Loot Wear is teaming up with female artists throughout geekdom to design and curate for our Loot for Her line. We’re calling this program “For Her, By Her“! Each month we’ll bring you a one on one with each artist we collaborated with, making unique apparel designed by talented women in the field.
This month we bring you star artist Yume Warlock! Yume was key in bringing souvenir jackets to the brand and was the reason our Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Willow, souvenir jacket was created for us for October’s MYTHICAL theme.
Where are you from originally and where do you call home now?
I’m from all over California. I like to call myself a Cali-faux-nian. I moved to central California when I was about 6 from the mid-west. After 8th grade, my family moved to a tiny town in northern California, which was about 30 minutes south of the Cali-Oregon border, I moved to Long Beach for college, then to Orange County, the Inland Empire, and settled in Los Angeles in 2007. But truthfully, my heart belongs to London. My husband’s family is English, and we go back every few years. I always feel homesick for London.
What is your artistic/fashion background and did you have any formal training?
I went to school for animation and new media, which is a fancy way of saying “designing for videos games and the internet”. I wanted to be a video game character designer. Most of my background is in creative design and I picked up art direction along the way. My fashion background mostly comes out of self-study, and my school had a fashion program which I was exposed to. I also was heavily influenced by VH1’s Fashion TV, and the 90s over-the-top runway aesthetic.
How has geek fashion played a role in your life?
Geek fashion is huge for me. I wanted to be a character designer originally. I distinctly remember the crazy character designs and clothes from old games like Magna Carta, Final Fantasy, and X-Men comic books, sci-fi films, and anime. It wasn’t so much that I was trying to cosplay these characters, but create street fashion versions of them using my own wardrobe. Eventually, my tastes just became so heavily influenced by the over-the-top imagery from a lot of the pop-culture I was absorbing. At the time ‘bounding’ wasn’t really a term in existence, and geek fashion wasn’t something as readily sold online, you had to curate, diy, and upcycle outfits. I think it’s this kind of creative experience that led me to become involved in the geek fashion industry. I’ve helped style shoots for WeLoveFine and Loot Wear, as well as done my own creative geek fashion shoots for indie geek designers.
You’re pretty known for your amazing style! Can you tell us about your style and your biggest influences?
I love villains, be it villains from cartoons, comics, movies, games, I love them. I have a strong affinity for the colour black, plastic, and structured garments. If it’s over the top, I probably love it, and would wear it as casual wear. Some of my biggest influences are Jean Paul Gaultier’s work in The Fifth Element, The Matrix, Vivienne Westwood’s clothing as interpreted in the manga ‘Nana’, Daphne Guinness, Alexander McQueen, Guo Pei, and Gareth Pugh. Many if not all of these people have a kind of ‘luxurious punk space alien’ vibe.
What are your fandoms?
Man, I think this is always a dangerous question because I have so many that this would just be one giant list. I feel sad because I can’t list every single fandom, but I’ll be reasonable, my ultimate top 3 are: Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men (Jim Lee era specifically), and Naruto.
What’s your favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer moment?
Not really a moment, but the episode,‘Once more, with Feeling’ is one of my favorites! I love novelty music and comedic musicals. I think it is also one of the most influential episodes since so many other tv shows also have had had musical episodes after the Buffy musical episode.
Since Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Willow is the character being spotlighted on the Loot for Her item this month, what do you like most about Willow?
Willow is one of the characters I can relate to the most. As a character, she had the best emotional development and character arc in the series. She went from a wallflower type of nerdy girl to a powerful woman, leading into her becoming the main villain of the later seasons. As someone who was deathly shy in high school, it was refreshing to see someone who lacked confidence grow into a force to be reckoned with. Prior to Willow, I think a lot of nerdy girls on tv or film were portrayed as minor support characters or characters to be made-over like in the movie She’s All That.
It can be challenging to forecast what fashions will be the next trend. You were key in bringing souvenir jackets into the mix for Loot Wear at the height of the trend using fashion forecasting. How did you zero in on souvenir jackets being the next big trend and how does fashion forecasting work?
I was actually in Japan a year before souvenir jackets became a huge trend. “Sukajan” is the term for these Japanese styled souvenir jackets. After World War II, American GI’s had these asian motifs embroidered as jackets to commemorate their time in Japan, thus the term souvenir jackets. In Japan, I saw a few of these vintage jackets being sold in Osaka. Every so often I would also see street fashion-minded Japanese teenagers wearing them. After I got back from Japan, I started pitching the idea of geek themed sukajan to anybody who would listen to me and look at my mock ups.
It was easy to zero in because trendy youth fashion has it’s pockets where it draws inspiration. Japan and South Korea have been at the center of youth fashion for some time now, so sometimes you just have to pay attention to people on the street, or people on line. I don’t mean influencers, I mean people who are actively cultivating their personal style and involved in trying new things. Influencers tend to push trends when they’re already on an upward trajectory, it’s the everyday fashionable people you have to look for.
How do you predict what styles are going to be the next popular trend in fashion?
Trend forecasting is pretty much being able to spot patterns early on. You have to have a good eye, in seeing small patterns of street fashion. Funny enough street fashion and ready to wear fashion actually have some influence. When you look at ready to wear lines, and browse the #OOTD tags in instagram, you start to see emerging trends for 1-2 seasons ahead of time. Fashion also comes back in cycles of 20 years. Right now, the 90s revival is at it’s peak, particularly late 90s. You see it everywhere, fake fur, plastic, vinyl, puffy jackets, it’s all back. Seeing as Paris Hilton created a viral pink video recently after the introduction of “Millennial Pink”, I would expect updated velour outfits and mean girls inspired fashion soon. You have to be able to apply this to different markets and demographics. Mainstream fashion and geek fashion don’t always move in tandem and they don’t always have the same taste or values, so you be very detailed in observations. You also have to know the difference between your own personal taste, and what will work on a mass market level.
Do you have any words of inspiration for other women looking to go into your field?
For Trend Forecasting: Stay curious, don’t be afraid to be a nerd and study up. It is about paying attention, and then using your own creativity to build out of inspiration that is all around you.
For Geek Fashion Styling: Pull from what you love, and don’t be afraid to experiment outside of your comfort zone.
Thanks for chatting with us, Yume! You can see more of Yume’s art at her website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Before we get to the tasty pictures of the October MYTHICAL Loot For Her EXCLUSIVE, make sure you’re ready and head over here and grab yours before October 19th at 9pm PST! Trust me, spoilers or not — you’re going to slay yourself if you don’t get this piece. Don’t say we didn’t warn yoooou!
We’re proud to reveal the incredible design made just for us because of Yume’s work with us! She even modeled it for us!
SPOILER WARNING: If you don’t want a spoiler yet, scroll no further!
Ready? Okay. 😉