Ever have that feeling where you look down at yourself and realize that you’re way way WAY out of fashion? That no matter how hard you try, your satanic band shirts and old patched up shorts just don’t seem to have that fantastic flair to them? Well, this feature is one for the more poorly dressed drunks, and a first for Drunk in a Graveyard – an interview with Alix, a clothing designer specializing in homemade fashion with a dark edge.
Being that we are very spooky individuals who demand and cry out for originality in our viewing and reading adventures, this also means that we similarly shriek for beautiful and handmade clothing and accessories. Most of my clothes come from either merch tables or thrift shops, and I spend a lot of time drooling over dark avant garde pieces by the likes of Noctex, Ovate, and Rick Owens to name a few, and when I can, I purchase well made, high quality garments by these aforementioned dark designers, and cloak myself in their beauty. For those playing the Canada fuck yeah home game, both Noctex and Ovate are Canadian ladies who make amazing gear, that doesn’t come with a crazy price tag – buy local, support local and DIY or DIE.
On the subject of these two amazing Canadian seamstresses, this is how I came to find the work of RavenChantDesigns. Insantly I was drawn to the clean, simple lines of the clothing, and became more entranced when I began to read about how Alix constructs her work and how she uses reclaimed and recycled materials in many of her endeavors. Alix has an amazing eye for detail, and was kind enough to agree to speak to this drunk.
1. Okay, so let’s start off – tell us your name, who you are, and what you do.
My name is Alix Fernando and I walk this earth to create and to manifest possibilities. I am the founder and designer for Raven Chant Designs and creating wearable pieces of art for others to cherish and appreciate is what I do for a living, along with occasional modeling.
2. What is Raven Chant Designs and when did you start?
Raven Chant Designs started off way back in highschool long before the name came along. I started my path and vision of creating based off of other people’s needs and wants. I was a highschool student with classmates that wanted custom made hemp jewelry. I was able to get decent exposure after a local business owner offered to display my creations while vending at the local flea market. After many months of contemplation, Raven Chant Jewelry originally was the name at the time. “Ask and you shall receive” is the mantra that resonates behind the creative vision as most ideas are based from other people’s feedback, along with ideas of my own. One day a friend asked me to make a hooded scarf and was the very first owner of what is now a best selling item. What was once Raven Chant Jewelry became Raven Chant Designs as the progress of clothing making got into the picture to best fit the current name. The name itself “Raven Chant” comes from the idea that the raven is my spirit animal. The raven is a very spiritual and psychic creature yet. I find myself flying high like a raven in all of my dreams. Raven Chant also happens to be a song from neofolk ambient band Of the Want and the Moon.
3. Please describe your creative process, and what it involves. Be as detailed or spare as you choose.
The creative process is a period of manifestation from start to finish. It all starts in my mind. I break everything down to myself and write most of them down if I have to. I burn some incense and smudge my laptop and cell phone believe it or not, as those devices are the very source of sales and marketing. I do my best to update Raven Chant Designs instagram, facebook, and tumblr of sales going on, or to simply push product when production has slowed down. Since I do not have my own workshop and am borrowing a friends for the time being, communication with use of space is very crucial, meaning production period is restricted to availability to borrowed workspace. This can be very time consuming and draining at most so I tend to take bike or beach breaks in between production periods.
4. Where do you find inspiration?
Embracing darkness from within invokes the inspiration that keeps me going. Darkness allows me to truly see what the naked eye cannot. It allows me to draw ideas from universal and earthly energies. As somebody that practices and studies occultism, I use my practices to charge my energies into everything I make. Mother nature, like being near the ocean, seeing the sun set, watching the full moon, and just simply being in the forest and exposing myself to the elements allows me to draw these creative energies. Listening to heavy and dark music like black/death metal and doom metal/sludge along with dark ambient fuels my inspiration whether it be sketching out ideas or constructing ideas into physical manifestation.
5. In times of doubt, be it or yourself or of your work, what keeps you going?
Whenever I feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed in ways that could hinder the creative process, I always turn to the ones closest and dear to me and mother nature to keep things flowing. I have had days where I was dead set on getting work done, where those days ended up at the beach instead, due to the fact that having clarity is very important before starting the creative process. Under any circumstances, I just cannot and will not create when I am in a state of torment or distress as I would never wish for anyone to pick up on those energies when receiving the very item I invested time and energy into making. I always remind myself that if it weren’t for my buyers and friends alike that support what I do, that I would not be here if it weren’t for them. Always count your blessings. Always keep moving, no matter what, whether it be go on a walk, go to the beach, or dance.
6. Tell us about some things you absolutely adore right now. Can be anything, booze, food, music, events, designers, anything.
Lately I have been addicted to riding my bike, going to the beach, and dancing. I have taken it easy with production time, due to the fact that I don’t currently have my own workshop and only work on things when orders show up. I spend a lot of my free time under the sun and in the ocean, or dancing the night away to music I don’t normally listen to.
As far as designers go, my favorite independent designer would be Audrey Cantwell of Ovate. Looking at this person’s pieces has inspired me to start sewing again and to make ideas of my own. It feels good to find a clothing label I can completely mesh with my identity and the many views we have in common. I am very big on supporting hand-made and also love wearing and owning clothing from lovely clothing labels such as Noctex, Nuit Clothing, Morphknitwear, and many more I can’t think of at the moment. Being introduced to this spectrum online art community is also what brings me where I am now.
7. Who are some people that you find yourself looking up to?
Lately I have been looking up to the people closest to me. Many of my friends and loved ones are doing something creative and inspiring as musicians, artists, designers, promoters, tattoo artists, piercers, cooks and much more. Nobody famous at the moment. I look up to the people that have everything I want to be as a person and as a designer. I look up to people that dedicate their time to the very things they are deeply passionate about which is why you will always see me at a local show or a concert because music is another great fuel to charge the creative process. I am always meeting people that will help me along the way and those are the people I look up to the most. I also look up to the very people that brought me into this world, which would be my parents. I get the sewing from my mother, who taught me at a very young age, and I get jewelry making from both of my parents. Even though they aren’t perfect parents, these people have inspired me to do what I want and to not let other people bring me down.
8. Your latest collection uses recycled and cast of fabric to create beauty out of what would otherwise be waste, how important is using recycled materials to you? What about sustainability? How do these ideas fit into what Raven Chant Designs is about?
Ever since I was a child, I have always been raised to never waste anything and to make use of everything at hand. This very collection conveys true beauty in death and rebirth. No matter if something is dead or alive, it will always serve some kind of purpose, fitting into what this vision is all about besides receiving what one would ask for. It is very crucial to use recycled materials at this point from months of accumulated scraps and remnants, due to the fact that I am making rare items I do not plan on reproducing the same, which make this collection very special and exclusive. If I have absolutely no use for some scraps, I always find friends that are willing to take extra materials off my hands. Sustainability is very important and do my best to source all items locally and within state to reduce carbon release, which fits into the vision for Raven Chant Designs. Ask and you shall receive. Always seek and ask around for the most sustainable way to source materials. Always look around you and closest to you.
9. What kind of future do you see for Raven Chant Designs? What can we hope to expect from you?
I envision Raven Chant Designs to be have great exposure to many amazing online art communities. I want the world to know what Raven Chant Designs is all about and what it has to offer.
Expect to see collaboration work with amazing photographers and designers alike in the making. Expect to see my work flourish and progress, ascending with grace. Expect to see more clothing items with each passing season. Expect continued jewelry production.
10. And finally… Since we are a site focussing on horror, what are your favourite horror movies?
My favorite horror movie, which is more of occult horror to be specific would be Eko Eko Azarak Wizard of darkness trilogy based in Japan. Hands down a really great trilogy to see as I am obsessed with occult horror. I also enjoyed and have watched several times City of the Living Dead. A lot of guts and regurgitation involved in the beginning! I couldn’t sleep properly for weeks first time seeing that movie!
Thanks very much to Alix for being so kind as to speak to us and since it’s gonna be back to school time for a lot of our readers, which means the dreaded back to school shopping – why not head on over to her etsy shop – RavenChantDesigns and adorn yourself with something new and spooky.
So until next time you poorly dressed members of this garbage heap – remember to buy local, fuck global, and always always ALWAYS STAY SPOOKY.