Tuesday Talent-Lady Konnyaku

Malia Peoples wearing Lady Konnyaku


Lady Konnyaku Clothing features original Japanese-street fashion and vintage-inspired clothing for cute ladies. All designs are made using a mix of colorfully paired new and vintage fabrics. Handmade from start to finish by Seattle fashion designer Malia Peoples. Get yours!



Who inspires Malia

Eri Utsugi, designer for Japanese label Mercibeaucoup. I have been following her since I began fashion school. Her designs are “out there” and she blends colors, patterns, and textures in a way that I find quite pleasing.


What Malia does

I am the one-woman does all behind Lady Konnyaku. Anyone in the fashion business knows that this is much more complicated than it sounds. It’s a full-time job-worth of fabric selecting, pattern making, pattern grading, sewing, and finishing. In addition, I have created, updated, and maintained my own website, taken and edited pictures, and have done all the graphic design work for my company. I started this company from scratch, without any funding or help… starting off small and truly independent is something I take great pride in.


What Malia Does best

I’m the best at putting together weird fabrics, colors, textures and findings. Without fabric, you can’t have clothing, and I get most of my inspiration from fabrics.


What other profession Malia would like to attempt

I’d like to be a high-level sales executive in the Tampon industry inChina. No joke, it is an untapped market with huge investment potential.


What turns Malia on creatively, spiritually or emotionally

Other creative people. Weird people. Makers of things. Passionate people. My colleagues in the fashion industry who have retained their humor, humility, and humanity- the ones who have not gotten swept away by the “fakeness” of it all by staring down their nose at people and acting catty.


Where to find Malia

Ready-to-wear Lady Konnyaku clothing and custom clothing requests can be fulfilled at www.ladykonnyaku.com!


Where Malia got her Talent/Education

I have really intelligent, supportive parents. They have always encouraged me to try new things, have confidence, and believe in myself. I was a pretty active kid, taking part in music, dance, art, sports. That set the stage. After I graduated from high school, I moved to China. Mind you, I was barely 18, I didn’t speak Mandarin, and it was my first time away from home. That sink-or-swim year of living gave me a new perspective on life and was empowering. After I graduated from the University of Washington, I embarked on another solo adventure to work in New York at a Chinese nonprofit. I eventually returned to Washington, where my work prospects were disappointing and I decided that I could learn a new skill. I needed something that would compliment my knowledge of Chinese: fashion design. I mean, where else in the world do they manufacture more clothing? With a fistful of cash and a giant wad of determination, I tried to woo local art schools and community colleges. Needless to say, they were not interested in teaching someone with a clean slate. See, I had absolutely no prior knowledge of sewing, pattern making, fashion design… I’d never even touched a sewing machine. I think this was fate, though, because I found my way to the New York Fashion Academy in Ballard. Terry Horlamus, the director of the school, accepted me as I was and taught me everything that I know. Within a few years, I had completed the program and slowly began Lady Konnyaku Clothing.


Finally borrowing from Bernard Pivot- If  Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Well, since God speaks all languages, I would expect Him to speak Chinese. He would say, “欢迎欢迎! 我们等着你. 请进来!” (“Welcome! We have been expecting you. Please come in!”)


Image: (1) Portrait by DCTdesigns (2) Others of Malia’s designs from her website

  ***I hope to make this a regular feature on my blog. Tuesday Talent Interviews are designed to introduce you to a myriad of incredible artisans. Enjoy!

Monday Meditation

Love After Love

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here, Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

— Derek Walcott

Image: Pinterest

The Weekend 08/26/11


This weekend I would like to escape to a swing alone on a hillside. Oh but if I only knew of such a place as this one. Everyone’s  lamenting summer’s end as it seems to have flown by so quickly. Fall looming just around the corner.

The news of the earthquake in Virginia and of the East Coast’s brace for Hurricane Irene swept me back 30 or so years. To the only earthquake I experienced while growing up in Pennsylvanian (It knocked over the chess pieces we were using for checkers). And shortly there after the hurricane that trapped me at the house of my violin teacher. Felled by a tree we rode out the storm and awaited fire and rescue to help us home. So I wish you all well as the storm passes over.

This weekend I am having my last Photoshop class. Perhaps I will even complete one of my projects.


Some Reading For the weekend:


Image: Veranda Magazine via CCLoves

DCToolbox-Croquis shortcuts

Today I am sharing some Fashion Illustration tools and shortcuts. There are multiple aids available. Everyone has their particular favorites. Here are a few I use regularly.

 Free Croquis templates:


 Figure Poses for Fashion Illustrators by Sha Tahmasebi- What can I say 250 copyright free images with a CD-ROM. Sha Please do a second book!





 Designer Nexus– Website chalk full of resources; Croquis, flats, backgrounds, swatches, tutorials and brush kits. You’ll get lost for hours!





Fashionary– Fabulous tool. This is a sketchbook tailor made for fashion designers. Fashionary=”Fashion+Dictionary+Diary”. It is a cross between a dictionary (intensive fashion information) and sketchbook (figure flats). Read their blog and Watch the demos- Men’s & Women’s.

 *If I had any complaint it is that the sketchbook covers don’t differentiate Men’s versus Women’s. Since at the time I purchased mine they only had black available I can’t tell at a glance which one is which.


  • Do the Hokey Croquis! The Fashion Sketchpad by Tamar Daniel-I got the original sketchpad which is slightly too large for my taste. The travel size has been sold out for awhile so unfortunately I haven’t been able to try it out in comparison.





  • Adobe Creative Suite (Of Course!) Illustrator √ Photoshop √ Indesign √ . Check out the tutorials on Adobe TV.
  • Autodesk Sketchbook Pro for my iPad- I use this all the time. It has become my favorite tool. Watch one of the numerous tutorials out there.


Basic Tools:

So when it comes to basics everyone has their own favorites. But you will need all or at least some of the following:

  • Tracing paper
  • Watercolors or Watercolor pens
  • Watercolor paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Pens- I like Pigma
  • Pencils- I like .3mm
  • Rulers-This is the only ruler  I insist you can’t live without.
  • Light board
  • Papercutter

My latest colored Fashion Plate, “So you say.”. I created her using a mix of templates from Sha’s Book and sketchbook Pro on my iPad and of course my creativity.