Enchanted Gilded Fae - An Ensemble

Hello Darlings!

I wanted to share one of my recent costume projects with you today. I’m always inspired by mythology, fairy tales, and fantasy. Somehow, all of these elements came together in this look I recently created. It started with an idea to do something floral, natural feeling, but gilded and statuesque at the same time. I wanted to create a headpiece with volume and dimension as well as an outfit or costume that has flow and grace to it to balance out the form. I found this beautiful gold lace fabric back a long while ago and used it for a previous fashion collection, but I had enough of it left to make just about one outfit, so I thought it would be perfect for this look.

I came up with the idea to do a long cape with a large oversized hood, and then a billowing and flowy top underneath. When worn together the pieces look very graceful and ethereal, but equally apart they are standout pieces. The blouse in particular could be worn with a different skirt or even jeans for the ‘everyday world’, which is definitely something I aim to do when creating multiple piece ensembles. I want all of it to work well together, but also for the individual elements to be able to be worn aside from the others. The lace has a seaweed/twigs pattern to it and it is entirely gold thread on a nude mesh base. I love the ethereal and majestic quality to It isn’t quite a floral pattern, but very natural feeling.

When making the headpiece, I wanted it to have volume, but still be close to my head and very feminine feeling. I chose to use the gold color in addition to pale yellows, purples and lavender. I absolutely love the way this piece turned out, I think the balance is right, and it has an excellent mix of complementary shades. It feels very ‘fairy princess’, and that is exactly what I was aiming for. I have already worn this multiple times! I used a mixture of techniques as I always do for this headpiece, mainly millinery and other sewing techniques. The base sits very snug on the head and it isn’t heavy at all. Pieces like this are going to be available in my online store very soon, so stay tuned!

I absolutely love working with makeup as well, it gives me the opportunity to fully transform into the character I’m envisioning. For this look, I wanted the makeup to be striking, and have the small accents of purple that I chose for the headpiece. For the face, I used Milani Strobe Primer , then Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation, which is one of my all time favorites. I am wearing the shade fair light honey, which is a great match for my warm/fair complexion. I use Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer in the shade light sand to correct and highlight. My eyebrows are defined with Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in soft brown. On my eyes, I used Stila Glitter & Glow in Gold Goddess and then all remaining shades are Urban Decay pressed shadows in the shades fishnet, 1985, and intergalactic. I topped off the eyes with Makeup Revolution renaissance liquid eyeliner and NYX Doll Eye mascara. Lashes are Ardell Demi Wispies. I used NYX Sweet Cheeks blush palette and Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter. My lipstick is Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in the shade Precious. I absolutely love how this makeup turned out and think it suits the costume perfectly. I love experimenting with colors and products; makeup has always been one of my great loves in life.

Though this outfit is one of a kind, I can always commission something similar for you! Please email me at info@aubreybusek.com if you are interested in this look!

Until Next Creation,

Aubrey Busek

Cosplay Creation- Arwen Riding Outfit from Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring


Hello Darlings!

I have decided that on my creating journey, I will document my work using a blog. I have always loved writing since I was quite young, and over the years, I have experimented with a few types of blogs. Here I will be telling you about my designs and creations, showing you how you can use my pieces from my online store to create your own costumes and put-together looks, and more. I have always loved fashion, costume, dressing up, and creating things, so culminating this all together in one arena has me so excited for the future. I love to make people feel special, beautiful, and transported to another place and time through the use of wearable art. It is why I do what I do and chose to pursue this career. Once I got out of design school and started my own brand, I quickly found that making ready-to-wear clothing wasn’t what I really wanted to do, nor was it well suited for me personally. I love to create extensive detail oriented things and focus not on it’s ‘wearability’, but rather on its ability to tell a story and create a fantasy. I have also always been invested in fantasy literature, graphic novels, video games, film, history, and mythology as inspiration, reference material, and just things I generally love. While I was in school, I didn’t feel I had much time to explore these other loves in my life, so I chose to focus solely on getting my degree in fashion design. Thus, I never really realized there was an avenue and a niche for people that love the things I love, but also love dressing up and fashion. Going to some of the first conventions I went to and researching cosplay and costume design was so eye opening and startling for me. This is where I am supposed to be! It took a while for me to gain the confidence and realization that I could in fact pursue this, so here we are today. I’ve made costumes and headpieces/jewelry for myself for years, but have kept it pretty private and under the radar strictly in my personal life. Places like the Renaissance Faire and conventions were the only time these pieces came out.

Now, I am showing it all to you and making it the re-invention of my brand. I am so thrilled that the first creation I am showing you all in this area is my Arwen Riding Outfit from LOTR- Fellowship of the Ring. Arwen is a beloved character of mine from books and film. Her grace and beauty is astonishing, not to mention her courage in the face of making a decision to follow her heart and not the lineage of her people. There are discrepancies between the books and films as to how Arwen is portrayed, particularly in the scene I chose to make this outfit from. In the books, it is Glorfindel who saves Frodo from the Nazgul, while the movies chose to have Arwen be the one who takes Frodo to Rivendell. Though some criticize this creative liberty, I believe it was a great way to introduce Arwen into the movie and show the significance of her character to Aragorn in particular and as well to the storyline. In this scene she wears a riding coat ensemble with beautiful embroidered sleeves which is convenient for horse riding and hobbit saving, while also seems fit for the daughter of Elrond. Though the discrepancies exist in the movies, it is an incredible scene in the films, very action packed and a wonderful introduction to the Arwen character.

arwen_edit6 copy.jpg
arwen_edit7 copy.jpg
“If you want him, come and claim him”

“If you want him, come and claim him”

“For I am the daughter of Elrond. I shall not go with him when he departs to the Havens: for mine is the choice of Luthien, and as she so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter.” “It is mine to give to whom I will, like my heart.”

“For I am the daughter of Elrond. I shall not go with him when he departs to the Havens: for mine is the choice of Luthien, and as she so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter.” “It is mine to give to whom I will, like my heart.”

For this cosplay, I focused on the shape and details of the coat to be as similar to the movie costume as I felt was appropriate. Because the movie came out over 15 years ago, the details of her underclothes and other things are hard to find. There are some online resources I used to find the appropriate shape for the sleeve embroidery as well. My background and degree in clothing design means that I am fairly well-versed in pattern drafting for clothing, and that was what I did for the main frame of the coat. In the movies, the coat is more of a gray color, but I had a few of these gorgeous purple-gray fabrics in my studio that I only had enough left of to make one thing, and I thought this color choice was flattering on me as well as being close to the movie fabric color. The gray fabrics that I had in my studio were definitely not the right weight or drape for a coat like this, and those are some of the decisions that will make or break a piece of clothing. The main fabric is a medium weight woven silk with a pretty kind of marled texture, and then I have a lighter sparkly gray stretch fabric for the lining and the crinkled silk for the collar, sleeves, and back detail. This crinkled silk looks very similar to the details in the coat in the film, so I was very happy that worked out. I started drafting a basic princess-seam coat pattern, and adjusted the bottom coat sections, sleeves, and collar to be accurate to the general look of the movie costume. The way the costume designers in the film created the wardrobe for all of the Elven characters follows a fairly similar formula. It is always graceful, long lines, draped shapes that follow a sort of kimono look, and the details are more or less in embroidery and beading. I love this aesthetic as I love Elf-lore in general as elves are typically depicted as graceful, ethereal creatures. This look fits that bill perfectly. So I followed this aesthetic when creating my patterns, though I needed to make sure it suited my more petite frame. I am so happy with how it came out, and I think it is incredibly reminiscent of the exact wardrobe from the film. I found a close up photo of the sleeve embroidery from the film and copied it as best as I could. I mirrored the design on both sides and hand embroidered it with silver embroidery thread. I genuinely love doing hand embroidery; you feel so accomplished when you get it done, but it is rather time consuming!

My wig was purchased from a local beauty supply shop here in Charlotte. I wanted it to look graceful, thick and be incredibly long and I think this wig turned out to be the perfect choice. I saw a few online that looked okay, but I really enjoy being able to go to a shop and see it in person first. Particularly because this hair needed to look natural and graceful, I loved that I was able to find one and pick it out in person. I ordered my Evenstar necklace online, but the chain that came with the necklace was quite long, so I used a shorter chain that I already had. Arwen’s silver belt detail piece was difficult to replicate. I tried making it with porcelain clay and painting it silver, but I believe I would have done better with polymer clay in this case. Details did not hold as I hoped and I couldn’t seem to get it thin enough to look graceful, but thick enough to hold it’s shape. Clay isn’t something I am well versed in yet, but I am doing more clay work in the coming months, so I feel I’ll expand my skillset enough to make this eventually. I chose to use a silver leaf clip I have from an Etsy shop, which I think worked out well and made my costume unique. I did wear purple contacts for this cosplay as well, though because I have to have prescription lenses, I don’t think the color made that much of a difference to my normal eye color which is an amber brown. However, particularly in the close up shots you can see the purple color in my eyes which is nice! I think the makeup was actually the hardest part of the look as it needs to look super natural and like I don’t have any makeup on at all. I think I accomplished this pretty well, although for photos especially I needed some definition in my eyes. When I wore the look to Dragon Con (which I made it for), I definitely got away with less makeup. I focused on a clean foundation application, some contouring, natural eye colors and a rosey lip. My ears are from Aradani costumes, and I think they worked out well. Arwen’s ears in the films are quite delicately pointed, and finding prosthetic ones that fit that bill is actually a bit difficult. All in all I think I am very happy with how this costume turned out! I absolutely loved working on it and I am so excited to create more and more elven wares and costumes! My plan is for my online store to have elven inspired pieces of my own design that you can use to create whatever look you desire!

What do you think of my Arwen costume? If you could cosplay a character or have cosplayed a character from Lord of the Rings, Who would you choose?

All photos taken by Kristen Thomasino and edited by Aubrey Busek

Costume made by Aubrey Busek

Silver leaf Clip from https://www.etsy.com/shop/WestWolfRenaissance

Ears from https://www.aradanicostumes.com/products/small-elf-ears


Aubrey Busek


Starting A New Journey - Following My Passions

Hello Darlings!

I am so thrilled to finally be taking steps on my new path. It’s not too much of a stray from my old one, but I am finally following my heart and my true artistic passions. I graduated from SCAD Atlanta in 2014 with a BFA in Fashion Design and dreams of creating my own clothing brand. I embarked on that journey once I made the decision to move to my current home of Charlotte, NC, and began designing with a full heart and a head full of ideas. I maintained a full time job working for a local business and doing my design work at night, on my off days, and on weekends. This continued for a year until I realized that my own work wasn’t my priority, because it couldn’t be; I didn’t have the time to commit myself fully to my design work and it showed. Though I made seasonal fashion collections for a couple years and my pieces turned out well enough to make me happy, I don’t think I was able to immerse myself in the design process enough to fully realize my ideas. I was attempting to ‘dumb things down’ and make things wearable for the sake of getting the pieces done and creating the seasonal ready-to-wear collections that I thought fashion designers were ‘supposed’ to make. When you get a degree in something, there is a certain path that seems like it’s what everyone is ‘supposed’ to do. I also have major issues with the ethics of the ready-to-wear fashion industry. I can save those issues and discussion for another time, but it was making me question my decision to be in this field at all. All of this combined stretched me very thin emotionally as well as physically. My inspiration always consisted of complicated historical and fantasy references, and I was attempting to take that complexity and make wearable, every day clothing. Over the next year or so this continued, and slowly but surely, I became very discouraged as an artist. I felt like I wasn’t able to explore my ideas fully, because I was trying to make them ‘wearable’, ‘marketable’, and ‘sellable’. The pressures of the digital age were on my shoulders as well. Constant worry about social media, and having new content was weighing on me like a rain cloud over my head. I was becoming my own worst stepping stone on my journey. I started contemplating changes. I created a blog, I began drawing and painting more; getting back to my general artistic roots away from fashion and the fashion industry. In all the midst of this, I was also dealing with chronic headaches and neck pain due to genetic scoliosis, poor posture, and working patterns. Sewing, patternmaking, etc. is hard on your body, and it was starting to show on me. So, I took a much needed break. I focused on custom pieces for clients including evening gowns, a bridal gown, and others. All the while, I brainstormed, journaled, and came to one big conclusion. And here it is.

I got into fashion design because I love to dress up. More than anything, I love to create a fantasy and embody a character through wearable means. I love to transport people to a different place and time through clothing, and I love the ability that clothing has to transform anyone who wears it. I grew up in dance, on stage and performing. Dressing up in costumes and artistic clothing has always been my preferred method of self expression. My lifelong loves have been fantasy, history, literature, video games, comic books, and art. I am an unabashed nerdy girl. A weird girl. And that is what I was doing wrong. I was trying to take what I really love and make it work for ‘every day’ and ‘every woman’. And now, I’ll be doing what I really love, making it work for ‘any day’ and people like me! Cosplay and creating costumes for myself will allow me to bring my favorite characters to life, share it with the world, and create pieces I would have otherwise not thought possible. While creating wearable art and costume for my brand to sell to you will allow me to share my love of dressing up with others. You will be able to be whoever and whatever you want to be, and live a well adorned life wearing the pieces I make. Through my website store and my Etsy I will be selling handmade costume pieces, headpieces, accessories, and more. I am always open to custom commissions as well.

Though I can say that the last 3 years have been a crazy, hectic whirlwind of emotions and stress, I am very glad that I went through these challenges to get where I am in this moment. I feel like because of the challenges and emotional pain, I know where I want to go. I finally know exactly what I want to do for the foreseeable future. Sharing this story on my website means that everyone coming here knows a lot more about me as an artist. Why I have made these choices, and why I am so excited to take this new step in my personal journey. I have gotten asked a lot by people (especially locally that I know) if I am ‘not designing anymore’. That is absolutely not the case. I needed some personal time to gather my thoughts, to do some soul searching, and to just be me for a while. I am so glad that I did. I wouldn’t be where I am without making that choice. All in all, I am so thrilled and excited for what is to come and to see where I go from here. I aim to make a positive impact on women who love fashion and art, on the costume and cosplay community, and to help everyone realize that you can in fact do what you love! You just have to believe in yourself and believe in your dreams.

I am hoping to have my web store and Etsy store back open with new products within the next month, and I am looking forward to pursuing opportunities at comic book conventions, art fairs/pop up stores, and local opportunities! I cherish everyone who takes the time to read this and who wants to follow me on my artistic journey.

With Love,

Aubrey Busek