Aria Couture is creating costume studies
2

patrons

$18
per month
Hi, everyone!  I'm Aria Clements, owner and creator of Aria Couture.  About a year ago, I posted my first costume study.  Though I hadn't seen that particular gown in person, I crawled through the internet searching for every angle of that gown that I could find, and even managed to get my hands on photos that hadn't been released to the public.  But photos alone don't make a study.  So I spent even more time hunting for any tidbits on construction from those involved in the making.  How was it made?  Why were the choices made that were made?  All of this took so much time that I originally decided that it would be a one-time thing.  But then my blog visitors exploded from a few hundred a day to tens of thousands literally overnight.  So I did a few more, which were just as popular.  Then I made the leap to traveling to get my own photos, a decision that not only takes even more time, but also comes with substantial cost.  Since I do have to do the work that pays the bills first, the time for these studies ends up having to wait.

Let me use the Sarah ballgown study from Labyrinth as an example.  The museum that had this gown on display is not local.  If I were to leave my house right now, and traffic was clear, I could be there, parked, and inside in about four hours.  So round trip is about eight hours, though more when traffic is bad, as it often is in Seattle.  That's a lot of driving in a day for me, so these trips end up being overnight trips.  Each trip is roughly 18 hours of time away from home, during which I incur the costs of gas, food, parking (expensive enough in Seattle to list it), accommodation for the night, and additional admission to the special exhibit.  I had a total of four trips for he Sarah and Jareth ensemble photos.  One-time (or at least, once-yearly) expenses include the museum membership and the camera I invested in specifically to get shots close enough to show bead facets.  Not counting museum membership or camera, each trip costs between $200 and $250, and between those four trips, about 72 hours of time, which we can fairly divide down to about 36 per costume

This isn't counting the work of sorting through photos, analyzing, and starting to write.  By the time the Sarah posts were both up, I'd invested about $400-$500 (I'm dividing the time and expenses in half since this particular one covered two costumes), and a total of about 80 hours.  Jareth's will easily surpass that 80 hours, and come with the added expense of this ensemble being one whose construction will best be explained by actually recreating it and photographing the methods.  It includes craft items that are very, very rarely considered to be sewing accoutrements.  Since these finished studies are provided to the public entirely free of charge, without even google ads or anything (and Henson Associates/Lucasfilm even own the monetization rights to my YouTube videos), the costs have been entirely on me, which means that a further delay for the study posts is due to when I have the funds free to buy supplies and do any additional trips necessary.  When family expenses come up, or traveling for family medical needs (as is happening this summer), then personal funds get diverted to that and further push back these studies.

My goal with this Patreon is to help offset some of the costs I incur in doing these free-to-the-world studies, such as travel or the fabrics and supplies needed to test methods as necessary, and to enable me to keep them on the front burner instead of always having to bump them back since I've had to prioritize the bills-paying commissions.  Some stretch goals I have include being able to consult with makeup artists for ensembles where makeup is a big part of the look, or possibly hair stylists or wig makers.  And of course, a variety of perks for Patreon supporters.  All funds given through Patreon would be earmarked solely for these studies.

My current study is Jareth's ball ensemble, which will be at least three posts.  In the lineup are the Princess Bride wedding gown, a couple well-known historical ensembles for which only a few photos exist online, and none very detailed (I made a trip to London literally just to go see and photograph them, and left London only about 15 hours after arrival), a mini-study on Dorothy's gingham dress from Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch's hat, and possibly some of the costumes from Marvel various films.  I need to plan out another overnight trip to find out what I'll have access to, and that, again, means money and a lot of time.  Very likely, this will be at least two trips.  I also have some historical ensembles in my goal list, and those mean trips back to London, and to Spain.  No, I don't expect Patreon supporters to fully fund those trips, even though the goals of them would be to do studies that will be shared, for free, with the world.

Though recreating costumes and ensembles, as well as custom design, are my business, I also firmly believe that the detail and skill that goes into these things shouldn't be left  mystery.  Only by bringing to light those things will the world be able to fully appreciate what it takes to create them.
Tiers
Ruby
$5 or more per month 1 patron
Supporters at this tier will get shout-outs on my blog, unless the supporter wishes to remain anonymous.  All tiers will include random surprise extras on occasion, ranging from extra photographs to exclusive access to reproduction laces to first-come-first-claim freebies to anything that strikes my fancy.
Sapphire
$15 or more per month 1 patron
Supporters at this tier will get a *minimum* of five photos a week from my next-coming post, including some that will not be included in the final studies, plus the previous tier.  Right now, this next-coming post is Jareth's Labyrinth ball ensemble.  
Pearl
$40 or more per month 0 patrons
Supporters at this tier will receive rough drafts of blog posts for both their input as well as for early receipt of information, plus the previous tiers.
Bronze
$75 or more per month 0 patrons
Supporters at this tier will receive two half-hour Skype video conversations with me per month for direct sewing help, sewing tutoring, etc., plus the previous tiers.
Silver
$150 or more per month 0 patrons
Supporters at this tier will receive all raw photos I have taken (with copyright information added) of any study of their choice, whether previous or upcoming, plus the previous tiers, limited to one study per month.  Photos can number from dozens to hundreds, and so delivery can take from a few day to a couple weeks due to the time to add copyright information.  Photos will not be cropped, enhanced, etc.  These will be the raw photos for you to pull detail as you see fit or need.  Delivery will be via a Dropbox-type service.  Due to file sizes, high speed internet is recommended, and may be necessary, especially for studies with hundreds of photos that include some as big as 40MB each.  Files can be delivered via Micro SD card in the next tier.
Gold
$250 or more per month 0 patrons
This tier is the same as the Silver tier, except that photo files will be delivered via Micro SD card.  This is recommended for those with slower internet connections or for studies comprising hundreds of photos.  It would be a lot easier and a  huge time-savings to be able to see thumbnails of photos to decide what to open rather than having to download every single photo just to find those that are of a specific element you're studying.
Platinum
$2,000 or more per month 0 of 3 patrons
Supporters at this tier get to choose any ensemble in the world, that I can safely access, to be the subject of an upcoming study, plus the previous tiers.  Ensembles in Australia will requires being a Platinum patreon for three months (the cost of flights from the United States to Australia is prohibitive otherwise).  A micro SD card with all the raw photos will be shipped to you.  For an additional month, you will receive a micro SD card that has exclusive photos that even I will not have a copy of.  Exclusive just for you.  


Countries excluded will have to be countries Americans aren't allowed to travel to, aren't safely able to travel to, or countries for which I can't get a visa.  At this time, I don't think there are any countries I can't get a visa for, but the freedom of travel is constantly in flux, and so this needs to be disclosed.  

Hi, everyone!  I'm Aria Clements, owner and creator of Aria Couture.  About a year ago, I posted my first costume study.  Though I hadn't seen that particular gown in person, I crawled through the internet searching for every angle of that gown that I could find, and even managed to get my hands on photos that hadn't been released to the public.  But photos alone don't make a study.  So I spent even more time hunting for any tidbits on construction from those involved in the making.  How was it made?  Why were the choices made that were made?  All of this took so much time that I originally decided that it would be a one-time thing.  But then my blog visitors exploded from a few hundred a day to tens of thousands literally overnight.  So I did a few more, which were just as popular.  Then I made the leap to traveling to get my own photos, a decision that not only takes even more time, but also comes with substantial cost.  Since I do have to do the work that pays the bills first, the time for these studies ends up having to wait.

Let me use the Sarah ballgown study from Labyrinth as an example.  The museum that had this gown on display is not local.  If I were to leave my house right now, and traffic was clear, I could be there, parked, and inside in about four hours.  So round trip is about eight hours, though more when traffic is bad, as it often is in Seattle.  That's a lot of driving in a day for me, so these trips end up being overnight trips.  Each trip is roughly 18 hours of time away from home, during which I incur the costs of gas, food, parking (expensive enough in Seattle to list it), accommodation for the night, and additional admission to the special exhibit.  I had a total of four trips for he Sarah and Jareth ensemble photos.  One-time (or at least, once-yearly) expenses include the museum membership and the camera I invested in specifically to get shots close enough to show bead facets.  Not counting museum membership or camera, each trip costs between $200 and $250, and between those four trips, about 72 hours of time, which we can fairly divide down to about 36 per costume

This isn't counting the work of sorting through photos, analyzing, and starting to write.  By the time the Sarah posts were both up, I'd invested about $400-$500 (I'm dividing the time and expenses in half since this particular one covered two costumes), and a total of about 80 hours.  Jareth's will easily surpass that 80 hours, and come with the added expense of this ensemble being one whose construction will best be explained by actually recreating it and photographing the methods.  It includes craft items that are very, very rarely considered to be sewing accoutrements.  Since these finished studies are provided to the public entirely free of charge, without even google ads or anything (and Henson Associates/Lucasfilm even own the monetization rights to my YouTube videos), the costs have been entirely on me, which means that a further delay for the study posts is due to when I have the funds free to buy supplies and do any additional trips necessary.  When family expenses come up, or traveling for family medical needs (as is happening this summer), then personal funds get diverted to that and further push back these studies.

My goal with this Patreon is to help offset some of the costs I incur in doing these free-to-the-world studies, such as travel or the fabrics and supplies needed to test methods as necessary, and to enable me to keep them on the front burner instead of always having to bump them back since I've had to prioritize the bills-paying commissions.  Some stretch goals I have include being able to consult with makeup artists for ensembles where makeup is a big part of the look, or possibly hair stylists or wig makers.  And of course, a variety of perks for Patreon supporters.  All funds given through Patreon would be earmarked solely for these studies.

My current study is Jareth's ball ensemble, which will be at least three posts.  In the lineup are the Princess Bride wedding gown, a couple well-known historical ensembles for which only a few photos exist online, and none very detailed (I made a trip to London literally just to go see and photograph them, and left London only about 15 hours after arrival), a mini-study on Dorothy's gingham dress from Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch's hat, and possibly some of the costumes from Marvel various films.  I need to plan out another overnight trip to find out what I'll have access to, and that, again, means money and a lot of time.  Very likely, this will be at least two trips.  I also have some historical ensembles in my goal list, and those mean trips back to London, and to Spain.  No, I don't expect Patreon supporters to fully fund those trips, even though the goals of them would be to do studies that will be shared, for free, with the world.

Though recreating costumes and ensembles, as well as custom design, are my business, I also firmly believe that the detail and skill that goes into these things shouldn't be left  mystery.  Only by bringing to light those things will the world be able to fully appreciate what it takes to create them.

Recent posts by Aria Couture

Tiers
Ruby
$5 or more per month 1 patron
Supporters at this tier will get shout-outs on my blog, unless the supporter wishes to remain anonymous.  All tiers will include random surprise extras on occasion, ranging from extra photographs to exclusive access to reproduction laces to first-come-first-claim freebies to anything that strikes my fancy.
Sapphire
$15 or more per month 1 patron
Supporters at this tier will get a *minimum* of five photos a week from my next-coming post, including some that will not be included in the final studies, plus the previous tier.  Right now, this next-coming post is Jareth's Labyrinth ball ensemble.  
Pearl
$40 or more per month 0 patrons
Supporters at this tier will receive rough drafts of blog posts for both their input as well as for early receipt of information, plus the previous tiers.
Bronze
$75 or more per month 0 patrons
Supporters at this tier will receive two half-hour Skype video conversations with me per month for direct sewing help, sewing tutoring, etc., plus the previous tiers.
Silver
$150 or more per month 0 patrons
Supporters at this tier will receive all raw photos I have taken (with copyright information added) of any study of their choice, whether previous or upcoming, plus the previous tiers, limited to one study per month.  Photos can number from dozens to hundreds, and so delivery can take from a few day to a couple weeks due to the time to add copyright information.  Photos will not be cropped, enhanced, etc.  These will be the raw photos for you to pull detail as you see fit or need.  Delivery will be via a Dropbox-type service.  Due to file sizes, high speed internet is recommended, and may be necessary, especially for studies with hundreds of photos that include some as big as 40MB each.  Files can be delivered via Micro SD card in the next tier.
Gold
$250 or more per month 0 patrons
This tier is the same as the Silver tier, except that photo files will be delivered via Micro SD card.  This is recommended for those with slower internet connections or for studies comprising hundreds of photos.  It would be a lot easier and a  huge time-savings to be able to see thumbnails of photos to decide what to open rather than having to download every single photo just to find those that are of a specific element you're studying.
Platinum
$2,000 or more per month 0 of 3 patrons
Supporters at this tier get to choose any ensemble in the world, that I can safely access, to be the subject of an upcoming study, plus the previous tiers.  Ensembles in Australia will requires being a Platinum patreon for three months (the cost of flights from the United States to Australia is prohibitive otherwise).  A micro SD card with all the raw photos will be shipped to you.  For an additional month, you will receive a micro SD card that has exclusive photos that even I will not have a copy of.  Exclusive just for you.  


Countries excluded will have to be countries Americans aren't allowed to travel to, aren't safely able to travel to, or countries for which I can't get a visa.  At this time, I don't think there are any countries I can't get a visa for, but the freedom of travel is constantly in flux, and so this needs to be disclosed.