Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Snuggling Up To More Ideas

Illustration by Rene Gruau

As the weeks become colder and the air more chilled, my thoughts turn toward the warmer styles of fall and winter. Things are slowing a little at the Ritzy Raven studio thanks to the oncoming holidays. Fear not, The Debut blouse is coming along, and we'll be back in full-tilt finalizing mode at the start of the new year.

Besides the fact that I'm personally in need of a new basic black winter coat, I'm also inspired to possibly create one for the Ritzy Raven line. This would most likely be a venture not taken up until next year, and only after currently planned designs prove to be successful enough.

I'd love to do a medium weight wool Art Deco era coat, similar to the ones illustrated above. Maybe with velvet instead of fur trimming? Fur is more costly and ethically risky to source these days, but there are some faux furs that are lovely. Or I could design an option that gives the wearer the ability to add their own vintage or faux fur collar?
Besides a coat, there is another outerwear option on my drawing board, but under wraps for now...pun quite possibly intended.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mock-up: Part I

It may not look like much now; it's just a basic shell currently, in some purple scrap cotton I had on hand, but it's happening! Introducing the early mock-up of the Ritzy Raven "Debut" blouse.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bits And Pieces

This weekend I'm hoping to begin draping what will become the "Debut" blouse for Ritzy Raven.
It won't look too exciting at first, made out of a basic muslin for mock-up purposes, as I nail down the fabric I want the final product made up in.

Yesterday evening, after battling a migraine for most of the day, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and did a purge of the sewing area. I also rearranged some of the furniture to better suit my needs, and pleasantly surprised that this small thing helped to improve the light in the space once the sun set. I had a very dark chest of drawers, with more dark colored boxes on top of it, in an otherwise bright corner. Trading spaces with a lower profile piece that was brighter, made a huge difference.
While there's still some loose items that need a home sitting in the middle of the room, at least it's 99% there to becoming a functional space again. Getting four of those big Rubbermaid containers to store costumes in, also made a huge difference.
There may be a few listings coming to my Etsy shop soon, as I de-stash some of the fabrics and trimmings I haven't used in ages.

I also realized that for once in a very long time, my performance and event calendar is clear! At least for the remainder of the holiday season. This is rare, and honestly...it feels really nice.
If there is an event, I'll be going as an attendee rather than a performer. Of course that doesn't rule out a possible improvised gig when attending Dickens Fair, since many of my friends will be actors again this year. It's always a good time, specially when you can just have spontaneous fun with friends, while in costume.

Friday, October 9, 2015

In The Meantime

As things slowly ramp up into pre-production mode during the tail end of the coming holidays, I have a few vintage items available in my Etsy shop.
Currently, this lovely early 1940s frock of mine is up for sale, modeled below by yours truly.

Be sure to check out the rest; there is an early 1940s long taffeta dress that needs a little TLC, a velvet tasseled beret hat from the late 1940s, and a velvet shell hat from the early 1950s.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Inspirations And Sketches

Over this past weekend, I began drawing up a final list of items I'd like as debut pieces for the launch of Ritzy Raven. One of the inspirations behind RR is none other than the above pictured beauty, Marlene Dietrich. A shining star of the silver screen in pre-war Germany, and then a leading lady in Hollywood, her style and sex appeal has continued to inspire the art, beauty and fashion industry without skipping a beat. Equal parts femme fatale mixed with classic bombshell she has always, on varying levels, inspired my own personal style.
It's only natural that I would turn to such an icon to now play as muse to my own clothing line.

If I could do it, a four piece collection would include a dress, two blouses and one skirt for a spring or summer release.
Realistically, one or two items would be how I'd start things off, based on a limited pre-order run. A dress, or two separates like a blouse and skirt for instance.

For inspiration only, courtesy of a 1930s Vogue pattern

I have a sketch of one blouse style I want to have as a possible core piece for RR, and I'm still working out the skirt and a possible dress. With a mid-1930s theme, the blouse has wonderfully clean lines and a flattering cut popular during the era. Details are showcased in an appliqued ribbon design on the front. One option in black on black, the other in a coral shade with black detail. More colors in this core blouse style could happen for future seasons.

I may have people vote on the skirt; a trumpet silhouette or a tailored style, and button details at the front to add art deco flair. It will likely be made up in a nice gabardine suiting in black and perhaps an alternate color in future runs.
I'm starting off with black as my main color, in keeping with the brand theme, and adding color in corresponding pieces. If this initial micro collection works out, and I can raise enough funds to cover it, I have a vintage rayon print fabric in the works for future pieces that is absolutely fantastic.

While I won't be sharing any of my design sketches here yet, keep an eye on this page for more photos of mock-up designs, a new logo, imagery design, and all the lovely things to come.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


From burlesque glamour girl, Vienna La Rouge, comes a collection of vintage inspired clothing and accessories for the stylish fashion maven.

Visit the official Facebook page

Designs are being finalized and the creation of prototypes will be underway after this September.
I know it seems a long way off, but not to worry. There were many events to prepare for over the summer and loose ends to tie up still, but as they say; good things come to those who wait (and perfect their plans).
Preparation is key right now. This blog will also get a face lift in the coming weeks, with a cleaner design and a focus on visual content ranging from sneak peeks to finalized looks.
Stay tuned!
Yours truly,