Wardrobe - Shops I purchase(d)

Building (My) Wardrobe:
Where did I buy my costumes?

I've already covered two blogs (how I got sponsored & "purchasing pieces" ) about how I've build my current wardrobe. The following articles is an (ongoing) set about shops I have bought pieces I currently own and where I either continue to purchase pieces or recommend the shop (for both its quality & service) for both personal as paid work.

The following blog is from shops I've purchased with; even if I'm affiliated and/or sponsored with/from them.

This post is not sponsored in any way and is purely based upon my experiences and how much I like the products and results. Even if I'm gifted a piece/pieces or have traded - or they're clients of mine; all actual purchases have been made by my own free will and paid with my own salary for my business and wardrobe.

MaraParc1.jpg

- Click the name to be taken to the store -

********

Mytholon - Germany

Larp costumes; ranging from medieval to viking & fantasy.

I've purchased clothing, props & armor.
Relationship: Affiliated + Client (of mine)
I did purchase on multiple occasions from them myself for both personal & client work

***

Ayalgas - Spain

Circlets & Jewelry (fantasy style)

I've purchased 3 circlets from them
Relationship: I was gifted 2 more circlets with my purchase; no previous contact or collaborations have happened before this.

***

El Costurero Real - Spain

Fantasy Costumes & Accessoires.

I've purchased (fabric) wings & men's clothing from them.
Relationship: I previously collaborated with them & have been sponsored some pieces.
Purchases happened after all the collaborations have happened.

***

Medieville - England

Faux Fur Cloaks & Hoods

I've purchased a (faux) fur cloak from them.
Relationship: Client only

***

Moth & Myth - USA

Lasercut paper moths

Multiple moths have been purchased on various occassions;
been used in my "Moth Girls" series
Relationship: Client only

***

Hysteria Machine - UK

Gothic & Fantasy accessoires

I've purchased various pieces from them over time.
Relationship: been sponsored for about +- 2 years (2015 - 2016)
Purchases happened mostly through 2017

***

Alice Corsets - Ukraine

Couture Costumes, Corsets & Gowns

The "Star Dress" ensemble is from her.
Relationship: previously collaborated (including the original star dress).
The dress has been purchased at a later date for my permanent wardrobe

***

Renaissance Attic - UK

Ruffle Collars

Purchases multiple sets from her
Relationship: Mostly (I as) client; after some purchases we traded collars in exchange for images.

***

Moriel Corsetry - Russia

Specialises in corsets ; makes ensembles too

Purchases: Corsets
Relationship: Previously collaborated before purchasing pieces from her.
I've been gifted two corsets over time.

***

Wythe Phantom - UK

Corsets, Neck Corsets & Costumes

Purchased multiple pieces from her (dress, corset, neckcorset + veil)
Relationship: collaborations + I've been gifted some pieces.


 

Rental List - Costumes & Styling

RENTAL LIST - Costumes & Styling

This is a list of various designers & stylists who rent out their designs for creative projects and too artists, photographers & models interested. While I haveworked with some of these designers myself; I do not take care of any arrangements or contact. This list is only made as a resource for the creative community out there.

*Want to be included? Please email me using the contact form!*
The list will be updated over time with new information and/or designers.


Holly Rafaela - UK

Couture Corsets
Website - Facebook - Instagram
Rental Catalogue
Price range: €€ - €€€ + Shipping
Ships to : UK - USA/Canada - Europe

18622275_918352014974113_2046716601888410791_n.jpg

Rainbow Curve Corsetry - The Netherlands

Ethereal Corsetry & Fantasy Bridal Couture
Website - Facebook - Instagram
Rental Catalogue
Price Range: €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Europe

4ce6b0_9dbbf82e1e9e4a929c3d3cad689db84f~mv2_d_3456_5184_s_4_2.jpg

Candy Make-Up Artist - Netherlands

Accessoires
Website - Facebook - Instagram
Rental Catalogue
Price Range: €€ to €€€ + deposit (see website for all info)
Shipping: contact candymakeupartist@outlook.com for all info regarding pick-up & shipping.

gold-styling-headdress-candymakeupartist.jpg

Royal Black Couture - Austria

Couture Corsetry, Gowns & Costumes
Website - Instagram - Facebook
Price Range: €€ - €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: EU

CC_mystiquelilies01.jpg

Fairytas - The Netherlands

Fantasy Gowns & Costume Couture
Website - Facebook - Instagram
Price Range: €€ to €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Please contact the designer for shipping availability & pick-up possibilities

34369259_1365960343504147_5053798883746906112_n.jpg

Emiah Couture - UK

Couture Corsetry, Bridal & Boudoir
Website - Facebook - Instagram
Rental Catalogue
Price Range: €€ to €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Europe - UK & Europe

03 |P| Dee Bryan |M| Kacie Laura |D| Emiah_preview.jpeg

Général Guérisse - Belgium

Fairy & Fantasy Gowns
Website - Facebook - Instagram
Rental Catalogue
Price Range: €€ to €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Europe - UK & USA

generalg.jpg

The Dark Angel - UK

Fairytale & Fantasy Costumes and Period Wear
Website - Instagram
Price Range: €€ - €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Worldwide

387wtlrg_1024x1024.jpg

Souhui - UK

Futuristic / Traditional Korean
Website - Instagram
Price Range: €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Worldwide

souhui_campaign_shots-8_Look_1_WS-1.jpg

Grimilde Malatesta - Italy

Historial, Fantasy & Theatrical
Website - Instagram - Facebook
Price Range: €€€ - €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Europe & USA - other locations upon request

IMG_6180_1.jpg

Monarque Jewels - Australia

Crowns, Tiaras & Jewelry
Website - Instagram - Facebook
Rental Gallery
Price Range: €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Worldwide

2017-09-14+14.53.32.jpg

Parasite Eve Design - USA

Victorian, Wedding, Fantasy & High Fashion Costumes
Website - Instagram - Facebook
Price Range: €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: Worldwide

EveJenkinsDresses#1(web).jpg

Rosie Red Corsetry & Couture Corsetry - UK

Couture Corsetry & Fantasy/Bridal Gowns
Website - Instagram - Facebook
Price Range: €€€ + Shipping
Ships to: UK & Europe

collections9.jpg

Giulia Danese - Italy

Fantasy / Fetish / Surreal / Avant-Garde Fashion
Website - Instagram - Facebook
Price Range: €€ - €€ + Shipping
Ships to: Worldwide

Giulia Danese 1-1.jpg

Charlotte Aurora Design - Denmark

Fantasy Corset & Couture Costume
Website - Instagram - Facebook
Price Range: €€ - €€ + Shipping
Ships to: UK & Europe

20626373_1493867240700962_4221736861495309147_o.jpg

Disclaimer: While I've worked with some of the designers mentioned (and you may always contact me regarding any questions about my experiences!), I have no affiliation with either of them beside that & I take no responsibility for any damages, losses or any other misunderstanding or situations. I've created this list to bring creatives more closely together and have it as a list of resources to create amazing work.

Wardrobe: Purchasing Pieces

Building A Wardrobe: Purchasing pieces

LaraWhite3.jpg

I already wrote a blog about one of my most asked questions: how did I get sponsored/gifted so many pieces that are in my wardrobe right now? Today I want to talk about another great way to build a wardrobe - which seems pretty obvious at first but has some really interesting points I want to touch - : Purchasing pieces.

While this seems pretty obvious to me; I do feel there is still a lot of ... misconception about it. Building a wardrobe isn't cheap and while you can do it cheap; I want to point out that cheap isn't always the long-term solution. Both for you (and your (future) business) but also for the world as a whole. I'm going pretty deep into this down below this blogpost. First some storytime:

 

1. Purchasing pieces: How & where do you start (or did I start)?

I've been collecting (hoarding) costumes since I was a kid and once I went to Antwerp in 2008 it kinda escalated from there. I started crafting my own costumes from cheap options I found in Zeeman or Wibra or I thrifted second hand online (facebook, second hand shops) and in real life. I also picked up some OC (original character) cosplaying vibes and tribal bellydance. So obviously: I needed more costumes. Everywhere I went, I was on the lookout for pieces. I also bought a lot from Ebay as it was a cheap option (with my student budget). I also got the occassional piece as a gift and I bought more from friends and online sales. 

Right now I also purchase a lot of pieces from actual stores  (Think Twice in Belgium most of all for example), but also a lot of handmade from designers all over the world. Be it directly from their stores or through online sales. I also have some (online) addresses I check regularly for new designs they're selling (again, second hand stores). Sometimes designers also contact me and offer me prototypes or pieces before they sell it online (easier for them, fun for me!). I'm also still hunting down everywhere I go for original looking pieces and if you take some patience with it and keep an open mind: it can go pretty fast. Now there is this more delicate topic I want to delve into:

IvoryLace1.jpg

2. Why do I avoid as much as possible to buy from chain stores and/or websites like ebay or wish?

I'm a person that feels pretty dedicated to ensuring an life as ethical as possible as a non-vegan/vegetarian, non-activist, regular 27 year old (I cannot be more mediocre in my lifestyle. I do eat like 85/90% veggie though). I try to make my impact on the world in an as less-negative way as possible without either being hypocrite or blind for one thing and promoting the other (which is easier said then done; but I try to get my intentions as good as possible while learning as much as I can. I think educating yourself is the best way to learn & I'm not here to preach about it outside this blog either). This affected my business in such a way I'm moving more and more away (almost entirely, unless necessary) from the fast fashion industry . Its great to buy pieces for a few bucks but I don't feel creating a wardrobe that is made by underpaid workers, often underage, working in harsh working conditions with crazy hours. With an industry that is polluting the world as we know it and contributing to this decay that is so widespread. I did (and sometimes still do purchase) pieces from chain stores like H&M . But I avoid shops where clothing is suspiciously low (like Primark). This is a very personal decision I made and one that is also greatly affecting my wallet but I feel this is one I do want to address. While I won't shoot you if you do - I did it in the past too, out of simply not knowing yet & because I had a shoestring budget - I want to simply share my opinions and I hope it might inspire you to do the same from now on or once you have this opportunity (even if it's just an occassional piece). I think intentions and actions speak louder when made from a personal zone instead of being pushed by an activist that is demanding either one or the other. This is incredibly personal to write for me but I do feel this is incredibly important to mention. Beside something I'm honestly really dedicated too: buy handmade from independent designers.

MaraElf1.jpg

Why would  you do this? Let me tell you: I purchase handmade because I cannot demand or justifice my prices if I'm not willing to fully value and understand the prices my fellow independent business ask for their work (and pay for it without asking for a discount or deal). You cannot make an excuse for this: if you want to get paid for your craft, you must be willing to pay for the craft of others as well. It's that simple. Don't be a hypocrite. And also: buying handmade is great for the economic (because you're literally paying someone their salary. Salaries are cool! We all like a salary at the end of the month). And believe me: we all love that *ping* when a sale has made so you get good karma above it too! Making people happy is really awesome to do.

Another reason is that I want to raise my prices by september 2018 and I want the value of my service to reflect what I offer: a high quality, unique, almost entirely ethically sourced and impressive one-of-a-kind wardrobe. You can't get that with ebay and h&m.

Now beside all that: building a wardrobe & the purchasing part is a really time-consuming project. Unless you're blessed by a great wallet full of coin to spend. A lot of us start from scratch and it can be frustrating at times. Please don't be disappointed: keep your eyes open, save up, take the time to go out & check shops once every two weeks for pieces. Become part of selling groups online on facebook, scout depop, go to markets, ask around if people want to get rid of things ... there are so many ways to purchase a wardrobe without breaking the bank too much and without supporting the fash fashion industry. Its also incredibly worth it to save up for special pieces (birthday money anyone?).

It's also important for me to mention: if you want to make this your business or you're in business. It's a necessary, evil investment. As much as your camera and your lights. Don't skimp on it. Value what you do as much as you value your photoshop. Because it will allow you to understand your own services even better and how (potential) clients will aproach it.

Good luck & most of all: have fun with it! Over & Out!

Wardrobe - Getting sponsored by designers

"Building A Wardrobe"

"Getting sponsored by designers - How I got so many items to keep."

IvoryArcadia1.jpg

It's a question if I often get and I want to start digging into this over the course over a few blogs, with the first one tackling - also one of the most delicate topics - : getting sponsored. While most of my clothing wardrobe is years of hoarding, most of my headpieces and other accessoires are build on years of mutual beneficial collaboration and since a short time a change in my business workflow. This resulted in a wardrobe with easily over a hundred headpieces by now and is still ongoing.

I have some golden rules for collaborations in general (and for me, these are closely knit together with sponsorships): The only thing I've never done is asking for a sponsorship. I've never reached out to a designer asking to send me free stuff in exchange for marketing material. I've rarely touched on the subject when in a conversation of collaboration either when I reach out. I do mention it when people reach out to me (as asking party) and I feel interested in collaborating but I'm not in the game anymore to just shoot and send it back since a good year now.

For me it's an incredible important detail to always keep in mind who is behind the messages (and the shop) and realise there is an actual person behind the screen, often running the entire shop on him or herself (with help of a partner or friend in some cases). Now that is out: here are the three most common scenarios for me & how I got into all of this:


Note before reading: This blog touches mostly on me working with independent and small businesses and rarely to never involve bigger companies. This is also mostly based on my experiences for the past years when growing as photographer and my first year as growing business.


"How I got pieces to keep - The 3 ways"

1. Gifts during/after the collaboration

One of the most common ones where a designer has gifted me one (or rarely more) pieces as a thank you for the work I have done in collaboration for them (or in advance they tell me I can keep a piece). A succesfull collaboration is worth more than gold and it can be an incredibly uplifting and rewarding experience for all parties involved: getting great images for a webshop is one of the most important aspects of selling and the photographer (and rest) of the team involved gets epic pictures for their portfolios. All parties also have some great content for social media!

In this stage, a designer has often gifted me a piece I really liked or they let me choose one. This often comes out of the blue for me as well as I never expect something in return because I value their trust and investment already enough because it's still sending pieces to a total stranger somewhere in Belgium in hopes it gets there safe, survives the time there & gets back in one piece. Also don't drop "subtle hints" - chances are they heard it all and we all do see it coming from miles away.

MakiGold1.jpg

2. Actual sponsorships

My work with Hysteria Machine is a great example of this: back in 2014 I had worked with her for a few times and she wanted to get a team together to shoot her work on a regular base for a consistent style and simply because to have less stress & hassle. I was one of the people chosen and we worked together for a long time: I would shoot (new) pieces for her and her business. In return for all the pieces I got, she could use all the photos I made for promotional & commercial business.

An important note on sponsorships is this: don't be greedy. While she has send me tons of stuff; since a while she hasn't asked me and I always respect the boundaries (and also: don't ask for the "why" - nobody owes you an explanation why (not) anymore). A sponsorship should always be a business relationship and kept as a business relationship. Don't use it to get that one piece you really want thats new and take advantage of your sponsorship. If you want it & your sponsor doesn't say anything about sending it to you: either shut up about it or buy it (and support a small independent business. See my note below at the end about this).

I follow a lot of amazing designers and sometimes they put up calls like this. You can always apply for it and see what happens or let it grow organically after a one or multiple great collaborations. Because believe me: designers are perfectly capable of putting one-and-one together at times and they will consider it probably. Maybe for one or two; maybe more. Just let them decide and give them some personal space.

 

VeilFlower2.jpg

3. Trading

A trade is something I started doing about a year ago after I realised I had over 500 euros in expenses for shipping & import taxes alone in less then 3 months after I got a note from my accountant. This was a serious wakeup call for me as well as I was already a full-time business paying a double rent and heavily investing into letting it all grow. Using the "trade" mechanism is not something I would recommend doing from the start as I feel this is something for the more "experienced" photographers out there and only when you're being approached.

When I get approached now for a collaboration I will carefully check out the person messaging me to see what (s)he has to offer and if it's worth putting my business & personal time, money and other investments & financial loss in it. Usually I will decline and offer my rates instead ; though in some cases when I really like the work I will say yes: on the one condition I can get a piece of/or pieces making up to at least x-value to add to my wardrobe as compensation. It's up to the designer contacting me if (s)he agrees on this or not; which will also give me an insight in if (s)he values my investment enough. As I will equally demand the same respect of those I work with for my investments as I try to value in them and what they do for me.

This is something I only started doing since a year or so & I only do when I genuinly like the piece(s) the person is offering. Even if I get a piece/pieces ; I still need to keep my end of the bargain and deliver photos in return. As mentioned on the side here right as well: while I love shooting & supporting independent businesses: I've learned the very hard way that my business always comes  first. That doesn't mean you should be an entitled twat as you can seriously be a genuine, caring person without sacrifing the health of your business and yourself. I don't want to use my advantage of being a more well-know photographer to get freebies to collect and never do anything with. Which is why I've got way more selective about this and why I only offer this when I genuinly both like a piece as when I'm pretty sure my clients will like this.


- This is how I did it. I only started receiving and doing this since end 2014 (I've been pretty active shooting since 2009) and only after I developed a great portfolio and some name-ish as well. Sponsorships are a great deal & shouldn't be taking lightly. How cool as it sounds (and is!). While mistakes always happen (and I had many): always stay honest and genuine. That usually saves you and you can always work something out. -

IMPORTANT NOTE:
You are not worth it if you aren't willing to actually pay actual money for a piece. While I often get compared to a forever hoarding dragon like Smaug because I like all the pretty things I see passing by & want to have it all: it doesn't mean I should just get it "because I'm Sheridan's Art" or even expect it to be send my way. Sponsorships are a delicate relationship of mutual trust and benefit and should never be exploited by either party. I have bought multiple pieces by now because I didn't get them & I really wanted it. Just like in collaborations (and this is why I never ask for sponsorships): you're satisfying your needs if you reach out to someone; not theirs. So buy the piece instead of asking for it. And if you can't pay it: save up. Or at least inquire if there are rental options & actually do rent out the piece(s).