I woke up this morning with an idea; I started a group specifically for bloggers of men’s fashion and interest. The groups name is Men’s Fashion Bloggers and I have a vision of bloggers and fashion forward people all getting together to discuss any issue of interests to men. You can join the group by going to my profile picks or it should be in search>groups. Finding high quality, truly detailed men’s fashion can be tasking to say the least. Designers come and go. Often they close their doors due to lack of customers. This doesn’t always reflect on their talent or designs but often on their ability to get the word out so people know their shop exists. One way to get the word out is for us as a group to use this opportunity as a networking tool.

Yesterday evening I posted a blog about men’s fashion and pasted the link into the Menstuff group IM panel and almost immediately was booted from the group. Because I had an open IM with the group when I was ejected it allowed me to still be in the IM discussion. The moderator went on and on about people like me spamming the group. According to the Urban Dictionary spamming is…and I quote…Spamming: The act of chatting gibberish and. Irrelevance.

As I see it, an article on a fashion designer who makes high quality men’s wear should not be considered gibberish or irrelevant to a group claiming to be a guiding force in men’s fashion. As far as spamming goes, there are quite a few of their ‘Accepted Designers’ who fill the screen with less that top quality designs.

Groups like Menstuff are far less about promoting Men’s stuff then they are about promoting Menstuff. There were even guys who asked whether the designer was as good as I stated in my post as they had never heard of Redgrave. Well that makes sense seeing how Menstuff only allows certain designers to post in their group. As a group grows it is easy to lose focus and lose sight of the original inspiration to form the group.

When I first joined Second Life I wandered around trying to find the look that was right for me. I had to sift through a lot of crap and wander through an awful lot of women’s clothing shops to find the gems hidden back in the dusty corners of their shops. I soon realized that if I was having problems finding decent fashion then other men must be also. I started taking notes and eventually bought the Thinc press and started my own magazine focused on men. I kept that magazine (ForMen Magazine) going for about ten months, until RL came calling and I was forced to take a sabbatical from Second Life. My main focus in Second Life for almost ten years has been men’s fashion and I have no plans to change that.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I respect Menstuff and I know that being a moderator in a large group can be a real bitch. At some point they have to draw a line in the sand, but as a group that focuses on men’s fashion I think that line should be pulled back a bit to allow for others who have a true interest in men’s fashion. A one line link to a fashion blog should not be considered spam but conversely if the link is to a blog that is irrelevant to the focus of the group then I can see ejecting the person that posted it.

I have followed Menstuff group almost since their inception. It stands to reason that I would follow them as I follow all groups that I can find that include men’s fashion or men’s issues. I wish that they wouldn’t have ejected me but it is what it is. At this moment I have a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to groups such as this but holding a grudge serves no purpose. If I were invited back I would rejoin. The group does serve an important purpose…but, they have to figure out a way of allowing relevant bloggers to post relevant links. Designers that are approved by the group owners are allowed to post at will; bloggers, often are the voice of the designers and should be allowed to post side by side with the designers they promote.

That, my friends is the end of this rant. I’m going dancing.


Alrik Halberd


My History of SL Fashion



I’ve been in Second Life for almost 10 years and the changes in fashion have been incredible. In the beginning there were just designs that basically replaced the skin layer. Designers could put clothing on underwear layers, shirt layers and jacket layers. Then came sculpties. Sculpties added another layer of depth and allowed for more detailed accessories such as collars, cuffs, buttons and jewelry. Next on the evolutionary chain was the inclusion of mesh clothing and jewelry. This made available an incredible amount of detail and depth in the designs as well as now the designs have far more to them with far less prim usage as well as HUD options.

When I first made a Second Life account in November of 2006 I was lost and wandering around. Rarely would people speak to me because back then the noob avatars were far worse than they are today. We looked like melted Ken and Barbie dolls. We had no body details except eyes and a basic shape. The skin looked like a mass of butter melted over the boxy shape. Linden Labs had no real options as to how you would look when you rezzed in except male or female. But I have to tell you I was damned proud of my ugly avatar. And I was oblivious to the various shape and skin designers. I had discovered the freebie stores so I was wearing the best fashions that no money could buy. I wish now that I had saved a few of the photos from back then.

Then I met two women who changed my view of Second Life.

The first woman, unfortunately, was to become my first true love in Second Life lol. She cajoled me into buying my first shape and skin…and hair and eyes. All I remember of the new and improved Alrik was she dragged me to a place called Naughty Island and introduced me to the best skin and shape for men in SL. There were two versions, one blonds and one for darker hair. This designer also offered hair. I wish I could remember the designers name because looking back these skins and hairs would still be fashionable in today’s Second Life but, alas, they went out of business about the same time as that first woman got booted to the curb.

The second women is still, to this day, been an amazing influence in my journey through Second Life and I’ve never actually met her. This woman, every fashion forward man and women in SL knows. She introduced me to real, high quality, extremely detailed men’s fashion in early 2007. Of course I’m referring to Emilia Redgrave, owner and designer of Redgrave Skins and Fashion.

Now, nine years later, I still own and wear some of those original fashions and own almost everything in their store.  Ms. Redgrave, along with her partner Dean Ashby are still my go to fashion designers. Whether you are looking for beach wear, jeans, casual or formal attire, shoes, boots, skins or hair you will find some of the best detail on the grid at Redgrave Skins and Fashion.


Alrik Halberd

Cold Ash Virtual Fashion

I am always on the hunt for new and exciting, high quality men’s fashion so I was pleased to discover Cold Ash Virtual Fashion recently. ColdAsh and I had a visit and I was surprised to find that we have had similar reasons to get into men’s fashion, him into the design side and me into the writing side. Both of us realized soon after joining SL that high quality, realistic men’s fashions were hard to find and both of us claim Emilia Redgrave and Dean Ashby, owners of Redgrave HD Skins & Fashion as our inspiration to delve into the relatively uncharted waters of our trades.

ColdAsh has designed some incredibly detailed rugged clothing for the discriminating man and the prices are so reasonable even this writer can afford them. He also makes group gifts to go with certain events.  Right now he is giving a cool bracelet and the Austin Tee in Steel Blue Color.

ColdAsh has had requests for a women’s fashion line and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with on that front. He also is planning a summer men’s line. I look forward to see what he has to offer in the future. Is a larger shop in the cards; ColdAsh says until he finds a larger location he will have to squeeze more designs into the shop he has.

My Adventure with Mesh Heads



This past weekend my girlfriend and I decided that I needed a mesh head. I had been thinking about this for quite some time but products for men are often behind women’s products in respect to availability and, more often than not, quality. We decided on a Catwa Jackson head primarily because she has a Catwa head and likes it. Guys, just because a woman can make a major change like this does not mean men can do the same easily, but it can be done.

My adventure into mesh heads had me so pissed off and frustrated at times that I was seriously considering throwing my computer out the window. Don’t get me wrong, Catwa has wonderful products and now I’m glad I joined the growing throng of men in Second Life who have been dragged, kicking and screaming, into this new arena of fashion technology.

My first problem arose when my skin didn’t match the head so I went to TELLAQ, my skin designer. Unfortunately TELLAQ does not offer appliers for mesh heads so off I went hopping around from skin shop to skin shop looking for not only a skin that had the applier but most importantly a skin that was high quality. I finally settled on the L’Etre Homme Dave Skin [Golden Tone]. This is a pretty good skin that is specifically designed for the Catwa Jackson head.

My next adventure, and the reason my girlfriend logged off, was that my hair would not fit nor would it adjust to fit. So, off I went in search of new hair. It is important to note that while searching for hair in SL I was pulling my hair out in RL. Now, the annual Hair Fair is going on now so I hit the TP button to go there….and the sim was full, so I patiently waited like 10 seconds and attempted the TP again….and the sim was full. This went on for about an hour (I’m now pretty much bald in RL). Finally I decided to go directly to the source. One my bosses at Superior Modeling Agency and Academy and SMA Glam Magazine recommended I visit bade where I decided on the [bade] Wesley Brown hair. Off I went back home to my pose stand to admire my new look. Crap, now I needed a shaved hair base so I decided on a search through Marketplace where I found the L’Etre shaved hairbase [light brown]. Back to my pose stand and a few adjustment to the hair and I looked like….a well-built teenager.

My face was a bare as a babies butt and I looked about 16 years old. I checked my new L’Etre skin for facial hair options and there were none. So, back to L’Etre I went to see if I had purchased the wrong skin option. It turns out that had bought the right skin and the facial hair package was an additional option. The facial hair item was very affordable so after buying that I was back home to grow some stubble. After reading the instruction for applying the facial hair I remembered that I see no color so how do I tint the stubble to match my hair? Due to a traumatic brain injury I am monochromatic. This means I see shades of grey but no color.

After a bit of consultation with Catwa and the RGB color model I figured out the scruffy look that I was looking for and Bingo Bango Boom….Here is the new me. It will take some getting used to but overall it was worth the effort. Now I’m going to have to sign off, I have an appointment with Bosley Hair Restoration.