What a joy it is to be back again here in the Black Rock Nevada desert! I have once again ventured to the playa as a proud member of the Black Rock City's DPW and one of the builders of Burning Man 's central sculpture, the Man.
As one of the women of Man KCrew , I thought it apropos to sport a garment that combines both beauty and strength on the playa. To this end, I am especially excited about the debut of my rugged "Carhartt-inspired" work corset!
For the past year, I've desired to create a garment which blends the femininity and elegance of a corset with the durability and ruggedness of a workbelt. Recently, I shared my idea with the talented seamstress and designer Robynne Winchester of Tulgey Wood Designs. She was instantly excited about the concept and agreed to collaborate to make it a reality.
I love the ruggedness of Carhartt work clothing and a quick glance around the work crews at Burning Man proves I'm not the only one. It withstands the harsh working conditions of the desert and meets all my utilitarian needs on the work site. So it delights me to create a corset, a nearly polar opposite piece of attire, which incorporates all the functional things I love about Carhartt work clothing.
To create this hybrid corset, I first chose a fabric consisting of same type of rugged cotton canvas found throughout the Carhartt line. Durable, practical, and breathable, the material allows me to get down and dirty with my hammer and drill without fear of damaging my corset.
Functional & Versatile
Next it was important the corset be functional and versatile. I attached holsters for a hammer, drill, tape measure and pliers, as well as pockets to use for assorted needs while working.
All the tool holsters and pockets are attached to the corset with heavy-duty snaps allowing me to change the configuration according to my needs on the job site.
A modular system – above I have attached a cordless drill holster.
On those days I just need to pound nails, I can replace it with a hammer holster.
Finally, I wanted the corset to be as beautiful as it was functional. For this, I specifically chose quality Occidental Leather tool holsters which compliment the design of the corset. This juxtaposition of reinforced feminine curves and sturdy sensibility was exactly what I wanted in a haute couture work garment. In addition, the cherry leather and hand-dyed laces to match are the perfect compliment to the classic Carhartt carmel brown.
And it's fashionable too! I reconstructed a Carhartt workshirt into an adorable shrug to wear during those those chilly evenings in the desert. And for that event in the evening when I just don't have time to change? A tiny top hat, of course!
I am so happy with my work corset! Robynne's skill with corsetry is wonderful and she was a pleasure to collaborate with. There are still a few more tweaks and additions that I plan on adding, but I'll save announcing these little treats until I am finished making them—soon!
Also, it should be mentioned that the gorgeous photo taken of me at Man Base at Burning Man, is the work of excellent photographer Neil Girling, aka Mr. Nightshade, aka Carnivillain. I highly recommend checking out his continually updated series of photos from Burning Man 2009 on Flickr. Neil took a small series of photos of me in my work corset which I look forward to sharing as soon as I return home from the desert.
Nifer Fahrion is creative mastermind behind NifNaks.
She has always taken great delight in creating things with her hands, and the special joy and interconnectedness one gets from realizing a truly unique vision. She started NifNaks to share that joy — or, as she says, "to create opportunities for other people's delight, because the world is a happier place when people go "Squee!""
She loves experimenting in new mediums, which is how she discovered felting wool in 2006 while attending the Bay Area’s first Maker Faire. She instantaneously fell in love with the soft, sensual wool, and the infinite possibilities it has to offer. She has been enchanted ever since.
Working primarily with felting wool, Nifer creates a menagerie of charming critters, decorative accessories and other assorted curiosities, each one a unique piece of art. Because she is self-taught, Nifer takes an unconventional approach to the traditional medium of felting wool, and enjoy exploring how to take it to the next level. She expresses her creativity through many types of mediums, from culture jamming to building the Burning Man, all which she believes can only further enrich her perspectives on how to do this.
Adventure and new experiences are very important to her, each new experience an opportunity to learn & grow. She loves to explore the minutiae in life and tries to be present and find joy in the simplest things. While roaming around in nature, she will often stick something in her mouth just to see what it tastes and feels like. She licks her plate, regardless of where she is.
Nifer balances being cute, silly, and playful with pretending to be a tough grrrl. She rides her BMW F650 motorcycle daily and enjoys getting her hands greasy whenever she tries to learn how to fix it. Nifer is passionate with Muay Thai kickboxing, and has been training in it for upwards of 5 years.
Nifer lives in San Francisco, where she continually seeks out all the whimsy and inspiration the city has to offer. Life makes her gleeful.