Friday, August 22, 2014

Current Obsession- Marlene Dietrich & Jean Louis

Right now I'm having a Marlene moment. Specifically during her "let' tour the world singing my signature tunes" period.

Marlene Dietrich, Las Vegas by John Engstead

Marlene Dietrich graced stages from Sweden to Las Vegas ensconced top to tails in beads, rhinestones and not much else!  All this finery was provided by the genius talents of Hollywood Legend Maker, Jean Louis.

jean louis costume designs | Her frosty allure drove American audiences wild.

Jean Louis will forever be remembered for designing the infamous nude gown for Marilyn Monroe when she sang Happy Birthday at 'a friend's' birthday party.

The nude embellished gown became a signature Marlene Dietrich. Bob Mackie is also known for his nude embellished looks and gladly points to his former boss as his source of inspiration. 

jean louis   costume designs | Marlene performing her one woman show. Marlene Dietrich in Las Vegas - 1955
Jean Louis, Marlene Dietrich in Las Vegas, Sahara Hotel, 1953 Marlene Dietrich

Just look at those photos, I mean come on! That is the epitome of 'Legend' with a capital "L."
One day I would like to make one of these bad boys. All I need a girl and a reason...

Who should that girl be?

Philip Estrada

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WERK... It Out!

One of my favorite terms is "WERK."  I say it all the time!  Under my breath, loud and guttural, sometimes even just in my head... over and over and over. So it was natural for me to want to sequin this my fave term onto a t-shirt, in my signature style.  Not one to rest on my laurels I decided to step my sequin game up a notch. Therefore I opted for an ombre effect.

To achieve my desired effect, I used two colors of holographic sequins.

The finished motif .
I started working horizontally at the top with solid color rows and slowly integrating the opposite color. When the sequins got to the center rows each color was alternated back and forth each color. I reversed the effect on the way to the bottom row returning to a single color.  
How about that Varsity style font?  Go team!

The finished product!  When trimming away the organza I left it inside the letters to avoid any accidental cuts!. The end result was very nice since it added an additional level of color.
Trust me... everyone I meet is obsessed with this beauty!

Doesn't everything looks better when run through the "Sparkle" app?

Sometimes the top sequins appear pink and sometimes they appear orange.  I love the AB effect of them!
Little know fact: 
Holographic effects on sequins and rhinestones are referred to as "AB."  This stands for "Aurora Borealis" to reference the rainbow effect.
  I mean come on, isn't that just the epitome of glamour?!

Any suggestions for the next color combination?
-Philip Estrada

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Makin It Happen With The Cap'n

This update has been a long time coming. For Halloween 2013 I transformed myself into an over the top Vegas style version of Cap'n Crunch. 

Concept illustration 

With an outfit like this I'll surely be promoted to Admiral in no time!

My feather festooned hat. 

Detail of the sash across the front of the hat.

Detail of the epaulette.
The beaded fringe on these were hand strung by me, because I never have enough to do.

Detailed photo showing the soutache motifs.
There was four pairs of this motif down the front of the jacket, one on each sleeve, each tail and the back of the neck. The fabric is an epic blue sequinned material that I found in the garment district.  I love it because it looks like crashing ocean waves, perfect for an old sea dog like The Cap'n.

Detailed photo of the sleeves.
I made doubly sure to include a total of four stripes to avoid the Cap'n/Commander controversy that the Quaker Oats company recently faced. 

-Philip Estrada

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Hello everyone!
I am proud to announce some upcoming changes to the blog.

I am beginning the process of transitioning the blog and website from "Hire Me Bob Mackie" to "Philip Estrada - Sparkle Zealot." This transition will be a work in progress. 

Keep in mind my enthusiasm for Bob Mackie's prolific career and current  projects hasn't waned in the least.  It will continue to be a dream of mine to work alongside him one day. His team in both New York and Los Angeles are some of the sweetest people I have had the pleasure of meeting. However, the stars haven't aligned allowing for my skills to be put to use quite yet.

I have decided that now is the time to focus my energies into promoting my talents as a designer. The blog will become a running record of my design process and a progress report on all my creative endeavors. The blog will continue to include sequins and rhinestones by the pound, I promise you that. 
I am humbled and touched by all the support and encouragement I have received from all my readersMy hope is that you will continue to share in my passion for all things glamorous and sparkly. 

-Philip Estrada
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