The Basque Country, an autonomous region in Spain that borders France and is the home of Belle Epoque creator Janire Van Belle, is one of the most fascinating areas of Europe in its quiet contributions to both the art and fashion world. The Guggenheim in Bilbao stands as a testament to a creative history within the region that has given us the likes of Jorge Oteiza, Balenciaga and Paco Rabanne to name a few. It’s no surprise that the beloved works of Belle Epoque in Second Life echo this storied locale. Her unique style, one that mixes the sensible of vintage ready-to-wear with a panache of haute couture, speaks volumes of the Basque soul.

As a young girl Janire drew pictures of girls in amazing gowns inspired by a mind that wandered amidst the green hills, rivers, and breathtaking landscape of her homeland. Her surroundings becoming the backdrop to her work and passion.

But it took time. Patience. Opportunity.

Her entry into Second Life rekindled the spirit of that little girl who drew gorgeous dresses. Romancing again her creative needs and armed only with a mindful of ideas and a spirit of gusto she began to create amidst a long and tedious process of learning from a teacher that guided her in 3D design.

Janire’s favorite piece and one that perhaps lifts the spirit of Basque designer Balenciaga is her Gacha set, Good Golly Miss Molly. Taking a classic silhouette and allowing it a modern twist in texture and structure beckons the eye to a classic that unfolds the loveliest of surprises.

When asked what brought her to Second Life, Belle Epoque designer, Janire, simply says, “There was a time when I needed to make my ideas real.” Real indeed. It’s within Second Life that her childhood fantasies take shape and can come alive.