Monday, March 7, 2011

Kambriel in the New York Times Edward Gorey piece!

"I have the Dreadful Urge to be Merry..." ~ Charles Addams

Today I awoke to find this picture in the New York Times slideshow for the Edward Gorey "Nightshade is Growing Like Weeds" article! You can see it here, or by clicking on the preview image below:

I didn't realize they used a photo of me in the actual printed article as well, so what a grand surprise (you can imagine the photographer Tina is rather pleased as well)! With the article's other images being Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Tim Burton's retrospective exhibit at MoMA, a still from Neil Gaiman's "Coraline" and the Lemony Snicket films, along with Edward Gorey himself, it really doesn't get much better:

Cute vignette of the Doubtful Guest leading into the story:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kambriel fashion show at Steamcon II in Seattle

Presenting the onstage photos from our Steamcon II Kambriel fashion show in Seattle, WA! The song we performed it to? Aqualung by Jethro Tull... yes, really (though our version was minus the long guitar solo thanks to our friends Summer and Roger kindly remixing it for us)!

Feel free to play this in the background whilst you're looking through the photos/reading the descriptions to get a bit more of the full effect:

I'll likely do a follow up post with some backstage antics as well, but starting things off for now are the runway photos courtesy Amber Clark Copyright 2010 Stopped Motion Photography, You can see their own blog post from the event here:

On to the Show!

Alex, in a full length, modified version of the Gorey Coat, with inverted pleating in the flared back, and made from foliate brocade with an antiqued silver/bronze patina, fastened asymmetrically in the front with an oversized knotwork closure, accented with a crocheted lace Havisham Jabot and Crocheted Cuffs atop a black Italian linen Bastian Shirt:

Ashia in a copper and gold Cabaret Bustle Ensemble, with bias flounced ruffles:

Jillian in a batwing scalloped, panelled skirt and princess seamed bodice version of the Eleanor made in a combination of solid black with cupcake pink and white stripes with fleur de lis trimming the modified leg o' mutton sleeves:

Lisa in a shortened silver and black striped silk version of the Cabaret Jacket, with contrasting solid black silk sleeves decorated with handpieced trimming forming a graphic checkerboard design, worn with a black on black Flared Skirt, and Ice Queen Crown:

Gwen in an ivory georgette Demonia Blouse and fringed choker, worn with a panelled skirt made from forest and tone on tone ivory brocades, and hemmed in hand-cut lace:

Cherie Priest in a violet and black striped Eleanor Jacket, worn atop a ruffled walking skirt made from iridescent plum silk with an overlay of black lace, Chantilly neck ruff, and feathered raven headpiece:

Curse in an orientalist brocade capelet, with an ivory silk Aramis Shirt, Havisham Jabot, and long sepia Gryffin Waistcoat:

Kambriel in a gown made from a combination of alternating silver and black striped silks edged in pleated satin, with panels of solid black, and a heavily beaded and sequined bodice.

Kevin in a full length Cassock styled overcoat made from black embossed faux alligator trimmed in the back with vintage silver buttons, along with a striped silver and black silk Bastian Shirt:

Veronique in an Edwardian inspired dress made from antique black embroidered Japanese eyelet, framed in vintage crochet at the neckline and shoulders, trimmed in black tasseled fringe, and an applique featuring art by Aubrey Beardsley, worn atop a flock velvet striped black and cream underskirt:

Cherie and Lisa during the final parade down the runway:

We hope you enjoyed the show!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Neil Gaiman just let me know he wore his Kambriel jacket and matching waistcoat for the (legal) wedding to Amanda Palmer last night!

I truly couldn't be happier for both of them ~ for the paths of each of their lives to have come together in the way they have. In a day and age where I've seen more and more relationships come to an end, it warms the heart to rejoice in the pureness, energy, magic and honesty of a love in full bloom between two people who are so unquestionably *happy* to be together.

Monday, October 25, 2010


One thing I found myself struck by when visiting the grounds of Mt. Auburn cemetery in Cambridge, MA (with a highly informative, impromptu tour given by longtime friend Badriyaz) was how for somewhere that many might see as a place of death and endings, it was verily brimming with life and beauty.

The pond, seemingly grown solid with it's thick coating of algae, at first:

but then you notice something different about the surface of the water. Whatever could that faint fairy ring of a circle be?

Why, it is the watchful gaze of Mr. Toad!

A quintessential, eternal view ~ shrouded by trees:

Painted with the strokes of a purpled brush:

I have no doubts these two frequently team up in preparation of things mischievous beyond our imaginings:

A very clever Madame Duck, beguilingly swims our way:

The rich diversity of life's beauty can be found everywhere, including the most unlikely of places... one must only open their eyes to it all.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"The theme is Freaks, which really means be yourself."

Saturday evening found us and along with a full motley crew of artists, musicians, writers, family and friends, descending upon Cynthia von Buhler's secret Manhattan penthouse loft birthday party... Here's the most adequate way I can think of to describe it, courtesy Mr. Wonka himself:

Come with me, and you'll be in a world of pure imagination.
Take a look and you'll see into your imagination.

We'll begin, with a spin, traveling in the world of my creation.
What we'll see, will defy explanation.

If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.
Anything you want to, do it. Wanta change the world?
There's nothing to it.

There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.
Living there you'll be free if you truly wish to be.

Amanda Palmer and Kambriel, your faithful Ministers of "Party Propaganda" invite you to take a step inside:

There was an art installation of mermaids in which most were tragic "oil spill mermaids" in reference to the BP disaster, but Cynthia was one of the lucky mermaids who was rescued and cleaned:

The timeless beauty of the birthday girl.... I created some decorative "mer-hair" for the Countess' special occasion out of various sparkly, seaweed/floral bits. Birthday mermaids should be indulged in a bit of added glamour:

I helped with a small, but tight team of mermaid dressers for much of the night (if there was a mermaid pit crew competition in the Olympics, we'd be set!). I think we ended up having well over a dozen throughout the various "mermaid shifts" as the night went on, first transforming them into mermaids, and then liberating them back into a vastly more mobile, re-incarnated human form. Lesson learned: it's an invaluable bonus to be experienced in yoga or pilates when being transformed into a mermaid (or when doing the transforming) ~ as there is a lot of lifting involved! One of our dressing/carrying team got a bit scraped up in the process, and we warned him that he may indeed run the risk of turning into a merman at the next high tide:

We brought Neil backstage into the mermaid dressing room (you'll notice one casually laying on the floor here awaiting transport!) to try on his newly created Kambriel coat. This time the frock was made from lush, pitch black velvet and even more pockets... I (and I daresay Molly as well!) think he cuts quite the dashing figure in it:

If you could hear this picture, you'd be hearing the sounds of perfectly suited mermaid dressing music being performed onstage right next to the dressing room, by none other than Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys.

Shortly thereafter, Amanda came back as well to do a quick fitting of a striped cheongsam I'm making her. The photo below brings to mind an old limerick I'd often hear as a child (even though my hair is naturally bone straight. The silvery-grey "Big Wig" I'm wearing here was specially commissioned from the exceptional Serret of Wig Witch Studios.):

"There was a little girl, who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good, she was very, very good,
but when she was bad, she was horrid."

There was interactive art all around, and fairground fare a plenty to eat (though I never actually managed to ~ I got as far as having a veggie dog in hand at one point, but was immediately called away for mermaid-transformation duty!), consisting of popcorn, the aforementioned hot dogs, candy floss, and perhaps other delights which I didn't happen to catch in the fantastical blur of activity...

Performer extraordinaire Jason Webley played a raucous, accordion filled round for the Countess' assembled guests, occasionally accompanied by a rather massive glass jar filled with pennies:

John Cameron Mitchell during Jason's set (I did my best to crop my giant head o'hair out of the picture!):

The musical genius Sxip Shirey was marching throughout the rooms and down the halls with his own unique blend of festive aural majesty in tow. That man literally has music coursing in his veins.

Amanda takes the stage... I love the intimacy of this moment, framed by shadows and a softness of light:

Amanda said something about her life being made at the point when these mermaids unexpectedly freed themselves from the mermaid room and scooted across the stage so they could be serenaded:

Let us toast to art, family, and enduring love!

Neil and his enchanting daughter Holly:

I'm enamoured with how it looks as if Molly dreamed up these ruffled stilt walkers in that very moment, from the depths of her own colourful imagination:

Watching the show from bed ~ is there any other way?:

Cynthia von Buhler, Molly Crabapple, and Kambriel ~ caught on film making merry mischief!

Kyle Cassidy ~ in action, while Neil Gaiman plays with an eyeball gumball and yours truly looks on:

Me, with two of the most warm-hearted and visionary gents one could ever have the pleasure of knowing:

Thank you Cynthia for bringing us all together, in that spinning carousel beside the Empire State building, underneath the light of the moon.