A Year in Furs

Call it winter blues, call it writer’s block, I have been been working less in the last month after the holidays than usual.  These moments of less activity kind of bum me out, but I think I am winding down from a crazypants year of hyper-activity! I have to remind myself what I have done because whenever I am feeling “lazy”, I mull over my past projects in my mind and go, “Oh!, right, I did that.”


That refers to my being cast as Ann Marie, Ashley Greene’s rival in the ABC pilot, Americana, using my own designs to portray a fashion designer. The pilot was sadly not picked up, but this was my first opportunity to be able to showcase my two loves, fashion and acting.

On Americana with my designs!

On Americana with my designs!


That refers to my first theater production with my old theater company, Homebrewed, back in April-May, which I served as stage manager & actor in.


That also refers to the completion of & performance of my first full length play, Crystal Atlas, at the end of May


That also refers to the completion of a one-act play, Yess, Texas, which I also made 9 costumes for (my Spring 2013 Collection) and performed with my new theater company as part of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend.




That also refers to the wood-nymph photoshoot I held with one of my best friends of said collection in the woods where I grew up.






That would also refer to the fact that I got cast as a featured wife of a warlord in one of my favorite director’s, Darren Aronofsky’s, newest film, Noah. I got to be a part of the amazing experience of this biblical times feature complete with mud, rain, and amazing sets galore.

Me on Noah

Me on Noah

 To be continued…

Dressing Up!

Glamour of the 50′s, A Lost Art

Last night, my friend Chiara and I gushed over how much we like clothes on our way home from a dinner party.  She and I both agreed that playing dress-up as a grown woman is one of our favorite things, yet it’s also hard to pull off sometimes.  She has several vintage Chanel suits that she would love to don with her vintage white gloves, (so popular in the 50′s and a necessity for any woman going to Manhattan for the day from Brooklyn, like her mother did), but she can’t quite bring herself to do it.  Perhaps it’s the somewhat extinct convention of dressing up for going out everyday that is no longer exactly embraced on say, the Manhattan-bound F train from Brooklyn.  With ample stares from her fellow travelers, I could imagine Chiara appearing to be a fish out of water in the seas of black peacoats from Macy’s and denim jeans.

I know that there are scores of brave men, women, and children who do go beyond the vernacular and have a really wonderful style (the Sartorialist has proven this), but it’s still, tough.

The Sartorialist Captures Some Grace

I am one of those people who tends to have lost her filter as to what looks normal versus kinda nutty, but even still, I would love to go bigger and more over-the-top when it comes to dressing.  I had an ex-boyfriend who once claimed that he was embarrassed by the way I dressed and that I was just doing it “for attention”.  This marked the end of my feelings for him because he obviously didn’t get me.  I don’t dress up for attention, I dress up because I freaking love clothes! I love costumes and color relationships and sculptural clothing and fantastic details and incredible fabrics and costumes and period clothing and architecture and “putting together a look”.  Like Chiara, I wish the times when all women took extreme pride in the way they dressed, when fashion wasn’t just for movie stars and the cultural elite, the art fringes or off-kilter subcultures were still here. Everyone participated.  People in 1940′s Upper East Side  might not mirror those of say, 1940′s Wisconsin stock car racers, but they all sure as hell avoided wearing pajamas to the mall (happens in my hometown in PA).

Wisconsin Stock Car Racers

Things fit better, clothing wasn’t manufactured for quick sale and even quicker disposal.  Clothing was often handmade, careworn, cherished, and flaunted.

We Love You, Lucy, All Dolled Up

Even on television shows like, I Love Lucy, the characters were always dressed, even when cleaning at home.  Culture has changed and I shouldn’t bash it, but leaving a cocktail dress for a fancy event instead of just cocktails, well that’s no fun.  I have SO MANY dresses and outfits in my clothing arsenal, but I can’t seem to find too many occasions to flaunt them. My roommate has spent thousands of dollars on beautiful independent designer pieces that she views as art, but they decorate her closet complete with original tags.  She never finds a reason to actually wear them and resorts to jeans and tshirts every day. What a shame! I always implore her to go for it and swathe herself in her beautiful things, but she feels too shy, they aren’t what everybody else wears. She should bite the bullet and showcase these wonderful and just slightly unconventional wares. I think she should. I think I should. I think we all should.

Happy Monday!

Here are some belts to bring you back to the days of corsets and fitted waists:

Belts on Etsy! Click for link.



in the words of the Mamas & the Papas, :

I used to live in new york city
Every thing there was dark and dirty
Outside my window was a steeple
With a clock that always said 12:30

Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the morning I can see them walking
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can’t keep myself from talking.

At first so strange to feel so friendly
To say good morning and really mean it
To feel these changes happening in me
But not to notice till I feel it.

Cloudy waters cast no reflection
Images of beauty lie there stagnant
Vibrations bounce in no direction
And lie there shattered into fragments.

Young girls are coming to the canyon
And in the morning I can see them walking
I can no longer keep my blinds drawn
And I can’t keep myself from talking.

An Exit Statement…

I am taking a much needed break from fashion design…I’m giving California a try…   Please take advantage of all the sale has to offer and thanks for your support these last six years.  I’ve reached 1000 sales, which I never would have imagined when I first started.  Etsy has given me strength, beauty, love, support, true friends & a wonderful lifestyle where I can support myself sewing!!  Being able to share what I make has been a tremendous dream come true. I am someone who used to watch fashion tv and read countless magazines dreaming of cooler clothes than what was available in my small Pennsylvania town.  I used to sew and paint and sculpt and put together costumes… I would make my own clothes at 14 and courageously wear them to my conservative Catholic school on “dress-down days”.  One time, I wore a purple jersey drape top I made; and a snarky popular boy asked if I had made it.  Excitedly, I said yes, only to hear him say, “Well thank God, I would hope you would never pay money for that.”  Fourteen years later, I am a two-time almost contestant on Project Runway.  I got to meet Tim Gunn & Zanna Roberts twice, as well as Christian Sirriano.  I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten mention in Lucky Magazine, Bust Magazine, Style.com, the Martha Stewart Show, the Huffington Post, Daily Candy, The Awl, and others.

I’ve had fashion shows to rave reviews, I’ve sold at numerous boutiques, shows, fairs, etc.  I’ve taught sewing classes at Etsy and NYU.  I shared studio space with prolific designers and artists.  I sewed for The Row & Ohne Titel, as well as gotten to see shows firsthand, such as Rachel Roy.   Magic has happened. I can’t even recount all I have done or all that has happened.   I’ve never worked harder in my life and I have the grey hairs to prove it.  Life has been very satisfying being my own boss.  It’s also been remarkably challenging.  I am taking a leave of absence and leaving knowing I worked my absolute hardest and put my business first 90% of the time.  Life is what you make of it.  You can truly do anything you put your mind to.  Do what you love.  You only live one life.  Thank you for making these last six years magical.

xo Desira

Stylizing Your Life…

Desira Pesta_ Valley of the Dolls Bathroom

Valley of the Dolls Bathroom, Harlem

My sister found this awesome iPhone app that makes any iPhone photo into a slew of different retro-esque photos. There are a several filters that make that regular ole photo of her dog into a 1975 polaroid of her dog.  I’m now addicted.  I freaking love old photos and films and film stills and so Instagram is my homeboy.

Desira Pesta _ weird dolls

Weird Dolls I Found in the Supermarket

Desira Pesta_ Above Ground Subway

Above Ground Subway, Brooklyn

Desira Pesta_ Boy Makes Snowman

Boy Makes Snowman

It does a pretty good job, eh? Instagram

—-> http://instagr.am/

A Few Adornments…

AMatisse - The Lute

Matisse - The Lute

Two New Sophie Belts Made from Vintage Materials in the Etsy Shop

Desira Pesta /  Sophie Wide Belt in Red Stripe / $24

Desira Pesta / Sophie Wide Belt in Red Stripe / $24

Desira Pesta /  Sophie Wide Belt in Red Stripe / $24

Desira Pesta / Sophie Wide Belt in Red Stripe / $24

---completely unrelated photo ----

Lucien Freud

Lucien Freud

NEW! DesiraPesta Vanilla Cream Sophie Belt

NEW! DesiraPesta Vanilla Cream Sophie Belt

DesiraPesta NEW Vanilla Cream Sophie Belt

Everybody Starts Somewhere…

Some famous faces first commercials:

Tom Selleck’s First Commercial.  I really think it’s a cute narrative.  Teri Garr is in there too.


There was a lot of trying before The Office:

Oh God. (Also what the hell is with the spurting water fountain in both McD’s commercials?)

Beautiful Strangers

Mada Primavesi

Klimt's Mada Primavesi

Spanish Platforms on Etsy

Robertina Spanish Platforms on Etsy

1970′s spanish clogs, $95, at Ersatz Vintage

Ersatz Vintage

I finally did it! that is…started an Etsy Shop for vintage separate from my handmade shop!

the secret shop I started in 2007 and called “Ersatz” with no real idea what to do with it is now strictly VINTAGEEEE

Here’s my Logo:

Desira Pesta ersatz_vintage

Ersatz's New Logo (featuring a drawing I did years ago)

and banner:

Desira Pesta Ersatz Vintage Banner

I named her Pepper


Featured, yeah!

My hickory leather & floral floppy hat was featured on this awesome blog yesterday and am happy to be amongst other great Etsyians and designers.  Many thanks to those at MayDae for the their recognition.  ;)

Desira Pesta on Maydae

Desira Pesta's Hickory & Floral Floppy Hat

Desira Pesta's Hickory & Floral Floppy Hat

Hickory & Floral Floppy Hat

Hickory & Floral Floppy Hat

The interior is lined with beautiful designer surplus floral silk in purple:

Desira Pesta's Hickory & Floral Floppy Hat

Interior of Hat


Thank you!!!

Junk Mail

I don’t know about you, but I get waaaay too much snail mail from all over the spectrum of N/A to me or what I buy.

I don’t know how they do it, but they find you and solicit your butt off.  In the last two years, I have gotten car insurance, car consolidation loan, car trading, and car leasing information from a dozen companies.  I haven’t owned a car since 2005.

They also managed to somehow pinpoint that my supposed car is a “Hyundai”, as several companies have offered me better insurance deals on my Korean make, and some have even offered up better car choices for me.  Upon receiving my first group of papers for car-related stuff, I freaked out and called the Social Security Office.  I was convinced that someone had stolen my identity and bought a car… I was wrong. They are just that creepy.


Another slew of letters I have gotten lately have been from The New York Review of Books.  I read.. A LOT, but how did they find me?  I always buy secondhand books on amazon.com, but how the hell would …

I am guessing that some or most of my mail is related to one giant conglomerate of snail mail dispersers… like the Hain Celestial Group of snail mail.  (If you don’t know them, look them up, they own everything natural food. )

Last night, I decided to move my many spices into simple jars.  What better tool to make out of a piece of snail mail, than a funnel!?

Spice Funnel

I don’t even know what they expect us to do with this paper.  The unspoken up until now, is how freaking wasteful this is, this trend of blind solicitation.  I estimate that in a single year, I get 312 pieces of UNWANTED & UNWARRANTED snail mail (that’s a lowball of just 6 pieces per week).  I’m just one person. Multiply this possible letter amount by the people in the U.S…

312 x 307,006,550

(pieces of mail x Google’s public data estimate of residents of the U.S. in 2009)

= 95,786,043,600


Now, I just made those numbers up based on how much I get and the population count also includes children, who don’t get mail, but I am sure that business owners, families of five, and other especially alluring peoples get more junkmail than me. In any case, even if you cut that number into thirds, it’s horrific.

Let’s keep letters for love & penpals.  Email is a beautiful thing.