House of Blade Mall

Many top designers in one location.
SLBGinko shop anim bonsai jewel particle eye skin pose furn Armor shoe hair bdsmadult Japanese garden sword kimono Samurai
Fashion Reporters:
Kaiti Jensen (Tuesday's)
Bee Debs (Thrusday's)
Tori HEart (Friday's)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Snowflake Skins- Anime Inspired Skins

Whether or not you are a fan of anime, don’t think you’ve already figured out this store based on its name alone. While there are bona fide female anime and fantasy skins here, such as Drow, Ninja and Battle Angel, you will find that you won’t necessarily step out looking like Doc Ido is your personal stylist. These skins, as advertised, are anime-inspired, a concept sure to please those who are looking for a complete overhaul or might just want to enhance their look a little bit.

One of two Drow skins

What first draws your attention is how well-displayed everything is at the store: the different skin types are presented on large signs alongside any make-up variations. The Drows, Devil, and Geisha skins do not have any variations and come at the price of 900 linden. Although these skins are well made, they will probably appeal mostly to those into role-playing, especially because in order to achieve the complete look, you may have to purchase certain hair, eyes, etc. Try the demos, which are free and available in all skins and make-up, to get a sense of how they look. My favorite of the single make-up skins was the Devil, which despite the strong red color did not make me look splotchy, like a German tourist on vacation at a Brazilian beach, or opaque, like a madly-blushing debutante having lunch with a foul-mouthed trucker: Snowflake Chaika’s skins have very nice tone and coloring.

I just might have to splurge for this Devil skin.

The best values here are the skins with multiple make-up choices. You can purchase one look for 800 lindens, or get a total of 10 different looks by purchasing the entire pack of skins for 2000 lindens. There is just enough variation, with looks ranging from glowing complexions complemented by soft pink lip gloss, under-the-eye-stripes on Battle Angel, the familiar pallor of Goth, to the masked Ninja, making the purchase worthwhile. Available in different skin tones, such as dark, pale, and Asian, you’ll find the make-up is tasteful and well done despite the skins’ not being modifiable. Again, try the demos for a solid idea.

Super sweet...

...or stealthy ninja chick? You decide, with the complete skin packs.

If I had to point out something I’d improve, I would merely suggest that Snowflake Chaika give her customers some direction as to where to go to purchase additional accessories. This isn’t something I’d suggest just to her either, but to designers in general: often, when purchasing skins, the customer ends up going for an advertised look that the designer painstakingly put together to convey a certain mood and vibe. It can be frustrating when a customer gets that skin and then realizes there is little resemblance to the model on the sign because of differences in shape, etc. I had that feeling when I tried on the Geisha skin; while it looked very flattering on me, it hardly had the flair presented on the poster, with that dramatic hairdo. The consumer in me wanted the entire look: where can I get it? I want to look like that. Savvier SL shoppers probably know immediately where to go, but a note indicating landmarks for accessories would help. To her credit, though, Snowflake Chaika makes three different shapes available for purchase (at 500 linden each): Teen, Curvy, and Original differ in height and voluptuousness and make getting closer to the advertised ideal possible.

All in all, Snowflake Skins makes original, attractive, and quality skins accessible at prices that aren’t prohibitive. Whether you camp, play ‘Sploder Ball, or work arduously to earn your pixelated daily bread, your money won’t go to waste here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New at House of Blade Mall: Tenchu

Click to Teleport to Tenchu!

As most of you already know, the House of Blade Mall has undergone many changes over the past few months. Since things have been moved around, you might discover some of the interesting new designers who have taken up shop here as you explore the mall for old favorites.

Anyone who has spent any amount of time at Samurai Island has, at some point, run into JilQun Tantalus (or into Cody Tripsa in drag, but that’s another entry altogether). This laid-back RL Californian artist has recently decided to try his hand at designing his own line of classical Japanese-themed clothes under the brand name “Tenchu.” Although Tenchu is still new and there’s only a small number of items currently available, JilQun has been adding more and more colors and patterns to the designs already in display. What is striking about his work is the amount of detail. His clothes have depth; the sheers shimmer, the silks drape, and the wraps overlap perfectly over each other. The colors are rich and the patterns flow seamlessly. As someone who is dedicated to practicing martial arts in RL, he has taken care to portray his creations as accurately as possible. Except for one outfit, the Shabby Ronin, all of JilQun’s clothes are unisex, something that male samurai should welcome, given the limited availability of traditional Japanese clothing for men in general.

Nothing shabby about this ronin outfit.

His creations are reasonably priced and fit a range of different body types, as illustrated on the signs at the shop (one linden to the first person to name the female model on the sign- one only because she’s THAT recognizable).

One size does fit all!

In addition to the beautiful outfits, fashionistas can select from different hats. There are rumors about some geta being offered as freebies soon (they’ll come with built-in foot massagers!...OK, I totally made that up).

Last, but not least, JilQun is very approachable; should you have problems fitting anything, or need additional assistance (or just want advice on life or a guitar serenade on SL Voice) JilQun will do his best to help you out.

You can get "The Basics" and "Sheer Silk Kimono" for a very reasonable price. Me? Priceless!...