Nyla’s Russian Ballerina

When I started up here in Second Life, one of the first books I read was Brian White’s guide — an in-depth coverage of almost every aspect of life on the Grid from first rezz-up to the real-life intricacies of Grid partnerships/marriages. Brian’s in-world identity is as Ansel Gasparini, and he maintains a “training park” for readers of the book on his land.

The book’s cover is colorful and eye-catching. And one thing that caught my eye right off was the shot of a sloe-eyed woman in a strapless blue-purple cocktail dress with evening gloves, and a matching cloche cap. The look of the model was sophisticated and flirty, and I hoped that I could dress similarly to that when I got myself established.

A few weeks ago, I was going back through Ansel’s book, and drifted into the Introduction. Most SL book intros are fairly stock — fantastic virtual world, you can do this and that, etc. — so that I had never read Ansel’s introduction. But something caught my eye this time…and I discovered that my dress of desire’s designer was credited!

Do the words, “Let’s roll, Kato!” mean anything here?

The House of Nyla (pronounced “nee-lah,” incidentally), run by Nyla Cheeky, is not your typical SL clothier. It’s a virtual extension of a real-world couturiére living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has a Web site for that work, but it also talks about the dresses she duplicates for Second Life, including the one I’m in love with. And, when I materialized on the island of Starax and did some hunting, there it was in all its bluish-purple and silver splendor.  In the Real World, the gown is called Harajuku on Nyla’s site; here in world, I believe it’s referred to as Russian Ballerina.

The gown and cloche hat, as it turns out, are separates — and be prepared for sim shock; to get the hand-beaded look of the RL original, Nyla uses some 240 tinyprims in the cap, if I have my information straight!  These aren’t flexiprims that would have to be motion-simulated. But, if you’re paranoid about your prim count, give it some thought.  You get a choice of sizes, by the way, in the package, which comes in handy for the fitting (see below).

Another thing you’ll need to consider: the price. The two packages, dress and cloche, cost £1,500 — each. I did some saving before my splurge — and then bought a new hairstyle to fit under that tight cloche cap, because none of the ETD hair I had stocked up on in Elika’s big sale fit under it! Nyla puts a notecard in her bag telling of three styles at Gurl6 that were built for this line of caps — there is a range of colors available — but only one style, Destiny, was in stock when I visited, and I didn’t like it much. I tried adjusting one of my other hairstyles, moving prims “into” my head, to fit under the hatband, but they wouldn’t stay adjusted after I logged out and back in. So it was put up a help request in the Fashion Emergency group, and back came a pair of answers. My first choice, Chiaki from Zero Style, worked with a twitch of the cloche to move it into  a tight fit on my head.

Was it worth the three grand plus hair (plus a new pair of silver stilettos from Maitreya, of course…and then going back to Maitreya for a clutch of fashion poses [Yes, I’m hopeless!])? For me it was, but you be the judge —

Russian Ballerina by Nyla Cheeky, of the House of Nyla

Russian Ballerina by Nyla Cheeky, of the House of Nyla

Amethyst beaded cap from the House of Nyla

UPDATE, Feb. 9:

After I posted this, I discovered a few more blogs have covered Nyla; so jump here and here to read their quite complimentary articles. The first one also links to three videos where Nyla is covered by Global Television of Canada and American Express as an online entrepeneur.

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