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Posts Tagged ‘current projects’

I had quite a summer – I made quite a few excellent things, which I’ll be posting one-by-one as I get satisfactory pictures. I’m back at school, which means it’s time to spend hours of free time in library and walk for miles in Meatpacking, SoHo, and East Village. :) I’ve been assigned a major project: I am to choose a design company with at least two selling points in the city – each selling at different market levels, pick one of those markets, and design/illustrate a hypothetical line for it. I’ve chosen the Japan-based Comme Des Garcons brand, because it will be a fun challenge and it meets all the requirements.

I visited the two stand-alone shops CDG has in New York – the shop staff is famously friendly. I’ve been to each place a couple of times before and have never bought anything, but they always answer my questions and love to chat about design. This time, with a specific goal in hand, they even recommended books and gave me a mini-tour of the lines, explaining target customers, design sense, etc.

This is the NYC flagship store. The front is covered in street art (with new additions often) and is famously hard to find. You only realize something is here/different if you know what to look for...

...which in a way sums up CDG's entire design philosophy. This is the tunnel door. :)

"Black" is CDG's lower-priced "basics" line. Only the clothes are not so basic. Dropped-crotch pants, boiled and object-dyed garments, and classic CDG details abound.

Originally, the standalone "Black" stores were only supposed to be open for a year, but the concept worked so well they added "Edited" to the name and kept them open.

Right now, my favorite aspects of CDG design are deliberate “problems” (jackets washed or bleached after construction, seams and entire garment sections turned inside-out or swapped, etc.), innovative use of both new and old garment (and sometimes industrial) technologies, and a unique sense of beauty in the “ugly” or deformed.

CDG Editorial for SS1997 "Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body" (aka "Lumps and Bumps")

AW 1983-84 Runway pic - French-braided sweater

I notice that the shop staff are pretty sensitive to the types of descriptors I used for the clothes. They preferred “different” to “unusual” or “strange”. There are those of us who cherish the unusual — but they’ve got clothes to sell. : )

So far, I have a few ideas for my design project, involving dip-boiled suits, displaced shoulder pads (which CDG has done before), and a developing concept about the nature of uniforms. Uniforms simultaneously induce conformity, but also set a group apart. This reminds me of street fashion and “style tribes”, with organically-produced “rules” and recognizable details that are often appropriated by the mainstream. Right now I’m studying the Cintas website and this excellent online collection of airline steward uniforms for common patterns and rules. I’ll write more about this later. : )

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… you don’t just sit and let it pass. You write it down, sketch it out.

And you don’t stop there. You don’t just record the idea, you make the idea into reality. Use whatever resources you have at hand, no matter how meager.

Don’t wait to be taught how to do it. Ask someone, or figure it out yourself, and do it. Play.

Leftover strips of fabric… 3 weeks of classes… and an open classroom.

I know that I am taking a great risk, putting a novel idea out on the internet for anyone to look at, but sharing ideas and inspiration is “the change I wish to see in the world”.

So this plus this:

Van Gogh's "Starry Night"…yields this idea:

…and this fledgling reality.

The left front of the bodice-to-be. Right side will come later...

I imagine the finished dress in crinkled strips of blue, gold, and purple silk arranged on a black organza underdress... but strips of muslin pinned to a dressform will serve for now.

This shall be a sort of cross between a low-backed evening dress and an elegantly revealing halter. I think showing a little of the "side boob" adds the perfect touch of quiet sexiness. :)

Tendrils coming down the back, a preview of the full effect. There will be a crinoline for the finished dress; but for now, I just want to see how the wrapped and tacked fabric might look. It looks better than I had imagined!

detail of the curls at the small of the back.

I so desperately love this sort of work. I could cut and sew beautiful dramatic things for-ever. I want to make costumes and wonderful things… I want to dress all sorts of people people for the most beautiful moments of their lives. I don’t want to be famous. I just want to live and work with joy and dignity.

Love and Blessings,

Naomi R. (The Forgotten Doll)

 

EDIT: Added watermarks to images.

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Lately, turning men’s shirts into skirts has been popular, but I’m not really a fan of the typical sleeves-to-gores method. So when I found a wonderful XXL Avirex label button-down at the thrift store, I knew it was destined for greatness. I proceeded to cut off the bottom half of the shirt, using the column of buttons as the main closure for the skirt. I drafted and cut a skirt yoke, figured out how jeans pockets work, and gathered and sewed it all together. This is the result! (thanks to my soul-sister Emily for the photos!)

I still have to work out a couple kinks, but overall I'm pretty satisfied. :3

I love how this fabric has that "classy punk" feel. <3 I'm gonna seek out more from this Avirex brand. All those brands they sell at The Buckle look ideal, too... so expensive and pretty tho... ;_;

Here’s the back. I had to cut off the bottom “flappies” of the original shirt to keep it from looking too, well… shirt-like. ^^;

This was a really fun challenge. The pockets were like working out a puzzle, since the side seams of the shirt had been flat-felled. I finished them the lazy way, but I think next time I do this I’ll re-do most of the seam. ^^ Also, working with dress shirt fabric is, ah… interesting. It washes beautifully, but it wrinkles like the dickens. xD

This design (not this skirt – your shirt turned into a similar one) is going up on the TeeWrex.Etsy.com store in a matter of days!! :D

As a special bonus, I’m also wearing my next jacket mod project. When I found these two shirts, I knew their “victorian tattoo” designs needed to be incorporated together somehow. Well, I began looking for a jacket… Ashley found EXACTLY what I needed when we were at Lula-B’s, and I set to work!

This is quickly becoming my "nerdy punk jacket", with tape measure appliques, odd religious paraphernalia,what have you. Don't you just love those diesel-punk details and that Victorian Military color and cut??

"His eye is on the Sparrow". The rest will be added later. :3

The back is unfinished, but turning out awesome. Roses crawling over the shoulders, a winged handshake (o_o?), and the enigmatic "Revolving Punk" moniker applique'd as a flying banner (I'm particularly proud of that one).

(Don’t forget you can click on the pictures to see them full size! :D)

My style has been all over the place lately. Some days I feel like looking exactly like a boy, sometimes I want to feel like some sort of cute biker chick gothette, and other days I dress like a sweet pastel Lolita princess (or a sweet pastel Gothic princess, take your pick). Since I just moved house and not all my clothes are here (similar to my situation in December), working within a limited wardrobe has forced me to become even more creative with my daily style, as well as wear my favorite clothes more often. This is an exercise I recommend to every fashion-savvy individual looking to update their look, as well as get the most out of their existing wardrobe. (Actually, it occurs to me that Doe Deere is doing something similar this week. :) )

Oh, I also made some more headway on the Marquis of Vaudeville costumes… My Lord, they look so beautiful so far…

Love and Creativity,

Naomi

P.S. Oh, remind me to blog about the carbon-atom-based dresses I learned about at Scarbie. This designer is a mad scientist after my own heart… <3

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Sexy.

two projects on the table. Check out the matched stripes on the vest!! :D

So, we’ve finally finished shopping for fabric for the Marquis of Vaudeville costume project. We juuuust might have a debut date set, so momentum is high. I’ll be working tirelessly on these until I get a job interview (whenever that might be, economy mumble obama mumble etc). I’m having a lot of fun on these – I’m sooo proud of the mitering job I did on the drummer’s striped vest! (helpful hint for working with plaids and stripes: color on your paper patterns *wink*)

All I hope is that he doesn’t end up looking like one of those traffic signs that mean “DO NOT CRASH INTO ME”… >_>;;

Now I’m working on the velvet bits of the singer’s tailcoat-waistcoat set. :3 But I’m also concerned about the band members heating up – most of these fabrics are thick, and we couldn’t afford the fancy, breathable, not-polyester silks… v_v But it’s all part of the adventure! We’re gonna finish this project, learn from it, and do even better in the future! :D

じゃ、私たちはMarqus of Vaudveilleの服装の布地のショッピングを終わりました!デビューの日をしているでしょうから、はずみがついてくる。仕事の面接をするまで、この服装にがんばりますよ!ちょう楽しいし、たくさん新しい技術を生得しました!でも、あの赤いで黒いベストは道路標識みたいかなあ。。。^^;

With love and excitement,

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, 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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It’s what I was made to do. When I was 7, I was obsessed with Sailor Moon and I acquired a Sailor Moon-themed shoebox (not the shoes). I would stare at it for hours, imagining how I would put together my very own sailor costume and fight crime… and in 2003, I made my first Cosplay for my first Anime convention. I made one for my sister, too. For a long time, that was all I sewed – costumes from anime and video games. And I got pretty good…

Me modeling my Fairy Paine cosplay

Fairy Paine from Kingdom Hearts 2. Photo by Eternal Serenity

But eventually, I made this:

Me wearing my first lolita dress

Modified from a commercial pattern. Gored skirt with ruffles galore! Photo by RabidFanBoy.com

This is Lolita fashion, my number-one muse for the past 3 or four years. Lolita is a Japanese street fashion that takes its cues from Victorian girl’s fashion, antique dolls, and Versailles-era Rococo. It can be Gothic, Sweet, Classic,  or Casual, but it is always modest and always has a knee-length skirt with a fluffy pannier/petticoat underneath. I have since progressed from simple dresses and blouses from modified patterns, to making my own patterns and using wild fabrics:

Me posing in my Alice dress

This fabric features Alice in Wonderland characters inside gold-trimmed playing cards. Definitely my best work 'til now. Photo by Kuragiman

I also do t-shirt reconstructions, which I like to call Tee-Wrex. I “wreck” otherwise boring or ill-fitting tee-shirts into one-of-a-kind creations! (I take commissions, too. ;) )

Apocalyptica tour tee reconstruction

"Wrecked" Apocalyptica tour tee. I corseted the sides! Photo by Kuragiman.

I still cosplay from time-to-time, though. My latest effort got Best in Show at the All-Con 2010 Cosplay contest!

Me wearing my Myoubi cosplay

Myoubi from the manga Alichino. I had to "get pale" for this one. xD Photo by PhongoPhotography

So, right now I’ve got some really awesome projects. I’m working on another original Lolita design (it’s an incredible one…), and I’m working on the costumes for the local band Marquis of Vaudeville! They’ve got this amazing turn-of-the-century, psychedelic rock vibe… I highly recommend them. :D As a treat, here’s the designs and fabric swatches for each member of the band!!

Fashion designs for Marquis of Vaudeville costumes

From top to bottom: Toby the vocalist, Bryan the guitarist, Tyrel the (South African) bassist, and Phil the (Mohawk'd) drummer

With that introduction, this blog will mostly be about my progress on these and other projects. Stay tuned for more Tee-Wrex, band costumes, and Lolita! :D

With Love,

Naomi, a.k.a. Kagitsune

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