The crafting movement is alive and well and attracting some young creative innovators. Gone are the days when the idea of making craft conjured up images of shellacked mini bagel magnets with bow ties and googly eyes. Even web guru Mark Frauenfelder, editor of the venerable tech culture site Boing Boing, knows that crafting is cool. His book, Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World, touts the merits of the craft and DIY communities. Group of talented artists are sprouting up all over the country. Independent design shows like Unique LA and Renegade Craft Fair are filled with imaginative people who create hand-made treasures.
So where does this craft movement find a home in the fashion world? Ask designer, stylist, craft maven Kit Scarbo. A popular Season 4 Project Runway alumn (known formerly as “Kit Pistol”), Scarbo currently designs for Etnies, lectures on fashion, and works as a stylist and apparel designer. For more than a year, Scarbo’s web series Craft Club for Alloy Media on Teen.com has been offering fun style tips and the steps for creating fashion forward accessories. Tubfilter met up with Scarbo to find out more about her new design projects, shooting episodes of Craft Club, and what so fun about getting crafty.
Tubefilter: How did Teen.com approach you for this project?
Kit Scarbo: I met the Teen.com people through Alloy Media. They interviewed me when I launched my spring collection for Etnies in New York. At the time I was working on my own craft web series that I had started with a group of girlfriends called the Hard Craft Social Club. That show was more adult. We included a drink of the month that went with our craft. Alloy Media really loved it. They asked me to create a teen based craft series for them.
Tubefilter: How are the episodes filmed?
KS: We shoot four episodes at a time. About a month ahead I will start brainstorming crafts and pitch it to Teen.com and get some feedback. We develop the craft and then shoot it cooking show style. Since we shoot four in a day, I have to plan out all of the steps which is kind of exhausting, but it’s fun and it makes the filming go a lot faster.
Tubefilter: Is it a single camera shoot?
KS: We started with one camera and now we have two. We shoot with one close-up on the side and another front camera. We also have someone taking still pictures, so that viewers can follow the directions better. When people watch the video, they aren’t necessarily making the craft at the same time, so we post instructions and images online for every step.
Tubefilter: What are some of the techniques that help your viewers be able to see what you are making?
KS: They shoot my hands. Some of the details are small. We make rings and earrings and show sewing or glueing small pieces. Sometimes we move the camera to behind my shoulder for an overhead shot. That way the viewers can see the way their hands would be making the craft. When a project has a lot of steps, it helps to watch from the perspective of how it will look when you make it.
Tubefilter: Of all of the Craft Club episodes you have shot for Teen.com, what project was your favorite?
KS: We made a stripe scarf. It was a really fun episode because the technique was great for teen girls or for anyone. That’s what I love about Craft Club. It is not about making cheesy crafts. We don’t make tchotchkes that are going to sit on your shelf and collect dust. For this episode, we made a nautical scarf for summer. For the project, we took masking tape and laid it on the scarf, then sprayed it with paint, let it dry, pulled the tape off. It would work for items you already have in your closet. We try to get the idea across, that you don’t always have to go out and buy things. It is not about knocking off designers. It is about taking current fashion trends and creating something.
Tubefilter: Have you met any of your Craft Club fans and people who have made some of the projects from watching the videos?
KS: I get emails from viewers. People send pictures of their version of the craft. It’s fun. Craft Club is one of the parts of Teen.com that gets the most hits which is always cool for me to hear.
What I like about doing a show for teen girls like Craft Club is that it is about girls who want to be creative. They are girls or guys who love Project Runway and want to be spend time with their friends talking to each other and making something. It is really fun to inspire teens to talk about fashion and be fashionable, and to learn that crafting is not just for your grandma. It’s for us. I get crafty with my girlfriends all the time.
Tubefilter: How many more episodes have you shot?
KS: Every Thursday a new episode comes out. We have shot enough for the next 2 months. The last episode we filmed is the first time I am hosting with a celebrity guest. I can’t tell you who it is, but it’s very cool. She’s a cute teen star. We make a necklace inspired by the Chanel Spring collection.
Tubefilter: Now that you have done a reality competition show and a web series, how does all of this on camera work affect your work as a designer and your career?
KS: I definitely didn’t expect it when I went to school for fashion design. I just wanted to make clothes. The coolest thing about being on Project Runway and doing Craft Club is the perspective I get and the knowledge I gain as a artist in watching myself make something. I get ideas by observing from outside myself and being able to judge and critique my own work in a positive and interesting way. Training myself as a host is really great too. Being able to share things with people trough the web videos is so viral. I love that people don’t have to wait around.
Tubefilter: What other projects do yo have coming up?
KS: I am going to work at Dancing with the Stars dressing the judges and Tom Bergeron. I will still be working at E! dressing the hosts of the online news division. For Etnies we are launching the Fall 10 collection. We have a holiday collection coming out after that. I have also started teaching. Recently I taught an all day seminar at the Art Institute in Sacramento on concept development.
Tubefilter: Do you have any other ideas for web series you’d like to do?
KS: I do I want to start doing fashion video, instead of exhibiting my collection via print or lookbooks. I have artsy Cindy Sherman-esque idea about how I want to present to designs.
New episodes of Craft Club come out every Thursday on Teen.com. That’s today, so here’s the new one: