One size fits all?

alphaThis is going to be one of my rare fashion posts – and, I’m sorry to say, it’s a rant, which is probably one very good reason that I should stay away from blogging about the SL rag trade, since many of the things I do have to say about it can be quite negative.

That’s not to say that I’m not wholly supportive of those in SL who toil on our behalf to give us lovely things to wear – I think that on the whole they do a great job, and having applied my own best endeavours on several occasions to manufacture my own clothing – the sum total of which has been some rather uninspiring t-shirts – I’m full of admiration for those who manage to come up with things that I not only want to wear, but I’m also willing to spend my hard won lindens on.

I particularly admire designers who have embraced mesh – heaven knows how difficult it is to construct even a simple building using this arcane art, but to design and create from scratch an item of rigged mesh clothing that looks realistic and comes in six different sizes, ten different colours and is still a reasonable price takes patience and skills of a kind that I can’t ever imagine possessing myself.

Which makes the subject matter of this particular rant all the more difficult to comprehend… And it is simply this: Why would anyone spend hours planning, designing, creating, rigging, texturing, packaging and marketing something that looks awesome and is practically begging me to spend my money on it, only to to leave me disappointed, frustrated and angry with the finished product simply because it’s packaged with a crappy, ugly and badly matched alpha layer that completely ruins the end look?

How many times have you slipped into a brand new mesh outfit, only to find your armpits are missing, your boobs poke out where they shouldn’t, and there’s a gap between where your skirt ends and your legs begin? It’s almost as if the designer has just thrown in any old alpha they had knocking about in their inventory with no thought about whether it’ll actually be fit for purpose.

alpha_001Before you give me a slap and a lecture on how it’s just not possible to cater for every possible body type and shape, I’m perfectly aware of the difficulties that such things pose… But surely, if a designer can make clothes that otherwise fit perfectly, it can’t be all that tricky to knock up an alpha to match? Instead, I’m regularly faced with dodgy looking transparent bits, with ragged edges, weird shapes, and bearing little resemblance to the clothing they’re supposed to be matched with.

Ultimately, a poor alpha layer is the difference for me between an item of clothing that I’ll wear and enjoy, and one that’ll end up in the trash after trying on the demo. Occasionally, for something really special, I might make up my own alpha to suit, but it isn’t something I want to be doing when I’ve already shelled out for an item.

I really don’t understand the logic behind not going that extra mile in order to keep customers happy – it’s akin to building a house with doors that don’t open! And it does impact on how people perceive a brand… There are stores that I no longer bother with, simply because I know that even though the clothing is lovely, the alphas are awful.

I just don’t get it!

s. x

Fashion! Turn to the left
Fashion! Turn to the right
Oooh, fashion!
David Bowie – Fashion

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2 Responses to One size fits all?

  1. Paypabak Writer says:

    I do hope you’re checking out demos before buying because that lets you see how well the alpha works. It’s not easy to walk away from an outfit that really appeals to you but for one reason or another the alpha doesn’t do its job for your particular shape, you have to. One of the benefits of the mesh shapes is you have some control over the way alphas work. Along with designers following this lead and making their things compatible with the main mesh shapes is closing the quality assurance gap you are describing.

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