The recent Grand Opening of Last Call by Dazzle Haute Couture was one of the most eagerly anticipated SL fashion/style events in recent memory. Last Call is the new joint fashion venture of Ginny Talamasca/Devyn Carmichael, Starley Thereian and Lyra Muse. I was lucky enough to sit down last week–after some of the craze had died down–with Devyn, Ginny’s alt and designer of the new Last Call menswear line. I think he may have been glad for the opportunity to sit down and relax for a few minutes.
Devyn and I talked first about his new Last Call menswear line, and I asked him about his influences and goals for the line. “Modern, sexy clothing for men that follows designer fashion in RL. I am fascinated by the whole ‘metrosexual’ look for men–specifically because it connotes that heterosexual men cannot dress evocatively or provocatively. I disagree and think that frump is frump period. I also wanted to create a line of clothing a bit selfishly to dress my AV in SL like I dress in RL. Womenswear is a great passion of mine–especially because my RL business (couture jewelry) goes hand-in-hand with the extravagance possible in great womenswear. But as much as people like to imagine some salacious reason for a guy playing Ginny, I miss my identity and my clothing. 80% of [the new designs] I own in style or cut in RL.”
Devyn’s new menswear designs are excitingly fresh and innovative, definitely not a typical run of hoodies and t-shirts and jeans. I asked him about his take on how much more adventurous people may be willing to be in SL as opposed to RL. “I mean, in RL–come on, you see a guy trying on tailored shirts or jeans like 7 For All Mankind–you know, the tight ones that get some looks–what is the number one word for him, whether true or false? G-A-Y. And I think it’s a crock. I am a gay male, but for all intents and purposes I ‘defy’ the traditional stereotypes that society has placed on gay men (typically). But I still find it easier to dress for confidence, to dress how I’m feeling.
“I think more and more men are fashion-inclined these days, though. The face of menswear has changed so much. Twenty years ago, who would’ve imagined male supermodels? But [now] we have Mark Vanderloo, Marcus Schenkenberg…and men know who they are just as much as women. I love it. Gone are the days of frump!”
I was curious about Devyn’s take on popular and critical response. Does he have a track in mind for his designs regardless? “I have received–as have Lyra and Starley both–an immense outpouring of positivity with regard to the design and quality of the products for Last Call–more so than any other project I’ve ever undertaken. And I won’t lie: it feels great. You know? But what people don’t understand is that it was 20-hour days for seven days of the week for six weeks straight.
“In terms of letting sales drive you–I had a great mentor (my father) when it came to RL design (in jewelry). He said: you either direct your sales or your sales direct you. You can let what sells guide you. But if you do–that’s a catch-22. You might sell a popular product, but what happens when the trend dies? You have to convey a vision. You have to care about it. And if you care about it, you know who you are as an artist or a designer. WTF do you want to say to the world? That’s what I ask myself before I do anything.
“You know, sometimes I catch myself laughing because we’re speaking about clothing for virtual selves–but people come to you, they come to you spending their real money and they come to you because of reputation or product, and I couldn’t not put this kind of effort into things. I think Second Life customers deserve great builds, they deserve directional marketing…they deserve the extra effort.”
For Devyn, what does it come down to at the end of the day?Â “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel–I’m just sharing what I find attractive and sexy.”
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Here are just a few outfits from the extensive new Last Call Homme menswear collection. I may as well say right up front that Devyn’s fabric textures are quite simply some of the best work I’ve seen. So if I rave repeatedly about the beauty of his texture work, you’ll know it’s not just because I can’t think of anything else to say–I really am that impressed.
The appliquÃ© work is repeated on the coordinating jeans and also appears in detail on the back of the shirt and back pockets of the jeans. This is a great casual set with a rich, dressy feel. It wouldn’t be hard to put these together with classy shoes, a piece or two of jewelry, and maybe a hat for a laid-back take on formal attire. Priced at L$225 with jeans, L$100 for single shirts (available separately in a variety of colors).
Droog includes a far-from-ordinary decorated polo-style shirt and coordinating pair of stylish khakis. The flag design work on the sleeves really make this shirt stand out, and the button-free open neck gives a sexycasual vibe. “Droog” is available for L$200 for the set, and comes in a variety of colors.
I am also wearing the Philip cuff bracelet (also by Devyn, available for L$100 each in a variety of colors). This is another in the series of fantastic wrist cuffs I’ve seen recently, a beautifully chunky, masculine piece. The leather grain, stitching and metal buckle texturing is all top-grade and holds up extraordinarily well, even under close camera inspection.
Fugue is the highly detailed leather jacket Devyn is wearing in the artwork currently featured on the billboard that greets you above the Last Call store main entrance. Again I have to point out the quality of the texturing on this piece–take a look at the leather creases at the elbows and the seams, piecing lines and distressing on the jacket back! Simply beautiful.
The design of the jacket itself certainly doesn’t take a back seat. The band collar, double row of shiny brass buttons and slightly over-long sleeves all contribute to a unique look you’ll be proud to wear.Â Jackets with and without undershirt are included, so you can mix things up.Â The coordinating Fugue Studded Jeans feature metal studwork on the front and back pockets in addition to a gorgeous distressed fabric texture. “Fugue” is priced at L$275 with the jeans, L$175 for single jackets (available separately in a variety of colors).
Right Said includes probably the single most intriguing item to me when I first checked out the Last Call Homme collection, and the only piece I asked about specifically. So, Devyn, tell me about the kilt.Â “Sabrina Doolittle made a plea a couple of months ago for someone to make a men’s kilt that looked like a kilt. One thing I hope everyone notices is my loathing of prims. I hate them. Therefore, I want them not to look like what they are. By using alpha textures, though, I can cut the edges and make it look like fabric.
“With the kilt, I used flexi-cubes and found out I could (in addition to hard pleating) mimic pleated silk, which is huge this year in the womenswear. They’re a bitch to work with/adjust to make the kilt, but the effect is spot on. And I’m sorry but I’ve heard it from the ladies as well–what is sexier than toned men’s legs? I have had numerous IM’s from women and men raving about men showing off more!”
All I can do is testify to the fact that this is one beautifully designed, fantasticallly executed garment. Maybe I’m wrong, or maybe this will come out wrong, but it seems to me that men don’t get a lot of chances to wear something that makes them feel special. (Women might think of or experience this as feeling pretty–ladies, feel free to jump in with comments and let me know if you think I’m on track or way off base!) This cargo kilt is unique enough to be unusual, and done so well that it feels like a luxury. Once again, the fabric texturing is impeccable; the flexiprim design and detailing is a near-perfect emulation of the look and feel of fabric; and the cargo pockets provide plenty of room to stash your stuff. In these pictures I’m wearing the kilt with the coordinating Right Said Beater Tee. Look closely and you’ll also see the Bishonen Dog Tags by Lyra Muse (L$100), available as part of the Last Call “Covet” jewelry collection. “Right Said” is available for L$300 with shirt and arm warmers (which I’m not wearing here as I was less happy with how those pictures came out), L$150 for just the kilt (available separately in a variety of colors).
Also available but not specifically featured here (because it would be sadly impossible to cover everything) is an extensive selection of jeans in a variety of colors and finishes (L$100); a wide variety of underwear styles, including boxers and briefs in different styles and patterns (L$100 per set); and the “Covet” jewelry collection by Lyra Muse, which includes necklaces and wrist cuffs in a variety of styles and colors (L$100 each).
All of these items–and many, many more–are available at Last Call (Dazzle 59, 65, 22).Â Veer to the right after you enter the store and you’ll end up in the Last Call Homme menswear section.
Note to readers: Cat and I had to duke it out over who would get to cover Last Call, and in the end we decided that there was room enough for both of us. Cat has posted his thoughts as well, and has covered some of the other outfits that are available. You can read his review post here.