Tag Archives: millinery

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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Millinery Moment: Hats & Headpieces at OFW

Recently, Omaha Fashion Week held a competitive Hair/Makeup/Accessories show as part of their spring 2013 runway shows.  I enjoyed this show because I really, REALLY love accessories.  Also, I got to see so many exciting hats, headwear, headpieces, and hairpieces and I really, Really, REALLY love hats!  Accessories designers were paired with salons/stylists and created looks together.  I took lots of photos because I get really  excited about outfits that are all about the accessories.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the InezGill/Fringes team:

Accessories by Inez Gill. Styled by Omar Rodriguez from Fringes Salon.

Another accessorized look by Inez Gill and Omar Rodriguez from Fringes Salon.

Omar Rodriguez & Fringes team with Courney Zurcher from InezGill. (And a bonus Omar giving a thumbs up!)

I had the pleasure of seeing a whole collection of hats from an Omaha milliner I had never met before. Yay fancy hats! I spoke to the hat designer from Re-Creations from the Edge before the show and she shared that she only recently taught herself how to sew!

The winner of this Hair/Makeup/Accessories runway show was the Ruffled Runway/Kontempo team:

A look from the winning collection. Accessories by Ruffled Runway. Styled by Kontempo.


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Custom Stage Outfit for Kaitlyn Maria Filippini

So I’ll admit it: I’m kind of ignorant to the local music scene in Omaha.  I’ve lived here over a year and a half, but I haven’t ventured to too many shows.  Shame on me.

So, when local musician Kaitlyn Maria Filippini approached me to do a custom stage outfit for her, I wasn’t really sure what sort of project I’d be in for.  I’d never met her personally, and I had never heard her play.  Now that I’ve met her and heard her music, I feel like I’m always telling people about Kaitlyn!  If you don’t know of her, she’s an violinist from Omaha, and she’s super awesome.  And when I say “she’s super awesome” I mean both her personality and her violin-playing skills.  This girl can play.  Kaitlyn’s more than just classical orchestral music, too.  She’s awesome at everything I’ve heard her play: an incredible Lady Gaga medley, Nicki Minaj covers, playing alongside electronica DJ’s, the national anthem.  Totally awesome.

As it turns out, the stage outfit she wanted was a very cool project.  No surprise.  She threw alot of ideas and inspiration my way.  Essentially she wanted some classy, but not traditional.  Something a bit rock’n’roll, but she also like 1920’s flapper style.  And everything should be black: black fabric, black fringe, black vinyl, black tulle all styled with black tights and black boots.  I drew up this fringed look, complete with a cropped jacket and a little fascinator.

Illustration of custom flapper/rocker stage outfit for Kaitlyn Maria Filippini

Kaitlyn loved the sketch, and so did I.   I’ve been really into millinery lately, so I have been trying out different hat-making skills little by little.  It’s a whole new exciting world of “what the heck am I doing?” so I am teaching myself slowly.   I was pumped to try out my new buckram to shape this fascinator!  (My buckram is labelled “unicorn buckram” at the store… you know it’s gotta have some secret sparkle-magic powers in it.)  (Milliners: if “unicorn buckram” is actually a sucky product, maybe let me know, but break the news to me gently……)

Flapper Fascinator on headform.

I got the fascinator shaped and stitched in less time than I thought it’d take.  The button detail always is time consuming though, especially after I had stitched all the other buttons on the jacket, too.  This look totally wiped out my vintage brass button collection.

Worth it.

Kaitlyn Maria Filippini stops by for a final fitting.

In addition to being super talented, Kaitlyn’s just fun to be around.  Tiny girl, big personality, tons of confidence, and SO much passion.  I think that’s why I like working with her so much.  I love working with people that are super passionate.   Just watch her play this Lady Gaga medley: 

I do alot of custom garments, but I don’t get too many stage outfits.  They are just fun.  Something about the stage: the lights, the performance, the ability to do over-the-top work and it all just works.  I love it.  I love costuming musicians, too.  It’s fun to design something knowing it’s inevitably going to have a rockin’ life.

Photo Credit: DS Photography

Thank you Kaitlyn for a fun project.   And thanks for being awesome!

Kaitlyn Maria Filippini website:


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