Today I discovered a really exceptionally well-done sim in Second Life called Freak Show, complete with all kinds of wonderful details and dozens of circus freaks of every kind and description (please see this Encyclopedia Britannica article for some historical background on freak shows).
Freak Show has the biggest collection of freaks (avatars, animesh, and static mesh) that I’ve ever seen in Second Life—which, if you stop and think about it, is quite an achievement 😉 Please do NOT derender avatars or set “view friends only” in your SL viewer, as the circus freaks will be derendered as well! There are some really inventive ones here to see.
I was stopped in my tracks by a two-headed conjoined twins avatar, and I actually had to pull out my handy free What Is She Wearing HUD? to scan her to see what parts made up the avatar! (A very handy tool, and highly recommended whenever you discreetly want to see what another avatar is wearing.)
Here’s a picture of the owner, Uri Jefferson, who (appropriately enough) is a six-armed circus freak himself!
I decided to dress up for the occasion. This is one of the ten Halloween costume hunt prizes from Brii Underground Wear, the Mary Salem outfit, which comes complete with the gown, wrap, and jewelry—even a matching top hat! Find pumpkin #2 and it’s yours for only L$6:
This avatar is wearing:
Mesh head: Cleo Bento mesh head by Akeruka (a former L$1 group gift; the Akeruka group costs L$150 to join)
Mesh body: Juliet mesh body by Altamura (a former Valentine’s Day group gift; Omega-compatible; more details here; the Altamura group costs L$50 to join)
Omega skin applier: (included as part of a package of body skin appliers that comes with the Cleo mesh head; you can pick up the Omega applier kit for Altamura mesh bodies for only L$99 at the Omega Solutions store at this exact SLURL)
Hair: Hurrah hair by Ade (a free gift from the recently concluded 2019 Hair Fair)
Outfit (Except Shoes): Mary Salem outfit (L$6 Halloween hunt prize from the pumpkin hunt at Brii Underground Wear)
One of my favourite Second Life avatar fashion stores in the pre-mesh days was Designing Nicky Ree, who had a real talent for creating beautifully-textured women’s wear:
Unfortunately, Nicky Ree never fully embraced mesh fashion (almost all of the clothing she sells consists of system layers and prims), so she eventually fell out of favour with shoppers. Which is a shame, as she designed some truly beautiful gowns, such as the Peony Flower gown I am wearing, which is available in ten different colours:
Here’s a closer look at the gown. The embroidery details are exquisite!
Nicky Ree explains in a notecard included with the package:
This design was the second design I sketched as a possible Ms Hong Kong Costume Gown for Miss Virtual World 2011, the other being DNR Phoenix. Ms Serene Faith chose the DNR Phoenix in the end for the costume for the the contest and went on to win and was crowned Ms MVW 2011. Now, since I had already prepared and drawn all the flower embroidery for the “Peony Flower” I decided to complete this gown and release it in time for the Chinese New Year for 2011…
Designing Nicky Ree is one of those stores which I hope will enjoy a bit of a renaissance with the advent of Bakes on Mesh. I think it’s well worth browsing through her large, two-story store to see if anything strikes your fancy! Here’s the SLURL. You can find this fabulous Peony Flower gown on the second floor, at this exact SLURL (just open your map and follow the red arrow).
Kaithleen’s is a store with a wonderful selection of women’s clothing—everything from formal ballgowns to sexy lingerie! If you join the Kaithleen’s group for just L$5, you can pick up nine free gifts from the group gift wall:
Here Vanity Fair is wearing two of the group gits: a metal-trimmed minidress that comes in black or pink (with a HUD to change the metal to one of seven different colours), plus the updated version of Kaithleen’s universal thong underneath (which also comes with a HUD with 17 different colours). The thong comes in versions to fit the Maitreya Lara, Belleza (Venus, Isis, and Freya), Slink (Physique and Hourglass), eBody Curvy, and the new TMP Legacy mesh avatar bodies.
But there’s also a hunt going on until Sept. 30th! Search for rotating golden coins hidden throughout the Kaithleen’s mainstore and you can snap up some well-designed outfits for only L$10 each:
Let’s look at three of the hunt items. The Snow ballgown in midnight blue has some lovely attention to detail, with lacing up the back and metal eyelets, both of which you can recolour using the included HUD:
Next up is the curve-hugging black Ava Chance catsuit (there’s a HUD to change the colour of the stripes and the straps):
Finally, we have the beautiful Cream Cake ballgown in white, absolutely perfect for your Second Life wedding or another formal occasion!
One of my freebie-finding tips is to visit those Second Life dancehalls and ballrooms with a formal dress code; very often you will find free formal outfits for visitors. For example, here are the freebies at the Blue Moon Palace Ballroom (here’s the SLURL):
The woman’s gift from the Blue Moon Palace is this lovely deep red full ballgown, which comes with shoes. The gown is actually a bright red by default, and you can adjust the tint!
The men’s gift from the Blue Moon Palace is a formal black suit with shoes:
Other places to pick up a free men’s suit (with exact SLURLs) are Unihispana Crea, The Free Dove, and the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil (here and here). And don’t forget that all the men’s clothing (including a wide variety of suits and formalwear) at Kauna is free! You don’t need to spend a penny to look dressy in Second Life!