Here is another piece I created a while ago for an editorial shoot. I love the silk organza’s color, and I wanted to create something nice with it . . . Something non-floral in every single way.
I don’t hate flowers, but I don’t particularly love them either. And, yet, most of the headpieces and dresses I’ve created so far have flower-shaped trims on them because I find them easy to make. As some sort of compromise, I make those flowers as geometric as possible. People seem to like them. So, all is good. Sort of. But, before long, creating flower-shaped trims has become some sort of a crutch. And, THAT, is not good. I really need to do something about it or I’ll stagnate. So, I challenged myself to create 3 flower-free outfits in a month. The one you see below is one of them.
The color of the fabric makes me think of the Greek Goddess of Harvers, Demeter. And, I imagined the fabric would make a beautiful Lanvin-style Grecian-inspired dress. But . . . it wouldn’t fit with the tone of the editorial I created this top for . . . Besides, I just can’t bring myself to knock another designers works off.
So, I decided to create something that features a several of my favorite SS2016 trends: ruffles, pleats, paperbag waist, and clothing with both transparent and opaque elements. But, I still keep the reference to Demeter. Like Ancient Greek chiton (or tunic), the wearer slips this top over her head and fasten it on the waist.
It looks nearly identical on the back, and meant to be worn with something else on the bottom.
Though I’ve closed my Etsy shop and have been preoccupied with my other endeavors, I never stop creating handmade pieces. These past few months, I’ve been expanding my skill sets, creating numerous hand-stitched dresses, and different kinds of nail ornaments.
Below are some of pieces I created a while ago, made specifically for my fine art photography project that are going to be on view at Beautiful Bizarre currated exhibition at Vanilla Gallery: 『aestheticism～耽美～』.
The curator of the show asked me not to share my completed works before the opening day. So, to give you some idea of what I was working on, I will share some behind-the-scene images and sneak peeks instead.
I created the dress using identical techniques I use when I make silk headpieces . . .
Apparently, I am allergic to the type of feather I used to construct the dress. Although I was wearing a wired surgical mask, I had to take numerous sneezing and coughing breaks which slowed my progress quite significantly.
Because creating the nail ornaments involves numerous messy steps, I didn’t dare to take snapshots of my working process because I don’t want to ruin or stain the surface of my phone and touch screen. May be, someday I will ask someone to photograph the working process for me.
It has been an extremely busy couple of months!!!
I was in New York for a bit to join Miss Aniela‘s Fashion Shoot Experience . . .
Then, I spent most of my time creating clothing, jewelry, and accessories for editorial photo shoots I personally arranged, styled, and lensed . . . and, wrote a few articles for Beautiful Bizarre Magazine.
I am not great at handling fragile things . . . and so, I like everything I own to be sturdy, and if possible, armored . . .
I guess, this 2 Terabytes Rugged Armor Military Shockproof External Hardware is perfect for me, LOL!
I really like the hot pink padded hard case as well
Last week, I spent the bulk of my time editing the photos I shot in the past months . . . I’m planning to submit them to various independent magazines.
The photos I recently shot look much more elaborate than the ones I’ve shot in the past. I collaborated with numerous people who love what they do and great at doing what they love. I’m looking forward to share them with all of you very soon (-:
This post might contain affiliate links; but, I’m not paid by anyone to write about their products. All opinions you read in this blog is 100% mine. Any ad that might show up below this line is not endorsed by me and/or Angelica Brigade
Here are a few snapshots of one of the headpieces I designed and created for Dream Shoot Rentals.
(I took the photos in front of a few yards novelty fabric that I draped onto a garment rack. It makes quite an interesting backdrop)
I like to create pieces that can be worn in several different ways. For that reason, I decided to embellish both sides of the headpiece.
I always put each of my designs through something I call a snapshot test.
It’s very simple. It involves asking someone to model my design and taking many snapshots of the design from many different angles. That’s the only way I can make sure the piece will look great in photos.
I usually have to perform this test a few times because none of my designs ever pass the test the first time around. Some pieces might look fine in person but might look a little bit unfinished in photos (too empty here, not full enough there, etc).
I currently am not taking any new/incoming orders. I’m not selling any of my pre-made pieces either. However, I’m open for collaborations with other people whose work I find exciting and inspiring.
So, if you want to use this headpiece in your upcoming photo shoot, you can rent it from Dream Shoot Rentals for the fraction of its retail price (which, to be honest, is rather steep for something you can’t wear more than just a few times).
To receive information about Dream Shoot Rentals, their promotions, their new dresses & accessories, etc . . . please sign up for their newsletter.
And, if you are planning to attend the WPPI Expo in March, you can drop by at their booth to see the amazing dresses and accessories created by numerous designers from around the world. The pieces are available for rent right then and there.
Till next week, you guys!!!
-joyce @ Angelica Brigade
Any ad that might show up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade
Life is filled with unpredictable events; so, I’d learned not to say never.
But, these probably are the very last handmade flowers I create as a member/founder/leader of Angelica Brigade.
As of yesterday, I no longer sell handmade accessories and jewelry through any online handmade marketplaces
It was the end of Angelica Brigade’s years as a demi-couture accessories and jewelry company. But, Angelica Brigade is still here . . . This metamorphosis is just a beginning of something new.
My team and I are working on several massive projects. (Actually, we are still doing the very same things we’ve been doing these past few years, but in a larger scale. I’ll tell you more about those projects in a future blog post).
There are also a few fashion editorial photos that are going to show up in several publications early next year. (Hint: We produced them in October 2012; and it was the true start of Angelica Brigade’s metamorphosis).
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[from my Instagram photo blog]
As a person, I’ve finally come full circle. And, for the first time in my life, I feel whole.
I’ll write more about this next Sunday (December 22, 2013), but here’s the short summary:
I came from a family of white-collar workaholics. And, for decades I’ve been dealing with their not-so-positive opinions and reactions about my decision to pursue something they consider manual labor (using my hands to make art . . . and then demi-couture jewelry and accessories). I’ve learned not to care about what they think and say; but, it used to feel like a rebellion. But not anymore. It took many years; but, I’ve made peace with myself, the kind of person I am, and my wishes for the future.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
This upcoming Wednesday (December 18, 2013), I will share my favorite diy tutorials (written by other experts)
Any ad that shows up below this line is not endorsed by me &/or Angelica Brigade
Slightly more than 2 years ago, I opened AnGeLICA Brigade – a small handmade silk accessories and chainmaille jewelry shop – and sold my works via Etsy.
One and a half year later, Etsy shut my store down. Even though I post a lot of my work-in-progress photos on my blog and Instagram, and took snapshots of me re-creating the item they want me to duplicate, they refused to re-open my shop unless I show them my trade secret (the only advantage I have, and something I need to guard if I want to survive in the business).
I was shocked, disappointed, angry, and had to go through several stages of grief … but I moved on. A few months after that, I consider the incident a blessing in disguise. I found new ways to market my designs . . . I collaborated with amazing groups of people . . . and I even got my works published in a number of magazines and blogs.
And now, 8 months after that incident, I’m ready to enter the next phase of my life.
Gradually, I will stop selling handmade items and write tutorials on how to make them instead.
I’m also working on a few related projects I’m not confident enough to announce yet. But soon, when I’m ready, I’ll write all about it in this blog (-:
It takes me a lot of courage to do make this rather drastic change . . . shutting down a business I dedicated the past few years to . . . and starting afresh . . .
[Then, why the hell am I doing this, right?!]
I’ve given this a lot of thoughts . . .
This got to change . . .
I don’t want to stop doing what I love to do . . . but I don’t want to destroy myself in the process.
So, I won’t stop doing what I love to do . . . I just won’t sell the items I make, . . . just my patterns and my methods of creating them.
With no pressure of creating something cheap enough and attractive enough for other people, I can design whatever I want to make. And, I will write the tutorials in a way that other people can adapt the methods I use to create something more affordable/sell-able . . .
As for the other other project I plan to start . . . I will talk about it some other time (-:
Now, let’s move onto my next topic: One of the three fashion shoots I did last month.
A super gorgeous location, isn’t it? The MUA I collaborated with knows someone who has the key to enter this private beach in Corona del Mar (in Orange County, California). I took this photo using my iPhone and did nothing to enhance the photo at all.
And here are some behind-the scenes snapshots I also took using my iPhone
For the first time in many years, I made a top from scratch . . . I made the pattern, cut the fabric, and hand-stitched everything in (approximately) 12-working-hours . . . I can see that I’ll make more clothes for more photoshoots in the future.
This is the same top the model wore in the shoot. It’s a one-size-fits-most 1960s-Balenciaga-inspired piece. The spiky nail jewelry and the beadwork ring is also made by me (-:
I also try to move on from making flower-shaped accessories. It was harder than it seems.
There was 6 different looks in total, and – with careful planning – we managed to wrap the shoot within 4 hours.
All in all, it was an amazing day . . .
Next Week: If you love doing beadwork and embroidery projects, I’ll have some fun and sparkly d.i.y tutorials & patterns to share with you. There are 3 tutorials in total; but I will release them one at a time (-:
Till next time!
(Oh, by the way, I’m an Amazon Associate. So, if you click the pictures of the books I on the right side of this text, and decide to purchase any one of those books, I’ll be getting a 6% commission. I’m not paid by anyone to recommend anything and do not recommend things for the sake of getting a 6% commission).
Any ad that might show up below this line is not endorsed by me.
Is it the beginning of the end for handmade clothing and accessories designers?
Cubify had launched free-to-download shoes you can print overnight (you can read more about it here)
All these are created using digital printers
In a few years, “(e)verybody can have their bodies scanned and order clothes that fit perfectly” – Iris van Herpen (Fashion Designer and 3D Printing Pioneer)
You can order anything in any color and size you want . . .
And so . . .
With this technological progress in mind . . . I see the need to adapt and grow.
No, I’m not going to order any 3D printer anytime soon . . . Not yet . . .
However . . .
I’ve been working on several new projects I will announce within a few weeks.
There are going to be some significant changes . . . and, I believe . . . for the better.
-joyce @ Angelica Brigade
Some people might think that I am wearing 2 pieces of bracelets . . .
But . . .
These two parts of the bracelet are actually connected.
The chunky strap of beads (the one with the toggle clap) functions as the bangle’s wrist harness. Its main function is to prevent the bangle from falling from my wrist . . . or worse, launching itself and hitting unsuspecting people.
It’s the very first beadwork bangle I’ve ever created. So, I decided to refer to several sources so I can size the bangle correctly. But, because I’m extremely small boned (not skinny, just small boned), the bangle kept on falling from my wrist.
It actually hit my friend’s head. Twice. In a public space.
But, I spent more than a 20 hours creating it. I don’t want to throw it away. I was going to give it to a one of my friends or family members; but, it’s too small for them.
So . . . I decided that the only way I can make the bracelet more wearable is by attaching a strap or wrist harness onto it.
I started by making thin beadwork strap using the same beads I made the bangle with . . . but, to me, the smaller strap looked disproportionately small . . . So, I decided to replace the smaller strap and made a much larger one.
This beadwork bracelet is basically a modified and enlarged version of the rings I created last week. I just give the beadwork some extra edges & make it more asymmetrical.
Somehow, the piece makes me think of dinosaurs and old tree barks . . .
Anyway . . . I’ve been learning to create more and more shapes . . .
Love these dimensional triangles . . .
One of them is actually flat. It was my first try. I did better the 2nd and 3rd time.
There is a possibility that I’m going to write two different blog posts next week.
One of them has something to do with this video about Etsy:
I’m going to think things through before I say anything further.
If you have any input, additional information, or comment about this topic, please feel free to let me know. You can do so by writing a comment on this post or message me via my company’s Facebook Page.
Till then (:
According to http://www.hakes.co.uk/, Julian Hakes spent approximately 2 years refining this very light, comfortable, & elegant avant garde footwear. And, judging from the second photograph, they do look wearable.
And . . . the best news is . . . these award-winning* shoes aren’t insanely expensive either, and they are available via Amazon.co.uk (in many different colors!!!) >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/s?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=Julian%20Hakes&index=shoes&search-type=ss
Pricey, yes, but much less expensive than most designer shoes that aren’t as original and avant garde as these ones.
I know … these shoes aren’t for everyone. And, I’m not planning to purchase them either – at least, not until I can try them on in person & see if they really are comfortable to wear and look alright on me . . . but, I count myself as a big fan.
*Drapers Footwear & Accessories Awards 2012 winner
None of the images you see in this blog post is mine. I'm not using them for any commercial purpose. However, if you own the rights to these images & do not want to see them in this blog, please let me know so I can remove them from this page as soon as I possibly can.
Amazing set of pictures that make my day a lot brighter:
Not so trendy, I know . . . but I want to be able to move freely, do whatever I need to do, or even sit on the floor if I need to.
All of them are knitwear & very stretchy.
(All of them are machine-washable as well)
In days like this, I want to concentrate on the things I need to do, and not the things I wear.
Only Hearts tank top – I buy them by the dozens, especially when I can use good promo codes/coupons.
A good place to find promo codes: http://www.retailmenot.com
Splendid leggings – I bought them many years ago (from my other favorite online shop: Shop LA Style), but they’re still good. I only buy high quality (thus reliable) leggings. Whenever I’m super busy, I =don’t have enough time to inspect them> I don’t want to discover – when it’s too late – that the leggings have some holes on them, etc etc.
Sometimes, I like to roll the top parts of the boots down. They look cuter this way.
Actually I also wore a bracelet I made using a jewelry-making kit I purchase in Japan a few months ago.
The leopard print thingy you see on my wrist is actually a hair elastic. I bought them from Planet Beauty. It also lasts for years.
Tomorrow, I probably will wear a very similar outfit . . . an identical tank top, identical leggings, the same boots, a similar skirt (in different color), a similar cardigan, and so on.
Coming soon to my Etsy shop:
I dress for myself.
I don’t follow trend & wear whatever I like whenever I feel like it.
There are two things I will never sacrifice though: Comfort and practicality.
I’m not only talking about physical comfort but psychological comfort as well.
I won’t wear anything that doesn’t feel like “me” .
I also avoid wearing thing that has the potential of preventing me from doing the things I might need & want to do.
But, it doesn’t mean that I wear pyjamas or tank top. running shorts & sneakers all day and everyday . . .
I wear things I find comfortable and it’s a subjective thing.
I can walk for miles in high heels. But, I need to stop every so often (to affix a few bandages onto my feet) whenever I wear flat shoes.
A number of people keep on telling me that high heels are BAD for me.
But, in the end, the person who walks inside of my shoes is me.
If I choose not to stop every few hours to stick more bandages onto my feet; then, there’s nothing they can do about it.
To me, these shoes are surprisingly comfy.
Or, may be, it’s because my feet were already molded into the shape of pointe shoes. After all, I wore pointe shoes & stood on my toes everyday for more than a decade. But, it was a lifetime ago . . . when I trained myself to become a professional ballerina . . . and before I broke my left arm & forced to find another thing I love to do & passionate about.
It took me 13 years . . . but, last year, I finally did.
Making handmade jewelry & hair accessories makes me happy :)
It’s the thing I look forward to do when I wake up in the morning, & the last thing I do before I sleep. Everyday!
I see myself as a conscientious pragmatist.
I do whatever works best for me as long as it doesn’t hurt or disturb anybody else.
I want to do things quickly & effectively.
So, I always appreciate a bag with a back pocket/compartment. That way, I can easily whip up my cell phone or keys whenever I need to, and quickly, too.
And, for safety reasons, I like the fact that the pocket is placed on the back of the bag.
I prefer to wear >>non-precious<< chunky jewelry.
I don’t feel comfortable wearing & owning precious items that requires special cares, especially the ones that come in small sizes.
I tend to break &/or misplace them :(
It can be quite distressing.
Also, I simply don’t have the budget to purchase oversized precious jewelry.
I don’t want to wear one piece of jewelry with everything day in and day out for many, many years. I need a little variety. So, I decided to go with well-made non-precious statement jewelry instead.
By the way, the necklace you see in the picture is a handmade Tarina Tarantino necklace I purchased about 4 years ago.
It used to be the only jewelry brand I wear before I started creating my own jewelry line about a year ago.
Such craftmanship & out of the box ideas.
Her works makes me to aspire to become a better artist …
To ignore limitations and bring a concept into reality …
And to create the best things I can.
Often, I worry too much about the wearability and the production cost of the item I design/create.
I also worry about the item’s possible shipping cost and whether I the item can be packed / shipped easily.
All these considerations tend to limit my creativity … and at the end of the day, I often realized that I did not give it my all … and that I did not bring my designs/ideals into reality, but just a blurry shadow of it. This realization – which I tend to push to the back of my mind – tend to nudge me with some pangs of dissatisfaction that sort of bothers me from time to time.
Angelica Brigade (AB) is a new and small independent company with no external financial backers or angel investors. In order to survive, and in order for that to happen, we need to make a reasonable amount of profit so we can get more materials to create more things and so on. I’m not saying that we’ve been a total sell-out. We aren’t creating anything that aren’t in line with our artistic ideals or tastes … we do … but, only in its lesser form.
So, does it mean that we’ll go crazy and create nothing but labor intensive, expensive to create, and fantastic yet unwearable pieces?
No … But from now on, at least 20% of the things I create will fall into that category.
Slowly, but surely, AB will try to grow into the kind of artistic brigade we aspire to become.
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