So, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I found myself honored (and shocked) to be in the final 3 fashion designers of the year for RAW New Orleans this year!  Coming as it did during the last of my Halloween rush, it’s all a bit of a blur to this day.  Being a finalist meant putting together a 6-look mini-collection for the awards show, which was on November 14.

I immediately began brainstorming, sketching, imagining.  Most of my ideas seem to come as I’m drifting off to sleep, or as I lie awake in the wee hours (I have a bad habit of waking for 2-3 hours every night).  The first look I imagined came around 3am one night and stuck with me for a few days, so I knew it was going to HAVE to be part of the mini collection.  First up, sketch:


Military-influenced bustier, bustle, spats & a tattered lace collar.  I originally envisioned a pompadour-mohawk for the hair, but later changed my mind since those pompadors are being used entirely too much lately.  The spats ended up taking a hike, too, as I just couldn’t get the pattern quite right and needed to streamline things a bit (mainly for my own sanity).

I don’t generally make mock-ups in muslin.  This is ridiculous, I realize, and can have terrible consequences (hello, wasted fabric!), but, *knock on wood*, I rarely have a problem with my methods.  So, this was the next step:



I was pretty obsessed with that bustle.

The bustier is reclaimed cotton (from mens khakis) with metal buttons and cotton twill trim, lined in cotton twill.  The bustier is cream taffeta.

Since my model has legs for days, I decided to go with no skirt under the bustle–it opens at each side as she walks, so I did, for modesty’s sake, make a pair of ruffled boy-shorts to be worn underneath.

First fitting went extremely well, with no real alterations needed:



(excuse the lighting–it was dark outside and my studio photographed rather yellow–photo editing washed it out too much, so I stuck with the yellow)

Onto the show!  This was my opener for the show:







I told my models to have fun with this show–why take fashion too seriously?  The music was a remix of “In the Mood” and was perfect.

I was lucky enough to have Underexposed Photography do a mini shoot pre-show, as well:


trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-amber-underexposedphotography2 trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-amber-underexposedphotography3 trapped-in-time-designs-amandabravender-amber-underexposedphotography4

Hot, right?

Clothing by me,

Hair & Make up by:  Amanda Bravender
For inquiries :

Model:  Amber Carollo  (

Photography by:  Underexposed Photography (

The bustier is already listed for sale in my shop:

I’ll have the bustle up at some point in the future.  If you’re interested in ordering, contact me–remember, I primarily work custom/made to measure, so can make one in your size and color choice.

From Under a Stack of Fabric

Well, there went a couple weeks of silence. 
Time got away from me, lots of orders in, lots of hours at the part time gig, lots of excuses and forgetting. 

I’ve been working on a LOT of really fun costumes and outfits, and I wish I’d thought to, oh, I don’t know, take pictures of it all.  Alas, while I have a few to share, they don’t represent even the scantest of hints of what I’ve been doing.

So, without further ado:

A couple of my cincher skirts made their way to the NOLA Red Dress Run:


I finally finished the Doctor Who-inspired Victorian costume, inspired by this:


My version (which, in total honesty?  I wanted to keep so bad–that jacket is really lovely, despite it looking rather lumpy on my broken-and-too-small-dress-form):



I even made the decorative frogs–which was a learning experience in itself, trust me:


A dress for a friend, who will be wearing it out this weekend to a concert:


Bunches of other items were made (Alice dresses, Wendy dresses, cincher skirts, leggings, collars….):


One customer requested pink and orange leggings–an excuse for me to order extra and (eventually) make some for the shop:


Some knitting was done in the evenings (as I decompressed and watched terrible old movies):


I found some AMAZING fabric that I’m WAY too excited about….and totally want to make halter dresses out of, for some reason:


I have a lot of stock that needs to be photographed and listed, but finding the time to do so has been a bit difficult:


Today I’m working on another Doctor Who-inspired piece (though this one from Tennant’s era):


And I’m starting to get ready for the Halloween rush–getting prepared, getting organized, getting supplies. 


Getting ideas together for a Halloween shoot that I’m pretty excited about….



And…..tossing around the idea of doing a runway show in October–Halloween focused, of course.  Because I’m insane and apparently intend to remain so.

Friday Favorite

I recently purchased this beautiful print from peachpatrol on etsy.


Located in Australia, there was a bit of a wait for the post to get it together and get this to me.

I was almost breathless with anticipation.  I was so excited for it.

When it arrived last week, it surpassed ALL expectations.

SO SO SO amazingly beautiful in person!  Lovely little extras included in the package.

I cannot wait to get this matted and framed.

Also:  I will definitely be ordering more prints.  I just have to choose.

I’m a bit of an art hoarder.  I’m so grateful for prints–since my budget doesn’t allow for originals (yet).

We’re re-doing our living room, and I plan to pretty much have ALL the walls covered in art.  You better believe this lovely lady will have a place of honor.

Check out the shop online here:

TnT Tuesday


This slinky number was made specifically for a photo shoot.


I have to admit, it’s a little sexier than I normally go for.

I’m kind of a costume nerdy girl…..more Helena Bonham Carter in regular life than Victoria Beckham.


So, I went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth on the neckline.


I did compromise a wee bit–the original idea was for it to be cut to the navel….


I used the dress in my RAW runway show, too.

And, WOWZA, Mary brought that baby to LIFE.


I recently listed it in the shop.  (yes, it’s been cleaned)


The belt is part of the sale–it’s actually made from a re-purposed leather purse strap.


I hope to make more of these in other colors and fabrics.


One of these days….


You can find the dress here:

Modeled by:

LouAnn Eads

–Mary Andrus

Images featuring LouAnn photographed by:  Gustavo Escanelle

TnT Tuesday

I’m featuring one of my all-time favorite type of shirts for today’s Trapped In Time Tuesday.


It also happens to be in one of my all-time favorite prints.


(I had to make myself a shirt in the same print, fyi)


It’s a simple cropped cowl neck shirt with long, full sleeves.


I like to layer, so this speaks directly to my fashion aesthetic.


These images with the model are actually from my first-ever (rather impromptu) shoot–and where I happened to meet the amazing photographer, Britt of Underexposed Photography.


We were actually doing a trunk show (with lackluster sales), and still joke today that the best thing that came out of that day was our meeting each other, as well as a couple of models that we’ve worked with a number of times since.


You can find the shirt in my shop here:

Photographer: Underexposed Photography
Model: Hillary Nelson

TnT Tuesday

I am happy to report that I now have a shop on etsy (which you already knew about, of course) AND on rebelsmarket.  Check it out:

As of now I just have custom/made to order items up over there–testing the waters.

I’ll keep my etsy shop around, of course, but rebelsmarket seems like a good venue, and allows me to reach a new market.

On that note, today’s feature is up for purchase in either shop–Black and White Striped Leggings:


I offer these in both a full and capri length.


They’ve been pretty popular, and I have a stack of new material to try out–a narrower stripe in black and white as well as a red and white stripe.


I’ll get some made some day….you know, when I get all those extra hours I need?


You can find the leggings in either of my shops:


Model: Nancyjane ( )

Hair and Make Up by Amanda Bravender
For inquiries:


Friday Favorite

Today I’m sharing something that you’ll either love or hate.


I hope this doesn’t ruin our friendship.


See, I have a small collection of Bradley poseable dolls from the 60s and 70s.  You know the ones–cloth, poseable arms, big eyes, flourescent make up, crazily coiffed hair.


I do regular searches on etsy for them.  Sometimes nabbing a really great deal, sometimes crying a little inside because the doll I want is beyond my price range.


One day, I ran across DolliPop Vintage’s shop and I was hooked.

DolliPop Vintage isn’t just selling your grandma’s Bradley doll.  Nosirree.  DolliPop Vintage is selling unique, one of a kind creations MADE FROM Bradley dolls.

I have a love of all things circus, and slightly creepy….yet lovely.  And, when I saw these beauties?


I had to have them immediately.

I ordered them that day, and anxiously awaited their arrival.


Meanwhile, I told everyone I could think of about them.  That was when I realized not everyone shared my love of these two little girls.  Not everyone wanted them in their own home, above their computer screen day in and day out.  Not everyone would stare lovingly at them, speak sweet nothings to them, create stories and outings for them.

To each his own, as they say.


I just cannot imagine a world without these babies of mine.  They’re simply exquisite in person–beautifully painted and seamlessly merged.

DolliPop Vintage has a a number of other beauties in the shop right now–I’m just trying to decide which one will be my next sweetheart to join the gang…..  Daisy, here, is calling my name:

But maybe I should go with Flora and Fauna…they could be the older sisters of my little sailor girls:

Check out the shop–I mean, if you’re not hiding under a table already.

TnT Tuesday


I know I featured a bustier in the last couple of weeks, but I have to tell you–


this is my second favorite bustier of all time.

Repurposed from a t-shirt.  Fully lined in heavy cotton twill.  Grommeted back.


I won’t lie–it’s been in the shop for awhile.  A few years, actually.


I always wonder WHY.  I just think it’s so cool.


If it fit me, trust me, I’d keep it.

I really love that image, the color, the texture of a well-worn t-shirt….


You can find it here:

Images featuring a model:

Photographer:  Underexposed Photography
Model:  Hillary Nelson

TnT Tuesday

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite tunic dresses from my shop.


I had *just* enough of this fabric to make this one dress.

I’d purchased the fabric eons ago as a remnant and could never quite figure out what to do with it.


Then, I was preparing for my runway show a few months ago.  I had hit that place, that place where I’d completely lost my vision and couldn’t figure out WHAT I was doing.

I started scrambling about, making random boho-style things, because that was the style I was really feeling at the time.


And, out popped this beauty.  I originally intended to include this in the show itself.  But that was in the haze of doubt and confusion.

As much as I love the tunic, it didn’t belong in THAT show.  And, so, it wasn’t included.


I’m a layering kind of girl, so I love it layered with a tank top, and over jeans.

Don’t get me wrong–it’s cute alone, too.


You can find the listing here, in my shop:

Modeled by the gorgeous Hannah (

Images featuring her hair up:  Hair and Make Up by Amanda Bravender
For inquiries:

Friday Favorite

I thought I’d share a favorite find of mine on Friday’s.  A mini celebration in honor of the weekend.

My first favorite find is a pair of earrings that I ordered on etsy almost FIVE (!!!) years ago.  Oh my gosh, has it really been that long?  Wow.  Time flies.

Anyway, I give you the sea anemone earrings:


I wear these earrings almost every day–they are totally my go-to pair for my first holes (I have multiple ear piercings) and I just love them so much!  I am constantly getting compliments on them, and have sent many a person to the etsy shop I purchased them from.  I hope that translated into some sales for her, because her shop is so, so, so wonderful!

It looks like she still makes a sea anemone earring, though has changed the look a bit.  Still wonderful, though!  You can find them here:

Heck, just go check out her shop, Kira Ferrer Jewelry Design here:

Those stackable rings are calling my name…..and the turquoise statement ring?  YES PLEASE.