A friend sent a notice about the Couturier Docks, a new fashion place with limited edition items. I went over to take a look, and there it was in all its golden and onyx glory: the Cassiope dress from sYs Designs. Their latest creation using mesh looked so wonderful in the gorgeous pic, that I was instantly sold. Even though there wasn't a demo, I had seen it blogged before so I figured it was worth the plunge.
I immediately put it on at home, excited to try on this daring number. As I always do with new purchases, I cammed myself from head to toe, admiring every nook and--what the hell is that on my bum? I could not believe my eyes. There, in the crook of a fold near my right buttocks, was a glaring black hole.
I realized this was the dress underneath and thought perhaps my shape needed adjustment so I went into Appearance Mode. Removed my saddlebags. Nothing. Flattened my ass. Still there. Turned my already slender legs into a pair of toothpicks. Once I found myself looking like Skeletor with no change in the error, it hit me: the mesh was flawed.
I checked my graphics settings. Tried on other meshes in case it was an SL glitch. Nothing. My perfect dress was a perfect mess. The alpha barely covered the necessary areas; I actually had to add another alpha from a skirt in another outfit just to hide my avatar's rump. When I walked, the mesh was so paper thin that my legs peeked out from any movement larger than a kimono walk. This was a disaster.
Remaining calm, I knew I had a couple weeks before the callbacks were announced. I sent their customer service representative a note, making sure to include a pic of the problem and offering to show it to them in person. A few days later she replied that she had sent my note to the designer to have a look at the issue. I felt hopeful that this would be resolved in a matter of days. Unfortunately it wasn't resolved soon enough.
Having hedged my bets on my look, I tried my best to find solutions. Perhaps mixing and matching pieces from other dresses would help. Zero inspiration. What could I do? The callbacks had been made by then and I only had a few days left to prepare. With little time to spare, I did the only thing I could: balled like a big ass baby. Just kidding, I only drank a couple shots of vodka to calm my brain into functioning again. Once it did, I was able to find a decorative piece from Finesmith to hide the flaw. Still try as I might, I thought it looked a hot mess in the back no matter what I did.
In the end, things kept falling apart all through the audition process: constant crashing and being upstaged by someone building a large prim next to me as I was posing for the judges onstage. I didn't make it in.
Despite the setbacks, I have learned some valuable lessons that I'm sure to forget soon as I'm at that age where things vanish quickly from memory if not written down. For starters, ALWAYS try demos first! No demo means a risky buy. If the designer is too busy to put something that simple in a box to try out on your shape, then they're likely too busy to fix any errors with your purchase later. Also try not to get so swept up in a competition that you buy things on impulse. We all do it irl too so remind yourself that if it's meant to work out, it will be available to buy later.
That being said, I will audition again using a more stable viewer and steering clear of mesh unless I've demoed it. I normally don't mean to have long posts, but I got fed up with being ignored. Ah yes, about the result of this error... Sent a follow up notecard to the designer a few days after the audition. It's been a week with no reply. It's fine though. My lindens can visit other stores.
UPDATE: I sent a third note and got a refund for the trouble. I appreciate this gesture and will continue to support the designer.
Dress: sYs Designs
Jewelry, lashes and nails: Finesmith Jewelry
Lipstick: m.o.c.k. cosmetics
Shoes: Loovus Dzevavor
Special thanks to Isodel Resident for being prompt and gracious in her customer service when the walk I purchased for MVW was not working. Check out her animations at Iso-Motion!