Silversärk originated in 2005 when I saw a gap in the market with Japanese street fashion getting to the Western market. Since then I have expanded my work to include all kinds of alternative fashion, including Goth, Steampunk, and Elegant Gothic Lolita. As of late I have been striving to do more avant-garde and high fashion. My inspiration stem from many things – the people with whom I collaborate, historical fashion, music, folklore, and popular culture.
[Crew contributors]: It’s just me! I design, cut, sew, sell and market all of my products. At this time, emailing me directly, or purchasing things by looking through my Facebook albums, or catching me while vending at events throughout the year is the most efficient way to purchase a Silversärk piece. It is a pipe dream for me to have a boutique with my garments, along with other local designers whose work complements mine, with a sewing and workroom in the back, and enough space to do trunk shows, themed events, and a space for a backdrop to do photos for lookbooks. Seeing this come to fruition depends on finding a city where my eye for style is needed and appreciated.
In November, a few people on Facebook posted about how Milwaukee is ready to be put on the fashion map. Even though Milwaukee’s not as large as New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, we have a large arts community that is thriving and growing, including textile artisans. My experience with event coordinating and fashion shows, as well as my involvement with the the local fashion community, made me an ideal candidate for being the Designer Lead and backstage manager. I love Milwaukee, I love our strong artistic community, and helping others gain more exposure for their work is something about which I am passionate.
I did make some new items for this show, but also used some existing pieces from previous collections to tie the collection together. Most of the pieces in the show were new and shown first at MFW; one was from my Fall/Winter 2014 collection, one from my Spring/Summer 2015 collection, and the finale piece was one I made for a charity show I did this summer. As the Designer coordinator and backstage manager, managing Thursday and Friday went quite smoothly, but being a participating designer on Saturday on top of my other responsibilities stretched me a bit too thin. Attempting to keep everyone in order and well-informed, as well as taking care of my own models, was definitely tricky. At this time, due to personal reasons, I will not be participating in any capacity next year; for reasons completely unrelated to how the events turned out. I look forward to seeing how it grows from here on out!
I have participated in over 25 fashion shows in the past 5 years, ranging from shows at fashion industry meet & greets, charity events, conventions, and my own independent shows. I would say my past 2 independent shows have been my favorite, based on the quality of the work itself. In doing an independent show, I get to control every aspect of it, from the time the show starts, to the models I choose, to hair and makeup, music, food, floor plan, VIP perks, etc. It really stretches my creative boundaries, and allows for me to show my skills in multiple areas other than fashion design as well. I have had my work in over 40 magazines nationwide, including Giuseppina, Cloud Orchid, Dark Beauty, M Magazine, The Ladies of Steampunk, Freque, Gothesque, and many more. I have had my work featured in the 2013 Steampunk Exhibit at Osh Kosh Public Museum, the Lady Elgin Bay View Gallery Nigh exhibit in Fall 2014 at the Bay View Historical Society/Beulah Brinton House, and most recently, the Sub-Culture Craft Exhibit at the Racine Art Museum. I have also had my work on spots for local tv stations, Fox 6 WakeUp! as well as TMJ4’s The Morning Blend.
I would like to have my work featured in more local galleries, and work hard to ensure I can participate in events outside of the Midwest to get more nationwide clientele. Teslacon in Middleton, WI every November that is something I will continue to attend. I also hope to be a vendor at the Steampunk Empire Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio next April.