It has been with some (not insignificant) jealousy that I have followed the coverage, by other contributors to this blog, of certain elegantly gothic designsÂ by Raven Pennyfeather.Â When I saw her new release, “Eminence,” I made an executive decision:Â it was my turn.Â It seemed only fair.Â Perhaps it goes without saying that such a task should not be undertaken lightly, but just in case it doesn’t–I say so now with all sincerity.Â This is a more than ambitious design effort on Raven’s part, and I think she succeeds admirably.Â The challenge I face isÂ that of presenting her work here and making sure that it looks as wonderfully dramatic to you as it did to me.Â All in all, it’s not a bad problem to have.Â
The ensemble includes the following pieces, truly an embarrassment of riches:Â jackets in three styles, all with silver button accents (one open jacket with black satin lapels, and two closed jackets, one with black satin lapels, the other burgundy); flexprim “surcoat” jacket extension; detailed wrist cuffs in black lace; white satin shirt with silver buttons; black satin slacks; two collars, one with black and burgundy accents and attached flexiprim bow, one without bow; and a full-length flexiprim cape in black satin.
The following accessory items are also included:Â matching shoes with shoe shape; unscripted cane in ebony wood, with gleaming silver accents; top hat in black and burgundy satin with ostrich feather plumes; and black gloves.
Gaston Leroux’s own Phantom would be more than satisfied with these garments in his wardrobe, well suited as they are for an opulentÂ night at the opera.Â It’s amazing how much difference a single accessory can make.Â Wearing theÂ the coat, I am a proper, dapper gentlemen out to enjoy the simple pleasures of an evening with my wife, mistress or perhaps a courtesan.Â In the broad-shouldered cloak, though, I am a mysterious stranger, shadowy and dangerous, a man best not trifled with.
The detail work on the fabric textures is gorgeous, with silver button accents on vest and trousers and what appear to be threads of silver shot through the weave of the coat’sÂ fabric.Â The cape too has a shimmery look and feel to its fabric, both inside and out, and it moves and falls with impressive weight and presence.Â I’m already mentally sorting through my inventory to see what else I can pair with the cape for dramatic effect.Â Raven could easily sell this piece on its own, in a variety of colors–imagine it in midnight blue.Â I’d kill to have it in a deep brown.
The included shoes are high-heeled dress shoes in a style appropriate to the era of the clothing, with a glossy satin texture and no other adornment.Â They make use of invisiprimsÂ in their construction, so although you don’t see the effect here youÂ may notice a kind of “halo” around the shoes if you walk or stand on floors or other objects that use textures with alpha-channel transparency.Â This is the natureÂ of the beast withÂ invisiprim construction, and I mention it only for the benefitÂ of those who care about such things.Â I did have to drop my foot size to zero forÂ proper fit.
The top hat, like the shoes, is luxuriously textured in shiny satin.Â A burgundy hatband coordinates with the burgundy coat lapels and necktie, the brim and top edege of the hat shine with reflected light, and ostrich plumes add a touch of whimsy to the elegance.Â The hat attaches at a dashing angle and gets along quite nicely with this prim hairstyle (“Gabriel” by Lost Thereian).
If you look closely, you’ll notice some slight “smokiness” in the transparent areas of the ostrich plume prims.Â I don’t think this is a fatal flaw in the context of the outfit as a whole, but itÂ is a bit of a distraction from the otherwise nicely constructed hat.Â If the hat is updated by the designer, I’ll be certain to revise this review to reflect the change.
Such a complex outfit can be challenging to fit, given the likely need to resize at least some pieces to fit your avatar properly.Â All component pieces are No Copy / Transfer, but some (for example: pants, cape and collars) are moddable while others (shirt- and jacket-layer items, top hat and cane) are No Modify.Â In short, although there are some No Modify items, for me this did not present a problem–I found that I was able to resize individual pieces as needed for proper fit.Â Your mileage may vary if you have different preferences or concerns regarding moddable items.Â For example, due to their No Copy permissions and a general fear that I might muck them up, IÂ didn’t try sizing downÂ theÂ moddable attachmentsÂ as would be necessary for a much smaller avatar.Â It’s possible that some may be at or near enough toÂ their minimum size that they cannot realistically be sized down, and of course no-mod items cannot be sized down at all.
If you’re searching for an outfit suitable for His Lordship’s appearance at the royal court, the tellingly named “Eminence” ensemble may be just what you need.Â Priced at L$850 for the set.Â Available at House of RFyre (Isle Rfyre 97, 119, 23).