Kathleen Guérisse Fantasy Fashion Designer at work

Interview with Fantasy-Fashion Designer Kathleen Guérisse

Kathleen Guérisse is a young fantasy-fashion designer from Belgium. She’s an incredible artist, so let’s get to know her a little better with this interview.

Make sure to read until the end to get valuable sewing tips and inspiration too 🙂

Last year I had my first collaboration with a fantasy-fashion designer! Kathleen of Général Guérisse and we enjoyed a lot working together for the pleasure to get both: amazing pictures of her wonderful designs.

First of, let’s have an overview of you and your designer work!

Kathleen Guerisse in her Fantasy Creation

At which age did you start sewing, and what did drive you there?

I started sewing at the age of 18. Since I was a child, I love drawing every day. At the age of 15, I started to think: “what can I do as a job later with my passion of draw?” I made a list on a paper and I don’t know how it came, but I wrote “fashion designer” I never thought about that before!

During the following 3 years, I thought about that and I made sure it was my choice of studies.

At 18, I went to Brussels to follow 3 years of fashion designing with the old sewing machine of my passed away grandfather! I didn’t know how to sew but I was able to draw not that bad and I wanted to learn a lot!

You could have sewn anything, so why exactly fantasy-fashion?

During my studies, I was young. I didn’t think about what could be my identity in the fashion world. I was still searching who I was.

So I made my collection at the end of the year, the theme was of Hip-Hop! It is so far from what I am doing right now! But I still love Hip-Hop and I am wearing sportswear/Urbanwear style myself. Days after days, I made a research about the history of fashion so I can see what makes my heart beats. I was not a fan of minimalism, not at all!

I fell in love especially with the work of one fashion designer: John Galliano! All is wonderful: the clothes of course but the makeups, hairstyles… so extravagant and spectacular!

I wanted to take a little bit from him if I could. Obviously, I cannot be at this level because I work alone and the financial investment is not always possible.

“My goal is to bring dreams in this life because this is something everybody needs.” Kathleen Guérisse

Kathleen Guérisse at sewing on her creations

Do your creations run on catwalks? If yes, tell us more about!

The designs that are part of a collection do run on a catwalk yes!

I have the big luck to present my collection once a year at a big event: The Lux Fashion Week in Arlon.

I had the opportunity to show my work when this fashion event was created back in 2015. I was so nervous! I never did a real collection and I never took sewing courses (we, unfortunately, didn’t have sewing lessons at school) and I didn’t know how I would do it.

I was working full time as a manager assistant at a one hour’s drive from my home so the time was counted! In the end, I was so exhausted but it was a wonderful experience.

Each year I created a new collection for this event and it is thanks to this opportunity I started to be a little bit seen in my area! My Facebook page started to grow, grow and grow!

My collection is each year a big challenge for me, I know I have to work for 6 months non stop at nights and weekends but this feeling when your designs appear on the catwalk is unbelievable!!

Kathleen Guérisse on the catwalk with her creations at The Lux Fashion Week in Arlon.

How long does it take to design and sew one of your creations?

This is a question I was asked a lot of time but I cannot really answer! I work most of the time when I back from work depending on my energy I can work 4 hours or 1 and in the weekends, it already happened I sewed more than 30 hours in 2 days!! I never counted how long it took me so I cannot say and some of the designs are more time consuming than others.

How do you keep yourself inspired?

It is not difficult now with the internet to stay inspired: apps like Pinterest are really awesome! But I can be inspired by everything: a film, a piece of music, a landscape, but most of the time I am inspired by the fabric I will work with. And I have artists I like a lot that help me to stay creative: John Galliano of course, Tim Burton and a lot of artists I am following on Facebook.

Let’s carry on with inspiration about her “Kali-Dress” – My absolutely favourite one!

Kali-Dress of Kathleen Guérisse in the snow of the Dolomites | Photography der Sinne

Kathleen, where did your inspiration for the Kali-Dress come from?

My parents decided that at the age of 18, they will make a big travel together and I can choose the destination. My sister went to Indonesia and the other one to Nepal.

I have always dreamt to go to India to visit the Taj Mahal so this was my choice!

It was a wonderful experience! So wonderful that I went another time more to this country.

In India, most of the people are hinduists. Kali is the war/death goddess: she is dressed in red and gold with a black skin. Very terrifying!

I have kept the same colors for my designs and tried to turn it into something dramatic.

I took several and different styled pictures of this creation. What I love the most about is definitely that kind of futuristic charm of the dress. It could fit a princess of another, alien world.

When I look at Kathleen’s Instagram and Facebook feed, there are so many amazing photographers and models, and all we can pinpoint are the extraordinary ways her dresses are interpreted.

A model, a location, a photographer’s style can change pretty anything of a dress. It will always look slightly different and that’s so fascinating! So let’s have a look of the same Kali-Dress with different models and other photographers too!

First Picture by: Photographer: Axe Photography [Ruslan Bolgov] Model: Emilija Budginaitė MUAH: Ausra Agintaite Second Picture by: Photographer: Anjelica Hyde [Lucy Brown] Model: Miss Deadly Red Headpiece: @Revivify_2018 Third Picture by Photographer: Photography der Sinne Model: Martina Pizzinini MakeUp: Mendy Lezuo Fourth Picture by Photographer: Photography der Sinne Model & MakeUp: @helter.ske Fourth Picture, Model, Makeup by Photography der Sinne

We would love to hear why you love to collaborate with photographers across Europe too! Tell us what fascinates you the most about other artists. 🙂

I am really passionate about fashion and fairytales! I am so happy my work can travel and take part of beautiful projects. This is something amazing to connect with other creatives all around the world and if I can help a little bit to create dreamy things with my art, why not?

When it is the time to receive the final pictures after some waiting, I feel like a little girl so excited!!! I feel so blessed.

Maybe someone is wondering: Are you doing bespoke orders, wedding gowns or anything that’s not about fantasy-fashion?

I also make bespoke designs for customers (for wedding, a particular event,…) that I just show in pictures on my websites. I can work on classical projects too. What I like in bespoke orders more than the final designs is the contact with the customer. This is a real adventure!

To end this blog post, let us give some useful tips for cosplayers and larpers that want to start fantasy-fashion projects on their own.

Are there any books, guides or online-courses for dummies about (fantasy) sewing you could recommend?

Unfortunately, I won’t be a good help for that. I used to learn on my own by trying and trying again and again! When I started more than 10 years ago, the internet was not so easy to have and I didn’t take the habit to search on the web.

What “equipment” would you recommend to start sewing?

To start and maybe to first see if you like sewing, you will need a sewing machine (a second-hand one or a new one not too expensive/150-200 €), some needles, threads but for those, I will recommend buying a good mark like Gütermann to avoid some problems with your machine, some pieces of fabric to train yourself. It can be good to buy a book with easy projects or find tutorials on the internet. The main thing when you start is to sew, sew, sew every day even if you don’t succeed at the start.

From which part of a garment piece would you recommend starting?

I recommend starting with easier projects like a small bag for example!

Are there specific fabrics you recommend for starting?

The non-stretch & not too thin fabrics are easier like cotton.

Is there anything motivating you would say to anyone that starts sewing?

Never give up! I cannot count how many things I failed how many yards of fabrics I ruined! But I keep on sewing and days after days it goes better and better!

If Kathleen could excite some curiosity in you, you can visit her website http://www.generalguerisse.com/ and see more awesome creations or follow her on Instagram or Facebook too! Don’t forget that if her gowns inspire you, you can rent them for a real photoshoot to make your dreams come true! Just contact Kathleen or me, Photography der Sinne 🙂

Photo credits of Gallery :

Photographer: Sonja Saur Photography Model: Tuyet My MUA: Ann-Kathrin Benoist Photographer: Rhiannon Laite Photography Model: Heather-Rose Andrews Masque: Patine Noire Photographer: Pandemicum Photo Edit: Savra Photography Model: Asia Urzędowska Headpiece: Savra Headpieces Wig: Black Candy Fashion Photographer: Lucy Brown Model: Miss.Deadly.Red

Photographer: Emmaarian still.photography Model: Aryanne Morth MUA: Candy Gun – Makeup & Modeling Headpiece: Cyas Necklace: Martel & Enclume Photographer: Axe Photography [Ruslan Bolgov] Model/MUAH: Ausra Agintaite


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Steampunk Girl

Photoshoot themes – Steampunk | What is it? And Why It’s Balm For Your Soul

A Steampunk Cosplay Photoshoot is only for those who are familiar with it, sci-fi geeks and models that own their shit like a pro in front of the camera – and this is the biggest lie ever said. Period.

This blog post will introduce you to this kind of themed fantasy shoots, explain to you what Steampunk means and why a Steampunk Photoshoot is exactly what you did not expect to need for your everyday life. So let’s start with facts and go on with – facts, but more fun ones.

1. SteamWHAT?

Steampunk started out as a science-fiction and fantasy sub-genre in the 1970s already. Steampunk today is a subculture of people, sharing the love for a retrofuturistic industrial style, inspired by the Victorian age (19th century). The name of today’s sub-culture is inspired by the STEAM-powered machines that boomed at that time. PUNK comes from the culture and it’s meaning changed over the centuries but a punk has always be seen as somebody different from the culture, often a rebellious person. Steampunk is also related to – but not to confuse with – Cyberpunk, which is kind of the 21st-century – decay version – of steampunk.

-Cyberpunk is a combination of low-culture-life and high-tec in the modern age. -Steampunk is a combination of flourishing, innovative lifestyle and machinery of the victorian age.


2. Back To The Future

Exactly! Retrofuturistic means simply the way people saw the future earlier – in this case: how people could have seen the future back in the 19th century.

The most exciting thing about Steampunk is, that it’s fashion style is literally inspired by the steam-powered-machinery, often recalled in the clothing. Bronze and golden gearwheels are the main tiny decorations you can find on steampunk hats, accessories and garments.

Steam-powered-machinery is therefore very good for our environment 😉 – and very good to reproduce that epic feeling in a foggy-steamed factory.

Don’t these thoughts smell like an old workshop to you? I imagine that steampunk smells exactly like a workshop and welded copper… Could be! 😉

Steampunk Cosplay Girl In Foggy Workshop | Photography der Sinne

3. Real-Life Examples Of Steampunk

A good example of a Steampunk in real life are surely the stories told in books. Which are not that real life, but an interesting and rather famous steampunk story is definitely Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Steampunk tales are mainly about fascinating discovery adventures, conquesting of unexplored lands, and breakthrough of brilliant inventions of the victorian age. Other very cool and concrete examples of Steampunk in reality, are steampunk-themed areas of theme-parks, as Rookburgh-Area in Phantasialand or the Voletarium (this makes me cry of emotion every time) at Europa Park. This gives me goosebumps and sooooo much inspiration! Every time I’m in a theme-park I’m like a little girl wowing around because of fuck yeah I want to make a photoshoot out of all this stuff! I think that seeing and touching sort of another world, gives simply the feeling of being out of this world. Far away from problems. I want to give you this feeling too! So who doesn’t like to dream with opened eyes?

4. So How Does A Steampunk Cosplay Photoshoot Help Me?

A fantasy photoshoot will always help you to get more confidence in your everyday life. Unlike the classical sexy photoshoots in the studio, a fantasy shoot won’t give you the chance to feel ashamed of your body or to be led to obscene poses.

Steampunk’s fashion is rebellious, sensual but elegant. A Steampunk Cosplay Photoshoot, in particular, will help you to come out with your hero sex appeal too. A hero doesn’t need provoking poses, she’s already magnetic just by showing all the confidence of saving the world and protect people who need her.

At the end of the day, you will go home, and have a look at your most powerful side on your online gallery – this will boost your self-esteem to the moon and back. Believe me, that the most epic part, is to get your prints and glaze at yourself every day after like you’re a star!

Who doesn’t want to get that hero level of confidence? Well, I do!

5. From Steampunk to Self – Esteem – Punk

The reasons you should get an insanely epic steampunk photoshoot are in all the points over here already: -The epic feeling to be out of this world, far away from problems! -The epic feeling to be an adventurous hero of another age! -The fucking epic feeling to fucking push your fucking confidence out of fucking you! <3 If what I said above doesn’t sound exciting enough to you, I can tell it in a more conform and boring way too: A Steampunk Photoshoot is the best way to get that epic feeling to be catapulted in another era. In fact, you will be transformed into a hero of a different world. Stepping out of the daily routine and into an otherworld helps your brain to reset, just like a wellness-weekend for your self-confidence. Be a rebel! Be a Hero! Turn the steampunk cosplay photoshoot to your self-esteem-punk! 😉 Go up, read the points again. Repeat it until you’ve changed your mind. Then go on with point 6 and 7.

6. Summed up

Steampunk is a retrofuturistic sci-fi and fantasy style that’s inspired by the steam-powered machinery and fashion of the 19th century. Retrofuturism is an epic future scenario of another era that can easily be reproduced in a Fantasy Photoshoot. A Steampunk Photoshoot helps you to feel that epic foggy environment of another era and get all the energy of being the hero, inspiring you to become more confident in your everyday life. So get your ass emailing me that you want to become a freaky confident steampunk hero and save the world thank you.

7. Book Your Confidence-Boost Now

Your confidence boost is just one step apart. You can book it straight away after reading this blog post about. Let’s push your inner hero out together!

Believe me or not, I’m going to help you to come out of your shyness and transform you into a strong and confident warrior! I’m on the mission to discover new lands and heroes already: step into it and join me – you have no more excuses, Lady! 😉

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