COVID-19

Posted by Alyssa Plaza on

I've been rather quiet on social media the last few weeks because suddenly my plans of releasing a spring collection didn't make sense anymore. I wasn't quite sure how to process the developing situation regarding The COVID-19 pandemic, which has unleashed a veritable avalanche of fear and anxiety, overruning everything in its path.
It feels so weird to post clothing and other banalities during this global crisis, and personal tragedy for those who have lost, and will lose, loved ones.
My atelier has been closed for the last 2 weeks, and in this time, I have found myself paralysed, wondering what is the sensible thing to do – out of respect for everyone involved in the chain of production, I am, as of today, resuming work, from home at this time (pictured is my improvised photo studio on a corner of my room), with my domestic machines, and only the fabrics I already had in storage, which means the line up of garments I had prepared will have to be set aside for another time, and the variety of styles on the website will be significantly reduced (a positive side to all this is that production times will be faster)
Aelyse is a small, independently-run atelier that for the time being will continue processing and shipping orders as usual, respecting social distancing, and exploring a more digital approach to the whole operation.
...And from my individual perspective, this critical situation has made me realise the urgency of acceptance, once we let go of fear and the illusion of control we can then make the connection with the universal conscious, which is the basis for functioning complex ecosystems, specially during adversity.
I hope you are in good health and in good spirits.
With love,
Alyssa.
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HOLDING BACK

Posted by Alyssa on

I talked vaguely about depression in my last journal entry, how that mind bug made me feel detached from my surroundings, and led to sartorial confusion, having to navigate through unrest and conflict—most of which, self inflicted by my inability to separate what happens in the space around me from the one inside me.
Hoping to exploit my emotions for art, I seized the grievous aura of my circumstances and let it pull me in completely, in turn I'd do what any tormented artist would, make it into a tangible thing, a collection of garments that would tell a story, or at the very least help restore my creative equilibrium, but couldn't quite get myself to the emotional place I wanted to go with these clothes, I feel in some way that the woman I become when I get dressed with intention is too tough for that, though I didn't realize it until I took a step back and looked at what I had just created with new eyes.
Two months have passed since I started developing this symbolic bandage for my wounded identity. Although for you, who is reading this, doesn't seem like I've done much, due to my decision of ending the seasonal deal, and having my releases be sporadic and seldom, what's behind the curtain of my little fashion line's neglected public image is a large tonal scheme collection, filling up a rack with monochrome looks, not out of the ordinary for me to go dark and heavy if I'm honest, but this time it almost feels excessive, where seams blend in, and details disappear— you see, self expression is unintentional sometimes when you've trained yourself to use it as an advantage, because in this industry, that is exactly what you need to do to survive as an independent designer.
While I am proud of this body of work, I don't think is one I want to share so openly just yet. I've been guilty, in the past, of not putting much thought on the delivery of my work, but as it gets harder to exist under the shadow of the influencer bubble, and aggressive pointless self promotion, I feel like doing the opposite, holding back, questioning my instinct one more time, and self indulging in the fact that I am doing what feels right to me.
Editing and reworking every piece until I feel like the design value is on the same level as practicality is what I'm focusing on, because I need my clothes to work for an everyday, mundane environment, just as well as they could in an editorial story.
Be patient with me, I promise you, my intentions are good.

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A STUDY IN SORROW

Posted by Alyssa on

When I started my clothing line in the spring of 2015 I experienced the most satisfaction I've ever felt about my style, I specially attribute it to the fact that I was designing for the person I wanted to be, rather than who I was at the moment. Getting dressed for the day was a pleasure, I felt some sort of pride doing it on ordinary days where no one but myself would get to see what I wore, it made it less frivolous, and in a way, a form of self-care.
I guess it was silly of me to expect that fantasy of sartorial splendor to last forever. I don't know who said that one quote—or how it goes exactly, but it is something like whatever comes disappears that very moment. It will not go; it is already gone.
Early, on this year, a series of afflicting circumstances started happening in my personal life, and I found myself floundering in the most unexpected of ways, I tried the best I could to hang on to, and indulge on as many things that under regular conditions would have been a delight, like designing and dressing up, it even made sense to see it as an armour to face adversity. Sadly, my mind became consumed by distress, and everything lost meaning, even the most enjoyable activities became a burden, and getting dressed became a daily dejection. My favorite jacket, once considered flattering for its structured form, was now too stiff, the top with the really high neck in which I used to feel imperturbable became obstructive, all my skirts, constricting, dresses, languid. I felt uncomfortable no matter what I wore. Everything was inconvenient, distorted and improper.
Could it be that evolution, whether is physical or emotional, is just that abrupt sometimes, where tragedy acts as a wormhole and going through one has just left me stretched and warped out of shape? If so, what do I do now? I'm not willing to compromise my style to suit my predicament, but I think it's necessary to interrupt my vestiary reverie and shift the narrative from a utopian self to the vogue cripple I've become.
Restoring my equilibrium is not something I can achieve through clothes, but they can help alleviate some of the residual symptoms that are stifling my existence. Firstly, I am ditching seasons—a logistic nightmare for breathless and brittle little me. My approach has to be one of consideration, I am often detached from myself when I design, because as mentioned, I focus on a fantasy self, so this time I'm designing for someone in grief, and my main concern is to create engulfing, concealing, sedating and simplified garments. It might not be what everyone is waiting and hoping for, I know how eagerly most of you await for cold weather collections, but it is what I need, a symbolic surrender to the poetry that exists in sorrow.
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A soundtrack for a forgotten ritual

Posted by Alyssa on

(images from Halloween 2018)

I think this is the first halloween / día de los muertos that I won't spend in a costume.
Unusally, I wasn't invited to any parties this year, and without that reminder I overlooked the holiday entirely. But it's not too late to still enjoy it, I've put together a playlist of eerie songs that I'll be listening to on repeat to set the atmosphere of my uneventful weekend. And, If like me, you'll spend the holiday on your own, doing nothing but the quotidian, listen with me.

A dark and laid back sountrack for a forgotten ritual.

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ORCHID PINK

Posted by Alyssa on

I've always liked the concept of minimalism applied to personal style, buying with intention and limiting the clothes I acquire to only those that can be mixed and matched, and that I will continue to wear for years and years, this is the reason why my wardrobe is exclusively black and white —I know I just put out a predominantly red collection, but my body of work and my personal wardrobe aren't exactly parallel, it is just that sometimes I find myself transfixed by colors in nature that flow into my work, and in this particular occasion, a drip from that flow spilled into my life outside of work, and my wardrobe became less 8-bit grayscale with the addition of this orchid pink leggings, which by the way were inspired by Medinilla Magnifica flowers that hopelessly withered away on my coffee table.
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