SUBSCRIBE TO VENTRILOQUIST COURT®’S FREE BIANNUAL NEWSLETTER!
Australian National Costume for Miss World Tourism 2017-2018
10 February 2018
Ventriloquist Court® is greatly honoured to design the national costume for Ashleigh Neil, who represented Australia in the finals of the Miss World Tourism pageant held on the 27th of January 2018 in Malaysia. Assigned with the task of promoting the beauty of their respective home countries, the contestants acted as ambassadors of tourism. As tourism ambassador to Australia, Ashleigh welcomed all to explore the beauty of the Australian natural landscape and flora.
The challenge of designing a national costume for a settler country called for much thought and cultural sensitivity. The possibilities were open-ended, but we took this challenge as a opportunity to reinvent the Australian national costume. After thoughtful discussions, we were excited to collaborate on a national costume which would represent Australia’s seaside landscape: the seafaring tailcoat. The costume is made from eco-friendly materials, including plant-dyed and handwoven artisanal cotton and peace silk tweed; natural linen, recycled glass beads from old television screens, windows, and glass bottles; felt from recycled plastic bottles; and vintage pearlescent beads. Representing flora and sea, the tailcoat showcases intricate beading on the front, hand-sewn florals on the epaulettes and the tailcoat back, and a tail with bustling pleats reaching to ankle-length.
The beach remains an iconic Australian family tradition. Spending a day at the beach and enjoying surf and sand are an important part of the Australian national identity. However, the importance of the beach to the Australian country long predated British settlement. The beach in Aboriginal dreamtime is the place of spirit beings, and their contact with the people shaped the Australian landscape as we know it today as told in the enriching oral traditions of Aboriginal Australians.
‘Miss Tourism World Australia Day 1 in Malaysia:’ Youtube Video of Ashleigh’s Photo Shoot Modelling the Custom Seafaring Tailcoat
Costume Shoot for the Carnevale di Venezia, Italy, 2017
8 April 2017
Earlier this year, the seafaring collar and seaside cottage gown made their debut at the annual Carnevale di Venezia, Italy! Transformed into an elaborate rococo costume, the gown joined the rank and file of the beautifully detailed costume work seen yearly at the Carnevale. Warm thanks to Jennifer Delker for her kind permission to share her stunning photo here!
Steampunk Wedding in the Australian Bush
21 November 2016
The Australian bush provides an ever so romantic backdrop for the exchange of vows and particularly for steampunk weddings! Honoured with a wedding order from the very creative and lovely Amanda, it truly is a privilege to share her special memories here.
Pairing the ‘officer’ vest with the high-waist ‘explorer’ bustle skirt, her wedding dress showcases the textures of distressed tea-dyed organic cotton corduroy, organic cotton crepe, and linen-look rustic cotton as well as the colours and shapes of steampunk accessories made from brass and vintage glass. To match, she adds a dark brown top hat and knee-high boots – the vintage style and beautiful mustard gold colour of the boots complement the dress and the groom’s attire so very well. Tea-dyed, brown, mustard, gold, and wine red… the imagery of a world from the distant past comes to mind, yet the costume style and interweaving of antiqued natural fabrics with brass metal mirrors an era’s mindset set forward into the emerging world of steam technology. Before your very eyes is thus a break with the traditional wedding dress, but one in-keeping with the elegance of Victorian costumes.
Warm thanks to Amanda and Dave for sharing their creative vision of steampunk, and of course, a big thank also to photographer David Starr. Follow the couple’s continuing creative journey, by taking a peek at their current film project, ‘The 5th Shadow’ – a very promising and surreal psychological film with beautiful and haunting visuals!
”I ordered a top and skirt from Rai for my wedding and it is the first time I have ever had anything made for me so I was quite nervous. I was also quite unsure about if it would be how I imagined. The outfits arrived, with regular updates as they were being made, and Rai spent so much time with me, making sure that it was just perfect. She is simply delightful and I can’t wait to order something again. Not only was the process a beautiful nurturing experience, the clothes are divine. The workmanship is stunning and I feel like I’m wearing an art piece, in fact, I know I will be when I finally get to wear it. I couldn’t recommend her more. She’s a wonder! Thanks so much Rai! It’s going to be amazing to wear your beautiful clothes.” Amanda
Steam Procession Fun – with Bonnie Bradshaw!
8 September 2016
Steampunk circus comes alive at the Big River Steampunk festival in historic downtown Hannibal, Missouri. Every steampunk event brings us one step closer to a deeper appreciation of the creativity behind the growing worldwide subcultural movement. However, the word ‘steampunk’ still often causes confusion today. At least in Australia, the mainstream world has little idea of what exactly is ‘steampunk,’ let alone to think of it as any kind of movement.
When thought of as ‘Victorian science fiction,’ steampunk then becomes a creative interpretation of the Victorians’ imagining of the future world through steam power. The result: the birth of several aesthetic styles including aviator, ship navigation, cyber, and of course, circus. My own personal take is that just as the science fiction works of the Victorian era and the early 20th century – George Griffith and his future-war stories, H.G. Wells and his biological utopias, Wirt Gerrare and his inventors’ meritocracy, just to name a few of my favourite authors – explored the future world and technological innovations made possible through steam power on remote islands, in the sky, outer space and beyond, we too should not be limited in our interpretation of steampunk and the fun will certainly follow!
Doing exactly that, Bonnie debuts the steam procession blouse dressed for circus fun with a mini top hat fascinator donned with a red bow, an elegant black ruffle skirt with black fishnet stockings, and matching white spats decorated with large black buttons. Warm thanks to Bonnie for the gorgeous photo – truly an inspiration for future customers after styling tips!
Customer’s Photo: Bonnie Bradshaw beautifully dressed for steam procession fun with the equally well-dressed circus ringmaster & husband Kevin Hannam – the Big River Steampunk Festival in Hannibal, Missouri.
Customer’s Photo: The very sweet Bonnie Bradshaw dressed in the steam procession blouse by Ventriloquist Court® as well as a black ruffle skirt with white steampunk spats finished with black buttons – both of which can be purchased from independent sellers on Etsy.
Street Fashion – Spreading the Victorian Fashion Trend onto the Streets!
1 April 2016
Whoever said that street fashion and costumes don’t mix? The gorgeous Victoria set off onto the streets in street fashion chic. With her background in the fashion industry and her knack for creative styling, here she combines the Victorian-inspired ‘steamwrecked romance’ blouse and floral headband (new designs) by Ventriloquist Court® with a cute and elegant handbag reminiscent of French country romance, low-waisted denim shorts finished with pretty lace trims, and who could ever fail to mention the ultra chic striped stockings in sheer peach and beige stripes!
One of the greatest joys and rewarding experiences of fashion design is to see the creativity and outfit combinations styled by customers whose confidence is truly trend setting. A heartfelt thank you to Victoria would not suffice!
Sortilèges Photo Shoot
6 March 2016
Earlier last month in February, the library skirt made another feature – this time with a talented French photographer whose fondness for literary whimsy was a great boon for this little label! Set against a picturesque landscape with the talented model, Lunore, whose portfolio of creative modelling had never ceased to amaze me, the library skirt was fitting for the shoot. For more creative photos, be sure to bookmark Errances lointaines‘ and Lunore‘s facebook pages!
Photography: © Errances Lointaines
Model: Lunore https://www.facebook.com/ImpLuna
Jewellery: Grenouilleries https://www.facebook.com/grenouilleries/
Skirt: Ventriloquist Court®
VENTRILOQUIST COURT® ON Greenfinder
20 January 2016
Wonderful news – Ventriloquist Court® has been added to Greenfinder, Australia’s Green Business Directory of environmentally-conscious businesses. The listing is now live. Have a peek! Simply click here or visit: http://www.greenfinder.com.au/Clothing-and-Fashion/VENTRILOQUIST-COURT
I first came across Greenfinder a while back and found the site extremely useful for locating Australian eco businesses. I am always on the lookout for sustainable and ethically-made products from household items to little gifts for my loved ones, and I simply cannot express how thrilled I am that my label now has a spot in the directory along with all the other amazing eco businesses in Australia! Eco products, especially elegant wear, are not always easy to find in regular shopping complexes and shops in Australia, but directories like Greenfinder help make ethical consumption and eco shopping convenient for consumers who are eco-conscious but also want quality and variety. Have a browse through the directory today!
THE NEW YEAR!
1 January 2016
The new year, 2016, is greeted with gorgeous photos from Ventriloquist Court’s customers! To receive feedback and comments from happy customers is always a great delight, but to receive photos too, well that’s simply scrumptious icing on the cake! Customers’ photos are a real treat for both the designer as well as for future customers. It is not uncommon for designers to derive creative stimulus from looking at different ways their designs have been styled with creative makeup and hair and with other pieces – whether that is with accessories and jewellery or other garments. The importance of customers’ photos thus cannot be overstated. They help the designer clarify their future design ideas in regards to purpose (what & how many occasions & events do the designs cater for?), practical function (how can they be worn for comfort & even versatility? how well are they custom-made for quality wear & not simply for a one-off event? can this design also be ‘dressed up’ & ‘dressed down’ to get more out of the garments perhaps?), and style (does the design lend itself for creative styling options and even to creating an eclectic outfit? how well does the design lend itself for accessorising to create a particular look/ looks?) For future customers, the photos offer styling tips for matching the garment with footwear, accessories, and jewellery – the quest for the perfect outfit is on!
Nicole, in steampunk whimsy donned with cogs, gears, & rivets for her New Year’s Eve Party!
”Wow! I ordered two outfits from Ventriloquist Court and was so impressed with Rai and her personal treatment. She sent pictures of every stage of creation of my outfits and each item arrived carefully wrapped with her magical touch. These clothing items are works of art and wearing them plunges us into a magical world of airships and flying machines, deep sea adventures and romantic steam engines. I love love love this amazingly unique and magical world that is Ventriloquist Court…just can’t say enough…” Nicole Thunder Bay Canada
Victorian Webitorial ‘MEMENTO MORI’
Posted 19 November 2015
Ventriloquist Court’s ‘Melody Skirt’ is featured in Whim Online Magazine’s webitorial ‘Memento Mori’ (published on 17 November 2015). The skirt is featured with a beautiful bustier and dress designed by Australian label Decadence Divine. Photoshoot: ‘Memento Mori’ by Nelli Huie. See: http://www.whimmagazine.com/2015/11/memento-mori-nelli-huie/
Webitorial: “MEMENTO MORI”
Published: Whim Online Magazine
Photography & Styling: Nelli Huié
Bustier & Dress Design: Decadence Divine
Skirt Design: Ventriloquist Court®
Models: Chantelle Dabrowski & Georgia Sapwell @ Wink Models
Hair and Makeup: Rebecca Romanin – Makeup Artist
Assistant: Lorna Louise Photography by Paige
FEATURED in Woodmouse Art’s Blog
18 March 2015
Ventriloquist Court is honoured to be featured in Woodmouse Art’s blog by new and upcoming photographer Laura Karg! Read the article, by clicking here or visit: https://woodmouseart.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/ventriloquist-court