Earlier this year I was invited to give a presentation at The Fantasy Angels (TFA) Press Conference on the topic of the Angels Bombshell Factor. I have been intending like forever to share my presentation, and now's the time!
Since giving this presentation, TFA has changed hands, and I'd like to wish the new owner, Angels Kristan, owner and CEO of Virtual Diva Couture, every success with the future of this unique organisation in SL.
Scroll down to read the whole presentation - and apologies for the length of this post - I hope you enjoy reading :)
Here's what I said at the Press Conference:
Thank you so much Tyra and Esme - it's a real honor and pleasure for me to be here in this wonderful venue, alongside such esteemed colleagues, and to see such a glamorous audience with us tonight!
I have a confession to make. When Tyra invited me to be here tonight, I was flattered but also a bit nervous - and even more so when she gave me my brief! Especially when she told me I would be typing my presentation. I usually just make some notes and talk (in voice) so I can kind of "go with the flow" - typing this in advance is scarier for me for some reason! So please bear with me :)
Tyra asked me to talk a little bit about my experience of being a Fantasy Angel, before I go on to talk about the Angel's WOW Factor, and it got me reminiscing and thinking about what it is, for me, that makes TFA special.
I was one of the original members of TFA, and I've had the honor of being involved with many of the events and projects since the spectacular "The Angels Came Down to Finesmith with Glitter" (and wings) show on Valentines Day 2014 - an amazing event which set the tone for the glamor, excitement and fun that has been the signature of The Fantasy Angels ever since.
From the very beginning, TFA has been a celebration of femininity, sensuality and glamor in Second Life. Some of the most beautiful and accomplished models working together to create magic - it's all about the fantasy!
I have loved donning my wings and walking in the live shows. I loved walking with the Miss Virtual World contestants last December, because it took me back to my own MVW journey back in 2013, I could remember so clearly the nerves and excitement of that pageant, but I could also reflect on how far I am now from that experience - it was an exercise in perspective!
For the Fantasy Angels show in 2015 I had the honor of not only walking in the show, but of sponsoring it as a designer for Ghee, so I got to wear one of my own designs on the runway, and see others worn by such icons as Ghee Girl 2015 Astralia and Super Angel Sylphia Constatine - truly amazing!
TFA came from the vision of Tyra Eiren and one of the many things that makes it special is that Tyra is focussed and true to her original vision - TFA is not an agency, it doesn't try to be all things to all people. It's all about the models and creating something inspiring, creative and beautiful for us to be part of. I have no idea if Tyra anticipated that there would be so much interest in TFA when she founded it - but the fact that about 80 hopefuls entered the 2016 casting is proof enough for me that TFA is a total success! I can't wait to see what's next for the Angels :)
And now let's move on to my main topic "The Angel's Bombshell Factor" How to create the WOW factor and be a BOMBSHELL"
So, truth be told, this is a BIG topic, and also very hard to define! We know it when we see it, but it's so hard to put into words. And that's maybe because "it" is as much about feelings and emotions as it is about specific "things" - it's like music or visual art - we can analyze it technically, but somehow that will never truly explain why we react the way we do to a beautiful painting or symphony - and even if we can analyse it, it doesn't necessarily mean we can replicate it.
So, what IS the WOW factor? It's that intake of breath when we see something that surprises and delights us. Author Tim Lautzenheiser (writing about musical performance) describes it as "A banquet of different flavors that stimultates the listeners emotions." And according to The Urban Dictionary a bombshell is "An outrageously and exotically attractive female. A girl whom you may make you tingle and look back twice...In other words, a goddess."
So what I hope to do tonight, is share some of my thoughts about what makes for the the WOW factor for a Fantasy Angel or indeed any model in SL - the kinds of things we need to think about to express our inner BOMBSHELL when we are styling, whether for a show, or print, or even our own blogs or Flickr streams. I don't claim to be the font of all knowledge on this - styling is a very personal and subjective thing, but I hope what I say will be helpful (or at least interesting!).
One of the most crucial things for creating your own wow factor is the ability to be "yourself" to project your personality through your styling - Angels are real, genuine and unique - so it's not about being a cookie cutter, it's about putting your own original stamp on your look - so YOU wear the wings, the wings don't wear you!
I think the only way to achieve this is through practice and experimentation - trying different things out until you find what works for you, and looking and learning from others. Look around the room. Who catches your eye? What it is about their look that makes them stand out and makes you want to see more of them? But don't just copy it! Think about how you can apply some of what the people who inspire you into your own styling.
Chances are, it's a whole mix of things that makes some models stand out from the crowd. It's not so much specific elements, as how the whole works together. The bombshell knows how to combine every element of her look perfectly to create a cohesive and beautiful whole.
By the elements I mean the shapes, proportions, colors, textures, hair, makeup, footwear and accessories - the bombshell gets every detail just "right".
A Fantasy Angel also has a strong and clear "theme" or idea for her styling - is she a sweet candyland angel, or a regal royal? An ice queen or a gilded goddess? The best looks are the ones that tell us straight off what the Angel is trying to evoke.
Think about the winner of the last live audition in The Fantasy Angels 2016 casting - Jonelle - who's right behind me on a pedestal! Jonelle created a stunning look that evoked a classic movie goddess of the silver screen using movie reels for wings and carrying an Oscar - it's original, creative, memorable and glamorous - every detail works. You can see more of the amazing creativity by all the Angels here tonight. So follow their lead, and start with an IDEA that you want to communicate.
Once you have your idea, and start putting your look together, think first about the "big picture" the shapes and proportions of the look you are creating. Silhouettes are very important in fashion - think about how fashion has changed through the ages - from the super curves of the 1950's to the waif of the 1960's. Wearing wings will, of course, dictate the silhouette to a large extent - but we Angels know that there are a lot of ways to wear those wings!
Choosing the right colors to wear for your coloring is also important. I have made my platinum blonde hair and blue/green eyes one of my trademarks, and I usually go for very fair skin too - although I took to the sunbed for tonight because I like how the pink I'm wearing looks with a light tan!
There are "rules" about what colors suit what complexions, and many model schools teach about the "Seasons" and this can be useful - check this website for example: http://www.colormebeautiful.com/seasons/ (maybe just bookmark it now and take a proper look later).
But I would advise you not to slavishly follow the rules, and take some risks with color. As a "summer" I am supposed to look great in pastels (and I do wear them a lot) but I can also rock red, black and strong saturated colors if they are the right tones.
So think about how you use color in your styling, and make sure the colors you wear suit you, and also work well together - another useful resource for color combining is https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/ - where you can see different ways of combining colors from contrasting to complimentary or tonal.
Always remember It's the SHAPE and COLORS that people will see first when you enter the runway or the room. These create the first impression. If you look amazing from a distance, people will want to look more closely.
Angels know how to cam round themselves and look from all angles! The camera is your friend. Get into the habit of zooming out and all around your avatar - make sure you look good from the side and back as well as the front - you want all eyes on you - but you can't make them look from just one direction :)
Of course, once you have the overall shape, colors and textures together for your look, it's time to choose hair, makeup and accessories. And, as we all know, these can make or break a look! I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail on this - but just a few key pointers.
Accessories tend to draw the eye - so choose where you wear them according to how you want people to view you and your outfit. A stunning headpiece will draw the eye to your head...heavy bangles down your body....so think about how you want the eyes of the audience to travel over you when you choose your accessories.
An Angel knows that the right shoes are vital! Marilyn Monroe said "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world." An amazing outfit can be rendered dull and dowdy with the wrong shoes, and it can be taken to the stratosphere with the right ones! If you're investing in anything for your modeling wardrobe, make it shoes!
Less is more with accessories. Don't feel you have to cover every available limb or lobe with bling! And don't feel you have to wear all the parts of a matching set. Match your metals but don't feel you have to stick to matched jewelry sets, mixing it up a bit can be more interesting.
Angels are creative with accessories. Resized earrings can make great brooches or headpieces, and will bring an original touch to your look. I resized ear cuffs into wings for one show - and they went down a storm!
Once you have your outfit together, LOOK and LOOK again! Zoom, right in, cam around, zoom out again...does it look good to you? OK, Does it look GREAT? Even better! Now get a trusted friend, one who will give HONEST feedback, and ask them to look. Remember you are aiming for "WOW". Keep working until you get it!
I hope this presentation has given you some inspiration to try to channel YOUR inner bombshell! To conclude, I'd like to encourage all the budding Angels out there to practice, practice and practice some more (remember that none of the Fantasy Angels really fell from the heavens fully formed - we all had to learn), be BOLD, be BRAVE, take RISKS, be CREATIVE and most important of all, BE TRUE TO YOU!