fashion for all seasons, FLiP W November 2014

This article is being re-posted from FLiP Magazine November 2014.  FLiP Magazine is a great publication with insight into pop-culture for both men and women! Aeri Rose is a regular contributor to FLiP W, the female focused half of the magazine.  You should definitely check it out, and subscribe for the free digital editions! Even if I’m quiet here…I’ll always find something to say there! And this month I was a feature designer, with a model sporting my duds on the cover page! Check out the full article below:

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Photography by: Andrew Nimrod Hair and Makeup by: Angela Rose Model: Alexis Nicols

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Q: How did you come up with the idea for this editorial?

We have been expressing nature in art since cave drawings. It only seems natural to me to explore the organic lines and natural flow of the environment in our clothing. There isn’t a color or shape that can’t be found in nature. So nature is really a limitless source of inspiration and ideas.  I chose the four seasons as a way to explore the variety of nature with something of a loosely limiting factor to help focus my thoughts.

Q: Once you had the idea, how did you go about creating with the designs for each season? Tell us about each season and what the inspiration for each was.

Spring is a pink blooming daisy. It is a cotton sun-dress that is hand-dyed using a dip/drip dye technique I have been working with for some time.

Summer is a blooming rose.  It is a three piece ensemble: a skirt with wire edging to give it shape and structure, a strapless fitted top, and a green rose hip vest designed to mimic the tiny green leaves found at the base of a rose blossom.

Fall was focused on displaying the vibrant color palate of fall leaves.

For the Winter look I wanted to explore frost and the hibernation that trees go through in the cold.  There was plenty of white Ice Queen looking pieces in her outfit, but the accessories in this look were really important to me. They are brittle brown branching pieces of jewelry designed to mimic the bear vulnerable branches of trees in the winter.

Q: How did color and fabric play a part in the design for each season?

When building up the layers of a costume couture piece, your work is half design and half sculpture.  Many of the fabrics were chosen based on the texture and dimension they would lend to my design concept.

Q: Your choices for the summer season are darker than most would expect.   What brought that on?

Nature, really. In our minds, summer is bright, bold, and neon because neon goes great with our new store bought highlights and spray tan.  But look around you next summer.  The natural world is at its fullest and most lush. The spring flowers can be pastel, young, and fresh; but summer flowers are vibrant, tropical, and confident under the steady sun beams of each hot summer day.

Q: As a designer and fashionista, what is your favorite season?

I love spring.  It is fresh and new. It starts out chilly, dragging in the tail end of winter fashions and outerwear is still a consideration.  But like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, we steadily shed layers to reveal the fun colorful inspirations that will carry us through the summer.

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Q: You refer to your company as a Costume Couture Boutique.  What does that mean and why do you classify yourself in such a way?

So when you think about the difference between costumes and clothing, the word “costume” implies that one is dressing specifically to look like a different person or thing (thank you Merriam Webster).  Dressing to look different than what one feels is their natural state.  I also use the world costume to imply that my looks are more heavily influenced by particular and unique sources of inspiration, and designed to have a great deal of visual similarity to their inspirations.  It does not mean that these pieces can be worn once a year at the work Halloween party, or that weird Convention your new boyfriend wants to take you to.  If you like what you see, wear it whenever you want!

Couture really just means “the business of designing, making, and selling fashionable custom-made women’s clothing” (again, thank you Merriam Webster), which is exactly what my small boutique does.

So I am carving out a tiny little niche in the fashion industry, producing high-quality, hand-made, theme-specific women’s couture and ready-wear pieces.

Viva La Hand-Made Revolution!

Q: How and why did you get into costuming?

Women have a weird relationship with clothing.  Some are more adventurous and explorative than others, but for the most part shopping for everyday wear is a bittersweet chore.  We love new clothes, but there is always a bit of a drag on our inspiration.  What cuts and colors are season? What is proper for our age/position/societies standards?

With costuming that is different.  Women feel freer to choose what they love and not what they think they should be wearing.  They explore different silhouettes that make them look and feel beautiful.  They choose colors that make them beautiful, and themes they find fun.  I love dressing women in costumes because they allow themselves to fall madly in love with what they are wearing.  I just wish I could find a way to help them carry that same energy into their everyday looks!

Q: Your designs were recently featured in Baltimore Fashion Week.  What was it like seeing your designs on the runway?

So Awesome! It is one thing to have a vision in your head, or to see the clothing sitting stiffly on the dress forms, but once a piece is on a model she breathes life into it.  That is when a designer really gets to see this idea as she envisioned it.  And that’s when she gets to share that vision with others.

For the Cirque De Cru fashion show I sent each model down the runway with a balloon, to lend a fun carnival air to the evening.  They had so much fun with the balloons! I was worried that it would be an encumbrance that would mess up their strut on the catwalk, but all the models got so into it, which was so great and really filled the collection with exactly the energy I was hoping for.

Q: What’s next and where do you see Aeri Rose going?

At Aeri Rose we like blurring the boundary between high fashion and your imagination. We want to help our customers have fun with their clothes.  To that end, our most recent collection “Cirque De Cru” was a ready-wear collection inspired by 1940’s traveling entertainers and circus folk.  It is easy to go down the rabbit hole with a circus theme, but we really refrained from going over the top in order to make this fun flirty theme more accessible to more people. We hope to continue to maintain this balance: going to over the top costume couture to keep our imaginations sharp, and then pulling back to flirt on the edges of interesting themes and historical periods for inspiration for ready-wear collections.

Q: How can our readers keep up with you and your work?

They can follow me on twitter (@TravelingAeri), on Facebook ( or online at  I am especially active on the Facebook page, posting new shows, new designs, and fun ideas pretty regularly.

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