“I think over the past few years, I've just decided that coverage is possibly sexier than revealing skin because I feel like that's been taken as far as it can go in fashion,” says Zoetica Ebb.”Now, it's about revealing the shape, rather than the contents, if you will.”
Ebb, the L.A.-based multi-displinary artist who co-founded the gorgeous alternative culture magazine Coilhouse and operates the popular personal style blog Biorequiem, recently translated her world wide web-famous fashion sense into a collaboration with Canadian design team Plastik Wrap called GHST RDR. The outfit is based on the idea of a Victorian riding jacket, certainly modest, but also strikingly sexy.
“I always really loved the idea of a structured sort of Victorian jacket,” says Ebb. “There's something classic and timeless about it. Lots of designers had their take on the Victorian jacket and I wanted to do something that still had that look and those lines, but was also very wearable. It wasn't constricting, but still had the look, that strict, tailored, structured look. “
Ebb had sketched out the designs some time ago, but it wasn't until last fall that the concept began to take shape.
“Initially, it started out as an idea I wanted to have made overseas,” she says. “I wanted to have some samples made and go that route. Ultimately, I wasn't sure how to go about it and didn't have the funds. Also, I didn't trust the quality.”
Enter Plastik Wrap. Ebb had first met the duo of Adriana Fulop and Ryan Webber about seven years ago through LiveJournal.
“I ended up in Toronto with a friend of mine and we ended up trading some art for some clothing and everyone was happy,” says Ebb.
A design company whose creations have turned up on the members of music projects like Android Lust and The Birthday Massacre and were featured in the “Gothic: Dark Glamour” show at New York's FIT Museum, Plastik Wrap has an aesthetic similar to Ebb's, forward-minded and artful. They had already collaborated on a line of t-shirts when Ebb approached them about the new project.
“I always loved Zoetica's art and her creations, so it was a perfect match for us,” says Fulop.
The challenge for the team was taking a style that's rooted in Victorian fashion and making it comfortable for 21st century women.
“I think the biggest part was choosing the right fabric,” says Ebb. “I knew that I wanted to have stretchy materials involved. At the same time, I didn't want it to look too much like sportswear.”
“It's a combination of cuts as well,” states Fulop, noting that, during the process of creating the pieces, the jacket and skirt combination became “more architectural.”
“That also helps a period piece feel more modern,” adds Webber.
Ebb points out that the GHST RDR pieces also have features like adjustable straps and incorporate zippers instead of “lacing or buttons.”
“All these things give it an updated feel,” she says.
Ebb adds that another influence on the GHST RDR pieces was the anime Ergo Proxy, saying that “there's some really beautiful fashion design as well as really beautiful robot design” in the series.
In particular, she was inspired by the color palette used in Ergo Proxy.
“The main character always has excellent dark outfits and I took a little bit of inspiration from her,” she says, continuing, “Her outfits are either black on black or gray on black. There's very little color variation there.”
Similarly, the GHST RDR ensemble comes in either all black or black and gray.
The jacket and skirt are both designed to flatter different figures.
“The waist is cinched in, but the hips are left free, so it's appealing for different body types,” says Ebb of the jacket.
Adds Fulop, “And it curves nicely around the bust as well, so you still see those nice, womanly features.”
Like other Plastik Wrap designs, the GHST RDR pieces come in sizes ranging from XS to XXL. Fulop says that they can accommodate custom measurements for sizes outside of that range. The clothing is only available through Plastik Wrap's online shop, PlastikARMY, and all pieces are made-to-order.
Fulop explains that they opted not to go into production for GHST RDR as it is an “exclusive line.” The items are available for custom orders.
These certainly aren't pieces you will see on every other girl at your next big party.
“The method of sales too, online, tends to lend itself to be unique for every person buying it because it gets distributed so widely, but in small quantities,” says Webber. “You'll probably have people ordering one or two pieces from Brazil or from Florida. You ship them all around the world that way.”
For creative types like Ebb and the Plastik Wrap team, this is a plus. Both are well known throughout various Internet communities for their work and, subsequently, their popularity extends far beyond their respective hometowns. Plastik Wrap items have been sold in stores in Norway and Japan and, while their biggest followings might be in Canada and the United States, Webber says that “the U.K. and Germany are definitely strong” as well. Ebb says that she's “amazed” every time she sends out prints and merchandise.
“I'm sending things to Norway. I'm sending things to the Czech republic. I'm sending things to New Zealand and I'm sending things to Texas,” she says. “That's the beauty of the Internet. I don't know if I'll ever stop being amazed. “