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Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

… 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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When I went to Scarborough Faire a couple weeks ago, I ran across this teeny tiny stall, where a man was selling colorful, cotton dresses.  I didn’t have the money to buy one at the time, but I know I have to share this absolute brilliance with you.

I love multi-way design, and this is the first 35-way (!!) garment I’ve seen that appeals to my engineer side so strongly. It’s a hexagon skirt (inspired by the shape of a basic carbon molecule) attached to a tube bodice, with drawstrings, a zipper, and two pockets. In it’s most basic form, it is a sun dress, but it can be anything – a poncho, a pair of pants, a tote bag, or a pillow (as well as many other styles of dress). Mr. Rock Ridgeway has been working on the design for decades, finally perfecting it and selling it all over the world.

I’m not endorsing or advertising Cameleon Clothes… I’m just so excited about the concept that I thought it was worth sharing. :3 So, if you are interested, check out Rock’s website and get one for yourself!! :D It’s definitely on my list of larger-purchases-in-the-near-future. ^^

With Love and Good Vibrations,

Naomi

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Hey guys, had a little break for some real life stuff, but now I’m ready to show you my latest Lolita endeavor. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

Hard Rock Rococo

hand-gathered/elastic-gathered neckline

If Marie Antionette lived today and had a penchant for the macabre...

Hand-gathered ruffled hem

...she would wear this.

full shot of the dress front

Funny enough, most people notice the amazing *print* first (Alexander Henry, fyi)

full back of the dress

... and then they're surprised I made it myself! (Hopefully that doesn't mean the print is more interesting than my design! ^^; )

another shot of the dress front

I designed the dress, drafted all the patterns, and sewed and pleated the entire thing.

torso detail

I did some crazy cutting to make the pleats exactly how I wanted! I even made piping to go between the bodice and skirt.

I started Hard Rock Rococo in October – this gorgeous skulls/roses/card suit/fleur de lis/baroque/crowns/butterflies fabric was love at first sight for me. I actually designed the dress *for* the print. x3

I like to think of this dress as a study in contradictions. Sweet lolita but also Gothic, pink but macabre, tailored but tacky, artistic but absurd.

If you look closely at the white ruffling at the neckline and hem (remember, you can always click on a photo see it full size), you’ll see that it’s not pure white – rather, it’s white-on-white printed fabric. I love the delicate, subtle detail this stuff adds to a project – I don’t think I’ll use plain white fabric ever again! <3

I will make or commission a feather fascinator to go with this, possibly involving a bird skull (found or replica). But for now, I have my Scala top hat and my vintage pearl choker to come along for the ride. ^^ I officially debuted this dress at the Marquis of Vaudeville promo appearance at the Steampunk Evening event in Irving last month!

So, what do you think? Awful or Awesome? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

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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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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