1.- The interviewee
Angélica Pinho, better known as Angelica Elfic, is the creator of the brand and alternative fashion shop Elfic Wear. Born and raised in Portugal, she studied Archeology but could not ignore her passion for clothing as individual expression. Angélica is a passionate self-taught seamtress that uses a wide variety of materials , but always taking into account the environmental impact and respecting nature. Besides, she has wide experience as a model and acknowledges Steampunk as one of her main creative influences.
2.- Steampunk: Portugal and beyond
Thank you so much for your time and interest, Angelica. We are most pleased to welcome you as the first Portuguese interviewee in this series of brief interviews, as Portugal is a neighbouring country and culture for us.
Q.- Although you have studied Archeology, you are a self-taught seamstress and fashion designer. How was your artistic ‘alter ego’ Angelica Elfic born?
Angelica Pinho (A).- Angélica Elfic was born with the need expressing my inner world of fantasy. A way to release the magic creatures who live inside of me.
Q.- It seems that you have always searched for inspiration in the fantastic realm. Which is the link between your design activity and the ‘personas’ you create to give shape to your collections?
A.- Since very young age I impersonate characters that I only could find in my realms. I always saw the world as a magic place, where I could be whatever I wanted.
Q.- Many of your designs show that Steampunk has become one of your main inspiration sources. We think your sister Liliana has something to do with this… how did you discover Steampunk?
A.- We discover Steampunk when we were really young. I remember the gadgets we create for our dolls and later we made it for ourselves. My elder sister, Liliana, was my guide in all this adventures. She thought me a lot of things about it, and soon I got fascinated with it, and started to create my own path on it.
Q.- There is no need to clarify that you are an active member of the Portuguese Steampunk scene. Would you tell us a bit about it?
A.- On Portugal, Steampunk started to emerge in a visible way only on the last year, but I work on this style since 2005. This country takes a big time to absorb new tendencies, and only turns fashionable when the media finally bless the tendency.
Q.- Your alternative clothing brand and shop Elfic Wear was Official Shop of EuroSteam 2012 at Porto. Do you have any plans regarding Steampunk events in 2013?
A.- I have some plans for this year. Some I can’t reveal yet, but I can tell you that really soon I will announce them.
3. Steampunk-inspired wear jewelry… and more!
Q.- Talking about Steampunk, would you dare to describe Steampunk jewelry with a single word?
A.- Steampunkastic =)
Q.- How should Steampunk jewelry be from your point of view?
A.- In my point of view, Steampunk Jewelry should be unique and be self build. So you would never find anything alike, and each piece has a part of its creator.
Q.- We know that you are not only involved in the Steampunk community, but also close to the Goth movement. In fact we had the opportunity to enjoy your participation in the fashion catwalk of the Goth festival Entre Muralhas 2012. We are doing some research about Steamgoth, so let us ask you something: which could be the distinctive marks of Steamgoth jewelry from your point of view (materials, motifs, influences…)?
A.- I love Steamgoth style. You can see here a mix of technology with a dark romantic side. The materials turn to be more noble and glamorous. Here, sometimes the copper is replaced by the silver ornaments.
Q.- Your sister Liliana, through her photographic endeavour Lip Creative Studio, is one of your most important allies to develop Elfic Wear. Your passion for art and attention to detail are beyond any doubt. Do you have any piece of advice for other Steampunk creators, such as jewelers?
A.- My sister is the best ally I could ever find on my path. Her photos show what I have in my mind, when I create my “personas”. So, the best advice I can give to all Steampunk creators, is to find a good photographer to show all the potential of their creations.
Q.- Is there anything you miss when you try to find Steampunk-inspired jewelry?
A.- Nowadays, you can find the same Steampunk pieces everywhere. A lot of it is build by machines, so they can’t have a personal touch. I always feel glad when I see someone making customs stuff, cause for me this is the soul of Steampunk.
Q.- How does jewelry highlight the clothes you create? Have you ever considered the possibility of designing jewelry?
A.- The jewelry is an important complement of clothes, they enhance them, and using it with your personal touch, you can get a unique look. Sometimes I make jewelry, but I don’t have so much time to embrace this side. In a near future I hope have more time to dedicate to it.
Q.- Which projects do you have in the medium to long-term?
A.- I’m making some costumes to a movie and some theaters. And soon you’ll be able to see all my new collection too.
Q.- Hopefully new collaboration opportunities will arise in the future, since we admire your work and love Porto. In the meantime, is there anything else you would like to add to bring this interview to an end?
A.- I wish that everyone follow their dreams. And for the ones that love Steampunk, keep your path strong and never give up. Create your own style and just be happy.
Disclaimer.- The opinions or statements expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of Decimononic.
4.- Next interviewee!
On the 15th of March we are publishing the interview for James Richardson-Brown, a renowned Steampunk author, jeweler, maker, 3D artist, sculptor and strongman. Creator of ‘The Sydeian Coalition’ steampunk/science fiction series, he has been featured in such places as Oxford University Museum of the History of Science, Wired, BBC, Sky News and many others. In addition, he is one of the main promoters of Steampunk and Steamgoth in the UK and worldwide.
Remember that all the published interviews are available for your delight: ‘Steampunk jewelry tonight with…’ the brief interviews series by Decimononic.