Private Sewing Lessons, Project Assistance and more…

Due to the temporary hiatus I’ve had to take from working Concert Tours as a Celebrity Seamstress and from my Theme Park job, as a Costume Fabrication Specialist,
I am making myself available for private sewing lessons and project assistance remotely, from my design house studio (near Holy Land) or in your central Florida home.

All ages. All skill levels. Everything I know, is possible to learn!

If you’d like a free consultation and an opportunity to discuss your potential lesson plan, fill out this form!⬇️
Check out my Social Media!

Gina Vincenza Van Epps

Fashion Designers Pre Production Survey

Do you have Fashion Designs you’d like to have made into patterns and prototypes to test your designs?

As the Founder of Orlando Fashion District its my mission to help you!

This is Step 1 on the pre production path to getting Your Fashion Designs into production and becoming a bonafide Fashion Designer!

Most of my clients ARE NOT educated or experienced in Fashion. Most have day jobs they want to eventually quit and are transitioning into fashion as their exit strategy.

You do not need a degree or experience in Fashion to become a successful designer. When you surround yourself with people who can guide you through the process by connecting you with the experts, you can get there from here.

I can work with you one of two ways. I can teach you as much as you’d like to learn or know to manage the daily details yourself OR you can hire me to manage it for you while you design and make all the big decisions.

Take this survey about how far along you are with your designs and get a free consultation from me on what next steps you can take to move forward.

https://form.jotform.com/81332938508158

10 Ways To Pre Sell Your Fashion Collection

As the Founder of Orlando Fashion District, my mission is to help Fashion Designers succeed in business.

Here’s some of my best advice on how to leverage the money you spend on patterns and prototypes to fund the production of your designs vs spending thousands of dollars on a production run that hasn’t been tested on the market yet and hoping it will sell.

  1. Wear them! I highly recommend making yourself the fit model for your Designs whenever possible. Why? Because when I wear what I’ve designed (last night for example) I handed out 20+ business cards at a rock concert to people who said they loved the Steampunk Themed Top Hat, Jacket and Boots I made. I had 2 different people offer me $150 to buy my hat right off my head! Stand out in a crowd. Make yourself a walking billboard and engage your admirers by stopping right then and there and have them follow you on your social media accounts. Boom. Wearing your designs will also let you test the reaction, fit, fabrics, laundering aftermath and so on. It’s a necessary part of the research and development of your brand.
  2. Do a professional looking photo shoot of your designs. Hire models if needed, have a nice background, good lighting and get some great shots of your designs from all angles. These photos can be used for multiple things, which I will outline further below.
  3. Post photos to your social media. This is huge and if you don’t already have a website, Instagram or Facebook page for your designs you better get on it! Use your social media to showcase, debut, take pre orders for your designs and get feedback from your followers. If you need help building an Instagram account, I highly recommend KelpSocial.com they took our Orlando Fashion District account from 200 to 3,600 and growing, organically in a matter of weeks. Tell them you were referred by Orlando Fashion District and get a free month plus 10% off after your trial. You can set your Instagram account up to share your posts to Facebook, saving a lot of posting time.
  4. Launch a crowdfunding campaign. One of the best gurus in the industry on how to do this is Shannon Lohr at Factory45.co Presell your designs and fund your first production run with advanced orders using Your prototypes and photos. You’ll need to have your fabrics sourced and production numbers together with everything ready to rock and roll when the pre orders come in.
  5. Do a Runway Show. This will get you some great professional runway photos of models wearing your designs, good feedback from the crowd and potentially some buyers. I know Designers who sell their fashion right off the runway and take orders for their designs.
  6. Show your Designs at Convention, Tradeshow or Expo events. Some of the biggest events are the Surf Expo for swimwear designers, (surfexpo.com) Magic Las Vegas is one of the Fashion industries biggest sourcing events. http://www.ubmfashion.com/shows/magic I know designers who walked in with prototypes and walked out with Production contracts in hand.
  7. Negotiate retail contracts. I know a woman with an extensive list of top department stores and retailers who she can negotiate retail contracts with of your designs. Contact me directly for this inside information at Gina@PsychoSeamstress.com
  8. Start small on Etsy. Use your photos. Find a local seamstress who can make your designs as needed and sell them with up to a 6 week turnaround time. Get paid in advance and then ship it out made to order.
  9. Ask for Boutique orders. Pack your designs into a garment bag or suitcase and take them around to local boutiques with swatches of any other available fabrics. Show them your collection and ask for orders with a 50% deposit of at least 2X your cost and get the balance on delivery. They should be able to resell your designs for at least 2X what they paid you. (Keystone Pricing) If you can charge more then definitely do!
  10. Use Influencers. Ideally you should give your design to them for free, have them take photos wearing it and write you an unlicensed review you can use, post or share to your social media. Ideally an influencer should have at least 10k followers, be willing to blog their review, post photos to their social media and tag you. If you’d like me to review your design email me at Gina@PsychoSeamstress.com to see if we’re a good match.

For more help, resources and information on how to launch your own fashion brand, many of my clients have hired me as a consultant.

I can help you get through your patterns and prototypes, get graded and digitized, source fabrics, get your social media and branding image together, launch an influencer campaign, find a production house, show your collection on a fashion week or celebrity attempted runway show anywhere in the world and more.

Fashionably Yours,

Gina Vincenza Van Epps

Fashion Influencer

aka Psycho Seamstress

Founder of

Orlando Fashion District

Fashion Destination

#ofd

http://www.Psychoseamstress.com

http://www.OrlandoFashionDistrict.com

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Quora

How to get your own fabric designs professionally printed by the yard!

How to get your own fabric designs professionally printed by the yard!

A few years ago I was wondering how to get custom fabrics made for clients who were asking for a one of a kind design.

Well I’ve since found and used 2 different ways to do this, even if you only need 1 yard of fabric!

The first way is a little more hands on and the quality is good, but you’ll need to have some basic design skills. You should be able to figure out this DIY method online through a website called Spoonflower.

There are some other websites out there, but this one, I have actually used myself to print a fabric out of my Psycho Seamstress logo, which I cut out and use as labels to sew onto clothing I’ve made. You can design fabrics for yourself or to sell to others for a commission using this site.

Here’s the link to my Psycho Seamstress logo design:
http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2316838-psycho-seamstress-skull-scissors-half-brick-by-psychoseamstress
Feel free to buy some!! LOL

Not only can Spoonflower print your designs on several types of fabric, but you can also use the images to create wallpaper, wrapping paper or stickers! It was super easy and super cool!

The second way is easier if you know what you want, but don’t exactly have the graphic design skills to make it happen. It’s a little more expensive than the DIY method, but the results are stunning and very high end.

I use a company called Solid Stone Fabrics. This company has several dozen gorgeous fabrics to choose from including spandex, swimwear fabrics, silk chiffons, organza, duck, jersey, neoprene, fabrics with sequins, foiled color, metallics, even carpet!! If you contact them, they can ship you out a swatch ring of some amazing high end fabrics you’ll have to choose from. Ask for Luke Harris, he’s one of the owners and the main sales guy. Tell him I sent you!

Here’s a link to their website:
http://www.solidstonefabrics.com

Solid Stone will assign a graphic designer to your project and THEY will create a graphic design file to your specifications, for a reasonable set up fee.
Once your design is initially approved by you in an email, they will send you a sample of the design printed on the fabric of your choice. Once you approve the sample, you can order it as needed with a one yard minimum.

Using custom designed fabrics is a great way to raise your price tag. You can create a much more unique and cohesive fashion collection by using the same pattern or design on multiple items in different fabrics. Finding coordinating designs and fabrics on the open market can be a challenge. When you design your own fabrics, you can create matching stretch jeans, silky tops, make sheer cover ups paired with swimwear and more, just like all of the high end brands do and order your fabrics as needed.

If you’d like more insider tips on how to excel as a fashion designer, join my group on Facebook called “Clothing Designer Resources” and feel free to share your best connections, collections and advice!!

You can contact me at Gina@PsychoSeamstress.com

15 Things You Can Put In A Mobile Sewing Kit And 2 Ways To Create a Part Time Sewing Job…

mansons pants

Repairs to Marilyn Manson’s Pants at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Fl

A lot of people use Craigslist to offer their sewing services, but what I’ve done has separated me from the crowd by offering mobile services. I get calls, all the time for last minute, emergency and urgent mobile sewing gigs. If you know how to sew, do laundry, iron, steam clothing and help people get dressed or quick change and you’re interested in making some extra cash, pack yourself a sewing “gig bag” and put an ad on Craigslist to offer mobile sewing services to take your show on the road!

Here’s How I did it:

By using a free Craigslist ad, I began posting in 2008, it helped me to consistently build my sewing business, to the point where I could quit my “day job”, sew for a living, set my own schedule and pick and choose my work.  My Craigslist ad lead me to many amazing opportunities. I used the “creative services” category for all my posts and included photos of my best work, which I updated frequently and reposted as needed, when the old ads expired.

My Craigslist ad got me the “in” I needed, by being mobile and led me directly to my sewing work on A List Concert Tours, Broadway Theater Productions, working with Celebrities, Fashion Shows and even Weddings. I have acquired many private clients, built an impressive resume and created a photo portfolio of my sewing work, which I use all over social media.

Here’s what I carried in my mobile sewing kit; There are all kinds of divided containers, fishing tackle and craft boxes and rolling suitcases you can use to keep everything mobile and organized.

A list of items for a basic kit:

1. Reliable Portable Sewing Machine and Serger if needed. I use and old school Kenmore from the 70’s and a mid priced Singer Serger, which I usually leave in my car unless they request it. Computerized sewing machines tend to get fussy if you move them around too much, so I recommend a simple basic sewing machine with a straight and zig zag stitch. (I used to use a $200 Brother Project Runway Special Edition Sewing Machine for 3 years that I paid $50 for, on sale at Walmart!!)
2. Scissors for paper and fabric
3. Seam Rippers
4. An Assortment of Thread (I like the Geuterman box of 26 from Joann Fabrics http://www.joann.com/gutermann-26-spool-thread/9284811.html#close)
5. Elastic in black and white in various widths.
6. Notions including snaps in all sizes especially “whopper poppers” (the quarter size), hooks and eyes/bars in small to large sizes, buttons, etc
6. Velcro in at least black and white
7. Sewing Pins, Pin Cushion
8. Large Safety Pins
9. Tailor’s Chalk wheel or other marking devices for alterations
10. Hand Sewing Needle Assortment
11. Lint Roller
12. 120″ tape measure
13. Hem Gauge
14. Flashlight (in case you end up working backstage or quick change)
15. Sewing Apron, cargo shorts/pants or fanny pack bag for having supplies on you

Other items I’ve been known to carry:

1. Pattern Making Materials and Supplies
2. Small sizes of Laundry Supplies including an assortment of stain removing agents, baking soda, salt (for use with fabric dye) vinegar, Ivory Bar Soap, Hair Spray (removes ink), denture cleaner (removes dingy from whites), magic eraser, 90% alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc
3. Steamer, Iron, Spray Starch
4. Rubber gloves in case I have to dye fabric or deal with a smelly mess
5. Muslin, jersey, denim scraps
6. Double Stick Wardrobe Tape
7. Zippers

Here’s a basic price list for mobile sewing services:

$16+ an hour for dressing and quick change assistance and general services like laundry, ironing and steaming clothing or costumes that don’t require you to bring anything with you. Just show up and work.

$25 an hour for sewing related and runner services, which can include picking up fabric, notions and other materials or supplies needed by the client. I usually include gas, tolls and mileage as long as it’s not excessive. Otherwise you can add those expenses.

$35 an hour to show up and sew, make patterns or do draping on their provided sewing equipment, etc.

$50 an hour to bring your own mobile sewing equipment and supplies to sew on their site or location.

Time and a half for over 8 hours is customary, however overtime pay after a 10 hour work day is the law.
“Florida law states that a legal day’s work for a manual laborer is 10 hours (FL Stat. Sec. 448.01). Unless there is a written contract that specifies otherwise, the employer is not permitted to require manual laborers to work a longer day without extra pay.
• At the end of a workweek, all overtime hours are credited as compensatory leave at the rate of 11/2 hours’ credit for each hour of overtime worked.”

Some clients ask for a day rate, but be careful with that. I’ve worked 40 hours in 3 days before on an emergency project and you don’t want to screw yourself by settling for less before you know what your getting into. A $1200 pay check vs $2500 pay check is a big difference when you just worked 3 days in a row with only 3-4 hours of sleep in between.

If your going to give a day rate I would recommend you start with a quote of $400 for 8.5 hours of work (with a 30 minute lunch and 2 – 15 minute breaks, which is the law) and go up from there. If the client advises the project will be more like 10-12 or more hours give an hourly overtime rate of $75 (time and a half) for every hour after 8.5 hours.

Make sure you get decent breaks!!

Don’t put yourself in the bargain bin!!

You have a specialized skill that is worthy of a decent wage, especially when you’ve got mobile equipment and skills they need when they are in a bind.

You can download a free app called “Invoice ASAP” and make getting paid by cash or check at the end of the day, a condition of your services.

Another way to I used Craigslist ads was to offer Mobile Sewing Lessons.

I would offer the following services, but not post a price. That way people would have to contact me for the price. I would also take into account, where they were located. If they were farther away I’d charge a little extra.

I offered help in the clients home with everything from, how to:

1. Thread and use their machine
2. Go on field trips with them to pick out patterns, fabric and notions
3. Cut out their fabrics
4. Make patterns from their own existing clothes
5. Make patterns from scratch
6. Alter patterns
7. Sew their project
8. Alter clothing
9. Upcycle clothing
10. Repair clothing
11. Project Assistance

My clients included home school kids, teens, college students, fashion students, men and women of all ages.

I charged $100 (cash) for 4 hours minimum, which was usually plenty of time to complete a simple project or work on an ongoing one. Extra hours were $25 an hour

Some clients were one time only, while others became regular clients

I would bring all my own mobile materials and supplies, just in case they didn’t have everything we’d need.

I use a rolling suitcase that fits everything I need and put my sewing machine on top of that, making it easy to transport.

Sometimes clients would come to my house too, it just depended upon their needs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

If you’re located in the Cental Florida area and would like to join my sewing group on Facebook I frequently post sewing jobs there, of all kinds and so can you!! It’s called “Florida Costume and Fashion Designers and Fabricators”

You can follow me on Facebook at Psycho Seamstress https://www.facebook.com/PsychoSeamstress

I am Psycho Seamstress on most social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Instructables, Tumblr, Google Plus, ProductionHub, Studio53, LinkedIn and Slated.

I am Gina Vincenza Van Epps aka Psycho Seamstress! Http://ginav8.wix.com/psychoseamstress/ Gina@PsychoSeamstress.com

Are You Male and Over 250 Lbs? I Need Your Help!!

big and tal

Please help me collect some real world measurements for men who are 250 Lbs or more. We are designing trendy clothing for Men who are 2X – 7X, with special attention to short, average and tall height categories. Please go get a long sewing tape measure and maybe even a friend who can help you take some measurements and click the link to this anonymous measurement survey. Men’s Measurements over 250 Lbs

The fashion industry’s standard ASTM Men’s Measurement Chart does not extent past size 4X. Therefore, we are creating our own and need real life measurments to create the correct algorithms to extend this “industry standard” sizing chart to include real world people who are currently being ignored by the Fashion Industry.

I have personally worked as a Men’s Stylist and Ferragamo Specialist at Bloomingdale’s, where there were many potential clients I had to turn away, because Top Designer’s worldwide, ignore their size. Many of my loyal clients have been women who are plus size and simply can not find clothing to fit them properly, but men have even less to choose from than women.

Men and boys in my opinion are under served by the fashion industry. In the last 2 years after quitting my day job to become a designer and seamstress full time, I have had several Men approach me for sewing lessons and help in making their own patterns and prototypes for fashion. I noticed a trend that lot of men were becoming involved in fashion because there is such a large gap between men and women’s fashions. I found another example of this gap when I would go to the fabric store looking for patterns for men and boys. For the longest time, I would have to buy women’s patterns and alter them to fit a man.

The good news is that male fashion is evolving! Designers are coming to me for help in creating new and trendy fashions for boys and men.

That is exciting!

Please Share this post with all the fashion seeking men you know who’d like to make a difference in men’s fashion!

10 Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Production Facility for Fashion

For the last few years, I have been consulting with clients who are just beginning in fashion. They usually come to me with a pile of sketches or inspiration photos of garments they want to create and have no idea what journey they are about to embark upon to get from these humble beginnings to a finished product, ready to sell. The process can literally take months. (here is an outline of THAT process… How to Start a Fashion Line Realistically and Ethically)  Although there are many steps that have to be complete before you can go into production, here are the steps to take once the design and prototype process has been completed. Doing this yourself is a big job, but here are some basic questions to ask when shopping for a factory to produce your clothing:

1. Are they a fair wage factory?

Chances are, if it’s in a foreign country they aren’t and won’t answer honestly. Nowadays people are asking more and more questions about where and how it’s made and are judging your line accordingly. People ARE willing to pay more to ensure they aren’t endorsing slavery. (Click this link to find out how many slaves work for you) ETHICAL production is available at an affordable price CAN be found if you contact Organizations like Fashion Hope. They can will assist you worldwide, in finding a production facility that doesn’t involve human trafficking, slavery, forced or child labor. Tell them I sent you or contact me for help with this.

cropped-toplogohomepage.png

2. Where are they located?

This factor is important for a number of reasons:
– Get shipping estimates to and from the factory, those expenses should be considered as part of your production cost in both directions.
– You will need to ship them patterns, prototypes and materials and they will be shipping you material samples, garment samples and finished products. – — Import fees should also be considered, estimated and added to your bottom line.

3. Can you affordably visit their facility?

I highly recommend you do so. Having a face to face with your factory and touring the facility is an important part of making a smart investment decision and maintaining a profitable relationship. Go with your gut. If anything seems sketchy it’s better to keep looking and write off the trip expenses than to invest thousands of dollars in a production house that doesn’t have their act together, too much could go wrong.

4. Do they have all the right sewing machines to make your garments?

If they have a website make sure they are currently making similar items. It’s unreasonable to expect one factory to sew your entire collection if you’ve got jeans, dresses, t shirts and swimwear. Each of those items uses different sewing machines and fabrics to construct. It’s better to find a factory that specializes in one type of garment for each item in your collection if they differ greatly in how they need to be constructed.

5. Can they send you samples of their work on similar garments?

Ask them to mail (even if you have to pay for them) you similar items and check the quality of their work inside and out.
– Look for dropped stitches or stitch defects that mean their equipment needs to be better maintained or that quality control might be an issue.

Here’s an example of what a stitch defect looks like… it can eventually unravel and cause problems with the construction of your garment, making it open up at the seam.


– Check to make sure the fabric is cut properly and on the grain and is perfectly straight up and down where it needs to be in the garment. If anything is cut crooked it will not drape properly and when you wash it, it will get “wonky”. Here is an example of a cuff that was either cut off the grainline or sewn in a bit crooked. When you wash this item it will go sideways and then not drape properly.

Off Grain Banding

This is an example of the bottom band of a sweatshirt that was either cut off the grain of the knit or was sewn in crooked. See how the knit of the Grey Knit is not straight up and down to the Yellow Knit.

Wash the item(s) if you can to see how it holds up. If they aren’t cutting the pattern out properly it can ruin an entire production run.
I have a friend who had a 3 piece outfit made in China. They cut one piece wrong and it couldn’t be salvaged. The whole outfit had to be scratched for that season even though the other two pieces were fine.   That was about a $5k loss.

6. Can they provide fabric and notions sourced locally or do they have adequate storage for you to send them the fabrics and notions you’ve sourced for production?

Get samples of what they have access to before you have anything made in their fabrics. Get swatches and samples of their fabrics, notions, buttons, garment tags, even elastics.
Send them reference photos or swatches and samples of what fabrics and notions that you want to use and see what they come up with locally. I know one designer who had everything specified to the China factory on her swimwear collection and even sent them a sample of swimwear elastic. When they constructed her swimwear they substituted her swimwear elastic with what was essentially a “rubber band” type of elastic. It caused a fit issue with her collection and was a cheap and substandard elastic. She didn’t even know it had happened until her pattern maker took apart on of her factory made swimsuits on a redesign.

7. How much do they charge for a factory sample?

This price can vary depending on the complexity of the garment.
If it’s a pretty basic pattern block that is common in fashion then it could be $20 or less.
If it’s an original design they should be able to give you a ballpark estimate from a photo or drawing and description by email.
The average price that I’ve found for a factory sample seems to be right around $80. Standard Proceedure is to send them a pattern and prototype and they will send you a factory made garment.

8. What is their average turn around time on an order?

Planning ahead and allowing for all of the standard turn around time is a huge factor if you have seasonal items.

9. What other services do they offer?

Do you need anything else done to your garment that could be done at the factory? This can include screen printing, custom garment tags (vs the cheap plastic looking ones that scream low budget production!!) distressing, adding riveted buttons, zippers and so on can frequently be outsourced locally by the factory.

10. What is their policy on orders that are made wrong or what happens if you don’t get what you reasonably expected?

If you’re saying to your self, “damn, this seems a lot more complicated, expensive and time consuming, than I thought!” You’re right. It is a long and drawn out process, but it can be done. Contact me and I can help you through the process. Managing this yourself, as I said earlier is a big job and can result in huge losses if you don’t ask all the right questions or skip a step in an attempt to get your items made quickly.

Join my Clothing Designer Resources Group on Facebook for more information on how to go to market with your designs.  Continue reading

Mick James Is Dead? But I JUST talked to him….

IMG_4488

Mick James of Criss Angel MindFreak and Believe fame gives a detailed interview to Psycho Seamstress on Rock Rage Radio Florida and talks about his new Dark Fantasy Musical/Film in the works “Mick James Is Dead”.

1.MJID CD COVER FINAL  2.-DSC_4172-back-cover-in-Coffin Final 7. Mick-K-in-Car Final

This interview was recorded on Friday March 27, 2015 and aired on Rock Rage Radio (www.rockrageradio.com) on Tuesday March 31, 2015 at 8pm.

6.-JAR2975-MJ-Final

Here are photos of the stagewear I made for Mick and his guitar player Ku Khem

IMG_8433  Photo Jan 14, 9 32 16 AM Photo Jan 14, 9 32 37 AM

and photos from their performance at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, CA in January 2015.

1522146_10206280178869063_4549165573731884239_n 10443980_10206307752798394_3641000472489728625_n 10689525_10206280179549080_597575927711288234_n 10690249_10203504727801346_6759048765894420956_n 10906287_10206307754358433_2314790789097058710_n 10940575_10206307754078426_8763146391432333205_n 10943689_10204875293033479_4204534398147016023_n

CLICK HERE to listen to the original audio of this interview on YouTube with a photo slide show http://youtu.be/fk2VP9RBg9M

Mick James can be reached at:

Mick’s fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MICKY-JAMES-OFFICIAL-FAN-PAGE/103779476342876?ref=ts

Please check out my movie teaser/music video. Featuring Snake Sabo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iDpHzRPflg

Hard copy CD packages: https://squareup.com/market/sj-management-group-llc

The new website: http://mickjamesisdead.com/

On Reverbnation http://www.reverbnation.com/mickjamesisdead

On twitter: https://twitter.com/Mickjamesbitch

On Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/die-mother-f****r-die!/id852448471?i=852448595&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Grimm Jack Link: https://www.facebook.com/grimm.jack.3?fref=ts

Psycho Seamstress http://www.psychoseamstress.com

http://www.facebook.com/psychoseamstress

http://www.facebook.com/rockrageflorida

http://www.rockrageradio.com

Rock Rage Radio ps logo

Kim Dylla of Kylla Custom Rock Wear talks Stagewear, 70,000 tons, Vulvatron, Art, Cooking and More.

Kim Dylla of Kylla Custom Rock Wear shared some up close and personal details with Psycho Seamstress on Rock Rage Radio on her Rock Fashion Stagewear company, her international travels for 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, her amazing art work, her epic cooking fails and her experience as Vulvatron of Gwar. Kim was out on a road trip from her home in Virgina, enroute to Michigan when she took the time out to talk with me.

This interview audio originally aired on Rock Rage Radio (.com) on Tuesday, March 24th at 8pm.

Rock Rage Radio

The full and original audio of this interview was mixed with a slideshow and is posted on YouTube at http://youtu.be/2jQBe_rOe60

Psycho: Kim, Thank you for joining us today, can you tell us a little bit about yourself for the people who don’t know who you are and what you do?

Kim: My name is Kim Dylla aka “Kylla” which is a nickname of mine, an amalgamation of my first and last name. I run a stagewear clothing company called “Kylla Custom Rock Wear” and we specialize in making rock and metal denim and leather gear for musicians, bands and everyday rock stars. 
 Kylla Custom Rock Wear
Psycho: Awesome, So tell me how did you get started in designing stagewear?
Kim: I always liked to sew my own clothes because when I was a teenager, I dressed really crazy, totally uber goth and there wasn’t a Hot Topic or anything. A few years later I had a hard time finding clothes that I like and also that I could afford. My mom taught me how to sew and my friends taught me how to make corsets, so if you can pattern a corset, you can pretty much pattern anything!
 Kylla Corset
 Psycho: Right? No Doubt!
 Kim: I didn’t have much money for materials so I would buy salvage leather jackets and things from thrift stores and cut them up and make them into something new. In doing that I think I created more interesting garments than when sewing something from a pattern where you have very clean lines and things like that so that’s what gave me the idea and then my friend Joey Jordinson from Slip Knot
kim-and-joey-kylla-wear
had really cool stage wear that he would wear that probably cost thousands of dollars and I could never afford it, but I saw how his things were made because I fixed some things a couple of times for him. Then one day he liked my jacket that I had made that I was just wearing around him better than his jacket that he was wearing so he asked to borrow it and wore it on stage with Rob Zombie and he also wore it to an awards ceremony like the Grammy’s and then I started getting phone calls from other musicians like Rob Flynn from Machine Head and the Cradle of Filth guys wanting this jacket. At the time I was working full time in the academic circuit at the University of Virginia on some Cultural Heritage applications, in the Computer Science realm, sor of digital archaeology.
Psycho: So that was your day job?
Kim: Yea, I worked at several universities including University of Virginia, Arkansas State University, remotely, when the orders of the clothing business started getting out of control and I thought well, what would happen, how many jackets would I have to make to match my faculty salary and match my health insurance costs there you have it, so it’s been working out!
Psycho: So it became cost effective for you to quit your day job?
Kim: I actually ended up making more money with that and now I have a full time business partner employee Laurie, so we have a two woman endeavor with Kylla and it has grown in size in the 3-4 years we’ve been doing this we are planning to expand to a manufactured ready to wear line now that we’ve really made a name for ourselves. 
Kim and Laurie
Psycho: I think I met you about half way through this of where you are now from where you started, you’ve got some pretty famous clients, who would you say, because you mentioned Machine Head, they’re huge, who would you say are some of your most famous, craziest or maybe your favorite clients?
Kim: This week alone we made stuff for Arnel Pineda from Jouney,
Journey
I am making a new piece for Bray Wyatt from WWE who’s gonna wear it at Wrestle Mania this weekend
and then we did a full band wardrobe for Machine Head,
machinehead
Arch Enemy and Creator.
Last year we dressed Asking Alexandria’s Wedding, Ben Bruce (for him and his entire wedding party)
Psycho: Yes I saw that show up on your posts and I remember it from last year!
Kim: Yea they were really fun guys. I love working with Machine Head too, they’re great, I’ve known them forever and they’ve always been really supportive of rocking our designs. Other than that we just work with regular people to and you don’t have to be in a famous band and part of the thing I pride our company on is that we treat everyone equally regardless of their level of fame, you don’t get anything for free just because your famous, you don’t get priority, everyone pays the same amount, everyone can order, everyone gets a custom size whether your 5XL or extra small you just pay the same amount of money and you wait in line and you get everything. I don’t want to say that it’s really exciting seeing your work on stage with huge bands and bands I am a fan of and in the ring at Wrestle Mania, but it’s also really exciting when I get Bob’s Local Band from Texas is really stoked about these outfits we just made them. I’ve played in bands for years and before joining GWAR this year, I was in a band that a lot of people knew of but I want to treat all musicians equally, this is not a fame game, we are NOT in LA.
Kylla Custom Rock Wear 
Psycho: Right? That’s Awesome! That was I think one of the things that surprised me the most when we talked, is your price point, I mean you’re REALLY affordable. I remember you told me the story of how you wanted to make sure that everybody could afford you and that’s really, the stuff that you do is amazing and I think it’s really great that you do that.
 
Kim: Thanks! The idea with that is because there is a GAP in the market between say like what you can buy at Hot Topic for $50 and then something like a Junker’s jacket for like $1,500, I know as a touring musician and having worked with touring musicians for years and people in bands and close friends of mine I am VERY aware of what people make and how much money you have and how much people are willing to spend. Very few people have 4 figures to drop on any one piece of clothing and that leaves a big gap between people who don’t want to look like just every other Lip Service jacket but you need something cool to wear onstage. So I was like, OK, what is the amount that people would spend… is it somewhere between $200-300 dollars, expecially with payments its very affordable to everyone and it’s too hard to turn it down at that price.
 
Psycho: Right
 
Kim: Then we had to figure out how to make it for that so if we bought leather hides and scratch patterned every single piece, we’re not making any money by the time count $200 in materials and then 15 hours of work. By using salvaged leather and denim which in my opinion looks cooler compared to things that aren’t that interesting fashion wise, we take button panels and pockets and fly’s and things that are a pain to sew, I mean they are not hard to sew but they take more time than just sewing seams, just sourcing those from pre exhisting garments, its helps cut down on the time it takes to make it and allows us to turn a good profit and while keeping the price point affordable to people who actually play music for a living.
 
Psycho: It’s funny you should say that because I just went through my closet the other day and I have this huge mountain of clothes that I am just going to cut stuff off of and use to make other stuff because it’s just a salvage operation! When you design for your clothing do people usually have some idea of what they want when they come to you or do they say just go with it or do you get a mix of that?
 
Kim: A lot of guys don’t really know what they want, so they’re like OK, I am in this kind of band and I like this piece you did and this piece you did, do your thing with a leather jacket that is 3/4 length, or do your thing with a denim vest and put this patch on the back.
 
Psycho: So they just give you a little bit of specs on the end product and just let you rip huh?
 
Kim: Yea or I say just send me pictures of your favorite things on our website that we’ve made and then we will design to that. But then sometimes we get clients who are really picky who will send me a 10 page diatribe about each bit, so we can accommodate both types. What’s bad is when someone knows exactly what they want, but don’t know how to describe it. They so oh just do your think but they actually had something really specific in mind. So that can be challenging!
 
Psycho: So do you have a pretty long process when your are interviewing your clients regarding what they are looking for?
 
Kim: I just get from them measurements, any sort of images they want, patches, images of other garments that we’ve made, that they like, they will be like, I like the lacing panel on the back of this one and I like this material…I don’t want to make any garment exactly like other garments we’ve made I want to make things to be unique but we can make some thing similar to another garment.
 
Psycho: Cool
 
Kim: Sometimes they send me emails that are like Oh, by the way, can you make this with an inside pocket or can you make the sleeves removable. I try to communicate with everybody in writing because we have probably 2 months of orders going on at any point in time, so when I actually get to sewing that one, I may have forgotten the exact discussion so it’s important to be able to go bac through all of that.
 
Psycho: Are You still running about 6-8 weeks behind?
 
Kim: We started off pretty slow at the beginning of the year because we were doing a lot of stuff with 70,000 Tons [of Metal Cruise]…. December was really busy, so I think everyone may have exhausted their money, but it’s picking back up, we are at about a month and a half backlog right now so were both booked through the end of April.
 
Psycho: Most of your clientele started out in the Death Metal world, you mentioned your doing some WWF now, Journey which is more main stream, have you had any body else call you up that was a surprise to you when they wanted to become your client?
 
Kim: ….I am not networked into the acting and TV world, so when I get calls from those people it really surprises me, I haven’t really done much with them because like a lot of the top level musicians they think that they expect things for free in exchange for fame, it’s great to be able to take this picture of somebody on the red carpet wearing your things but unless they actively promo you and post links to your page on their social media profile when they have millions of followers, that doesn’t really do any good, when people don’t know where they got that, exposure doesn’t pay the bills.
 
Psycho: WOW, THAT SHOCKS ME THAT EVEN AT YOUR PRICE POINT PEOPLE STILL WANT IT FOR FREE because of who they are that just blows me away because you are SO AFFORDABLE! 
 
Kim: Well, Thank You! People are used to endorsements but Marshall never gave away a free amplifier!
 
Psycho: Exactly, Well Good Point!! It’s good to be busy enough to turn away people that think that you NEED to do that. 
 
Kim: If you have active promotion and you have more than a million followers, then I can discount on what I would spend on an ad, or if people order a LOT of things, like a whole band wardrobe, even if they don’t have a large social media following, I will give a discount for that. 
 
Psycho: That’s Excellent!
 
Kim: There was a band from Levinia who inquired about doing this really complicated stage armor type stuff and I forwarded them back with something that would be low for something so involved which was above budget, so I was like What is your budget? … Then I can come up with something that would be a reasonable look for you and not that complicated that we can do to work within your budget. 
 
Psycho: Now, we’ve talked about how you wanted to do more in womens wear are you seeing an increase in those sales and orders or how is that going?
Doro

Kim: I think that market is pretty saturated, I do mainly men because in the metal world of musicians is very male dominated and they are very under served in terms of men’s clothing, people just wear all black or jeans and t shirts, you know? or a plain leather jacket or plain leather pants and women have a lot more options out there, you know I love and I get really excited when I make things for girls in bands because it’s so near to my heart! We still have a bunch of women’s ready to wear stuff on our Etsy site (https://www.etsy.com/shop/KyllaCustomRockWear) that has been sitting there for a while, especially like the fashion show stuff because people can buy that everywhere.

Psycho: That surprises me but your right, that makes perfect sense! So who is on your “Hit List” do you have any bands that you want to design for that you haven’t worked with yet?
 
Kim: I would love to make something for Iron Maiden because they are my favorite band of all time! That would just make my life complete!
 
Psycho: I saw you posted a picture with Nicko (McBrain) not too long ago…
Kim and Nicko McBrain
Kim: I did! That happened not too long ago right before the cruise, we went to his restaurant Rock and Roll Ribs and he was just sitting there, talking with a friend and I had met him before backstage at Oz Fest, they were there and I was sitting at the only free table back in catering and they walked in and asked me if they could sit down at my table and I think it took me 5 minutes to say YES!! I basically introduced myself and then had to walk away! I don’t want to be friends with my idols! I did bother Nicko for a picture and he was really sweet about it! 
 
Psycho: Wow, that was nice!! 
 
Kim: It was funny because the restaurant was FULL of metal heads and no one recognized him but me! 
 
Psycho: That’s Funny!! Now you have a pretty unconventional work schedule, what is a typical day like for you?
Kim at work
Kim: I don’t do schedules or routines, I’ve always been bad about that, I’d go insane if I had to do the same thing for more than a couple of days in a row. I am definitely not a morning person, if I ever became Empress of the Universe, I would ban mornings from existence! When I am in a studio grind at home and not taking my machine on the road, (I do that a lot, I am doing that right now!) I basically spend all day answering emails, ordering supplies, running to stores, post office and banks that are only open certain hours. By the time I get all that done, it’s later in the evening, then I just work all night till the sun rises, then I watch the sun rise in my hot tub and then I got to bed. 
 
Psycho: So that’s a typical day in the life of Kim!
 
Kim: I think a lot of artists work better at night, I think a lot of times it has to do with my focus level and not being distracted like in the daytime, lots of people are up.
 
Psycho: Yea, you’ve got to deal with your business people when they’re awake! 
 
Kim: We have clients all over the world so it doesn’t ever really stop. I think I am in 37 countries now?
 
Psycho: I was just going to ask you that, so your are pretty global now on every content?
 
Kim: Well Gwar is from Antarctica so I guess that counts! We did just dress a South African band, so that covers Africa. We’ve got every continent now. 
Psycho: Where are you with your ready to wear line? Have you got that going yet?
 
Kim: I am aiming for a fall launch on that, I am in the process of doing the designs and then I want to have the plan reviewed by an MBA or someone who knows business because I am an amateaur business woman, professional artist, amateaur business woman. It will take a significant investment, I want someone who knows what they are doing with money, to look at my plan and then we will go forward from there.
 
Psycho: Where do you see your line being sold, like on Etsy, Online or with reatilers like Hot Topic, What are your goals with that?
 
Kim: Definately NOT Hot Topic, because their price point is way too low…. I want to maintain the quality at all levels, real leather, I want things to be manufactured in smaller quantities, I would like to do some retail and wholesale work but I am thinking more high end, Rock and Roll Boutiques like Trash and Vaudiville in NY and X or X in Berlin. That of course will help with the exclusivity of bands and things wearing the name rather than being mass produced and mass distrubted in malls, which I am not sure how I’d feel about that. It would be nice not to have to make everything from scratch, if someone wanted something right now, we can say OK, well we have these 4 or 5 designs for you that you can order from in stock, online and in retail stores in different cities. 
 
Psycho: If anybody wants to contact you regarding carrying your retail line, they could get in touch with you, that would be great if you could get some of that lined up before you actually go into production. 
 
Psycho: Since this is a radio show, you can actually pick a track for us to play, maybe something from one of your personal recording projects?
 
Kim: I’d like to play some Kung Fu Dykes, my favorite band live, we have played GwarBQue, they are sort of like Tron meets Big Trouble In Little China. 
kung fu dykes    Kung Fu Dykes
 
Psycho: I remember the costume!
 
Kim: Yea, it’s all black and white and stuff!
 
Psycho: Ha, so tell me about the track that you want us to play?
 
Kim: Do you have any sort of restrictions on language?
 
Psycho: NOPE!
 
Kim: Then, I would like to play “Meanest Bitch” because that is my favorite Kung Fu Dykes song, they’ve been playing it for about 20 years, that song was written before I was IN the band, but it’s the most fun to play live because we do all sorts of Kung Fu moves and it’s just really catchy!
 
Psycho: Kim and I actually met in person for the first time on the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise back in Jan 2014. We saw each other again on the cruise a few weeks ago, I was working hospitality, artist relations, for the event, you seemed to be the ring leader of some stuff, what was going on there? What were you doing?
1c 70k
 
Kim: I work for 70,000 Tons of Metal now as a Pool Girl. Kylla Custom Rock Wear makes the pool girl outfits, the outfits we wear daily doing promotional work and the bikinis as well. Wicked Lester helped to make the dresses, just because it’s so much work to 36 different outfits. The pool girls are a group of metal head women who are cruisers and passionate about 70,000 Tons of Metal and have been on the cruise before. All of us are actively contributing members to metal scene in some way, we play in bands or run promotional sites and things like that. This summer they sent us to Europe to Hellfest and Grasspop and other festivals to interview bands that have played the cruise, walk around the crowd and hand out sunscreen, we did that on the boat as well. We are basically promotional models and the face of the brand and it’s really fun to spend some time with some other girls that are really passionate about metal because I find my daily life to be quite the sausage party! 
 
Psycho: So do you pick up a lot of clients at events like that as well?
 
Kim: It’s hit and miss, I don’t do a lot of advertising [other than her own social media, see links below]. Most of my advertising is in talking to people because I find that works the best. Every festival I go to, or being on the cruise and having the 70k social media share links about Kylla Custom Rock Wear that brings me business, especially from fellow cruisers. This year Arch Enemy played the cruise and they were rocking the Kylla gear on stage, so that was neat to see. 
ae
Psycho: That was one of the few shows I got to see because I was busy running around. I was particularly impressed when I walked into the show, I hear this voice and I am just assuming it’s a dude and then I look up on stage and it’s this girl and I was like OMG! So you do some stagewear for them? 
 
Kim: Yea we dress the entire band for their new album. If you look at the War Eternal video… the entire wardrobe is Kylla Custom Rock Wear. All the things that the band wears, we’ve made. Alissa has her own wardrobe that she worked on and altered and some of her pieces, we made. Some of them are her own. Nick Cordle the guitarist on that album used to be in my band Thismeansyou and he lives down the street from me and after Thismeansyou he joined … which toured with Arch Enemy which is how he got that gig. So my in was when he’d come over to my house while they were writing that album, that was how I ended up designing for them. Not cruise related, but it was cool to see them on the boat. 
Arch Enemy Kylla
Psycho: What were some of the most memorable fashions you saw on stage at 70,000 tons?
 
Kim: Venom and Destruction are two of my favorite bands, I really liked the stuff that looked really old school metal. That was great. I think Schmier always looks great on stage and Cronos has his own thing going on. I got to interview Venom, which was really cool because of the Pool Girl thing, about their new album… they were really fun. They seemed interested in getting some gear made, so that would be a really cool gig!
Psycho: Did you get to see that couple that got married on the ship and what they were wearing? It was pretty awesome!
10959726_10205858584563101_5452450528208063371_n
Kim: I was working during their marriage but I saw the pictures. That was really cool!
Psycho: I saw you with the Chainmail Santa guy!
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Kim: Chainmail Santa, yea he’s a cruise staple!
Psycho: I saw you doing an interview on the beach and he’s kinda laying there and then you see him wrestling with this girl, then the next thing you know she’s wearing his chainmail!
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Kim: Yea, that was Laurie, the other half of Kylla Custom Rock Wear!! She challenged Chainmail Santa to a wrestling match… she had prior wresting experience and he was dressed for battle.
Psycho: So I take it she won?!… since she got his clothes!
 Chainmail Santa
Kim: Yea I think he even fell over without her even touching him.
Psycho: I have a couple of pictures of him passed out in chairs and all kinds of stuff! What was the craziest fan fashion you saw on the ship, did anything catch your eye?
Kim: People wear their crazy costumes, this year I didn’t get to hang out at Karaoke as much, because of the new location of it, it didn’t get started untill 3 or 4 in the morning and there wasnt enough seating to hang around in that bar like before, so I didn’t get to see a lot of the crazier costumes….
Psycho: The pajama day, I was a little disappointed with the Karaoke this year, I hope next year they go back to the way they used to do it because I think they got a much better turn out. I saw you posted, didn’t you do a tune with COC? 
 
Kim: Yea I sang Vote With A Bullet with Corrosion of Conformity Blind, which was really fun. Corrosion of Conformity opened for us on half of the Gwar Eternal Tour, so we became really good friends with Reed and they asked me to do a guest song, which was an honor and really fun. I got to do that again with them at another show in Baltimore recently with I Hate God and Cro-Mag, so that was neat!!
Kim with COC
Psycho: So if you could pick a track that reminded you most of the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, what would it be?
 
Kim: I guess you’d have to play COC “Vote With A Bullet”
 
Psycho: Yea, good choice! Alright!
 
This is actually the YouTube video of Kim doing the song with COC on 70ktm!
 
and here is the version she was talking about at the club in Baltimore, MD (she throws her wig off mid show!)
Psycho: Kim I am dying to hear more about your tour with Gwar, you were their new alien singer Vulvatron. I want to thank you for hooking me up with tickets for your show in Orlando! I personally had never seen Gwar, I had heard a lot of the legendary stories. I must say it was quite an amazing experience, can you describe for our listeners who have never seen Gwar, what goes on?
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Kim: Gwar is sort of a different animal than other metal shows, basically it’s a blood bath.
gwar-101
Prepare, pathetic humans to be slaughtered by the serious scum doggers that are Gwar! 
 
Psycho: You’ve known the guys from Gwar for a while, how did that come about?
 
Kim: They live in Richmond and I live in Charlottesville, which is about an hour away. I was really good friends with David Brockie for many, many years, we were close. (long pause)
Vulvatron
I also knew Brent [Perguson of Canibal Corpse] who was Pustulus, the guitar player, because his old band he was in before Cory’s passing and my old band used to play together. Then Kung Fu Dykes played Gwar B Q and we played Cory’s Memorial Show and Brockie’s Memorial Show as well as the fundraisers organized by the Gwar camp to support Randy Blythe’s [Lamb of God] legal fund when he was imprisoned in the Czech republic because of a scandal with a fan jumping on stage and then falling to their death. When Brockie passed away, Brent called me on the phone and asked if I would be interested in singing with Gwar. That was an honor. 
 
Psycho: Wow, So how were you received? 
 
Kim: The fans really liked seeing a strong female character out there, in my opinion.
10100155.87
Psycho: I think so!
 
Kim: The press response was OVERWHELMING and much more positive than I expected because I am used to the internet being a hive of scum… and actually there were very few negative things said at all. I got a lot of fan responses especially from women and girls, who were glad to see a positive role model character, you can be a monster, you can be smart and you can have giant boobs instead of just being somebody’s back up dancer or somebody’s girlfriend. And you can get up there on the mic and play dinosaurs!
 
Psycho: Can you tell us about the AMAZING costume you were wearing?
Vulvatron Costume
Kim: The Vulvatron costume, that was jointly designed by me and Matt Maguire of Slave Pit, he and Bob Gorman have been behind most of Gwar’s amazing props and costumes for their entire 30 year legacy. Matt and I bounced some ideas around while we were in Europe last summer, when we were planning this and then he covered my body in plaster and we made latex molds of all the gear. He sculpted it out of clay and then poured latex into the molds. I think we spent like 3 weeks getting all that ready before my first gig which was at RiotFest in Chicago. 
 
Psycho: WOW, so how far would your bloody boob spew go?
Vulvatron Spew
Kim: That could spew up to 100 feet, it was controlled by a compressor. Most of the time we would turn the pressure down so I wouldn’t hit Front of House, but shows like RiotFest, when your playing a giant festival or in an arena the POWER of the boob spew knows no bounds!!
Kim as Vulvatron
Psycho: There were some reallllly good photos some people got of it mid flight and it’s just going sideways and everywhere, I mean there were just some amazing photos!! Did you have any wardrobe malfunctions?
 
Kim: Yea, sometimes I would bend over and things would come unvelcroed, they are hooked together with velcro but nothing was revealed before I stuck it back. One night I almost head banged my wig off! Which wouldn’t have been a problem….
 
Psycho: I remember you guys had some trouble at a couple of venues where they wanted to ban what you were wearing and keep you from squirting from your breasts? 
 
Kim: We weren’t “banned” but Gwar’s costumes are illegal in certain states, Brockie famously got arrested ….. in NC. The promoter could get fined thousands of dollars if we were to go onstage as we are, I got a bikini put over my boobs and the guys, we all wear thongs so we all had to wear panties over our butt cheeks. Then we have a sex drone alien that we had to put tape over his nipples as well. I think the laws are in place in those places so they can’t have strip clubs and things like that, more conservative places, lots of places in the bible belt, like Tennessee and North Carolina.
 
Psycho: So at least it wasn’t just female descrimination, they descriminated against everybody huh? They made everybody do it?
 
Kim: Oh Yeah, Male butts, female butts, alien nipples.
 
Psycho: Blood Spewing Alien nipples are illegal? Who Knew?!!
 
Kim: I don’t know if they made Ball Sack put away his ball sack actually…
Kim as Vulvatron
Psycho: Oh My God! Well it seems like Vulvatron made quite an amazing addition to Gwar, your friends probably weren’t surprised but how did your family react?
 
Kim: Oh, my Mom was so proud of me, she has been to every show of mine in the last 15 years that has been in her area… Thismeansyou, Kung Fu Dykes, now Gwar. My dad didn’t get to see it, he has a very demanding career so he didn’t get to come out for the show. 
 
Psycho: It’s good that they are supportive, that is so cool!! So it must have been pretty easy to make a clean entrance and a clean get away with these shows because you had such an amazing costume to hide in, what was it like to be able to walk around in the crowd without anybody recognizing you?
 
Kim: Oh, That was Great! I don’t like the aspect of being famous however I have a lot of famous friends and I don’t have a good opinion of fame. I don’t think it brings anything but fakeness out in people. You can have Vulvatron be famous but not Kim, that’s really cool because I can just walk around and people don’t recognize me, every our crazy and most ravaged Gwar fans don’t seem to recognize me walking out to the bus except like 3 or 4 the entire tour which was great because I have the magical powers of transformal hair. I wear different wigs all the time, not to throw off the KGB but it’s because I have Alopecia Ariota and lots my hair when I was 16 and now I just wear different wigs all the time. It’s very confusing and it’s GREAT.
 10968490_10101947487985276_2620878604208669356_n  Kim Dylla and Psycho Seamstress  Kim Dylla
 
Psycho: Yea no doubt! I mean, from one minute to the next you can go from bald to blonde bob, to long haired purple hair, that’s like a super power!! So if you had to pick one of your favorite gwar songs, for us to play, what would be your favorite song? 
 
Kim: I guess I Hate Love Songs is my favorite Gwar song, which is great because I got to sing that [live] on this past tour. I am not on the recording obviously but that has always been one of my favorite Gwar songs. 
Here is a YouTube video featuring Kim as Vulvatron singing I Hate Lovesongs with Gwar
 
Psycho: One of the things I was interested in knowing when I read your profile on KimDylla.com, YOUR PAINTINGS, YOU ARE AN AMAZING ARTIST! Where are they now? Have you ever put them in a gallery? 
Kim the Artist
Kim: I’ve been painting my whole life, I think oil painting is one of the things I think I might be best at. I did a series of large scale photorealistic machine paintings I called them, of high enery physics equipment, my dad is a Physicist, my mother also works in physics, high energy physics so I sort of grew up around the crazy big science machines that could fill football fields so I’ve always been fascinated with the asthetic of those so I started making paintings and compositions out of them. I’ve exhibited them all over, from the American Institute of Physics here in the DC area, to San Francisco at the convention center out there at a Physics Conference. I had several art world exibitions in Charlottesville as part of my undergraduate work with the University of Virginia. All of them are sold now, I want to make more of them, I had to put painting down for a while to focus on the clothing business, because I had too many things going on in my life, I was also a pro wrestler and I had a full time job in Acedemia, two bands, three bands at times and this so, you know, I get more passive income with the clothing business, when we have a manufactured line I think I’ll have time to paint again.
 
Psycho: You’ve had quite a lot of success in your life, what are your goals for the future?
 
Kim: I would like to be Happy! Sucess is often quantified in montary achievements or fame. I got my dream, I’ve always wanted to tour in a live band and it was because of the tragic passing of one of my best friends, a bad thing happened and a good thing happened, so I can sort of check the box off on that one! I don’t think that’s really sustainable as a long term life style, I don’t think I want to become a full time alcoholic / broke person ha ha but, I would like the clothing company to grow and become something that I don’t have to put constant all nighters into to keep afloat so if I could have a distributable manufactured retail line… and maybe an office in another country like the UK or Germany just to have more of a base in Europe I really love Europe and I love the UK and I try to spend about half my time there when it’s possible.
 
Psycho: One of the things I wanted to ask you about which is one of the things that leads me to believe that you are actually human, you have some issues with cooking? Can you tell us about your latest epic kitchen fail?
 
Kim: I tried to make oh what was it, catfish or something.
Kim's Curled Catfish
My problem with cooking is not that I don’t try, I can’t really follow recipes exactly because I am allergic to garlic and onions which is in every single recipe, being perpetually on the road person, I don’t spend a lot of time in my home or around my kitchen, having a lack of fresh ingredients in my fridge, things go bad, I think it’s more of a lifestyle choice, for people who have families and day jobs and are in the same place all the time. I haven’t had a lot of time to spend with my kitchen. When I make something it’s usually like lean quisine or a salad, but occasionally I will attempt to cook something like a chicken breast or fish, I am pretty good at steak because all you have to do is sear the sides and you can still eat it mooing. ha ha I have an inate inability to determine if something is done or not. It always ends up like on fire or it’s stuck to the pan, completely salmanellarific still pink in places. I’ve tried meat thermometors, I’ve tried, like it will say cook till done or cook until golden brown or brown until tender those areen’t instructions like, tell me to put it at this temperature for this long. Ok like cook in medium heat, that’s like a really big variable and put some oil in the pan, OK? How much? and what size pan? At what point do you turn this over and it obviusly depends upon the size of your meat and things like that and when you put a meat thermometer in it you get a different number for each part of the meat, so I don’t see how any of this works, it usually ends up, you know, inedible! 
 
Psycho: It ends up on your wall of Facebook!! 
 
Kim: Yea everyone always posts these cute pictures of their perfect meal they made and so I like posting pictures of my complete kitchen disasters because they are sooo bad, I mean sometimes I make things and they turn out OK, but I don’t post those, because this is not amusing, everyone loves, like, laughing at me and then telling me how to do it right, which also requires me being able to determine whether it’s done or not.
 
Psycho: You’ve talked about doing a blog or a video show on your cooking fails?
 
Kim: I think the metal cooking thing has been overdone now there’s a million things like that but what I see is people with blogs about their failure things. Everyone likes to laugh at the “Nailed It” fails about things that came out terrible, like you see on Pinterest, so I wanted to maybe like make a blog about all the recipes I’ve tried that have turned out really terrible in my copius amount of spare time!
 
Psycho: I posted on your wall the other day when you were talking about your burnt catfish that you should call your blog “Kylla in the Kitchen” and just let it be wishfull thinking! I think it’s hilarious, it’s always funny and your right, people are always posting about these glorious meals that they make!
 
Kim: Once I actually messed up Easy Mac!….and that’s really hard to do!! I put too much water in it, I guess I wasn’t looking at the fill line correctly and I stuck it in the microwave with the litte cheese packet in but it ended up being like soup. Of course I ate it anyway!!!
 
Psycho: Right? Because you were hungry!… so If you could give some advise to musicians out there wanting to improve their image on stage, what would your best advise be?
 
Kim: Make sure you have a cohesive image as a band! The worst thing I see is people having off the rack clothes that everyone else has. The worst thing is when one person is dressed like a rennaisance dude and one person looks like they are going to a goth club and the other guy is in jeans and a t shirt and THEN you are playing a style of metal that doesn’t match any of those things! To me, whatever you do, do it as a band and something that makes sense for the music your playing. Having a visual image is important… not having a visual image is also a visual image, plent of bands I WOULDN’T dress because they would look silly in anything but jeans and a t shirt, that’s just their look. Certainly think about a cohesive look for your group.
Kim at work
​Kim Dylla   www.kimdylla.com
Kylla Custom Rock Wear​    www.KyllaCustomRockWear.com
@KyllaCustomWear
#KyllaCustomRockWear

“Can We Talk?” Rock Fashion Radio Show Coming Soon!!

As some of you may know, Joan Rivers was my first A List Client back in 2011.

Joan Rivers and I

 

Working for Joan, rattled my soul, sealed the deal and launched my career as an A List Wardrobe Seamstress. If I can survive her, I can survive anything! She was the ultimate trial by fire client and I now choose to be inspired by and channel a woman who rocked the fashion world with her famous words “Can We Talk?”

Since then, I’ve worked for many celebrities that came thru Orlando and Tampa on tour, including most famously Sir Paul McCartney, who’s story landed me on the front page of my hometown newspaper!!

Front page News

Some of the bigger jobs I’ve had over the last few years, included making 17 costumes for Justin Bieber’s Believe film and doing some major work on 5 red dresses for Taylor Swift’s back up singers on her Red Tour.

Justin Bieber Believe Film Costumes

I’ve also done a lot of costume rigging for shows like Michael Jackson’s Immortal Cirque du Soleil World Tour, Pink, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Bruno MarsMiley Cyrus, Usher and even got into Marilyn Manson’s Pants!

My A list work led to a job at Universal Theme Parks as Costume Fabrication Specialist where I worked on entertainer costumes including the most legendary “Invisibility Cloak” featured in the Beedle Bard show at Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Having a hand in making that was epic!

In my spare time, I spent an epic weekend last spring on a short tour of Florida festivals, courtesy of my friends with Volbeat. They needed some backdrop repairs and allowed me to tag along from RockFest to Rockville. I had an amazing moment with Billy Duffy of The Cult and had the opportunity to discuss a piece of his stagewear that I did a replica of for Cult Revolution, a tribute band.

Bruce Tindle wearing the Cult Replica vest I made

Bruce Tindle wearing the Cult Replica vest I made

One thing lead to another and through a series of FORTUNATE events, golden connections and rock networking, almost a year later, I’ve now been offered my own Rock Fashion Radio Show as Psycho Seamstress on Rock Rage Radio!! I will be reviewing Rock Fashion, interviewing Stagewear Designers and Rock Stars who dress to impress from coast to coast regarding their duds of choice.
We will also be launching  a nationwide band image makeover contest with some huge prizes!
So stay tuned and don’t be caught in public looking anything less than famous!

Rock Rage Radio

 

Rock Rage Radio

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