Visiting the yard

I walked into Bird’s yard to find that things had changed less that I expected. The rooms hadn’t been switched around yet but the third floor was being renovated and machines were so loud you could hardly hear what anyone was saying. There were plenty of staff on as we had expected the new jewellery room to be open so the work pace was quite chilled out.

After cleaning and reorganising my booth I decided to have a look round and take some pictures.

The first thing I noticed was that lovely crayfish had moved some new stuff in. I especially love the day of the dead T-Rex skeleton print, as well as the rounded corner moo cards (of which I have run out).

Pretty much immediately after this I noticed the large mirror and decided I had to seize this opportunity to get a picture of my whole outfit.

I was then asked to look through some magazines and find some interesting images for a collage. I really love this job because it reminds me of the non-stressful part of being at uni.

While looking through the magazines I came across “Fiyah!” a leeds mag I hadn’t seen before.

There was a feature on Bird’s yard inside and the Eustratia booth was visible in the picture.

I don’t think they mentioned individual designers but it was still nice to see.

The lady I was working with that day runs Urban fox. A label that makes the most adorable cushions. She also customises and re-upholsters furniture, there is a specific chain downstairs at Bird’s yard I’ve had my eye on since I first walked into the shop.

I have mentioned Belles Bejewelled on here before but I’d never tried on one of these strand necklaces. I decided to give one a go. It looked kind of cool and messy from the front but I preferred it worn over the shoulder.

One on each shoulder was a definitely strong look with maximum editorial potential. I’d love to wear these for a shoot.

It was Jubilee weekend so I decided it would be entertaining to try on Cloe’s inflatable crown and hold a diamond. I’m not usually the humorous type but this shop obviously inspires!

To finish off the nonsense, after re-pricing all the dresses on one side of the room I decided to try on a vintage wedding dress.

The top part didn’t really suit me but I love the layers of ruffles!

Bird’s yard update.

As some of you already know Bird’s yard is currently my only stockist and I work there once a month so I’m available to answer questions or take people’s measurements for custom orders. I feel privileged to be part of such a unique shop that brings together so many talented designers.

While I’m there I usually work in the boutique room featuring lovely vintage by Bird Shell and dramatic leather accessories by Belles Bejeweled and quirky jewellery by red paper house.

Last week I decided to try on some accessories while it was quiet.

pastel feather earring by belles bejewelled

feather headband!

furry beret that matched my hair colour.

In these photos you can also see me sporting my amazing fake fringe of happiness. I love things that allow me to change my appearance so easily.

My favourite products in the store are probably these necklaces by Belles bejewelled. I haven’t bought one yet as I already own a lot of oversized accessories but I’m sure I will at some point.

I also love Life’s big canvas (where I got my hanging spike earrings from). They always have new quirky pieces in.

I wasn’t really planning on buying anything for myself but I spotted this hairy shrug in the 10 room (yes there is a room full of items for 10 and a lot of them are worth more). This isn’t the sort of item I would usually go for, I picked it up purely because of the colour and tried it on for fun while consulting some customers. After walking around in it for a while and realising it was the perfect addition to my outfit however, I decided I had to have it.

The ground floor has recently been turned into a tea room, adding yet an other great element to the Bird’s yard experience. The downside is that the smell of food can be tempting, even when you’re not hungry.

They do make amazing toasties though!

At the end of the day we had a meeting in the tea room to discuss the future of the store and changes that are being made. The upper floors are all being rearranged and the basement is opening with more art, furniture and boys stuff! We are also planning competitions, parties and a fashion show so keep an eye out for updates!

Limbo land

I have always really liked the idea of latex in water and have often wondered why there aren’t that many good quality underwater images around featuring latex. We have all seen the fetish pool-party type ones but I had something completely different in mind.

I was excited to be contacted by Catherine Laura Smith an underwater fashion photographer who, after seeing my work at Bird’s yard, wanted to arrange a collaboration. She had used items from the shop for shoots in the past so I was aware of how ethereal and atmospheric her work was and knew the outcome would be exactly what I was hoping for.

The whole team involved was awesome! Credits:

Wardrobe Designer: Eustratia
Stockist: Birds Yard
MUA: Natalie Greenwell
Model: Zara Abagail Syrett
Hair: Ky’cut Wilson
Assistants: Daniele Fitzgerald & Debra Smith
Support Diver: James Windeatt

I’m really pleased with them and hope others enjoy looking at them too!

VAU VAU fashion show

On Friday morning, after a long night of no sleep and a lot of sewing, I set off for Leeds and VAU VAU fashion show.

First stop was Rebel pin-up hair salon where I had to direct as the models got their hair done to fit their character in the show. Then after a quick cup of tea in a cafe we got a lift to the amazing Leftbank Church venue.

After arriving at the venue I realised the majority of my stuff was still locked in my friend’s car so I had to wait to set up the stall. I’m often worried about trading at places where I can’t bring my larger stall props but I think what I had was perfect for this event and I didn’t feel like anything was missing.

I’m particularly in love with this wire and nut tree that Rik made. I had been asking him to make a jewellery stand for a while and it turned out better than anything I had imagined. I’m also designing a jewellery stand for my upcoming homeware range but I haven’t decided on the best material to make it out of yet.

I did three interviews at the show (hopefully to follow shortly), two of which were filmed. I’m making an effort to put my work before my appearance at the moment as running the business on my own is quite hard and I need all the extra time I can get,but at times like these, I’m reminded its important to look good as well.

The models were great and managed to pull off both the walk and outfits, which I could tell some of them weren’t used to. I was please with the way the show turned out and the pictures I have seen so far. Apparently there will also be videos, can’t wait!

Some image selections from the show:

Our wonderful host, Toria Brightside wearing her custom, pink Eustratia antlers!

The images are by Arlen Specter, Danielle Jaques and Richard Ayres.

Was great to see other labels from Bird’s yard at the show, including Sophie Adamson as well as Jay Storey with his custom graffiti canvases.

After the show I managed to fit in a couple of snaps with Stuart from Walnutwax.

For those who weren’t at the show, the giant tea cups that the bunnies were holding were full of star confetti!

So far I’ve seen a review from Wildchild media which you can read here, I’m sure there will be more to follow soon.

A lot of the people who aren’t used to being exposed to it, commented on the amount of latex that I featured in the show. I would like to point out that, as I mainly sell latex on my site at the moment, commenting on the amount of fabric garments that I had in the show may have been more apt. I did end up having slightly less than I originally planned but I still think it broke it up nicely. I’m quite glad to have been able to finally take this step and show a mixed range as it justifies my not choosing a name with “latex” after it, having planned from the start not to be limited to one material.

Finally, I would like to congratulate all those involved on pulling off such a memorable event which raised around 2000 for charity. Special thanks to Toria Brightside and Emma Parry for organising, Fashion pony for sponsoring the event, Dave Abbot for my awesome, character specific music which you can listen to here, Amber for transporting all my stuff in her car, Verity for helping me sort out my technical problems, Rik for minding the stall pretty much on his own all night, Laura for cancelling work to stand in at the last minute and my glass of wine on the train and all my models/hair/MUA team for their great work.

For more images check the Eustratia facebook page.

I’ve had a few people ask about the hair pieces, I made these myself and will be posting a tutorial on how to achieve similar looks when I have time to get some pictures in order. I will also probably be doing a giveaway for one on my model page soon, for anyone who isn’t the DIY type. Commissions are welcome.

I’m already looking forward to my next show and future projects!

Bird’s yard update

I recently did a couple of shifts at my Leeds stockist, Bird’s yard. Having not worked in a shop for a good few years it did feel a bit strange when I first got there. I couldn’t remember what you’re supposed to do with the till, had the feeling I wasn’t supposed to touch any of the items in the shop and that I was supposed to be going work when I was standing behind the desk waiting for customers.

When I had readjusted to shopassistantness I found that its actually really good being able to talk to your customers face to face, help them find what they’re looking for and suggest items that might suit them. This is something online businesses really miss out on and in my experience stalls/shows don’t really make up for it as shoppers are a lot less relaxed at such events and, in most cases, actually seem pretty scared that you might try and sell them something.

I also took this opportunity to slightly rearrange my products which now appear to be on mannequins dotted around the shop and a display cabinet as well as the Eustratia booth.

So if you haven’t visited the wonderful Aladdin’s cave that is Bird’s yard I suggest you do so soon. They stock a variety of interesting new designers to suit all tastes and my talented friend Sophie Adamson has also recently joined, if you like dead things check out her work.