2015 in Review

2015
Today marks the last day of 2015, a year’s end that I meet with mixed emotions. In some ways, it’s been a good year. In other ways, not so great. I had more lows than highs overall, so here’s to hoping that 2016 will a better sight than the last one. For now, here’s a review of the year – the good, the bad, and the well…not so stylish.

BLOG
Alas, things have not gone as I had planned with The Lady Nerd. I started out strong in the beginning of the year. Big plans. Good consistency. Then things petered off as the year went on and I fell prey to the usual pitfalls of freelancing – the need for work to pay bills (that would dry up, flood in, and dry up again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.), health issues, personal dramas, and just plain fatigue. I’m still trying to figure out how professional fashion bloggers do it. From the finances needed to create new outfits to the time needed to plan and shoot outfit posts (especially the more creative, the more planning needed), it boggles my brain how they find the money and time to do it! I’m also not sure if anyone really reads this blog besides a couple of personal friends, so I haven’t had a ton of motivation to keep it up like other social media.

But on the positive side, I did manage to eek out 65 posts this year (so a little over one post per week). While that’s not anywhere near what I was hoping to do, it certainly is better than previous years! I actually got a self-hosted WordPress blog started and this happened…
The Lady Nerd trademarkKind of a big deal. :)

Next year I hope to do more posts, redo my blog layout, garner a wider reach of audience, and extend more into the fashion community.

COSPLAY
Cosplay2015
Not much happened this year on the cosplay front due to recovering from the car accident. (I couldn’t return to any sort of work until July of this year due to my disabilities and even then, only in limited capacity.) But here’s what I did manage to accomplish…

– Started back into the game with a simple classic Lara Croft portrait shoot.
– Visited my old faire, the Tennessee Renaissance Festival as a faerie
– Started Rey cosplay
– Continued working on Spider-girl (almost done!)
– Started The Katniss Project
– Brought out Tomb Raider again for Dragoncon and Cosplay in the Kitchen

FASHION
Fashion2015 As with cosplay, not a whole lot happened on the fashion front due to recovery. Though I actually managed to do a few actual geek outfit shoots! I’ve not done the majority of my geek fashion ideas because I don’t have all the pieces for them (and I’d rather get it all right than do it halfway just to get something out there).  But I did try and that’s the important part. I still got out there and tried to model. Just recently, I walked down a runway in a full couture gown and heels. I didn’t expect to be saying that so soon after getting off my cane. :)

But here’s what I did get accomplished this year…

– Helped fund the new Nashville Fashion Alliance and was dubbed a ‘founding member’
– Found the perfect spring maxi dress and hooped in it
– Did a business outfit inspired by Tony Stark
– Met and test shot with my new favourite photographer, Kyle Matthew Williams
– Finally finished my Katniss Catching Fire-inspired dress!
– Did a sci-fi shoot with NYC photographer, Richard Scalzo
– Did a casual outfit inspired by Grand Moff Tarkin
– Darth Vader leather outfit (photos coming soon!)

I also got my ears pierced, which while that may be a silly thing  for some. But it was huge for me! (One, because I was big wuss about it. But two, I get to wear earrings now!) So it opens up alot for me in terms of outfits and modeling items.

ART
Art1This is the year I discovered the wonderful world of Copic markers for fashion/costume illustrations. I’ve been slowly practicing those skills in between storyboard jobs and physical therapy sessions. I hope to do many more next year! In 2016, I’ll be focusing on developing my style and using my costume illustrations to draw out my geek fashion ideas (since I don’t have the finances or resources to compete with regular fashion bloggers and cosplayers).

One unexpected occurrence this year was how popular my drawing of Rey from The Force Awakens turned out to be (even to the point of some thinking it was actual concept art!) I love doing costume turnarounds as way to figure out a costume when there aren’t references of the entire costume out yet (as it happens, I got the back view of Rey’s wrap dress wrong. Ah well).
ReyTurnaround


HEALTHHealth2015
As friends reminded me recently, most of this year was still spent recovering from the near fatal car accident I was in late 2014. I got off the walker and crutches by the end of 2014 when I was cleared for rehab to learn how to walk again. By January of this year, I was on to a cane.

I’m off of the cane now (though I keep it in my car for days when I feel weak). My left leg is still weak, though no longer atrophied. I need some more physical therapy to get my leg back up to full strength. Hoping that next year I’ll be strong enough to get my first mermaid tail! (Spandex, to start. I would need to get stronger at swimming before even thinking about silicone.) Swimming therapy is good for building hip and leg muscle…right? Right.

More tests and recovery are coming for other health issues not related to the accident. Here’s to hoping that I don’t get knocked out again like I did this year with multiple bouts of digestive distress, flu, cold, pneumonia, etc. I used to be a very healthy gal, but it all fell apart a few years ago. So here’s to better health in 2016!

Number of followers for 2015 (not as a bragging point – hardly! I have very few compared to most fashion bloggers and cosplayers. More as a way of documenting growth compared to next year.)

Facebook: 6,537
Instagram: 560
Pinterest: 72
Bloglovin: 35

Imperial Fashion

OpenAlthough I will forever be on the Light side of the Force, you have to admit, the Empire had better fashion sense. (Rather like the Nazis, from whom the Imperial costumes were designed. A horrific group on many levels, but admittedly stylish.)

While I am most certainly a lover of geek fashion, alas, I’m not a fan of the majority of designs out there for geek women. Just not my style (or body type. With my taller stature and long, thin waist coupled with short inseam, it doesn’t lend well to popular styles of skater dresses or high waistlines). Though I love the idea behind companies like Her Universe – bringing geek fashion directly to female fans. Geek girls have often been ignored in favour of guys, relegated only to simple tshirts. But no more! It’s an amazing time we live in that such companies, like Her Universe, exist and are flourishing. Alas, I’ll give my confession that I’m not much of a fan of most of HU’s designs (as I tend towards a more tailored look akin to sleek, sophisticated fashion lines like Ralph Lauren or Yves Saint Laurent), so I haven’t bought anything from them.

Until now.

kmphoto-imperial-9413I love this cardigan! I’ve been wearing it so much since I bought it (as, truth be told, the outfit in this post is exactly what I wear normally. In fact, this may be the outfit I’ve worn most this fall). It’s subtle in its geekery where it looks like a fairly normal cardigan. But to those who know Star Wars, they will recognize it as a piece based off Grand Moff Tarkin’s imperial uniform, complete with matching coloured rankings.

kmphoto-imperial-9527It’s well constructed in a heavier cotton-esque knit. I love the 3/4 length sleeves as I inevitably push my sleeves up that high anyways out of habit. It’s not too warm, not too thin (which I find is a problem with many a cardigan or sweater these days). It’s just right. In what seems to be typical for HU’s designs, the cardigan is on the shorter side and ends above the hips (well, on me anyways). For any other HU piece I’ve tried one, that’s a deal killer. But due to the construction of this cardigan with it’s wide banded bottom, it actually works quite well.

kmphoto-imperial-9459My little twist on it is that I always wear it open, but buttoned by one button at the top. It keeps some air flow underneath the cardigan and acts as a colour break from all the black. (I went with black as an easier option than driving myself crazy trying to find pants to match the cardigan.)

12347605_10101157261885168_4610338871292658405_nkmphoto-imperial-9529kmphoto-imperial-9546
And a view of the cardigan closed. (You’ll have to forgive my slight frown. Even overcast, shooting outside still makes me squint. ‘Tis the downside of having great eyesight…yay photosensitivity!)

Closed

Photographer: Kyle Matthew Williams

Earrings: Ebay
Cardigan: Her Universe
Pants: Express
Belt: Target
Boots: Marshalls

Everyday Rey

While I mainly lean towards the couture side of things with gown versions of popular characters, sometimes certain costumes are just better suited to casual wear. Such I feel is the case with Rey and her rugged, but simplistic looking outfit. So I drew up an outfit that would be easy to translate into regular 21st century everyday clothes.

Everyday Rey The Lady Nerd
Hair
A simple bun would do nicely! (Unless one wants to go for the gusto and do Rey’s 3-bun style, which I still have yet to figure out…)

Top
This style is a variation on the popular wrap shirt. I’ve seen this particular sleeveless variation often this summer (and kicking myself that I didn’t pick up a white one to dye). It would be ideal to find a top that has the look of two-in-one, but if you can only find the outer wrap top, just throw a tank top underneath it and voila! (And if you can’t find the top in the right sandy colour, try getting a white top and dyeing it to the right shade with RIT dye.)

Karen Kane Wrap TopKaren Kane Sleeveless Wrap Top

Calvin Klein Wrap TopCalvin Klein Bar Plaque Sleeveless Wrap Top

Belt

I didn’t think about it when drawing as I was going for a thicker banded bottom to the top, but it would entirely be appropriate to pair a brown leather belt with it at as well in reference to Rey’s costume.

Pants
I plan on just using the pants from my Rey costume, but thankfully her pants style is fairly easy to find (or find pants to alter). In the film they’re of a silk fabric, but any soft fabric should do for an everyday look. Alas, they’re out of season right now, but who knows you might get lucky in thrifting!

41zcWPAU7qL._UL1500_Top-EC 3/4 Pants

F21 culottesForever21 High-Waisted Pleated Culottes

Shoes
Since I have them (and they are SUPER comfy!), I’ll be using the Po-Zu Piper boots that were used in the film. But they can be a little steep in price for some, so here are a couple of cheaper alternatives…
50058891
Target Muk Luk’s Demi Boot

2337195_Gray_Multi
Kohl’s Madden Girl Jackmen Boots

Accessories
BB8 has to show up somewhere right? I think a necklace with be a nice touch in addition to either a leather cuff or any sort of brown material or bejeweled bracelet.

50096893Target BB8 Necklace

50094942BB8 stud earrings


s-l1600Multistrand Leather Bracelet

If you happen to put this outfit together, take a picture and send it to me! I’d love to see it. :) Now all of this being said, I’m totally working on a couture gown version of Rey too….(predictable? Who, me?)

Force For Fashion

Force 4 Fashion
In honour of Star Wars week, I’ll be rolling out various SW themed posts ranging from the couture to costumes. Today’s post features a rather fabulous charity event called Force 4 Fashion. A bevy of top designers teamed up under the guide of Disney Consumer Products and Bloomingdales to create looks based on the new film, The Force Awakens. These particular designers were geeks themselves, having loved Star Wars for years or having been shaped by the iconic films.  So on December 2nd, a star-studded group attended the campaign of a fusion of pop culture and fashion in New York presented by Kay Jewelers.

BB8 Cynthia RowleyBB8 by Cynthia Rowley

Each look was displayed in all of Bloomingdale’s 57th street windows through December 18th. Now something quite nifty is that these outfits are being sold to the public! These outfits are being auctioned off on CharityBuzz.com to benefit the Child Mind Institute – a charitable initiative that empowers people to make a positive impact on the world around them.
Phasma Giles DeaconCaptain Phasma by Giles Deacon
Kylo Ren HalstonKylo Ren by Halston
stormtrooper Ovadia & SonsImperial by Ovadia & Sons
Phasma ParkerCaptain Phasma by Parker
Kylo Ren Rag and BoneKylo Ren by Rag & Bone
Rey Rag & BoneRey by Rag & Bone
Chewbacca Todd SnyderChewbacca by Todd Snyder
Rey Diane von FurstenbergRey by Diane von Furstenberg
Stormtrooper Opening CeremonyStormtrooper by Opening Ceremony
Finn Timo WeilandFinn by Timo Weiland

Photos: Nerdist.com, Tomandlorenzo.com, and Starwars.com