Interviewed and Written by Morgue Anne
Delightfully Deviant is the loving clothing creation of a Seattle-area couple. I had the opportunity to meet Pandora and do a fashion shoot with her, and was blown away by the quality of her work as well as the impeccable Victorian-Gothic style.
Morgue Anne for Extollere. How did you get into clothing design?
Delightfully Deviant: High School. I used to put Jolly Rancher suckers into my hair and made dollars into hair fans and drilled holes in quarters and hung them in my hair. I liked things that were odd and slightly off. Things that would make people stop and say, “What is that person doing”. I made a whole outfit out of safety pins once in 11th grade and was sent home. I would cut intricate designs into my shirts and skirts. I couldn’t be too creative because I was kinda closeted (christian) as a child.
MA: What did you want to be when you were younger?
DD:I wanted to be a botanist because I like plants. I don’t like dirt. It has poop and worms in it and I hate worms…but mostly the poop. I wanted to be a teacher, but hated kids. My first major was English. I graduated high school as highest in English but couldn’t pass English in college. So I moved on. Then I went for mortician because I meet a guy in the OC Goth meetup. He was a Mormon and Goth. He had a hearse and I loved it. I kinda fell in love with hearse before I “became” Goth.
MA: How do you feel being a Military wife has impacted your seamstress career? DD: Being a military wife has enabled me to work at home without having to get a nine to five. I was able to also network with other wives to get photography, accounting and other things. Out here on the navy base island we all stand together to get things done.
MA: What project are you most proud of?
DD: I am most proud of an outfit ordered for new years by North County Portraits. They were doing a photo shoot in a dungeon. I stressed and stayed away for three days in a row and mailed it out overnight. It made it on time and its now my profile photo. I loved his work, the model and tell everyone about him.
Photo by North Country Portraits
MA: Tell me a little about your goals. Why did you set 200 in first year, etc?
DD: In 2008 I bought my website, actually my husband Ricky bought it for me. I came home crying after getting kicked out of a bellydance troupe because the person who ran it said I wasn’t dedicated enough. The main lady had taught me how to make dread falls so when I came home crying my husband said why don’t I just make my own company. Ricky came up with the name of the company and its history from there. I started making clothing for friends and random Goths in San Diego in 2008 but it really got kicked off here in Oak Harbor when I worked at the casino. When I left the casino I didn’t want to go job-hunting anymore so I started my esty site. My first sale was on March 5, 2011. After looking at how many sales everyone else had made I figured with a no name or a un-known name on the market I figured 200 was a reachable goal, in some degree.
MA: Is this your full time job? Are you able to support yourself with Delightfully Deviant yet?
DD: I tried to get a second job in the beginning because we went from being “Dinks” (Double Income No Kids) to one income to support us both. My husband told me not to. He wanted me to sit down and sew and get the website and business off the ground so he could get out of the navy. Without the support of my husband I would have been unable to get this done.
MA: What style do you identify the most with? Goth, punk, cyberpunk, steampunk, etc. DD: Personally I wear Neo Victorian Goth but the styles that I work with and the styles that my creations touch is Victorian, Goth, rockabilly, steam punk, pretty much every alternative life form.
Photo by James Waechter
MA: Where do you draw your inspiration for new clothes from?
DD: Mostly my designs just “come to me”. I am most influenced by the work of Laura Jones at Retroscope fashions and have in the past year become a HUGE fan of her work. I was in Seattle and I had heard about this shop on Queen Ann. I picked up a book I had heard about and started reading it. It was full of patterns and ideas from the 1800 and that’s what started me in the direction of historical reproductions but I am still a long way from being able to reproduce one exactly. Most of the time when I want to make something I draw a picture of what I want and my husband makes it come alive on paper. I give him the inches and sizing and he makes the pattern.
MA: What is your “Signature Item”? What sells the most?
DD: Cyber Goth headbands and mask are my signature item. I have the best price and quality and I have become the go to person for this, especially in Italy. 75% of my cybermasks and headbands have gone to Italy.
Photo by Marie Winton
You can find Delightfully Deviant’s work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/delightfullydeviant.