A Tale of Two Fashion Websites


Some people have a lifelong struggle with eating disorders… others have a lifelong struggle with blogging disorders! 😛

I try really hard… kinda hard?… to never blog about Free Culture or Fashion… but I fail a lot. I try not to blog about Free Culture because I feel like, well, as the saying goes, “My Dogma ran over your Karma” – I just feel like I bore peeps to tears with my proselytizing. So I’m trying to shut up about it, and just live a free culture life and let peeps draw from that what they will. With fashion it’s not that I think I’m boring, even if I am! O_o  It’s just that SO many peeps work their butts off to produce killer blawgs on the fashion of Virtual Worlds, that I don’t really think we need occasional chiming in from me. So, no blawgs on Free Culture or Fashion. We only talk about Art & Identity here. Well, except for all the occasions when poor Vaneeesa stumbles on her virtuous path.

Like now.

But this is a little different. It’s not really “Metaverse Fashion” proper… it’s more a Tale of Two Fashion Websites. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, fashion websites are popping up like mad these days. In fact, in a crack-up lecture I heard John Chory talk about all the fashion start-ups he’s landing millions for… even as he buys his shirts at Wal-Mart!

I’ve been playing with Looklet.com for about a year now, and Google just launched Boutiques.com which I played with yesterday.

Love Looklet!

Hate Boutiques!


Why so much love and hate? Well, Trill tells me it’s hormones, but I think she’s delirious from all the random chemicals she ingests licking the floor of the boy’s room, so I don’t really pay much in the way of attention to her. Except, of course, when she sends Miso to rough me up. Miso is scawii! She gives you “Chinese Burns!” And she’s always threatening to give me a Germs Burn. I wish Miso would just torture prims and leave me alone!

Anyway, I love Looklet because it’s an engaging, interactive environment; I hate Boutiques because there’s no “there” there. Looklet is fun. Boutiques is boring. With Looklet you get to “design a look” (dress up your avatar! 🙂 With Boutiques you get to answer an endless stream of boring questions so they can put random shit on your ugly page.

Looklet - yay! - fun, interactive design FTW!
Boutiques - boo! - tedious questions that don't do anything, WTF?

With Looklet you really get the sense that the point of the site is for you to play, explore, create, have fun… and who knows… maybe you’ll even acquire one of the garments you played with at some point…

With Boutiques you really get the sense that the point of the site is for you to spend money, a lot of money. The site seems designed to put a lot of shopping in your face… and who knows… if you spend enough money… at some point you might even have fun…

At least for me, the soft sell of Looklet is really engaging, and the hard sell of Boutiques is really insulting. And boring. Did I mention boring?

I wonder if my 3D Virtual World preference for “builder worlds” like Reaction Grid or Blue Mars over “gaming worlds” is part of why I like the “creativity” / “dress up” of Looklet? Oh, BTW, we used Looklet to create the wardrobe for VB06! 🙂

VB06 Previz: http://vaneeesa.com/2009/06/04/vb-previz-1-golden-red/

And then we wound up holding an in-world design contest to create a virtual scarf inspired by the Missoni scarf we found on Looklet: http://vaneeesa.com/2009/06/18/vb06-design-contest/

Our Missoni scarf inspiration from Looklet
and Leo and I giving Boofy the big check for her winning design. Behind us is the cast of VB06 all wearing Boofy's scarf

Boofy Halfpint eventually won the contest, SaintLEOlions Zimer and I presented her with a “big” L$3000 check, and the entire cast of VB06 performed at the St. Leo University Reziversary celebration wearing Boofy’s Looklet inspired, Missoni inspired scarf: http://vaneeesa.com/2009/07/12/vb06-performance-document/

I can’t imagine that happening with Boutiques.com. KK – enuf bashing already. For me, letting you play is a great way to go… soft sell… and it hopefully does work out for them in the long run.

My Collection on Looklet: http://looklet.com/user/25068

My Boutique on Boutiques.com: http://www.boutiques.com/lunr?storefront=&boutique_id=28669

I wish both places would let us use names in our URLs – even Facebook lets you do that these days – and I wish Looklet would fix their login, it rejects my direct login lately, I can only get to my account if I login thru Facebook.

— VB

Looklet pal "The Fashion Goth"
Boutiques star Karla of Karla's Closet
As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

3 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Fashion Websites

  1. “Blogging disorders”… LOL!

    And metaversely speaking, I believe the some important parts of the future of fashion is happening in SL right now… Even though most of the thousands of SL-fashion blogs don’t reflect this very well or actually probably very badly. (Please give me a link of the most future-aware virtual-fashion blog?!)

    Avatars are becoming more realistic by the day (and will probably be like a lively 3D ‘mirror’ in SL’s successor), people let their avatar-fashion influence their fleshtar-fashion and digital fashion can be transfered into fabric’s more and more easy…(SL as a 3D social-shopping site for molucular fashion they can send you and 3D home printers in the future…)

  2. Yes, the art/tech FL stuff like ARS Electronica & Siggraph do cool stuff with “cyber-fashion” – but IDK if there’s too much in our world. That’d be exciting. Of course, Miyaki did the POC (as in FL “Piece of Cloth”, not SL “Powers of Creation” ha ha) some time ago already…

    But I like your vision of virtual/physical fashion being more interchangeable and mutable. Very interesting. Who’s working on this? Should be blogging about THEM! 🙂

    And… I’d love if Looklet had SL clothes! It’d be great to try stuff on that easily… rather than waiting 10 minutes for a crappy demo to load! 🙂

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