Tuesday, January 15, 2008

dance with me, pretty one, tonight

So, some may know of my long-standing love affair with Evocative, the home of Paul Lapointe and Bastchild Lotus, designers of drop-dead gothic couture for both sexes through LaPointe Designs.

Well, they've finally opened Evocative Magick, the second sim, and they've got a neko shop there.

There's good and bad in this.

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First, they do have a couple of non-neko offerings here, one Drow, and looks like one demoness. (They also have male nekos, I didn't check on other offerings.) The Drow they nearly get *completely* right: white eyebrows and white hair lower, which for nearly *all* Drow skins out there? Just *isn't seen*. Also, these skins are *dark* without being *stern*--that's another very good thing, because I am sick until death of seeing pale blue skins offered up as Drow.

I'm not sold on the dark red nipples and lips. They seem jarring somehow.

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I do like that their neko skins, while they come in packs of four, come in three face variants--'plain', then striped or spotted, then full-on neko, with the cleft upper lip and the *much* more obvious kitten features. I do like that, it's a selling point. And Miss Lotus, she's not picking up and running with neko 'standard' shades--blue, pink, green, et cetera. She has two strong whites, a strong red, a really interesting gold tone in stripes and spots, a grey, a black, and at least one completely unspotted/striped blue.

[Late insert: Actually--as seen in the comments--it's Paul LaPointe doing the skins here. Well, I've already said they're both phenomenal, they are. Now I can point out Paul's the lead designer for their neko line.]

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Now the down side--for me, at least. I think the little touch on the white tiger, of the pawprint on the lower belly? Unnecessarily twee. And the fact that *all* these skins have dinner-plate nipples--yes, I *know*, some women have 'em, but *not* everyone, and *certainly* not all cats!

It bugs me on freebie skins, it bugs me even more seeing them as the default on otherwise really *gorgeous* skins for L$1100 to L$1200 a set!

Still. Worth checking out. And most of 'em have demos. Which you really should use, more than usual, because...well. First of all, if you've never dealt with actual cat-face nekos, they can be startling. These are the best I've seen, very realistic, very realistic dark around the eyes, start to finish--if they get more than the few bare colors I see in the stripes, I might well be tempted to convert from Temenos.

However, the blue "Ice Queen" is, as far as I can tell, not neko in the least, and the pink leopard "Ice Queen" is almost saccharine in its twee--bright pink skin, abstract pale rose shapes over it, with glittery pink seventies-style flowers scattered across face, limbs and torso.

Shoot me now. (The blue "Ice Leopard" skin? Same thing as the pink. Only in baby blue. Shoot me twice.)

The red "Neko Flame" also seems neko only by virtue of the name, but it's a precious conceit--a smoothly red skin, with 'devil girl' fifties-style flames on limbs and torso. Some poses cut across the flames oddly, but it's something I can put up with without clothes, and with 'em, few will notice.

By contrast, the "Red Lust" leopard looks like a skin made of exploded blood cells. But then, to be fair, Nomine's Aether "Red Constellation" skin has always looked like that to me, too. Could be my graphics card.

Then there was the pink leopard...and my brain cringing up and DYING for the night. Pale bubblegum pink, with DEEP pink spots ringed in black. Make the hurting stop...

Thankfully, the White Tiger more than made up for things. This one--all of them, actually--seem much less 'furry' than I usually wear neko, in fact the White Tiger in particular seems *very* smooth-skinned with heavy dark stripes tattooed on. But it's cute as hell, and I'm tempted to pick that one up if none of the rest.

On all of them, the faces are exquisite--detailed, definitely made up and stylized, but gorgeously so, beautiful to look at.

If the color choices improve beyond the white, and the rich gold? I'll be very tempted to invest. Smooth skin or not.

11 comments:

Darien Mason said...

*hums the theme to the Pink Panther*

Emilly Orr said...

*ponders briefly how Lunar would react*

You think shrieking for a week solid? Maybe two.

It's really...*REALLY*...pink.

Eladrienne Laval said...

I LOVE my drow skin from RealSkin and was happy when I finally bought it when it came out a while ago. I know what you mean about the bluish tone so I was happy about it being dark grey like that--w/white eyebrows. The nipples on that skin are an even darker grey--not as jarring as dark red would be...

Emilly Orr said...

And see, darker grey makes sense to me.

Sometimes nipples match lips, sort of physical alliteration, and I don't mind that when they do--but that dark red, it's just...no.

turnerBroadcasting said...

i agree with the dinnerplate stuff. its kind of a turn off for me.

despite the fact that I would love no dinnerplate better than to dine on ...

Ottens said...

Dear Madam,

I beg your pardon for contact you in this manner--posting a comment terribly off-topic, but I'm afraid I was unable to find any other contact information and I would very much like to invite you to join a message board community which I administer, a forum for all things Steam, Diesel and Pulp -- the "Smoking Lounge", to be found at http://www.ottens.co.uk/lounge I should very much appreciate your contributions to the "Smoking Lounge" and hope that you might delight us with your presence there, should the place be of satisfaction to your understandably high standards.

Best regards,

"Ottens"

Emilly Orr said...

Turner: *giggles at you* Why does every guy say that? "Yeah, I don't really like those. But mmm..."

Ottens: I grant you, it's low on the list. But there is a little button next to the SL Topsites button--which I need to remove, being registered there is doing nothing for me--that says, personal missives can be sent to... The link is my email address.

However, I'm keeping the link, I will peruse further. I heartily thank you for asking me.

Though, if you think I have unbearably high standards? Obviously you haven't been reading this journal long... *giggles again*

BardHaven said...

One must remember that nipples (and other regularly engorged with blood, intimate and otherwise) take on their color due to the blood within (hence why an old lover of my theorized that anyone taking Mr. Spock to bed had better be turned on by green). Therefore grey nipples don't work for me....but the neither do bright red exactly. I have always been a dusky rose or soft coral man myself. Perhaps the designer is expressing the opinion that drow are very red blooded?

Emilly Orr said...

At the risk of playing the fandom card, I think we figured this out once, as a possible, for Star Trek races.

Iron=red blood, copper=green blood. I think we figured arsenic=purple, though I'm not entirely sure how we got from a to b. But as I recalled, Andorians were supposed to have thick--and toxic--blood, arsenic-based (maybe)...which still discounts their color, as they're not jet-black, but pale blue.

On the other hand, it's a whole other racial set, with different rules.

You know, I might have to ask Miss Lotus on this one; I want to write her anyway, ask if I can have a demo of the 'tiger'-colored gold striped skin to test. As she doesn't have one in the store...

Lapointe & Bastchild Designs said...

Hi Emilly,
just to clear a few things its actually me who makes all the skins etc i just like putting may partners name on the box if she made the tail or the nipple rings:) As for Nipples i had no idean my skns would create such a discussions about nipple sizes but it was fun to read lol.On the whole my skins have gone down well with the Sl public but now im very tempted to make a petite nipple range .Paul Lapointe

Emilly Orr said...

Okay, I officially give up, I have a readership. :)

To be more serious, I'm neko most of the time, I'm always on the lookout for good skins. And you make, hands down, some of the most stylized, exotic faces I've ever seen. Lustrous, beautiful, artificial (in the direct sense of artifice, of the skin as art object, not in the sense of lacking anything); and the fact you offer skin packs with several different face options? Phenomenal.

And my bias against pink, truly, is from an old love, it carries over. I know many, many people who would adore the pink, who saw me in the demo and decided on the spot they had to go see the rest of the line.

That being said, yes, if you can see your way clear, a 'petite' nipple range would be appreciated. Also, demos for everything. I do want to see the gold tigerstripe on, as that's the one I'm most interested in, I'll honestly admit that.

Obviously, I didn't get around yet to writing Bastchild. But I'm glad you found the wee little blog.

Personally, I still think you're on crack for the pink skin. But I'm very intrigued with what you're doing on the rest of the line. And I'm very much a fan of the first Evocative sim, and need to spend more time investigating Evocative Magick!

Thanks, and I'll correct this post to reflect the skin maker. You should be credited for the work you do.