From the Runway to the Box Office

by Alphaville Herald on 09/05/06 at 1:04 pm

by Emerie Mauriac

Designer Adri Saarinen

Adri Saarinen is a new fashion designer that shows much promise. I had come across her new store in Suisun a couple of weeks ago, and picked out a few choice pieces for myself. I asked her to sit down with me to chat about her new biz, an upcoming fashion show, and her involvement in the Foundation for Rich Content. I showed up a little tardy, but Adri was cool…….

Emerie: So Adri, thanks for sitting down with me today to chat about your new biz.
It’s exciting to meet you and be able to chat with you about your work here in SL.

Adri: Oh, thank you. I’m really just starting out.

Emerie: I see that you’ve been in game since only Feb, huh?

Adri: That’s correct. I almost didn’t stick around! For the first week or so, I felt like the club scene was all that there was, and it really doesn’t interest me very much. Then my SO, who started at about the same time, discovered LSL and got really into it. His enthusiasm brought me back into the world and inspired me to try content creation of my own. Through the technical aspects, along with some of the social implications, of SL caused me to investigate in the first place, I decided to try clothing design because I really enjoy being creative. I do tech work for a living, so this is a nice creative outlet.

Emerie: Can I ask what kind of tech work?

Adri: I’m an IT Specialist for an international sales company. I do a lot of everything, really, but the CEO introduced me to a national vendor rep today as, “our code sorceress”. So I’m doing a lot of hacking around in code at work these days.

Emerie: Gotcha, so this type of SL work is really different from what you do in RL?

Adri: Yes, it really is. While I incorporate some graphic design skills into my job, and have used Photoshop, mostly I do the ‘very techie’ stuff there. Linux system administration duties, hardware, networking stuff, programming, that sort of thing.

Emerie: Well, I must say that when I came over the other day to peek at your designs, I was dully impressed. You have a good eye for texture and design.

Adri: Thank you. I just got a graphics tablet yesterday, so I hope my detail work will improve in the future.

Emerie: So tell me about your inspiration with the things you have available today, and then what do you think you’ll attempt?

Adri: A lot of the stuff currently in my sales inventory is fairly heavily photo referenced. That’s how you learn, I suppose, how wrinkles are constructed, and what buttons look like as groups of pixels. None of it is exactly like the photos I used as sources, I changed shapes, colors, details here and there, but there are definitely photos out there that will remind people of what I have here. Eventually this top floor will be a custom work gallery.

Emerie: You will expand into that as well?

Adri: Oh, I do a fair amount of custom work already. Small builds, clothing, some logos. I hope that in the future a lot of my work will reflect more of the sketches I have scattered over my desk and less of pictures I found browsing catalogs. Like I said, I just got a graphics tablet yesterday, and have started working on my first fully hand-painted design, which I’m very excited about.

Emerie: Can you give us a hint?.

Adri: It’s a casual spring dress with a prim skirt. I’m not quite ready to demo it yet, but soon. Hopefully for next week, though I have a pretty heavy custom work
load, and a fashion show coming up. Maybe you can see it there. May 7th, at 1pm at the Belle’s and Brat’s Mall. I’ll be showing seven full outfits, some of which will come from my sales inventory, and some of which will debut at the show.

Emerie: Good timing then for this interview. I wonder, what inspired you to offer maternity options?

Adri: Mostly, I’m offering shirts as ‘maternity’ shirts because I discovered through a friend that the longer shirts cover the maternity shapes well and flatter the figure regardless of stomach size. So I didn’t set out to create maternity tops so much as some of my shirts look good on maternity shapes, so I advertise that. From women I’ve talked to, it seems difficult to find maternity clothing that’s both flattering to the figure and stylish, (which isn’t to say that other designers aren’t making great maternity outfits, just that there isn’t a large selection out there right now). I have two formal pantsuits that adapt well to maternity shapes, and those have sold very well to pregnant avis looking for clothing for special events. Of course, all of my ads are modeled by me. Oops. :)

Emerie: Will you also branch out in to men’s wear eventually?

Adri: I will. Probably sooner than later if my SO has anything to say about it. :)

Emerie: You said your SO is in game too. Do you socialize?

Adri: Well, I don’t go to clubs. I’m active in the FFRC, and I occasionally attend meetings of the Ethics Group and the Pagan discussion night. My SO and I do attend events together, but neither of us makes a show of our relationship. My SO’s making somewhat of a name for himself here, too, and I think its better that we stay fairly separate in that, though I do builds for his scripts when the client doesn’t have anything. I’d rather not ride his coattails, and vice versa.

Emerie: Ok, let’s talk about the FFRC. How did you get involved with the FFRC?

Adri: That actually did happen through my SO. He entered the FFRC box office scripting contest. I did the build for that, so attended the presentation of the entries. I liked what I was hearing about the FFRC’s mission, and I stuck around for a meeting. Now we’re both active in the organization. Well, for Peter’s, which then won the contest, and is now distributed freely by the FFRC. I’m sure with the end of dwell; you’ll start to see it popping up.

Emerie: Can you explain your concept?

Adri: The box office can work in a build as small as one prim, so it’s likely that it will grow away from my build quickly as people adapt it to their own themes. Well, as I’m sure you know, dwell and DI are going away completely by mid June, so people will no longer get paid just for having people on their land. This will make running events more expensive. In anticipation of that, the FFRC created the box office competition, to create a script that would allow event owners and hosts to charge admission for different events. There were four great entries for the contest, which had a prize of 90,000L in donations. After a really grueling evaluation and what I understand was a very difficult decision, a box office was chosen. It’s now being freely distributed under the Creative Commons license. I actually attended what was, as far as we know, the first actual use of it on Sunday. Glossy Page hosted a basic hair making seminar with a 100L entry cost. It was very well attended. I believe the box office reported 20 attendees, 19 of which paid the full price and one of which paid the halfway-through-the-event reduced ticket price.

Emerie: Great way to help residents continue to promote their establishments… sort of like helping people “bootstrap” their own businesses.

Adri: We hope that with the box office, people will continue to be able to provide interesting and exciting events for the SL community without having too much of a drain on their pocketbooks. Of course, that’s the whole purpose of the FFRC.


Adri: The FFRC supports events and permanent locations. We’ve just voted to support two museums (one a spaceflight museum which sounds incredible, which will be opening on its own island soon), a Gay Pride event, and of course had a major sponsorship role in the SL City Stages concert. Along with the City Stages Festival in Birmingham, AL, Coca-cola, which sponsors the RL City Stages, and Slim Warrior, who donated the use of her sim and also performed. I’m actually about to head up a big PR push for the FFRC, so hopefully more people will realize that it’s a great resource available to take advantage of. It also has land available for events, and is willing to provide PR and marketing services.

One Response to “From the Runway to the Box Office”

  1. Second Style Fashionista

    May 9th, 2006

    Interview with Adri Saarinen at SL Herald

    Emerie Mauriac writing at the Second Life Herald posted an interview with designer Adri Saarinen. In the interview, Emerie asks Adri about how she came to be in Second Life, her role with the Foundation for Rich Content, and her

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