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Archive for April, 2010

To all my dear Texan readers, May 21st is a day you will want to be in Dallas! Marquis of Vaudeville, that Edwardian Entourage of Musical Phantasmagore, will be co-headlining with the great Saint Karla (celebrating their brand new album) at Deep Ellum’s legendary Curtain Club. They will be supported by the beautifully ambient Auxiliary Voice that very evening. So, if you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about, join the cacophonously creative ranks of The Wild Lost and join us for a night to remember. Dressing up is encouraged, so go all out! Hope to see you there! :D

So, another day brings yet another introduction to one of my lovely tee-shirt modifications. Today, I give you…

The Lace Yoke Collar

me wearing the modified "Disciple" tee

Isn't she a beaut? ^__^

Funny enough, this complex number is actually one of my first tee-shirt modifications. The baroque, filigree design of the angels crossing swords inspired me to fill in the neckline with beautiful, sexy-but-modest lace. I am on the hunt for higher quality laces, but I think the demo/personal wardrobe piece turned out quite nicely, don’t you think? :3

It seems that I deal with grief by throwing myself into my work. I began the work on this only a couple days after my dad was killed… (see the “About Me” tab). However, this tee does not carry a sad memory with it. Instead, it is a testament to how my faith and God’s Peace came to my aid during a time of great tragedy… a time that is still not over, but that too shall pass.

back of the lace yoke collar top

The back's design needs some re-working. I might do more buttons, or maybe I just need to be more careful when cutting the lace! ^^;

I do offer a similar modification in my Etsy. If you have a beautiful tee that you think could use this treatment, send it my way!

Tomorrow, I’ll show off the inestimable “Hard Rock Rococo”! But if you can’t wait, you can go to my DeviantArt page and find it there… ;3

Until then,

Naomi

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So, yesterday, Ashley and I headed over to Lulu B’s Antique/Consignment store in Dallas. I wore this:

me wearing the Alice Cards dress

I designed, drafted, and sewed the entire thing. It was finished before I went to Japan last summer. :3 Photo by Kuragiman!

I also wore my black bowler hat for that extra bit of English whimsy. -w-

After finding the PERFECT jacket for an upcoming project, Ashley took me home, and my Uncle and I visited the DPS (which, oddly enough, looks exactly like I’d imagine a fallout-proof army bunker). But even the crowded Drivers License Office can be interesting when you’re wearing an interesting dress!

I knew that the more general “audience” at the DPS might react to my attire strangely, so it didn’t surprise me when a young black man smoking outside the building muttered a “what… the hell? O_o; ” as I passed by in my puffy glory. But what followed *did* surprise me a lot!

A couple minutes later, the same young man came in from his smoke break. He saw me sitting and, for one reason or another, decided to sit next to me. He continued to stare at the dress. “In case you’re wondering, I made it,” I said. Even though it was a bit difficult to understand his urban accent, the rest of our conversation was really cool. It turned out that he *loved* the dress, especially the card suite/crowns theme. He showed me that he had the outline of an Ace of Spades tattoo on his arm, with a crown resting on the corner. Since the tattoo was unfinished, he was looking at my dress for inspiration for the details! :D In fact, the conversation inspired me to design a card-themed men’s shirt…

The moral of that story is: be friendly to everyone! Even the people who initially respond negatively to your work, or even just respond with confusion, are AT SOME LEVEL interested in it. Treat every questioning party like their interested, and you will find that they are!!

After that inspiring conversation, I began to take note of the small, but deliberate style choices in the sea of jeans-and-tee-shirt-wearers. Crew socks pulled tight above basketball shoes, showing off a logo. A tee shirt tucked in at the front to show off a special belt buckle. A particularly cute print on a set of nurse scrubs. Cowboy boots under jeans. Even those terrible, too-loose short worn low on the hips are a declaration, a glimmer, of personal style. I might not agree with the style, but I acknowledge it. Actually, it’s somewhat of a relief. I was beginning to be under the impression that we lazy Americans didn’t want to be bothered with any kind of self-expression.

Or perhaps I am being too optimistic. I speculate that the socks, low shorts, and belt buckles are just more imports from the L.A. ghettoes, popularized through rap music videos. >_>; It’s another way of following the herd… but at least it’s a somewhat special herd – one that is united by a form of music, a lifestyle, a political view.  I’m sure that some of my friends could speak at length about the bovine mentality of American youth, but I choose to find the positive in this case (a big step for me… I used be a total pessimist).

Either way, I might have been wearing a bowler hat and an Alice dress yesterday, but I don’t think that means that I have any more desire to express myself sartorially than the average person. My Act of Dressing simply means that I have more will.

It’s also interesting how different occupations’ advances in clothing and sewing tools might help me in my own endeavors. EMTs use “Trauma Shears” that can quickly cut through any fabric – super-useful for leather, I imagine. Nurses wear ultra-comfy shoes for long hours of standing. And denim fades beautifully when worn from the wrong side of the fabric… :D

Always write down every idea, even if it doesn’t seem like a good one now. Sometimes today’s “crappy idea” will come in useful in a month or two. That’s why I always keep paper and pencil (or at least a phone that can save draft text messages) with me. I even keep my sketchbook next to me when I sleep, since so many of my best ideas come to me when I’m nodding off.

Anyway, I leave you for today with these things in mind. Keep on creating!!

Love,

Naomi

P.S. I just finished another TeeWrex, only this one isn’t made from a tee-shirt! I can’t wait to show you, but until then, mum’s the word. ;D

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First of all, I’d like to sing the base tee’s praises:

Japanese Woodcut style parody tee-shirt

Aliens vs. Samurai. Epic. WIN.

It’s comfy, beautifully printed, and reasonably priced. You can contact ionwizard [at] yahoo.com if you’re interested in buying one for yourself! He’s got all kinds of kitchy, pop-culture remix designs. :D

So, on to the finished product!

I realized that an old college tee of mine was made from the same soft fabric, so I used that to make sleeves and a collar for my haori-to-be. I added some cotton kimono-print fabric I had, and…

Silly pose with comfy Haori

WHALLAH!!

wearing the haori

I love the look of the kimono print peeking out, like I'm wearing a second haori underneath.

back of the haori

The collar turned out surprisingly well, even though it tends to flop. Next time I'll use interfacing. Isn't that Japanese woodcut design just epic??

As you can see, I can work with any tee – I’ll even put the design on the back to avoid spoiling it with cuts!

When I e-mailed IonWizard to show off the results, this is what he responded with:

Wow! Naomi – we’re so impressed! (and honored) What an amazing transformation!
Also, very nice work with the Empire Strikes Back tee. Shweet!
You have some interesting web content at TeeWrex and forgottendoll.
Have you heard about http://makersmarket.com/ ? Your products would fit right in there. ;D
I need to join up with those guys, (and Etsy), for better coverage…
May I ask, how are sales?
I so much want to make creativity my sole source of income, but it’s a struggle.
Is this a do-it-because-I-enjoy-it, or are you trying to take it alllll the way to the bank?
(I like to talk shop/biz)
Again, Nice Work!!
Best,
[Ionwizard]
His question about my motives bring up some interesting questions. Why *do* I do what I do? What are my goals? I mean, I’m getting ready to go to this fancy fashion design school, but why? Couldn’t I just take classes closer to home?
I too, want to live by the work of my hands and my mind. That’s why I left engineering school, after all. I didn’t want to be a slave to the illusion of security and a steady income – things can *always* go awry, no matter what your profession. I only have a limited amount of time on this Earth – and I’ve got to use that time for the Glory of God. I believe that I can best glorify  God through my gift of design. I want to help women feel beautiful, men feel powerful. And the limited sizing and design ranges currently on the market are not doing that.
I don’t do anything half-heartedly, and I’ll have the best opportunities in the industry at FIT. I’ll have better connections to driven people who can help me realize my dream – a fashion industry that doesn’t only design for models, standardized mannequins, and heads of state. I have all kinds of ideas on how to combine tailoring with manufacturing…
Yes, I have looked at the schools in Texas and Indiana, where my friends and family live. But I cannot allow myself to be tied down by anything or anyone, except for God and my future husband and family. I will work as hard as I can until God puts me where he needs me, and I have faith that I will then be ready for whatever task He has planned for me.

So, Big Life Questions aside, if you’re ready to order your very own “Comfy Haori”, head on over to my Etsy shop and order away!

Love,

Naomi

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So, I picked a fitted, shoulder-padded pinstripe jacket at the thrift store for $1. Cheap, stretchy polyester. Unlined. Slightly too small, but passable. So, what’s a crafty girl to do?

embroidery on jacket shoulder

...why, embroider automotive pinstripes on it, of course! Here's the shoulder.

embroidery on upper back of pinstriped jacket

honestly, I think the design came out rather western-looking. Even though I was starting with Art Nouveau motifs...

detail of embroidery on upper back of jacket

"ZOOM UP!"

Actually, the jacket has many more hours of work left to do. I plan to add piping to the collar and hem (which is falling apart), some lace cuffs, button-and-chain closures…. and even more embroidery, including my ranking and titles for The Wild Lost. This thing is going to be EPIC.

And finally, as promised, I have photos for all of my latest “TeeWrex” efforts! But I’m not going to dump them all on you at once (I’ve already subjected my DeviantArt followers to that xD). I’ll upload the photos, one project at a time, for the next couple days, with complete explanations. So if you can’t wait to see, head over to my DeviantArt Gallery!

So without further ado, I give you the newest installment in my line of available tee-shirt modifications…

THE HACK N’ SLASH

modified tee-shirt

two cuts. two tees. Total WIN.

Like your favorite video game, this mod makes you feel like a superhero! This modification is different for each tee. I make maximum use of the original, “base” tee’s printed design. For this particular tee (my absolute favorite, even before I modded it), the original design was awesome, but there was this huge blank space on the top right. Boring!

My first idea was to simply cut it out at a cool-looking angle and wear a tank top under it… well, that didn’t quite work. Not very flattering, no added interest…

So when I found this awesome shield design on an old fraternity tee at the thrift store, I knew what needed to happen!

This tee is now officially my favorite FAVORITE top. Sexy modesty, that’s the way!

There’s actually one more hack’d n’ slash’d tee that we photographed, but haven’t developed yet. Do wait!

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So, I only happened upon this dapper sir’s blog a few minutes ago on Sart’s latest Tokyo post, but I find myself increasingly fascinated with the elegant strangeness of the years straddling the 19th and 20th centuries. Lord Whimsy’s latest post features a trailer for a hilarious-looking new indie movie, as well as a photoshoot based on 1908’s ideas of appropriate exercises to do while in your suit.

In general, I find myself more and more fascinated with men’s-wear… men’s everything-aesthetic for that matter. Headwear, suits, canes, grooming… it has such rich history, and for a while we all seemed to forget about it.  Thankfully, the world seems to be tired of ripped jeans and midriff tops for the time being (I am all for punk, but I do not like “grunge” at all), so there is room for Edwardian elegance, and it’s more elaborate cousin – Steampunk, to blossom. Several movies (The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Sherlock Holmes)  and large social events (The Edwardian Ball, Dances of Vice, and of course, our very own fledgling “Wild Lost“) have appeared that herald this new interest in the old-fashioned. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be working with a band that has that same vision. I love the off-kilter humor, the elegantly incorrect medical advice, and that wonderful, constant flirtation between the Classic and the Tacky.

This also appeals greatly to my long-neglected love of philosophical humor:

When I am in a particularly eloquent mood, I end up writing things like this, a note to some of the local radio DJ’s promoting the band:

Dear Mark and Angela,

Since you are both local purveyors of culture and have a hand in what gets played on the airwaves, I would like to draw your attention a little local band named Marquis of Vaudeville. Though they have only been together under this name for about a year, they have been playing Dallas, Houston, and everywhere in between. It is generally a hopeless effort to categorize them, but I usually describe them as Progressive Psychedelic Cabaret Rock… and they have a look to match. Top hats, turn-of-the-century waistcoats, and mohawks are all fair game on this stage, as well as within their dedicated audience: a growing creative collective known only as “The Wild Lost“.

Marquis’s sound and style appeal to all, from steampunk airship pirates – to us normal people who only wish for an escape from time to time. Their lyrics encourage finding they creativity within oneself, without the use of needless drugs; as well as the power of love and imagination.

Do check out the band and consider requesting a demo to add to your collection – you’ll be quite glad you did.

Regards,

Lady Naomi, Harbinger and  Couturier of the Wild Lost

Big words are fun. xD

p.s. Since today is bright and beautiful, I intend to employ my uncle’s aid in photographing my newest sartorial endeavors, including the Tee-Wrex you have waited so graciously to see. However, as we are still users of film, please extend your graciousness for a short while longer – the results shall be well worth it.

-Naomi

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So, a few days ago, my boyfriend received his modified “Remedy” tee. He loved it! I can’t wait to show you pictures.  :3

I bought quite a few more tee-shirts, and I’ve been busily “wrecking” them into all sorts of amazing things. The Aliens vs.  Samurai tee has been combined with another tee and some Kimono print fabric to form a beautiful casual haori (Kimono jacket). I’m so proud of it, I’ve worn it 3 days in a row!!

Also, I am busily embroidering automotive style pinstripes… onto a pinstripe jacket. :D It’s my first big embroidery experiment, but I’m having a lot of fun with it. When complete, it will be my “Club Jacket” for The Wild Lost, the Marquis of Vaudeville Society of Creative Personalities. (My title in its hallowed ranks is Lady Naomi, Harbinger and Couturier of the Wild Lost).

I think purple must be my “power color” right now… it’s really been appealing to me lately. :3 Perhaps it’s the beautiful bluebonnets we’ve had for the past week? Or the peacock feather I bought to decorate my black cocktail hat?

Speaking of purple, after picking up an INCREDIBLE fur capelet (yeah, I know it’s spring – I’m preparing for a super stylish Fall in Manhattan!) at the Resale store for only $25 USD, I stopped by a boba tea/donut place run by a beautiful young asian lady. And I had a LAVENDER-flavored milk tea! It was absolutely delicious. I must find this in tea bag form. ^o^

ALSO, the biggest news: I’ve finally opened my Tee-Wrex store! Check teewrex.etsy.com when you want your tees beautifully reconstructed! I currently have the Corseted Sides modification available on the site!

Corseted sides tee-shirt modification

You know you want one... :3

I am also currently drooling over these pocket watches, especially that first one, and all the Celtic Knots and Art nouveau… <3 In my book, the more ornate, the better!!

I have started to notice the close similarities among popular abstract decorative art styles. These include automotive pinstriping…

Pinstriped Motorcycle tank

Celtic knots…

Western leather applique…

and, of course, Art nouveau.

(previous 4 images courtesy Wikipedia. :3 )

They all have the pleasing combination of interconnected gentles curves and sharp points. Floral inspirations, geometric shapes… I wonder why this sort of thing shows up so often? Either way, I don’t mind, it’s all beautiful to me. :3

In other news, I saw the first batch of The Sartorialist’s photos from Tokyo, and I was absolutely ecstatic. Japan deserves the likes of Scott to represent their beautiful fashion, especially after Jessica Simpson’s horrendous presentation on VH1 this past monday. v_v

Speaking of Japan, Ashley and I have been developing a dream of opening a shop over there some day. Honestly, to move to Japan to design and sew for various awesome people would be all my earthly dreams come true. :D So we are working slowly but surely towards our dream, and I’m not letting fear take over!! *determined*

Anyway, it’s back to my embroidery for now. I hope to see you all again soon!

Love,

Naomi, a.k.a. Kagitsune

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Hey guys! So, I’ve recently picked up a BUNCH of new (old) tee-shirts to practice my ideas on! I’ve got so many ideas, I can hardly keep up with them – I just make what I can!

Today, as a special sneak peek, I’ve got “Before” photos of my current projects! What will they become? Stay tuned…

In anticipation of my Tee-WREX sales, I’ve already set up an Etsy store. Watch that space for more info on ordering your own tee-shirt modification! :D

EDIT: So, my first modification on the Star Wars tee was kind of impractical… I had to wear something under it to maintain my modesty! So, I took the dragon design from a tee I’m using for another project, and I added it in…

Finished modified Tee

Just a little preview... Better pictures on the horizon!

There’ll be a MASSIVE photo dump of “wrecked” tees once the weather clears up and we can take some nice photos! Are you excited yet??? ^o^//

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