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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Fashion Research Institute’s Autumn 2009 Fashion Events

Having threaded our way through New York Fashion week, where CEO Shenlei Winkler spoke about Black Dress Design Studio and the related development of the avatar apparel niche market, we are now pleased to announce our planned fashion events for Autumn 2009.

First, we are pleased to continue to work with our emerging designers, and present their work in innovative ways in our Shengri La Hope region in Second Life.  These events enable us to research and prototype new ways of merchandising avatar apparel, with links to our real life colleagues in the apparel industry.  We will be presenting three of these events over the next 8 weeks.

purpleprose

Purple Prose is a showcase of jewelry designer Tiffy Vella, whose unique design vision continue to wow her customers.  Tiffy has been developing a line heavily influenced by the Art Deco period.  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 10 am Eastern, in our Shengri La Hope region.

mainelymen

Mainely Men showcases the corporate clothing of Debutante, the Fashion Research Institute’s lab line.  A dozen handsome models will present corporate men’s wear in a showcase designed to highlight these garments.  Mainely Men will be held Saturday, October 24th, at 7 pm Eastern in the Shengri La Hope region.

transformation

Transformation will be held on Saturday, October 7, at 10 am eastern.  Transformation showcases the Cocoon line of emerging designer Yoona Mayo, whose unique perspective and delicate touch have created an elegant line of dainty jewelry.  Yoona’s work will be presented in a unique interactive display in the Shengri La Hope region.

And of course, our interns will present their work at a final runway show in December, with date and time to be determined.

threadingtheneedle

Departing from Second Life and moving to ScienceSim, Fashion Research Institute will be presenting the first ever virtual worlds-based design conference for fashion design students from design organizations around the world.  Threading The Needle will be held Thursday, December 3rd, from 8 am – 5 pm Eastern, with notables such as Beth Harris, Director of Digital Learning at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Fiona Jenvey, CEO of Mudpie, and Elaine Polvinen, Professor of Fashion at Buffalo State University speaking and presenting.  This conference will be completely free for design students to attend, and it is aimed at students studying design for the apparel industry.  Details to follow, but mark your calendar for this.

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Fashion Research Institute will again be presenting its Avatar Apparel courses this fall, with Avatar Apparel being presented from October 27th – November 19th; and two new short courses being offered in October, November and December.  Registration opens next week.

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

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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

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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.

“Designing Dreams” Avatar Apparel Graduation Show

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Join us as we celebrate the graduation of four avatar apparel designers, Jare Capalini (AU V), Misteria Loon (Pas de Deaux), Xand Nagy (Kicks & Twirls), and Wollemia Sands (Bull & Bear Careerwear) from the six-month long emerging avatar apparel designer program sponsored by the Fashion Research Institute, Inc.

Primal Elegance Jewelry Installation in Shengri La Second Life

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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.

Primal Elegance Jewelry Installation

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Fashion Research Institute “Primal Elegance”
Jewelry Installation for Designers in the Emerging Avatar Apparel Design Program

Saturday, May 16, 2009
Time: 7 am SLT

Location: Shengri La

Twelve lovely ladies bedecked with opulent jewels in a darkly seductive set showcase the exceptional work of Fashion Research Institiute Marketplace designers Yoona Mayo (cocoon), Tiffy Vella (Eclectica), and Rosie Barthelmess (Sable Rose). The quality of these designers’ work is belied by their fairly recent entrance into the jewelry making community. Prepare to be seduced by the primal elegance of these gorgeous pieces sensually draped around throats, wrists and dangling from the ears of our lovely models, who will each display one set of these designers’ work. Please join us for this unique fashion-meets-art installation of fashion displayed artistically.

Primal Elegance is hosted and sponsored by the Fashion Research Institute, Inc. FRI is committed to assisting emerging avatar apparel designers to bring their brand to the next level.