I donâ€™t wear a lot of jewelry in real life.Â Oh, I have a few items I love and wear regularly.Â Pretty much every day I wear the Celtic knot ring in silver that I bought from a street vendor in Dublin, as well as a simple but unusual fleur-de-lis pendant I found in New Orleans.Â I also have my grandfatherâ€™s gold high school class ring (Class of 1932), which gets pride of place on my right hand (the middle fingerâ€”he was a big man) on special occasions.Â From time to time, I wear a watch, although mostly these days I rely on my mobile phone to tell me the timeâ€”strictly functional, not especially classy.
But SL is different.Â And I donâ€™t mean just because in SL I can afford all kinds of extravagant jewelry that I could never even dream of touching in RL.Â I mean, thatâ€™s true of courseâ€”I can do that if I want to, and I certainly have.Â But thatâ€™s not the only difference.Â Â Equally real is the possibility of exploring different aspects of oneâ€™s personality by venturing into different genres, styles and themes that in RL might not take first priority or even be accessible.
Designer lorenz Haxâ€™s LOAQ Jewels takes a step toward lessening the long-established and not-insignificant disparity between the volume of jewelry designs for women and those for men.Â I know, I knowâ€”â€œQuality, not quantity,â€ but still.Â At LOAQ, youâ€™ll find an introductory collection of jewelry designsâ€”rings, bracelets, necklaces, watchesâ€”all created with men in mind.
In spite (or perhaps because) of their simplicity, lorenzâ€™s Maori beaded necklaceÂ and bracelet are easily among my favorite pieces from the collection.Â Both are carefully constructed, with shapes that fit the (let’s face it) not-entirely-natural avatar shape as naturally as possible.Â The smoothly shaped beads are glossy, like polished stone, but not overly shiny.Â Necklace, L$699; bracelet, L$599.
The clean lines of the Heaven ring (L$499) are nicely offset by the three baguette-cut gemstones, arranged in a kind of triptych.Â Gemstones in jewelry can be problematic for me, as Iâ€™m not a big fan of big sparkle, and if itâ€™s blingy you might as well just give up.Â Here, though, Lorenz has relied on realistic shading of the polished metal and subtle faceting of the stones rather than on in-your-face scripted sparkle.
The Ethnic stones braceletÂ (L$599) has a less refined, more natural and rustic look than that of the Maori pieces.Â The irregularly sculpted stones look as though they have been polished by the natural action of water and sand (or, if you are of a certain age, in a Rock Tumbler).Â A twisted double cord binds them together in an alternating arrangement of dark and light stones and keeps them secure around your wrist.
Youâ€™ll find a variety of Soul necklace styles in the LOAQ collection.Â I particularly like this one, with its Yin-Yang pendantÂ (L$699).Â The familiar symbol of balance, connectedness and complementary opposites is worked in shiny cloisonnÃ©, embellished with small faceted stones, and strung on a satin cord, flanked by metal barrel beads.Â The construction features impressively detailed primwork rather than 2-D texture artwork.
Although theyâ€™re not really my personal style, dog-tags seem to be a perennial favorite in SL, and lorenz acknowledges that his are one of his more popular designs.Â The Military Tag necklace (L$699)Â is unsurprising and comfortable in construction, like an old friend: smooth, satin-finish metal tags are suspended on a bead-link chain.Â Iâ€™ve seen some that were more or less easily customizable with personalized â€œengraving,â€ but these are not (permissions are No Modify)â€”what you see is what you get.
All items are touch scripted for automatic resize, as well as many different color (natural and bright) and texture options for various component pieces: metalwork, gemstone, setting, chain, cord.Â This allows the wearer a lot of flexibility in customizing each jewelry item to his taste or to work with a certain outfit.Â Unfortunately, all items are No Copy, so although you can easily give them as gifts, you will not be able to save customized copies in outfit folders, and thus avoid having to re-do all your custom tweaks if you want to return to a particular configuration.
All in all, while most the pieces in the collection are (I think intentionally) not particularly showy in physical design, all are meticulously crafted, finely textured and flexibly scripted.Â All pieces are intended for men, and the pendant necklaces in particular may not work well for women, due to the shape of the hanging chain.
The collection also includes a handful of wristwatches.Â Fairly or unfairly (and youâ€™re free to disagree with me), I feel that a watch ought to tell the time, even if itâ€™s â€œjustâ€ in SL, and these are not scripted with that capability.Â Theyâ€™re still quite attractive, so if youâ€™re in the market for a wristwatch, these may be worth a look.