Your fashionable Second Life // Style & Error

London Fashion Week goes virtual

By Terry Chan

On Thursday September 18th, 2008

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Whatever happened to living in the moment? Presentations for spring/summer ’09 are well underway and there’s no escaping it. New York Fashion Week just recently concluded and London Fashion Week is in full swing. But then again, every week is fashion week, somewhere.

It seems that avatars are the newest way for journalists to bring us the latest fashion week news. First, avatars of fashion insiders reported daily from New York on Style.com and now they’re popping up in the current coverage of London Fashion Week. For the rest of us layman currently sans avatar, there’s always the online game Second Life.

Second Life
It seems that resident avatars in Second Life have gotten more stylish over the years. During the game’s early days, trashy club-wear, quite predictably, was all the rage. Now with the help of Second Life fashion designers, bloggers, and magazines, the game’s avatars have become more sophisticated. Giorgio Armani even made a “personal appearance” at the opening of his first store (see Armani store above).

So how does one pay for all this fashion in Second Life – with Linden dollars of course, currently trading at around 208 to $1. That means to get dolled up for a night on the virtual town, be prepared to shell out the following:

  • A good body (a “shape”) will cost you the equivalent of $2.50 to $8;
  • The perfect tan (a “skin”) will run around $4;
  • A nice hairstyle costs $1 to $2; and
  • Clothing prices can vary, but the most expensive dress ever sold went for $1840 at auction.

And with all the extras still to buy like jewellery, shoes and a made-up face, it’s no wonder people end up on Dr. Phil. If you think you can find a second job on Second Life to pay for these splurges, think again. Unskilled jobs pay at most the equivalent of $0.10/hour. You could probably earn a little more by being a Second Life lawyer. But, in a make believe world where you could be anything you wanted to be, perhaps choosing to join the Second Life Bar Association is a bit far fetched.

Luckily for me, my love of fashion does not extend into the virtual world. Call me old fashioned, but buying clothes that you can never actually wear and that don’t actually exist is something that I will never understand — kind of like paying to give your friends fake gifts on Facebook.


Terry Chan is a Canadian lawyer practicing finance law in London. She writes every Friday on style and fashion, perfectly aware that the next big thing is not looking like a lawyer.