…Laura, Darling

French Quarter Rhinestone Pasties  Photo: Courtesy of ...Laura, darling
French Quarter Rhinestone Pasties Photo: Courtesy of ...Laura, darling

Pastie maker extraordinaire …Laura, darling is originally from New Orleans, though she now calls Dallas home.

Interview: Shoshana Photographs: Courtesy of …..Laura, darling

A pastie is a bit unusual for a first love in the realm of the arts. What is your arts/crafts background?

I can’t remember a time in my life that I wasn’t drawn to making costumes & fashion.  When I was 3, I made my first ensemble- a red string bikini-a la Charlie’s Angels made out of paper and twine and colored with crayons. I think my mom still has it. I was always in art classes in grammar and high school and for a while I was a jewelry major in college.  I graduated with a degree in fine arts and ended up in the fashion industry designing print and patterns for women’s career wear. I pretty much get paid to draw. I love it.

When did you begin designing and making pasties? What fueled your start?

Being from New Orleans originally, pasties and exotic costumes have
always been a fascination. I started collecting pasties about 8 years
ago- my first pair were from Bourbon Street. Just this past May I was
asked to create an apron for the charity event benefiting DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS). They were pale pink rhinestone, and making them was so much fun, I started making more.

Still Life with Laura's work and portrait  Photo: Cord McPhail
Still Life with Laura's work and portrait Photo: Cord McPhail

Without giving away any trade secrets, can you describe your process?

My pasties are made of over 300 rhinestones per pair for the ultimate
sparkle. I bring my knowledge and passion for color and pattern to each
pair. Every stone is hand-picked and placed individually so they are
perfect. The tassels are hand sewn and fixed with glass beads so that
they really give you a good spin. I strive to make each pastie worthy of
Saks Fifth Avenue.

Where do you seek inspiration for your elegant designs?

Having a job in the fashion industry gives my access to the latest trends and runway shows. I find inspiration from the newest couture designs and from vintage and antique fashion and from our local burlesque dancers.

Do you welcome custom orders? Describe some of your most memorable special orders.

I love special orders. I’ve made apple shaped pasties for a fabulous
local burlesque dancer and I’m currently working with a lady in New
Jersey to make her very first pair.

What makes your pasties unique?

My pasties are all rhinestone and all sparkle. They are exactly what I
would want to wear on stage.  I try to imagine what would create the most impact- and that’s what I make.

What does the future hold for Laura Darling? Any upcoming events/projects we should know about?

Close Up of pasties  Photo: Cord McPhail
Close Up of pasties Photo: Cord McPhail

This is just the beginning of Laura Darling- expect great things! I have a few tricks up my sleeve, I have a list of styles that will be 100% unique to Laura Darling just waiting to be made.  Costumes are a passion of mine so I’m hoping to work with some local dancers to create a complete look. I plan to start branching out into making full costumes & collaborating with other designers to make some outstanding ensembles.

Look for my booth at local burlesque events. I keep my Etsy store & Face Book page updated, so keep checking and my website should be fully functional within the next 6 months.


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