Thursday, September 24, 2009

Back in Iceland...

Okay... so a few weeks back, after returning from my lovely little Icelandic adventure, I posted a blog briefly recapping the chaos my experience was. I spoke vaguely of all that occurred over that surreal weekend in the lava land of ice and green. The week was capped off by a mishmash of twisted emotions, including excitement, joy, magic, disappointment, heartbreak, exhaustion, etc.... oh the heart of a nutty creative spirit like myself, always keeps my head about level with a roller coaster.

Anyways, I mentioned in previous blog I would write more on Iceland once I had some more time to decompress and process everything. Well, after having had a few weeks of distance from it, I have decided not to rehash it and go into it here and now. One day when I write a book about my life of mother f#$*ing crazy you can catch all the details in there. Until then you are all just gonna have to deal with not really knowing exactly what went down in Iceland.

Read the articles. Google it. Find out what you will. But NOTHING even comes remotely close to the actual experience. An experience, in hindsight, which I am incredibly glad to have had. It was an experience I learned an enormous amount from. I met an incredible network of people internationally, which I have been bonded to, from having had this experience. I got to see Iceland and it was incredible and I want to go back. AND I got quoted in New York Magazine about how the runway made me wanna barf on my own face 5 times, in addition to being quoted and mentioned in a couple of other articles. A personal favorite is my likening showing my collection on the pile of water crate "runway" (literally) they provided us with, to serving caviar in a toilet bowl. Mmmhhhmmm. That's right folks. Caviar in a kitty litter box.

That being said, Iceland was a very special place and while I was there I had the honor of meeting some incredibly lovely, creative and talented people. The land of ice is kissed with magic. I even ran into a favorite little muse of mine, Bjork (who had she and Matthew Barney's daughter with her), on the airplane flying home to NYC.

For now I focus on the good though. I, unfortunately, did not have my own camera while I was there (typical), but here are some photos other people took while we were there. Most of them were taken by the incredibly talented designer Maleen Dalan, whose work you should absolutely look at. It is gorgeous! Her website is

Antedotes and images;

(From right outside the chruch of wishes in Eastern Iceland. Photo by Maleen.)

(Me, outside the church of wishes. Photo by Rachel.)

(This and all the following photos by Maleen.)

(Our magical geyser. Seriously. This was insane. So cool.)

(Designers Anja Hynynen, Greg Maldoror and myself.)

(Mo Darling and me.)

(The links in my circle of admiration. Maleen Dalan and Greg

(Designers behaving goofy. From left to right; Greg Maldoror, Me, Myrto Stamou and Anna Unger.)

(Feather earring by Nicki and Roxy @ Mayberry designs.)

(Maleen Dalan and Kaytee P.)

So there's a peak into Iceland. If you wanna see more beautiful photos of Iceland check out the blog of photographer Halston Bruce, who traveled there last Spring. She has some great images of the landscape from when she was there. Here is the link to her blog:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

...and if I married the sea would I be a pirate???

As many of my family members and closest friends know I have not always been super keen on the concept of marriage. I have no problems with it in regards to others, but have always thought the idea was not right. I am a very independent soul, and I am sure if the right person came along this might change. That being said the idea of it has always (and my being in it) made my skin crawl a bit.

I've often said to many of my dear friends that if I ever got married it would be on a giant pirate ship next to the sea. I would design myself an elaborate gown covered in skulls, dead bird wings, dried out sea creatures and lots of black and blue. All my favorite people would be there, including my darling Kati and her parrot Nigel, as well as many other pirate spirited folks who fill my life. We would drink rum and whiskey right out of the bottle, or even out of a shoe (okay, maybe not a shoe, but I find the idea very comical and pirate-like). David Bowie would play all night, bottles would be broken in celebration, and the night would end with giant chest full of bird bones and long lost treasures. At the end of the night I would send my guests on their marry way as they walk the plank off the ship and leave their valuables with me... (kidding!)

When I told my mom about this idea she teased me about how it would be hard to ever find someone who would agree to being the counterpart in a wedding like that. One of my dearest friends teased me that it would be my wedding getting married to the sea, and that she wanted to be my first mate. Regardless I love the idea. Perhaps it is just another sign that I never really grew up, and just like playing dress up and pretending to be a pirate.

In 2007, the last Summer that I was living in Seattle, I had a few clients commission me to make their wedding gowns. I encountered a few very frustrating bridezilla moments with a couple of these brides to be, and swore at the end of the Summer that I wasn't going to do wedding gowns anymore. As many of you may be aware from looking at my work white is not usually my preferred shade of textile medium.

I didn't touch a wedding dress for the two years following that, which was also my first two years living in New York. Last Spring, after completing and showing my Origama Pink collection, my childhood best friend Emilee announced that she and her lovely boyfriend of 8 years would be getting married. I had always wanted them to get married, and had been telling Emilee since I started Papusza that if they did marry I wanted to make her a dress.

I was happy to fulfill my offer, and create Emilee a lovely bone white dress. She wore this during her very magical and unconventional wedding this past Summer (see photos below), after the ceremony. During the ceremony she and her husband wore beautiful traditional Indian attire (which his parents had bought for them in India) to celebrate his family and background.


After the ceremony for the reception they dressed in playful roaring 20's attire, and danced the night away, like it was The Great Gatsby all over again. I created Emilee's dress using bone white silk charmeuse and organza for the skirt and the base (the dress was two separate pieces; a slip and a transparent over dress). For the bodice I used intricate antique lace, which Emilee's mother had sent me. The lace had been passed down from Emilee's great aunt, who had worked as a seamstress for a designer in New York in the 1920's. I really enjoyed creating lovely bodice detailing with this lace.


A couple of months back Elizabeth Raab, another one of my dear friends (who is also a great photographer that has shot lot's of my work;, asked me if I would design and make her wedding gown for her ceremony in October. Last week we went and got materials (including a gorgeous Swiss lace with baby blue accents), and for the past few days I have been culminating the dress, and starting the base of it. I look forward to finishing it in the upcoming week. Please stay tuned for details. I plan to use bird bones as buttons on the back for detailing, and lot's of feathers, which we all know I love.

Please stay tuned for photos of the work I do on Elizabeth's gown. Also, if you or anyone you know might be seeking a custom gown for a wedding, or any other special occasion, and you want a Papusza please feel free to email me at I would be happy to create you something special, and I promise not to used pirate skulls or birds bones unless you want them...

Photo by JW Anderson. See more photos from this event at

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My dress at Purple Fashion Show, NYFW

It was a hit and looked great. Yay!

Dress made and designed by Papusza Couture. Photo by Anna Thiessen. Model Paige Chin. Some textile design done in collaboration with Roseanna.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Papusza Couture at Puprle Fashion Show during NYFW

Hey everyone! One of my gowns will be shown and auctioned off tomorrow night during New York Fashion Week at the Anita Kaufmann Foundation's Purple Fashion Show. This is a charity event, and all proceeds go to benefit the 5th grade epilepsy education program. The event will be taking place at the Sony Atrium on Madison Avenue. My gown will be shown and auctioned off alongside the work of Nanette Lepore, Elie Tahari, gwen stefani's l.a.m.b., and many other fabulous designers and labels whose work I like.

For more info or to purchase tickets please visit

Here is the gown I will be showing and have donated for auction
Photo taken by Elizabeth Raab. Model Zara. Hair by Linh Nguyen. Makeup by Chris Milone. Some textile design done in collaboration with Roseanna.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Things are not always what they seem to be...

So I'm back from Iceland and relieved to be in New York where, ironically, I feel like I can finally get some rest. My trip in Iceland was insane... surreal... and very, VERY strange. At this point I still can't even grasp what happened, and am not at a point where I feel I can explain or rehash the situation, as I am still learning more and more details and trying to get a handle on it myself. I feel overwhelmed by a mix of emotion, and am both heart broken by the vision I lost, and also thankful to have met some really talented people while I was there.

"Iceland Fashion Week" was an array of catastrophes, chaos, deception, disorganization and utter physical and emotional exhaustion. It is true that some of my pieces were damaged. I am heart broken because I had to unpack a suitcase yesterday that was a collection of brittle broken bird bones and cracked wings (which I was only given 15 minutes to pack, thus causing them to be damaged when we were forced to haul our collections up hills and stairs to escape the frightening stage/runway we were told we had to show on). I am also heart broken that I was not able to show in the beauty of Iceland as I had envisioned my collection would be shown.

On the positive I met some really interesting and talented designers from all over the world. I also got to see Iceland, which as many of you know is something I have always wanted to do. I need to go back under better circumstances so I can really spend some time bonding with the land there (which is like the moon overgrown with moss next to the ocean; mind you a perfect place for Papusza's to dream). I also found things about the mythology in their culture to be very endearing and charming (like their belief in trolls, elves and giants). I was also on the airplane with Bjork on the way back to New York from Iceland (no joke!!!). I will write more on this at a later date.

Anyways, I am glad to be back in New York, where I am attempting to just recharge and re cooperate from it all. I have to run a few post trip errands today, but other then that plan to spend my next couple of days reading, sleeping, eating and meeting with Elizabeth Raab to plan the making of her wedding gown (with bird bones I think!!).

Posted below are links to some of the articles, blogs and a pre-press release from all this chaos and shambles. Little things keep coming out of the wood work and there are still many stories to be told. I look forward to hearing them all. When my energy level is higher and I have the emotional capacity to rehash the whole situation I will be able to write about it. I will also continue posting articles from blogs and in the press as they come in about this catastrophe.

A big thank you to everyone who has helped me and believed in me as an artist. Although I am exhausted now I still stand passionately behind my work and my vision, and will only continue to move forward. Hopefully in the future my creations will not be tarnished by negative experiences and situations that cause them to get hurt. I will do everything that I can to protect them.

Links regarding IFW: