Shoe Extravaganza

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The Second Life© shoe fair ShoeTopia 2013 opened it’s doors November 15 and it will continue until November 30, 2013 (main landing points are ShoeTopia 1 and ShoeTopia 2). I tried teleporting in for several days, with little success since the region was full. This much anticipated event is quite significant for several reasons, one being that it supports a great cause, Soles4Souls. And there is of course great footwear to be had; more than 40 shoe designers have their shoes on display! I will pick three pairs of shoes I like the best and show them here (it will be very hard to choose, I am acutely aware). Last but not least, the talented Rebeca Bashly has provided the build for this event. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is one of the most beautiful and well-thought out exhibit spaces I have seen in the virtual world to date.

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After much internal torment and tumult, I finally decided on the best shoes (in my humble opinion) in three different categories to share with you here; the best wedges, best sandals and best boots. My favorite wedge is the mesh pump Adele by *GF* (it comes in a myriad of brilliant colors). I love the shape, the exquisite bow and the clear yellow color of this shoe! I think it can be worn equally well with a skirt or jeans. Here I am wearing it with the Milena ruffle blouse (Sunny) from Tee*fy and the Pencil Skirt Length Two (Black) by Maitreya. The skin is Sash (*peche*) by Essences and hair is Mayumi 3 (Citrine) by D!va. The photo was taken at The Chapter Four.

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I just adore the black Isabelle Patent Sandal by [Gos] (as always, all [Gos] footwear come with the convenient skin matching HUD). I am wearing the sandals with a rather casual dress here, but I am convinced they would look stunning with a formal evening gown as well. The lovely Ruffle Dress (Black) is by ISON. The skin I am wearing is Summer (America) by Glam Affair and the hair is Ana (Citrine) by D!va. Earrings are Jade (Egg Shell) by Paper Couture. Pose by Del May. The photo was shot at Tudor Rose.

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Finally, my favorite boots are the very casual Hugg Boots (Snow) by Apple Fall. These boots are mellow and playful, perfect for cold and snowy weather (or for hanging out with a bunch of ignorant polar bears). With these boots I am wearing the Worn Out Baseball Shirt – Dreaming by Nylon Outfitters, Tights Pinched (Coal) by Maitreya and an Oversized Cardigan (Milk) by =Zenith=. Skin is Aime (*peche*) by Essences and hair is Beaumont (Winter) by ~Tableau Vivant ~. Pose by Del May. This photo was taken on the sim Holiday Village.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

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Doll

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Sometimes I tire a little of the perfect-looking female Second Life© avatar and look for different kinds of avatars. My most recent find is a lovely doll-avatar, created by cocoro Lemon of *COCO*. There is something quite dreamy about this avatar, which was very appealing to me. There are several versions of the doll, I believe there are also male dolls available. The dolls come with eyes, but not with hair, which needs to be purchased separately elsewhere (the blonde hair is by /Wasabi Pills/: Stella Mesh Hair Seafoam). All kinds of beautiful fantasy outfits specifically created for the doll-avatars are also for sale at *COCO*. I shot these photos at my home using the new Pixel Mode Photography Background (found at FaMESHed) as a backdrop. All poses are by Del May.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf. Photos can also be seen at The Bergdorf Reports Photography in Second Life.

Addendum: Since this post was written I have relocated within Second Life and the Bergdorf Reports Photography space no longer exists. If you are interested in my photography, please let me know and I am happy to give you the picture you like.

The Basilique Performing Arts Company prepares a new production for 2014

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Please Reblog)

November 12, 2013 – After months of deliberation and several serious considerations the Basilique Performing Arts Company (BPAC) has chosen a libretto for the dance-theatre production that will follow Romeo + Juliet in March 2014.

Not yet specifying the source text or music, Beck and Crabsticks expect to announce the full details on December 7th, 2013 at a major Second Life fashion event, after conducting feasibility tests.

The 2014 production will be considerably more ambitious than Romeo + Juliet, both technically and theatrically. Canary Beck has adapted the treatment from one of the most famous epics in English Literature. Even more exciting, the production will be set to one of the world’s most famous classical masterpieces by one of the most loved composers that has ever lived.

Harvey Crabsticks will be technically directing the production and Beck will resume her role as Art Director. They…

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Fall 2013: All Things *COCO*

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On my hunt for a fabulous pair of Fall boots I ended up at *COCO*. *COCO* is one of those Second Life© clothing establishments that has withstood the test of time. As far as I know, they have been in the virtual world for at least four or five years, providing high quality fashion, usually for reasonable prices. I completely fell in love with a black pair of high-shafted winter boots and as it turned out, a pair of dark blue jeans was part of the deal! I completed this outfit with a *COCO* cropped sweater and shirt that I already had in my inventory. The result, a casual, yet high-end ensemble that can be worn for most occasions. Also, I finally joined the *COCO* Update group and ended up grabbing a few of the free items available in the store; my favorite freebie is a super cute Fur Trapper Hat.

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I took photos one and three from the top on the sim Izzies (by Izzie Buttons), which I had first read about in Cait’s World blog. (Photo number two from the top was shot at COCO DESIGNS). This is a very wintry sim, with penguins swishing around on a perfectly iced pond. Ice sledding and skating is available here; I will definitely return, it like looks like a lot of fun can be had! The heavy snowfall with Alex Bader’s Enchanted Woods as a back drop is one of the prettiest winter landscapes I have seen this season in Second Life.

Skin: Summer (America) by Glam Affair. Eye Liner: Kat Eyes by :Little Pricks:. Hair: Vibrato (Praline) by LeLutka. Poses by {lmeca~]. Top: Cropped Sweater and Shirt by *COCO*. Pants and Boots: Kneeboots (Black) with Jeans by *COCO*. Hat: Fur Trapper Hat by *COCO*.

Photography by Kate Bergdorf

Zeppelin Bar

zeppelin_006Have you ever been to the sim Cristallina? It is a sim broken up into smaller parcels, like so many others in Second Life©. A few lots on it stand empty, others contain clubs of various kinds. The south-east corner of the sim is occupied by the Zeppelin Bar. The first thing that struck me about the Zeppelin Bar area of the sim is a sense of complete ownership of this particular corner of land. Let me explain. I used to have a homestead in Second Life, but now I only have a small lot. There are several reasons for this change in land-ownership, the major one being that I am simply not in Second Life as often as I used to. I just don’t need that much space. I am satisfied with the small lot I now have on the Philosophy Island sim, there is only one thing that irks me, namely, I am surrounded by buildings that belong to my neighbors (some of them quite unsightly). I struggled with this for a while, putting up all kinds of tall trees and other large objects to completely surround my home and block the view of surrounding houses. Ultimately, no matter how hard I tried, it didn’t work. I decided to move up into the sky. I’m fine up there, but sometimes I miss the water and the ground. (For those of you who have land, I think you probably know what I mean.) Anyway, back to the lot on the south-east corner of Cristallina. AarOn Longfall, the owner of the Zeppelin Bar, has succeeded in completely making this corner lot his own. There is no sight of neighboring buildings and no feeling of shared land. In fact, when I first teleported in earlier today, I thought the Zeppelin Bar was one large sim! I think this probably has to do with the fact that he did a great job disguising the immediate adjacent surroundings, but, and more importantly, Mr. Longfall clearly has an unusual knack for creating an atmosphere that completely holds ones attention. The Zeppelin Bar is one of the most beautiful and, yes, sensual places I have seen in Second Life.

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Like most Second Life places that leave an impression you will find here an incredible attention to detail. The suggested wind-light is Annan Adored Light Explosion, with which I am in complete agreement; the light is dark, suggestive and inviting. Turn on the music stream, the music is contemporary Indie music, you will hear performers like Imogen Heap, Flunk, Brazilian Girls, Airily and Halou. The main Zeppelin Bar build is by the talented Marcus Inkpen. There is a ground floor, consisting of a foyer, a bar and performance space. On the second floor you will find balconies and a few intimate rooms. Some of the doors on the second floor will take you to outside spaces that are decaying and falling apart. Throughout the building is a collection of objects by the most talented Second Life creators; Van Auster, Froukje Hoorenbeek, Apple Fall, Pandora Popstar, just to mention a few (in no particular order). There is an abundance of lamps; magnificent crystal chandeliers in the ceilings, smaller dimly-yellow mounted wall lamps and several small standing lamps covered with sheer colored lace fabric. Thick carpets cover the floors on both levels. Framed posters and paintings, some depicting zeppelins, adorn most walls. I could go on and on. Clearly, this has all been put together by someone who loved every moment when creating it.

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The inside space extends to the outside. Across the street is a space with seating areas, surrounded by a row of tall, red banners. Items like games, paintings, sofas and lamps are distributed in this area. The backdrop is the sea. And let me just also mention here, there are plenty of dance balls, both inside and outside, for those of you who like to dance. (I can’t think of a more perfect place to dance and fall in love.) Next to the outside patio is a large bridge created by Orioius Oliva. (Have you been to his shop, The Golden Oriole? If not, please go.) How very beautiful this majestic bridge-build is. There is something solemn about it. There is so much more to see here, but I have to stop for tonight. I joined the Zeppelin Bar: Cabaret, Live Music and Cosy Place group today. Looking forward to announcements.

Photography by Kate Bergdorf

The Station

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I found my way back to The Station today and I am somewhat overwhelmed. There is the Fun House, which was indeed fun and one hell of a ride, be prepared for the unexpected. Right next to it is the Sky Walk, with the exhibit by Bryn Oh and Sina Souza; it is housed in a large corridor-like space below the station itself. Very clever and beautifully done. Then I noticed these large, golden funnels, sort of like up-side-down trumpets. I stepped into one of them and started falling into the one below. Besides all this, there is a sling-shot, a theater, clubs, zeppelins and two trains huffing and puffing about. And there is a hunt. Below The Station, on the ground, is also The Dead City.

I have a very good friend who I think has impeccable taste and who I  also consider an expert on Second Life© creativity. Yesterday, I contacted him and asked him to join me at The Station, pretty sure he would be as enthusiastic as I was about this place. I was wrong. He told me he had been at the opening and said he thought it was alright and then started reminiscing about Sextan Shepherd. Remember Nemo, the Steampunk Submarine City? Then I too remembered the work of Sextan; the great attention to detail, the high quality textures, the perfect juxtapositions and the post-apocalyptic feel. The Station is certainly a great attempt at steampunk, but in some areas it also falls short. I like  the coming together of fantasy aspects such as the winding railroad tracks in the sky and the golden funnels. The steam power machinery also certainly lends a  British Victorian era kind of quality. I utterly adore the balloons. But, while some of the textures used are great, others are simply just good enough. And there is too much going on, in fact, it feels quite commercial to me (the hunt, the clubs, the music stream). But this is just my humble opinion. Head over and take a look for yourselves (and be prepared to spend some time)!

Photography by Kate Bergdorf

Fall 2013: Duna

station_012I found a beautiful dress and a fantastic location today. I will write about the dress now and return for the place another time. Let me just say this for now, the balloons at The Station are utterly mesmerizing and the entire place just takes my breath away. I had received an announcement about this location previously (there was an opening exhibition showing work by Sina Souza and Bryn Oh), but it was not until I saw the post today by Honor McMillan that I actually teleported over. More about this later, now back to the dress. The mesh dress Duna by Nevery Lorakeet  of *Les Petits Details* comes in XXS, XS, S, M and L. It really consists of several parts; a cream-colored, long-sleeved thin sweater is tucked into a long, geometrically patterned, flowing skirt and a brown, wide leather belt ties the two together. There is also a collar that comes with this outfit, but I chose not to wear it. This ensemble looks incredibly elegant, I imagine that the top may be soft cashmere and the skirt made of fine silk. It also comes in other colors and patterns. Head over to *LpD* and take a look, L$300 for this outfit is truly a steal.

Skin: Amaterasu (Peche) by Essences. Lipstick: Isla (Glamour Matt) by League. Hair: Carol (Chestnut) by Amacci. Pose: Butterfly Couture by Del May. Dress: Duna Outfit Optical by *Les Petite Details*.

Photography by Kate Bergdorf

Fall 2013: The Trench

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I think it is safe to say, the trench stands alone. Forget about a top, skirt or pants; simply put on a favorite pair of ankle boots and you are ready to go! In Real Life, my go-to trench is an old Burberry that I seem to never tire of. In Second Life©, after having spent most of my morning running in and out of stores and searching Marketplace, I finally settled for a trench from League. The collar, cuffs, buttons, color and length all come together to form a perfect whole. Also, I simply love the way the belt is just haphazardly tied around the waist. I spent the other part of my morning checking out the beautiful small harbor town Rougham on Britannia Island, a place I had meant to visit for while. Head over for yourself, it is small, but well worth a look.

Skin: Isla (Medium) by League. Eye Liner: Kat Eyes by :Little Pricks:. Hair: Boys Will Be Boys (Hot Tea) by Vanity Hair. Pose: Furnished-Candelabra by Del May. Coat: Trench Coat (Tan) by League. Boots: Aline Bootie (Black) by ISON. Earrings: South Sea Pearl and Diamond Earring by Paper Couture.

Photography by Kate Bergdorf

The Other World

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Ever so often there is a great sense of discontent amongst the citizens of Second Life© to adjustments or changes that the Linden Lab makes to the guidelines of our living in this virtual world. I experienced it in the past too, when I was here with a different avatar; people were upset then, making a lot of loud noises, but it all then eventually fizzled out and disappeared completely. The most recent Linden Lab change to section 2.3 of the ToS, however, seems to have had a more profound consequence, namely, content creators no longer want to make things here and some are even leaving Second Life all together. Those of us who remain in Second Life are considering alternative virtual worlds, like InWorldz. Several bloggers have written posts about InWorldz lately, the two that I like the most are the ones by Strawberry Singh and Canary Beck (these are two very different blog posts, but both incredibly informative and well-written). I created an InWorldz account with my old avatar several years ago. I had a terribly time navigating then and couldn’t make it work. Inspired by all the recent talk about InWorldz, I headed over again, but still I had the same experience and just gave up. Honestly, I think I am just not invested in making InWorldz work. More than anything else, I am conflicted and worried that when talented content creators abandon Second Life there will be really bad consequences for all of us living here. I am someone who is sentimentally attached to Second Life and I would hate to see it go under. I may have to try InWorldz again. For now, it is just a matter of waiting to see what might happens next.

Photography by Kate Bergdorf