Barbra Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: The Fanboy Comics staff recently discovered your amazing costume creations at The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball in Los Angeles, a weekend event that encourages the most talented fantasy artists, costumers, and special effects crews to place their creative endeavors on display. For our readers who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe your garments?
Daisy Viktoria: I had three historical fantasy costumes on display at The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball. Two of them were a dark fantasy, gothic-influenced version of Rococo fashion. One was a robe a la francaise for a woman, the classic court gown with a big hoop skirt. The male outfit matched it, both made of silver brocade with black silk accents. The third costume was an Elizabethan faerie queen gown. The dress was purple silk with beaded gold applique and lots of gold and green tulle. The costume also had purple wings, which light up.
In addition, I had several outfits there in person. On Friday night, I wore a gothic Snow White outfit with a corset and a big, red bustle skirt. My boyfriend accompanied me in a courtly outfit with a dark frock coat. On Saturday, I wore a new costume featuring a huge black collar, a corset, and a very flowy organic skirt. My boyfriend also wore a new fantasy gothic costume, and a friend of mine wore my gold faerie costume.
All of these costumes can be seen on the following page on my website: www.faerie-queen.com/fantasy.
BD: When did you discover your love of costuming, and what encouraged you to create your own line of clothing and costumes?
DV: I can't remember a time when I didn't love clothes and costumes! I grew up in a family of historical reenactors, so historical garb was always part of my life. Fantasy and fairytales were always encouraged in my family when I was young, and my mother was a talented seamstress. Naturally, I started playing with fabrics and creating my own outfits. I made a lot of dresses when I was younger, because I couldn't find clothes that fit right and looked the way I wanted them to. I was active in Civil War reenacting, which encouraged me to learn to make corsets, specifically those appropriate for waist training. Later on, I joined the SCA, which now gives me a place to grow my medieval and renaissance costuming skills and build my modern skills through fashion research. My fashion line really got going when I finished college. I was already making so many outfits and dresses, and it just took over my life! I started with primarily corset-based dresses and gowns, and though not everything I make involves corsetry, it is still an integral part of my line.
BD: Are there any designers or other elements that have inspired your work?
DV: I am always finding inspiration around me. My biggest influences are fairy tales, mythology, fantasy and faerie art, and anything mythical, as well as historical imagery and classic fantasy stories and artwork. I also love specific styles such as steampunk and burlesque, and I pull influence from those as well. I also find a lot of inspiration in nature. I love hiking, and I often see things that inspire shapes or colors in my line.
BD: Can you describe your creative process for designing and producing new outfits? In addition, do you have a staff with which your collaborate?
DV: My creative process generally starts with some kind of inspiration or vision. I may have an idea I've pulled together from some inspiration source, a dress I dreamed about, or something that just sort of came out when I grabbed my sketchbook. Once I have decided to make a design, I gather materials, and then I will either draft new patterns or alter my existing pattern blocks. The construction process is where most of my creativity comes in, as I play with draping and structure and really make my design come to life. After the garment is created, I find a model to fit it, and then we take lovely photos!
I am currently working on my own! I create each garment from scratch, from design to construction. I work with many other people on photoshoots, various models, photographers, makeup artists, and hair stylists, as well as fashion show coordinators. My boyfriend is a huge help to me. He helps when I merchant at events, and he also takes a lot of my photos.
BD: Aside from having your costumes on display at The Labyrinth of Jareth, have your creations been featured in other special events or outlets? Likewise, are there any goals that you hope to achieve with your work or mediums in which you aspire to have your clothing featured?
DV: I have done many fashion shows throughout Los Angeles, as well as in Atlanta at Dragon*Con. Here, I have done shows at fashion industry events, both inside and outside of fashion week, as well as a couple of conventions, Anime LA and Anime Conji. I have also had merchandise booths at various conventions and at Bats Day. My work has also been published in both online and offline magazines, including two issues of FAE Magazine, Petite Alternative, Von Gutenberg, Cosmode, Nifty Magazine, Hardcore Gamer, Tinsel Tokyo, and the upcoming issue of Gothic Beauty.
My goals basically involve showing my work to the whole world! I love doing fashion shows, and I hope to continue to branch out to more venues. I would also love to keep getting published in magazines and to continue to grow and get into bigger and more widely distributed publications.
BD: What impact do you hope that your costumes will have on today’s fashion industry?
DV: I would like to bring an element of fantasy into mainstream fashion. The industry is already adopting some elements of steampunk and fantasy ideals, and I think the world is ready for more. I love creating modern dresses that have a special element of fantasy and whimsy, and since I have found that many women share my love for such garments, I would like to contribute to and help to advance the fantasy-inspired side of the fashion industry.
BD: Being that Fanboy Comics focuses on all things geek, I must also call to attention your own love of cosplay and historical reenactment. How would you describe your experiences?
DV: I got into cosplay because I love video games and anime. I have been a gamer since I was young, and when I found out about anime conventions, I immediately set to work creating cosplay outfits. I was also heavily into Dungeons & Dragons when I had more free time, and that had some influence on my creative direction, as well. I always used to sketch my characters and design their costumes. Through historical reenacting, I have had the opportunity to research various cultures and time periods and create my own renditions of their clothing. I have researched Minoan, Greek and Roman, early to late medieval, European, Asian, Middle Eastern, Renaissance, Rococo, and Victorian costuming and have done costuming work for all of them. In the SCA – Society For Creative Anachronism, I also do archery, both target and combat, and thrown weapons. Target archery and thrown weapons are very fun, but combat archery is a whole different thing. We wear full armour and have battles that utilize organized war units. Shooting armoured soldiers with my legally padded, and thus much heavier, arrows is much different than hitting a target, and it is also lots of fun!
BD: Can you give us the inside scoop on any upcoming projects in the works, or your plans for attending conventions or other special events where fans may find your work?
DV: I am working on some new pieces for my fashion line, both couture and ready to wear. I have done some bridal work in the past, and I am working on getting together a more fleshed-out bridal collection in the near future, as well.
I will be at as many conventions as I can go to! My upcoming conventions right now are Comikaze, Pacific Media Expo, Anime Los Angeles, and Anime Conji. I will also be at Great Western War, a huge SCA event, in October, where I will be teaching some medieval costuming classes. In addition, I hope to do another fashion show once I have my next collection completed. I normally have shorter notice for fashion shows, so make sure you keep up to date on my website or facebook page (links below).
BD: What is the most important piece of advice that you can offer to individuals who aspire to create their own clothing and costume designs?
DV: First of all, sewing is key, so make sure you take some classes if you don't already know how to sew. There are many local outlets that offer sewing lessons. If you live in LA, I can also be contacted for private lessons. Figure out what type of clothing or costumes you are interested in, and start experimenting. As long as you have core sewing skills, you can always build in any direction by experimenting and figuring out which methods work best for you. And, don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't know how to do something!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for Fanboy Comics fans to find out more about your work?