Back in the early 90s, when I started buying band merch, it was a time you would not find girly shirts with the banner of your favourites…anyway, as the little bad-assed Riot Grrrl I was back then, it was ok to run around in an army blouse with the full back showing the crossed out cross of Canadian Punk Rock veterans BAD RELIGION. Combined with whatever black shirt I would find in my closet, some cut-off army pants and OF COURSE DocMartens Boots – oh heck, it was cool when I was 12, attending my first cool live show, hating High School and giving my mother sleepless nights as I could just not be her pretty little princess.
Well the days have changed and THANK SATAN, more and more bands have a nice selection for us Rock Ladies to add to our wardrobe. But if you don’t want to look like every second of them, you will have to go even further: Running scissors and needle trough the lines OR get some help from WASTED ILLUSION!
The Lady with the not quite so wasted illusions: Emelie Berg
Emelie, you are the head of WASTED ILLUSION – could you tell us how and when the idea for making this kind of fashion came about?
It all started a few years ago when I just was modifying band shirts and then I wanted that special perfect vest so bad, you couldn’t find it anywhere. So I made a few. Never got that perfect one though, so I’m still making them! And now everybody else also wants my stuff! Couldn’t imagine that 4 years ago, when I only had my grandmas oldoldold Husqvarna sewing machine on a little table in the corner in my kitchen, in that small apartment I had back then. Today, things are a lot different.
Do you still have another job or can you make a living from designing already?
I can only work with something I love and adore, otherwise I will bang my head through the wall in agony and pain and it feels like I’m gonna die. For real!
I have survived on making cloths on my own for the last year. Some months was hard as hell and some was great. I’m so blessed that I have a husband-to-be by my side that supports everything I do and pushes me forward.
Now when I just launched the Facebook site for my brand, things kinda exploded. Now I really have stuff to do nonstop and it is so much fun! I’m so glad a friend of mine is helping me with all the pictures and all the technical stuff so I just put my time on sewing and answering mails and comments.
SOUL SPINE meets THE SCAMS at WASTED ILLUSION
You are shipping worldwide, how far was the furthest delivery sent to by now?
I have a package by my side that I’m going to go and post at the post office after I’ve finished this. Its going all the way over the Atlantic to Santiago, Chile. Thats amazing!
I also have a pair of custom pants going to England next week.
If I would order some costume made item, let’s say a fringe vest (hahaha, just totally LUV those), how long will this take approximately?
Fringes is truly amazing! And on vest!! Ahh, Its amazing!!
At this moment I have about a 4 weeks waiting period. If you not live in Chile though. Then only the time for shipping will take about 10-15 days.
But if the customer have a special day coming up and really really badly want an item within days. I can fit it in my schedule to fit my customers need.
Like the amazing guitarist Filippa from Thundermother needed a dress for “Bandit Rock Awards” last week. She emailed me 3 hours before the package needed to be at the post-office. A sewed like a mad-woman and got the item ready in just under one hour! I can tell you I was sweating!
Dressed For Success the Rock’n’Roll Way
For the customized things, what information do you need, if someone isn’t able to come over for taking measurement?
Then I need them to take their own measurements, everybody can do it. I always tell them how and where to measure.
I’m pretty picky and often take lots of measurements when my customer can come over. But the most important is to know their body type and how they want it to fit. One pair of pants can fit me perfectly, I’m a size small, but somebody else who also fits in a size small may need a whole different model to fit them just as well. Thats the fun part, and the hard part.
Where do you take your inspiration from for the items you have “in stock”?
Most of the time something just popp up in my head and I need to create it. And while doing that item, it says when needed more details or less. So I never know what its gonna be when I start. I know when its finished though. I don’t think when I create, I just do. That flow of creative glow is making me high. I never want to stop!
Apart from that, inspiration comes first from my customers. From todays fashion and hippie and motorcycle styles.
Is there a certain price range of the things you offer or is the sky the limit?
It all depends on the customer and how much detailing they want. In the details is the fun, I have a chance to give the most of me and create something rat. But more detailing also means it will be more expensive. But it is truly worth it! My customer is my boss, so if they want anything for 50 euro or 500 euro. I’ll make it for them.
All-in for your Style: All in the bag!
Besides clothing, are there also accessories to be found at WASTED ILLUSION?
Yes, I have made a few purses, bags, hats, bracelets and I have a few new ideas that will coming up soon. I can tell that I and another designer-artist is gonna do something great together. Stay tuned all hippies out there!
You can check out Hessam from DAMIEN to see a rat bracelet/armband-thingy I made him last year.
How did you come up with the name WASTED ILLUSION?
I thought for a looong long time about what to name my brand. My hubby said I should have something with “Wasted” because I used to be wasted all the time. Now a days I don’t drink at all, all I want is to create. And it kinda fits with the hole rock n’ roll style. Illusion comes from a song named “Lethal Illusion” by my favorite swedish Heavy Metal band 220 VOLT and it kinda represent how I see on life in general.
Let’s take a trip back in time: Do you still remember the first piece of band clothing you bought and what was the most current one you purchased?
I will never forget the first one, or, the two first I bought with my own money. It was at the alternative shop SHOCK in Gothenburg. They had a sale on band tees. I saw two JUDAS PRIEST shirts that I fell in love with, but the only problem was it was kids size.. There it all began!
As far as live shows are concerned, as a fan and designer you are both, what is more important to you: Music or a real entertainment that might cause some crooked tones?
I love real music by real people. I can’t stand the overproduced albums and the perfect shows. Nothing is perfect! So don’t try to hide it with “a brush”. I like when you can tell when it isn’t perfect, the part of the thing of being human stands out in the mass just there. And when people don’t hide their flaws. I like it rough, small stages, when the strings on the guitar breaks in the middle of a song and the musician needs to make the best they can to entertain us with what they got.
Talking about music: What band got you into Rock/Metal and do you have favourite one?
I grew up with music like GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, LED ZEPPELIN, SPARKS, JERUSALEM, SIMON AND GARFUNKEL, BEATLES and swedish folk like FRED ÅKERSTRÖM and LISA EKDAL. And when I found JUDAS PRIEST when I was around 15 or 16, I found an inner fire in me that stands strong til this day. JUDAS PRIEST gave me lots of amazing bands and a GREAT deal of inspiration. There stage gear is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. That girl is my all time favorite designer!
Right now I have a period of only listening to old swedish Metal/Rock bands. Like 220 VOLT, NOVEMBER, HEAVY LOAD, GOTHAM CITY, SILVERMOUNTAIN, JERUSALEM, TORCH on vinyl, always on vinyl!
Fringe Frenzy: WASTED ILLUSION got it all!
Apart from Facebook, where and how can people get in touch with you?
I’m about getting my own homepage with the e-mailadress firstname.lastname@example.org but until then, e-mail me on Facebook or at my personal mail: email@example.com
What is going on at WASTED ILLUSION at the moment, specially after launching on Facebook?
Working my ass off! haha, Facebook and internet is truly amazing with this stuff. To reach so many amazing people all over the world. I’m so thankful to live in this time.
I have a thing going on that I told you about earlier, that is gonna be really awesome and I am so exited!
Thanks for this Interview, I hope that there will be some custom-made stuff with Psychorizon on it!
Thank you! This was so much fun!
We will make the rattest thing ever for Psychorizon! I have a few ideas already!