Thursday, October 15, 2009

Departure

Off to New York today, flight leaves in a few hours.
1 shoot of sexy shiz with a friend.
1 shoot of beauty portraits with thrift store finds.
1 shoot (paid) that probably won't happen.
1 shoot with my newest design in a plastic forest.
1 meeting with a up-and-coming musician about a stage outfit.

So much is going on in the next month and half. So much travel, so many good things. I'm very lucky to be able to do what I love. Even though what I love to do will probably evolve over time, I hope to only do what I want and what I need.
No fear.
Fear is a killer.
I've noticed so many people are scared to just DO, and just BE. Yes, making money is necessary, but it should not be at the expense of your mental and spiritual health. If you hate your job, truly cannot stand it, QUIT. It's not worth it. Yes your purse strings and waistband might be tighter, but don't sacrifice yourself for what is essentially temporal.
And so ends my "spiritually enlightened pep talk." lol.

I recently dropped $650 on two new machines: a Rimoldi Industrial Serger and Singer Industrial Sewing Machine. I'm so sick of having the pieces that I make not be quite right, quite professional grade. It's a lot of money to spend, but I consider it a worthwhile investment.
I also rearranged my apartment and working space so that it flows better and better accommodates the person that is moving in.
Pictures to come.

Gotta fly (literally!).
Enjoy some boobs & beauty to break up all this word mess.
Hair & Make-up: Josh & Rae
Model: Chrystyne





Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Finished" is the most beautiful word in the human language.

I've been so busy it's almost too much. I say almost because in all honesty I would much rather be busy than not. One of my biggest pet peeves (and there are quite a few, let me tell you) is when people are bored and/or say they are bored. There is no excuse for boredom! Go do something! Sitting and whining is not going to fulfill you or improve your current situation. Everyone has the potential to be creative and everyone can carve out satisfaction for themselves if they try hard enough. It's not as easy as complaining, but as I realized yet again today while getting exceedingly angry at my sewing machine and my elementary skills at using it, nothing worthwhile is easy. You know it's sad but true. 

Don't be comfortable. 

Don't stop striving for perfection. 

But give yourself a break if you aren't quite there yet. 


In light of that, let us now share recently completed projects:



"Nostalgia for Nothing" jacket. Polyester lining, bamboo batting, poly fiber stuffing, polyester white mesh & black organza. 

Getting shipped to Planet Hair in Witchita, KS for their annual hair show/fundraiser.




Black semi-stretch weave with silver vinyl cut-out detailing hat-lette. I love the shape of this one, will definitely have to experiment with it some more. 

This and the matching dress were a request by Mosh for her upcoming red carpet & shoot with Lithium Picnic




Silver & fushia latex w/ silver netting hat-lette. Matches a super secret design & pasties, available soon! 

Going to Mosh to shoot with Viva Van Story




Rubber & knit drip dress. Done a long while ago, finally finished the last bits.

Going to Mosh to shoot with Lithium Picnic.




Raw edged cream silk & blue velvet dress with muslin mis-prints by my good friend Danielle Lange. The velvet part is actually an old jacket from Jet Rag thrift in LA that I chopped up. DIYwin!




I also do modifications of pre-existing latex. I did the bow & line detailing on these gloves as per Anna Evans's request to match a design I made for her. 




Black velvet & plastic mesh dress. 

Getting shipped to Planet Hair in Witchita, KS for their annual hair show/fundraiser.




Orange fun fur top. There's something to be said for ugly. 

Getting shipped to Planet Hair in Witchita, KS for their annual hair show/fundraiser.




And a little peak at two upcoming projects, which will be done by the weekend:



Shite-ton of latex bows. (Next to my favorite leopard spotted grandma coat.)

For "The Welcome Home Party" on Saturday at a friend's studio. 




Yellow tracks collar. Was a super ugly thrifted foam hat until I got my grubby paws on it. 

Getting shipped to Planet Hair in Witchita, KS for their annual hair show/fundraiser.


That is all.

Share.

Discuss.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How VEX-ing

I started at Vex Clothing last week and I have nothing but good things to say. Granted I can't say very much because I have to keep everything I learn under wraps but you know what I mean :) I've already learned so much and my boss is anal about the work but chill as a person so it's the best environment. She also has the sweetest boxer ever that lies on a red velvet pillow and occasionally sniffs my butt as I glue. Every day I work I get more inspired to do my own projects. Expect more picture heavy posts as I progress! 


Example of the awesome-ness that is Laura's (the creator/designer of Vex) designs:



Inflatable skirt & large hats FTW!

Chicago Stat

It's been a long while, I know. I have been remiss in my duties! But I swear I have a good excuse. Moving is never easy, and it is especially difficult when moving over a thousand miles away and having miscommunication mess up what was promised & expected. In any case, I am now settled in Chicago (finally)!


But to recap:

Philly was great for the most part. I really fell in the love with the city and am highly thinking of going back after my apprenticeship here is done at the end of February. I wasn't as productive as I would have liked, but I got to fit & create three custom pieces (including the Goth-iest fascinator hat ever) for Anna Evans and fit Jade Vixen for a dress I will be making soon. Excitement! Will post pictures as I have them.


SIDE NOTE: Speaking of Goth, I'm 100% certain it is making a comeback in a big way. Not just in fashion since black & deathly has always been an inspiration, I'm talking more about lifestyle and look. The last serious resurgence died in 1999/2000 so it's so awesome to see it returning! Check out my favorite fashionista blog for all things Haute Macabre. 


Photo break:

I started doing a self portrait/poetry collaboration project with Corwin Prescott a few weeks ago and this is one of my favs so far:


like birch. (you could taste)


To see the rest, go to my DeviantArt



He also took an amazing photo of a top I made:



Model: Poses

Silver & black leather, black silk organza.

We are mutually obsessed with each other's work :D



Also re-edited an older photo of an head piece I made ages ago:



I need to rework it because it didn't quite fit but I love the big bow! Sheer black pleated polyester, leather, huge rhinestone. 



And my beautiful friend Najy posed for me in the old elevator in my building wearing a GORGEOUS late 50's/early 60's dress:



SIDE NOTE: Do NOT put vintage in the washing machine! Do NOT go to a dry-cleaner that has no idea what they're doing and puts vintage in a washing machine! It will RUIN the garment! I had to perform emergency surgery and resuscitation on this piece because of someone else's fuck up. It was a crime what was done to it. The fabric had shattered on the inside hem & cuffs, the belt became detached, the beading is much weaker and some had to be re-sewn, and it shrunk a half size. 

WHEN IN DOUBT, HAND WASH! Directions. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sliver of Grey

Well, more like a huge swatch of it. 

Just finished working on this:



I picked up this lovely blue/grey tablecloth at the Salvation Army. I'm a sucker for the shine & matte combo so there was no way I was leaving with out it.

It's going to need some boning to make it all stick out the way it's supposed to, and I think there will be black accents but I can't decide. Maybe red? Thoughts?

I'm not sure which side is the front either...will have to see how it looks on a body. 


Also just got this image of titwillow in the hat I made for her, by RedRum Collaboration:


Sweet. I thought her hair was going to be dark blue hence the pale pink satin but *shrug*.


Also. I really really like mexican wrestling masks. Especially gold ones. Especially when I'm wearing them in a park while homeless men talk to me. Yes. 



And just 'cause he's such a cutie and I am completely, 100% in love with my new Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens.

(I know it's blurry, sorry, technique goes out the window when I'm just trying to capture.) 



CorWIN.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Philly! and...

working on this for titwillo:


Pale pink satin with maroon feathers/lace and white tulle/fringe. Leather lining. 



And this for my love Mosh:



Last week I stopped into NYC for SpinExpo, which was both good and not so good. I wasn't impressed by many of the vendors (boring or outdated yarns/textiles) but the ones I was impressed by blew my mind. 

My hands down favorite was the Japan-based Sato Seni Co. and M. & Kyoko, who are making some extremely interesting and innovative pieces. Think weird fur, knit paisley print, knitted plastic mesh, and swatches that look like they were ripped right off moss-y trees. I was particularly glad to see that they thought of the whole concept- things were hung with hangers made from real branches and others were afixed to traditional Japanese fans. Love it! 

My other favorite had to be Meadowbrook Inventions's Angelina fibers. They are doing something I haven't seen before: metal (copper and aluminum) coated filament yarns! Amazing!! They are beautiful to behold- a basketful of the bright copper ones looks like some weird glob of sparkly space matter. I was immediately inspired by it and I have big plans for combining it with rubber. Stay tuned!

STOLL was also doing some groundbreaking rubber/heat sealed seams that worked perfectly with their current sportswear line. I'd love to learn more about the process and see how it could be done on a more fetish, avant garde level. Moral of the story: I need to go to Japan & Germany STAT!

What I was disappointed by the most was the fashion show. After seeing Giovanni Cavagna's booth I was super excited to see his show, yet it was such a let-down. I don't know who did the art direction for it but they are seriously lacking: the pieces were boring shapes and colors and the heavy, bronzed/dark lip make-up and gaudy gold jewelry were seriously outdated. Let's step it up for next year! 


I also got to meet up with Doe Deere, who I can honestly say is one of the coolest, most solid, and interesting people I've met in a long time. I did a fitting with her (the piece is going to be so sick!) and we had a lovely lunch as well as talked about some crazy make-up ideas that I'll be working on for her. It's gonna be very much a win-win situation. 


After the city I went back to Providence to see friends and screen print, which I'd never done before. First I got a little crazy and did an idea I've had in my head for a while, a bloody hand print dress:



I wound up absolutely hating it but it was fun while I was doing it (the clean-up, not so much). It doesn't feel deliberate, and it's too much, so I think I'll take the dress apart and use it as fabric for something else. We'll see. 

NOTE: I usually don't do gore-y stuff as a rule, as I do not support violence & torture. But I was feeling angry and since the title of the piece is "I was going to stab him just a little bit but got carried away," I think you can figure out why. 


I did like how this came out though:



Baby heads!!!

I bought the organza shirt at a thrift store & loved it but wanted to make it more unique. Jenna & Danielle helped me on it and it looks pretty awesome & creepy (a great combination) if I do say so myself. 


As always, check out my Etsy! New stuff will be added as soon as it's photographed. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fascinating

More fascinator hats = win! Wikipedia: "fascinator."
All made with hat frames from PatternStudio.com...they're awesome & have great customer service. Highly recommend. Hat frames are made from buckram, if you want to make them yourself. I haven't, since the process is too involved to be practical, but it could be fun. 

Sorry, these are not PETA friendly. I use real leather, not gonna apologize. But that's a whole 'nother post. 


Photography: Corwin Prescott 

I've been making a lot of these hats with hearts of different kinds...not sure why. Maybe I'm looking for love? Nah, I bet I just like shape :)

Go to Etsy & buy them!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July is a much better month

First and foremost: I got an apprenticeship in Chicago with Vex! I am insanely excited, I'm going to learn so, so much. It's not Europe, but I hope to go abroad after this one is done at the end of February. The focus will be on designers and artists who are using my other love, plastic. I'd like to also experiment with other unusual materials, and I have a few people in mind, but any thoughts? 


Etsy shop is now open! Only a couple things are up at the moment, but never fear more is forthcoming. I promise to try my best to make pricing both affordable and artist-sustaining. 

Corwin Prescott took some amazing photos of the hats, this is my fav so far:


model: Anna Evans

Keep it coming, honey bunny!


Philly was amazing. I sold 15 of my modified t-shirt dresses (halter neck):


Haha, Dragonforce! Priceless. 

Super fun, comfy, and cute! Will be photographing and posting the ones that didn't sell, and at only $20 a pop plus free shipping they're a steal! 

I will actually be moving up to Phila. for all of August because I have friends, old & new, there that I can collaborate and have fun with. DC gets mighty lonely sometimes :( 


Also, speaking of artists and deals, I'm offering something awesome that RedRum Collaboration & I cooked up. Buy an elaborate or custom piece from me, and they will shoot a portrait of you...absolutely free! Here's an awesome shot they did of Mosh: 



So you heard that right, you get rewarded for buying something you needed to have in your wardrobe anyways! Email me at vauntdesigns@hotmail.com for more information, or message me on ModelMayhem

Stop, TWITTER time! 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Neu

I know it's been a long while...but back with a vengeance!


First order of business: 

As I'm sure some of you know, I was one of 10 recipients of the Windgate Fellowship, given by the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) at UNC! Without going into long winded depth about my proposal, the gist of it was to go abroad and study with latex & plastic designers as a way to further my skills when it comes to unconventional materials. 


However, as much as I hate to admit it, I have run into major stumbling blocks when it comes to doing what I've proposed. Latex companies are small, as the fetish industry is by its nature a niche market. While some have done a certain amount of crossover into mainstream fashion by supplying gloves & stockings to haute designers, it remains a small world. Because of this, I have found it extremely difficult to find a place to apprentice. Not because my work is not up to par, but simply because there is no space to be had in their workrooms. I have applied to 10 companies, both nationally and internationally, and out of those only 3 are maybes. Needless to say, this has been extremely depressing and disheartening. At the moment, all I can do is continue to work on my own projects, look for other venues to explore, and wait. 

And I am terrible at waiting. 


Alright, enough moaning and groaning! I will attempt to be happy goddamnit and at least I have my one true love: my work. In that vein, here are the pieces I am currently working on:



Inspired by a ferry's wake in NYC, I call this one "Nostalgia for Nothing" because that's what I was feeling at the time. I felt a yearning for something, but there wasn't anything to really yearn for. Sort of looks vaguely kabuki, although I'm not quite sure why I think that. 

Ingredients: Soft cotton, bamboo lining, polyester batting (stuffing), white stretchy mesh, & black polyester organza.




Thinking about the circus & ringleaders for Jessica LaBlanche.

I love buying thigs from thrift stores and DIY-ing it into something awesome and new. The pleated fushia bottom piece started out as a pair of polyeseter leggings, and is now slowing becoming a skirt with garters. The top is a cotton suit jacket that I cut & folded into a zombie-fied version of it's original self (polyester organza will be put in the shoulders and chest). 




Yellow secret for Doe Deere.




Orange furry & teal secret for Debbi.




All the parts for a high necked collar. I cannot even describe how long it took to make the pattern for it! You'd think it would be easy but oh no, to get that shit to lie flat is incredibly difficult. Reinventing the wheel sucks but that's what you have to do if you want an original pattern. 

Ingredients: vinyl, silk organza, blue gemstones from my grandma, and red lacing. 



Also, for your entertainment and my record, my fabric & knitting studio (my latex studio is in the basement and isn't finished being set up yet):



Lastly, two little photo treats:



My lovely friend Chelsea, shot with my brand new Canon 5D Mark II. Watch out for videos coming soon!!!!




And a friend of a friend, Zane, shot on Governor's island in a run-down house.

669 Polaroid. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

Website

Working on the design for my website...I may divide it into two sites, one for apparel/textiles (ie. vauntdesigns.com) and one for photo/video/design (ie. amyfries.com). May  still do it but not sure. 

(((click for bigger image)))

I'm pretty set on the layout but I'm having problems with the font & color choice...thoughts, comments, suggestions? 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Providence Werkstatte

Currently......shoulder extravaganza!


Machine knit blue linen & fushia cotton.

The shoulder bulbs are squishy! I like the technique enough that I'd like to try doing it all over a piece. 

Haven't decided what to do for the bottom....I always prefer to make full outfits as opposed to just one half. Any thoughts? I'm out of both yarns, so I need to think outside the box.


And I'm super super excited about my film class! Check out what I've made so far:

33 Ghosts IV

14 Ghosts II

(sorry for the low quality- youtube uploads badly.)


Both have music from NIN's Ghosts album, and the songs are courtesy of a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 US license. 

They aren't the full songs, and they're definitely not perfect, but I plan on going back and redoing both of them sometime this semester.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Finishing...

...up this today:


More machine knitting, combo of short rowing and vertical transfer techniques. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Overload

Oh, the joys of photographing! (haha, sometimes it does make me incredibly happy.)

Quite happy with these...not done editing the whole set yet but keep your eyes peeled for more soon!



My favorite from the shoot, and the one I'm using for my show :D

Suffice to say backlighting makes me want to touch myself with happiness.

Better shot of the garment:



Black plastic, hand gathered into bulbous growths.

Again, dinner plates are really  handy to make circles with...I've also found that using white-out as a way to mark shapes/outlines/where to cut/etc. is very helpful. It shows up well and scrapes off once dry. 



Machine knit collar using double treaded white polyester yarns, short rowing technique. Super secret liquid latex formula to make the spill, and hand plated rosettes to top it off.


RINGFLASH = SEXXX.



Plastic, hand pleated to look like a vagina & clit ;)

The background sort of looked like a womb, which was awesome...I'll have more full body shots when I finish editing them.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

GOLDEN

Finally got around to editing my other favorite shot from a shoot over Thanksgiving:


VERY happy with how the overall feel came out- looks like she's almost floating. Funny, one of my friends just mentioned that much of my work is "ground-less," ie. I place my models in very detached places. LOL. 
Lots of in-camera Canon 40D goodness, then post processing in Photoshop CS3.

Model is the lovely Mosh.
Red & gold latexxxxx.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Collar

From today:


White polyester yarns double threaded in the knitting machine, short rowing technique. 
Super secret latex formula for the drip.
YAY for combining knits and latexxx!

Reminds me a lot of abstract drawings I was doing freshman year.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Plastiky

From today:


Hard to see - the detail gets lost - but it's black plastic with hand scrunched bulbous forms and 3 big pleats in the center. 
NOTE: I've found that using dinner plates as templates for circles is both convenient and useful.

Finishing up a collar tonight and (hopefully) a silver & black leather corset-style piece (can't call it a real corset because there is no boning). 

Shooting on Sunday, will have better images then!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Queer

Long time no see....


My holiday break was mostly unproductive. Did personal stuff and made gifts....I did modify an old pvc bodysuit into a jacket and make a dress out of plastic mesh and a thrifted velvet dress, but the shoot that they were meant for (as well as a latex shoot) were cancelled. Ah, well, c'est la vie.


B A C K  TO  S C H O O L


Taking a machine knitting class- IT'S AMAZING! I'm definitely in the wrong major. I wish that I'd even THOUGHT about textiles when I was a freshman. Now I just have to take what I can get and try not to be bitter. 

A piece I started today:



Two polyester yarns (I'm drawn to all the pretty synthetic fibers- surprise surprise!) knitted using a short rowing technique. The open areas will get filled in with big, sculptural pieces that will (hopefully) look like some kind of bulbous body parts.

It was a pretty freeform process...started out trying to make something totally different and when the yarns started fucking up I changed my direction and got this instead!


I've made a dozen 12" x 40" (thereabouts) samples and two collars, one of which I'm finishing now and will hopefully post about tomorrow!


F U R T H E R M O R E

I want to start doing short film vignettes...imagine my photographs come to life. No real narrative, just visual imagery. I suppose the closest comparison would be artsy commercials.

In light of such recent personal discoveries, I want this:


Canon 5D Mark II

It shoots HD VIDEO!!! and takes beautiful super high resolution still images!!! And it's (only) $3,000!!! Sounds like a worthwhile investment to me. 


Sooooo, my next big project is going to be a collaboration between myself and Thea, a model I've been working with who is also an incredible contortionist/airialist. She's very good on a lyra, which is basically a suspended hoop:


Thea at Circus Smirkus!


The collaboration will combine "Stroke of Luck" by Garbage, a performance that she choreographs based on the song, an outfit I'm designing that will also be inspired (somewhat) by the song, and then filming it all. It'll only be a couple minutes long, but it should be pretty epic. 

Tentative sketch:



Hard to see, and it's not colored, but it'll be a silver latex bodysuit, with black & purple latex straps on the side, and straight accents coming down from the neck and up from the ankles. I unfortunately can't add lots of extra stuff that I'd like (collar pieces, bulbous shoulders, etc.) because she needs to be able to move and not die because of the costume hindering her. 


L A S T L Y


Fangoria magazine interviewed me.

I'm not into gore and B-list slasher films (fans of which the mag is geared toward) but they wrote a very nice piece about me :)