Men’s Fashion – Gaslight’s Emporium

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In the constant press of all that we must do, even in our virtual lives, I find to my great regret that ofttimes things avoid our notice. For example, I have spent far less time exploring the intriguingly shadowy alleyways of New Babbage then I should, and therefore have failed to discover several interesting fashion venues though they are right under my virtual nose.

A case in point to illustrate this troubling phenomenon is Gaslight’s Emporium. Gaslight’s Emporium is a showcase for the designs and creations of Vincente Shepherd, located in Babbage Square. Mr. Shepherd has an impressive array of menswear on display for a new designer and his work should not have avoided my review for so long.

The shop created by Mr. Shepherd is spacious and bright if a bit on the spartan side, and quite conveniently boasts an airship dealership on it’s upper floors. In addition to clothing, various interesting geegaws are also on display. Looking at his assembled vendors however, it is clear that as a designer he is mainly pursuing variations on a treasured and much valued theme, namely the typical Victorian suit.

In the illustration above, I model various combinations of Mr. Shepherd’s “Evening” suit, his “Greatcoat” and his brocade vests. I found that all were clearly from a unified line, which is always an important aspect for a new designer to perfect. Beyond that, I found my satisfaction varied wildly from piece to piece. In fact, often I found that I enjoyed parts of a garment very much, while being discouraged by other parts of the same suit.

A perfect example can be found in the way that Mr. Shepherd works with prims to create the lower portion of jackets and his ties.

He has made an apparent design choice to only make flexiprim “skirts” to complete his jackets, rather then create the tails on the skirt level of the standard mesh. While this may have certain advantages, it also has massive shortcomings, especially for a new designer. One of those shortcomings is displayed in his Evening Suit (first picture from the left), in which the prim skirt attachment matches the upper jacket’s texture quite well, but due to the shape of the prim gives a highly feminine “tutu” effect, with the jacket flaring out sharply at the waist. In my opinion, this makes the suit unwearable save as a short coat. This is a shame, since the detail work on the lapels and waistcoat are quite well done, with rich texturing and a clear, dramatic use of black on black shadowing. I would like to have seen both a prim and standard skirt included, as many designers have been doing of late.

The prim skirt of the Greatcoat suffered from a similar tutu-like fate, made all the more noticeable by the fact that tends to sit only on the waist but also a totally different shade of black than the upper jacket (as can be seen in the fourth picture from the left). Certainly there are some who will say that the strange color and ill fit can be rectified by modifying the prim, but when I have paid someone for a garment, I do not expect it to be in need of “fixing up” before it can be worn. Slight repositioning perhaps, as all Avatars are different, but RECOLORING top ensure all the elements match? That Sir goes to far. Perfect the shades before attempting to sell the garment.

The need for careful adjustment is where Gaslight’s prim tie also fell down in my estimation. While the effect of having it seem to tuck into the waistcoat is pleasing, it is quite hard to achieve, requiring a lot of positioning and if you have an AO that tends to move while standing, the tie often seems to drive itself into either your throat or your chest. I tend to avoid such blood thirsty accessories as a rule.

I fear I also must take exception to the trousers which were included with the Evening Suit. While serviceable, the texture was quite curious, and as you can see in the illustrations above the shadows do not seem to correspond to the body, giving the trousers a strange effect, as if I had slept badly in them. Such a perception is usually best avoiding in the better social circles.

There are numerous positive elements of the menswear at Gaslight’s Emporium as well, lest you feel I am being overly critical of Mr. Shepherd’s hard work. I took especial pleasure in the excellent and beautifully designed and finished waistcoats. It is quite clear Mr. Shepherd pays careful and clever attention to details, as on all garments the lapels and buttons were first rate. His textures are rich and well chosen, and he has a good eye for fabric patterns that are striking but not garish. All of these are talents which will serve him well in his continuing career.

I was also gratified to note that he had placed the shirt and the waistcoat on two separate levels, allowing greater versatility for the suit.

All in all, I found many elements of the menswear line at Gaslight’s Emporium to be refreshing and commendable. Without doubt, the Victorian Sims can always use another designer specializing in designs for gentlemen. Mr. Shepherd is certainly a designer to watch. With time and experience I have no doubt he will overcome those few elements I saw as shortcomings and turn out ever more finished and professional work.

Find the Emporium at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Babbage%20Square/88/14/26.

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3 Comments

  1. Herr Baron,

    I was fortunate enough to come across Herr Shepherd’s establishment some time ago (he may be helping to bring Europan styles to these lands in the future), and purchased his greatcoat. His excellent customer service extended to producing the coat in a custom colour for me, which expanded his inventory at the same time, and a custom fitting. That coat has become one of my favoured garments.

    Afterward the fitting, he enthusiastically showed me some of the clever airships he has created, including an amphibious craft I might have to purchase for travelling about the Firth.

    If I had any idea you had not seen his work previously, I surely would have brought Herr Shepherd to your attention earlier. I feel quite fortunate to have found his shop.

    Yrs.,

    Klaus Wulfenbach

  2. I am very pleased to hear that Mr. Shepherd’s customer support is so exemplary. That to me is always an indication of a vendor who is here to stay and has a real interest in improving.

    Thank you for your observations and my congratulations to Mr. Shepherd for pleasing such an august customer.

  3. I must thank you sir for your kind and frank assessment of my endeavours. Critique and suggestions for improvements are a gratefully received commodity! It is only regretable that I had not heard this feedback previously, or I would have striven to right the wrongs and redouble my efforts earlier!

    I have just recently expanded my operations to Port Babbage where I occupy a more obvious waterfront location – I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to ask your guidance on a few matters if you find yourself available.

    Yours in faith,

    Vincente Shepherd esq.


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