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In progress shots: Making a Half-Helmet

Fashion Week started yesterday here in Omaha.  I’ve shown a collection at Omaha Fashion Week at least once a year EVERY year since I’ve moved here.  It’s making me a little sad that I’m not part of the frenzy this time around.  I tried to figure out a way I could show a collection at fashion week AND start all these new exciting leatherworking projects AND pay the bills, but something had to go.

Turns out, maybe I can’t do it all. (Denial! DENIAL! Go back into denial! DO ALL THE THINGS!)

Since I am a little sad and reminiscent, I have been looking through all the photos I have from last year’s Omaha Fashion Week where I showed my monoprismatic collection in the Avant Garde Show. This year’s Avant Garde themed runway show is tonight, so I thought I’d get in the spirit and share some behind-the-scenes shots of me making the studded and feathered half-helmet from my monoprismatic line.

FIguring out the sculpted feather shapes and patterns.

Deciding on feather placement.

Stretching and molding the buckram.

Vintage woven fabric. Delicious!

Prepping a sculpted feather for bias trim. I’m not afraid of a bit of hand stitching!

Feathers are stitched. Helmet is studded.  Ready!

Who doesn’t love chain tassel detail?

My half-helmet hits the runway!  (Photo: g thompson higgins gallery. Model: Dawaune Hayes. Makeup: Sirens at the Loft.)

Happy Avant Garde Night tonight, Omaha!!!

Yellow Studded Half Helmet by Audio Helkuik available here:


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“My Five” feature in the Omaha World Herald

The Omaha World Herald has a section called “My Five” where someone from the Omaha community talks about five of their favorite things.

I was featured as yesterday’s “My Five” interviewee.

Omaha World Herald, Saturday March 3, 2013

Read the online article (with colored photos!) here:

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Posted by on 03.03.13 in Uncategorized


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Audio Helkuik – the always busy, always awesome artist

I was featured on the blog talking about, you guessed it, good things!  I loved putting together this list of some good things in my life.

Three things to read, watch, and use

These are Audio Helkuik’s good things.

Good things to read.

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau: I’m the designer for a small startup clothing brand, so I find this book incredibly inspiring. It’s full of stories about people who have found success at starting businesses they love with small initial budgets.

Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain: Reading this book was the first step I took in believing that my introverted nature was not a weakness.

Fruits by Shoichi Aoki: This is a great photobook featuring Japanese street fashion. The outfits showcased in this book feature a lot of my design aesthetics: layered looks, over-the-top accessorizing, and heavy-handed themes within an outfit. His follow-up photobook is called Fresh Fruits, which I also adore.

Good things to watch.

My So-Called Life: A short-lived TV series from the 90’s…

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Posted by on 01.17.13 in Uncategorized shoot by MAW Photography

Here are a few looks from my collection as photographed by Marlon A. Wright from MAW Photography.  His images are so very stunning.  Just soak them in:

MAW Photography: collection available in my store:

I leave you with this thought: Glitter brows make the world a better place.


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Style Proud 2012

Last Friday was UNO’s first annual Style Proud event.  In their own words:

“Style Proud was designed to provide high school students with networking opportunities in the local fashion industry…..high school students will be able to prepare themselves for their future by networking with local designers and other career professionals. This experience will open doors that could lead students towards career paths in various areas of the fashion industry, such as: journalism, graphic design, fashion photography, modeling, tailoring, and clothing or costume design.”

There were three guest speakers, and one of them was me!  I spoke about what it means to me to be a fashion designer in Omaha.  Other than a bout of mega stagefright anxiety (and the fact that I use “lobster-claw-dance” hand gestures) it seemed to go smoothly.  As I was preparing some notes, I realized that this was my first time public speaking where I was truly just representing myself.  I wasn’t earning a grade and I wasn’t doing this for a job (technically, it IS my job to be a fashion designer, but you know what I mean).  It was just me being me.  Uhh, for the record, it’s kind of awesome to realize that most of my job description can be summed up with “just be me…..”

The universal sign for "Seriously, we should all lobster-claw-dance."

After my public speaking gig, I had a booth alongside many other fashion professionals from Omaha.  I’m a visual/tactile person, so I made a booth that would appeal to me if I was a Style Proud attendee.  It was full of things to touch, pick up and look at.  I even braved an anxiety attack and brought some sketchbooks to lay out AND let people to flip through.  I’m always so secretive with my sketchbooks, but I’m trying to get over it.   Oh, and my booth had freebies!  Free cards, free buttons, free stamps and free smiles!

My booth setup: garments, accessories and freebies!

Photography credit: Jason McClaren Photography

After I chatted with about a bazillion high school kids, everyone settled in for the competitive runway show.  Omaha North’s fashion class had designed outfits with the theme “Recycle, Redesign, Reuse.”  All of the garments were Goodwill finds transformed into runway looks.  I heart recycling.   And I got to judge the show!

Secret judges' circle: deciding the winners!

There are some big-deal things I realized that day:

1) I am not in high school anymore.  And thank goodness.

2)  THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY.  (It deserves all caps because it should be read in an ominous, doomsy voice–not because I’m shouting.)  Clearly money is tight if high schoolers are concerned about money and the future.   I was asked over and over about investment/equipment costs to start designing, schooling options, how to get ahead by networking now, etc.  These kids are smart with their money and future.  Color me impressed.  I had no sense of that sort of stuff when I was in high school.  I just wanted to draw and make stuff and go to school and be an artist and be happy.  I didn’t even have it worked out in the (obvious) order of: go to school for drawing and making stuff so I can be happy being an artist.  Kudos to Omaha kids for having a freaking clue.

3)  Dude, I’m running a business.  It’s an obvious statement, but it’s also a big-deal thing that I realized.  So, I’m standing in front of a couple hundred high school kids saying “I’m Audio Helkuik and I’m a fashion designer.” and I realize BAM! I totally AM a fashion designer.  I mean, duh, right?  But, I’m not a student and I’m not a living room hobby designer.  I’m a professional.  This is my business.  This is MY business.  I can run it my own way.  Boo-yeah.  Business.

Style Proud on the facebook:

Jason McClaren Photography on the facebook:


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audio’s first blog.

This is my first blog ever in life.

I feel it requires an introduction.  I like lists, so I’ll introduce myself with a list of five things you should know about me:

1) My name is Audio Helkuik.  I go by Audi for short.  It’s pronounced “Ahhhhh-dee”  not “Owwww-deee”–I’m not quite that German.  Helkuik looks like a doozy, too, but it’s easy:  “Hell-quake.”   Say it with me now:   “Ahhhhhh-dee   Hell-quake.”


2) I live in Omaha, NE.   Notice that I did not say “I am stuck in Omaha, NE.”   I moved here intentionally.  I stay here on purpose.  I love Omaha.

3) I’m a maker.  I make things.  Not babies.   But I make clothing, accessories, hats, puppets, plush creatures, paintings, art, food, messes……I make things.  Right now I’m fairly focused on making clothing and accessories.

4) I have been accused of being a workaholic.  It’s a fairly accurate accusation.  Luckily, I love my work.  I love being in my studio.  I love brainstorming.  I love patterning and sewing.  I love creating things.

5)  I like accessories.  I am a total accessories junkie.  Seriously.   I love accessories overload.  This is true for my clothing collections and my personal wardrobe.  Even on sleepy boring tshirt-and-jeans-from-the-floor day, I’m going to also have on ten or twelve pounds of jewelry, scarves, belts, and other miscellaneous items.

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Posted by on 01.25.12 in Uncategorized



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