Has SL Fashion Become Too Homogeneous?

Seven

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With the recent announcements about premium perks and cashout fees I've been thinking a lot about SL, and what I get out if it personally. I just can't shake this feeling that it's gotten extremely homogeneous in terms of what people create. I used to get inspired by other people's creations, and that inspiration fuelled my own creativity. That's just not the case anymore.

When i joined in 2009 I got hooked on two things, building and dressing up my avatar. I've always loved fantasy and sci-fi and my fashion sense used to reflect that. Looking back at pictures of my avatar from 2009 - 2013 I see myself sporting all sorts of unusual looks. I rarely make my avatar look all that unusual these days. I either get bored while searching for something new to wear on the MP or I get discouraged by all the mesh body/applier nonsense.

I think it's partially the fault of how mesh bodies work, and partially the fact that people tend to make much more safe ordinary things in general.

I liked to collect fantasy skins before mesh bodies took over. Those skins would then inspire how I put together my look, after that I would be pumped to create things myself. That little spark of inspiration would fuel my creativity. These days the selection of fantasy skins is much more limited and I keep seeing very similar things being sold over and over again at events.

To be clear, I'm not calling out creators for making "safe" profitable things, I understand the thought process. I mean I go through that exact thought process, I'm guilty of this myself! I spend a lot of time thinking of ideas and sketching concepts for items I want to sell at events. I often settle on ideas that I feel have the most broad appeal, not the ones that I think are the coolest most unusual ones. I want all that time spent making the thing to pay off somehow. Just based on my own experience as a merchant, safe things tend to sell better than more experimental stuff.

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble. What I'm trying to get across is that it looks to me like SL is slowly becoming more and more homogeneous in terms of what people make and wear as time goes on. I'm sitting here wondering why that might be, and I keep coming back to the idea that it's harder to make money in SL so creators tend to play it safe.

And to be clear I'm not complaining about what people choose to wear either. I'm just disappointed that there's less variety in what sort of stuff gets made.

Maybe I'm just in a weird mood, and this is just me being pessimistic (It's been raining for days). So I'm interested in other people's thoughts.



TLDR: I've been in SL for ten years and I'm grumpy about not being able to find a ton of fantasy/sci-fi stuff that used to inspire me to create my own things anymore.
 

Beebo Brink

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Ten years ago, anyone with GIMP or Photoshop could create skins and clothing. Hair was tortured prims and textures. They were demanding skills, but within the range of skills most people could develop with dedicated practice. I wasn't very good at it, but I managed some fun stuff for a niche market and the time investment wasn't exorbitant, so it didn't matter that I only sold a few dozen.

Unfortunately, the learning curve for mesh is much steeper, so the pool of people who can create is much smaller and the time investment of creating is significantly more. So yeah, we've lost a lot of the playfulness of SL. Much as I love the beauty of mesh items that I can now buy, my interest in SL started declining when my own creations fell too far behind the curve. Making stuff kept me engaged; buying stuff was fun in the moment, but ultimately undercut my emotional connection to my inventory.

One of the aspects of Sims 4 that I love is that everyone gets the exact same building tools, which are demanding but intuitive enough to master in a relatively short time. I love making things in Sims 4, even if I'm the only one who ever sees them. That's what I would love to see in a virtual world like SL: really good inworld tools for making things, a return to a creative culture rather than a consumer culture.
 

EmpressOfCommunism

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It seems to be "shrink wrapped latex babygirl clothes" and similar things at all the big events and its just such a tame attempt at sexiness. Pink, heterosexual gender roles turned up to 1000, clothes rendered onto daz figures. It's why I make mostly outrageous stuff. People also blame template mesh colourists but there are well enough textured templates out there that half the people don't know, and half the people don't care. I think this is a purposeful derailment though, because once something I.E Shrink wrapped Latex Babygirl clothes sell really well, people who make most of their business selling that at events and for bloggers will do EVERYTHING to keep it that way. Taking out the small time creators, template folks, applier clothing makers, and anyone with oriignal ideas but not as much mesh skill is a way to do that.

If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of that sort of thing, although people are free to dress as they want ;P
 

Brenda Archer

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I'm completely bored by the current state of SL fashion, for all the reasons already given.
 

Aki

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I buy new clothing maybe 1 or 2 times a month, if that. I'm fine with mesh clothes as much as the next person, but i hate the need to keep up with fashion and other peoples' buying habits. Everyone in clothing goes for such a high degree of verisimilitude to RL fashion (and by extension, geometric complexity), and I find it boring. It's why I started making my own avs.
 

Ellen Cordeaux

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It can be very difficult to find nice-looking, classy clothing in SL. So much of it is hypersexualized.

Hi5's Sean; we've bemoaned this to each other.

It's like a job; hunting out well made clothing for women that is classy, elegant or ya know... just not slutty. There are 7 or 8 popular designers who do it very well. Occasionally I'll get lucky and find a little niche store no one seems to know about yet and I'll squirrel it away. Sadly those don't seem to last long.
 

Noodles

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Also, everything is made so it only works properly at body fat 0, on the slider.

Which is annoying. Go any higher and you often get clipping all over the waist.
 

Ellen Cordeaux

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On the flip side though, the animal avatar creations seem to be enjoying an uptick. I also think the SL pet industry is going to enjoy a refresh due to animesh.
 
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Ellen Cordeaux

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Also, everything is made so it only works properly at body fat 0, on the slider.

Which is annoying. Go any higher and you often get clipping all over the waist.

Well that's not necessarily so, it depends on where you shop. I have a few full figured friends who have some beautiful clothes that look nice on them. *points at Sean.
 
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Anya Ristow

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Also, everything is made so it only works properly at body fat 0, on the slider.

Which is annoying. Go any higher and you often get clipping all over the waist.


When I first got into SL in 2006 everyone was thin and hypersexualized and I was determined my avatar would be fatter than RL me. With the system avatars and prim clothing, it wasn't easy. And I never did get anims that kept my hands out of my hips.

Compared to then, mesh avatars are awesome. And there are even anims for big hips. But the stupid waist is still a problem. The above photo is *not* the hourglass figure. In 2019 the SL avatar still cannot be made fat where women get fat. And the heads don't respond to the fat slider at all. I got nearly what I wanted with a Catwa head and using other sliders, but ugh. If I thought there was still a market in SL I might have to make an avatar from scratch.
 

Ellen Cordeaux

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When I first got into SL in 2006 everyone was thin and hypersexualized and I was determined my avatar would be fatter than RL me. With the system avatars and prim clothing, it wasn't easy. And I never did get anims that kept my hands out of my hips.

Compared to then, mesh avatars are awesome. And there are even anims for big hips. But the stupid waist is still a problem. The above photo is *not* the hourglass figure. In 2019 the SL avatar still cannot be made fat where women get fat. And the heads don't respond to the fat slider at all. I got nearly what I wanted with a Catwa head and using other sliders, but ugh. If I thought there was still a market in SL I might have to make an avatar from scratch.

I def think there is still a market for realistic, full figured female avatars.
 

Sean Gorham

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The Tonic Curvy body is a nice candidate for that niche, but too few designers make clothing for it, and it's already a crowded market.
 

Noodles

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If you want a really full figured mesh avatar look into Piggu June.

I have both Piggu Johnathan and June because I make clothes for both.

The real downside is that there aren't a ton of clothes options for either because it's all custom sized. There is a decent AO I think called VIOR or something like that.

Both are affordable as well.
 

Sean Gorham

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Also, everything is made so it only works properly at body fat 0, on the slider.
Not entirely true, but close enough. My Body Fat and Body Thickness sliders are both set to 50 for my Slink Hourglass body. It works, but I have to check every single thing I want to buy to make sure it doesn't clip badly. (So, no demo, no buy.) It seems a lot of designers don't test their creations at anything other than 0/0 on those sliders. And it's not just the belly that can clip; I've seen clipping on my arms, shoulders, butt, thighs, you name it.

SL fashion is still a tall skinny woman's game and probably always will be.

(ETA: 100 Thickness, 24 Fat on my Maitreya Lara shape. CRAZY TALK. :freakout:)
 

Noodles

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I don't mind clipping on the arms because I can always toggle the alphas.

The waist becomes a problem with pants and tops clipping. They will often fit fine and layer properly at thickness 0, but the pants will clip through the top with any body thickness level.

In general, it's a bigger issue with pants at the waist than anything. Things just often don't line up at a higher body thickness.
 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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I have a question that's kind of sideways-related? Maybe?

It involves clothes for child avatars. It may not be your niche, so I'll explain: there's a very limited number of mesh bodies available; and so far as clothes go, it seems to be the case that each mesh body's creator has also released a set of mesh clothing items designed to be fully compatible with that body (i.e., there's a decent chance one body's clothing will not work perfectly with another body's alphas, or may clip with clothing made for other bodies etc), and they sell or give templates for these clothing items to creators - so it turns out to be the case that like 95% or more of the mesh clothing that's available for any body is nothing but retextures of the same exact garment meshes that every other clothing store is also selling.

Does that also describe the state of mesh clothing for adult bodies, or are those creators actually making new meshes as well at least sometimes?
 

Myficals

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Yes and no.

All the major body brands have dev kits with varying levels of availability. While most of the "Big Name" clothes designers use these dev kits to make their own meshes, there's also a large market of smaller named designers relying on full perm items made by a handful of sellers. Once you get away from the big two or three bodies, probably 90% of what's available falls into this second category.
 

Noodles

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I have a question that's kind of sideways-related? Maybe?

Does that also describe the state of mesh clothing for adult bodies, or are those creators actually making new meshes as well at least sometimes?
So, here is the gist of what I have gotten over the years. Everything I sell, is retextured Full Perm Mesh that someone else has made, I have a lot of different templates, though I have not made things for all of them.

From what you are describing, the body makers tend to make the templates for their respective bodies when it comes to kid avatars (maybe I am reading this wrong).

For adult bodies, there seems to be a lot more I dependant template designers, and a lot of bodies sell kits to make templates. I have never bought a kit like this, but from what I can tell, they are sometimes pricey and come with a strict TOS since it's basically giving a creator access to the base body and mesh rigging, so the template creator can make mesh in Blender or whatever.

In some cases, the mesh clothing for adult.bodies is guesswork by the creator. Someone has genericly figured out say, the rigging for Maitreya, so some creators will use this for making Maitreya compatible clothing.

The templates themselves vary in quality and cost. Generally speaking, the more pricey a template, the better it is and more closely it matches or the more detail there is.

I have a lot of super cheap stuff from Flecha Creations, bit it was often too cheap looking and I never used it. I have some mid tier stuff from Meli Imako, but lately I have steered away from them because I hear a lot of complaints that the owners can randomly go crazy on people. I have a few pricier templates but those tend to be more specialized, like the stuff I have used for the Nyrmyth Aethetic body.

One common thread. Often templates for female bodies will be most of the major female mesh bodies. Most of the men's templates are just basic rigged and fitmesh, or, separately sold as a specific body (ex, Aesthetic).

They probably use separate store fronts, but I rarely see a full perm creator selling stuff created using their own templates (without full perms). They either make clothes, or make templates.

I also don't really notice template patterns on other avatars, though I have shopped around enough that I have seen a TON of different templates. A lot of the clothes probably are templates, but it's not obviously so.

Occasionally for big bucks (usually 2000+L$) you can buy an exclusive or limited template, that only you get to use. Sometimes, usually for much more, you get a .DAE file of the template.

I don't know if that answers your question at all
 

Ellen Cordeaux

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If you want a really full figured mesh avatar look into Piggu June. I have both Piggu Johnathan and June because I make clothes for both.
The real downside is that there aren't a ton of clothes options for either because it's all custom sized. There is a decent AO I think called VIOR or something like that.Both are affordable as well.
The Piggu's are cute, I have a Jonathan I used for a 'alt' costume party. But they don't serve the folks looking for a 'pretty' full figured lady. Ya know, us Barbies. :p We want the hairs and makeup and shiny stuff.
 
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