Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jackets of Feather Flock Together

Hey, I'm really just wanting some honest opinions here, and generally, you guys are spot on! Okay, so I'm browsing the internet whilst I'm print off package shipping labels online and looking for some more feather trim. It occurred to me that PERHAPS I might purchase all of this trim, sew it onto a ton of jackets and corsets, and then not be able to sell a single one. Thus, I'm shooting this question out into the unimaginably vast internet and hoping my dear customers will be frank and honest. Do the feathers suck? I'll be the first one to admit that I like tacky things. I like the idea that there's all of this lonely orphan clothing out there and that people like me could take it in, put a snakeskin belt around it and wear it with a pencil skirt, and suddenly it would have a new home where it was welcome, loved, and awesome. Ugly florals that only eccentric old ladies would wear? Bring it on. Right at this moment, I'm wearing a shirt that is a gray background with turquoise, pink, black, white, hot pink, purple and red dots all over it. It has a shirred square neckline and it quite beautiful. I love that it looks like the fall fashion color palette vomited all over my bosom.

Where was I? OH! So, the fact it, I like things that are purposely ugly, and proud of it! THUS, I don't know if my sense of style is mainstream enough to sell corsets sometimes. And it's SOO bad with picking out fabric for my corsets. I find this fabric that looks like someone attacked a couch from the 1970's, skinned it, and took its hide and it calls my name. You know the stuff I'm talking about. It's a large leafy raised floral print in avocado green and rust orange....maybe a bit of a horrid tarnished gold color in there. I LOVE this stuff and want to wear it and roll around in it. However, the fabric I end up purchasing is the black background with red roses and vines. Wow, how invigorating.

Let me make it clear that I don't MIND the mainstream fabrics that sell at the renaissance festivals. It's just that....well, friends....you're so predictable sometimes. Black. Purple. Black and White. Black and Red. Black and Blue. Black and Silver. It's so easy. I would be thrilled beyond reason if someone came into my booth, went straight to the dulled down camel and cornflower blue paisley corset, and squealed with excitement. I strongly encourage you guys to step out of your color comfort zone. Delve into those strange secondary colors. You know which ones I'm talking about-the orphan colors that just need a good home and a loving nurturer. There's this ruffly button up blouse at JCPenney, and they've been trying to clear it out for about 5 months, and it's a shocking greenish yellowish chartreuse. They have about 40 of them sitting on this clearance rack, and they are $3.77!!!! I, of course, purchased one at full price 5 months ago the second I saw it. It's SENSATIONAL! However, women are afraid of the color for some reason. Man alive! What is the deal???? What is with the women coming into my booth at renaissance festivals and snootily declaring that "they NEVER wear orange...pink.....purple....insert color here." The worst part is that about 90% of the time, I think most of the women are full of poo. I'm not being a jerk here, I'm actually being nice! You women that I meet are so pretty and full of life and personality, and SOMEONE made you feel this way, and suddenly you limit yourself and distance yourself from something as insignificant and random as a shade on the dang color wheel!!! Just because you tried on ONE badly cut, ill-fitting orange blouse in department store 6 years ago doesn't mean that every shade of orange makes you look like feces. GET SOME COLOR BACK INTO YOUR LIFE!

Phew. I'm glad I got that out. Okay, so back to the feathers. Do you guys like them?


  1. The feathers with the jackets are AMAZING. I cannot wait to buy one from you, it looks positively fabulous.

    And even if you don't get a whole lot of buyers of them, I definitely agree with you keeping them on your shelves for those people that will adore them! Kind of like the double breasted corsets!

    I can't even imagine how awesome a double breasted corset would look with a feathered jacket.

    Keep up the good work. I like you because you don't see this stuff anywhere, and if you do, it's thousands of dollars! And then the sellers aren't as great with customer service and customizable options as you.

    However, I do have to say, I really enjoyed your rant on colors and agree with it. But I'm sadly a basic black clothing kind of person. :(

  2. your rant on colors is fabulous, although i have to admit, right now my wardrobe is a bit... bland.

    feathers are happy. make the feathered jackets! with that said though, and i hate to be a pain in the ass, and maybe this doesn't even need to be said, but there are a lot of really environmentally nasty and quite inhumane places raising all kinds of animals. feathers not from there would worthwhile, i would think, and i'm willing to bet that the people buying your corsets would be more than willing to pay the extra few dollars more for that. allright- i'm off that soapbox now :)

  3. My first reaction to the feathers "ooooooooooooooo! Feathers!!! *makes feeling motion* How would I even take care of those things though?"

    So feathers = awesome but honestly what do you do when they start falling apart? What do you do if somebody spills their drink on you (Besides panic and demand they buy you a new one?) or you get cause in the rain? Feathers are notoriously fragile. However if you made a shrug/corset jacket with a feather collar and feathered sleeves I'd probably buy it.

    You make orange corsets? WHY HAVE I NOT SEEN THESE?! Your descriptions of these rarely sold corsets makes me wish more than usual that I was actually able to make it to any of the events you sell at. I am clearly missing out. I find with my personality that bright colors are pretty much the only thing that makes people more receptive to me. I know that's weird but I'm kind of frank and that puts people off. Actually the first time I wore a dark blue and gold corset I bought from you I paired it with a bright yellow peasant top I had and some dark jeans. I never have that many strangers approach me unless I'm wearing a tank top and I don't wear them often! I would actually love to see more greens/turquoises/teals/moss/celadons and then you know just for the hell of it some pink harlequin.

  4. I agree that the feathers look pretty but would they make the piece difficult to clean/care for?

    Yay rant! My stepmum bought a jacket years ago in a secondhand shop that was one of those nylon fake fur ones in bright purple with green spots and it suited her personality perfectly. And I've got some two tone blue, crocodile/snake skin design, upholstery fabric just waiting to be made into a fab long steampunk jacket.

  5. I too adore the look of feathers but wouldn't know how to take care of them. Perhaps you could mention care in your listings?

    I care not for blacks and silvers and red and purple. I am in fact baffled by the popularity of these things. I want green! Emerald green, vine green, arsenic madness green! I love neat textures, too. Hence adoring the feathers (even though they are not green). My color preference has nothing to do with self-loathing, and everything to do with totemic fetishization of a concept.:P

    (Also: just got my corset! It's lovely! Lovely and GREEN, and I do a dance of triumph...)

  6. The feathers are cool because they are different, and something new. I also agree about the difficulties of cleaning. Perhaps if they were removable? Then there would be even more choices! Yay! Also, I would like to see crop jackets with sleeves, as your prototypes had. Perhaps different kinds of sleeves (long ones you've made, 3/4 length with french cuffs, the pirate sleeves you make... lots of options!).

  7. Oh so THAT"s why you got so excited when I picked out my corset at the shrewsbury faire a few years ago.

    (It's an astoundly bold goldish-green with greenish-gold diamond pattern). Which I then paired with one of your deep teal skirts because hey, CONTRAST ROCKS!

    I actually sent that one in to be repaired and taken in because I loved it so much.

    I'm a big fan of bright colors and contrast, but at the same time when I have a specific look in mind (like my pirate outfit) I want a color scheme to match.

    In that case, black, blue and gold. =)

    Not sure what my next ouftift is going to be, but I think I want feathers. I love feathers. Feathers are hawt!

  8. I like both the funky colors (I bought the weird green corset and love it) and the feathers. Tacky, bring it.

    Usually weird things just need to be the accent piece of an outfit, and sometimes they ARE the outfit.

  9. Do it up. I agree that it would be cool to have them removable, because also, sometimes they can get itchy, especially on the back of your neck, and it would make it easier to clean, but hells yeah! I think they rule.

  10. Okay, so...my reply comes in several parts.
    First, I'm totally with you on the ugly fabrics! I found this great fabric a while ago that was red and white stripes in different widths and this crazy abstract black embroidery over the top, and I LOVED it. I thought, "I'll make skirts out of it!" But when I polled my own customers, they all said they'd only really buy skirts in solid colors. So, this awesome fabric got turned into pirate sashes instead.

    Second, that said, if you ever come do a New England show, I will totally squee over your orphan-colors bodices. And probably buy one.

    Finally, you're actual question -- I think the feathers rock! I don't know that I'd buy it over the internet, but if I was in your shop, I'd totally try it on to see how it looked on me. And to make sure my very long hair didn't crush the awesome feather collar.

  11. Oh, so many thoughts. I think the feathers look amazing. I dearly love them. I second (third? fourth?) the concerns about care, though. I wear my lovely Damsel bodices for LARPing, and I climb through mud and bushes and such. I have always been able to clean my purchases from you with gentle hand washing - I doubt that would work for feathers. If they could be detachable, that would be great. I actually think you should make a whole line of detachable hoods, ruffles, collars, etc. to give more options and more sales.

    I agree with the concerns about animal cruelty as well. I do buy animal products, but I try very hard to buy cruelty free items.

    Colors is a tough issue. I love the crazy wild colors (heck, I just bought an orange skirt from you) but I like to be able to mix and match my items, so a bunch of similar or complementary colors are usually more up my purchasing alley.

  12. WOW!! Love the feathers.....and I love the sounds of that camel and cornflower blue corset. Where do I find that one? I am with you, I need color and odd prints and different designs!

    I am also completely with the comment about detachable hoods and collars...want , want WANT!!!

  13. The feathers look amazing. I admit I would never wear them because I hate things being that close to my face/ neck. That's why I wear looser low necklines.

    Also I love your colors and happily use similar ones in decorating but to wear them... well I am ungodly pale and most of them wash me out or make me frighteningly pin! I am a jewl tones kind of gal and I freely admit it. I love your blue and gold combinations as well as an emerald one I was admiring at the pirate festival.

  14. 1. Like the feathers. Any plans on doing any different colors as of yet?

    2. I typically also go for more jewel-toned elements in my costuming but ended up getting a yellow and heather gray shipwreck corset and I really like it precisely because it's so different. I get the feeling that kind of thinking is more the exception rather than the rule. But I would have to draw the line at 70's orange and green :D That's a little too funky for me.

    All that being said - I don't know if you already do this at faires but if you are doing try-ons at the booths, have you tried to put the customer in a non-popular color that you think goes with their coloring, just to get them to see themselves in it and get it in their heads to try a different color palate? Of course, the standby colors are your bread and butter but variety is always nice.

  15. UGH I LOVE THE FEATHERS. I also love chartreuse. I used to have a chartreuse blouse, one of my favourite shirts, but it was a hand-me-down and didn't even fit me to begin with. Eventually, I decided that it was just getting ridiculous, and I should try to wear more clothes that fit me, haha, stop looking like such an orphan.

  16. yes, yes, YES!!!! Hooray for feathers!!!! (and like rozensidhe said, double breasted corset and feathers? GENIUS!!!!) I think you gotta a trendsetting idea here, Michelle! I love the feather jackets... the minute i get some cash, I'm buying one and shocking everyone's eyes out of their sockets @ school... they won't know what hit 'em! :D

  17. No on the feathers for me. I'm a vegetarian and I'm going to assume that the feathers weren't patiently gathered, one by one, from moulting (live) birds.

    I'm trying to get more color into my life! I've lately introduced rust orange and deep teal into my life. I have tried to bring other colors in, but find that I'm just not comfortable wearing anything truly bright. If you do ever find a copper and teal blue tapestry, though, I might have to have a bodice made out of it. :-)

  18. Yay for Feathers! Though I agree that having them removable for easier cleaning/replacing if needed would be aweome....

    As far as colors go. Most of my closet is black. Yep, I'm one of "those" LOL. Having a black corset is also a good base to start from where you can add any color skirt, blouse, etc and change the look.. and I'm all for versatility...

    That being said. I also LOVE and look amazing in burnt oranges, teals, and even chartreuse (when I get the nerve to wear it!) and I hope, as the number of corsets I buy from you grows... so will my color palette ^.^

  19. You always make me smile! I like the feathers. i would not wear them . . . but I would want to. ;) I'm still working on expanding my color palette - I'll work on texture later, I promise.

  20. I love the feathers and I also LOVE the idea of detachable feathers in a similar style to your "tatter bustles" maybe? You could do various colored feathers with your various cloth scraps. People are always looking for new head pieces at various Renfests. Plus this would appeal to various steampunk / goth / maybe even some Lolita types if it is done right? Huge market perhaps and not to mention dang cool no matter what!
    That way people can add take off or wear any way they want on themselves perhaps?

  21. I'm personally not a feathers person. Hung out with too many theater people in high school and associate feathers with drama (which is usually bad). If you had some forest green or sea blue or teal or dark dark purple or more tropical colors that I can't think of right now that would be AMAZINGLY AWESOME!!!!!

  22. I would snap up a corset with feathers! Seriously, I LOVE them and I look forward to seeing the ways in which you could use them in interesting ways....not only around the collar.

    Agreeing with them being detachable though.

  23. MICHELLE!! I had so much fun today. Thanks so much for taking the time to outfit Melanie and I! Can't wait for Halloween. I'm chiming in to say that yes I love the feathers, yes I'm embarassed that today I told you I wasn't interested in anything too bright, and that I linked to your website and blog from my blogpost today. You are awesome!

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