Canvas to Clothes. How Fast? Real Fast.

At Rose City ComiCon, we teamed up with Dark Horse for a daring event: showcase a comics artist creating art live at the booth, turn that art into leggings overnight and deliver them to fans the next day.

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This was actually the second time we made a design into leggings overnight. Last year we got Seattle artist Jonathan Wakuda to spray paint a design on New Day Northwest and brought back leggings for the show the next morning. But why keep all the fun to ourselves in Seattle? We knew we could make this happen for the comic fans in Portland who were going to RCCC. Dark Horse was stoked to do it, and we were even more stoked when we found out they were bringing in Joëlle Jones, who we’ve had a major art crush on since we discovered Lady Killer at Emerald City ComiCon.

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It was a huge hit! Bleeding Cool wrote about it on their blog — it’s a great article with awesome photos, you should read it. Lots of attendees stopped to watch Joëlle draw (and just as many stopped to watch the time lapse video of her drawing the day after). Everyone who wanted #LadyKiller leggings got them! And if you weren’t there, you can still get them online.

Even sweeter, so many women were excited about comics merchandise that wasn’t t-shirts. We know! Seriously, none of us needs another t-shirt. Hail spandex.

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We’re Going to Regionals!

Calling all action figures, athletes, and fire breathers. Bombsheller wants to meet YOU next weekend at the CrossFit West Regional 2015!

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Box jumping never looked so good.

We’re really excited to spend the weekend with so many amazing athletes. CrossFit is all about pushing your limits and being the best possible version of yourself. We love that, and we can’t wait to get in on the action and cheer everyone on.

Another reason we love CrossFit folks is that they work hard on their bodies and are proud of their muscular physiques. If you want to show the world your amazing quads, we’re here for you! Plus, Shells are squat-proof, so they’re totally opaque, stay where you want them, and wick away moisture while you’re working out.

Want to see for yourself? If you’ve been waiting to try our amazing leggings on in person, here’s your chance!

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Come visit Bombshell Andrea at our booth!

Check out the Action Figure collection of awesomely WOD-worthy leggings and get suited up before the event!

See you in Tacoma, Bombshells!

Extending Our Size Range: 2XL is Live!

Beautiful Bombshells, our mission to expand our size range is making some serious progress. For starters, we are so pleased to now carry designs up to 2XL! This is a great start as we keep working towards offering sizes up to 6XL.

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Amazing activists, artists, and supporters with the Bombsheller team at our last fitting party.

Over the past year or so, we’ve been collecting measurements and feedback from people of all body shapes and sizes. We had a basic sewing pattern for our leggings, but we needed data and testers to help us refine how they fit on different bodies. After months of collecting info, we incorporated the feedback we received and made some changes to our pattern. The result is a fit that we feel pretty good about, and that lots of amazing people had a hand in making. For this, we are eternally grateful!

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In addition to being a total Bombshell, Angela is a talented seamstress and gave us some great feedback on our newest pattern.

Now that we’ve got the fit dialed in, we’re faced with a different problem: scaling the artwork. As the leggings go up in size from XS to 6XL, the ankle cut zone varies greatly, so designs on the lower legs get cut off as the size scales up. You can see how the cut lines change on our design submission template for a better idea of how this works.

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Note the ankle lines for each size on our new design template

As you can see, there’s a lot of leg that disappears. On many designs, like ones with a repeating pattern, this doesn’t make a big difference. But for other designs, this can drastically change how the leggings look.

For example, imagine a pair of XS black leggings with flames coming up the legs from ankle to knee. Due to our scaling, each size would lose more and more of the flame design, until finally only a plain pair of black leggings would be left. That means if you ordered these in a 6XL, you’d end up with something totally different from what you thought you were getting. That’s a problem!

This is the reason why we don’t yet offer 2XL in all of our designs, and why the other sizes are taking some time to release. We’re working hard to find a solution that works for our artists and our customers and will keep everyone updated as we move closer to offering Shells for lovely legs of all shapes and sizes.

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Lounging in #Opal by Trigga

Sign up for our Plus Size Mailing List and we’ll keep you posted on our extended size range.

Shooting Action Figures

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Jazzlyn Stone, reporting for duty.

Hey, Bombshells. Jazzlyn Stone here, reporting for duty. For those keeping a tally, I’m Bombsheller’s resident photographer and I’m taking over the blog to explain the photography and philosophy behind our newest Collection: Action Figure.

A couple of months ago, we noticed that a growing amount of CrossFitters were buying Shells for their workouts. We’ve put our leggings through a lot of physical tests (climbing, silks, dancing) with positive results, so we were excited to learn how they were keeping up with their intense exercise. Through friends, we were introduced to the badass Andrew Bueno, co-owner of Foundation CrossFit in Seattle. Through Andrew, we learned more about the philosophy behind CrossFit and started to see similarities between it and Bombsheller. We wanted to see our leggings in action, so Andrew invited us to watch the Versus VI competition at his gym.

A week later, I found myself descending a delivery driveway into a swarm of buzzing athletes, as Andrew marched between them with a megaphone and a stopwatch, leading the pack. We spotted some of our designs amongst the crowd and were pleased to learn they were keeping up with the grueling workouts. No rolling, not too tight, and they flaunted the muscles these athletes were so proud of. We left knowing we wanted to recreate the energy of the competition in a look book.

I spent the next two months studying and shooting CrossFitters. Working with the talented athletes for our look book (Kristina Lum and Sheena Camagong), I was able to create a lighting design that would best illuminate their muscles but still give them the freedom and range to lift, throw and jump. A couple of examples are highlighted below. (TL;DR, grids and beauty dishes galore!)

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Kristina showing us how to climb a rope UPSIDE DOWN in #EverydayMayhem.

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Both strips have grids, the light to the left of the camera is on a kicker, the beauty dish is on boom.
ISO 200
Aperture: F/14
Shutter: 1/200
Focal length: 31mm

 

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Sheena kipping in #hypertrophy.

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Again, both strip lights have grids, the camera to the left is on a kicker, and the beauty dish is on a boom.
ISO 200
Aperture: F/16
Shutter: 1/200
Focal length: 24mm

My favorite part about our product is seeing what people do with it. Our Shells are beautiful, but they aren’t complete until you put them on and make them move with you. We never would have been introduced to so many amazing athletes if it weren’t for our fans! So keep tagging us in your IG photos, keep reaching out to us with your new favorite place to wear your shells. I love seeing the lives our leggings get to lead out there with you.

Over and Out,
Jazzlyn

Behind the Leggings: Bombshell Victoria Stone

I continue to be blown away by the incredibly smart, gorgeous, badass women that we get to work with on the regular here at Bombsheller. The stars of our latest collection, Talk Nerdy to Me, are pretty inspiring. Last week, I chatted with Sarra Sherb about nerdiness and empowerment. This week, I interviewed Bombshell Victoria Stone about geek-dom, fan fiction, and media consumption.

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Victoria is wearing #CrystalCave by Dead Pastel

Bombsheller: Do you self-identify as geeky? 

Victoria Stone: I have some issues with identifying as geeky. Around friends I am obviously and joyfully geeky, but the term has been codified into this very particular subset of sci-fi/comics that I don’t entirely identify with. I still happily geek out all the time, I think I just use the term more as a verb than a noun. I am geeky, but I am not a geek.

I grew up in a home with no TV and I didn’t go to normal school, so while most of my peers were watching X-Men cartoons and reading comics, I mostly just read copious amounts of fantasy. I missed a lot of the foundation that is “required” of geeks, like Star Trek and super hero comics. So much of present geekiness now is what you have consumed, and I have been very cruelly challenged on that basis.

As much as I have issues with some of the current state of geekiness, I am in love with the fact that being a geek is cool now. It’s ok to be a geek, from comics to being super into something. And the fact that it is not only cool now but popular, creators and companies are listening to their fans and making stuff that is open and accessible to everyone.

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B: What do you geek out over?

VS: I’m one of those types that gets completely enraptured with a fandom or a game and can’t. put. it. down. I mostly get excited about novels. Any sort of feminist fantasy novel will see me and a friend excitedly shouting at each other about characterization and world building for several hours. I just reread Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom and, due to my obsessive speed reading, ran through them in about four days. I forgot how dark and lovely they are.

I also am currently a fairly avid indie comic reader, which is a habit I only have the money for every month or so. Saga, Rat Queens, The Wicked and the Divine and Ms. Marvel are absolute gems that I am so happy to have. I also just got the first issue of Bitch Planet and it. is. flawless. Like, I woke up like this flawless.

I have recently started watching TV again and have a lot of things to excitedly shout about Agent Carter and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I’ve gotten to a point in my media consumption where I don’t really read or watch something where the protagonist is a white, male, “misunderstood” asshat. This started out accidentally, but once I started actively applying it I’ve been much happier with the media I allow into my life.

However, I’m also a food history geek. It doesn’t fall under what a lot of people to consider to be geeky nowadays, but I really like to talk about the movement of food in our world. The impact of kinds of food and how they travel and where they come from is SO INTERESTING.

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B: Do you have a nerdy/guilty pleasure?

VS: I’m not one for guilty pleasures, just pure enjoyment. But there’s one thing that I love that a lot of people tend to, in my opinion, wrongfully associate as shameful. I unabashedly love fanfiction.

I read a lot of Avengers and Tolkien fanfic, but I’ve also been reading Buffy and Harry Potter that goes back to the early 2000s. One of my dear friends and I became super close over several gin and tonics and the realization that we both shipped the same poisonous relationship from Harry Potter. We bonded over how it shaped our romantic lives.

I also realized recently that several of my friends are also obsessive readers of Avengers fanfic. Almost all my friends who are women read fanfic, and there has been a lot of sharing stories and ships that has informed our friendships.

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Behind the Leggings: Bombshell Sarra Scherb

Our latest collection of drool-worthy designs, Talk Nerdy to Me, was inspired by Emerald City Comic Con, which is happening here in Seattle next weekend. I, for one, am always excited to see (and join!) the hoards of uber-creative cosplayers, comics aficionados, and nerdy folks hanging out downtown.

Our models for this collection are two glamorous Bombshells who own their geeky tendencies with style and wit. First up, meet Sarra Scherb!

Tights, leggings, crazy, tron, computer, circuitboard

Sarra is wearing #CircuitBoard

Bombsheller: What do you geek out over?

Sarra: I grew up playing X-Men with friends at recess in elementary school. I had a Gambit poster on my ceiling from 3rd to 5th grade. Comics have been a life-long love, although I turned away from Marvel and DC as I hit puberty and began to realize that their depictions of women heroes discomforted me. I dove into indie comics instead, and later into webcomics. Now I keep up with a few quality Marvel titles (unsurprisingly they are usually written by women, or have realistic depictions of female characters), a good range of indie comics, and some incredible webcomics. I curated an exhibit about webcomics for a Seattle museum a few years ago, which was like reaching some sort of geek nirvana.

Some of the most carefully crafted comics out there are webcomics, because the creators can wield total editorial control over their pacing, content and story. Unsounded by Ashley Cope is hands-down the best epic fantasy comic going. It will fight you, and it will win. Family Man by Dylan Meconis is well-researched, deeply moving, sumptuous historical fiction set in the Enlightenment (…with werewolves). And nobody (nobody!) builds worlds like Evan Dahm and his massive epic adventures about characters who by-and-large don’t have mouths.

I have a squishy spot for open-world video games like Fallout and Elder Scrolls, and story/character driven games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. I begged my boyfriend not to buy Skyrim as soon as it came out, because I knew that if it was in the house I’d never finish grad school. (He acquiesced, I graduated, and then I fus-roh-dahed the holy hell out of it.)

I also play Dungeons & Dragons with gusto, and read and write sci-fi, fantasy and surrealist fiction.

B: Do you have a nerdy/guilty pleasure?

S: I’m not guilty about any of my pleasures.

BUT, if “guilty pleasure” is synonymous with “embarrassing levels of geekery”, then….in high school I was so obsessed with Sailor Moon that I memorized the lyrics to the songs in Japanese and sang them loudly in the shower with the depths of emotion only a high school girl can plumb. My girlfriend and I wrote notes to each other and signed them as Haruka and Michiru, and a friend made us chokers with the Uranus and Neptune symbols on them. I mean, not that I’d ever admit that to anyone.

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B: Why do you self-identify as geeky? What’s empowering about that?

Announcing to someone that you’re “a geek” in this era is shorthand for saying “would you like to gesticulate wildly and talk too loudly about a specific set of sci-fi and fantasy media with me?” It’s quick way of delineating what falls in your Venn Diagram, and invites others to overlap their bubbles with yours. Then you can do the sniffing-butts-dominance dance in which you prove your geek cred with each other, which can sometimes be really entertaining and lead to instant friendships. (And other times be tiresome and toxic. C’est la vie.)

What is “geeky” has really changed over the last 15 years: it used to simply mean that you were deeply interested in something outside the norm, possibly to the point of obsession. You could be geeky about statistics, or analog clocks, or semaphore flags, or gramophones, or searching for Ogopogo. But today it has codified into that shorthand of comics/video games/board games/sci-fi and fantasy books & tv/cosplay/anime. The primary reason for that narrowing scope is the fact that the latter can be monetized, while the former remains esoterica. While the new definition is a bit homogenous–hence the ease of Venn Diagramming with strangers–it also has brought together huge communities of people who are dedicated, creative, passionate, and enjoying the art of freaking out over something with thousands of others.

What I find empowering is the give-and-take that happens with geek media. There’s two sides: the consumption and the transformation. People consume the media: they read Game of Thrones, they watch Battlestar Galactica, they play Skyrim. And then they transform the media: they write fanfiction about the Sand Snakes, they cosplay as Kara Thrace, they code a Macho Man Randy Savage mod. The sheer amount of creativity that arises from the original media in geek culture is astonishing. “Geeky” media is filled with rich stories and worlds and characters that beg to be further explored, and geeks are just the obsessive people to do it. There’s no more fertile ground for self-expression, and for finding your own unique way of engaging, responding to and transforming the original material. That’s the power of the kind of escapist, what-if?, brain-bending stories that are told in “geek media.”

B: Do you have a favorite leggings design? 

S: The #AReflectionOf designs are my favorites. I wear them to fancy art gallery openings and people ask if I’m part of the exhibit! I love that you can see the texture of John’s brushstrokes, and even the canvas underneath. They’re a perfect synchronicity between the art + fashion that sets Bombsheller apart.