Jewels of Winter Student Intern Fashion Installation in Shengri La SL

Please join Fashion Research Institute student intern Missy Lavecchia at her first solo fashion installation for her fashion label, Bella Fantasique. Missy is a senior at Buffalo State University who is working on her internship in avatar apparel with Fashion Research Institute. Missy has been working hard at developing her most recent collection of romantic gowns, which will be featured on Monday, December 7th at 7 pm ET in the Fashion Research Institute Second Lfie Shengri La Hope region.

A dozen gorgeous ladies and four sizzling gentlemen will model Missy’s romantic gowns in a perfect winter wonderland setting designed by FRI CEO Shenlei Winkler.  The gowns will be shown in movement as well as still so that visitors may see how the gowns flow and the details of Missy’s work.  Please join us for the end of semester showing for Missy Lavecchia.

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Introducing the Fashion Research Institute Campus on ScienceSim

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We are pleased to introduce the Fashion Research Institute campus for fashion design education on the ScienceSim.  The campus spreads across 9 regions, including the original historical build Shengri La™ Spirit.  Fashion Research Institute’s “3-D website” is located at Shengri La Spirit 01, and incorporates a welcome center with an avatar customization salon and information about the Fashion Research Institute and its activities.  We are particularly pleased with our ‘3D Website’ which has now been instantiated into two grids, IBM’s vBusiness grid and now the ScienceSim grid, both installations were performed flawlessly.   Maintaining these two grid installations is remarkably easy, since the original region file is maintained on our private Fashionable Grid™.  Changes to the region are seamless, with the region’s OAR file being uploaded to the various grids where it is present.

Fashion Research Institute has also incorporated its Library of content creation tutorials and references into the campus.  The Library is contained on its own region, Shengri La Spirit 02, and is currently hosting a fashion exhibit about Edwardian men’s neckwear.  An array of art and design examples using virtual worlds are included in several other regions, which may be freely visited.

An additional two regions are reserved for the upcoming Threading the Needle conference for fashion design students.  Threading the Needle is the first ever virtual worlds-based fashion design conference, which is being presented for fashion design students to attend free of charge.  Such notables as Fiona Jenvey, (CEO, Mudpie), Beth Harris (Director of Digital Learning, MOMA NYC), and Kerry Bannigan (CEO, Nolcha Fashion Week) will be presenting to students logging in from around the world.

Fashion Research Institute’s campus for fashion design education may be freely visited in the ScienceSim grid, where all regions are publicly accessible.  Simply log in and locate the Shengri La Spirit regions in the world map. Please note the spelling “Shengri La”, which is our trademarked region name which labels all of our regions in all grids.

We would like to thank the Intel Corporation for hosting and hardware provided to Fashion Research Institute as part of our research collaboration with Intel Labs.  We would also like to thank Mic Bowman and coworkers for their efforts in managing our OpenSim-based regions on the ScienceSim grid.  We are pleased to continue our research into innovative methods for educating fashion designers for both the $1.7 trillion apparel industry and the emerging niche market of virtua designers.

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Introducing a New Concept: the ‘3-D Virtual World Website’

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Fashion Research Institute is pleased to announce its newest concept in the evolution of virtual worlds for business purposes, the ‘3-D Virtual World Website’.  In conjunction with its new website redesign, FRI has also launched its corporate web site in IBM’s v-Business grid.

By placing its corporate information within a virtual world region, interested parties immerse in a visually lush, rich setting where the company information is presented in context.  Topics are easier to locate and to remember their location when they are sited contextually, and when there are easy to understand ‘data pathways’ in the form of sidewalks and staircases.

Visitors to Fashion Research Institute’s Shengri La vBusiness land at the entry point, with a sweeping sunrise view and quick tips on moving, looking, and touching objects in vBusiness.  They then may start their explorations first at the avatar customization salon, where an array of premium design is available to them to customize their avatar.  Customization is provided for both men and women from the skin out, which is a good way for potential customers to sample FRI’s licensable avatar customization content for other grids.

From there, our visitors may explore our work in our various research areas, our innovative fashion design education programs, and our publications.  Finish your visit to our Shengri La vBusiness region by strolling the art walk, surrounded by swans and horse sculptures. And of course, all visitors to our region in IBM’s vBusiness grid may visit our region to obtain clothing and more for their avatars, which may be used anywhere on the IBM vBusiness grid, as our contribution to the other members  of the vBusiness consortium and their guests.

Please join us on Friday, October 9th, from 2-2:30 pm eastern for the official opening of this region.

Shengri La vBusiness is hosted by Adam Frisby’s and James Stalling’s new venture, SimHost.  We have been delighted with the service we’ve received in getting our new region moved in and set up, and would highly recommend SimHost for anyone seeking a reasonable, fast turnaround hosting option.

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Niftiness in Second Life tm Shengri La…Free Horseback Riding!

Saddle rezzer in the paddock of the Welcome Area

Saddle rezzer in the paddock of the Welcome Area

The Fashion Research Institute Shengri La complex in Second Life is the creation of many talented people working together to create a beautiful, peaceful, immersive experience.  We all add and remove bits of it, and occasionally something will happen that proves to be transcendent.  A perfect example of this is the new horse rezzer located earlier this week.

The rezzer pops up a vehicle that is saddle shaped.  Then it hands the rider a horse.  The rider wears the horse from inventory, and suddenly the rider is mounted on a fully saddled horse, ready to go riding!

This isn’t just any generic horse, either.  The creator of this particular system put a lot of painstaking work into scripting and creating the actual horse.  Through a menu system, you can change the saddle style on your horse, show or hide its Pegasus wings, change your riding pose (side saddle, anyone?), change your gait, and even change the color of the blanket under the saddle.  The horse itself will carry two people, so you can ride double.  You can change gaits by moving through its programmed gaits (Walk, Canter, Gallop, Fly) by choosing page up or page down.

What’s really fun about the horse you are given to ride is that the creator didn’t slack on the details – it blinks its eyes, switches its tail, wiggles its ears, stamps its foot when you are standing, whinnies, and sends up little puffs of dust when you are riding.  The horse itself is a mixture of primwork and sculpted prims, and of course, it moves its legs when ridden. For those equestrians who love SL horses, this won’t sound terribly impressive – until you realize that you’ve just been given this horse from the rezzer…for free.

As an estate owner, you can put the rezzer up, and allow visitors to your land to obtain the saddle vehicle and the horse (for free!!), ride around your estate until they get tired, and when they dismount, the saddle poofs, and they get to keep the horse.  The saddle won’t survive a teleport, but it does survice sim crossings quite nicely.  Riders can’t ride the horse again unless they use the saddle rezzer again. 

Needless to say, I was enamored.  The horse itself has some little quirkinesses to riding it – but for horse lovers or anyone who wants a fun, witty, immersive activity, a ride around Shengri La is enormous fun, as we found out last night.

I was tweaking the new saddle rezzer arrangement in the Welcome Area when I noticed some people in Joy.  So I flew over, and discovered Script Wizard Dale and Chestnut.   In the process of telling them about the cool new horses we now have in Shengri La, I brought out a saddle rezzer.  Another friend, Ahuva Heliosense, teleported in about then, and when she heard the word: horse, she took the plunge. 

Before I knew it, we had galloping Utopians all over the sim, and a few other friends joining us for the mayhem.  It took a little tweaking to figure out the horses, but once we got it, everyone really enjoyed themselves, as you can see in the pictures below.  We finished our evening with an impromptu art show by Callipygian Christensen, who is working up her next gallery changes for her main gallery in Shengri La and a fireworks display by Script Wizard Dale, who wowed us with some fancy and fanciful particle fireworks. 

If you haven’t visited Shengri La in SL yet, please consider yourself invited.  The horses are now there for anyone to ride.  Instructions are included in the information kiosk right behind the saddle rezzer.

Saddle Rezzer, example of the palomino horse "Ruby", and the paddock in the Welcome Area

Saddle Rezzer, example of the palomino horse, 'Ruby', in the paddock

Ahuva Heliosense discovers her wings!

Ahuva Heliosense discovers her wings!

Everyone has a horse now...

Everyone has a horse now...

We figure out how they work...

We figure out how they work...

Script Wizard Dale and Elezabeth Tinsley ride through the surf

Script Wizard Dale and Elizabeth Tinsley ride through the surf

Ahuva Heliosense happily riding

Ahuva Heliosense happily riding

Chestnut Rau canters across the Boardwalk in Shengri La

Chestnut Rau canters across the Boardwalk in Shengri La

Elizabeth Tinsley pauses beside Silver Rose

Elizabeth Tinsley pauses beside Silver Rose

Ahuva and I in the surf, talking to Calli & Script Wizard Dale

Ahuva and I in the surf, talking to Calli & Script Wizard Dale

Michele Hyacinth, Rez Tone, me, and Ahuva Heliosense

In the surf: Michele Hyacinth, Rez Tone, me, and Ahuva Heliosense

on the shore - Callipygian Christensen, Script Wizard Dale; in the surf-Ahuva Heliosense, me, Rez Tone, Michele Hyacinth

The End: On the shore - Callipygian Christensen, Script Wizard Dale; In the surf-Ahuva Heliosense, me, Rez Tone, Michele Hyacinth