Saturday, August 15, 2009

Anticipation Masquerade Photos

It's too hot for me to think of anything right now. I have barely thought of costumes today (No, I'm not sick, just hot), except for maybe a fleeting idea about a 50's dress. But I'm not complaining! After all, summer comes but one week a year ;).

Do not despair my faithful readers, I still have a little something for you: photos from the Anticipation Masquerade! I wasn't the one who took them (how could I, I wasn't there!), but Christine Mak was kind enough to post hers here. I have to say, I am impressed with the level of workmanship demonstrated in all of the costumes, and I love that there are both reproductions and original creations. If I have to name my favorite of the lot, it's definitely the “Twilight of the Gods” group, which, according to The SF Site, won Best Presentation in the Masters class.

Twilight of the Gods by Lisa Ashton, Eric Brine, Maral Agnerian, Anakin Michelle, Serge Mailloux and Sabrina Vocaturo

That is all I'll write in this heat. Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, August 14, 2009

HairDo: Gibson Girl

I have had a request! Yeah! I'm not jut talking to myself like a crazy person, someone actually reads all my craziness (OK, I actually know that already because I have had a few very appreciated comments). So, Following my HairDo: 18th Century Pouf post, I received a request for some help in doing one's hair in the style worn by women in Road to Avonlea (1989).

Felicity King and Sara Stanley, Road to Avonlea (1989)

For those of you who do not know the series, it is set in Prince Edward Island in the early 1900's, also known as the Edwardian Era.

Gibson Girl, Drawing by Charles Dana Gibson

The beauty icon of the Edwardian era is of course the Gibson Girl (and by this, one does not mean a girl named Miss Gibson, but the girls illustrated by Charles Dana Gibson; look it up).

Alas, I have found no tutorial videos for this hair style (that I was satisfied with, I should add), but I do have a favorite web page (you didn't think I'd let you down, now did you?).

Introducing In Timely Fashion - Crowning Glory Period Hairstyles: under the Edwardian icon, they present well explained, photo accompanied tutorials for four hairstyles of the time: the Edwardian Twist, the Gibson Braids (my personal favorite - I've often done my hair this way for Christmas parties), the Gibson Pompadour and a Variation on the Pompadour using Rats (hair styling accessories, not rodents). The Pompadour* is the hairstyle most associated with Edwardian times.

*At the time, women used Hair Frames called Transformation, also referred to as Pompadour, to get that perfect elaborate hairstyle.

Gibson Girls at the Beach, Drawing by Charles Dana Gibson

Have you noticed? The Gibson Girl hairdo is perfect to go with a 1890 - 1900 bathing suit, for say, a day at the beach?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Costumes on Television: Merlin (BBC)

Do you remember when television was not all about so called "Reality TV"? When Primetime was not synonymous with American Idol or So you think you can Dance? I miss those days. Still, I do manage to find a few interesting TV shows to watch, and even better, shows with costumes!


My Sunday night line-up now includes Merlin (BBC). Oh sure, it is a fantasy with absolutely no historical content and the story is a far cry from the original, but it's nice, and again, it's got costumes!

Morgana and Gwen (Merlin - BBC)

Now as you might guess, my favorite characters are Morgana and Gwen (although I'm having a little trouble with the idea that Gwen is a black serving girl - I'm not a racist, far from it, but Guinevere means fair skinned so...)

Morgana (Merlin - BBC)

I do have a preference for Morgana's outfits as most of them are blue, purple and green. (You've guessed it, "watery" colours for me!) It makes me want to make a medieval-fantasy dress out of this teal crushed velour I have quantities of and make a faux-fur* sleeveless coat to go with it. Basically, something that would probably look like Nancy-Raven's Mist of Avalon dress.

(*I have three metres of this faux-fur in "The Stash" that was originally bought to use as trim on my houppelande, but I ended up buying another colour of fur that matched better; I then planned to use it to make a bed spread, but now I'm not so sure...)

Morgana (Merlin - BBC)

In one episode, Morgana wears some sort of "Battle Outfit". What's interesting is the necklace: I've seen a similar one in a magazine lately that was by Rosemary Hedges (and in general, pectoral necklaces are In). This is a case of Fashion in Costumes (although technically, pectoral necklaces are inspired by the Ancient Egyptians' costume, so it could also be considered Costume in Fashion; depends which way you look at it - one might say it's even Costume in Fashion in Costume... OK, I'll go to get some sleep now).

Note to self: I must get one of these necklaces for the day I decide to reproduce this costume.

Edit: I found a similar one at Forever21. It's far from perfect, but at least I can afford it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Victorian Bathing Suit

We are finally getting some warm, rain-free days around here. We're talking, sunny, hot, 30°C days, according to Meteomedia (I have no idea of the equivalent in °F, I only use that type of temperature measurement for my oven). Honestly, it's the third day in a row that I'm wearing shorts. Crazy, eh?

This introduces one of the numerous items on my Wishlist, in this case, a Victorian Bathing Suit. How does a long, woolen dark swimming ensemble fit with the hot days I've mentioned, you might wonder? Why, swimming, of course! (Duh! That simple.) You see, I have a dream: it doesn't come close to World Peace, but in this dream, a group of costumers show up at the beach in their Victorian bathing suits and freak all the other bathers out of their Speedos and bikinis*.

1870's Fashion Plate

Ever since I first saw Trystan's Vampire's Day at the Beach bathing suit, I've wanted to make myself one. After all, what better way to hide a body shape you dislike than wearing many layers of fabric? (Works better than spandex for that purpose.) It's also great to protect one's fair skin from the sun.


So lately, I've been looking for some reference pictures in order to make myself just such a bathing suit and I found the following antique at Vintage Textile:


There are many, many detailed pictures of this bathing suit on that page, so I suggest you visit it if you're interested in making such a project.

I also found one in the McCord Museum Images Collection:

Bathing suit, 1890-1900, 19th century, Gift of Mrs. Mary L. Duclos, © McCord Museum

I think it will be fairly easy to figure out a pattern for this type of bathing suit (really, it's just a one-piece suit with a detachable skirt), but if like I often do, you feel too lazy to draw your own pattern, you can always use Folkwear Pattern, #253 Vintage Bathing Costume.

Now I don't know yet if I would make mine in wool or in cotton, but I think I'd go for the Navy with white trim look. Maybe I'd add just a little red in the trim for a splash of colour. Although, I have seen some very colourful recreations that looked awesome...

So what do you all say, shall we set a date for a beach picnic next summer to see my dream* come true?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Project: Pseudo-Blackwork Coif

I always have more costuming projects in mind than time to make them, but I did manage to make a small one a little while ago for Nancy-Raven's birthday. (Truth be told, I was looking for something I could make myself with stuff I already had - the economy, you know...) As I am home all day watching TV while nursing, she lent me both seasons of The Tudors, which she loves. (Now I know the costumes in that show are often historically inaccurate, but that is besides the point here.) This gave me an idea: whenever we go to Medieval / SCA events, Nancy-Raven has nothing to cover her head, which is especially important if one is outdoors in the sun, so why not make her a coif? Let's make it an Elizabethan coif, I thought, since I know she has fabric to make dresses of that period.

And so I visited one of my favorite costuming resource for that Era, The Elizabethan Costuming Page and used their Elizabethan Coif Pattern. Blackwork embroidery was often used on such pieces in that time, and I looked at many pictures of beautifully decorated original and recreation coifs, but my embroidery skills are still very limited and I started the project five days before her birthday, so I decided to go for a pseudo-blackwork look by using some of the decorative stitches my SINGER®Quantum® Futura™ offers.

Enough chit-chatting on my part: here is the coif and its making-of.

This is the coif after I had done the horizontal stitches, alternating between a Swan and Tulip stitch. Before I started on the decorative stitches, I marked them all with an embroidery penn so I would only have to follow the lines.

In this picture, you might notice the seam in the middle: that is because I was using cotton leftovers and had to fit the pattern in what fabric I had. There wouldn't be a seam normally.

Now you see the coif after I've added the diagonal vine leaf stitches.

The finished coif - I've bag lined it, added ties made from bias tape and added the decorative stitch all around.

A side view of the finished coif.

A back view of the finished coif.

Now all I need is a picture of Nancy-Raven in garb wearing her coif.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Movie Monday: Inglourious Basterds

Trust Quentin Tarentino to make movies that are both rated R and full of costumes. (Remember Kill Bill? Lots of now iconic outfits!). Inglourious Basterds (August 21, 2009) is set in Nazi occupied France which means WWII army uniforms and 40's fashion!



That's all folks!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Camouflage - The Exhibition: From Battlefield to Catwalk

I consider myself to be against war (except for Pennsic War of course). Our parents taught us to talk problems out instead of using violence, so it is incredible to me that nations can't do the same. Due to that, I've never much appreciated the Camouflage print and refused to wear it whenever it was in fashion. Until I read a very interesting article about it in La Presse. (Thank you J. for sharing the link with me.)

Apparently, it was developed by a french artist during the First World War, and throughout the 20th century, it's meaning evolved, from War (first half of the 20th century) to Anti-War (Vietnam War) to Art (with Andy Warhol) and High Fashion (with Yves Saint Laurent in the 70's, Jean-Paul Gauthier and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac in the years 2000).

Now why would La Presse write about the history of the Camouflage print, you might wonder? Well my dear friends, because there is currently an exhibition on the subject at the Canadian War Museum called Camouflage - The Exhibition: From Battlefield to Catwalk. (Catwalks produce some very interesting costumes!)

Chiffon Gown and Gloves, Jean Paul Gaultier, Spring/Summer 2000 Couture Collection. Photo by Martin Chamberland, La Presse.

Shoe - Philip Treacy for Gina Couture 2003, Inspired by Andy Warhol Lithography. Photo by Martin Chamberland, La Presse.

(I can't resist shoes.)

Now I really want to go to the Canadian War Museum to see this exhibition. I mean, how often is an exhibition dedicated to a fabric print? And I bet you when I come back, I'll feel like making a crazy Camouflage dress myself. Could be interesting!

Camouflage - The Exhibition: From Battlefield to Catwalk will run until January 3, 2010 for those of you interested in going.