Salutations! Welcome to the virtual hub for Astral Apparel.
My name is Nancy and I am the founder, designer, curator and merchant of Astral Apparel.
I specialise in weaving scalemaille, basic goldsmithing, setting gemstones and crystals, and fashioning garments (usually hand sewn) that evoke nostalgia or otherworldliness. I like to incorporate vintage or antique findings, making some of my pieces small runs or even one offs. I have been commissioned by various international performers as well as the National Theatre in London, England.
My creations are an inspired amalgamation of my flirtations in circus and dance, my long term academic affair with astronomy, the maritime history and internationalism of my birth borough and childhood fantasy RPGs.
Astral Apparel began when I studied Fashion Portfolio Preparation at Kensington & Chelsea College shortly after leaving school. My first collection was inspired by folklore and vintage circus. In later years I would develop costumes for my own musical performances [for Nova Halo] and dance. I then discovered how to weave scalemaille to lower the costs of owning any, and from there I developed a passion for learning about metals which led into jewelling. As well as my own handmade creations, Astral Apparel has more recently become a stockist for carefully selected gems I find in all kinds of secret treasure troves.
I firmly believe that dress can be transcendent. I hope that when someone wears Astral Apparel, they feel elevated from the mundane. Though the main justification of dressing is functional, I believe that adornment holds an underrated, sometimes undiscovered power, too often reductively be passed off as frivolous or superficial. Adornment is alchemy, a way to play, inspire, express gratitude or tell a story. A medium for lucid living, a prompt to enjoy the present moment, sensuality. Adornment does not underestimate the power of inviting beauty into our surroundings, to cultivate joy, which we all need a bit more of. And while joy is not exclusive to material goods, it is not excluded from it either.
For the magpies, perpetual dress up enthusiasts or those in search of a style re-awakening- I welcome you to peruse Astral Apparel's offerings and thank you very much for visiting.