Posts Tagged: ‘burlesque’

Bloody Burlesque and Twilight Lullabies

August 1, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

I haven’t been updating enough lately, I know. I’m gearing up for a move  so I’ve been spending the last few weeks doing fun things like sorting through all my crap, finding good homes for my unwanted stuff (I needed to make sure my tutus and spiked bras found homes with fabulous people), and trying to consolidate my large costume and prop collection so it can be moved with little to no hassle.

Those boring details aside, I have been up to other stuff. One of the things I’ve been doing, besides not updating the blog, is practicing with the band Astorian Stigmata, since I signed on as their live show keyboardist a couple of months back. You’ve seen the dudes before–they pop up in a lot of posts and photoshoots, so you might already be familiar with the fact that their general aesthetic is sort of like…dark Neo-Victorian gone mad…or maybe romantic goth meets visual kei. Either way, when they asked me to be part of a lyric video for their song “Twilight Lullaby” I rolled with those general ideas. I had just a day to put an outfit together so I blasted some Emilie Autumn, gathered every bit of black, red, and tattered fabric I could find, and got to work.

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These are casual outfit shots we took prior to filming, as opposed to a preplanned thematic photo set, but I think there is a cool, kind of chaotic quality to them [Photos by Dennis Condusta]. The outfit somewhat resembles what I wore for this previous shoot, but way more amped up and crazed.
The hat comes from FanplusFriend Garden, the corset Heavy Red, and the boots Dr. Martens. The wig comes from my go-to shop, Gothic Lolita Wigs, the gloves are from Hot Topic, and the lipstick is Lime Crime.

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I Heart You

February 5, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

Valentine’s Day is a huge bore, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the love-inspired pieces that hit stores around this time of year. Here’s a round up of some of my faves (is it any surprise that the hearts I prefer are black?):

I have a love/hate relationship with the Hottopic offshoot, Blackheart Lingerie, but they’re at their best when they lay off the gaudy accents. No rhinestones, no glitter, no foil–just a simple print and touch of sheer–perfect.

Sheer Heart Halter Top by Blackheart

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Hearts Leather Mask Tom Banwell

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Fall In Love Again with Pearls and Swine

January 21, 2013 Posted by rissvandal

If you’ve noticed that I talk a lot about Pearls and Swine, it’s because designer, Bink’s, creations are some of my all-time favorites when it comes to accessories and headwear. As Valentine’s Day draws near, she’s created a new line full of delicate, romantic flourishes, yet without sacrificing the bold intensity that fans of the brand have come to expect.

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This pink glittered and bejewed half-fascinator and pearl-accented antler headpiece are my favorites from the collection.

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2012 Revisited: Candids, Unpublished Photosets, And a Photodump of General Nonsense

December 31, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

2012 was all about running around putting makeup on boys, styling shoots, working with new photographers, throwing theme parties, and fiiinally stepping behind the camera. There were so many pics taken this year I couldn’t possibly post them all, but before moving on to the new projects of 2013, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite candids, “oops” moments, unused images, as well as pics from my mysterious first ever photoshoot that never saw the light of day (due to a stupid ass minor error on my part).

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Interview with Bink from Pearls & Swine

November 1, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

I recently interviewed Bink, the designer and visionary behind Pearls & Swine—a brand that specializes in hats, fascinators, masks, eyepatches, and hair accessories that seems to have been plucked straight out of a surreal dream, and often appear to defy gravity. Bink also developed a sister brand, Temptress of Waikiki,  where she produces custom burlesque accessories. Bink works nonstop (she currently has over 150 items in her shop!), and her selection caters to tastes across the board—glam rock, steampunk, pop culture kawaii, rockabilly, and delicate bridalwear. In our interview, Bink explains the “mistake” that spawned her business, her inspiration, and offers a bit of advice and insight to artists and creatives who struggle with self-doubt and the pressure to lead a “conventional” career path.

Q: On your website you say that you “always intended to be sensible” but could never really settle on a conventional career path. When you decided to devote your life to your artwork, were there people in your life that discouraged you or lead you to question your decision? If so, how did you deal with those negative outside forces?

A: I was the only real block that stopped myself from being allowed to be creative. I did have some friends who questioned whether or not anyone would really be interested in unconventional headwear, but on the whole I have been extremely fortunate in mostly having support in my business. My partner Trafford Parsons is an artist and has been there for me every step of the way, even when my doubts crept back (and they do, even after years of being in business).

Q: What advice would you give to young creatives who are pressured to take a more “conventional” path in life, or who are surrounded by people who may not “get” their work?

A: Looking back I realize that, had I allowed me to be myself, a creative, instead of fighting it till I was 30, my life would be very different now. However, I do believe that everything we endure is for a reason…perhaps I had to take the journey I did to get to where I am now.

My advice to anyone is always to know you are going to make it if you want something enough. Many creatives aren’t very driven or confident in their art. The secret of confidence is pretend–one day it will come but you have to have determination and a disregard for wealth…. just go for it!

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The Wayward Ones

October 13, 2012 Posted by rissvandal

The inspiration for every shoot starts with a single piece. I picked up a three-tiered bustle burlesque skirt at an epic shop in Chicago–brimming with corsets, top hats, wigs, theatrical makeup–that I sadly can’t recall the name of.  But as soon as I picked up the skirt, I knew I wanted to create a duo of dark, circus-y traveling goth performers.

This shoot was a bit more work than ones I’ve done in the past. Besides handling the styling for two people, I made the accessories and props, and it was my first time working with a new photographer–my long-time friend, Cassie McDonald. The weather was pretty uncooperatively rainy and goth that day, but despite that, we came out with some great results.

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Springtime Indulgences

April 10, 2012 Posted by fashionvandals

No matter what the season, I sing the praises of dark colors year-round. But after catching a glimpse of this darling watermelon dress from New York Couture’s Wonderland collection, I went on a springtime kick–seeking out pieces just as bright, fruity, and sugary-sweet. 

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Time To Play With Dolls

April 3, 2012 Posted by fashionvandals

Internet dress-up dolls–are they childish time-wasters or useful practice tools for aspiring stylists? Well, if you’re pushing aside your work in order to put makeup on Justin Bieber (yes, that is a game you can find online), then I’d definitely say it’s the former. However, with the far more sophisticated dress-up sites you can currently find online–such as Looklet and Roiworld–you might actually be able to convince yourself that, in some way, you benefited from that hour spent trying to find the perfect virtual heels to complement your model’s virtual miniskirt (but probably not…).

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Let’s Play Pretend: How I’d Get My Burlesque On

February 20, 2012 Posted by fashionvandals

One of my best friends is taking burlesque lessons this week, and this post is inspired by her. I’ve been in love with burlesque for quite some time, especially since seeing the work of the amazing Veronica Varlow, and talking to some local burlesque performers, such as Keycifer Black. I love the performance art itself, but I can’t deny that a large part of my love and fascination comes from the personas they create, and the ornate costumes. I started thinking, if I were a burlesque performer, what would I wear?

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The Three “Hell Yes” Moments of the Week

February 2, 2012 Posted by fashionvandals

New York Fashion Week is coming up, Spring/Summer 2012 Lookbooks are being released, a number of amazing couture  runway shows occurred–this is one of the more exciting times of the year for anyone who follows fashion in general. But along with all that, I’ve found a few additional, more personal, “oh hell yes” moments to get psyched about in the last two weeks.

1. Jeantrix relaunched their online shop with LOADS of new items up for sale.

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