Student Intern Show “Fluid” in Shengri La Second Life Tonight!


Please join the Fashion Research Institute on Tuesday, August 25th at 6 pm PDT for a very special runway show showcasing the work of our Summer 2009 student interns!  The region will open to the audience at 5:45 pm PDT, and we will start promptly at 6:00.

Our designers, Trinity Hartunian, Missy Lavecchia, and Palette Schuttelanz, are senior design students from fashion design schools around the United States.  They have been interning with us since early June, and we are very pleased to present their work in their student show, Fluid.

Trinity’s label is Category Five, and her collection “Linear” is clean and sleek and can be easily mixed and matched.  Missy’s label is Bella Fantasique, and she designs formal and evening wear from demure to the minx.  Palette’s  label is Mooged, and she is showing streetwear with an urban flair.  Each of these ladies has invested many late nights and long hours learning how to develop avatar apparel, and we are very excited about their work and their future abilities.

In Shengri La, we are known for inventing innovative ways to present fashion — ways that capitalize on the strengths of virtual worlds rather than relying on traditional display methods.  But it is a critical part of a design student’s education to participate in a runway show, with all the excitement, drama, and anticipation that go along with it.

To that end, we are pleased to present our summer interns and their work in a near-traditional runway show in our Second Life Shengri La estate.  As is our usual custom, we have asked volunteer models to present our designers’ work.  Our models will walk the catwalk in their usual skins and shapes, with no modifications made for the clothing.

Palette’s, Missy’s and Trinity’s work may all be found in the marketplace stores in Shengri La.  These hot new talents are currently pricing their work at student rates, but the quality isn’t student quality.

We look forward to welcoming you to  these bright young talents’ first runway show (in any life).  Go with the flow to Fluid, in Shengri La!

Student Intern Runway Show in Shengri La Second Life


For the last three months, we have been working with three top-rate student interns in our regions in Second Life, teaching them the ins and outs of the emerging field of virtua design and development.  Our interns are currently matriculated at higher ed schools around the US, and log in from their geographically dispersed homes for our weekly discussion, lecture and review sessions.

Fashion design is a demanding curriculum. Our discipline demands that the student not only understand such a wide breadth of topics ranging from anatomy to textile and materials science, and then to apply those topics specifically to an array of products.  They must then be able to fully construct, with his or her own hands, those self-same products.  Fashion design students are asked to create a full collection of products including the concept board, color story, materials collections, and make sure that the collection of products actually fits (correctly) and is not just functional but correctly made and finished.

Our summer interns have been working for the last three months doing just that, using a virtual world as their low-cost, low-risk prototyping tool to develop their avatar apparel collections.  Using our avatar apparel framework, we have guided them through the design cycle from concept board, to selecting a color story, to developing a new piece every week.  We are culminating their internship with Fashion Research Institute with the fashion industry’s version of the summer intern seminar, namely a runway show where their work will be presented with live models, in a formal setting.

This is a tremendous opportunity for our interns.  As they enter their senior year at their schools, they will be required as part of their program to send an outfit out on the runway at their school’s annual runway show.  It’s part of the traditional curriculum for design students, because they learn firsthand about runway shows, and of course, their work gets recognized by their peers as they graduate.  Our interns will already have gone through the process of developing a runway show as a group project.  They have worked together to develop a coherent visual story that works as a group project.  They have styled their models from hair to accessories (provided by our talented emerging designers Tiffy Vella, Yoona Mayo, and Rosie Barthelmess) to complement their actual work.  They have chosen how they want their work to be presented.  And on Tuesday, August 25th, their hard work will be shown in a formal runway show in our Shengri La region in Second Life.

It has been an honor to work with Trinity Hartunian, Missy Lavecchia, and Palette Schuttelanz this summer.  We are delighted to present their work in their first runway show (ever!), and we hope you can join us as they show selected garments from their collections at their show, Fluid, at 6 pm PDT, Tuesday, August 25th.

Primal Elegance Jewelry Installation in Shengri La Second Life

Saturday, May 16, a dozen models displayed a dozen exquisite sets of jewelry at the Primal Elegance jewelry installation in Second Life at the Fashion Research Institute’s Shengri La estate.  This unique installation was developed expressly for the purpose of displaying the artistry of jewelry designers in the Fashion Research Institute’s emerging avatar apparel designer program.  Designed and developed by CEO Shenlei Winkler (Shenlei Flasheart in Second Life), this set sizzled with seductive glamor, and kept an entranced audience packing the estate for over two hours.  See why in this elegant clip.