Friday, October 30, 2009

An Ode to The Halloween Costume...

Naturally, I adore Halloween, and everything about it. I often will spend months planning my costume, and think about it year around. Not to say I have any opposition to costumes on any given day, but there is a certain allure to dressing up on Halloween, and the magical childlike darkness that comes with it, that can't be found year round.

This year I have made a dress of maxipads and tampons and splatter dyed it bloody red. I was also commissioned by Ben to make a fabulous "Max" a la "Where The Wild Things Are" costume. He was very pleased with it, and I can't say I disagree with him.


Here are some of my favorite personal costumes from past years:

Bride of Death, 2004

Jackson Pollack Painting, 2005

Edwarda Scissorhands, 2006

Bloody Crow, 2007

Marie Antoinette-wore this dress last year but can't find pics of me in it!!

Another Halloween. Stay tuned for pics!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A psychedelic tea party in the east village, Alice... And other news.

Little recap on what's been going on in my life this past week... very creative, productive and lovely! I had my article posted on the Smashing Darling blog about the Sirius* and Sodafine show. Then I spent my weekend building wild props for my Alice in NYC (and the psychedelic tea party!!!) shoot. After that fantastic shoot I did another lovely one yesterday, which I will post pics from when they come...

Anyways, check out this blog I wrote about the lovely Siri and Erin, 2 of my favorite designers in Brooklyn; Sirius and Sodafine Do It Again ( Both Ladies are awesome and I totally dig not only their shows, but also their clothes! They are both boutique owners here in BK, and have been setting a strong foundation for indie and emerging designers to succeed here in NYC, which often feels like the land of mass produced fashion. I love them! Read the blog on SD, and next time you are in Willyburg stop by their boutiques to find some fab new threads.

Siri also just started a line of stunning chain crochet necklaces called Sirius* Lux (soon up at ). She was kind enough to let me borrow a very collar-like copper one for my photoshoot with photographer Mikey Pozarik ( on Monday. The shoot was a blast. The whole team kicked ass, and I really enjoyed creating with them. The hair and makeup where incredibly creative and stunning. The models did a great job, especially considering the chilly fall weather conditions, and the goose bumps they encountered. ANDDD.... the photography was mind blowing. Mikey is a very talented Australian photographer that has been in NY for a couple of years. I am impressed with his previous body of works and I really loved the stunning eerie quality of his lighting for this particular shoot, the way that the shadows cast and the models told a story in how they were positioned. In all regards it was a fantastic shoot. I also really enjoyed designing some of the props for it!!
Photographer Mikey Pozarik. Hair by Bronnie Knot, assisted by Dina. Makeup by Mia. Models; Ivy, Lana, Rebecca and Elizabeth. Styling by Rachel Singer. From top picture-millinery far left by Tessa Morehouse ( Crochet copper mill end chain collar center left by Sirius* Lux ( Earrings by Mayapple designs.

Yesterday did another shoot with the lovely photographer Jaclyn Lucia. The team kicked ass on that one too, and I am really looking forward to seeing the images. I will post more on that when they come in!!

Stay tuned for the many photoshoots I plan to be doing in the upcoming months. I have an entire new collection, Oceania Etherea, which I just started working with photographers on photoshoots for this week. Many more crazy conceptual fine art and fashion stories featuring my collection to come, along with exciting accessories from talented jewelry and millinery designers! I will keep ya posted!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Beautiful Fascination; Morbidity

People have described my work over the past 4 years as being dark, gothic, strange and even disturbing (thanks Tim Gunn). Others have countered that by calling it ethereal, lovely, beautiful and vibrant. Regardless, the "dark" element is clear in what I do. It is a part of my aesthetic that creates a vessel for me, as person functioning in everyday life, to release the dark.

Photo by Elizabeth Raab. Hair by Danyale Cook. Little bird bones. Sleeping on the Wind collection; Robin.

It got pretty blatant that I was seduced by the magnitude of the opaque early on in my work of Papusza. While still living in Seattle, after the death of my dear friend/brother Bryce, I acquired an obsession for dead birds. Out of this I culminated my fourth (and largest at the time) collection of work. I initially entitled it "The Dead Bird Collection." I later came to call it "Sleeping on the Wind." I showed this body of work shortly before transplanting to NY, a little over 2 years ago. My show included the works of a set designer, 3 painters (many of the paintings on dresses in my collection), about half a dozen performers, and a dozen more lovely models. Hair and makeup where keyed by the very talented Danyale Cook (, and blew the crowd away. I also did a series of fine art and editorial photos of the collection with 2 seperate photographers; Elizabeth Raab ( and Bethany Antikajian (

Photo by Bethany Antikajian. Hair and makeup by Wendy Honeywell. Dead Seagull.

It was well before my dead bird obsession came to light that I was doing dark art, and very entwined with the dark side, though. My adoration of morbidity has been a part of me since I was a young girl. I view taking decay-things that are part of death and what is considered ugly-as part of a greater cycle. This is a cycle that drives and feeds all of us. I think it is important to acknowledge these cycles exist.

Photo by Elizabeth Raab. Hair by Danyale Cook. Makeup by Dawn Tunnell. Bloody Crow.

For example, I have had a handful of individuals in the fashion world challenge my use of leather, fur, bones, and taxidermy in the clothes I make. Some people have thought it was weird, and others even have called it unethical. My arguement is that doing what I am is very green. If I find a dead pigeon on the street, take it home, sterilize it, free it, and clip it's wings to use on a dress then I am recycling. If I find an old rabbit fur or lambskin jacket, cut it up, and make it into a bodice and a pair of hot pants; I am recycling! And making some beautiful stuff, that will look lovely on the body.

Photo by Elizabeth Raab. Hair/makeup by Brandee Schlossar. Bloody Crow.

I started using things I found on the street in my art when I was in college. I would weave through back ally's after class, and find dingy old rusting chains. I would string them with skeleton key and bike locks, also found on the street or at junk stores. It turned into my favorite necklace and I wore it everyday. Virtually entirely made of found objects, decay, and things that most would view as dark, or potential morbid.

Photos by Kat Bret. From my collection Origama Pink.

We waste a lot in this society. We also pretend that things inside of us do not exist. This is unfortunate. Pretending that something isn't there won't make it disappear, I think we all know this. Culminating what we are afraid of, and creating through it, allows us to harness our fears, and take control of them. I think if more people where open to the darkside, morbidity as some call it, they would be freer in their knowledge of themselves.

Photo by Milk Manstudio.

That is my brief overview into my love of morbidity. I prefer to speak the wealth of it's language through my visual work.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Gypsy In New York....

I dream about it all the time... other realms, elements and places that travel has a tendency to purge you into. I like being mobile. I like the idea of being nomadic, and have enjoyed the smaller encounters I have had with being a traveler throughout my life. I adapt well, I like strange new experiences. I want to culminate my creativity by seeing how people live in places in the world I have yet to see.

I am a dreamer. I need freedom and stimulation to thrive. I get bored easily, and I constantly need my ideas to be fed so that I can continue to create with the passion that drives me. I like to be part of the otherworldly, and could cease having a sediment existence for awhile. I could be a gypsy, living my life out of the palm of my hand. I could sell my art, and travel the world. See Bangkok and Berlin, Rio De Janeiro and Moscow. From Alaska to Greenland, wish I could kiss the arctic tundras. I want to touch the sand of Ocho Rios, and swim in the sea with corals kissing the things I see.

So what does one do to make it happen? My thoughts on travel have been inclusive of many possible options. I have considered putting all my things in storage and subletting my apartment, then picking up for a few months with a savings in hand, and visiting friends in either Europe or Thailand. I have considered artist residencies, still a nice viable option. The main incentive in regards to that would be creating positive networks with other artists I can work with internationally, to continue to culminate ideas influenced by otherworldly elements. I like the idea of working with people who are used to an entirely different cultural norm then what I am acclimated to. I find that their perspective gives me a positive influence.

The other conflict I have with all this gypsy fever is that I live in New York. For some reason, New York is not an easy city for me to leave. Every time I go I suffer these weird little pangs of anxiety in the days leading up to my departure. Once I leave I have these little bouts of relief and am so glad to be out of the city. After being away a few days I adjust to the pace and it is great. Although... I do always realize when I leave that if I wasn't living in NY I don't know where else I would culminate what I do. Sure there are other great cities all around the world, and I suppose that is why living internationally is really appealing to me. But in the states I don't know where I would find so many talented individuals so driven and happy to work with me on my projects, and share their creativity.

I love the spirit of New York City. Of Brooklyn, my sweet, sweet Brooklyn. Living here has done amazing things for my wealth of life experiences, and my sense of self. I need to continue to allow those experiences to grow. But in order to stay here I will need to find ways to leave for brief flashes of time, breath without the city. Get inspiration outside of the urban chaos that surrounds me. Be a gypsy in New York. Where will I find my next dreams when I am wondering through my sleep, and I wake tirelessly and lucid with the next adventure?


Photo by my darling Victoria Collier. Taken in Brooklyn, NY, Summer of 2008.