I’ve written about my friend Shenlei Flasheart alot over the years. Shenlei is an accomplished fashion designer in that place called Real Life. She is also an accomplished creator and long-time explorer of virtual worlds from Second Life, Open Sim to Inworldz and more. Shenlei is a member of what I call the Second Life Early Adopter Cohort. She and mutual friend Callipygian Christensen are two of few people I know who rezzed even before I did more than four years ago. They are both grand souls and very talented: Calli, with her beautiful photography and her wonderful range as a DJ of jazz, blues, and gospel music at various venues. Shenlei’s talents run deep and are varied as well, from creating beautiful Victorian inspired fashion, mentoring aspiring designers, writing books on the topic, and creating wonderful communities. One of Shenlei’s latest endeavors finds her as co-owner of a lovely Equestrian Lifestyle Estate called Carriage Trade. For this community, Shenlei has launched a new line of dresswear — In the Habit — that caters to the fashion needs of anyone (male and female) who admires a polished outdoors look.
I show four items from In the Habit (photographed at Carriage Trade using a windlight setting), beginning with the beautiful “Michele Dressage Hat.” I love this hat and can’t even begin to say how delighted I was to receive it from Shenlei and to discover that this wonderful creation was named after me. This is the first time I’ve known for certain that an item was named after me. There’s something very flattering about learning that somehow you inspired a creation. And what a gorgeous creation this is. This lovely hat comes in a range of colors, but I chose to show the red because it’s my favorite color. It’s just so vibrant and happy. The flower and lace bouquet on the back brim is simply spectacular and adds a gorgeous feminine presence to the crisp lines of the hat. I pair my red hat with the Thorobred Fashion Scarf (natural white), the Ladies Hunt Coat (without shirt and in brown) and the Full Seated Breeches (in gray). I love the clean, refined designs that Shenlei makes look so incredibly easy to achieve when they are so very far from easy to do. All of these items as well as the other lovely items in the shop that I don’t show here come in a range of color choices. It’s a delightful surprise to see how all these colors work so beautifully together. You can go for a monochromatic look, or a traditional pairing of complementary colors, or you can make your look entirely your own by selecting an unexpected mix of colors. It’s really pretty foolproof.
When you visit In the Habit, do check out the rest of the Carriage Trade community. I had the genuine pleasure of participating in one of the first video productions (below) for the community when I rode Sali, a very friendly and strikingly beautiful horse avatar whose easy going personality and superb horse skills speak volumes about SL’s wonderful horse culture…a culture that, prior to this, I didn’t realize existed. When you view the video — created by Carriage Trade co-owner Georgianna Blackburn — and watch the playfulness of the horse avatars, you’ll see what I mean about their wonderful nature. (Sali and I open the video. Sali was a horse of a different color at first. In the beginning of the filming, Sali wore a champagne tail and mane, and then switched to a black tail and mane to match my jacket. For my part, I was the hair of a different color. I started out with the long curly red hair and switched to a champagne-cinnamon color to match Sali’s coat.)
There’s so much to say about Carriage Trade and the wonderful creations and equestrian roleyplay you’ll find there, but it will take more than one entry to do so. In the meantime, take the slurls and cantor or gallop on over there, where a Horse Shoe Hunt is also underway verily as we speak.
Fashion Details for the shop “In the Habit,” which can be found in the Carriage Trade Equestrienne Attire courtyard:
- @CT@ “Michele Dressage Hat” in cherry
- @CT@ “Fashion Scarf Thorobred” in natural white
- @CT@ “Ladies’ Hunt Coat” in brown
- @CT@ “Full Seated Breeches” in gray
About Carriage Trade and its current Horse Shoe Hunt:
- Carriage Trade is a lovely region that includes 7 rental homes, 6 retail establishments, a public livery with rental stalls, a community glasshouse, a plein air art gallery, community jumps, and a large, central park suitable for daily gallops. There are regularly scheduled human-horse (quad horse avatar) events, including fox hunts and weekly park rides, as well as various other activities such as lectures, talks, and games and treasure hunts.
- The Carriage Trade Horse Shoe Hunt began January 29th and runs through midnight on February 28th. Hunters are looking for 24 commemorative bronze horse shoes, each containing something special for horses or humans. There are 12 horse items and 12 human items to add to the fun! The Horse Shoes are hidden throughout the estate on the ground and arena levels and may be hidden in shops, public areas or parks, and possibly in the public areas of the livery.