Threading the Needle: The Future of Fashion Design Conference

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New York, NY:  October 27, 2009 Threading the Needle: The Future of Fashion Design Conference

Fashion Research Institute  invites you to attend Threading the Needle: The Future of Fashion Design, the first virtual world-based fashion design conference in history.

Fashion design is changing rapidly in response to many factors. The recent economic collapse, coupled with a coming petroleum crisis and a wave of new technologies with a global emphasis have sent ripples through the industry.  Young designers and design students are faced with an array of choices for their careers, many of which weren’t even an option a few years ago.

Threading the Needle gathers eight fashion industry thought leaders to present their views on a range of topics designed to help a global audience of new designers and fashion designers ‘thread their needle’ and launch their careers.  And as anyone who has ever had hand sewn a hem knows, there is a trick to threading a needle.  Please join us on Thursday, December 3rd from 8 am – 5 pm EDT at this free conference for fashion design students and new designers.

Conference speakers include Kerry Bannigan (CEO, Nolcha Fashion Week); Fiona Jenvey (CEO, Mudpie); Beth Harris (Director of Digital Learning, MOMA-NYC); Crosby Noricks (Founder, PR Couture); Suzie Norris-Reeves (FHEA, Head of School, Southampton Solent University); Elaine Polvinen (Professor & Coordinator – Fashion Textile Technology, Buffalo State University); Michiel Thissen  (Founder, Mythos Consultancy); Shenlei Winkler (CEO, Fashion Research Institute); Steven Zucker (Dean of Graduate Studies, FIT).

In addition to the presentation track, additional displays will be available for conference attendees to visit.  These include a 3-D trend report, with trend data graciously provided by Mudpie; a virtual fashion installation with fashions created by the Fashion Research Institute’s student interns; booths and displays about programs from other fashion industry organizations; exhibits about fashion history, and even a game developed just for fashion designers!

The trendy conference architecture is being provided by The ARCH Techwork. and hosting and hardware for the event are being graciously provided by Intel Corporation with additional support from Intel Labs.  Threading the Needle is a HASTACA event. The conference is being presented and sponsored by Fashion Research Institute.

The conference is free for all attendees – simply create a user account on the ScienceSim grid at sciencesim.com. Then download the software, and log in. It’s that simple, and both the software and the conference are free.  Attendees will want to log in a little early and customize their avatars, so they feel comfortable with their avatar representation and with the interface.  There are 45 minute orientation sessions which will be provided on November 19th and 26th from 1-2 pm EDT, and November 29 from 9-10 am EDT.  Experienced mentors will be on hand to guide you through the orientation, which takes about 30 minutes, with 15 minutes to customize your avatar.

For more information, please visit http://needlethreading.com/ or contact admin @ fashionresearchinstitute.com.

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Today in Shengri La: Corporate Men’s Wear Show

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A rare experience: men’s wear presented in visually compelling, interactive, engaging manner.  A dozen handsome male models work a dozen looks, showcasing how different pieces from the Mainely Men collection of corporate men’s wear may be mixed and matched to create very different looks.  Set in a pristine northern forest full of wildlife, please join our models as they showcase looks mixing plaids, windowpanes and twills.

Naturally, what is a fashion installation without swag? Tiny pinecones full of great dude swag are tucked here and there in the set – find them to collect the full set of men’s accessories ranging from aviator-style sunglasses and hats to briefcases and shoulder bags.  And of course, all of our fashion installations are interactive – chat with the models, and in some cases, you can even join in with them fishing or telling tall tales around a crackling campfire.  There’s even a 7Seas server with extra special prizes, so join the fun with us.

Mainely Men showcases the corporate clothing of Debutante, the Fashion Research Institute’s lab line, which anchors the Shengri La Marketplace. Mainely Men will be held Saturday, October 24th, at 4 pm/SLT/7 pm Eastern in the Shengri La Hope region. The region is locked for an hour beforehand, starting at 3, and opens promptly at 4 pm.  Please join us then.

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Introducing the Shengri La Marketplace in Shengri La Hope

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Fashion Research Institute is pleased to unveil its latest effort designed to help emerging designers and content creators take another step to achieving their dreams.

The Shengri La Marketplace evolved from the emerging designer program, piloted by Fashion Research Institute over the past 18 months.  The Marketplace is a full region development which incorporates runway services, photography sets, and a range of programs intended to help designers reach their next level or professional expertise.

The Markeplace hosts the Designer’s Coop, the Professional Virtua Designer Society, and the Emerging Designer program.

The Designer’s Coop includes meeting space and displays about Fashion Research Institute’s various educational and design programs, a gallery for exhibits and store fronts for some of our past graduates from the emerging designer program.

The Professional Virtua Designer Society is a new program the Institute will be launching.  The Society members will benefit from a comprehensive suite of benefits ranging from major medical and other forms of insurance to member discounts and professional development courses and seminars.

The Emerging Designer Program remains the heart of the Marketplace, with a two-tiered approach to partnering with the Fashion Research Institute. The basic partnership includes basic store front space with full access to the range of runway and photography sets and free admission to a monthly design seminar.  The Emerging Designer partnership includes not just store front space, but the opportunity to mentor directly with CEO Shenlei Winkler. These designers receive focused attention on their brand and their work, with compassionate critique specifically intended to help these designers move their brands forward.  Applications for both levels of partnership are available at the Marketplace.

The Marketplace is also home to a new flagship store for Debutante, which is the Fashion Research Institute’s lab line.  The new Debutante store anchors one corner of the Marketplace, with the other three corners anchored with the runway/photography sets, a special 7-Seas fishing pool and horseback riding area, and in the corner opposite to Debutante, the Designer’s Coop building.

We’ve also created a full roster of events, including runway shows and seminars, to help our designers who are joining the marketplace program.

We’d like to invite all interested parties to join us for a walk-through of the Marketplace on Sunday, October 25th.

You can practice on the new runway system, feed the parrots, or ride around the beaches. Bring your fishing poles, too, so you can try out our ‘special prizes’.    Callipygian Christensen is exhibiting early fashion work for Prim & Proper.  Hunt for the 35 seashells, each containing free special prizes related to the marketplace. The seashell hunt is ongoing through the end of November.

CEO Shenlei Winkler will be speaking about the Marketplace program at 3 pm PT, followed by the ever-talented Kyle Beltran at 4:30 pm PT.

If you are a Second Life fashion designer who is looking for an opportunity to improve your design or business skills, increase your exposure, or just have a group-access runway system waiting for you to show off your newest designs,  then the Shengri La Marketplace may be for you.  If you are a successful Second Life fashion designer who wants access to a regular schedule of “no-hassle” fashion installations, then the marketplace is right for you too.  We invite you to come talk with us, visit the region, see our commitment to success, and make your own decisions about whether a partnership with the Marketplace is right for you.

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“Mainely Men” Corporate Men’s Wear in Shengri La Hope

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A rare experience: men’s wear presented in visually compelling, interactive, engaging manner.  A dozen handsome male models work a dozen looks, showcasing how different pieces from the Mainely Men collection of corporate men’s wear may be mixed and matched to create very different looks.  Set in a pristine northern forest full of wildlife, please join our models as they showcase looks mixing plaids, windowpanes and twills.

Naturally, what is a fashion installation without swag? Tiny pinecones full of great dude swag are tucked here and there in the set – find them to collect the full set of men’s accessories.  And of course, all of our fashion isntallations are interactive – chat with the models, and in some cases, you can even join in.

Mainely Men showcases the corporate clothing of Debutante, the Fashion Research Institute’s lab line, which anchors the Shengri La Marketplace. Mainely Men will be held Saturday, October 24th, at 4 pm/SLT/7 pm Eastern in the Shengri La Hope region.  Please join us then.

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Be Visionary! Be a Thought Leader! Be a Crash Tester! Load Test on OpenSim

History in the making…join the ‘in’ crowd on Friday, October 23rd on OS Grid and help drive the OpenSim platform forward.

If you haven’t made your avatar, please do so at OSgrid.org, and then plan to join the rest of the visionary/thought leaders/crash testers at 1 pm PT/ 4 pm ET in the Quicksort region.  Make sure that you change your log-in location to ‘Quicksort” in your viewer so you land there with the rest of the happening sorts.

The idea, of course, is to help the developers by giving them lots of data.  When you land in Quicksort, move around! Fly, run, crawl, get off the  landing point and check out the outer edges of the region.  Remember, not only are your actions generating data, but you are also making history.  And of course, trend setting, being forward thinking and all that other good buzz word stuff.

Plus, if you join us Friday, Fashion Research Institute will happily give you a free, premium content 3-piece suit from the Mainely Men Collection, suitable for both genders. Just walk up and ask the FRI team members who will be there. This offer is only good during the load test.

Please join us, and lend your pixel weight to the party.

Purple Prose Jewelry Installation Today at 7 am

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Please join us in Shengri La Hope today for the graduation installation of jewelry Tiffy Vella.

Purple Prose is a showcase of the work of Tiffy Vella, whose unique design vision continues to wow her customers.  Tiffy’s line, Eclectica, has a strong Art Deco influence, with rich detail and delicate colors. She is known for careful attention to detail, and delicate and yet involved design.  All of her jewelry is easily resized, even by relatively inexperienced avatar ausers, necause it’s scripted with resizing scripts.  Most of her sets come with an array of pieces, including multiple earring  and necklace length choices.

An even dozen of her designs will be shown on a dozen gorgeous models at this event, with clothing provided by Debutante.  Purple Prose will be held Saturday, October 17th, at 7 am PT/10 am ET, in our Shengri La Hope region.

Autumn 2009 Avatar Apparel Courses Registration Now Open

Fashion Research Institute is please to announce that registration for its Autumn 2009 course roster is now open. In addition to its 20-hour course, Avatar Apparel Design 101, Fashion Research Institute has added two new courses, Crashing into Fashion and Fashion Furious.  These two courses are short, one day workshops with five hours of tuition.

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Crashing into Fashion is intended for the novice designer who wants to learn how to develop avatar apparel using best practices in order to quickly develop premium product.  This fast-paced workshop includes 5 hours of instruction.  It covers critical areas of avatar apparel development for mesh or system garments. The course includes lecture and practicum with immediate critique and feedback from the instructor, and follows an aggressive schedule successfully piloted with real life fashion design students.  Students have full creation privileges in the classroom as well as an assigned space for the duration of the class. Students receive tool kit resources as part of their tuition.

All texture work is expected to be accomplished as part of the seminar.  Extensive resources and documentation are provided in the classroom, and students have full access to the classroom during their seminar and for two weeks after.  All work is graded and receives immediate feedback from the instructor. Students will complete one black & white shirt with an all-over print where the seams and patterns are correctly matched and the garment has a baked texture.  Students will be taught the basics of of working with UV Maps, surface prints, and advanced topics such as seam matching and baking.  Registered students may repeat a second session of this course free of charge.

Crashing into Fashion is offered October 31, November 21, December 19 2009, and January 16 2010. To register, please follow the appropriate link.

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Fashion Furious is a fast-paced workshop that includes 5 hours of instruction.  The course extends concepts covered in Crashing Into Fashion, which is recommended as a prerequisite. Fashion Furious is an in depth guide to Photoshop tips for the avatar apparel designer. Students must know how to set up a Photoshop file, use UV Maps, and correctly align seams and patterns, all topics covered in Crashing Into Fashion.

The course includes lecture and practicum with immediate critique and feedback from the instructor, and follows an aggressive schedule successfully piloted with real life fashion design students.  Students have full creation privileges in the classroom as well as an assigned space for the duration of the class. Students receive tool kit resources as part of their tuition.

All texture work is expected to be accomplished as part of the seminar.  Extensive resources and documentation are provided in the classroom, and students have full access to the classroom during their seminar and for two weeks after.  All work is graded and receives immediate feedback from the instructor.

Students will complete one white skirt with trim.  It is expected that students will know how to correctly match seams and patterns.  Students will learn how to use brushes, how to use effects, how to make and use styles, how to evaluate and use plug-ins, filters and curves, as well as the best practices for avatar apparel design, including how to avoid grin-through.

Students may purchase a recommended textbook, Designing Dreams, available on Amazon.com.  Although the text is not mandatory, it will greatly aid in retention of the concepts and follows closely along with the course outline.

Tuition is $100/session.  This course is repeated every month, and registered students may repeat one session free of charge. Each session includes 5 hours of instruction, a tool chest of useful development tools, and culminates with a class critique.

Fashion Furious is offered November1, November 22, December 20 2009 and January 17 2009.  To register please follow the appropriate link.

aboutavatarapparel101

Avatar Apparel Design 101 ties the art and business of avatar apaprel design and development together.  Taught using the Black Dress Design Studio patent-pending framework, this aggressive course includes 20 hours of instruction.  It covers 3 critical areas of avatar apparel: how to create a garment, how to develop a label/brand, and creating a virtual goods retail store experience.  The course includes class work and home work and follows an aggressive schedule successfully piloted with real life fashion design students.  Students have full creation privileges in the classroom as well as an assigned space for the duration of the class. Students receive resource tool kits as part of their tuition.

All texture work is expected to be accomplished off line as part of the homework assignments.  Extensive resources and documentation are provided in the classroom, and students have full access to the classroom during their course.  All work is graded and receives feedback from the instructor. Students will complete 3 outfits, develop an initial label concept, and complete an initial showroom/store design. They will show their work on a runway at the final class, using their avatars as models.

Students may purchase a recommended textbook, Designing Dreams, available on Amazon.com.  Although the text is not mandatory, it will greatly aid in retention of the concepts and follows closely along with the course outline.

Tuition is $350 and  includes 20 hours of instruction, a toolchest of useful development tools, and culminates with a virtual fashion show.

Register for Avatar Apparel Design 101 Fall Semester.