Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chalk it Up (to good design)

*choices choices!*

Other than the pirate wallpaper, the most dramatic piece in our Show House room was this red built-in cabinet.

How were we going to turn this into a piece fit for a Sea Nymph?  After taking a class at Vera's Daughter Home, we decided Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was the answer.

This amazingly versatile paint not only comes in a wide range of gorgeous colors, but there is no need to prime or sand your piece before using it.

This was a huge selling point, because of the thick layer of bright red paint on the cabinet.

Another great feature of this paint is the countless ways you can use it to create different finishes.  We went with a three-color distressed finish.

We layered two colors; first Chateau Grey, and then Provence (don't you love the names?).

We decided to leave the doors off and paint the inside a contrasting color.

After it dried, we sanded the surface to bring out the the original red.

We finished the piece with a layer of soft wax to give it a little shine, and filled it with objects to create a mermaid's dream closet.

Special thanks to Vera's Daughter Home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan to providing us with the training and materials necessary for this transformation. I highly encourage you to check them out and take a class if you're local!

cutest storefront!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Unicorn SPiT = Magic

With a name like Unicorn SPiT, how can you possibly go wrong? 

I knew I wanted to incorporate this magical product even before I had finalized the Show House room designUnicorn SPiT® Gel Stain and Glaze is the only product on the market today that both stains and glazes wood at once for a three-dimensional effect.

After finding this pair of wooden mirrors at a local thrift store, I knew I had found my project.

Because product is non-toxic, many artists use their hands to apply to wood, metal, name it!  I chose to use a foam brush though to build up layers of color on the mirror frames.

This product dries with a chalky white finish, so the effect is truly *MAGICAL* once top coat is applied!

Oil based topcoats only can be used with this product. I chose to work with Tung Oil, which I also applied with a foam brush.


I seriously can't wait to play with this stuff some more!  You'll be sure to see more posts about this now that the Show House is completed, because I have a whole new house to decorate starting month! More on that soon...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Show House / Show All

I can't believe the Detroit Junior League Designer Showhouse opens next Saturday, May 7th!

To provide a little background, designers donate their time and materials to create the biennial Show Houses, spending months overhauling old homes and restoring them to glory. Tours of the houses then benefit the Junior League's charitable efforts.

The 2016 Show House is a 1927 Tudor originally designed for Packard vice president Colonel Jesse G. Vincent. This waterfront Grosse Pointe Park house has no shortage of 1920s details and lake views,  but the buzz all centers around the canal from Lake St. Clair leading directly to a private dry dock in the house's basment.

Was this used for Prohibition bootlegging? The Junior League's website states coyly, "While we can neither confirm nor deny stories of rum running, we can point out there is a basement tavern room complete with a bar located just steps away from the boathouse."

Our space was originally the "Day Maid's Lavatory," where the servants would change into their uniforms.  As it is just steps away from the basement dry dock, the room was originally designed with an (unfortunate) pirate motif.  While this was probably festive back in the day, the maritime pattered wallpaper was peeling before our eyes.  Really in need of a makeover!

We kept the nautical theme, but added some romance and renamed this room the "Sea Nymph Vanity."

We went about designing the room in the same way we design our garments; with re-purposed materials, bespoke techniques, and of course, couture dresses and jewelry! This room is a treasure trove that showcases our work.

I hope you get to see the room in person!  I'll be posting all this week about how we accomplished this magical transformation, highlighting all of the special materials and details the room contains.

The House is open May 7 – May 22, 2016:
Monday – Friday: 10 am – 3 pm
Tues, Wed & Thurs: 10 am – 3 pm & 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday: Noon – 5 pm
Get your tickets here!

Enjoy, mermaids and merman!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Quicken Loans Commercial : On Set

Happy Saturday!  I want to share some photos and stories from Quicken Loans commercial I worked on.  It's still surreal seeing my dresses (and supplies...and face) on national tv.

The producer and director visited my home studio to gather inspiration for their commercial, which tells the story of a young fashion designer working out of her home (sounds familiar!)  This turned into me being asked to design a custom dress for the shoot, as well as rent out my own personal supplies for the set.

All of the garments in the scenes are my designs, including the showpiece dress I custom designed for the shoot, made from my signature sculpted kozo fiber.  

I was also the "acting and styling consultant."  I worked with the director on movements and choreography, and coached the actress and showed her how make the sewing look believable.

They also incorporated my original sketches and photos of my work.

They even used a photo of me for a prop press piece.

This was one of the most fun, rewarding jobs I've ever done.  I'm so grateful for opportunities like this that give me a chance to share my work with such a large audience.  

Don't give up on your dreams!  You are capable of great things.   
Love, Bridget

Saturday, January 16, 2016

MainEvent20 Fashion Show Part 4: RUNWAY

The big moment!  It always amazes me how much time and effort goes into preparing the actual runway, which absolutely flies by.

The show was held in the beautiful Music Box Theater of the Detroit Orchestra Hall.  My models stole the show as they twirled and dance down the runway in my collection of familiar and new pieces.

Transparency Dress - vintage screenprinted material
Tulip Dress - hand painted vintage material
Degas Dress - handpainted vintage material
Mermaid Dress - embellished thrifted materials
Mermaid 2 - embellished vintage materials
Dogwood Dress and Necklace - kozo fiber
Goddess Dress - vintage material, kozo fiber
Seaweed Dress - vintage wedding dress material, kozo fiber

The final was my collaboration with Architexture Studio.  This piece features their 3D printed Model-Tech rapid prototyping material, which I used to create a Black Swan inspired dress.  
(Look for a whole post on the process coming soon!)
Myself and Lilana Nicoghosian from Architexture Studio

All Photography by Anastasia Cheatham

Models (in order): Elizabeth McBryde, Mychaela Cooper, Alaina Agnello, Marie Muhammed, Madalyn Knebel, Britney Stoney, Alexis Susalla, Alexandra McLeod, Chelsea Korte