“I used to be a man…now I’m not sure what I am.Â They say I’m an angel, but aren’t angels meant to be holy?”
When I first became aware of the Guest Style Consultant idea, I was thrilled, because it allowed me to realise an unfulfilled desire as someone who had almost started writing for the blog but had to pull out due to limited time (thanks Ryan!).Â But that left a problem: what to cover?Â I was very clear on one thing. Â It had to be something that hadn’t been done much before, and preferably with some content creators who hadn’t been showcased before.Â Ryan, Express and the rest of the team are great at so many things that it’s hard to cover something in the contemporary fashion world, or for instance in steampunk without running (unfavourably, I’m sure!) into comparisons with their expertise.Â Then it hit me — play to my own strengths.
I’m a roleplayer. Â For those of you who don’t indulge in this pastime very much, I should explain that roleplayers are geeks…but geeks often with an obsessive sense of a proper way to do things and sometimes with great style.Â If we’re not actively roleplaying, we’re often to be found shopping for things to make our roleplay experience better; and often that means clothes and accessories. Â Wander around some of the better roleplaying sims and you’ll see some truly wonderful (as well as awful) costumes or even takes on modern dress.Â I wanted something different though.Â Through years of roleplaying in science fiction, I wanted this to be my first theme.
That very word brings up so many different images instantly and I knew this to be the theme for this; it also allowed me to show you the work of someone I’d been bugging Ryan to highlight for a little while.Â That is, Mantis Oh of ::Hybrid Productions:: — and an added bonus is he’s Icelandic!Â Whilst I’m (sadly) not Icelandic myself but British, I’m an unashamed Icelandophile; I love the country — its startling scenery, its enigmatic musicians (Bjork & Sigur Ros are two of my favourites) and its almost inherent quality of combining beauty and kookiness and shaking them together with funk and producing something simultaneously quite unconventional and gorgeous.
Mantis’ work (including his startlingly futuristic store) is no exception.Â Although he does make some good clothes, I was more interested in his prim accessories for this shoot, as this is where his talent really shines out.Â He’s made a whole line of belts, skirts, boots, armguards and lots of other little attachments mainly in three colour schemes: silver/grey/white, grey/black/red, grey/yellow/black. Â I decided to go for his signature range of mantis-inspired gear in silver/grey/white.Â The rather splendid mask I’m wearing is a mechanical mantis face with beady illuminated eyes and lots of electronic twittering and chirping effects.Â The armguardsÂ are like the arms of a preying mantis with their recurved spines again complete with the odd special effect suddenly drifting out of nowhere for the hell of it.Â It’s all very exuberant stuff.Â Add to that a techno-beltÂ with a cloth skirt attachment and some beautifully moulded moon-bootsÂ and you have the bones of a great outfit.Â I’m also wearing his fingerless gloves and his especially startling silver prophecies tattoo, which because it is white seemed to go with the future-tranquil look I was aiming for.
I must give credit also to an old friend — *Muism* — as I’m wearing Icemocolo Voom’s excellent “Shaggy” hair in Ash Blonde and also his “Damaged Jeans” in white.Â You will have seen the Damaged Jeans recently on the first Guest Consultant article by Kith DeCuir.Â Quite separately, I’ve had these for a while and I like them because they’re the antithesis of what white jeans “should” be.Â These are not pristine and perfectly ironed, these are damaged — and I like that!
“…My physical hurts still took months to heal, and my mental scars longer still.Â I am told I spoke no human word for a year afterwards but only cried or screamed in a bestial manner.Â I was unmanageable, feral and dangerous.Â Then my father indeed regretted his choice but still could not bear to have me killed.”
Pulling these together and making an outfit out of them, I wanted to make a character, imagining myself to be in a roleplay.Â So I hit on the theme of a young hero tragically brought to the brink of death by an ambush and left horribly mutilated.Â The only way his grieving father could save his only son was to enlist the aid of a techno-mage to have him cybernetically enhanced until only a trace of his humanity is left (Darth Vader, anyone?) and he was turned into…yep, you guessed it, a ::hybrid:: !Â You’ll notice I have an artificial heartÂ here,Â a superb attachment from those cyberpunk experts at Necronom, which you simply have to see in-world to fully appreciate how realistically it beats.Â To add to the effect, I donned some plain white eyes with some glowing spheres as eye attachments. Â I’ve also added the “Dundee – Hanging Sun” necklace from Emery but made the sun prim glow — well, this is science fiction after all!
Pretty good, but not quite right yet.Â Going with my theme of a young man who really should have been left to die rather than turned into a mechanical abomination, I added the “Longfeather Flexiwings”Â by Kazuhiro Aridian to turn him into an “angel” (though he is far from this), signifying his return from death.Â These are some of the most beautiful angel wings I’ve seen in SL.Â They’re not uniform, not glowy but they are what they say they are — longfeathered and flexible, giving the impression of long eagles’ feathers.
A final couple of touches are added by the monochromatic “Eternal Staff” found at Amulius Lioncourt’s Weapon Shoppe and the rotating “Ancient Forceblade” light saber from VAAS Innovazione.
“…for while I have gained many things, I have also lost much.Â I fear humanity and compassion may be among them and perhaps I lost them with my heart.
“It is a terrible thing to fear oneself.”
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“<TheAbyss> Scorpio_Origin 1[A] Body Hair” – by Khai Sinister,Â The Abyss
“*Muism* Shaggy / light ash blonde_L” – by Icemocolo Voom, *Muism*
“White Eyes” – can’t work out who made these but they are free full-perm, so IMÂ Leonardis for a copy, or use your own.Â [I'll also put these outÂ at my inworld office (check my Picks) in a box that you can pick up for free.
“:: Hybrid Prod :: Tattoo : Prophecies (Silver)” – by Mantis Oh, :: Hybrid Productions ::
“Longfeather Flexiwings” – by Kazuhiro Aridian,
[g a n y m e d e]
“*Muism* Damaged Jeans/White [Male]” – by Icemocolo Voom, *Muism*
“:: Hybrid Prod :: BO72 Skirt White (Male)”Â – by Mantis Oh, :: Hybrid Productions ::
“:: Hybrid Prod :: Mantoid Gloves (Silver)” – by Mantis Oh, :: Hybrid Productions ::
“:: Hybrid Prod :: MoonBoot Silver”Â – by Mantis Oh, :: Hybrid Productions ::
“Dundee – Hanging Sun” necklace – by DeLirio Bailey, Emery
“Necronom Cyberheart – cyberpunk organ” – by Oni Horan, Necronom
“:: Hybrid Prod :: Mantoid Armguards Silver”Â – by Mantis Oh, :: Hybrid Productions ::
“:: Hybrid Prod :: Mantoid 242 Mask Silver”Â – by Mantis Oh, :: Hybrid Productions ::
“Eternal Staff” – by Amulius Lioncourt, Amulius Lioncourt – Forge and Weapon Shoppe
“VAAS – Ancient ForceBlade” (lightsaber) – by Attia Sontse, VAAS Innovazione