and not just any hat!

Meet me at the Fitz!

If you have been following our blog, even casually, for a while you are probably aware of our abiding love for vintage fashion. And, so many of the favorite eras of fashion history featured special hats. One of my favorite quotes on hats…  

“A hat is a flag, a shield, a bit of armor, and the badge of femininity. A hat is the difference between wearing clothes and wearing a costume; it’s the difference between being dressed and being dressed up; it’s the difference between looking adequate and looking your best. A hat is to be stylish in, to glow under, to flirt beneath, to make all others seem jealous over, and to make all men feel masculine about. A piece of magic is a hat.” – Martha Sliter

One of SL’s magic makers of hats, Chigadee London of Couture Chapeau has just released a fresh line of very special hats, sure to delight vintage fashionistas as well as those with more contemporary tastes.

With or without the optional veil, the “Ode to Miss Peele” fedora is a perfect accessory to complete a typical forties look and would also be a striking add for that special dress you been eyeing for the first spring garden party.

Meet me at the Fitz!

Wearing -Olinza Dress from Ivalde Vintage Fashion 1940’s Collection
Jewelry – Zelda Pearls by Aurora Borealis
Hat – Ode to Miss Peele Fedora NEW from Couture Chapeau
Shoes – Felicia Capped Stilettos by SLink
Hair – Grable by Vignette FREE!!!
Skin – Alva by LAQ
Poses by Glitterati
On Location Lighting by LumiPro

My New(est) Chapeau!

Seq has accused me of seeking the title of Fedora Queen since both of my very favorites from Chi’s new collection have a “fedorian” heritage. (is that even a word? we will pretend it is.) I can handle that! Indeed the Salt Fedora, with it’s extended brim and fine textures, seems to have a bit of regal mystery to it, whether worn with a vintage thirties dress, as i did here, or with a crisply tailored modern pants suit. I know that I’ll be exploring a variety of potential matches for these two designs, and heading back to Couture Chapeau for another helping of Couture Chapeau magic.

My New(est) Chapeau!

Wearing – Laurende Dress from Ivalde Vintage Fashion 1930’s Collection
Hat – Salt Fedora NEW from Couture Chapeau
Hair – Caitrin by Exile
Skin – Alva by LAQ
Poses – Reel Expression


M as in Mentor, M as in Meiling !

Yay!!! Anya Won!!!! Anya who? won what?

Second Life fashion continues to grow in relevance, more imaginative minds are making their way to share their art and creative force and networking connections are made expanding real life markets. One such influence came from Team Anya, a SL group formed to support a contestant in Lifetime televisions 9th season of Project Runway and lo and behold if she didn’t go out and win!

A week ago, like so many other fashion followers, i was anxiously awaiting the outcome of Project Runway. This season was a bit more personal because of the Second Life connection to the winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee. Anya is from Trinidad & Tobago which is also home to Meiling confidante & SL designer Chigadee London of Couture Chapeau and real life designer Meiling Esau or as she is known in Second Life, Meiling Couturier. Her SL brand, Meiling Couture, was chosen by BOSL magazine as one of the top 5 designer houses in Second Life. Deservedly so! the SL designs are recreations of her real life collections. So… you ask what does that have to do with Anya winning? Well…Meiling has long been a part of Anya’s life long before she was accepted into Project Runway’s 9th Season. Anya described in her own words her relationship with Meiling in an interview with AfroBella.

Interview with Anya Ayoung-Chee of Project Runway, Season 9 | Afrobella

Meiling nurtured Anya’s ambition of being a designer long before Project Runway was a possibility, and she advises her on more than just fashion – Meiling offers expert counsel on life, love, and building a brand. When I told Anya that I think Meiling sees her as more than just a mentee, she agreed. “Meiling is like my mom. I remember sitting in her foyer in 2008 and telling her I wanted to have my own fashion line and she just said — let’s do it. There is no ego or competitiveness there and perhaps from others there would be. She has been supportive to the nth degree.”

A touch of fall in the breeze

To celebrate this momentous occasion over the next days we wanted to share some of Meiling’s most recent releases in Second Life directly inspired by her real life collection ‘Last Train to San Fernando’ beginning with one of the Meiling’s Mavens, KymSara Rayna, wearing Ode to Matura.

A touch of fall in the breeze


There is a reason why Meiling Esau is named as one of the top Caribbean designers, stands at the head of the local fashion scene in Trinidad and has made an impact outside of the region as well. There is a reason why this designer has lasted more than four decades in the fashion industry, where so many others try to find their footing and either fail or give up. There is a reason why a Meiling fashion show can fill a space to capacity, all for the sake of watching 40-50 outfits walk the runway.

It is seven months into the year of 2011, and Meiling has already shown two full collections – her Macafouchette Carnival collection as well as this current collection entitled ‘Last Train to San Fernando’; she has shown a selection of pieces at San Fernando Fashion Week 2011, stolen the limelight at Caribbean Fashion Week 2011 in Jamaica just last month, and this is before we even begin to list her separate projects working with soca queen Fay Ann Lyons and her annual collaborations with Rapso group 3Canal. No other Caribbean designer works harder, smarter or more consistently than Meiling Esau.– Darcel de Vlugt, Editor-in-Chief of CFstyle

A touch of fall in the breeze

A better case could never be made for having art imitate life!
Experience the designs of Meiling for yourself at Meiling Couture

Model/Photographer – KymSara Rayna
Wearing – Ode to Matura by Meiling Couture
Hair – Caitrin by Exile
Skin – Alva by LAQ
Jewelry – Audrey Earrings by +Aurora Borealis+
Shoes -Thick heel Pumps by Lindy Modern and Retro Shoes
Poses – Glitterati
On Location lighting by LumiPro

Raves for Meiling

O'er the foamy sea

Let’s start from the top with a topper! Couture Chapeau has been making hats in SL for a a very long time and we have featured wide selection of CC hats including the one Sequoia is keeping the sun at bay with, the La Loren Firenze Chapeau. What many don’t realize is that there are very strong ties in both RL and SL between Couture Chapeau and the Meiling Couture brand. It was at the invitation of CC owner and designer, Chigadee London, which brought Meiling to Second Life and with Chigadee’s and her partner Balthazar Fouroux’s perseverance Meiling has continued to astonish, enjoying rave reviews for the Second Life interpretations of her real world hit collection, Grand Riviere. Sequoia is wearing the centerpiece of this collection – the Sea Foam Gown. Tosy Xue’s wonderful bracelet & nail sets, MagnaMater in gold, and the Memorial Love Pearl necklace & earring set, both from WTG offer a splendid adornment to this stunning outfit.

O'er the foamy sea

The Sea Foam gown is soft and delightfully feminine, the colour and fabric textures enhance the stunning cut of this cool summer dream. The deep cut ruffled top features a nearly bare back, perfect for those sultry summer beach soires. Elegantly matched with a softly flowing full white linen skirt the Sea Foam gown is both airy and seductive.

In all Innocence

The Innocence gown was dedicated to the winner of the June Meiling Styling Award – Tyra Eiren. Delicate lace, tucks and ruffles remind one of the genteel days of afternoon teas and strolls along the boardwalk or in this case “birdwalk”. KymSara was found warbling “these are a few of my favorite things” as she danced among the scattering of heron in this very special gown.

To climb Mt. Plaisir!

Kym also gives a peek at the delicate Mt Plasir, from the most recent Meiling collection, a pure a delight to wear and the perfect choice for summer evening cocktails and dancing under chandeliers or stars. The modest neckline, ruffled sleeves and flowing knee length skirt offer the perfect elegance and gracefulness for the sophisticated taste.

On Cotton Hill

A very joyful Kym had such a fun time styling options with the Cotton Hill tank top and skirt. Initially she found it to be a fantastic casual outfit, just right for a lunch date or a day of shopping. She was delighted to discover that a few simple additions of a favorite Contessa hat from Couture Chapeau, the new Spiral Bracelet from Finesmith and her bright Sydney heels from SLink made this casual cotton confection an easily dressed up bit of brilliance. It is easy to see why this new brand is doing so well in SL.

and a day at the Faire

Style Card

Model: Sequoia Nightfire

Wearing: Sea Foam Gown by Meiling Couture
Shoes: WALK Suede Laceup Sandals by AOHARU
Jewelry: The Memorial Love-pearl set by WTG
Hat – La Loren Firenze Chapeau – White by Couture Chapeau
Nails MagnaMater in gold by WTG
Hair: Maha Hair Ash Blondy by CaTwA

Model: KymSara Rayna

Wearing – Innocence Gown by Meiling Couture
Hair – Brryar by Damselfly
Skin – Nellie by LAQ
Jewelry – Easter Egg by WTG
Poses – Morgane Batista Pose Shop

Wearing – Mt. Plaisir Dress by Meiling Couture
Hair – Caitrin Roots by Exile
Skin – Molly by LAQ
Shoes – Bare Katherine by Stiletto Moody
Poses – Body Talking

Wearing – Cotton Hill by Meiling Couture
Hair – Glory Roots by Exile
Hat – Contessa by Couture Chapeau
Skin – Molly by LAQ
Earrings – Ear Candy
Bracelet – Swirl by Finesmith
Shoes- Sydney by SLink
Poses – Reel Expression

Photography by KymSara Rayna

Office Wear Design Sublime

SF Design - Mimi Suit (Close)

Swaffette Firefly has done it again! The Mimi, the new release suit design from SF Designs, is not only a major style find in SL, but has raised my RL coveting to an exuberant level! The crisp lines, exquisite fabric texture and fine detailing are so clearly evident, but that is just the beginning of the story. This suit ensemble includes both a medium and long skirt, I chose the shorter of the two for the office, AND something very special — the collar and jacket peplum prim pieces each have two different size options included to minimize the typical “fit fussing” associated with such parts. YAY Swaffette!

Lunch in the City . . . hmmm

Time for a bit to eat i don my Roma, a Sophia Loren inspired hat from Couture Chapeau and i am easy to spot as i hail a cab to club for a light lunch. Chigadee London has captured the elegant style of the screen goddess that will give a panache to any look.

Swaffette really does so much to bring her SF Designs customers a wonderful one stop shopping experience and complete satisfaction, as if the thoughtfulness in assuring a perfect fit were not enough , she has also included matching heels and even a clutch purse to finish the look. The Mimi suit comes in three wonderful colors. I chose the charcoal which would also be my first RL pick. But, the blue and oatmeal colours have also found a spot in my business wardrobe and will definitely be seen in board meetings, special presentations and other to other important functions, especially with the versatility offered with the additional long skirt.

SF Design - Mimi Suit

Model/Photographer – KymSara Rayna
Wearing – Mimi Suit – NEW from SF Designs
Hair – Lush by LeLutka
Skin – Emma by Tuli
Hat – Roma by Couture Chapeau
Poses – Body Talking

MEILING Crosses the Line Part 1

Meiling's Whimsy

We wish to welcome MEILING, a real life and world renowned fashion designer, who makes home in Trinidad and Tobago and now in Second Life! Her designs lend themselves so well to traverse from the real to our pixeled reality. Her fabrics are so lush and textured they bring true life to our animated form. Kym and i will show four outfits in two posts of those awesome designs featured from her inaugural Second Life collection. We can’t possibly explain how excited we were to hear Chigadee London of Couture Chapeau was collaborating with MEILING to champion her designs in SL. We hope and trust this will be one of many such relationships that will develop between RL designers and those in SL and that it will lead to a greater exchange of ideas and how we perceive fashion in both worlds.

meiling bloomer

I first selected the Whimsey Bloomer set to showcase, i adore how this short pantset, like many of MEILING’s designs, is welcome in a multitude of settings. Did you see me at the Boulevard Agency show wearing this outfit? If not, no worries, i will be out and about in it often. The sleeves are a dream, shaped to give a nice softness to the shoulders the detail is fantastic to the button up back closure which gives such a wonderful elegance for a short set. The blousing meets the waist of the bloomers that share the same soft crumples, as the sleeves, adding extra softness and femininity. This Whimsey Bloomer set is destined to be a best seller.

Meiling's Whimsy (detail)

I had just made this new unnamed jewelry set for the cover model of the inaugural issue of Peoplz Magazine and it is so perfect to the blue grey of the material and laid well against the breast. See it soon at Aurora Borealis. Looking for other accent pieces i found a recent release nail set that included optional bangles from WTG. The Magna Mater in platinum bangle was perfect fit and the nails well see for yourself another must have from tosy Xue.

Model – Sequoia Nightfire
Photographer – KymSara Rayna
Wearing – M- Whimsy Bloomer Set from MEILING
Jewelry – unnamed Peoplz cover model necklace and earring set by +Aurora Borealis+
Nails – **Magna Mater-Platinum set including optional Bangles from +:+WTG+:+
Hair – Jill Ebony by Tukinowguma
Shoes – O Wedges by Stiletto Moody
Skin – LAQ

KymSara is wearing the Origami Crumpled Dress with an intricately folded prim skirt and origami shoulder corsage from MEILING; every outfit you find in her house of fashion draws directly from her RL designs. The texture and fabric selection sets this dress apart from all your other LBD’s! Meiling has managed to capture every crease, fold and scrunch of the crumpled linen texture delightfully in this creation.

Crumpled Origami

While it could be easily dressed up or worn in a casual setting, Kym chose dressing it up with tosy Xue’s WTG Easter Egg collection with the jewelry accent pieces and elegant nails. tosy continues to wow us with not only fab new releases but a monthly gift that always brings surprises.

Crumpled Origami (2)

So clever and exciting stayed tuned for more MEILING!!!!

Model/Photographer – KymSara Rayna
Wearing – Origami Crumpled Dress – NEW from House of MEILING
Jewelry – Easter Egg Set (Earrings, bracelet and nails) from +:+WTG+:+
Shoes – Bare Katherine by Stiletto Moody
Poses – Body Talking

Where The Ferns Grow Tall

Where the ferns grow tall

Hello again from Ivalde!
Neferia Abel’s Fifties Collection has really bloomed in recent weeks! Her latest addition is the lovely Daina cocktail dress. The detail on this dress is really incredible but, typical of Nef’s meticulous work. From the classic embroidery accenting the bodice to the soft folds of the period accurate skirt, this dress reflects all the finest featrues of the era. And while Nef is in the fifties groove, I am stuck in an extended hat fancy! (Worse things could happen!) I just love Chigadee London’s “Bogey’s Broads” Collection at Couture Chapeau and picked her Ingrid design to wear today. The shoes are Ekota X, a timeless style from Enkythings. Though this is a fifties design i just can’t help uttering the words “Play it again Nef!!!”~ kym

Photographer/Model – KymSara Rayna
Wearing – Daina Dress from Ivalde’s 1950’s Collection
Skin – Julie by LAQ
Hair – Alora by Calico Ingman
Hat – Ingrid by Couture Chapeau
Jewelry – Interactions by flirt
Shoes – Ekota X by Enkythings
Pose – Body Talking

Alone In The City

Alone in the City

Inspired by filmdom’s Sarah Jessica Parker look in the Sex and the City 2 , Elettra Gausman added this terrific summer dress to her evolving collection of outfits from the movie. It comes with three skirt options. If you are on your way to the City, or just seeking a fresh summer look, a stop at Orage Creations is a must. With this great Sabrina hat from Chigadee London’s (Chapeau Couture) newest collection of hats inspired by Princess Diana, and the always appropriate iGems Vintage Beads jewelry from ABJ -Aurora Borealis Jewelry, you’ll be ready for whatever adventures await in the City. ~ Kym

Sivine & Windsor

Sivine & Windsor

From the rich and diverse Summer Collection from L`Abel Couture, the Sivine top pairs perfectly with the Sonia pencil skirt for the perfect outfit for that gallery opening, late lunch with the gals, shopping in the city, that special media event or anytime you want to look polished and a bit sophisticated. And what could be a better way to finish the look than with the Windsor hat from the latest Couture Chapeau collection, inspired by the famous hats of Princess Diana?