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Location: Bi-coastal, United States

Working in the trenches of the fashion industry for years.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Second Life produces real millionaire

Thanks to fellow Sewing Diva Mary Beth at The Stitchery for sending me this story from Business Week's Techbeat on Second Life's first millionaire.

Just in case you were thinking that this is all so much fluff, it seems that if you are willing to devote your time to 'playing the game', there are real cash rewards. I guess that works for any endeavor - from the NBA to presidential politics. Notice that the headline on Business Week's webiste says "First Millionaire". More can be expected. Is this a new twist on Timithy Leary's mantra "turn on, tune in, drop out", as we turn on the computer, tune into Second Life (or any other all-consuming community) and drop out of real life?

I am feeling particularly curmudgeonly on this topic. Who can devote that much time to amassing fame and a fortune on-line? I have a job in real life, family, laundry, stuff I want to do like sew, read. Most of the time I can barely sit down to devote time to The Sewing Divas and MondoMode. I guess I won't be making a fortune in Second Life anytime soon, I seem to be devoted to First LIfe.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Virtual Living

RL vs VL? Real Life versus Virtual Life? Mondomode noted last week that Dior has an on-line shop for Victoire de Castellane's Dior Joaillerie collection and that the French have embraced Second Life way beyond the inroads made here in the USA.
NYTimes technology guru David Pogue's blog topic this week Second Life includes part of an interview with the founder. The average member spends 4 hours a day on-line in Second Life, and millions of dollars are spent on virtual products that can be used only in Second Life.
You know how that insulting idiot says "Get a life!" to you when you're not behaving how they think you should? Perhaps we should be advised to get a Second Life. Go to your room, shut the door, and live in a virtual world if this one is too complicated for you.


I see that Women's Wear Daily has deigned to notice the new upstart fashion community Iqons. Claiming 1500 members, with 100 a day signing up, Iqons intends to be the FaceBook or MySpace of fashion. Designers are not paid to participate, but somehow they have convinced folks like John Galliano and Alber Elbaz to be featured Iqon of the Month - to interact and offer advice to other Iqon members. Members include designers, photographers, stylists and students. The founders of the site hope that it will provide networking opportunities for the fashion business, as well as entertainment for fashion consumers.

Daniel Goleman, of Emotional IQ fame, wrote about "the online disinhibition effect" and the emerging field of social neurosicence for the NYTimes Science Times section this week:

In a 2004 article in the journal CyberPsychology & Behavior, John Suler, a psychologist at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., suggested that several psychological factors lead to online disinhibition: the anonymity of a Web pseudonym; invisibility to others; the time lag between sending an e-mail message and getting feedback; the exaggerated sense of self from being alone; and the lack of any online authority figure. Dr. Suler notes that disinhibition can be either benign — when a shy person feels free to open up online — or toxic, as in flaming.

Apparently it's due to the lack of social cues we normally get from reading the faces of those we interact with in RL (Real Life). We've noticed this devolution of discourse into flamewars, trolls and emotional vampires elsewhere, haven't we?
I am looking forward to seeing how the Iqons community can control this real and unfortunate tendancy to sink to the depths in cybercommunities. It's not like anyone involved in the fashion industry has a tendancy to cattiness and snark anyway, is it, hmmmm?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Virtual Fashion, Design, and Marketing

Boing Boing reports that Victoire de Castellane's new jewelry collection for Dior has a site within the massive multi-user on-line game Second Life, with a link to the original post at ShowStudio. Why, you may ask, should I care?

There are rumblings that sophisticated French netizens are embracing virtual on-line worlds and setting up shop. What better way to reach your demographic, than in the on-line version of guerrilla marketing? All you need is a team of techy nerd graphic artists to design your campaign and voila!

Let's see, first I have to figure out how to sign up and log in to Second Life. Then I have to be able to navigate in that world well enough to find the hot spot. We can assume that I already have a level of 21st century sophistication that is beyond high powered Wall St. exec that can't program his TiVo or enter phone numbers into his cellphone. You know, the one that sends you emails in all caps because he can't be bothered using the shift key. Or using spell check.
I guess within the designer/techno-nerd community, someone must be making money. How else to afford Dior Joallerie?

Designers, if you are tired of plying needle and thread, you can become a cyber designer and construct and sell clothing and accessories for online virtual worlds. A different skill set, to be sure, but at least you don't have to worry about cutting something the wrong grain, or slicing off a hunk of your armhole accidentally with your overlock machine. (Ask me how I know!)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Times Reporter Bitten by Sewing Bug

Michelle Slatella writes on cybershopping for the New York Times. Her column was in the technology pages of the Circuits section for ages. This week's article "On Pins and Needles -but Not Missing a Stitch" appeared in Thursday's Styles swing section, where one is now more likely to find her 'barely techno female wowie look what I found on the web' pieces. It is all about her newest addiction - to sewing.

She starts out small, as in doll clothes for a daughter, and wonders if she can make big people clothes too. Typical of a Slatella piece, she tells us what she's been searching for on the internets, and what she found. While some of us more sophisticated sewing enthusiasts can hardly argue with her mentions of Clotilde, and Reprodepot, why on earth would she devote her last paragraph to Joanne's?

We hope that Michelle's path to sewing excellence will carry her quickly past Joanne's and onward to Emmaonesock, Textile Studio, or Timmel Fabrics.