Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Wow, it's only 6pm but it feels like much later- it's been a looooong day. I got contacted by a nyc stylist YESTERDAY for a shoot on FRIDAY, which means that I had to overnight it all TODAY. Usually I would refuse on that short of time schedule but the shoot is with Nicolas Guerin for Liz Mag and I can't pass up opportunities like that.

Of course all of the pieces had some modifying that needed to be done so I was forced to skip the second half of my critique class and work work work like a maniac for 3 solid hours. 
~ Two feather hatlettes: touchups on the underside
~ Silver organza & black plastic vest: straps had to be shortened
~ Full length blue pleated dress: inside seams had to be fixed 
~ Gold & green sheer dress: shorten/change sleeves
~ Back collar/cut-out dress: I had taken the old design apart and had to completely remake it into a very strap-y top/neck piece. 

WHEW. Run then nap then start all over again on more designs! Mosh is coming to visit on Nov. 17th and I have to have lots of goodies for us to shoot :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ride the Up Wave

Super productive today....I should wake up at 8am everyday! Now if only I could avoid that pesky "falling asleep in class 'cause it's so early" thing. 

I have an unfortunate tendency to put off things to do until the night before but when I am under pressure I actually wind up doing better than if I set aside more time. Case in point, I'm revamping the white dress I previously posted (see Dori in the garden picture). I took off the plastic shapes & the petticoat so that I had the original empire-waist sheath foundation, and then I re-draped it, added black accents (ribbon & pieces of a woven placemat- trust me, you'd never know. Picture tomorrow.), and seriously distressed the hem. The reason for revamp? A stylist contacted me a day or so ago to ask if I had anything available for a shoot with Joshua Black, and since I am completely unable to refuse offers with awesome photogs I had to say yes. The shoot is on Sunday but I need to send it out tomorrow morning!

On a side note, another one of my favorite tools to use is a high temperature, fine tip cauterizer. 


(For clarification, cauterizers are used during surgery to simultaneously cut & burn the skin- the burn prevents blood loss.) 

I don't think you're allowed to buy them for individual use, but my roommate's dad is a plastic surgeon and since health standards require that the cauterizer gets thrown out after every use, he gives her the old ones and she shares the love. It's a win-win situation!

They're great for:

- cutting nylon ribbon so that it doesn't fray

- cutting small details into fabric of all kinds

They're not so great to use on:

- latex (the smell is GOD AWFUL, and I'm sure it's super bad for your health)

-plastic (same as above, although the smell is not quite as noxious)

I think I could negate both of these problems by getting a respirator. I should probably do that anyways since I'm using powdered pigments as well for things. God damn everything at art school is toxic!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

In The Pink

A piece I'm currently working on:

When I first saw this shell pink semi-transparent pink plastic I half fell in love with it. It has an incredible amount of body and structure because of its nature (synthetics are often much more “crunchy” than natural fibers) and yet it almost looks bodily when viewed from a distance. The sheen on it also reminds me of a wet vagina, post-orgasm style. This last little lovely description is actually the inspiration for the center folds- when I draped it on my dress form it fell in such a suggestive way that I decided to exacerbate what the fabric obviously wanted to do. I’m struggling more with the back…I like how it is starting to billow out (pregnant belly style?) but it’s not resolved. Thoughts?

As a side note, 1” masking tape is quite possibly one of the cheapest and most useful tools I have in my arsenal. It sticks to everything but not so much that it leaves a residue when removed, it’s a built in straight line (I use it all the time when cutting latex strips), and it can be used more than once. AMAZING.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Travel-o-city pt.3

For once I liked New York.

Well, I was only there for one insanely full & crazy day so maybe that's not a good arbiter from which to judge, but still.

1st stop, 1pm - B&J Fabrics

Expensive, but they have a GREAT selection of strange/novelty fabrics like polyethylene (medical gowns), metallic cork, spun vinyl, lenticular (shiny holographic) polyurethane, and liquid vinyl pvc (feels like LATEX!!! I wonder if this would be a good alternative for those allergic to rubber?). I really like also how their bolts of fabrics have a swatch coming out of it so as to better see the fabric, instead of having to pull out the whole thing (Mood fabrics, take note!) *Sigh* next time I have money to burn I will go back there.

2nd stop, 2pm - FIT Dark Glamour exhibit

I had to go again because I have much less time than I would have liked the weekend before, and I'm so, SO glad I re-checked it out. More noteables:

Yohji Yamamoto (Fall 06)

Hussein Chalayan (Fall 05)

Jans Laugesen

Gattinoni (Fall 07)

McQueen's prostetic corset from 1999 - I can't find a picture, damnit! - reminded me SUPER STRONGLY of this piece by AMF Korsets (it had the ribs and everything!):

3rd stop, 5pm - Comme des Garçon (designer: Rei Kawakubo)

First things first, the store is INCREDIBLY designed. Honestly, I'm blown away by it- you walk in and it's like a labyrinth with extremely high walls that look like they are tilting inwards. For the first little while I couldn't even focus on the clothes because I was so distracted by the architecture. When I did start to focus on the clothing, I was confused....but in a good, "I'm really intrigued" way. The current collection is primarily invested in modified mens-style wear- cut out button downs & tuexdo shirts & suit jackets like this:

I like the idea of it, but I think they look pretty hideous on women. On men I think they would look very striking. In fact, I saw mostly men in the store, which I was surprised about.

My favorite piece was definitely this though (reminds me of a piece I made for Dina de Sade last may):

                            Organza/net panniers!!         Photo: Barry Underhill

4th stop, 6pm - Balenciaga (not planned, but it was right next door)

GORGEOUS & beautifully made. I loved loved loved a draped velvet & silk top and in a separate section they had two dress made of latex!!! They were amazing, done in transparent and smoke grey latex with hand-painting and seed pearls. (Perhaps from B&J?)


I've been interested in printing on latex for a while now, and I think I'll have to get on that.

[Note to the staff however: do not tell me, when I am unfastening something, that "excuse me miss, but that is very delicate" in a condescending tone. I am well aware it is delicate but if I cannot stand up to an unfastening how is it possibly strong enough to wear???]

I did a bunch of other stuff but it's not design related :D Suffice to say it involved glitter & a limo & stage dancing and renewed my interest in making go-go/performance wear.

Speaking of performance, I have decided after some much needed guidance from Liz Collins - my independent study advisor - that I need to think more about the idea of performance in my designs & photographs. What this basically means is that I will be planning out strange poses ahead of time that relate to the garments, as well as shifting gears from hair/make-up as a seperate entity and instead making them a part of the garment.

And I SWEAR I'm working, I just don't have images yet 'cause my camera is out of battery. Soon, soon!

Friday, October 17, 2008


If you know me, then you know I love love love shoes. It's my one girly thing. I'm especially a fan of stripper style, which is why I just spent far too much of my life at a semi-legal chinese import store that sells them for cheap. But I don't like just any kind of shoes- they have to be super tall or super strange. Hence the inspiration for today:

Ballet heels = amazing. Ballet dildo heels with spikes = genius. 

Not for arachnophobics.

Mmmm scaffolding inspired.

Looks like ceramic, Geisha style. 


Dirty feet from nasty sidewalk = totally worth it. 

Origami was a childhood pastime of mine, many moons ago

Gives new meaning to the phrase "walking the streets."

I found these just by browsing the 'net, so I have NO IDEA where they're from, where I can acquire some, or who made them. If anyone knows, let me know so I can put credits & links!
I also really want to make a pair like the last picture- anyone know where I can get shoes modified on the East Coast? Or a shoe designer who wants to collaborate with me on some crazy ideas? 

In other news, I'm feeling a bit stuck at the moment. It's really hard to push yourself to limits that other people have not already been to, and it can feel a bit hopeless. I could very easily make straight up beautiful clothing, that's no problem, but to make weird avant-garde shit that makes viewers question/think/cry/laugh/etc. is hella hard. I suppose it's the difference between garments for profit and garments for art. 


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Travel-o-city pt.2

Trip THREE: 


Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. 

High contrast mid-day sunlight amidst ivy, archways, roses.

Canon 5D + PS CS3

Model was Dori-bot, who was GREAT. She posed well, but took direction easily, was super sweet, and had the perfect make-up & wig for the job. 

The dress is:

~ two underlayers of synthetic stretch fabric,

~ an attached petticoat,

~ strange synthetic top fabric that feels spongy when squeezed, 

~ microfoam sheeting from which I created the organic collar shapes. (I took four flat sheets, cut out large-ish circles using a dinner plate as a guide, then folded up each one individually before putting them together. I had to hand sew them on to the dress while Dori waited patiently and her roommate was attempting to sleep.)

GAH! I was very glad when the weekend was over and we headed back to Providence. I just can't focus in New York. It makes me anxious. I need a large room in an actual house with actual trees lining the streets and quiet at night. I think I'll be content with occasional trips and ordering everything else I need via the www. Lame, I know. 


* Red & black latex hat-lette with cream, black, and other secret details for Mosh (sending it out tomorrow!)

* Matthew Barney inspired headpiece. 

* CHIHULY CHIHULY CHIHULY (sketchbook coming tomorrow....)


Travel-o-city pt.1

Trip ONE: 

Not this weekend, but the weekend before, my lovely lovely friend Lauren Jack & I (along with my roomie Danielle) did a shoot at the Newport Mansions. Featured in all its full frontal glory were two outfits that I made in collaboration with L. for her senior thesis. I wish I could tell you more but if I give away her concept she'll have my head on a pike. So, all I will say is that the one on the left is made of lavendar & cream pvc (which is plastic, btw) and the one on the right is made of white lace vinyl & pink semi-transparent plastic:

And I have to rant for a second and say how much I GRRRRR CANNOT STAND PVC! Not only is it cheap looking & rarely fits well, it is a HUGE pain to sew. Because of the plasticized coating, it sticks to the machine and will only feed properly if sandwiched between two sheets of wax paper. Personally, I think if you're going for the sexy wet fetish look you should save your pennies and buy nice latex. And I'm not saying that just 'cause I make it :)


Trip TWO: 


Ah, New York. I realize everytime I go there how much I don't actually like the place. I keep thinking it'll get better, that I'll like it more someday, but it doesn't happen. Granted, there is so much stuff in one place that it's an incredibly resourceful place to be, but it feels.....empty. dead. substance-less. Le sigh. 

That being said I did get some very productive things done. On the advice of my independent study prof. I checked out Alexander McQueen's store & Jeffrey's in the meatpacking district as well as saw the Gothic: Dark Glamour show at FIT. 

McQueen was....disappointing. I saw some small dirt spots on clothing as well as some loose stiching! I didn't understand! And I realized something: I love the fantasy of fashion, and I LOVED the spectacle that his A/W 2008 collection had, but on the rack the clothes were so...lifeless. They lacked energy and the sumptuousness of seeing them adorn the body. Bah.

His laser cut vinyl lace dress was a neat idea though:

It was interesting to contrast his store with H&M, which I decided to go to afterwards. Although McQueen's store smelled lovely, and had more interesting/avant-garde/fashion-forward pieces, I found that H&M had better sewn, albeit simpler, garments. Not sure why....maybe H&M has more orders, thus larger sweatshops, thus more labor of quality (?) vs. a designer who has less orders and perhaps a smaller workforce? It's a half formed thought but a good idea to pursue at a later date. 


In contrast, the Dark Glamour show was so amazing! And I don't say this because of my weakness for gothy goth goth goth; Valerie Steele curated it and did a spectacular, well rounded show. (Side note: My first introduction to Steele was her book Fetish a few years ago and it is also extremely well written and cohesive.) The organization of it, as well as the pieces chosen, were right on the mark without being condescending or overly cliché.

Favorite designer I discovered: KEI KAGAMI

Gorgeous pieces with glass & medical inspiration. Mmmmmmm. I need to find out more about him. 


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Barney & Bowery

Doing lots, full update tomorrow. 
That is all. 


Thursday, October 2, 2008


My first latex sock!! Mom would be so proud. 

It's actually a seafoam/jade green- sorry for the crappy color balance :/ I'll post a better photo of it, its twin, & the matching girdle once I'm done with it all. I combined the seafoam with HOT PINK accents- for some reason the color combo reminds me of Miami. I've never been there but I like to imagine it during the hight of super modern art deco architecture.  Well, I like to imagine a lot of places like that. 

So, while I was inhaling lots of latex glue fumes I was thinking that the reason I enjoy working with latex is:
1. It's a challenge because it isn't taught in a traditional         school/educational setting, and it requires a different mindset & tools. And I greatly enjoy being different, can't lie. 
2. Rubber clothing is more blatantly sexual than any other kind of fabric. You can be covered head to toe but it's so tight it becomes a second skin, warm to the touch. I am drawn to this partially because I am fascinated by sexual-ness and partially because I like how people look like shiny cyber beings when they wear it. It's as if they become unearthly, unreal, which is funny in a way because rubber is a natural substance. (Granted, the colors are artificially added but the base is from a tree.)

Critique today...lots was said, good things to work from, the primary point of interest being: let the clothing dictate what kind of digital photo environment it wants to be in. Although if I start hearing voices from inanimate fabric telling me what to do you know what you'll have to do! 

In addition to my sock I cut out a royal blue suede hood. It's going to have giant ram horns on it. Sisters in pink & hunter green are also on their way....mmmm I loves me some animal skins!

Last word: think cow tongue.