Tuesday, 26 November 2013

"Keep on keeping on"

The past week I have been a very busy bee, recovering from the hard work and excitement that was Gladrags fashion show, preparing some collars to sell at Mr Kringle's Handmade and Vintage Emporium with F6.Studios, doing a PNE business course and organising a collaboration with Bad Kitty Corsets and Michael Gordon Photography for Sunday!

First things first, Gladrags was a great success, with fab goodie bags, flowing drinks, gorgeous clothes (including my collars and cuffs!) and a buzzing atmosphere. As well as the catwalks we were all waiting for, we were also treated to entertainment in-between, with live music by Faye Shearer and James Houston, performances by Newcastle University's dance society, and great banter from hosts Annelies de Jong and Christian Cargill. With sales from tickets and an amazing raffle (genuinely gutted I didn't win one!), we managed to raise a load for charity and put fashion to a great cause! In the run-up to the event, I managed to grab a mini interview for F6.Studios with a few of the organisers at http://f6studios.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/get-on-your-gladrags-at-nusu.html.

Here are some pictures of Gladrags, courtesy of The Courier Television:

Backstage modelling Melanie Kyles and Lancelot Knight

Backstage with hosts Christian and Annelies

Generous goodie bags

Gladrags Mojitos

My catwalk with Lancelot Knight

Models wearing up-cycled Swarovski collars and cuffs

Twin-tipped up-cycled collar and embellished cuffs

Some more up-cycled collars and cuffs

Close-up of up-cycled wool cuffs with satchel

The audience (full house!)

Meanwhile at Mr Kringle's on Saturday, I had a wonderfully festive time eating French crepes with Belgian chocolate and getting slightly merry from our Jamie Oliver mulled wine! Originally I was going to produce a range of collars with hand-printed silk linings. I did eventually manage to screen-print some fabric, though by the time I managed to find somewhere in town to print onto acetate, set up my screen and print, wash and dry the fabric, I had time to make only one collar!

Helen teaching me screen-print essentials at F6

First print - green fingers

Screen-printed, steamed, washed and dried silk

Luckily I had already prepared some other collars from floral cotton and leopard faux-fur (silk-lined and my personal favourite) for the event, so I put these alongside some of my degree work for the table. We also sold organic body scrub by Helen, hand-woven scarves by Lydia, hand-painted caps by Stu, leather tissue holders by Tiago and of course, mulled wine!

Mulled wine-off: Jamie Vs Deliah

Handwoven scarves by Lydia Bayly

Bespoke caps by Stu Murray-Borbjerg

Betty's Banging Body Butter by Helen Rafferty

A handful of collars

Up-cycled, hand-embroidered vintage collar

Leather tissue holders by Tiago Galvan

Christmas mess from Jamie's success

Over the next few days, I'll be sorting out the 1930's inspired collaboration between Bad Kitty Corsets, Michael Gordon Photography and myself. The shoot will be held this coming Sunday and I'm really looking forward to seeing it all come together! Anyhow more on that shortly ;)

Melanie xx

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Getting my 'Gladrags' sorted!

This past month has been a frenzy of birthday celebrations (as is typical of October) and exciting opportunities so apologies for the lack of posts! As well as starting a PNE business course (highly recommended to anyone wanting to set up their own business), I've been sorting out some new accessories for the 'Gladrags' fashion show which I will be taking part in later this very evening. The show is a part of Newcastle University's ongoing 'RAG (raising and giving) Week', and this year is in aid of 'Smartypants' AICR (Association of International Cancer Research).

Gladrags tickets

With eight models to dress and less than three weeks to go, below are some accessories which I had ready prepared. They were the end products of my final degree show earlier this year and were exclusively featured at Event Northumbria as a part of Newcastle Fashion Week, and will be included in tonights show. I'm delighted all of my accessories will be modelled with gorgeous bags from local satchel company Lancelot Knight, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them together for the first time on tonight's catwalk!

Up-cycled Swarovski collar with vintage lace

Up-cycled leopard collar

Up-cycled leather collar

Up-cycled hand-embroidered micro-top

In addition to the accessories I'd already chosen, I decided to make slim cuffs to match some of the collars, the image below (which doesn't show the accessories complete) shows my favourite pieces which I later embellished with a few Swarovski hearts.

Matching up-cycled Swarovski collar and cuffs almost complete

From the same blouse (keeping with the up-cycling theme), Victorian-style lace and Swarovski crystals, I made another basic collar which works well with the rest of the accessories and will really dazzle under the lights!

Up-cycled Swarovski collar almost complete

Detail of embellishment/lace on above collar

Finally I decided to create another sleeve accessory the day before dress rehearsals using faux-fur and black cotton lining, which can be revealed by folding up the sleeves. I unpicked the pattern from an old colour-block top and everything was going well until I got to the sleeves, when I realised how tricky it would be to stitch the rest up without exposing any hems. Luckily working in F6.Studios means there is often help at hand, and Tiago Galvao was my pattern-cutting/machinist knight in shining armour, taking it away and working his magic! Now I know how it's done I'll definitely be making more of these, as they are very unique and versatile in how you can wear them. For instance this leopard-print accessory would look lovely layered over an LBD or even a plain vest and skinny jeans, and it's a great alternative to a jacket on a night out!

Completed leopard sleeve accessory at F6.Studios

Back of leopard sleeve accessory

Now with only three hours to go, I'm going to crack on with making myself a lovely ruby red collar for tonight, where I can finally put my feet up, enjoy a glass of wine and of course, be wearing my 'smartypants'!

For more information on 'Gladrags' or 'RAG Week', here are some links:

RAG Week website: http://www.nusu.co.uk/rag

Smartypants Website: http://smartypants.org.uk

Melanie xx