Tag Archives: music

Violent Fade armor

My sweetie rocks.  For real.  He’s in a band.

Violent Fade is a three-piece prog-rock band (progressive rock……I had to ask, too) from Omaha and Des Moines.  They practice in my basement and they are seriously good.  I mean, of course I’m biased because I’m in love with the drummer, but ya gotta trust me.  They are good.  Or don’t trust me and see for yourself.  First show: April 21st at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines.

So, now that they’ve got gigs lined up, they are gonna need something to wear on stage.  After I chatted with the guys a bit, I decided to make them some accessories.  Some very masculine accessories.  I love making armor, so I wanted make them some armor but with a bit of a lost-boys-from-Neverland twist.  Rufio!  Rufio!   Ru-Fi-OOoooo!

So, you know how I’m kind of addicted to recycling.  These pieces have so much textile recycling going on, I can barely handle it.  The different fabrics are from all over the place: a worn out tunic dress I saved from a costume shop dumpster, some old corduroy pants, bits of lining scraps from the last garment I made, and some practice samples from a huge rug-making experiment I just finished.  The leather is from a coat and a vest.  The fur is from a vintage coat.  I only use recycled fur and leather.  I never buy new.  It’s my compromise:  I don’t want to feel like I’m actually helping the leather/fur industry because I love animals.  I also love fur and leather.  Conundrum.

I love texture.  I tried out some new texture techniques while incorporating things that I already know that I love: distressed leather, studs, fur, fringe, chain.  One texture that I’ve been trying to use more of is hair.  It’s not human hair (this time), but some synthetic strands I picked up awhile ago.

With all the handstitching and detail work on these accessories, I needed to take alot of puppy breaks. I took one of the shoulder armor pieces I had been working on and put it on my tiny pup’s head.  It makes a pretty badass bonnet. But, my tiny pup, Thor, looks good in everything.

My tiny best friend, Thor, in his badass bonnet.

The shoulder armor looks pretty badass even when it’s not worn as a puppy bonnet.

I’ve said before how I LOVE making stagewear for musicians.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  This project was extra fun because I got to design these pieces while they practiced their music.  No need to make an inspiring playlist–Violent Fade provides live music from my basement.   This project was also extra fun because they pretty much told me “just make us some cool stuff to wear.”  Yeah….I am pretty sure I can handle making “some cool stuff.”  And I’m in love with the drummer.  So, of course this is a fun project.

Violent Fade armor

Violent Fade:


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Encore Outfit for Kaitlyn Maria Filippini

If you read my post about the custom stage outfit I did for Kaitlyn Maria Filippini, then you know how much I loved costuming her.  When she asked me to create another look for her, it was a no-brainer.  Yes.  Please.

Kaitlyn had a gig playing the national anthem for local hockey game and wanted to have a rockin’ new outfit for it.  She was planning to play it with a bit more flair than the traditional composition and needed a garment to match the awesomeness.  The direction she gave me was a tailed vest with military detailing and chain accents.  All black.  Black on black.  As usual.

It’s exactly what she was looking for, so next it was fabric selection. Black twill.  Black sheer.  Black ribbon detailing.  Black vinyl.  Did I mention that she looks GREAT in all black?  With red lipstick.  And the words “Act like a lady, think like a boss” scrawled on her forearm.  This girl rocks.

Photo Credit: Ben Semisch

Even though going to a hockey game is totally on my to-do list, I didn’t get a chance to go to the game and see her play this live.  But watch the video, and you’ll see how great she looks and sounds:

Photo Credit: Ben Semisch


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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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