Hair Fair Designers — Helena Stringer

Our Lady of the Bugs was the first hairdo I purchased from The Stringer Mausoleum, long ago for Halloween 2008. Her work is instantly recognizable because it is wild and exuberantly creative, full of wit and a dollop of kookiness. It entertains as well as adorns.

Helena Stringer - Pixel Mythos - Bats by Moonlight - 1

Helena Stringer – Pixel Mythos – Bats by Moonlight By Helena Stringer – 2015

TSM Kitchen Magnet V2 - Silver_002

The String Mausoleum Kitchen Magnet, Luxuria GigaWatt Bodysuit, Sn@tch Latex Gloves, Glamistry Echium Heels

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?

Helena Stringer: The Craziest Thing I have ever done in SL® would probably be taking the reigns of Media Manager for a rather large event, 2 weeks before it was to open. I learned a lot, and was rather successful at it. There was over 200 designers in that event, and I managed to get each of them covered at least 2 times, by a team of 60 bloggers. I did this while being in 13 Events/Hunts/Rounds myself for my own store as well as running the Main Site for the Event, which had a tem and daily postings. Would I do it again? Probably, I am crazy like that, haha.

TSM Kitchen Magnet V2 - Silver_001

TSM Kitchen Magnet V2 – Silver

The most Exciting thing I ever did in SL was joining the Fashion Team for Rezzables. They use to have huge Fashion Shows, which were themed, happening about four times a year. It was always a highlight in the fashion community. This was before we had all the Themed Events and Themed Sales rounds like we do nowadays. So a single sim, dedicated to a theme, with many top designers all making items to suit that theme, was a big deal. I would actually go to at least one show, and try to take as many pictures as my computer would allow. SL wasn’t as stable back then, with lots of avatars in a single space. There were always models crashing, their avis floating off the runways to hit the sim lines and poof. We would all just patiently wait until they got back on, then the show continued. It was nice seeing my creations on the catwalk.

One of my Silliest Memories was when my Sister and I bought our first sim. We raced around the empty land with various vehicles.

TSM Kitchen Magnet V2 - Gold_001

TSM Kitchen Magnet V2 – Gold

IOF: What drew you to designing hair? When did you start? What are some of the changes that were most significant for you?

HS: After the reason for my initial presence inworld was completed, I decided I liked SL and wished to stay. My sister was already designing at this point, and I had dabbled in making a few things. I had taken a few tutorials on how to make some items, having already made a few hair pieces. I made some shoes too, which use to be so hard to make, using just prims. I decided I liked making hair much more than the shoes, so I stuck with that.

I started SL in January of 2007. Made my first hair not too long after that. It was called Lizard Frill, and was unsurprisingly a Mohawk, haha.

Stringer Mausolem Keep It Pasty_001

Stringer Mausolem Keep It Pasty

Mesh would have to be the biggest change. I like making my own original hairstyles, but being self taught, with no previous computer experience before SL (other than just playing games and doing stuff for schoolwork), mesh was a kick in the butt. I am really slow at it, and while I am producing my own original mesh pieces, I am not making the 2-3 hairs a week, like I used to, premesh. Part of this is due to having a young family at home. I find it hard to learn new techniques, while still doing all my daily Second Life tasks, and taking care of my mini minions. I am still trying though.


Stringer Mausolem Allegory_003

The Stringer Mausolem Allegory

IOF: How did you choose your store name? Does it have a special meaning for you? If your stores is named after yourself, how did you go about choosing your avatar name?

HS: That is an interesting story, the store name. I was playing a lot of BloodRayne, one of my all time favorite games, at the time. It influenced me to steer towards the darker things in Second Life. I had also visited a lot of cemeteries in the previous city I was living in, over the course of 2006. I took a lot of pictures of sunken Mausoleums and Family Crypts. I wanted something original, but wanted to brand myself at the same time. I know I had a list of names, but The Stringer Mausoleum was what won. I think, looking back, I would have just chosen Mausoleum, cause my store name is hella long. Most people don’t type it out, or even get it right. The two most common ways it is mistyped is either Stringers or The Stringer Museum, haha.

As to my name, I originally came into SL on a business proposition, with my sister. We had a friend who had a partner who needed some graphics design work done. Since it was for business, I actually chose fairly regular name. My RL name is Helen, never felt much like a Helen, so my best friend calls me Helena (pronounced Hey-Lay-Nah). I chose Stringer as a last name because it seemed strong. Many of those who call me a friend inworld call me Stringer, or The Stringer. Sometimes I am just Hel, haha.

Stringer Mausolem Allegory_002

Stringer Mausolem Allegory_001

Stringer Mausolem Allegory & Luxuria Gigawatt Bodysuit

IOF: What is the most challenging part of being a creator in Second Life? What is most rewarding?

HS: All the backend store stuff. If I could just make the stuff, and magically all the store stuff got done, I think I would produce much more product than I do now. Over the years I have managed to find ways to make all that stuff take a bit less time, like having set ad templates, so I can quickly just photo my items and plop it in, do quick edits, and be done.

Marketplace would have to be a second challenging point. If it worked faster, it wouldn’t be so bad, but waiting between all the loading, putting even 10 items up is a hassle. When you are a hair designer, a hair texture line could be up to 17 postings for a single style.

The most rewarding is seeing what your creations inspire in others. I am a huge flickr fan. ever since I have had my account, I go on when I can and find new pics of people using my items. People get rather creative. It creates a good cycle, as you end up being inspired by them yourself.

*TSM* Optic Nervepulse - Supa Glow Ice_001

*TSM* Optic Nervepulse – Supa Glow Ice

[HF'15] *TSM* Twisted Siren - Rusty[3]_002

TSM Twisted Siren

IOF: Where do you get inspiration for your designs? What is your process like?

HS: I have always had a huge imagination. I make a lot of things with my hands, I write, I read a lot, I enjoy unique tv shows and movies. I was an avid console gamer, before I bought my first ever computer in 2005. I know, it took me a while to get one, haha.

This has created a huge soup of chaos in my head. It is constantly creating, wanting to express itself, and pours out through the various means I allow. SL was such an easy outlet for this, as you were only limited by your own mind. When you mind doesn’t have a limit, the possibilities are endless.

[HF'15] *TSM* Twisted Siren - Rusty[3]_001

TSM Twisted Siren

As to what inspires the hairs I make, I can’t really pinpoint it for you. I am not one of those designer that picks a photo of a celebrity, or someone else, off the web, then recreates their hair. Most I don’t think would even be plausible in the Real World.

I will sit and sketch. Magic will happen, and I will try to make something of it. I understand how certain things work, like mohawks and dreads, from helping style my one RL Friend’s hair, who happens to be a model. Those are the 2 styles that come easiest to me, with hair creation. I enjoy Couture Fashion and Editorial Spreads, so sometimes I use similar ideas, to create my own runway styles. I like historical and asian inspired artwork and writing, so often I bleed that love into my styles.

[HF'15] *TSM* Solaflore - Rusty[3]_001

The Stringer Mausoleum Solaflore – Rusty

IOF: What sets your hair styles apart from other hair designers, in your opinion? What is your style or aesthetic?

HS: I like spiky things, so my pieces tend to be a bit more pointed, less wispy looking. I like movement in my mohawks sometimes. I have been told that my flexi is very underwater feeling, the mercreatures of SL enjoy it. I like making BIG hair, I like doing things that aren’t possible in the Real World. I also have a love for colour, and while my new mesh colour line has been pushed back for launch, I normally have over 250 colours available for my texture lines. I like to go into inventory and be able to match the new pair of Lime Green pump I just bought, to my hair.

When asked by events, what my style is, I most often say Goth/Punk/Alternative. I make much more than that tho, I have many historical, asian inspired and fantasy pieces mixed in.

My store is a selfish one, and I mostly make things I want for myself, haha, so my styles are a product of my own desires, so things can get rather mixed up.

[HF'15] *TSM* Optic Nervepulse - Firey_001

TSM* Optic Nervepulse – Firey

IOF: How has your second life changed your first life? 

HS: The year I came to SL, there were many changes in my life. My partner and I decided to start a family, and I was pregnant. My body didn’t handle it too well, being pregant, so I was more homebound. I had a mixup that lead me to be unable to drive, and I live in the middle of nowhere. This all resulted in a large amount of time doing not much of anything. I couldn’t see my friends, they all lived an hour away by highway.

I am a social creature, the isolation was horrible. SL let me keep my sanity, and filled the vast amounts of time I had. Those first few years in sl were very vital to me.

[HF'15] *TSM*  Pearl Persuasion V2 - Blue_001

*TSM* Pearl Persuasion


IOF: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?

HS: Don’t let the confines of your RL restrict the second one you have a chance at here. Let a bit of frivolity in, even if it is just adding a bird to your hair.

I am notorious for sticking things in my hair.

I would like to see more of you freed. Some days I can feel your chains, as the clink along the fashion avenues.

Be nice to others, even random strangers. I try to make one person’s day, every day, I am in second life. It isn’t hard, and really doesn’t take much effort.

Hair Fair is also winding down. The 26th is Bandana day, take off your hair, and throw on your Charity Bandana.

Pro tip – if you are still having issues getting into Hair Fair, there are 2 sims that support off sim shopping, set up to either side of the Redhead Sim. There isn’t often people on these 2 sims, so you can do your shopping rather easily by camming.

[HF'15] *TSM* Optic Nervepulse - Firey_002

TSM* Optic Nervepulse – Firey

IOF: What does Hair Fair mean to you?

HS: I have donated my hair to Locks of Love, since I was nine, in the Real World. I had a friend, who didn’t have hair. I can’t remember what sort of cancer she had, I just remember her having a wig. My adoptive mom, she said my hair grew so fast, maybe it would be a good thing to donate it. That was what my friend’s hair was made out of, real hair donated by people.

The first few years of hair fair, that was Locks of Love charity we used. It was since changed to Wigs for Kids. I have since stopped donating my hair, Hair Fair 2013 was the last year I donated it. I decided it was time for me to be able to enjoy my hair the way I wanted, because you can’t have dyed hair, if you are donating it. Has to be natural.

Hair Fair lets me still connect to that part of my life.

It means a smile to a face, and a form of hope, to a child, somewhere, out there.

Store info at Blogging Second Life
Poses: Del May
HUDS: AnyPose Expression HUD v1.0
Skin: Glam Affair Arctic
Mesh Attachments: .LeLutka.Mesh Head-KARIN v1.1
Slink Avatar Enhancement Feet High
Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands
Slink Physique Mesh Body V2.3.1
Appliers: {Luxuria} Gigawatt Bodysuit
.LeLutka.Cassie hairbase HUD.Set 03 and 04
Sn@tch Latex Gloves
Glam Affair Megan Arctic Applier
Eyes: Aphotic Gloom – Aquilius Eyes (Hazel)
Hair: The Stringer Mausoleum for HAIR FAIR 2015
Clothing: {Luxuria} Gigawatt Bodysuit
Shoes: Glamistry : ECHIUM Heels –
Jewelry: (epia) – Strap Collar (silver)
:::Sn@tch Paragon Ring
PEQE – Jafar collar (Unrigged) /Open Collar/

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