Design Process: Levia - Short Bootie

The final piece that I handmade for my design thesis is a short bootie that laces up the side with prominent spike details.

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This is the original pencil sketch that I did of the design. It was intended to have a contoured wedge heel that resembled driftwood in the ocean.

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I started with a block of clay and cut it to the shape of a wedge heel.

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I attempted to carve a natural looking wood grain into the clay but the end result was so ugly that I decided to scrap this heel design.

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I ended up using the narwhal horn style heel and spikes on this shoe. It took many rounds of painting and finishing to end up with the perfect color.

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Applying the pearl embroidery so it looks like it was effortlessly scattered in just the right places. You can never have too many pearls.

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Lasting the upper.

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A sneak peek of the finished product. This one is my absolute favorite piece from the collection.

Until next design, 

Charanor

Design Process: Mazu - Fascinator

The fourth piece that I made for my Poseidon's Palace thesis collection is called the Mazu; it is a fascinator or as I like to call it "a fancy hat".

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I start with a stiff piece of buckram. 

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Steaming the buckram to help mold it into the shape I want.

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The buckram is shaped and ready to go, it will be placed between the lining and the upper.

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Shaping the lining leather.

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Shaping the outside leather. Each piece is wet, then molded and has to be completely dry before it is removed from the head form. It takes a bit of time but it't totally worth it in the end.

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Cutting the hat to shape. It's amazing how little of this leather actually ends up in the finished hat.

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Molding the horns out of clay.

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The raw resin horns after I popped them out of the silicone mold. They will be sanded to shape and then painted to a pretty finish.

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The finished product after the stiffened lace and horns were added. 

Until next design,

Charanor

Design Process: Maya - Envelope Clutch

The second piece that I made for my Poseidon's Palace thesis collection is a wrap around envelope clutch that I named Maya.

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The basic shape after the individual leather pieces were sewn together. 

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The underside of the pearl embroidery.

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The topside of the pearl embroidery.

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Trimming the lace.

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Treating the edges of the lace to keep them neat and free of fraying.

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The side view after the gusset has been added.

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The finished product. 

Until next design, 

Charanor

Poseidon's Palace: Materials

I named my thesis collection Poseidon's Palace because it was all about the beauty and majesty of the underwater world; The following is a list of materials I used to bring the collection to life.

1)PetroTeal Waxy Leather 2)Moonlit Mauve Pebbled Hide 3)Gilded Embossed Sea Snake Suede 4)Gold Metallic Corded Chantilly Lace

1)PetroTeal Waxy Leather

2)Moonlit Mauve Pebbled Hide

3)Gilded Embossed Sea Snake Suede

4)Gold Metallic Corded Chantilly Lace

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5)Pearls

6)Gold Metallic Twine

7)Gold Metallic Endcaps

8)Clear Liquid Resin

9)Acrylic Paint

Can't wait to show you the finished product :)

Until next design,

Charanor

Poseidon's Palace: Design Inspiration

My thesis collection at the Fashion Institute of Technology was called Poseidon's Palace. This collection was inspired by underwater art, deep sea creatures and sunken treasure.

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Underwater Art by Jason de Caires Taylor - The purple algae billows off of this sculpture like delicate wings.

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Cuttlefish - This deep sea creature has skin that glows and changes patterns and colors. They mate once and die right after giving birth.

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Sunken Treasure - There are millions of wrecked ships on the ocean floor that went down with billions of dollars of material wealth.

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Pearls - All pearl oysters are born male and transform into females at three years of age. Brings a whole new meaning to the term "Dropping Gems".

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Narwhals - Whales with horns like a unicorn. I don't think anything else needs to be said.

Can't wait to show you what I came up with using all of these design inspirations.

Until next design, 

Charanor

Sketch It: Keychain

The next item I'm making for the store is a posh keychain set. The best way to suss out the details of a design is to put it down on paper. 

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Pencil:  1)Fur PomPom 2)Assymetrical Leather Tassel 3)Customizable Leather Name Tag.

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Color: 3 shades of dark grey and black marker with long curvy strokes of white gel pen and color pencil help to add depth and texture to this fur pompom.

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Finished.

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The best way to describe the state of my desk when I'm sketching is #OrganizedChaos at #TeaTime.

Until next design,

Charanor

 

Style It: Tribal Print Bookbag

Ask any designer and they'll tell you the best part of working in the accessories industry is the swag. I have received many different types of high-end handbags from prominent brands in the past that I wear and give to friends as gifts. The funny thing is that nothing ever feels quite as good as wearing something that you've made with your own hands.

I call that "Maker's Swag" LOL

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If you like this bookbag, you can find it in the Shop. It's made to order and served hot and fresh. 

XOXO, 

Charanor


Tribal Print Bookbag - Handmade by Charanor / Shoes - Clarks / Dress - Forever 21 / Hat - Forever 21 / Sunglasses - NYC Street Vendor / Scarf - NYC Street Vendor

Photo Credit: Aaron Anish

Finishing Touches: Tribal Print Bookbag

I made this bookbag some time ago and later decided to add the finishing touches to get it ready for its' closeup.

Tassels are easy to make and very on trend this season so I decided to add a couple as dangling accessories to this bookbag.

In general you only need to know four steps to make a Tassel: 1) Mark it, 2) Slice it, 3)Roll It, & 4) Add the Hardware.

Adding tassels to a bookbag is like sprinkling it with *Instant Chic*.

The final three steps I took were as follows - 1) Laced up the bookbag with a padded leather drawstring 2) Added a sliding leather keeper 3) Added two silver end-caps to the drawstring ends for a clean finish.

The final three steps I took were as follows: 1) Laced up the bag with a padded leather drawstring, 2) Added a sliding leather keeper to the drawstring, & 3) Finished the drawstring off with silver metallic endcaps for a refined look.

All packed up and ready to go :) My favorite feature of this book bag is the full grain black leather against the colorful tribal printed canvas. Stay tuned for my next post where I style it up and rock it around the city.

Until Next Design,

Charanor


Graduation: Under The Gown

Everyone can relate to drowning in finals right before graduation, right? So you can understand why I didn't even realize that I needed a new graduation outfit until a few days before the big event. My friends were sitting around casually passing around pics of the outfits they had ordered weeks in advance and then it hit me - "What am I going to wear to graduation?!?"

I picked out the shoes I wanted to wear and then built my outfit from the ground up. I'm so glad that I chose these strappy wedges because the graduates stood in line for an hour and a half waiting to walk down the aisle. 

From there I went with a navy shadow stripe A-line skirt and a mint green sleeveless peplum top. I've never met a peplum that I didn't like :)

As a handbag, I chose this red structured envelope clutch that I made myself :) I'm so obsessed with the color red that I just. can't. even..Lol

All smiles as usual but even more so for this special occasion :)

Cap & Gown!!! - I am officially too cool for school :) 

Blessings & Success, 

Charanor


Envelope Clutch - Handmade by Charanor / Shoes - Nine West / Skirt - Forever 21 / Top - Forever 21 / Sunglasses - Lilly Pulitzer

Photo Credit: Aaron Anish

Bow Tie Pop

I have this hand painted envelope clutch that I made as part of my very first collection and I've been searching for the perfect accessory to bring out the subtle pop of red included on the bag. 

At first, I thought a red lip would do the trick and then I decided to take it to the next level by pairing it with this bow tie that I just made here

Peek-a-boo.

I think the smile works better than the #RBF :)

The finished look. 

XOXO, 

Charanor


Bow Tie - Handmade by Charanor / Shirt - Forever 21 / Skirt - INC International Concepts / Envelope Clutch - Handmade by Charanor

Photo Credit: Mika V.

Leather Bow Ties

Last week I had a couples of orders for leather bow ties so I decided to make one for myself while I was already in the bow-tie-flow. 

First, I cut out the patterns. I also tried a new nail polish during this time, I think I like it :)

Next, I traced the patterns on the leather and cut them out with my rotary blade - which totally looks like a pizza cutter. 

At this point, I used my skiving knife to thin out the edges for turning. Leather can be very thick sometimes and skiving helps reduce the bulk around the edges. 

I added top line tape to the edges I wanted to turn..

and then turned them with my bone folder, look how neat they are. I get really OCD about the details. 

I glued the front and lining of the bow ties together...

..and then used my rotary blade again to slice off the edges so they look nice and straight.

In between bites of Ben & Jerry's vegan ice cream, I sewed all around the edges of the bowties. 

I attached the hardware to the strap to make the bow ties adjustable around the neck for a comfy fit. 

Squish Squish, time to start molding the leather into the shape I want...

..and attaching the strap to the bow. 

The very last step is to tack down the ends of the glued pieces to secure them permanently. Leather is super thick so I had to punch a hole with my awl to get the process started. 

The finished product. I love how shiny the gold is and red is my favorite color. I also love the crisp smell of buttery soft Italian leather so it's safe to say I love everything about these bow ties :)

Until Next Design, 

Charanor


Print Kimono

Thrift shopping is really in style these days and I like finding good deals just as much as the next Twella so I'm definitely on board. Over the holiday break when I was visiting my parents in South Carolina, I spent a fun day out thrifting with my Mom. Along with the beautiful weather (75 degrees) and great company (Mom) the highlight of this day was finding this awesome printed kimono that I bought for $4.50. Yes, you read that correctly - $4.50.

I dressed this Kimono down with a pair of comfy jeans that fit like a glove, 

a leather stretch belt that I made myself, 

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and my freshly finished black combat boots, check out the post where I described making these boots here.

The finished look. 

XOXO, 

Charanor


Kimono - Salvation Army / Jeans - Forever 21 / Leather Stretch Belt - Handmade by Charanor / Black Combat Boots (Women's Size 12) - Handmade by Charanor

Photo Credit: Miso Lee

Black Leather Combat Boots

Black leather combat boots are simply a Fall/Winter staple for any Twella. Would you believe that I could not find a pair of cool black leather combat boots anywhere in a women's size 12?!?... I couldn't believe it either.

On two occasions, I ordered a pair of black combat boots on the internet. When they arrived in the mail something was off with both of them. Either the silhouette was an odd shape or the material looked too cheap. In both cases, I had to pack the boots up and ship them back for a refund *cha-ching*. 

Finally, I just decided to make my own. It's a good thing that I'm a shoe designer.

First, I looked through my collection of leather skins and chose which color I wanted my boots to be. Black is always a winner. 

Then I cut the patterns and cut the leather. This is my personal sewing machine, we're in love and I'm the jealous type. 

After the leather was cut, I sewed the pieces of the upper together. 

Then it was time to last. 

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Lasting is the process of fitting the shoe around an object that is the shape of a human foot. After the shoe is lasted, it's time to put on the sole. 

TaDa!!! The finished product - 3/4 View. 

She is so cute - Side View.

She looks good from every angle - Front View. 

This is me taking my women's size 12 Black Leather Combat Boots out for a test run around the classroom - obviously we keep it very tidy. They fit perfectly!!! Stay tuned for a style diary featuring these boots I made.

Until Next Design, 

Charanor


Photo Credit: Den Ly