Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mori Girl: NEW Ofelia Ljuv SS2012 pieces!

New Ofelia Ljuv Collection SS 2012 pieces!

One of the things I always like to ask my stockists (boutiques I sell at) is for feedback. If you strive to improve upon product, services, and yourself - feedback is essential unless you want to be stuck in a habit of simply doing everything the same. I do not care if it’s hurtful, blunt, or even minor. Anything helps because if I am going to change AND succeed I will take the hits early and get over my ego. 

One of my stockists, Nathalie, had told me months ago certain things I should look into for my Ofelia Ljuv Collection. My Ofelia Ljuv Collection is all about Mori Girl aesthetics - bringing in the natural world, upcycling scrap fabrics and laces, and using bits and pieces of found objects. She had told me that I should consider silk and linens for backings of my pendant necklaces and brooches because some people are allergic to wool. That, wool was also a material limited to seasonality. She said that I should explore other color options since my palette was limited to beiges, creams, and browns. There was also positive feedback received on the versatility of certain pieces - combinations where a headpiece could be a brooch and necklace.  At the same time she said my aesthetic was very romantic and feminine which means I should attempt to test the bridal market. 

I took this feedback to heart with my most recent Ofelia Ljuv Collection. I went to fabric stores on Queen Street looking through scrap and end piece bins for remnant silks. As the minimums for silk usually start at 1/2 meter which in my opinion was at a price I did not want to pay for the small quantities I use. My friend, Stacy, also gave me scraps from her wedding dress to upcycle when she heard my dilemma with the minimums for silks. Thanks, Stacy! I always try to use end-pieces even with much of my MOKUBA trims I always try to shop the discontinued section because they will never be reproduced and they are essentially very expensive end pieces. For Ofelia Ljuv I also use chiffon from clothing I find at thrift stores that are already slightly beyond repairable. I delicately take them apart and make the scraps into flowers. 

Here are some of my resulting pieces made from mostly upcycled materials. The filling for these pieces is actually the bits of chiffon scraps from making the flowers. :) The variable hues in the laces achieved through a tea-dyeing process. They are pretty and I am immensely proud of them. Also, because for the first time I used consistent freshwater pearls. I used to only use freshwater pearls I got randomly in those baggies of random beads at bead stores. They were an investment and it’s reflective in the pricing of these new pieces. They are also versatile pieces that can be a headpiece, necklace, brooch, and even a sweater guard attachment (not shown).


I’m hoping to submit them to The Textiles Museum Shop in time for Spring where they will shine among those who are passionate textiles aficionados like myself. I am really loving the organic feel of the freshwater pearls and silks used. What do you think? Love it? Would you wear it? 

I recently had Mexican with two of my closest friends from high school. One was my best friend, M. who lives and works in Montreal who I can go long periods of time with little communication but as soon as we meet we bounce right back where we left off. That, is a true soul sister. I finally, after many many months gave her the straw cat head bag I got for her on Taobao. She loved it and said it was the best one I have given her yet. She’s a crazy cat lady so as soon as I saw it on Taobao I just had to get it for her. She in return got me my dream book unwittingly.

The whole story of her finding this book was quite comical. She was reading a feminist magazine called, Bitch Mag, and saw a Christmas gift giving feature. One of the features was 'Gifts for The Mushroom Lover’ and she read the description of Paul Stamets’ book: Mycellium Running - How Mushrooms Can Save The World. Gleefully thought it was perfect for me…ordered it off Amazon and gifted it to me. The whole thing felt like fate…actually, many things have been just feeling so RIGHT.  I’m so happy with the book and I really really admire Paul Stamets work. For god sakes, he OWNS as a domain name. That is juuuuust the epitome of awesome-ness. 

This year is going to be epic. I’m so positive and certain about many things. For one, I am meeting with the owner of a boutique this coming week so I can prospectively place my accessories in another store…less then 10 days into the 2012 year. I have my friend, Gabe Toth, to thank for the beautiful professional pictures that I think helped a lot. I’m eternally grateful. Please, check out his gorgeous work! I hope I can add another stockist - then it’ll be 3 more stores before I submit my business plan for review to my German contact to set up a stockist in Germany. :) Wish me luck!


Vita said...

Hi, I got to your blog through strangegirl's. I've only looked around a bit, but I really like your esthetics. ^^

The point about wool is interesting, I usually use felt (I only make things for people I know though), but most people who sell their pieces do so too. I thought that woolen fabrics added also certain backing and firmness, how do you achieve that with silk?

Out of those three brooches, I like the green one the most. It stands out between the beige tones of the other two, and it seems the most elegant. Also, the color of the ivy-colored pearls is so rich and pretty. I'd probably prefer the one on the right without the bow. Well, I'd wear all three nevertheless.

Where would your pieces be sold in Germany? I'm Czech, so that's really close :)

Sonia said...

Hey Vita!

Thank you! Your comment flatters me! :) I tend not to like to use felt and when I do I use a felt with a high percentage of wool blended into it because polyester felt has a tendency to pill very easily and does not hold up as good as wool because it doesn’t have the matting of animal hairs. With the silk - I just use a foam-like sponge and stuff the remaining pieces of my chiffon scraps as ‘stuffing’.

Hahaha. You are not the first one to ask me this. But, it has not been my intention to send this line to Germany. I’m sending my taxidermy line called COVEN by Sonia Kang instead. I will be sending this to bridal-esque stores, museums, and Japan instead. Those are more practical markets. However, if you think I have a market there you are free to send me any information of shops that might be interested in carrying my stuff!

The reason why I am not sending this line is because the person arranging and fronting my brand there is of a more alternative fashion background. I would not want to confuse the arrangement. It’ll be a few months before the whole thing starts because I have to get into 3 more boutiques before personally feel confident enough to go to an international market.

Vita said...

Oh, hi, sorry, I planned to check later if you replied or not yet. ^^;

Thanks for the explanation about making the back from chiffon.

Oh, I see. I'm looking forward to hearing about when your accessorries will be available, I'd love to take a look.
Well, I do visit Germany often, but I don't have any business connections there. I think that this collection could look good in one of the shops around Die Hackeschen Höfe in Berlin.
As for Czech Republic, I'm afraid most people aren't prepared to pay a fair amount of money for handmade things even if the quality is outstanding. I can think of 3 events where your creations might sell well though - Designblok, Code Mode and The Doll Exhibition. All of these take place once to three times a year and they're a good opportunity for young designers to test the market and promote themselves. Also, the prices there might be in a similar range as yours. Of course, the question is if it would be worth the plane ticket...

Judy Chung said...

Sonia, it's so great to be able to see your progress documented! I feel you've really grown as both a designer and entrepreneur. I'm still loving the rose textile pendant you sent me, I actually bought a lot more neutral colored clothing so I can wear it more often now :)

The comment Nathalie made about the pieces being able to change from necklaces to brooches is spot on-I personally am more of a brooch person so I have been wearing the rose pendant as a brooch on my dresses, sweaters, and cardigans, instead of a necklace.

The new collection is looking absolutely lovely! I'd say that the look feels more like the refined older sister of the morigirl aesthetic from your previous pieces, who wears more structured laces and chiffons, yet still retains that romantic femininity consistent throughout your line.

I do agree with Vita's comment above, the green definitely stands out the most. I think with these new range of fabrics you could venture out into some new color palettes, I personally would love to see splashes of rich jewel tones with the silk. And as always, I love the careful disorder of the different textures of lace, buttons, and fabric, it really lends itself a unique, disheveled romantic quality not often found in mainstream store pendants and brooches.

Would these be available on Etsy?
Great work this year and never stop what you're doing!

Sonia said...

Hey Judy,

Thank you so much for your feedback. It really made my day! I’m pretty sure I will post some of new collection on Etsy. I’m currently working on a huge collection to submit to the Textiles Museum of Canada shop - I hope I get it. I agree with the jewel tones - I would love to try it sometime. I have been eyeing this hot pink freshwater pearl I am dying to work with. I haven’t bought it yet - but you tempt me. I like the how you said this is Mori Girl’s older sister. I feel like it’s almost Natural-Kei inspired. :)

Sonia said...

@Vita, I will look into it. If my COVEN by Sonia Kang line does well enough overseas I will definitely look into stocking in Germany and Berlin if there is a market. Thank you! I don’t think you need business connections - just boutique names. I’d approach them or someone on my behalf. :) I’ll keep in mind what you said and it helped me understand the market there a bit! THANK YOU! :)

Vita said...

Ah, you're welcome. I think that trying Germany first is a great idea, the market is definitely more open to what you do than here.
And hot pink sounds great, I'd love to see a piece in this color.

barb said...

wow, i was just doing some research on Mori Girl style and ran across your website. Coincidentally, I just received some mushroom cultures yesterday from Paul Stamets! Small world!