Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Costumer's Shopping Therapy

Where does a costumer shop, you might wonder? (Well, if you are one, you might not.) The Fabric store! For my birthday, my best friend Nancy-Raven gave me a Fabricland gift voucher and today she helped me spend it. Now I could have bought fabric to make a nice skirt or a shirt, but where's the fun in that? You can find these boring everyday items at any store. Costumes, you can only make yourself! (Or get a very talented seamstress to make them for you for a hefty price, but as I AM a very talented seamstress and I'm cheap...) And so I now have fabric for two new projects (not like I didn't already have fabric in my 16-rubbermaid-bins-fabric-stash - known henceforth as "The Stash" - but I didn't have the fabric needed for these two specific projects. Nuance!)

Project 1: Medieval Heraldic Tabard (with my SCA registered Device)


In the SCA, I am know as Mórag filia Scayth, and though I'm not a Lady yet (still waiting patiently for my AoA *hint*), I already have a device which was registered at Pennsic 36. I've been thinking of making myself a heraldic tabard for awhile now and the cotton twill was on sale, so following this sign from the Gods *ahem*, I got all the fabric I need and I hope to make it soon, possibly to wear at the next event I go to (hopefully that will be Fête des Bois in Canton du Boisé Ardent on September 5th, especially since the King and Queen will be there *hint*).

Also, I made myself a dress years ago, inspired by Michaela de Bruce's 14th century cote (which is now nowhere to be found on her website) which is basically a white princess line dress with round neckline and 3/4 sleeves that are split on the inside up to the elbow, with the neckline and sleeve cuffs decorated with lace flowers (pink on Michaela's, yellow on mine). The sad thing is, I have nothing to wear it with! So now I will! (If you still wonder what that dress might look like, I suggest you check out Nancy-Raven's version of what we both call "The Glittersweet Cote".)

Project 2: Tartan Taffeta Victorian Ballgown

In my History of Costume class (Fall 2008), my teacher was presenting Victorian fashion when she showed the following picture:

I fell in love! I knew I wanted one. As soon as I got home, I got on the computer to look through the McCord Museum images collection, found it and saved it for futur references (By the way, it is an 1860 dress worn by Mrs. Ogilvie at a ball given in honour of the Prince of Wales.) Add to that my childhood memories of the Grands Ballets Canadiens' The Nutcracker where half of the girls are wearing tartan taffeta dresses and you will understand why when I found some tartan taffeta at 9.99$/metre with a "Buy 1 metre get 2 metres free" sign, I just couldn't resist! I bought 6 metres and the assistant manager (who knows me by now) that was cutting my fabric sold me the last metre of the roll as a fabric coupon for 1.80$. I am now the happy owner of almost 7 metres of red, black and royal blue tartan taffeta! Guess what I'm making myself for Yule?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Flight Attendants of the Future

This week marked the 40th anniversary of the First Lunar Landing (all of you conspiracy theorists who think it never happened, I don't want to hear about it - that includes you honey!). Of course, I wasn't born yet at the time. Heck, my parents were still in High School! But as I've been in a 50's / 60's mood all summer long, and as I do love History, my Sweetheart and I sat down to watch a special presentation of the original SRC show, originally aired on July 24th, 1969. I kept laughing every time they showed a cartoon of what was happening and specifying it was an animation. Some of the scenes did remind me of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - that's just how my brain works, so try to keep up!

Stewardess in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Ah! The futuristic, space inspired looks of the 60's! Strangely enough, we've been seeing more of these on the Runaways in the last couple of years. Coincidence? What do the conspiracy theorists think? Never mind. Moving on. Thinking of that bubble coiffed stewardess leads me to think of other futuristic looking flight attendant costumes (there's the magick word!), such as the ones in Luc Bessons' The Fifth Element (1997).

Bruce Willis and Flight Attendants on the set of The Fifth Element (1997)

There is also Britney Spears in her video Toxic. Whether you like the girl or not (or the song), you must admit her sexy flight attendant outfit was pretty cool!

Britney Spears Toxic (2003)

If only I had the right body type, I'd love to reproduce these two futuristic Flight Attendant costumes.

I wonder what "Futuristic" looks will be like in the future...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Costumes in Fashion: Plush toys make great clothes

Now who has not yet seen Lady GaGa's Kermit the Frog Dress/Shawl/Coat (no one seems to know what it really is). Don't know what I'm talking about? See for yourself:

(Picture from the Mail Online -

Some of them look like the eyes are dead! A little freaky. And my sweetheart accused me of wearing a coat made of Teddybear skin a few years back, saying it would traumatise children (you know the style, ultrasuede outer layer with acrylic fur lining). Getting back to the topic, we can thank designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac for that one (the Kermit thing, not my winter coat), as well as the muppet skirt she was sporting a few days before that.

(Photo from

Raise your hand if you are reminded of another singer who showed up wearing a stuffed-animal dress, at the Academy Awards, no less? You know the one I'm talking about:

(Photo from Marie Claire)

People can say what they want, I still think that dress was awesome. A tad bit strange for a red carpet, true, but heck, we still talk about it! Wasn't that the point? If I had to dance in a modern version of Swan Lake, that's what I would want to wear!

I'm a costumeholic...

Cos•tume: 1. the prevailing fashion in coiffure, jewelry, and apparel of a period, country or class; 2. an outfit worn to create the appearance characteristic of a particular period, person, place or thing *Halloween costumes*; 3. a person's ensemble of outer garments; especially: a woman's ensemble of dress with coat or jacket.

- aholic or oholic: 1. one who feels compulsively the need to (do something) *workaholic*; 2. one who likes (something) to excess *chocoholic*.

(according to Merriam-Webster)

You've heard of shopaholics, chocoholics, all these new fancy terms inspired from the not so fancy alcoholic. So what is a costumeholic? Easy! Someone who is always thinking of costumes, who is always reasearching them, who spends more times wondering how to reproduce a dress while watching a movie than actually listening to the dialog, who will plan vacations and activity around what costume he/she can wear, or simply put, someone like me!

Costumes are my passion. I like to see them, make them and wear them. I often say that it is the magick word to use with me (if you're trying to get my attention anyway). Costumes are Historical, Fantastical, Futuristic. They are Funky Street Wear and Red Carpet Gowns. They can be found on the Runway or Walking down the aisle.

What else is a girl to do with such an addiction but share it with the world by writing a Blog about it!

So here goes: "Hi, my name is Gwenyver, and I'm a Costumeholic..."