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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: https://www.etsy.com/listing/108139984/yellow-studded-half-helmet

 

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DIY-ish Clothing Labels

I’ve had “Order New Clothing Labels” on my to-do list for forever.  I put it off for so long because I know what I’ve had in the past and I know what I DON’T want, but I don’t necessarily know what I want.  Until I figure that out exactly, here’s another stop along the way: the DIY-ish label made from custom printed fabric from Spoonflower.  I consider them DIY-ish because it FELT like a DIY project because of all the stuff I did but I guess I didn’t print the fabric myself.  So, DIY-ish….?

What I love about these labels: very economical, able to make small orders, easy to change the design with each order, totally custom.  What I don’t love: they are printed (instead of woven), there’s several steps involved to turn them into labels, they either have raw edges or serged edges (or tediously folded and pressed edges).

Here are the steps I did to create my clothing labels:

WIth my freshly opened package from Spoonflower.

First I designed the labels using Photoshop.  I have zero pictures of this because the process was mostly me with RAGEFACE grabbing and shaking my laptop screen in frustration.  After I sorted through all that computer design, I ordered a yard of fabric from Spoonflower with my uploaded image.  I designed two different labels, but had them repeated within the same yard.  One label has my brand and website on one side and laundering instructions on the other.  The second label has the garment size on one side and a little sketch of me on the other, because why not?

Audio Helkuik Labels

I prewashed and dried the fabric and then pressed it to get ready for the next step.

Cut & serged.

Next I cut the strips of the labels apart and serged the edges.  I wasn’t sure if I would like the look of this but decided to try it out on this round of labels to find out.  They look kinda DIY, but I’m kinda into that so it’s totally cool.

Stacked and ready.

I clipped all the labels apart and organized them by laundering instructions (four different phrases) and garment sizes (five sizes).

Front of first tag: audio helkuik, audiohelkuik.etsy.com

I already started using them in my upcoming collection, prysm.break.  Here are the labels sewn into a tank from prysm.break.

Back of first tag: machine wash cold, hang to dry. Front of size tag: S.

While I don’t necessarily love that I have to use two separate tags, it’s the only way I could feasibly have a zillion different size/laundering instruction combos without giving myself a mega headache. Plus, it gave me a space to put a little happy Audio waving hi!

Hi!

Price was a huge factor in my label decision-making process.  I looked at a million really cool labels from clothing label companies, but most of them were pretty pricy AND you had to make really large volume orders.  Since I’m still deciding what exactly I want in a label, I didn’t want to commit to thousands and thousands of one label right now.  With this method, I got about 220 of each style, so around 440 labels total.  I think I paid $20-ish including shipping, so it was a reeeeeeeeally affordable option.

I’m definitely not the first to make labels this way.  I have seen some tutorials on it before. Here are two blog tutorials that I read:

See Kate Sew: http://seekatesew.com/300-clothing-labels-for-20/

Little Kids Grow: http://littlekidsgrow.com/tutorial-tuesdays-fabric-labels-and-spoonflower/

To create your own labels (or any custom designed fabric) on Spoonflower’s website: http://www.spoonflower.com/

 

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New Website!

I moved my blog from audiohelkuik.com over to here (here, meaning where you are RIGHT NOW) at audiohelkuikblog.wordpress.com so I could turn audiohelkuik.com into a showcase of my creative work.  It includes my past clothing collections and a bit of the theater costume work that I’ve done.  I’ve been working on it real hard. Here are some screenshots from the homepage.  Feel free to explore the site & see what there is to see:

I’m in love with that header image above.  It’s just awesome.

 

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The Rainbow Invasion!

Since black and brown are my go-to colors for most projects I create in my studio, those are the colors I am normally surrounded with while working.  The illustrations are black and brown.  The fabric piles are black and brown. The half-finished projects are black and brown. And the finished products are black and brown.

I have a handmade external closet (aka: a GIANT clothing rack) that is placed right in front of where I do most of my patterning.  This has given me a front row seat as the finished garments of my monoprismatic collection have gathered to finally form a full rainbow.

Black garments on one side. Brown garments on the other.

It’s an unexpected burst of color in the middle of my studio.  I can’t think of anything that makes me happier right now.

THE RAINBOW INVASION!

 

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Muazzez performance

The Great Plains Theater Conference takes place every year in Omaha, NE.  Theater folks from all over come in for this event.  This year was my first year being part of this theater conference, so I really didn’t know what kind of audience to expect.  I did know that there were tons of performances, script readings and workshops through the conference and I heard they were all really well-attended.  The performances took place at a different venue each night and they were all at nontraditional settings for theater: a night club, an old train station, an art gallery, on a prairie hill, on top of a parking garage, and outdoors.

House of Loom becoming a full house.

I was asked to do some costuming for the performance at House of Loom, which is a night club south of the Old Market.  It is a local nightlife spot with a great vibe that I really love, so I was excited to see it function as a theater venue for a night.

Local band Gus & Call wrote the score for this performance.  They are outstanding musicians.  I was in love with all the sounds that were in this production.  They even built a wine bottle xylophone-type instrument for the show!

Gus & Call performs the score they wrote for Muazzez.

Custom-made wine bottle xylophone rack.

The play was Muazzez by Mac Wellman.  I loved being a part of this production.  Everyone was so easy to work and there was a great deal of talent involved.  Timothy Siragusa is an actor, performer and artist from Omaha and he is outrageously talented.  It was like magic watching him rehearse.  Put Tim on a stage and it’s pretty much instant captivation.  Hand him a stellar costume, throw on some lights and have a band play an incredible score while he performs a Mac Wellman script and Tim Siragusa is unstoppable.

Timothy Siragusa takes the stage.

Timothy Siragusa has the stage taken from him by a scene-stealer.

SO MUCH EMOTION!

Great Plains Theater Conference: http://www.mccneb.edu/gptc/gptc2012.asp
http://www.facebook.com/GreatPlainsTheatreConference

 
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Posted by on 06.07.12 in Costumes

 

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Costume Design for Avant Garde Theater: Muazzez

As part of the 2012 Great Plains Theater Conference, I was asked to costume a Mac Wellman play.  It is titled Muazzez, from a larger piece of work called A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds.  This was my first encounter with a Mac Wellman script and I quickly learned that he is infamous for stories that poke fun at our culture using an eclectic set of vocabulary, outlandish themes and heavy underlying topics.  Muazzez lives up to everything I was warned about. It was cool to be asked to costume this avant garde play, because I was also just chosen to present a clothing collection in an avant garde runway show.  Avant garde plays! Avant garde runway shows! Avant garde everything!

Costume illustration for Muazzez.

Muazzez takes over my studio workspace.

Muazzez is about an abandoned cigar factory on another planet.  I assumed that I’d be costuming the people that make up the workforce in the factory, but the actor IS the cigar factory.  I loved that the costuming concept could really go ANY direction: literal, crazy, minimalistic, whatever.  I created an outfit that conveys the “noble king of nothing” personality of the character, but also encompasses the look of my clothing brand.  Because the script creates a costuming opportunity that is so open to interpretation, I decided I could go ahead and infuse my costuming work with my brand’s aesthetic for this project.

Typical Audio Helkuik aesthetic: Accessorizing the accessory.

Stylized handstitching.

I also did makeup design for this production.  The actor’s  neck, fingertips and soles of his feet were to be painted black.  I always do a practice run of the makeup before the day of the show and typically I practice on myself.

Sketch of foot makeup.

Painting my foot for practice.

Painted foot: Muazzez body makeup design

Watching the rehearsals for this production were a treat.  The performance venue, House of Loom, is such a cool space, which is great since we all spent alot of time here working on Muazzez.  Reading scripts, coming up with concepts, creating the outfits and watching them come to life (with a great Gus & Call soundtrack!) is so fun, especially when you get to work with great people along the way.

Watching the Muazzez rehearsals at House of Loom.

 
 

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Studio Motto

"Good design is always on a tightrope of bad taste." -Elsa Schiaparelli

I’ve been carrying this notecard around in my sketchbook for awhile now.  I love this quote by Schiaparelli.

 
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Posted by on 04.03.12 in Studio Life

 

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