See, the world was supposedly going to end on May 21, and a friend had the forethought to arrange a lovely little shindig by the lake. Croquet and cucumber sandwiches and tea and argyle. That's where I met Kristen Adam, the incredibly talented proprietess of rococonouveau.
Just the week before I had discovered rococonouveau's Etsy storefront, unforgettable for its photos: sexy, creative and totally fun. Her wares? Reversible collarettes with themed names, handmade. Kristen sources her fabrics either locally or from vintage or repurposed fabrics.
Kristen says she "makes stuff." A gal after our own heart, no? Read on for a little Q&A with this new crafty friend and to enter a giveaway for one of these gorgeous wares.
How did you learn to sew?
When I was little my mom sold what she called “wearable art” at the local art fairs in our home town. They were these beautiful pieces like vests, belts, skirts, etc., which were constructed of several pieces of fabric that she randomly cut up and then sewed back together in a kaleidoscope like pattern before assembling the finished piece. I always loved what she did and I think she recognized my interest so she began teaching me how to make my own dresses and things. Once I had a little bit of sewing machine know-how I kind of just ran with it and started DIYing my own patterns.
Tell us about your collarettes. They've got such great names and sultry photos! I imagine you have a lot of fun with them.
The photoshoot might have been the most fun part of this project so far. I thought it would be fun and interesting to give each collar a name and do a little themed shoot with props, giving each piece a distinct personality. And yes, they are pretty saucy as well! One day I threw out the idea that I was looking for friends who were willing to be photographed semi-nude and was shocked by how many of my lady friends were instantly into the idea. So I made a day of it, had them all over with some cocktails and snacks and we basically had an all day super girly dress up party. Getting the overwhelmingly positive reactions from my lady friends when I sent them their finished photos was priceless. They all look so beautiful, I couldn’t be more happy with how that all turned out.
What are various ways you can wear them?
I get this question a lot and I think I’ll be blogging some outfit ideas soon at my brand spanking new website. My current favorite way to wear them is with tank tops or anything that’s strapless. It’s been so hot around here recently, so it’s a great way to spice up any cute summery outfit. Plus, the great thing about the collarettes I currently have up in my shop is that they are reversible, so you have double the options for getting creative with with your outfits!
Where do you source your fabrics?
I favor using vintage and repurposed materials whenever possible, making a portion of my pieces as unique as they are eco-friendly – an important consideration in these times. Plus, I’ve always loved the challenge of reusing materials and transforming them into something beautiful and new. I have some prints that I’ve been holding onto for years which I found in a little thrift shop in my hometown of Redding, CA. It’s the kind of place that’s owned by a man so old, you don’t know how he’s still standing upright and running a cash register. AKA, my favorite. I also do a lot of buying and altering second-hand dresses and keep all the remnants to use for making things. Other than that my favorite fabric store right now is Fabrix out in the Inner Richmond area of SF. It’s kind of the place where fabrics go when they die, so you have to do some serious treasure hunting. But with a little patience you can really find some gems.
How would you describe the style of rococonouveau?
For as long as I can remember I’ve felt a particular connection to things of the past: vintage and period fashions, early 20th century classic film, vintage erotica & pinup photography, art deco architecture, art nouveau textiles & jewelry, and the gilded splendour of the rococo era. The goal in all my work on this project is to merge the essence of these core inspirations with the modernity of the 21st century. Thereby preserving the beauty of these bygone styles in a way that is relevant to today’s aesthetics. Hence, the name rococonouveau!
How to Enter the rococonouveau Giveaway:
- Kristen is willing to ship internationally -- giveaway open to all!
- Leave a comment telling us which collarette you'd like to win—either the Candy Striper OR the Gilda, both pictured above—and how you'd rock it with an outfit.
- Provide your email so I can contact you about your fabulous prize.
- Giveaway ends at the end of July 4, PST.
- Winner will be chosen by a random number generator.
Finally, Kristen has generously offered a 10 percent discount to readers! Here's a discount code for her Etsy shop: TWRFRIENDS, good until July 15!