With fantastical and stylish designs that combine a world of styles, Opal Moon Designs unique range of designs will certainly catch your eye. Their signature Tribal Sci-Fi style has made them an alternative favourite, with pieces that you can adorn at any time, from lavish evening wear to unique alternative streetwear designs.
But it’s not just stylish alternative fashion that the designer behind Opal Moon Designs, Kerrie Kordowski, does so well, she’s also a renowed professional costume designer, creating stunning designs for the screen. We caught up with Kerrie to find out more about her amazing designs, and her journey with her work on screen.
You have a stunning range of designs, what first sparked your interest in fashion and costume design, & what drew you towards creating Opal Moon Designs?
Thank you for your compliments! I was originally inspired by costume design at a very young age. Star Wars was what I was raised with, and it created a world within myself, that I wanted to live in everyday. I never wanted to copy it exactly, like most fans do like to do, instead I wanted to elaborate upon it, and create my own ideas within that realm.
I like to live in the world today still, but with a different look, always cutting edge and with a different perspective. I never wanted to look exactly like anyone else in my entire lifetime! I like to be different, to be independent, to be an entrepreneur in everything I do. I think this is the idealism that brought me to costume design vs. fashion design. I never wanted to be a fashion designer, let me make that very clear. They are two totally different ways of looking at life, really. Costume design is storytelling. You are weaving a tapestry of thoughts, stories, and ideas, just by a visual of, no words, through clothing. I love this! It is such a pure way to express yourself, in my opinion. I feel all of this brought me to creating Opal Moon Designs after many other career paths prior, I’ve finally found my home after many years of trying to do other things.
I always thought my art/passion would be forever a hobby, and my career would be my financial stability. After many trials and tribulations, I gave up on that (I am also a Registered Nurse, and after 13 years in my nursing career), I’ve found they can be the same thing if you just believe it, and want it more than anything else.
There’s a beautiful, otherworldly feel to your designs, what inspires you when designing new pieces?
I find I am always taking bits of inspiration from all mediums of art: paintings, film, and music for the most part. They are all a part of my daily life. From the past I tend to gravitate towards as ancient mythology, historic costume/history (especially from the Middle Ages), and all its mystery within. Then, fusing it with the future such as science fiction & fantasy literature, film, and art. Artists such as Erte, Alfonse Mucha, Remedios Varo, and Frank Frazetta are some just to name a few. Art films, especially, are most inspiring to me. The colors, visuals, and storytelling through both production and costume design is what inspires me most. Film-makers like Stanley Kubrick, Guillermo del Toro, and Wes Anderson are key leaders in unique and totally cohesive storytelling in my opinion.
You’ve been creating your unique Tribal Sci-Fi wares for quite some time now with a huge fan base for your designs, what’s been the secret to your success, & have you noticed a growth in interest as we’ve turned to the web to snap up our latest alternative fashion finds?
Yes, I started Opal Moon Designs in 1999, in San Francisco. Back then there was not the intense use of Internet & social media as it is today. Things were VERY different, to say the least. I am proud to say I have grown with technology, and it’s changes within the past 15 years I have been in business.
Actually saying it now I can’t believe all that has changed in that time frame. I am proud of my work and dedication to my core values. I would have to say you must be devoted to your work, everyday, without much wiggle-room for anything else. You must live it, in everything you do. With Internet access or not. I am grateful for my family, friends, and customers support after all these years. And now I Am Attitude has found me and expanded my shop presence online, I am ever more grateful 🙂
It’s not enough that we get to see your designs on the marketplace, you also create some astounding costume design work as well, how does this side of your work differ to creating your fashion designs?
Well, costume design is a whole different landscape to wrap your head around. Working on the production side of film making, or print work for that matter, involves a team of people collaborating with you. You have to be able to work with a team, take critiques on your work (good or BAD), change your ideas on a whim, and work within all ranges of budget.
Sometimes working on a remote location makes things even harder, (which I’ve had to do many times so far) and your work and visions can suffer easily if you don’t have a firm grasp on everything. There is also a lot more stress on production based jobs. Most people think costume is “fun” and exciting, and while it is, it is also very demanding and stressful. There are actors sizes, and their personalities to mainly account for, along with directors desires (that are not your own, and you must say “yes” to them!). You must perform in a way that benefits the whole team, and not just you. You truly must be a leader!
You can see a list of films I’ve designed via IMDB: Kerrie Kordowski Costume Designer IMDB
Lastly, I am proud to be a union member of The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 here in Los Angeles. It takes years of experience to be accepted and eligible to work within the professional industry here in LA. I am happy to be able to work within my world and the film biz now, since it is the reason why I moved to LA. I never saw myself living in Los Angeles in a million years! Funny where life takes you sometimes.
There’s some beautiful detailing on your designs, how long can it take you to create each piece?
Well, that is the most common yet most difficult question to answer, to be honest. Each piece is a totally different ball game! It is really hard to say how long for each piece, since I do ALL of the steps of production of, by myself. I 1/ design, 2/ pattern making, 3/ fabric sourcing, 4/ cutting and then 5/ sew each piece. Usually just the sample takes weeks (depending on complexity of course), since there are numerous tries for each to get it “right”. From that point on, once its approved by me, I can go about grading/marking each pattern (which is sizing).. I do have help with this, through a digital grading contractor. This is something that should be precise and not by hand to get the best fit in my opinion. I feel I do achieve such quality within my clothing because of this belief.
In my opinion, it is even more important that the garment fits right, alongside its unique and original design. If you don’t have a good fit, it defeats the purpose of making clothing. Wearing an ill-fitting, uncomfortable garment is never desired, nor comfortable to wear by any means! After that is all approved by me, I decide depending on the quantity that I am making if I will cut & sew each piece for production.
Usually, my “Limited Edition” pieces are limited in quantity and are more delicate to produce, so I still cut and sew each piece. Other collections: that are more straight forward and offered in multiple sizes: this is more of a production base and I have help, using my cutting & sewing contractors. They are all based in Downtown Los Angeles garment district. I am proud that all my garments are Made in the USA, is what’s most important to me in today’s times/economy, no matter what the workload is.
You’ve amassed quite a collection of designs over the years, do you have any particular favourites from your past & present collections? Are there any pieces that you’ve been tempted to keep for yourself?
Another great question! Yes, of course I have favorites.. I have A LOT, actually! It’s hard to say which are my favorite pieces and/or collections. But my original “Goddess Armor Collection” from 2010 is one of my all-time faves. It is so wonderful to be able to offer 3 staple pieces that create a total look! That way, you create the versatility of it with how you wear it: wear one or all 3 pieces. You can still buy and stay within your budget, whether it’s high or low.
Other absolute favorites are: my “Cleopatra Collection” from 2013 and my “Organa Collection” from 2014. They are just dreamy and inspired by film making.
What can we expect to see in the future amongst your designs here at I Am Attitude?
Perfect timing! I am working on 2 new collections: 1/ a Menswear Collection, along with 2/ a more contemporary, Lifestyle Wear Collection (less costume-based). It is all depending on finances when they will be available, since I still independently finance my business. Fingers crossed they are both available sooner than later. With your promotions and my loyal fan base, I hope to get the funding up sooner than later. If you know of any investors at all, please send them my way. Maybe it will be a match made in heaven! 😉
You can find Opal Moon Designs collection of Tribal Sci-Fi wares, from lush cloaks to sleek tops and hooded vests, here at the marketplace.