I decided to check out the No 7 in SL shop which is currently on Avalon, having found the No 7 in SL blog the other day, as I reported then. Above you can see the No 7 Christmas skin (demo) face and back; No 7 Spring skin face and back; and my normal skin face and back, for comparison.
Finding the shop wasn't that easy. I looked up No 7 in the search menu and came up with a couple of groups. The No 7 in SL devotees, which amazingly (read on) has some members, lead me to two entries for locations, but refused to allow me to see the No 7 in SL shop location. I had to back up and click on the owner of the group, and look at her picks to find the shop.
On arrival, I realised there were apparently two skins available; they are in picture frames on the desk in front of the teleport point. The one from Christmas was available as a demo for $1 and in final form for $1000. The Spring one wasn't available at all. There was a texture on another picture frame which gave the price of the spring skin as $400 but the object was not set for sale, despite the fact that the blog said it had been released about a week ago. The demo for the Spring skin wasn't available either.
I contacted the avatar whose name was on the objects (who is also the owner of the group) and reported that the skin wasn't set for sale and the objects were wrongly named. I bought the $1 demo skin.
It's... horrible. Even at $1 for a demo I felt cheated. I don't know how many they sold for $1000L but all those people who bought it were ripped off. This is a REALLY bad skin. It isn't billed as a Goth skin, but is very pale and very patchy. The verdict I got from a few people who know was that it deserved 2 out of 10 for effort. None of them would willingly wear it. The patchiness and make up cause changes to the avatar face, and there are nasty brown marks on the body which would make wearing backless dresses or bikinis out of the question.
I waited a while and then went back to see if the fact that they weren't set for sale had been fixed. I can report that it had... but the names of the objects had not been fixed, there was no demo skin available. When I bought the skin in the interests of journalistic investigation for $400L, I discovered that the skin was full perms, which can't have been the intention. Fear not, not even the most desperate of rip-off artists would want to scam this skin. It's again horrible. I can offer a 2.5 out of 10 for it, and most of the increase is the fact that it is less than half the price, and the colour is slightly less corpse-like, although it's still very patchy. The verdict from my assistants? It's an old lady skin, with bad patchiness, including oddly light patches under the breasts.
I answered the questions about whether they had decided to go with nipples and genitals or no nipples and genitals: the skins have both. The pubic hair looks weird, and the breasts are so odd due to inappropriate light and dark patches, that I can't believe that either would be willingly exposed. The skins are poor and I can honestly say I have been given free skins which were better quality.
I think this is such a shame. No 7 is a perfect fit for skins, the idea of having a make up artist devise a make up in RL which could be translated to SL - all good. Did they actually look at the result in SL? What did the RL make up artist approve? And did they not get someone in SL to check the quality of the product?
The implementation is dreadful, and the quality of the work is so poor, that it is the opposite of good PR, it's destructive in SL of the RL good reputation of the company. They need replacing urgently with skins of good quality. I wondered out loud to a friend with long experience in SL who could have made the skin. She said "someone who ought to be doing something else". I can't help but agree.