If you have ever wanted to discover what it feels like to be trampled by a herd of bison, just teleport to Lelutka after the group received a notice of a new hair release by Thora Charron. It is not for the faint of heart.
Why such excitement? I think there are a few reasons. For a redhead like me who wants to avoid the fiery and brassy reds, her hair textures are a wonder. I am surely not alone. Her releases often reflect a theme, an organizing inspiration so there is always some curiosity about what new thing she has done. She innovates. While fades and ombres have spread like wildfire, I remember that they did not exist “back in the day” and the frenzy when she released her first hair with roots. There is thoughtfulness behind her releases that inspires curiosity, anticipation, excitement and stampedes.
It’s Only Fashion: What’s the craziest thing you ever did in Second Life? Most exciting? Silliest? Is there a story you can share that captures your Second Life experience?
Thora Charron: Honestly, I really can’t remember anything that crazy. I remember helping tweak Minnu’s shape back in 2007 in some strange online game having no idea what Second Life was.
Once I was in-world, there were some very bad IM pickup lines, from back in my SL clubbing days. Some really unfortunate nude teleports to public places which tend to happen more often then one would think. OH… one really unfortunate typo during a photo shoot which I really am not going to reveal because it is super embarrassing.
Renting our first (really small) property, barely fitting a house on it and feeling like we were on top of the world wind surfing around the sim.
I remember a lot of 20 hour work days but most of all moments with people who became dear friends even though we were miles apart.
One of my fondest memories is getting flip-flops from Aradia as a gift after I have just met her…
Wow, there were a lot of good times; like building my first “something that resembled an outhouse” but still calling it a yoga room or building Glam World and mistakingly de-selecting buildings mid-air. Rebuilding that same sim in the sky while people cammed, zoomed, took snapshots of me and dropping in on me, uninvited while I was in my underwear.
And the last big adventure was giving Lelutka a much needed face-lift.
IOF: What drew you to designing hair? When did you start? What are some of the changes that were most significant for you?
TC: My hair designing started from a “simple” quest to find a perfect platinum blonde ballerina bun (with a net and pins, it had to have that darn net), way back in the day so I decided to give it a go and make one for my pixel head. It worked out well so I wore it for a long, LONG time before I started experimenting with some other styles. I wasn’t even selling any at that time but after we used some of my custom styles in our promos I decided to give it a shot because I was tired of designing male skins which I was doing at that time.
IOF: How did you choose your store name? Does it have a special meaning for you?
TC: Well, at first it was “MMskins” which stood for “Minnu Model skins” but after I joined and we started expanding our creative palette (Cachet was the name of our clothing line) and after other designers joined our team, we wanted to unite our designs under one, unique sounding name. We ended up putting some French and Slavic words into a blender and out came LeLutka (basically le+doll).
IOF: What is the most challenging part of being a creator in Second Life? What is most rewarding?
TC: Being innovative and creative are both challenging and rewarding at the same time.
It is challenging to try outdo my last release, grow and evolve in my designs. I remember creating Rykiel hairstyle and thinking that was it for me, that I simply could not do better then that specific hairdo, that I peaked and I was done, all downhill from there.
Learning new things and applying them is hard, catching up with constantly evolving market demands while trying to keep customers happy, giving them a good value for their buck and trying not to let them as well as myself down is a big challenge.
Accomplishing something new, finishing a project and overcoming system as well as my own limitations and having someone respond to my efforts I think is the most rewarding in the end.
IOF: Where do you get inspiration for your designs? What is your process like?
TC: Music, definitely but I draw my inspiration from basically everywhere.
I tend to go into creative marathons after binge watching my favorite TV shows. Even after a really ridiculous blockbuster, an overrated indie movie or an inappropriately explicit and unnecessarily violent music video.
An interview with a person I admire or a fabulous fashion blog post which I just randomly stumbled upon or a cool character on the street tend to get the creative juices flowing. Some of my designs and even older hair color names tend to reveal what was in my head at the time I was making them. As to my process, there really are no rules. It is very fluid. I often change my mind mid process. It might start as one idea, mold into another and end up as a whole set of something like my fairytale hair editions. The only constant is ID channel as the background noise.
IOF: What sets your hair styles apart from other hair designers, in your opinion? What is your style or aesthetic?
TC: I honestly have no idea what sets me apart from other designers as there are some really talented people out there. I try keeping it original and try to make something that has not already been done. It is hard trying to keep it fresh after such a long time doing hair in SL. Fortunately, my style and aesthetic constantly evolve but it also depends on the season, current trends and my mood and might go from a really lush, over-sized, blowout style to a grungy, messy look.
My personal style has changed a lot from when I first started but a good geometric bob never goes out of fashion.
IOF: How has your second life changed your first life?
TC: Well, it became my primary source of income. That changed my life a lot. SL went from pure fun and careless exploration to a dedication and responsibility. I learned a lot during my years here. I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I love and I am very grateful for this opportunity.
IOF: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
TC: I LOVE puppies (three perfect/ly crazy ones at home) and donuts. I hate working out but because I love donuts so much… I have to… and I have terrible time management; five minutes and five hours are all the same to me.
IOF: What does Hair Fair mean to you?
TC: It means a lot actually. First of all, it is organized by really amazing people who are really dear to my heart so any chance I can help contribute to their efforts is of great importance to me. They are one of the main reasons I am willing to subject myself to all the pre-hair fair stress of meeting deadlines (Deadlines are terrifying! Deadlines are scary and my terrible time management really does not help!), trying to figure out which styles to pick that might stand out from all the other amazing designs.
I also love the cause (Wigs for Kids) and that is why I always try to make the best head scarf that I possibly can for the bandana day.
Store info at Blogging Second Life
Poses: oOo Studio
HUDS: AnyPose Expression HUD
Slink Ankle Lock
Skin: Glam Affair Asia
Mesh Attachments: .LeLutka.Mesh Head-KARIN
Slink Avatar Enhancement Feet High
Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands Elegant1
Slink Physique Mesh Body V2.3.1
Appliers: Glam Affair Avril Asia
Dark Horse Style Sparklies @My Slink Obsession
Eyes: Aphotic Gloom – Aquilius Eyes (Hazel)Small
Hair: Lelutka Hair @ Hair Fair
Clothing: *COCO*_SheerPanelCropTop(White) @ On9
*COCO*_SheerPanelSkirt(White) @ On9
Shoes: Essenz – Milan (White) Slink
Jewelry: Miam Miam Double Hoop Earring Marketplace only