Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kaytee Papusza: Featured Artist in Belle Armoire Magazine, Summer 2011 Issue

Papusza is the featured artist in the Summer 2011 Issue of Belle Armoire, with a special focus on current work in progress collection Paramicha. The issue will be available after June 1st. For free shipping pre-order yours today!

Below image from "Paramicha." Couture burka by Katie Burley, photo by Elizabeth Raab, Hair by Ariane Garcia, Makeup by Chris Milone, Model-Anelisa Durham.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Life Outside NY Part 3: Hollywoodland of Lost Angeles

After spending a couple of quiet, nostalgic weeks in Arizona I took a night train to the ocean my heart belongs to; the Pacific. I arrived in LA at dawn, after passing through the surreal windmills of Palm Spring, cookie-cutter Inland Empire suburbanite condos, beautiful broken graffiti painted canals, palm tree urban ruins, creaky morning factories and industrial warehouse spaces. When I arrived in Union Station I felt a calm sense of peace and familiarity that I had missed, being in New York over the years.

My friend Kerstin picked me up from the train station and we went straight to a beach near Santa Monica. We walked along the seaside barefoot, dancing in the waves, the warm wind whipping sand through our hair. As the sky fell down on the water it shimmered a perfect reflection. In seeing the Pacific Ocean I felt overwhelmed by a sense of calm, and remembered that my heart belongs to this sea; a sense of amenity.

Then something amazing happened. Something that has only happened to me at one other time in my life-which was when I was 18 years old, also standing beside the Pacific Ocean (only it was on the Oregon coast the first time it happened). As a stared intently into the fluid, midnight colored sea I saw a smooth, fleshy, rounded back and fin arch up above the surface. It bobbed below and then came back up again about 10 feet away from the first spot, shimmering a brilliant pewter shade in the afternoon sunlight. It was a dolphin. We watched it move across the surface of the sea, lunging up and down, until we couldn't see it anymore. An incredible thing to see, and an omen.

In many Native American tribes the dolphin is a sign of universal harmony, healing, creativity, joy and balance. In Irish history Celts recognized the dolphin as a sign of intelligence, friendship and good luck. In Greek mythology the dolphin is a compatriot of Aphrodite (the goddess of love) and Apollo (the god of sun and light). Universally the dolphin has been celebrated as a sign of good faith. Upon encountering the beauty of that creature swimming through the Pacific in the sun that morning I knew that this was a place I needed to be. I felt at home and that the world was right.

Sure enough the rest of my trip in LA blossomed magically. I had been to LA many times before, in my adolescents, but it never felt like this time. I spent the first couple of days driving around Hollywood with my awesome pal Kerstin, oogling the beautiful old mansions in the hills. Carlo Mancia and Jennifer Clark took me out goth dancing on Sunset. My beautiful sister/muse/darling Mika Jones took me to coffee in Hollywood, and afterwards we strolled down Hollywood Blvd. and walked over the stars. Another dear girlfriend and her pals took me to Venice Beach, which I fell in love with.

A couple of days after my arrival I got to meet my favored author and one of my teenage icons/inspirations, Francesca Lia Block. I have been reading FLB's books since I was 15, and still today they are my favorites. I have a very strong and special connection to her books. I think that the stories she writes have taught me how to express my darkness and heal myself through creating. Many of her stories have saved me, in a sense. In particular "The Hanged Man," was a very special book for me, and I have considered it a favorite since I first read it 11 years ago. I have reread it more times then I can count, and will continue to read it for the rest of my life.

Meeting Francesca was unreal, and I felt an instant kinship to her. I went to her beautiful cottage in Culver City. We sat in the sunlight and spoke of upcoming projects and collaborations. I told her how much her books meant to me, and how inspired I felt. In that afternoon meeting a beautiful thing happened. I was given the opportunity to design a couture collection inspired by my favorite book; The Hanged Man, which will be costuming a fine art film project I will be doing with FLB. I was also given the opportunity to rent a work/live space in her garden, where I will be living starting in September! It is a beautiful space, with high ceilings, tons of space and great light. I am very excited to fill it with my art and couture!

I didn't necessarily expect to fall in love with LA and want to move there, although I guess I'm also really not surprised it happened. One thing I am sure of is that being there reminded me enormously of why I love the West coast. I belong here. You can take the girl outta the West coast, but you can't take the West coast outta the girl. Sometimes she has to come back. Especially for opportunities that are also dreams, becoming real and tangible right in front of me. If you can dream it, you can do it.

I am sad to leave New York, but happy to know I will always be able to return to that brilliant, maddening, incredible Gotham city. More on that later though. I'll be back to New York to say goodbye for real before I land permanently in LA. In the meantime stay posted for my adventures in San Francisco, including a collaborative collection with Katie Burley, and then look for notes about my upcoming summer in Seattle, including a metalware collaborative collection with Nicholas Goodwin.

Photos below by Thomas Chesnot.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Life Outside NY Part 2: Arizona; the Quietest Place on Earth

As many of you know I have been traveling around the country for the past couple of months. I have fallen behind on my blog updates about my experiences, and have a little catching up to do. I left New York to go traveling mid February. The first stop was Austin, where I enjoyed myself at South by Southwest music festival. You can read a little bit about that experience here.

After my time in Austin I took the train from there to Tucson, Arizona. I lived in Tucson for a couple of years when I first started college. I had not been back to visit since I left and was happy to return to my old stomping ground and see some amazing old friends.

While I was there the 4th Avenue Street Fair was happening. Talented hooper Zoe Rae and I dressed up in crazy Day of the Dead inspired ensembles and made an appearance at the Fair, with a portable store to sell some of my hand dyed tights. We had quite an interesting experience, and where certainly one of the most exciting looking duo's at the fair. My beautiful hat and skirt where made by dear friend and amazing designer Cynthia Smith. See some beautiful photos below taken by Jessica Castillo documenting the adventurous afternoon...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ligatia Curiosa at the supperclub SF, May 6th

Katie Burley and Papusza Couture collaborate to make magic again!

After having collaborated on the installation “Siku” at the Scope International Art Fair and work in progress collection “Paramicha” Katie Burley and Papusza Couture collaborate again, making even more magic!

Friday, May 6th come to the Bondage Dinner at the supperclub SF and enjoy “Ligatia Curiosa”-the 2 artists conjoint new collection. Ligatia Curiosa features head pieces, lingerie, bondage wear, and beyond made using taxidermy and bones, inspired by mythical creatures. Enjoy and encounter a fashionable Cyclops or two, a caged Unicorn, conjoined fox and coyote faces fighting at the heart and much, much more. The things that you see will be sure to leave your mind filled with awe and inspiration; whirling with curiosity.

Make reservations here. Also, if you make your reservations before Wednesday you will receive a glass of FREE champagne and mention on Sexploration with Monika!!! Find more info here.

We hope to see you there. If you are not in SF be sure to spread the word about the show to your friends that are in the Bay!!! Those who attend will be in for a strange and otherworldly feast for the eyes.

Be sure to like Katie Burley Couture Millinery and Papusza Couture on facebook!

Work from the designers past collections:

Photo by Elizabeth Raab

Photo by Shannon Cahill