BONUS INTERVIEW: Kayla Garland of SOVRIN

September 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Kayla Garland knew from a young age that she wanted to be a fashion designer. She started SOVRIN, her line of apparel, in 2012 as a way to make the clothes she dreamed of wearing but couldn’t find anywhere. Her work is known for soft black fabrics and darkly beautiful prints inspired by geometry and the anatomy of natural fauna, all made with ethics and sustainability in mind.

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BONUS INTERVIEW: Negin Izad of Noctex

May 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Black Line Tunic | Source: shopnoctex.com

Black Line Tunic | Source: shopnoctex.com

Negin Izad runs Noctex, a small independent fashion brand she established based in Vancouver, Canada. The clothing and accessories she designs embody the mathematical structure of geometry, the organic flow of draped fabric, and the way black can reflect both sheer simplicity and rich texture. Noctex is also dedicated to sustainability and ethical production, striving to eliminate fabric waste and promote fair trade.

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BONUS INTERVIEW: Taeden Hall of Gloomth

May 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

"Ardent" | Models: Kissobelle, Ellie | Photographer: Peter Hart | Stylist/MUA: Taeden/Gloomth | Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gloomth/

“Ardent” | Models: Kissobelle, Ellie | Photographer: Peter Hart | Stylist/MUA: Taeden/Gloomth | Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gloomth/

Gloomth and the Cult of Melancholy is a handmade clothing line that describes itself as “modern mourning attire and romantic frills for decadent souls.” Established by artist, designer, and sewist Taeden Hall in 2007, Gloomth is reminiscent of a mixture of Goth, Lolita, and historical fashion. With an abundance of ruffles, lace, and cupcake silhouettes, along with deep, rich colors and elegant patterns and details, this brand creates a style that is both feminine and funereal.

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CraftCvltvre Post-Mortem

May 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Now that the semester is over and I’ve graduated from college, this is the final official CraftCvltvre entry. A few bonus interviews will go up after this, but this academic project is complete. (A note on the #craftcvltvre hashtag: although hashtags can never really “retire,” I am no longer using or monitoring it on any networks.)

I’ve learned a number of things through working on CraftCvltvre, not the least of which is just how incredible the people are in the community of dark handmade fashion. I want to thank my interview subjects for their participation in my project – not only did their answers to my questions give me rich insight about both their lives and the world around us, but their patience with my constant emails and generosity with their time and resources are things I’m grateful for too. I also want to thank everyone who read the blog, liked my Facebook page, followed me on Twitter, favorited my Instagram photos, or in any other way supported CraftCvltvre.

Anyway, here is the final paper I wrote for CraftCvltvre!

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Mail Day

April 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Saving Digital Objects

April 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

How do you keep the things you can’t hold in your hands? One of CraftCvltvre’s goals is to compare and contrast the material and digital manifestations of niche culture, and this is one area where they couldn’t be more different. The lack of tangibility inherent in digital objects can make them feel ephemeral, especially if they’re hosted online and could change at any moment or even disappear entirely. And a lot of dark handmade fashion branding – lookbooks, other promotional material, etc. – is only available in digital formats, not to mention much of the other art and media produced by the community. So how does one hold onto it?

My personal method for archiving digital objects that I find online is to use a combination of Dropbox and an external hard drive. Dropbox is great because it’s a true file system I can access from both my laptop and my phone, and the external hard drive is great because it has enough room for all the larger files. No system is perfect, however – I just have to trust that Dropbox’s servers will stay up and my external hard drive won’t go kaput. The instability of digital backups, it seems, is the price I pay for all the advantages and conveniences the digital has over the material. (Don’t worry, though, I do make redundant backups for the really important things.)

Curiously, however, I’ve pretty much stopped buying media in physical formats (paper books, music CDs, etc.), despite how much I like owning things that have a stable material presence. I guess it speaks to how much more I’m obsessed with minimalism – I feel like anything that can be digitized should be, for the sake of conserving resources. There are always exceptions, of course, such as buying prints of art and photography to hang on walls. Another interesting example to me is Chelsea Wolfe’s film Lone, which as of yet is only available on gorgeously embellished USB drives. In this case the physical medium seems like part of the experience.

What are your thoughts on and methods for saving digital media?

I Made a Cheesy Li’l Video to See if I Could

April 13, 2014 § Leave a comment