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WE ARE THE BRUTAL N3RDS|A BRUTALLY HONEST LOOK AT SL FASHION|We are Sami and Butta

Sami's Review: January - Luxe Box: Ariskea, Ison, Lamb & Rowne


I know I know...I said I wasn't going to buy this months Luxe Box!!  Look, I'm a female and I reserve the right to change my mind, however many times I feel like it mmmmk?! lol  In all seriousness, yes, mine and Butta's plan was to not purchase this months box.  However, we saw that there were some fairly big changes this round, so we wanted to give it another chance and see how well the changes work out.  What changes?  Well for starters, at least for this round, they removed a designer or two (who shall remain nameless) that was producing well below par items for it's subscribers.  Big plus there!  They also limited the amount of the items in the box, down to just 8 items instead of 12.  Perhaps with a smaller panel of designers, the quality and variety of items will be better and make us happy?  They also lowered the price from L$1500 to just L$1000, which is only fair since you are getting 4 less items now.  So, way to go Luxe Box!  They clearly are listening to us and attempting to save the box by doing some changes, which is a smart move.  So how did this months box do?  Let's look and see!  (See Butta's review on her items here)

Sweater:  ISON - Royal Cardigan (fatpack) 

This was my #1 favorite thing out of the box this month.  I am a huge fan of ISON because he has really great clothing and he has awesome customer service in my experience.  A few months ago he was in the October Luxe Box.  He made a very pretty dress for the subscribers, and in the advertisement picture he included with the dress, the picture showed the dress with a harness.  He included a style notecard inside the box with the dress, clearly stating that the harness would be available later that week in store to purchase.  So for your Luxe Box item, it was just the dress in a fatpack.  But there were many complaints that it wasn't clear, since the advertisement picture showed it with the harness, people assumed that it came with the dress and were disappointed or upset when they found out that the harness was something you'd have to go to his store and purchase at full price separately.  Perhaps he could have worded his notecard a bit more clearly, but come on people!  We are adults!  Don't read between the lines or get upset when you assume things just because it didn't specifically say "this is something you must buy full price" or "you only get the dress for Luxe Box".

Anywho...he heard the complaints and he could have just shrugged it off as a misunderstanding that people would have to get over but he didn't.  When the harness was released later that week in his store, he sent out a notice to the Luxe Box group letting all of us know it was out and not only was it out, but he was setting it out at 50% off for us for the fatpack!  And if that wasn't awesome enough, if you didn't want to purchase the fatpack, he had one out in 1 color that was just free!  This is what I'm talking about folks!  Customer.  Service.  Plain and simple, making your customers happy!  So for this alone, I will be a supporter of ISON and his creations, and I think everyone else should too!

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Back
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Ok, back to the sweater!  The deets on the sweater or cardigan if you want to be technical about it, is it comes in sizes for Freya, Hourglass, Physique & Maitreya.  The sweater also comes with a tube top style shirt under the sweater (shown in pictures above) that can be added/removed via the HUD.  There are 6 color options for the sweater, and 15 color options (12 solids, 3 florals) for the tube top.  This sweater is so versatile, because you have the option of wearing/removing the tube top, so you're able to pair it with a lot of other items of clothing like I did in the picture.  I combined the sweater and the Rowne dress that I will  be talking about shortly.  The fit is loose in all the right places, so as long as your top or dress doesn't have a lot of frills or things that normally stick out, it'll fit perfectly!  The texture of the sweater is absolutely amazing and I didn't notice any breaking or clipping with my AO or poses.  LOOOOOOVE this item!!



Dress:  Jeune by Rowne - Taylor Velvet Dress (fatpack)

This month we have...another "velvet dress" from Rowne.  If you heard any sarcasm in that sentence, then you and I are perfectly in tune!  Don't get me wrong.  Does it fit?  Yes.  Is it wearable?  Yes!  But this is where I think I, as well as a majority of subscribers, am starting to lose the love for Luxe Box.  Many items are just uninspired, boring remakes of last months items, or something they already have in their stores. *sighs*  I feel like we talk this to death so let me just save you and me some time, and get to reviewing the item.

This dress comes in sizes for Freya, Hourglass, Isis & Maitreya only.  There are 8 solid color options for the dress via a HUD.  The fit is mostly great.  It's very tight fitting on the body, so unfortunately, with even just small movements from your AO, you're going to see breaking or clipping happen.  This is especially noticeable when walking.  The dress has an auto alpha, and you can add to it a bit to help with the clipping, but since it is short, there is only so much you can alpha out before you will begin seeing parts of your body missing outside of where the dress sits.  My body shape has thicker legs than some people's, so perhaps an adjustment to my shape would fix it even more, but I didn't try it.

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Front
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The dress is strapless and while it's called a "velvet" dress, the texture to me appears more like suede leather than velvet.  I say this mostly because her last month's Luxe Box dress was also called a velvet dress, and that was one of my favorite things about the dress, was the velvet texture.  It looked like real, plush, velvet.  This dress is definitely not the same texture, which I'm not saying is a bad thing.  Since the dress is so similar to last months, I'm glad that she at least made the effort to use entirely different textures on them, so that's a plus.  I just wanted readers to be aware that in comparison to her other velvet texture, it's going to be much different.  Another plus for this months dress is she added 2 more color options to this HUD, compared to the only 6 options on the previous dress.

Hair:  Lamb - Control Hair (fatpack)

Lamb gives us a bit of a medium length, bedroom messy style of hair this month.  I'm shit at explaining things sometimes! lol  I do like the concept of the style she was going for with this hair, because just like real life, things get messy!  So it adds some realism into SL when you've got a little bit of a messy do, yeah?  However, there are some flaws to this hair unfortunately, that I'll point out for you.

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Alpha issues :(
To be totally honest, while I don't hate the hair, it's going to probably be used as only photo hair, and even that will have limited uses.  Here's why: one thing that I noticed was a weird issue with the hair that comes in front of my face.  The alpha layer from that strand of the hair, crosses over my lips, and discolors them (see pic).  Basically, what's happening is the alpha layer from the hair is conflicting with the alpha layer for my lipstick.  So to correct this issue, just make sure not to wear any kind of lipstick with this hair.  I don't fault her for this, alpha textures are what they are and there isn't a whole lot that can be done about them.  But it is an annoyance and I would have much rather preferred the hair to not be in front of my face for this reason, or at least moved over just a smidgen so I wouldn't have to choose between wearing the hair or wearing lipstick.

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I see you tiny hole!!
I also spotted a very small, easily missed, hole in the texture on the left (Sami's right) side of the hair.  I'm not sure what has caused it or why it's there but, I've tried multiple HUDs and it's seen on all of them.  Most likely, you wouldn't have even noticed if I didn't point it out but...that's what I'm here for!




Man this hair is sharp...

so sharp it slices into my shoulder blades! haha
My two biggest disappointments with the hair though are how it's rigged and parts of the hair that are left untextured.  Let me explain...as you can see, this hair sits down onto the tops of your shoulders.  While posing or during AO movements, the hair on your shoulders continuously cuts into your shoulders and neck.  It almost seems as if the hair on top of your head is rigged properly to follow your head, but the hair that drapes over your shoulders is static and rigged incorrectly.  I am in no way an expert on how things are rigged or built in SL, but I know that I have dozens of similar styles where the hair hangs over my body in this manor, and with the rigged versions of the style, the hair moves with my head and body.  You don't see the hair cutting into my shoulders or neck.  So this leads me to the conclusion that the Lamb hair might not be rigged properly?  I experimented with about 10 different poses while wearing this hair, and in all but the ones where I was facing straight, this was an issue, therefore...limiting it's use even for what I call "photo hair".



As for the untextured pieces, this has become a pretty big pet peeve of mine with creators.  Only texturing one side of things, leaving the other side untextured and looking like a hole.  Since this hair is a "messy" style, she has many strands of hair that are coming off of the head, giving it an unpolished look.  I think the concept is great.  But as you cam around and look at the hair (see video clip), you'll notice that underneath some of these strands that she's made, they're left untextured.  So what looks like a messy but perfectly placed strand of hair at one angle, turns into just a weird single piece of hair floating out in the middle of nowhere at a different angle.  The reason this peeves me off so much is because I just don't understand how this happens.  I mean, I don't create anything, but everything I wear or consider buying, I go over it with an eagle eye and look at it from all different angles to make sure I like it and it meets my standards.  If you're a designer, do you not do the same thing when you're creating something?  Do you only look at your masterpiece from a single angle and then call it good?  So how can you miss these untextured areas that completely ruin the style you've worked so hard on?  Because of this issue with the untextured areas, again...it will have some limitations on use for even photos.  Maybe I'm just too picky?


 Building:  Ariskea - My Place Pergola

This is a 21 LI, outdoor pergola.  The frame is a nice, medium wooden texture, with contrasting gray concrete or tile flooring.  Added brownie points to Ariskea for not adding baked on shadow textures!  Woot!  As you can see in the picture, there is a strand of lights that go around the entire inside of the build up at the top, which is a very nice touch.  However, they do not actually give off any lighting.  But have no fear!  The build is modifiable.  With a quick edit, you can enable lighting on them and viola!  A nice lighting effect.  I played around with the build a bit and you can even change the colors of the light bulbs as well if you'd like to do that.  Since it's modifiable, you can resize it as well, but always remember...that may change land impact.  Overall, I think it's a pretty cute little outdoor sitting area and would be a great addition to anyone's little piece of paradise in SL.


I do want to mention that I have contacted the creator, because there is a texture issue on some of the strands of lights.  On 3 areas, the strands have absolutely no texture on them (see pic).  As of writing this post, I have not heard back from her, but I know that Ariskea is good about fixing her items when there are issues, so I have no doubt that I will.  I will make sure to make an update when that happens.

Ooooh, magic floating light bulbs!!

One side thing I'd like to talk about that leads me into the closure of this months review, is apparently when this box was first sent out, there was an issue with the pergola.  There was some part of the build that was preventing you from walking through the building.  I was working during the initial release, so I wasn't able to see for myself what the problem was.  By the time I got my box, there had already been an update sent out.  See, she's pretty quick to fix things!

Even though this was fixed quickly, I'm still just curious how this happens and gets sent out in the first place.  Is there no "quality control" people in Luxe Box headquarters?  This is all from an outsiders point of view obviously, but it seems to me that there is no manner of quality checking the items prior to their release, because every month, at least one thing is needing to be updated and fixed.  It's frustrating for us as consumers, because we have to contact the creators, send notecards, wait for responses, redeliver the item from the HUD once an update is sent out, open the box again, etc.  And I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be for creators to work on something, release it and then be bombarded with people saying "Fix my shit!"  Ok, I'm never that rude, but I have no doubt that some people probably are.  They're probably breathing a sigh of relief that they're done with Luxe Box for the month and they've moved onto other projects and are busy but no...they gotta turn around to fix something for us ungrateful brats! lol

My point is this: perhaps the next thing Luxe Box should change or consider doing, is putting in place some quality control measures, assuming they aren't already.  Having a few select people who go over every single item in the box with a fine tooth comb, days before it's released so there's time to make fixes, and let the creators know "Hey, I can't walk through the pergola.  Let's get that fixed before release day ok?  Chop chop!"  On release day, there will be more happy customers and less stress on the creators.  Win win right?!  Maybe since I'm so picky with things, I should volunteer huh?  Hey...now there's an idea! :)  Until next time...

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