Costume Design for YouTube Webseries Malcontent’s Lab!

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Hey y’all,

A few months ago, I was commissioned to create an original design for a new webseries. I designed,  created a pattern for, and constructed a custom steampunk-inspired lab coat for the titular character in the new YouTube series, Malcontent’s Lab for actress Alana Jackler this past summer. Designs were bounced around and around, playing with elements of the late 1800’s, as well as Futurist aspects. Over the course of about 5 weeks I designed, constructed, and finished this giant job and you can see the process below… Malcontent’s Lab is one of the many shows on the YouTube channel, ScifiRiot.

 

Alana Jackler in Malcontents Lab

Alana Jackler in Malcontents Lab

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The coat took approximately 22 hours and the process included preliminary sketches, merging sketches and then a final sketch was approved.

My sketches for the coat

My sketches for the coat

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So the sketch on the bottom left was the one picked, yet I would include a purple tulle underskirt to soften the hardness of the coat and also to convey a little fantasy in the character.

2. The next step was drafting the pattern! I did a simple bodice design with a full circle skirt and then chopped one side of the front bodice and enlongated the other. This would give that asymmetrical center front and create the palette for those leather straps and buckles you can see in the drawing.

3. Construction/sewing!

The pinned bodice pieces

The pinned bodice pieces

The bodice with the open skirt pinned

The bodice with the open skirt pinned

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

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The finished product :o)

The finished product :o)

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A LAST MINUTE ADDITION: a little M emblem, she beckons the idea of a superhero for herself

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;O)

Making Old Good // Decorating @ Home

About six weeks ago my boyfriend and I took up residence in a 122 year old Downtown Jersey City apartment, relocating from Brooklyn after ten years for him and seven for me. It was a big and well-needed shift and we love it. Despite the fact that our building has survived several wars, yes, It’s a trendy Pre-pre-pre-pre War… (It’s been around since before the Spanish -American War), it has needed some TLC, which I love doing.

After moving in, I couldn’t wait to do research on the building and found that it had been a saloon in 1900, owned by a German named Gustav; and our landlord told us that it went on to become a boardinghouse….. Not to start the idea train, but I am thinking saloon+boardinghouse = whorehouse!

Photo: IFC Films // House of Pleasures

Back to renovations….The hugest undertaking to date has been the re-modeling of a pantry closet off the kitchen. Flaking paint, rounded walls, poor workmanship to seal off what used to have been a shared bathroom complete with ancient flooring kept past tenants from using this large walk-in pantry off the kitchen, yet without much storage in the entire apartment, we found it necessary to bring the space to utilization, we had to fix it. I, being a Bob Vila/Norm Abram fan since I was around nine years old, with parents who fix everything, dove into this/these projects.

I bought paneling, paint, and with a lot of sweat c/o a handsaw, I managed to cover the possibly lead-inflicted surfaces with the white paneling and also painted the existing bead-board a lovely light blue. Lastly, I brought in inexpensive black and white tile laminate flooring, which transformed the space to a whole new look. It’s a lot better. We still are in disbelief that no other tenant had touched some of the antiqued space since the ’60s.

More to come. ;o)

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.”

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

wfw

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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.

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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…

A Brooklyn Studio Apt. Before & After

I moved a little over a month ago into my own little studio and I have been carefully decorating it since. This past week, I did some furniture refurbushing and more decorating and then took some photos.  Here is it thus far. ;o)

BEFORE:

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& AFTER:

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A Before & After Project: I repainted this little shelf and then studded it with upholstery tacks.

Most of the furniture and frames has come from Pennsylvania antique stores and curb finds.

More photos of my bathroom and the rest of the studio coming soon. ;o)

xo Desira

Womanhood

Don’t you love having your…err…period? I just started tearing up listening to Dolly Parton’s 9-5!!?? I mean, come on! So many crazy things happen to us ladies every month, be them out of character, irrational, melodramatic, angsty, or just plain insane. We can’t help it.

hahah. Happy Sunday.

Playing: Inspiration in (Historical) Pop

I recently completed half of a full length play based on The Doors. I performed it with some stellar actors last month and we are going to film it and hopefully produce it at the end of June. With that said, I spent months doing research on the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, the late 1960’s and that period in music in general.  I have seen every documentary ever made on the Doors and some of them more than once.  It was amazing. It all started in December when I went with my folks up to the Woodstock Museum in Bethel Woods after Christmas.  The emotional experience I had there, coupled with my love of that time in music combined with my love of dressing in Southeast Asian jackets and necklaces exploded into a play that I am very proud of.  Here’s a shot:

Cat Cabral, Desira Pesta, Alan Braunstein, Cameron Moir, Delaney Smeal

Half of the cast

Cat Cabral, Desira Pesta, Alan Braunstein, Cameron Moir, Delaney Smeal

Here are some freaking amazing photos of some sweet fashions on some even sweeter rock stars:

Jimi, etc.

Janis

Amazing

Country Joe & the Fish

The Mamas and the Papas

Jefferson Airplane

Ray, John, Jim, & Robbie

:o) Can’t wait to share more of the play, the film, and photos ;o)

Easy Peazy

I started making these pouches a few months ago for myself and have decided to start offering to the good people of Etsy. Fun and bold patterns on Michael Miller oil cloth for just $10.  A nice big size too.

Polka Dots

Pink & Pretty

Keys in Cream

 

e t s y   s h o p