Over The Top

Spyralle presents Over the Top July 22 - Aug 7

Spyralle presents Over the Top July 22 – Aug 7

A “just for fun” suggestion from a friend led to this special showing of many hats and headpiece designs from Spyralle, some of which have never had space in the main store until now. See our creations for Art in Hats and the 2016 Vintage Fair, as well as historical hats and fantasy headpieces from numerous events and fairs (and not one single pointy circular tiara in the bunch!).

The show is by no means comprehensive – we had to leave out quite a few designs for lack of room and prims. But not all items are retrospective. Check out the new colors of some models, including whimsical Jeu d’Esprit, shown in the photo above.

Outfit: Sn@tch, assembled from my massive collection of her awesomeness
Hair: Looking by Elikatera
Skin: Not recorded but probably Glam Affair Sia

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Honu

Spyralle Honu (Sea Turtle) Jewelry Set - Bone+Paua Shell

Spyralle Honu (Sea Turtle) Jewelry Set – Bone+Paua Shell

Polynesia is Genre’s theme this month, and they could not have picked one more dear to my heart. The big problem was choosing just ONE idea to make for the event, out of a long list. I knew it wouldn’t be “aloha wear” because I had just done that with the Royal Batik series.

I once lived in Hawai’i and have great love for the islands, and New Zealand is also one of my favorite places on earth, so I kept wavering back and forth between the two artistic traditions. Though some definitions of Polynesia do not include New Zealand, you can’t spend time in both of them without knowing how strong the linguistic and cultural links are between the Hawai’ians and the Maori. The one thing I was sure of was that I wanted to honor the traditional culture of whichever set of islands I chose – honor them without outright imitating them. And I wanted to also honor the natural beauty of these places.

So I looked for connections and commonality. Both cultures produce amazing carvings, including carved jewelry, and both cultures have art depicting the sea turtle. I have long had an affection for turtles, having one (not a sea turtle) in my life for over 20 years. In Hawai’i, the turtle is called Honu. I had my theme!

Spyralle Honu (Sea Turtle) Jewelry Set - Koa+Mother-of-Pearl

Spyralle Honu (Sea Turtle) Jewelry Set – Koa Wood and Mother-of-Pearl

My Honu is more of an abstraction of the actual physical body of the sea turtle than take on traditional carvings. I realized I could cover both island groups with the choice of materials. Maori carved jewelry often uses bone and native paua shell. Hawai’ian carved jewelry is more likely to be wood, and koa is native to the islands.  The third honu in black coral is kind of a salute to some very special long time friends, with fractal enamel, because, well, you know I do fractals.

Spyralle Honu (Sea Turtle) Jewelry Set - Black Coral+enamel

Spyralle Honu (Sea Turtle) Jewelry Set – Black Coral and enamel

This particular fractal is a variation from the series that includes the Owl Moon images. I’ll never stop tinkering with them. Other fractals play much subtler roles in the other textures, some plasmas and a thready Mandelbrot filament. Good luck spotting them!

Genre: Polynesia runs through August 11.

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L’Incroyable

Spyralle l'Incroyable

Spyralle l’Incroyable

Genre: The New Republics ends tomorrow, alas, and here I am again, blogging at the very last minute. (Group members and subscribers in-world got the word in good time, however!)  The theme is inspired by the era of the American and French Revolutions. Spyralle’s entry is this unisex hat, the bombastic sort of chapeau typically worn by those dandies of the era known as Les Incroyables because their style was the extreme of fashion. It would not have been unusual for both men and women to wear this hat, though it would have raised eyebrows, either way.

L’Incroyable was a complete remeshing of an earlier design made for Art in Hats last year, this time with a tall crown (hidden by the brim in this picture) and a less curly brim, plus the tricolor cockade ornamenting the front.

After Genre closes, look for L’Incroyable in Spyralle’s ‘Over the Top’ in-store hat and headpiece event.

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Royal Batik

Spyralle Royal Batik Collection - Lava Flow Summer Gypsy

Spyralle Royal Batik Collection – Lava Flow Summer Gypsy

Royal Batik is a collection of textures I’ve been working on for almost the past year, intended for Infinitum Textures. But I found the perfect projects for these for Spyralle – delightful summer clothes with a 1970s vintage vibe in luscious patterns for you to wear.

Spyralle Royal Batik Gypsy Skirt - Lava Flow

Spyralle Royal Batik Gypsy Skirt – Lava Flow

Spyralle Royal Batik Peasant Blouse - Lava Flow

Spyralle Royal Batik Peasant Blouse – Lava Flow

For Twisted Summer of Love, I created a flowing draped skirt with a sheer hip scarf and a peasant blouse (sold separately) in five coordinating colors. Use the HUD to chose your color. Four patterns were released at TSL – Lava Flow, Morning Dance, Evening Mist and Dawn Sea – you can see them on our Flickr stream – plus a special red, white and blue version as a main store special for Independence Day weekend.

Spyralle Royal Batik Collection - Red White & Blue

Spyralle Royal Batik Collection – Red White & Blue

Spyralle Royal Batik Peasant Blouse - Red White Blue

Spyralle Royal Batik Peasant Blouse – Red White Blue

The Royal Batik Collection (except the Red White and Blue) can be found this month at Mieville’s Route 66 Celebration, opening July 23, also at Spyralle as soon as we can make room.

Royal Batik also comes to you in new Aloha wear from Spyralle – coordinating shirts for guys and island casual dresses for ladies.

Spyralle Royal Batik Aloha Shirt - Morning Dance

Spyralle Royal Batik Aloha Shirt – Morning Dance

Spyralle Royal Batik Mu'uMu'u - Morning Dance

Spyralle Royal Batik Mu’uMu’u – Morning Dance

Spyralle Royal Batik Aloha Shirt - Evening Mist

Spyralle Royal Batik Aloha Shirt – Evening Mist

Spyralle Royal Batik Mu'uMu'u - Evening Mist

Spyralle Royal Batik Mu’uMu’u – Evening Mist

Spyralle Royal Batik Aloha Shirt - Dawn Sea

Spyralle Royal Batik Aloha Shirt – Dawn Sea

Spyralle Royal Batik Mu'umu'u - Dawn Sea

Spyralle Royal Batik Mu’umu’u – Dawn Sea

Spyralle Royal Batik Aloha Shirt - Palm Grove

Spyralle Royal Batik Aloha Shirt – Palm Grove

Spyralle Royal Batik Mu'uMu'u - Palm Grove

Spyralle Royal Batik Mu’uMu’u – Palm Grove

The outfits were also made in the Lava Flow pattern. The whole collection will be available at Route 66 and at the main store.

 

 

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In Xanadu

Spyralle Pavilion Lantern for Xanadu

Spyralle Pavilion Lantern for Xanadu

Silk Road Hunt VII ran from June 1 – 30, and it was splendid! Historical Hunts Ltd. does a bang up job of running three great themed hunts every year, with an eclectic mix of creators you are unlikely to find in any other hunt all together and a bundle of imaginative and beautiful prizes. Steam Hunt runs in the spring, Renaissance Hunt in the fall, and Silk Road in the summer.

This year Silk Road adopted the theme of Xanadu, the court of Kublai Khan as envisioned in the famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, so most of the prizes were Chinese in inspiration. I created a lantern in mesh, one of the most ambitious models I’ve done to date, with a lot of detailed carving.

As a maker of jewelry and wearables, I have been somewhat conservative in use of specular and normal maps.  I would rather not add to avatar rendering cost unnecessarily, and when it’s a tiny thing that can only be seen in detail up close, does it really need three times as many textures?

But it’s different for an item of furniture. I went all out on this lantern. The carved wooden frame is fully modeled around the edges, but the surface carvings and metal inset relief are all normal mapping. The lamp is meant to stand on the floor, but you could also hang it up. It’s 3 LI as rezzed, but it’s very large – the size of a small table. (It was designed for the Khan’s Pleasure Dome, after all!) You can scale it down for lower land impact.

Pavilion Lantern detail

Pavilion Lantern detail

The hunt is over, but a version of the lamp will be for sale at Spyralle in the near future.

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Hats, Glorious Hats!

Spyralle 'The Spiral' Hat

Spyralle ‘The Spiral’ Hat

Being away from Second Life for the greater part of May and June, I needed to use the time to get designs done for events, so I did not get things posted on this blog. But many recent releases are just coming into the Spyralle main store, or will arrive soon, so it’s good to show them now!

Vintage Fair ran for two weeks in June, superbly presented (as usual) by Pale Girl Productions. Designers were supposed to choose an era before 1990 for their inspiration. I chose the 1940s, particularly the war years, inspired by my personal collection of hats owned by ladies of my family and the hats shown in family photos. I did not actually recreate any I own but used them as a jumping-off place for additional research.

Spyralle 'Margaret's Fascinator' Hat

Spyralle ‘Margaret’s Fascinator’ Hat

The hats of the World War II years are notably different from hats of both the late 40s and the 1950s (when hat-wearing was in decline).  Clothing was rationed, and what you could get was simply cut and rather severe in style due to fabric shortages. So women put fashion energy into their hair and their accessories.

Hats of the period were characteristically worn at a jaunty angle, perched more over the right eye than center and dipped toward the front, drawing attention to the eyes. The effect was flirtatious and sophisticated. Many designs are whimsical to our eyes. Others were quite complicated in construction. Modern art was a popular inspiration. The scale was relatively small, even miniaturized, to conserve materials – you don’t see a lot of broad-brimmed hats from the war years, though they flooded back in by 1946 with the New Look.

Spyralle 'Admiral's Lady' Hat

Spyralle ‘Admiral’s Lady’ Hat

For Spyralle’s pink and white Art Deco hat shop at Vintage Fair, I devised these three hats in original mesh worn with hair by Truth (Photo #1) and Wasabi Pills (Photos #2 and #3), skin by Glam Affair. The dress is an unreleased Spyralle creation. The Admiral’s Lady was an experiment in adapting an earlier hat seen at Art in Hats 2015 to the 1940s style, remeshed, retextured. (Hopefully, the Bravado will also be at the main store soon.) The other two hats, brand new for the event, offer a choice of 4 colors each, sold separately.

A word about event themes…

I take event themes very seriously and always make the best effort possible to follow the theme, even if means – especially if it means – stretching the boundaries of what I have done before and learning how to do something new. My effort does not stop with the design I create but extends as much as possible to the photo styling and the booth space.  A lifelong student of costume history, I truly enjoy researching historical themes and adapting historical designs to the requirements of Second Life, whether the project is aimed at authenticity or just “inspired by” the period.

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Butterfly Comb

Spyralle Art Nouveau Butterfly Comb Portrait

Spyralle Art Nouveau Butterfly Comb

Today is the last day for April Genre, where Spyralle’s Art Nouveau Butterfly Comb can be found for only 100L. This round celebrates the Belle Epoque, that glittering period of European culture that began about 1880 and ended abruptly with World War I.  It was an era of unprecedented experiment and adventurism in the arts and a churning overturn of social traditions. The Moulin Rouge was at the height of its scandalous fame. Ladies were shocking Society by riding bicycles, wearing harem trousers and demanding the right to vote.

The Art Nouveau decorative style originated in a mid-19th century resistance to Victorian recycling of older European styles and was at the peak of its popularity during the Belle Époque. Characterized by flowing curves and forms “from nature,” Art Nouveau was in many ways a very formal, tightly designed decorative mode, strongly linked to the esthetic introduced by Japanese art coming into Europe and North America in the second half of the 19th century.

Spyralle Art Nouveau Butterfly Comb

Spyralle Art Nouveau Butterfly Comb

The HUD gives you literally hundreds of combinations from 7 enamels, 6 comb materials and 9 gem colors. You can choose a different enamel for the two sections, giving a whole new kind of look, especially if you turn the comb around – the back has the lower “wing” in front. The only parts that don’t change in this version are the metal and the pearls, but you may expect more metal options when the comb reappears at Spyralle’s main store after the event closes, plus an update with pearl options. (Buyers on record will receive the update for no additional charge.)

Spyralle Butterfly Comb Texture Change Options

Spyralle Butterfly Comb Texture Change Options

The choice of materials for the comb base was an interesting exercise in both research and texturing. Ivory and tortoiseshell were both taken from animal species that are now endangered and no longer available legally, though you can still find them in antique pieces. Bakelite, an early form of plastic, was invented in 1910, just barely within the time frame of Belle Epoque, so I had to include it, being both a fan and collector of bakelite jewelry.

Three variations. Tortoiseshell, ebony and ivory combs shown.

Three variations. Tortoiseshell, ebony and ivory combs shown.

The attachment is mod and unrigged, so you can both resize it with your edit tools and move it around to suit your hairstyle. I recommend keeping a totally unedited (including NOT moved) copy so you will always have the default original position, angle and size to work from.

Yes, the comb does coordinate with our Lightbearer headpiece.

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