What is the relationship between Second Life and RL fashion? A contrasted relationship seems, despite the importance that the fashion industry has in the virtual world of Linden Lab. Recently Wagner James (aka Hamlet Au, an American journalist author of the blog New World Notes and former official blogger for Linden Lab) noted that the Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back (http://www.annsofieback.com/blog) has admitted to having taken inspiration for some outfits of her latest collection from Second Life, but to consider the metaverse “even more conformist than real life”.
According to Back, the problem is that while the SL editor allows a designer to create virtually any type of dress or item of design, “most people want to look like Katie Price and Peter Andre and wear clothes like people on Big Brother”. Which is an indictment that we have heard repeatedly over the years from people who knows in depth the “fashion business” of SL (for example: the multimedia designer Diana Eugeni, aka Bianca Foulon, and Annemarie Perenti whose lands Piazza Italia, Best of Italian and Rodeo Drive, in the meantime all given under management, went through the phase of de-booming without any damages due to specialization in the shopping and fashion’s events management).
The problem, probably, is twofold: firstly in SL those who plays the role of designers are not always designers the RL (Ziamelia Loon, aka Emanuela Trombetta, one of the most established names in the Italian context, in her every day life works for transportation company in Rome, Patrizia Blessed aka Patrizia Nofi, is a web designer and the list goes on and on), so perhaps they are not used to see some stylistic and technological solutions. On the other hand, the potential customers, as in RL, are perhaps people of good general culture, but not with a particular attitude for design or elegance.
To be honest, whenever someone tries to bring a little more extravagant outfits, even without going to the examples cited also by James Wagner, of designers that for their originality are real artists, so as to come to the right in the galleries of proposals of Npirl (the blog edited by Bettina Tizzy and Alpha Auer, still available online as a sort of historical costume in SL), when some designers have tried to produce collections entirely devoid of any relationship with real fashion commercial feedback was nothing short of staggering, with very few exceptions. In short: it can also be “Your World, Your Imagination”, but is not enough to know how to flaunt your imagination if you want to maybe round up your real wage a few euros made selling your virtual products. At the end, in virtual worlds as well as in the real is the law of supply and demand to prevail.