Monday, 27 September 2010

Interview w/ Venus in Chains

This metal circlet pretty much makes me feel like a warrior princess. Victoria Percy gave me one of her Venus in Chains circlet designs. It's not the easiest thing to wear, but its so different and unlike other hair things you find just anywhere.

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing a Forever 21 top, Forever 21 skirt, belt from Harajuku Japan, Target stockings, Forever 21 shoes, Venus in Chains headdress, Lellabean slave bracelet, and random rings.

PLUS INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA FROM VENUS IN CHAINS

Tell me about Venus in Chains!
While I probably put in enough hours a week for it to be a full time job, I guess I’d have to say Venus in Chains is still a hobby business. I still have a “day job” doing Human Resources, which I actually really enjoy, and I like the contrast between that nice, structured job, and the chaos that is trying to run my own business. I’ve been on Etsy (www.venusinchains.etsy.com) about two years now, but I’ve been making jewelry for about 20 years and selling it for about 10. I love Etsy and the community it provides, but I am looking forward to launching my own website, www.venusinchains.com, in the next couple of months.

Describe your creative process!
I usually just get an idea for something stuck in my head, and I’ll mull it over for days or weeks. Then, I’ll try to sketch it in preparation for the actual construction, but since I can’t draw at all, sketching has always been a challenge for me. The drawing always looks like a scribbled bunch of circles with some notes next to it. It mostly just helps me to remember what kind of components I used for a piece. The real design process usually comes with trial and error in building a chain maille pattern or transferring that to a finished piece. I tend to put something together, look at it, try it on, and then make tiny adjustments to make it just right (e.g., 20 gauge vs. 22 gauge rings or 6mm crystals vs. 4 mm crystals). I find it’s those little things that really make all the difference in creating a design that is beautiful AND wearable. I’m going through that process right now, trying to make some funky Swarovski crystal shoulder jewelry. It’s a slow process, but it’s a rewarding one when I know I got the piece just right.

What are some of your inspirations?
I think inspiration is a very synergist process that you cannot control. For example, I’ll see a color combination somewhere and a picture of stylized period dress from the Victorian era somewhere else and it just all rolls around in my head until that “aha” moment where I think of something I need to make. I don’t really feel it’s a process I have control over. While there are certainly things I can do to feel more inspired, such as going to museums or listening to music, I never really set down and say to myself “I’m going to create a new design today.” It just happens on its own, but I’ve always believed the best creations happen sort of organically like that. So, that works for me, as long as the ideas keep coming J

How did you start designing circlets and headdresses? Why do you focus on these accessories?
I think the circlets and headdresses really stem from the fact that I attended way too many renaissance festivals and other fandom-related events as a child. I grew up watching people make chain maille and include circlets or headdresses in their costumes. So, I always really enjoyed those as accessories, so much so that I started creating my own when I was about 12 years old. While I don’t attend as many renaissance festivals and conventions as I used to, I still love circlets and headdresses. There is something so elegant and feminine about them. They really make you feel special when you need something a little extra to go with a special occasion outfit. Part of the fun of being an independent, small designer is that I can create things that are unique and may not have mass market appeal, but are just right for a select few saavy fashionistas.

How did you come up with the name Venus in Chains?
The name was actually inspired by a fictional band in one of my favorite movies, Velvet Goldmine. The band was called The Venus in Furs, after a Velvet Underground song of the same name. That song was named for a 19th century novel. I did not know all that at the time; I just liked the sound of the name, Venus in Furs. Since I don’t do any designs involving fur, I changed it to Venus in Chains. That really resonated with me, because the goddess Venus is the epitome of femininity and beauty, while I have always associated chains, especially chain maille, with strength and power. Since I always try to create designs that balance femininity with strength, that moniker really seemed to fit for me.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Forever 21 Dress - How to Wear Part III

Outfit #3 of how to wear this red dress from Forever 21.

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

Wearing polka dot stockings to make this mini dress less revealing! Also don't you think wearing black heels over black stockings makes your legs look longer?

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

Geometric necklace from Primark!

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing a Forever 21 Dress, Target polka dot stockings, Primark necklace, Forever 21 shoes.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Forever 21 Dress - How to Wear Part II

This is the Forever 21 Red Dress Outfit #2! Pairing red with leopard and gold accessories.

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing a Forever 21 dress, Nina Ramone necklace, and Nine West shoes.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Forever 21 Dress - How to Wear Part I

What I wore to dinner at Bottega Louie, favorite new spot downtown.

I really shouldn't be shopping, but I couldn't resist this little red dress. To justify this purchase, I've decided to try wearing this dress in at least 4 different ways. This is outfit #1, combining LRD with a sheer top underneath and mixing red+white.

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing a Forever 21 dress, Forever 21 white top, and Target shoes.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Sunshine State

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing a Forever 21 dress, Shop Please+Thank You necklace, and Carlos Santana shoes.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is way more popular than I was expecting. The views are pretty great during the day, I can't wait to check it out at night one of these days when there is a full moon!

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

Checking out the views of Los Angeles hahaha

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

Hahaha yesss my eyes are closed in the pic below. All the white walls were so blinding under the sun!!

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

Magical pendulum!

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing a Charlotte Russe dress, INC sweater, and Forever 21 shoes.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Look of the Day: Red Summer

What I wore on Saturday, pretty basic, just a white top, solid color red skirt, and trusty brown belt.

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing an American Rag top, Primark skirt, Target shoes, and vintage necklaces.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Sunday's Pink Outfit

Waited forever for a seat at Griddle Cafe where I had massive three layer pancakes larger than someone's head.

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

Ear cuffs > regular earrings don't you think? These are from Zannedelions. Check it out here, so many to choose from!

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

One of my favorite emboridered tops. Trying to go for a pastels and pink outfit, one of the few outfits I've put together that I'm quite satisfied with.

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing a INC sweater, BCBG top, Macy's skirt (the brand is "Tempted"), Zannedelions ear cuff, and Target shoes.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Feeling Parisian

I love this Forever 21 hair piece. It's so huge that it almost doubles as a hat.

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

AlphaBetaChic Patty Ann

I'm wearing a BCBG dress, Next jacket, Forever 21 shoes, and Forever 21 hair accessory.