At some of his club gigs lately, my friend Kaj has been wearing some intriguing and unfamiliar jeans and shirts–detailed design work, rich colors skewing to the dark side, goth influences but nothing heavy-handed.Â He was kind enough to put me in touch with the designer, VincentTalent Maximus, whose work was new to me.Â Vince’s “2di4″ collection so far isn’t extensive, but it’s well executed, beautifully artisticÂ and growing.Â We were able to beat our schedules into submission and make time for an inworld chat, so in addition to my usual blather you’ll be hearing from Vincent himself regarding his design work.
“Right now I’m experimenting with a few things,” Vince says.Â “I’m really into goth influences (not hard core), spend lots of time listening to dark ambient music, things like the Legendary Pink Dots.Â [I] love Tim Burton and the lighter side of dark.Â Vampires are great, but they should be sexy!”Â I find myself in agreement with the sexy vampires idea.Â Â After all, they’re not just Max Schreck.
The monochrome look you see here here is something I enjoy doing–I think it makes for a nice contrast with the red hair I tend to favor.Â But hey,Â black is always classy, even if some other color holds sway this season as the “new” variant thereof.Â Vince’s Black City shirt (L$199) pairs up perfectly with the Sepulture denims (L$149).Â The detailing in front is fairly subtle, but more dramatic artwork in back suggests angel (or perhaps demon) wings.Â This shirt comes on the jacket layer for untucked wear only; the unisex denims include low-, mid- and high-rise versions, so you have options.Â Nice!
In addition to his clothing designs, Vince has also created a line of skins for men.Â Here I’m wearing his “Stephen” skin in the Pale skin tone.Â It’s a little more muscular and “ripped” than I typically choose for myself, but the detailing is balanced and well done.Â I particularly like the face, with its serene, thoughtful look.Â This ivory-tinged pale skinÂ tone is very light indeed, but not unrealistically so.
Vince says, “I spent 90 hours on the skins,Â ten hours on each shirt and 12 hours on each denim piece.Â I love detail and fuss over the small things, LOL.Â I started with the skins a few months ago and just got into clothes last month, so it’s a new passion.”
90 hours on the skins?Â I asked if he knew what he was getting himself into when he started out.Â “Well, I started with some basic templates from SLX, to line up the features, and then surfed for lot of nude images–that was the fun part.Â I learned how to push, pull, morph, paint.Â I called my early montages of body parts Frank, for Frankenstein, and continued working it.Â I almost gave up several times.Â It took 90 hours to make it…lots of swearing and late nights!Â It got worse before it got better.Â And I only had Photoshop as a tool, no 3d modeling program, so was a big challenge.Â But when it was done, I was satisfied with it.”
Here I’ve put together Vince’s Growl Grey button-front shirt (L$149) with his Trashed denims in Black (L$149; also available in shades of Blue).Â This shirt comes on jacket and shirt layers for tucked and untucked wear, and an underwear-layer extension is included for wear with low-rise pants.Â The Trashed denims come in one rise only, comparable to Vincent’s other mid-rise jeans.Â The bright-red detailing in the distressed sections (almost like a wound) was all the excuse I needed to throw on Tesla Miles’ red leather Urban Tactic boots one more time.
Vince:Â “I like the pants and t-shirts the most.Â I’m playing with sculpties now, so I’m in a bit of a funk this week, taking a break to learn Zbrush, but I plan on jumping back into it.Â I’ve only been making clothes for a month, so it’s new to me, but I’ve been using Photoshop forÂ ten years.”
This skin is “Xander,” shown at left andÂ here in Original (a medium skin tone), at right in Dark, a deep tan.Â Vince’s skins have unique faces, but the same body artwork.Â “Xander” could easily be brother to “Stephen”–there’s a distinct family resemblance.Â While “Stephen” seems serious and introspective, “Xander” has a slight smile that could be knowing, amused or simply happy.Â Although I’m wearing the clean-shaven version, “Xander” has several different facial hair options.
Here I’m wearing the elaborately detailed Skullage shirt (L$149; tucked and untucked versions included).Â If you look closely, you can make outÂ the “2di4″ and “Styria” brand logos worked into the artwork on the chest.Â To coordinate thematically, I’ve chosen the Winged Skull denims (L$149; low-, mid- and high-rise versions included).Â The fabric has a beautifully faded, almost water-washed look that contrasts strikingly with the crisp, engraving-style artwork.
In contrast to “Stephen” and “Xander,” “Ryan” (there’s that name again) has a bit of facial scruff,Â Gyllenhaal-esque eybrows and an overall expression that suggests he’s feeling bemused, bewildered or possibly just slightly at loose ends.Â He’s far more Shy Guy Next Door than aloof model.Â “Ryan” is shown here in the Original skin tone.
From the chat I had with Vince, what really came through is that he’s having fun.Â I mentioned how important I think this is in SL, regardless of how you spend your time there.Â He just smiled and responded, “Yup.”Â
Lacking a brilliant, insightfulÂ question with which to end our interview chat, I asked if there was anything else he’d want people to know.Â “Just that SL fashion can be [both] quality and affordable.Â Â It’s the little things that make the difference.Â I’m starting a bit basic right now, but plan on adding more and more accents as I go.Â For the next shirt I’m working on, I will be adding some sculpty cuffs.”
I can’t wait to see where he goes from here.
Clothing items are priced as indicated.Â Skins are L$1000 each, withÂ L$1 demosÂ available in the shop.Â Clothing permissions areÂ Modify / Copy / No Transfer; skins areÂ No Modify / Copy / No Transfer.