Second Life lost one of its true fashion icons the last day of May, which sadly went relatively unnoticed. Ivalde Vintage Fashion, the shop which sustained the finest in Vintage Women’s clothes, from carefully researched inspirations, is now closed.
Neferia Abel is a legend in SL Fashion, building an incredible collection of what one customer described as,“a very valuable living fashion history”. Angie Mornington of Fabulous Fashion on Treet TV said of her experience attending an Ivalde Fashion Show, “was like taking a visual walk through time”.
Fabulous Fashion – Angie & Nef
Neferia’s designs were indeed derived from historical patterns, illustrations, films, and photographs and her textures were based often on actual fabrics and laces from the era she was designing. What most people were unaware of was that these fabulous clothes were all textured with paintings or drawings from the artist’s hand.
Live Broadcast of Ivalde on Norwegian Network TV
Neferia’s artistry was not only acknowledged by SL, being asked to be the main guest of the second episode ever of Fabulous Fashion, but she was also being featured on a major Norwegian television network program. Ask some of the hosts of other SL TV programs and you will find they are serious customers of Ivalde. Neferia not only provided a full array of outfits that had depth and true style, but were modest and professional as well. Neferia has a love of her customers and those she worked with so much that it was unbearable for her to linger, so she went softly into the night. Ivalde Vintage Fashion clothes are still available on Marketplace, but it is not the same as the experience of shopping and getting the famous customer care from her “family” when visiting the store. That is just how it is with Nef, she not only created wonderful clothing but also a comfortable place where everyone felt at home.
Warm Hearts and a Warm Hearth
The sim of Ivalde was created from the imagination of Neferia’s husband, Brumm Bricklin, and was full of Norse Teutonic Myth and legend. KymSara Rayna captured the last sunset over the Ivalde sim where Thor the Thunder God stood watch from a mountain top. Even he could sense the passing of something special. The closing of Ivalde Vintage Fashion and passing of Neferia Abel’s presence in Second Life fashion could be compared to the silencing of her countryman’s hammer.
Last Sunset over Ivalde
We would like to share some thoughts and memories of our time with our dear friends and family to give you a sense of our and Second Life fashion’s loss…
The First Home of Ivalde
It seems like only yesterday, not the over four years it has been, since when we Vintage Lovers would gather in the original wooden building. Things seemed simpler, gentler and moved much slower then. We would meet in the early evening around the Lucky Chair to share our adventures and compare notes on our fashions finds. Neferia’s latest releases always caused excitement across the grid.
Ivalde models posing for Fabulous Fashion TV
Ivalde never once advertised for model positions they were always filled by those who shopped there. Nef would on a very rare occasion ask one of her customers to join the Ivalde staff as a model. It was so rare because it was so very seldom any one would leave once hired. It was a thrill and absolute honour to be asked and a blessing to be part. The Ivalde staff was more like a family than a work team, we were sisters with an absolute love of vintage and could not have been happier than being at Ivalde. We really enjoyed sharing the amazing designs that Nef was creating, and loved being with each other. Our customers were family; all the models had their regulars, which we were excited to see and share not only the latest vintage designs, but to chat and get to know them personally.
Sequoia, KymSara, Beulah, Ada, Eileen, & Fay
The staff of Ivalde was always on call to any of our customers whether we were in the store or not. That was by choice and out of loyalty to Nef, she never had us turn in time sheets or keep tabs of our time, we were family and we were there when she had new releases and gone to RL when we needed, no questions asked except out of care. She gave each of us a tag that truly exemplified how she felt about us, “Trusted Friend”.
Sequoia Baccara, & KymSara
Each of the models had their special place in her heart and each of us had a particular vintage that we all felt Nef did best and likely because we looked absolutely fabulous in that particular era. We had something really amazing there which may never be repeated and worth a look back at the people who made it special. In the course of five years only a dozen special ladies held the tag of Ivalde Model.
Ashwyn Collection named in memory of Ashyn Pastorelli
Ashwyn Pastorelli was with us all too briefly. The very personification of the ‘blythe spirit,’ Ashwyn brightened the room, wherever she was, she loved to dance, loved people and brought her special style to our little family. Sadly she lost her long RL struggle with MS only a week before her wedding.
Qyhat Harbour, was the first model coordinator, but in reality she was more a mother to all of us models, looking after us and being certain we had styled properly before getting on the stand, sometimes firmly, but always caring that we represent Nef and her designs well. She continues to offer her abilities in SL for the benefit of others with her many skills.
Beulah Mills was the top model and was our big sis and was the nurturer. Beulah was a hoot, and could always be counted on to lighten our mood with some odd avatar or toy; she moved on to RL over a year ago and is sorely missed.
JujuBee Klaar was the overnight model and kept us all on our toes mixing and matching and often with the wild hair to take us out of our comfort zone and make us stretch our imagination. She moved on from modeling to become a celebrated SL artist, marketing her own brand of textures, sculpture and paintings.
Eileen Villiers is so clever and was always busy with extra projects. When Eileen was not meddling, or looking so groovy in her 70’s getups, she could always be found tending her ever increasing brood of breedable chickens and then it was on to bunnies. I always found that funny, it was as if she was breeding a supply of food, because her other avatar was a Tiny Fox.
KymSara Rayna was there when the sim was picked up this week; she remained a steadfast model for over four years. A Renaissance woman she is a musician and artist. She has shown and sold several of her quilts which she sewed in RL through SL. Currently she is an award winning photographer receiving accolades from RL artists for her virtual images. Her flickr addiction has made her the perfect blogging partner to her sister Sequoia.
Sequoia Nightfire came after KymSara to Ivalde and never sat still. Her Aurora Borealis jewelry was featured on the Ivalde sim, she is a top model, teacher and mentor and Academy Director for Mimmi Boa Modeling Academy. Her gridwide hunt “Peace On Earth” is entering its fifth year. She just finished with her Top Model Event Colour of Couture and finds plenty of charitable events to get involved in. Sequoia now blogs and has a nice following with her sister KymSara in their “Notions of Style” fashion blog.
Indefatigable, Fay Rhodes, also always had several irons in the fire. In addition to her ready wit and willingness to explore any and all styling challenges she was a poplar DJ with a loyal following. She now is making shoes for all vintage lovers to enjoy.
Then there is little sis, Ada Hoobinoo, who owned her own SL modeling agency and mall which she coordinates between her college studies.
Madison Talon who now is deeply involved in the Swing Times era sim and is hostess and owner of Club Noir, the best 40’s era club ever to be in SL. Her previous venture “USO 1940’s Club” was the first WWII era club in SL. She continues to hold special events with 40’s or WWII themes on request.
Then last year came Baccara Rhodes, who actually arrived long before any of us. She joined SL in its infancy and was even the subject of a feature for CBS News about Second Life. Her wedding planning business in SL is famous for holding the only wedding event that Philip Linden ever attended. Baccara joined us to try and manage a monumental task to keep Neferia free from the worry of doing anything but creating new designs. She succeeded entirely in what she came to do, but when Nef’s RL became even more demanding time became the ultimate enemy of our favorite designer.
Last to join the family was our dear little sister ElaraGloriana Scrabblebat who raised our spirits whenever she was around, even if it was ever so briefly toward the end of the Ivalde era. In my picks I have a quote from her, “in my philosophy we all have a belief system or BS, and so knowing we all have our own BS, i am patient since i know not everyone’s BS jives with mine ;)”. Elara is a builder as well as model and has a very bright future ahead for herself in SL.
Our USO Poster
As one can see a lot of talented ladies with very diverse interests were in full support of Neferia Abel and still managed to have a full productive SL. The growing and development of those interests and abilities was directly influenced by the vision of Neferia to provide a nurturing creative environment.
Nef was fond of that Chanel quote, “Fashion fades but, style is forever.” Thank you to all who carry the love of Neferia Abel forward, I am sure that we will still see plenty of Ivalde designs at Vintage affairs around the grid for a long time to come. We are saddened by the closing, but richer for the experience of being a part of the Ivalde family.
Andrews Sisters – LIVE!
**This article is reprinted by permission from an article published in the June 2012 edition of Retropolitan Magazine written by the authors of this blog. You can visit Retropolitan Magazine online at retropolitan.org.
Ivalde and L`Abel Creations of Neferia Abel Online [click bold names to link]
Official Ivalde Website www.ivalde.org
Ivalde Vintage Fashin outfits still for sale at Marketplace
Ivalde on Flickr Ivalde Group Pool
Ivalde Vintage Fashion on Flickr Ivalde Vintage Fashion
L`Abel Fashion on Flickr L`Abel Group pool