The "Phoenix Gauntlets" Project

“The Phoenix Gauntlets”

A collaboration with Lumecluster

I realised I never followed up on my earlier blog and shared the awesome results that came out of this dreamproject come true: I’m in still in awe I was able to work with Lumecluster, who I have been following for like a decennia by now and her amazing craftmanship. When she reached out to me for shooting these I was in 7th armor heaven and it took almost two years for it to come to actual realisation; but that’s just part of working with artists. One cannot rush perfection.

For this I need to give a huge thank you to my amazing team of models, designers and Eline who was the one-woman-army behind most of these amazing hair and make-up transformations. This was such an awesome project to work and to be able to do it with some of my favorite people in this world is one of those dreams come true.

When we where discussing concepts and ideas, I knew Lumecluster wanted more “traditional” shots, mergen reality with fantasy. Literally making armor wearable. But as usual, things escalated again and I ended up working on a wide range of other themes (mostly that knight-inspired-stuff because that’s what I do I guess …). I reached out to Church Of Sanctus to borrow from her “Celestial Objects” collection as well as Royal Black Couture her “Dark Knight” design to ask if I could borrow from these awesome ladies for the styling. The rest is from my studio’s wardrobe mostly.

There is a big chance I will be working on a second take on the concept, now I’m writing this blog a few months after completion and my personal style has evolved. So who knows what’s going to come soon …


Credits & Full Project

Model - Luce Del Sole, Make-up & Hair - Eline Deblauwe , Corset - Royal Black Couture

Model - Chloë Lablanche, Make-up & Hair - Eline Deblauwe , Suit - Church Of Sanctus , Collar - Raspberry Mazohyst

Model - My Fragility, Make-up & Hair - Eline Deblauwe , Wings - Sirenpearls

Model - Lady Louiza, Make-up & Hair - Eline Deblauwe , Dress - Church Of Sanctus

Model - Ardine , Make-up & Hair - Eline Deblauwe , Dress - Church Of Sanctus

Model - Inez IV, Make-up & Hair - Eline Deblauwe , Dress - Church Of Sanctus
Second look: headpiece Ivy Designs, Kimono - Firebird Fusion

Model & Makeup -Shienra, Halo - Hysteria Machine , Dress & Armor - Mytholon

I also took the opportunity to try out some of these product themes images with my dear My Fragility (light set) and Luce Del Sole (dark set). I wanted to showcase the iridescence and simple gorgeous details and craftmanship of this epic set she made.

"The Phoenix Gauntlets" Collaboration: Part 1

There are just a few things that have kept my fascination since my childhood - one is (as you might know when reading my blog) my obsession with armor and swords. I have little knowledge about it but I just like it all. Kinda like most of my geeky & weird obsessions - I can’t explain it, they just crept into my head and made it their cozy home and it has given me tons of fun adventures.

Throwback to like, almost 10 years ago and the moment I discovered the work of Lumecluster - an US based allround master of her craft that is equally as obsessed (but with a hell more knowledge) with armor and all that good stuff. I lowkey kuch stalked her for years - until she somehow found me, followed me back (cue my fangirling) and we got to talk to another (cue more fangirling until the end of this blog) about two years ago. She’s been creating some insane stuff for years already prior to this - her masks started in 2014 and she “only picked up” armor around 2016. I highly recommend checking her website out to see a ton more work she has done, as it’s too much to talk about: “Lumecluster: Where dreamers find courage” !

She invited me to - what would become an almost two year - collaborative project where I would be invited to capture her newest project: the Phoenix Armore. Once she was comfortable sending me her work to photograph and capture - I would be able to do so, if I wanted of course. Needlessy to say, I was freaking hyped and couldn’t say yes quick enough. Which also tested me in my limits of “non-disclore-verbal-agreement” as I was not allowed to talk about anything just yet. For. So. Long. This is actually my very first real public announcement, together with some overhyped videos on my own profile on Facebook and a quick livestream on Instagram just now - so you go figure HOW MUCH I wanted to share this!

But today is the day and today I can finally share more about it. While I won’t showcase or tell just yet what entire project I’ve planned in collaboration with her (where she also basically gave me free reign to do anything I wanted within her concept) - I will be sharing some exquisite insights in the work I will be shooting. I must stress these are not my images and I gently borrowed these from her website and blog, which I highly recommend checking out and giving it a read as it tells a hella lot more about it all - + you can even see Adam Savage himself putting it to the test :)

The two pieces I own here are both “small” - and when putting them on I could immediately feel how much love and research went into it. Not just the gauntlets on itself - but even the gloves. What I thought where first 2 sizes (small & medium) turned out to be two times a small. And all puns intended - the second prototype felt like a glove, even being a bit on the tiny side for my big lady hands! They’re super comfortable and they work with touchscreens. How about that …

The devil is in the detail and I’m pretty sure Lumecluster has been doing a lot of exorcism to get it out there - I’m incredibly humbled to be part of such an amazing project and to continue working with her on this. There is a 3rd pair in the make (one I will commission) - so I’m incredibly looking forward to see the beauty that will be the final piece. While I don’t think it could get any better after the second prototype, I’m sure Lumecluster will do just that …

The “Phoenix Gauntlets” by Lumecluster - 3D printed iridescent armor gauntlets to suit any shieldmaiden or warrior out there who wants to stand out and don’t compensate the fantasy for reality and the reality for fantasy.

The “Phoenix Gauntlets” by Lumecluster - 3D printed iridescent armor gauntlets to suit any shieldmaiden or warrior out there who wants to stand out and don’t compensate the fantasy for reality and the reality for fantasy.

So about the gauntlets: I received two pairs. One is the golden set (shown above) which is one of her earlier prototypes and a costum-colored pair featuring a gorgeous teal and purple color theme - close to the purple & blue one shown here yet different and striking in it’s own way!

As Lumecluster is a perfectionist, one could barely see a difference at first sight. While the gold has been worn a bit and shows some imperfections (I absolutely love as they tell a new story) - the new set is pure iridescent colorgasms and I’m living for it!

When I got the box, I eagerly unpacked all the pieces. Because that’s the best part: they’re not just gauntlets. They’re MODULAR - which means they’re detachable from another and can be worn in a variety of ways: you want to go casual? Don’t wear the wrist-piece. Feeling elvish? Casually attach one of your two options and become an elf. Feeling the need to steal the show? Get the other set, turn out your led-lights and literally shine your way into reality. Not feeling warrior on a certain day? Just wear the wrist-pieces on their own. Subtile and elegant? Take your pick. Want to show off? Turn on your leds!

It’s awesome. I’m a sucker for versatility, as I LOVE re-using pieces in my sessions. She literally gave me so many options now and I can’t wait to show what I’ve been cooking up with that. The following projects are also all dedicated to showcase their assembled and individual beauty - so stay tuned for sure if you want to see some serious action!