halter neck strap.

The similar, and equally impressive, Sirikit outfit (left) is another prime example of Pessoa's workmanship. This offering from Baiastice brings the magical texturing and prim work seen in the Onda Outfit (above) together with colors and a pattern that are reminiscent of the 1970s. The Sirikit Outfit demonstrates that Baiastice does for fashion what your grandmother's wall clocks and table lamps do for modern architecture. The Sirikit Outfit shimmers and shines in the same realistic manner as the Onda Outfit (above) while its colors and design give it a completely different (and very retrofabulous) look and feel. The Sirikit Outfit also comes with the option of a shorter pair of pants and a prim skirt for those dolls that would prefer a dress over the edgier, bell-bottomed pants on the left. And regardless of which option you choose, your doll is sure to stand out in a crowd wearing Baiastice's Sirikit Outfit.

The outfits featured in this post are only a small taste of the many, exceptional offerings at Baiastice (where even the freebies available are something to write home about.) I really can't encourage you enough to take a trip to Baiastice. I think you'll find something for every taste, occasion, and budget. My Doll is already planning her next trip.

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