The weather is getting colder again and my Endure sweaters are back! My model Junoh is 6ft 4 and wears an XL sweater. Available at www.mikeyespinosa.bigcartel.com ! The T-shirt is associated with my latest Fairy Tale book “O&Love“
Earlier this year, I collaborated with Mel Grecia Quimpo; a fashion designer from Aklan, Philippines.The theme was East asian beauty. What I loved about the catwalk is that there were a range of skin tones. I wanted to keep the designs simple and symbolic so I added flowers and animals.Here are images of the models wearing the dresses designed by Mel Grecia Quimpo and designs painted on by myself!This bomber jacket was worn by a male model.
I’ve been watching a lot of black and white films from the 1940s-60s, especially films starring Veronica Lake. I feel
her image and talents created an iconic style of beauty for Hollywood in the 1940s.
I pencilled her out before using ink to thicken and darken the lines. I kept the skin blank, only highlighting shadows
to give her that airbrushed and mysterious look.
I finally filled in the hair and skin using photoshop. Ink has always been my favourite medium and using
water to help adjust the opacity.
The first sweater I released and the final customised piece!
Like the Endure sweater, the characters featured in the illustration will also be featured in the comic I’m working on “Cian a world by Mikey Espinosa.” This piece definitely took the longest to do and I will show you why!
When doing the illustration I focused a lot on Spring time as Spring is the season known for new life, animals are coming out of hibernation, flowers are beginning to bloom and the grass becomes greener! For me Spring is such a Romantic time, Valentines day has just finished, it rains a lot (kisses in the rain haha) and it’s a time to get cosey just like winter. so I decided to create Roses.
I actually started by cutting an upside down triangle at the back, I find the back to be quite a sexy part of the body and I wanted to reveal the spine and shoulder blades.
With the back cut out, I wanted to bring attention to it but make it elegant and romantic. With the path of the roses, I originally wanted it to start from the lowest point of the triangle then spread out to a slightly off shoulder position. I felt that this would create a very heavy and dragged look which I didn’t want. The roses themselves are individually hand stitched. I used a tie dyed blood red and burgundy fabric with printed black lace and gold fabric that shimmered (sorry I’m not so clued up on materials, I just touched and felt what I felt was best). I had an issue with the gold because it frayed easily but realised that this added charm to the perfect red roses. They were created by cutting random long triangular shapes and stitching the thinnest point of the fabric then gradually stitching sections of the loose pieces onto the sweater, to put it simply think of stitching down a spiral.
And that concludes the customised pieces! Hope you have fun customising whatever it is you have. Before you throw away clothes, recycle and reuse 🙂
Second of three customised pieces.
When drawing the design for this T-shirt, I was heavily inspired by mirrors and frames from the 1800s Art Nouveau era. Exaggerated swirls, grand, fantasy and hellenistic sculpture were in my thoughts when it came to collecting ideas for the content of the drawing.
When customising, I wanted to bring the eye to the fine details such as the jewels and the women which probably didn’t stand out as much in the original black and white design. I did accentuated the drawing by using golds, yellow ochre and white paint to create depth on the details. Beading was also used to bring out the jewels and the frames. I used gold and transparent beads for the outline.When painting onto fabric, it requires a lot of patience because there are so many fibres you need to paint and dabbing the clothing with a fine paintbrush allows you to reach those white empty spots. It is best to pin the clothing down so that the garment doesn’t move along with the pressure of the brush.
This is the final outcome. I remember when I was in Philippines Boracay, there were people painting onto fabric and this brought on the idea of doing so. The only problem is that the paint slightly stiffens the painted areas but the colour is vibrant compared to using clothing dye which would be best for a softer look.
One of three customised pieces.
I gave the black sweater a dark and sexy illustration (which also reveals characters from my comic :)) and so I wanted to soften it by doing some beadwork. I chose icy colours like violet blue and clear faceted beads that have a silvery effect.
From the front, not much difference can be seen other than the beading of the cuffs of the sweater.
I had in mind several things when beading the cuffs such as The Milky Way and the Aurora Borealis. When stitching this, you may want to plan out the path of the beads by stitching a few of them on whilst keeping the beads close to each other so that the thread behind the fabric won’t get caught on fingers or jewellery as your hands brush against the cuffs. You then start to build around the path of the beads to thicken it and stitch the occasional bead off the path so that you can have that scattered effect.
Behind the sweater I cut out the fabric to create fringes and whilst trying it on, I liked the swaying movement and thought it would be nice to accentuate the movement by adding beads to dangle alongside the fringes. The movement of the fabric would play with the light that hits the beads allowing it to sparkle.The beads are threaded and held into place by fastening the thread on the last bead I wanted to space before the next. I kept in mind the look of rain or a water fall and so, to create a dripping effect I usually kept to this pattern
1 clear (space) 1 clear, 2 blue (space) 1 blue (space) 2 blue , 1 clear (space) 2 clear etc.
The blue beads are used to add a weighted look to the droplets. You can use that pattern as a basic layout but don’t be afraid to play around with the numbers you use. Towards the end of each thread I reduced the spaces between the beads to add weight to the thread and this helps add movement and reduce tangling.
Hope this all made sense! If you want to try this and need any help don’t be afraid to comment or message me for advice!
It’s getting colder and my favourite item of clothing the jacket! I love my jackets and I bought this light one from YesStyle.com! YesStyle has a range of jackets with amazing and innovating cuts and styles for you to choose from. This batwing jacket is suitable for Spring and Autumn, since it is Winter and the weather is a lot colder, I sported this with a knitted pure wool scarf and a Satchel that I bought from SM department store in the Philippines.
I can’t wait to wear the jacket combining it with other things in my wardrobe. It does take a while for the delivery to arrive (since I do live on the other side of the world from the warehouse) so if you’re planning to buy an item for a certain season, it’s best to purchase a couple of few weeks ahead. Also I suggest subscribing to the emails because they can have some great deals!
Recently, I came back from my trip from Philippines and I’ve been immersing myself with the culture and one thing that I was really fascinated with were the native accessories. They were difficult to find and you don’t usually find them in shopping malls, you need to dig deeper and you can find them being sold on street corners or stalls dedicated to everything Native!
During my trip to Boracay, I spent one of my days just looking around for native accessories. I spent most of my time at the beach front where there were little stalls selling woven bracelets, necklaces and feet adornments which carried shells, beads, stones and bones. As I was purchasing foot candy, I saw this man run to the lady selling from the stall. I was amazed at everything he was wearing and couldn’t stop looking at the bone that bounced off his chest! I asked where he got it from and he directed me to a store which felt like a treasure chest! (The image above is just a small portion of the store.)
It was a mix of traditional and modern items, ranging from bones, stones and shells to metal trinkets of peace sign, flags and metal words etc. The image below is the a very nice lady named Grace who helped me select and try on the pieces and even showed me the small workshop just behind a wall and slightly visible from the store. Everything is hand made! Below are the items I purchased! The first three images are from Boracay. The first in the foot candy, the small loop is hooked around the long toe (next to the Hallux) whilst the larger hoop is worn around the ankles as the leather pads rest on the top. They come in different designs and colours with trinkets attached. This one has a tiny bell and jingles as you walk! It’s suitable for the beach but it looks pretty neat around the hands too! The second is a bracelet made of snake bone and tiger eye. Snake bone is commonly used. The third is an armlet which has snake bone, tigers eye, trinkets and bone (forgive me I forgot where the bone came from) which has carvings from the artist in Boracay. The final image are two necklaces purchased in Iloilo, they were found with the help of a friend named Jake! One is of a carved quartz, the clearer the better. The second is of a boar fang. In the city it is harder to find native jewellery in stores and are mostly found on street corners. The man selling me the items was extremely helpful, analysing my taste and showing me things either similar or better to what I picked out. Each piece is different and none are exact replicas of each other which also adds a personalised feel to the items.
Below are images of bracelets, anklets and pouches made of turtle shells! It was an experience and when native jewellery hunting, the advice I give is to keep your options open, explore different stalls because you might find a more attractive and cheaper item!