Yes, but why are we here?

Raven Gemini, you ask, it’s great that you’re showing us how much you love Monty Hall the 70’s and obnoxiously-patterned clothes, but why are we here?  Where did you come from?  What’s the point? (Oh god, prepare for some serious navel-gazing ahead.  At least there’s the reward of hot dudes?)


Raven Gemini for Destructive Images.

(Photo by Nicholas Petersen of Destructive Images)

Who am I and where did I come from?  You can read most of that in my bio, but to make a long story short, I’m a freelance-everything from Chicago who decided that juggling careers in Photography, Stage Management, and Burlesque just wasn’t enough.  I’ve always had a love for old crap, but I didn’t start sewing until I decided that I wasn’t going to find the perfect garments for my burlesque routines on some magical store rack somewhere.  And I didn’t start sewing vintage until I impulse-purchased a box of vintage patterns on eBay, as a way to alleviate the crushing boredom incurred by working at my last regular day-job.

Raven Gemini for Owen Roberts Photography

(Photo by Owens Roberts Photography)

As these things tend to do, my interest snowballed, and I started collecting off-the-rack vintage garments as well.  My collection is small, because I live in a tiny apartment.

Yes, yes, that’s great, but what is your eventual goal?  You cannot possibly want to look like a weirdo all the time?

Actually, I kind of do.  The concept of living like a weirdo an alternative-fashion lifestyle was spurred on when I had the opportunity to meet 2012 BHoF King of Burlesque, Russell Bruner

Russell Bruner for Xillia Faye Photography


He’s basically a living caricature, and the way he looks onstage is… pretty much the way he looks in real life.  And I thought to myself, if someone else can do that and be wildly successful (and highly recognizable, it’s actually a super-smart self-promotion strategy!), well then so can I, gosh darn it. (Also, photo of Russell Bruner courtesy of Xilia Faye Photography)

Raven Gemini in front of the vault at the CPC

I started with baby steps.  Circle skirts and high-waisted shorts.  And then I decided that I liked looking ridiculous, and I loved the way 70’s clothes made me feel.

It's not really paisley.

(Courtesy of my Instagram)
What are my goals?  To make/find/dig up/curate enough vintage (/revisionist vintage) clothes to wear loud-patterned, wide-collared, English-teacher-on-steroids outfits 80% of my life.  I’m never going to be able to do it 100% of the time, because there are just some days when you want to wear modern clothes, and it’s hard to find period-authentic workout gear that isn’t somehow better than what we have now.  It’s not about being crazy practical for me (right now, my biggest concern is trying to find vintage appropriate for the summer, because polyester is just not ever going to work.).  I don’t have an office-job that I need to dress for, no one cares if you look like a weirdo in the theatre, it’s mostly about being my authentic self as often as possible.  And my authentic self really likes peasant dresses and panty-girdles, okay?

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