¨¨¨°º the adventures of choklit chanteuse º°¨¨¨


Fotografía de los Sueños

Falling down one of those unexpected interwebs rabbit holes today led me to the online galleries of Madrid-based photographer Eugenio Recuenco, and I was sufficiently enamored to want to share.

I spent hours poring over the deep archives on his Web site, mesmerized. I didn't love all of his work ~ it's a very diverse portfolio ~ but the ones I love... I love very, very much.

He's a master of creating moody, surrealistic tableaus that are ripe with the promise of some fantastical and possibly disturbing tale.

I've heard his pictures described as cinematic. It's perhaps because of the meticulous attention to detail in the art direction, and a dreamlike quality that I find enchanting.

It occurs to me now that the first print issue of my beloved Coilhouse Magazine had a lush spread and interview with him. He has also made a few short films that are worth perusing even if some of them were originally perfume ads or music videos.

Thanks to my new blog obsession HauteMacabre for leading me to this work, and to the lovely TotusMel for leading me to HauteMacabre.


CoutureLust: Black Lotus

I'm ever so pleased to announce a new interview series: CoutureLust. I'm constantly amazed by all the enchanting indie clothing designers I find online, and I wanted to take the opportunity to show them some love.

First up, Christina Molcillo of Black Lotus Clothing. I found Christina at a Tribal Bellydance festival a few years ago, and have been avidly watching her work evolve into a jaw-droppingly gorgeous fusion of tribal-grunge-gothic-carnival-Victorian beauty. Not surprising that I lust after everything she creates. Prepare for serious WANT.

How would you describe yourself and your style of work?

First thing that comes to mind is that I'm a dork who just so happens to make pretty things. Well, at least I think they're pretty.. Nothing wrong with liking your own work, right?

My current style is kinda like a Grungy Tattered Beautiful F^&*d Up Mess... (excuse the language, but that's the best way I know how to describe it). I'm drawn to texture, layers, and sparkle... antiques, feathers, flowers and other found objects. I somehow manage to rip them all apart and put them back together in a fashion that pleases me. It's actually quite a therapeutic experience really... kinda like finger painting, or digging in the dirt while gardening. There's no precise way to do it... you just do it....
Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere. I know that's really vague, but it's true. I can be walking down the street and see a leaf and go "Wow, look at the veins in that leaf, kinda looks like a stitching pattern," or I'll be sitting in traffic and stare at the dingy old commercial truck in front of me and think "Hmm... if that truck were a garment what would it look like?" Then I'll look at the colors, detailing and feel of the vehicle and actually form a costume in my head to match it. Do I really go home and make that costume? No... ahh... probably not. But it's a good creative exercise! Normally I just dig through my fabrics until I find one that I like, and go to town with it... that's usually how all my pieces start.

Or... unless I'm creating for a customer... I have a specific person in mind. I love to use certain dancers as muses, they can give me creative boosts as well.
What do you do besides design amazing clothes?

Nuthin'... Hehe... I don't know, just normal stuff I guess. I love traveling, hanging out with my friends and my amazing husband (he's really funny). I read books, watch movies, take baths, collect things, dance, oh, and I just got off a 2 week raw juice fast. That was a pretty awesome experience... I love learning about health and nutrition.

What are three things that please you the most in the world?

The People Around Me
Being Creative

How did you get your start making clothes?

To sum it up I've always made stuff... After high school I studied Fashion for a minute then quit about halfway through the program... I didn't touch it for five years until I discovered Tribal Belly Dancing, and that's when I started making my own costumes.

In all honesty, I hated performing, so I decided to choose to stay in the game by being a costumer.

Pretty much all I knew was that I wanted to be a designer sooo badly, but didn't know how to get started... I was also under the impression that everything had to be mass produced, so I tried to go down that route, but just couldn't connect the two. Eventually I just sat down in front of a machine and taught myself how to sew... one costume at a time.

What piece of work are you most proud of?

Good question. Nobody has ever asked me that. I guess it would be this one. I loved that combo of bluish grey and silver with the red. Some lady in Spain owns it now, I hope she's taking care of it...

...and I love these new things I'm working on in my studio right now... lil' skirts, neck corsets, bras and crap that nobody will probably ever see. Most of my work is sold at shows, and never goes online. I don't think people realize how many things I make...

Where can we find your line?

Various shows, events are posted on my website... you can always add me as a friend on mySpace or Tribe too. I always upload my new work (there) simultaneously with the site.

Thanks Christina!

...Read the full interview...


Seven in One Blow

I tend to avoid blog tagging... it feels too much like a chain letter, and those give me hives. So I heaved a great sigh when Down & Dirty Designs tagged me - I knew it was inevitable. I decided to succumb, so - seven random things about me, but sorry, can't abide by ALL the rules.

{one} I still make hand-made valentines for everyone in my family and my dearest friends.

{two} At six years old, I tap-danced on the table at my grandmother's well-attended 60th birthday bash and sang Comedy Tonight.

{three} I was on a team of about 8 people that built a 35-foot-long, 15-foot-tall glowing blue iceberg stage/chill lounge/bar/DJ booth with a life-sized polar bear on top, and drove around in it in the desert.

{four} When I was a senior in high school, I wrote my college entrance essay on the benefits of having seventeen grandparents.

{five} Less than four years ago I was in the countryside outside Bucharest, trying to organize a staged battle between Romanian extras dressed as Celtic warriors, led by a warrior queen, and British Roman re-enactors, complete with chariots, horses, weapons, and armour.

{six} I was in a TV ad for a menswear at the age of three. I sat in an over-sized armchair and said to the camera "The men in my life wear Rochester Big and Tall." No copies exist that I'm aware of...

{seven} And in honor of Valentine's Day: I had the best, most colorful wedding in the world to the most amazing man ever. During the ceremony, he wore an electric blue vintage suit, I wore my grandmother's wedding dress, and my one and only "bridesmaid" didn't decide what to wear at the wedding until the night before ~ and she ultimately chose a traditional dress from Afghanistan that had been hanging on my mom's wall, and was only a little faded. She was also barefoot. I loved it.

Happy Heart Day to you all!!


A Most Curious Menagerie

The work of Chicago artist Jessica Joslin always makes me feel as if I've stumbled upon a strange and beautiful alternate reality.

Gustave, Clockwork Circus, 2008

With her scientific attention to detail, Jessica has the most enchanting way of melding together the mythical, the mechanical, and the anatomical to create whimsical little beasties that are hauntingly life-like.

Lupe, Flights of Fancy, 2005

She uses found objects to make each oddity like a relic from a natural history museum that never was, in glorious juxtapositions that make magic out of the workaday world's detritus: brass meets fur, leather meets glass, velvet meets bone...

Lartet, Flights of Fancy, 2005

And I simply adore the names she gives her creations, names that somehow impart a sense of purpose and the promise of a breathtaking story - Odette, Leopold, Callisto, Lautrec...

Figaro, Curiosa, 2007

You can see more of Jessica's creations in her new art book, Strange Nature. And read Coilhouse's excellent interview with her if you're as intrigued as I am.

Add this to the list of Things I Must Have One Day When I Am Rich - a Jessica Joslin familiar to keep me company in my golden years.


Sweet Coraline

I'm simply giddy with excitement about Coraline ~ it's like a fantasy-obsessed animation-loving post-goth craftista's dream come true.

Everything meticulously hand-made? Check. Voices by comic heroes French and Saunders and John Hodgman? Check. Sassy little girl with blue hair and striped stockings? Check. A toy squid? Check. Miniature sweaters knitted with sewing needles? See for yourself!

Though I'm an avid Neil Gaiman fan, I haven't read the book - I purposefully avoided it so I wouldn't face the disappointment I had with Stardust. So it will be a treat now to read it.

I can't really say much beyond this: you must see it, and you must see it on the big screen. Go now.