What is your craft all about?
I started re-making clothes from vintage finds when I was a teenager and couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear at the mall. Back then, I loved looking through Vogue magazine and seeing all the crazy avant-guard hairdos and couture outfits. I thought regular people should look more like that. But I certainly couldn’t afford those kinds of clothes (I hadn’t ever even seen anyone real wear those kinds of clothes). So I started making (and wearing) my own “versions” from things I found at thrift stores. This certainly didn’t help me fit in at my small-town high school. Then, I went to college in NYC and (I’ll admit) became kind of a Clubkid. My friends and I used to make these crazy getups and go out dancing. Everyone stared and we loved it. It was all about exploring different personas and having fun with it. There’s definitely a flavor of that in my work now. It’s definitely for people who don’t mind being stared at. Not that I want to make things that are costume-y. But I still love the idea of dressing up and looking fabulous, while not taking any of it too seriously.
What inspires you to make what you make?
This is a BIG question. I think what inspires me to “make” is different from what inspires what I make (which is easier). I’ll admit my inspirations come much less from what’s in fashion and more from art, design, culture, and nature. Like all artists, everything I see during the day gets absorbed and added to the process. For instance, I absolutely love Hitchock films. Not just because they’re wonderful thrillers, but because they’re so carefully styled, especially the leading ladies (check out Kim Novak in Vertigo). I like to bring a touch of this vintage elegance to my work. But then that crashes into something like Steampunk. I just love it. Not that anything I design is meant to be specifically Steampunk, but I think many of my pieces have those sorts of flavors and influences. Victorian, alt. reality/fantasy, a bit tongue-and-cheek, and punk. What could be better?
What inspires me to “make”—in a larger sense—is wanting to be part of an alternative to mass-consumption (I could go on all day about the Handmade Movement), and wanting to go easy on the environment, which is why I use only reclaimed materials. But at the end of the day, it’s really about the sheer satisfaction of making something unique and wonderful, and putting it out into the world.
What is your favorite piece/product you will have with you at the Handmade Mart?
I just designed this crazy-beautiful (if I do say so myself) cashmere dress that I just adore (can you tell?). It’s a real showpiece and looks great on everyone. I hope to have one with me. I’m also doing some sweet little summer-weight embellished shirts. Just for fun.
Where can folks find your craft outside the Handmade Mart?
At the Fiberworks Studio in The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria Virginia. My work can be found there all the time, and on certain days you can find me there answering questions and making it (come on down!). I also do quite a few shows in the DC metro area. And, of course, I can always be found through my website and my Etsy store thedevilmademedoitclothing.com and www.devilmademedoit.etsy.com
Find me at booth #44!