August 25, 2011

Vinyl Cafe - a mixed bag

I've done some more random shopping and one of the places I've been looking at is Vinyl Cafe -- a combination coffee shop and women's clothing store. The reason I noticed them is because they are heavy promoters in FashCon and in one of the freebie fashion groups I belong to in Second Life. They have an ongoing  "Dollarbie a Day" promotion that, well, you guessed it -- offers up one outfit daily for $1L. Now don't get me wrong -- anyone willing to sell things for $1L can't be criticized too badly. Even if only one out of 10 outfits you buy at that price is a hit, you're only out about 5 cents.

What IS a problem is when you go for the dollarbie item, by something more expensive (even if still inexpensive) and those items turn out poorly. Or where the package photos have been doctored to make the outfits look much different than they are on rezzing. Which, in my opinion, is the case with Vinyl Cafe.

The good.

I'll start with two decent outfits. While neither of these will make you think of Redgrave, Wind or Blaze, they aren't bad. The first one is simply called Teal Bubble Dress and it's a group member dollarbie. The shadows are good and the textures line up ok. The use of the sculpty prims to make the skirt is interesting and different. And it's offered on undie and regular layers.

Next up is the $25L Bikini in Orange. Not too original with names but again, the details are fairly good. Biggest complaint is that like most things at Vinyl Cafe, it's only offered on one layer (underwear). That makes it really had to mix and match with other items. Further, it's not much better than most of the freebie bikinis out there. No shadows to set the straps off or make anything look more realistic. It's just kinda flat.

The bad.

On the right we have a $25L outfit called Sequin Vegas Dress Gold. This  picture actually makes it look better than it is in person. It uses two fixed cylinder prims for the skirt that won't fit anyone's body. I tried 3 different shapes and even with about 20 minutes of stretching and fiddling, nothing worked. Plus, as you can see from the photo, none of the textures line up and when you move, your legs jump in and out of the skirt with every step. While some skirts CAN be done with fixed prims (I designed a pretty cute go-go skirt using a single prim), it has to be very short or it will look like hell if you move. The top itself is a real simple template job that doesn't match at the shoulder seams.

And again, the top and bottom are only offered on one layer. WHY? It takes all of an extra 2 minutes to put the textures on undie layers.

And the uglee.

This is an OMG moment. The package makes this "Babydoll Yellow" top look totally cute. Rezzed it's completely different. That's because you never see it from the back or know what size it is. The colors on the avatar layer are darker than those on the prims so the effect is like your babydoll is glowing orange and suddenly ends at a dark halloween pumpkin halter. In addition, the package model must have been an 8' amazon because as a top, the babydoll is way too big for any normal body. And the prims are just basic 1/2 cones with no attempt at making them flow with each other or even hide the texture on the ends. So they all look like 1" thick pipes or something. Seriously, this is worse than the worst of the old "New As" series of 2006 barbie dresses.

Again, one layer only, $25L.

I wouldn't have as much of a problem with any of these if the photos on the packages weren't so doctored to make them look better.

Anyway, if you're willing to wait out the occasional find on their dollarbie a day deal, go for it. But until they get serious about the rest of the items, I'd pass. And yes, I'm unjoining the Vinyl Addicts group. :(

SLURL to Vinyl Cafe:

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