The male bower birdÂ has a fascinating way of attracting a mate.Â Rather than relying exclusively on his own physical beauty to catch the eye of a promising female, he builds a decorative structure in hopes of winning both favor and the opportunity to pass along his biological distinctiveness.Â These bowers can take a variety of forms, and can be quite complex.Â The males often decorate them with brightly colored found objects, and I have read that some even “paint” surrounding grassesÂ using wet bits of bark.Â The females compare the bowersÂ and choose a mateÂ based on their ownÂ whims and inscrutable inner workings.
When you think about it, this isn’t so very different from what humans do.Â Lacking natural plumage of our own, we (males and females alike) use clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, shoes, automobiles, money, hot tubs, and even etchings to enhance our appeal to others we find desirable.Â All for the sake of procreation.Â Well, that and sex.
Although all designers are in the business of helping us to beautify ourselves, Charm McAndrews seems to take it both seriously and literally–her shop is called Bower Bird.Â She also understands that SL is different from RL, and exploits that difference to great effect.Â Although in RL we can change our hair style or color fairly easily, and a tanning salon can darken our skin, our eyes (fantasy contact lenses aside) are what they are.Â In SL, though, our eyes can be anything we want, anything a design artist can dream up.Â Charm’s new release in her Precious Eyes Collection is inspired by the great works of eight different masters of Impressionism: Cezanne, Degas, Klimt, Monet, Morisot, Picasso, RenoirÂ andÂ Van Gogh.
Now, it isn’t often that I buy more than one or two sets of eyes at a time, and I’m very sure I’ve never before taken home eight at once.Â These eyes, though, I think are not just unique in concept but absolutely gorgeous in execution.Â In an accompanying notecard, Charm says, “Each eye is painstakingly crafted as an original artwork using around 30 separate layers to replicate the intricate structure of a real human eye.Â Just like a real eye, it will undergo subtle colour changes depending on what you’re wearing.”Â Each individual design glows with colors drawn from a famous workÂ by its namesake artist.Â The highlights are bright and clear without overwhelming the colors of the iris or looking too location-specific.Â Unusual but still clearly human, impossibly colored but still believable–these are truly beautiful eyes.
Permissions are M C T.Â L$85 a pair.Â Eyes come as a set that includes large, medium and small versions; I’m wearing the large size here.Â You can try demo eyes in the shop.
Available at Bower Bird (Muse 181, 86, 22).Â Don’t be put off by the fact that Charm’s boutique is clearly designed for women–you can shop there, too!Â After all, it’s the male bower bird that builds the beautiful bower to improve his chances.Â There’s no reason you can’t do something similar.
Top image from www.learnaboutwildlife.com.