Monday, July 27, 2015

A Man in the Wilderness

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself."

- Alan Alda

modeled by daniele valla
makeup art, photography and styling by cindy chen

Like this post? Check out the Pearl Mermaid!

Monday, July 13, 2015

DIY | Costume Tutorial: Gold Couture Look in 6 Steps

step 1: what you need

-   fabric craft flowers/silk flowers 
(i bought mine at a dollar store)
-   beaded necklaces 
(or bracelets or just...beads)
-   fern & leaf craft plants
(or use the ones attached to your flowers)
-   bandana 
(or any piece of fabric that's slightly thick)
-   essentials: tape, scissors, glue gun

-   gold spray paint (darker gold for the rustic feel)

step 2: create a foundation

Lay out the bandana on a flat surface and cut about two inches into one side. You’re making a strap so that it wraps around your neck. Don’t cut in too close to the center because adding more trimmings to the front will make it heavy and hard to hold up. You have to find a happy medium of keeping it upright when you wear it, but hiding the straps later on. You don’t need the exact size right in the beginning, having a little extra fabric is better than not having enough. You can easily snip that off as you add on to the piece.

*NOTE* Be resourceful! The craft flowers usually come with stems, leaves, extra accessories. When you break them apart, use all the parts. You don’t need to buy leaves, just use existing ones from the bouquets.

step 3: leaves base

Position the leaves close to each other across the top, the side where you had cut the straps out of the fabric. This will hide the fact that you cut anything.

step 4: floral power

Position the flowers as you would like them, the colors do not matter, just the texture and size of the bulb and petals. Tape them down if they keep rolling off.

step 5: glue & cut off excess

Now that you’re satisfied with the positioning, go ahead of carefully glue them down. I find it helps to place a dab of glue on the spot you plan on sticking the flower to, and then another dab on the flower itself before pressing it down.

The reason I placed the leaves on the bottom for a base is to keep the fabric from wrinkling too much when the glue dries. The leaves keep the shape of the bandana and prevent any spiky bits from the 3D pieces you’re gluing on from poking your chest when you wear it.

Chop off the excess fabric little by little when the glue dries.

step 6: spray away

Relocate your chest piece onto a disposable surface such as newspapers or plastic bags cut open and lay out. Make sure to spray the gold paint in a well-ventilated area. This means open area, not a room with one window. Trust me, if it’s not the smell that bothers you, the chemical fumes will make you lightheaded and irritated. To protect yourself, wear a mask, or just protect and cover your airways as you spray, eyes, nose and mouth. Don’t hover over as you spray paint it. Allow the cloud of paint that bounces off the piece to dissolve in the air for a few minutes.

I’m completely impatient with this, but it’s recommended to spray in layers, allowing it to dry within the hour before adding more. When you think you’ve sprayed enough, let the paint settle and solidify overnight outside and wake up to find a beautiful, museum worthy couture chest piece waiting to be worn!

Tie the straps around your neck tightly and the spaces between the leaves should permit a leeway to mold and curve the piece nicely to your shoulders.

Here’s the final result, worn with the DIY Treasure Gold Rave Bra 

And here's the full look on the runway, worn by Marilyn!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mermaid Parade 2015

On Saturday, June 20, I went to the mermaid parade in Coney Island as a photographer and as a mermaid myself. I was so impressed by the commitment level. Everyone definitely went ALL OUT with their costumes. I'm going to pick some of my favorite looks from the photos below and make a DIY/tutorial soon!

This was my look:

photography by cindy chen

Till next year!

If you would like me to send you HD photos of you and your friends, please send me an email: