Saturday, September 26, 2009

Costumes on Television: Joss Whedon's Dollhouse

I am so glad that Dollhouse (2009) has been renewed for another season, my Friday night line-up is complete. I love Joss Whedon's work and I was afraid this show might share the same fate as Firefly (2002).

If you don't yet know the show, I invite you to watch the following promotional video.

Seriously, it is genius.

Tahmoh Penikett as Paul Ballard, Enver Gjokaj as Victor, Eliza Dushku as Echo, Dichen Lachman as Sierra, Fran Kranz as Topher Brink, Olivia Williams as Adelle DeWitt, and Harry Lennix as Boyd Langton, Dollhouse (2009)

Now, costume wise, say that you have a last minute Geek* (I mean Sci Fi) convention and you don't have anything to wear, you can simply grab your yoga training clothes, pick a name from NATO phonetic alphabet and go around telling people that you try to be your best. You can't get any easier than that!

*I consider myself to be a Geek. In fact, I score 39.05325% (Major Geek) on the Geek Test.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Costumes on Television: Ghost Whisperer's Opening Credits

Yeah! The new season of Ghost Whisperer (2005) begins tonight. I could talk about the generally Vintage look of the main character, Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt), but I'd rather talk about the opening credits.

Seriously, after five years, I still get chills while watching the opening credits. It is like a very well made
experimental film all on its own (trust me, I took a class in University on the subject - do not get me started on Window Water Baby Moving (1962) or Kenneth Anger). Let's watch it together, shall we?

Around 0:08, we see these creme coloured free standing clothes with light blue feather wings. Do you know what I mean?

(Sorry I couldn't get a clearer picture.)

Ever since the first season, it has inspired me the crazy plan of making a Victorian ghost costume by making a jacket and draped bustle skirt out of draping muslin (greige cotton cloth).

These are the patterns I would think of using (either these or something similar):

Truly Victorian #400 - 1871 Day Bodice
(Top left view, with a modified collar)

Truly Victorian #290 - 1889 Draped Skirt
(Did I ever mention my love of Bustle gowns?)

Yep, that one definitely goes on my Wishlist! (But it's not Wednesday! Oh well, I'm bending traditions a little today.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Costumes on the Red Carpet: 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards

More Red Carpet costume fashion this week with last Sunday's 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards. As always there were gorgeous gowns, and less gorgeous, but oh so original ones. Let's drool on a few, shall we?

Samantha Harris on the Red Carpet for the 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards

So her dress looks a little like a sheer window treatment, but what can I say, I'm a sucker for Toxic Green!

Lindsay Price on the Red Carpet for the 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards

Nothing costumey about this dress, I just loved it: the colour, the draping, the train...

Oh look, it's teal! I wonder why it caught my eye... All jokes aside, doesn't the geometric shape and the mix of teal and black remind you of Star Trek: The Next Generation a little? (Think science officer's uniform. Or Deanna Troi.)

That is just a beautiful satin and lace sculpture of a dress.

I just loved the ruffled train of this dress. It kind of made me think of a Peacock's tail when it's down. (Did someone say Peacock?)

Kristin Chenoweth on the Red Carpet for the 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards

Shiny Disco-Disco Balls!

Olivia Wilde on the Red Carpet for the 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards

This is such a beautiful dress, it looks like the silver lace is a part of her skin. It suggests Dryads, Snow Queens and Mermaids to my mind.

Leighton Meester on the Red Carpet for the 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards

A Greek Goddess on the Red Carpet: it must be Aphrodite in person!

January Jones on the Red Carpet for the 61st Primetime Emmy® Awards

I heard Steven Cojocaru on Entertainment Tonight say about this dress, "We looked up to the sky, and down from a Spaceship came January Jones". True, the bustier of this dress looks very Sci Fi, and yet, it is also very Art Deco. It deserves the Costumeholic First Prize for this Red Carpet event.

Obviously, costumers are not the only ones to try to reproduce what they see; Dress makers and sellers do too! Allen B. Schwartz of A.B.S. and ALLEN B. fashions has created dresses inspired by some seen on this Red Carpet, as shown on Entertainment Tonight: Emmy-Inspired Trends for Less!

Note: All pictures were borrowed from ET Online - 2009's Great Emmy Red-Carpet Moments, except for the picture of Samantha Harris which came from Emmy Night Galleries: Red Carpet 2009, for costume study purposes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: NCIS' Abby Sciuto

Last night was NCIS night in this house, as it was the season's premiere (as well as the spinoff's, NCIS: Los Angeles): my Sweetheart and I are both fans of the show, and my daughter already loves the opening credits' music.

Which brings me to tell you about our recent trip to IKEA. (I can already here you say "Huh?") As we were looking around in the kids section, I spotted this cute Hippopotamus plush toy:

I immediately though: "Bert, the farting hippo". Now if you don't follow the show, you will need me to explain. On
NCIS, the forensics specialist is a cute Goth girl named Abby Sciuto. Abby wears her hair in pigtails, dog collar necklaces, platform shoes, pretty much only owns black and red clothes, preferably with skulls printed on. She believes in Santa Claus, bowls with Nuns, volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, drives a hearse, loves tattoos and drinks Caf-Pow, a fictional energy drink, by the bucket. On Episode 1 of Season 7 (not to say, last night's episode), Tony DiNozzo describes her as thus:

Abby Sciuto : NCIS resident forensic scientist, heart and soul; paradox wrapped in oxymoron, smothered in contradictions and terms; sleeps in a coffin; really the happiest goth you’ll ever meet.

Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto, NCIS (2003)

My Sweetheart and I both love the character of Abby, and I would very much like to make myself an "Abby" costume eventually (it's an excuse to get and wear more Goth clothes). In fact, a few weeks ago, I bough myself a gorgeous Italian made, long white jacket that makes me look like a million bucks (for only 45$ CAD - and the original price was 120$ CAD, which makes it even better), and my Sweetheart thought it was the beginnings of an "Abby" costume (for which I would get a real lab coat and not use my beautiful jacket).

So what about the Hippo? Abby has a Farting Hippo plush toy called Bert, and the IKEA one is a dead ringer for it, although it doesn't fart, which is fine by me really.

Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto, holding "Bert the Farting Hippo", NCIS (2003)

Don't you think they look the same? Besides, an original "Bert" can cost up to 100$, where as the IKEA Hippo is 12.99$ CAD. But because I decided to be good, and because we were there for baby things, I didn't buy it. So Friends and family, if you are wondering what to get me for Christmas, here is nice, inexpensive idea.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Costumes on the Red Carpet: More from MTV's VMA '09

I was watching Entertainment Tonight Canada last night and they showed a segment about Canadian singer/songwriter Anjulie as she was getting ready for MTV's VMA 2009.

What caught my attention is that at one point, she said she was going for a Jem and the Holograms look. Remember that 80's cartoon? I had a neon pink Jem lunch box in 2nd grade.

Jem and the Holograms

I think she nailed it. And I love that I'm not the only one who thinks costumes when planning a look for a special event.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Movie Monday: Fame

Before there was So You Think You Can Dance and [insert nationality] Idol, there were Performing Arts High Schools such as Julliard. And because the public loves stories about teens who dream and make it big, movies were made on the subject. Movies like Fame (1980).

Due to the popularity of "Reality TV" shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and [insert nationality] Idol as well as the lack of originality in movies produced today, this Friday, September 25, 2009, we get Fame (2009), again.

This means dance costumes, shiny show outfits, and Björk's Swan Dress?

Anna Maria Perez de Taglé as Joy, Fame (2009)

This should be interesting...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dancing with the Stars: Top 3 Season 8 Costumes

(Yeah, I know, I was supposed to be telling you about Montréal Comic-Con this week-end, but something came up and I couldn't make it.)

This coming week is the season's first of many TV shows, so I'll be watching and talking about tele a lot.

So, season 9 of Dancing with the Stars starts tomorrow. Gotta love a show which includes two of my passions: dancing and costumes. I have once heard a Radio announcer say that Dancing with the Stars appeals to women for the glittery revealing costumes the ladies wear, and that it appeals to the men as well, the glittery revealing costumes the ladies wear.

My top three favorite dresses from last season are:

1960's group dance (Episode 807): Edyta Sliwinska, Melissa Rycroft, Lawrence Taylor, Lil' Kim, Tony Dovolani, Derek Hough, Shawn Johnson, Mark Ballas

I have previously said that Lil'Kim's and Shawn Johnson's dress was one of my favorites and that I wish to make a 1960's GoGo dress on that model eventually (see Wednesday Weekly Wishlist of July 29, 2009).

Lindy Hop (Episode 804): Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani

That polka dot dress was so cute, I got myself a pair of turquoise and white polka dot shoes because they made me think of that dress, and I don't even like polka dot (but the shoes were 5$ so come on, how could I resist).

Samba (Episode 809): Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani

To tell you the truth, I wasn't a big Melissa Rycroft fan: I don't like Reality TV in general, and I don't encourage Reality TV Stars, because really, their only claim to fame is having made fool of themselves on some Reality TV Show! (Dancing with the Stars is different: the dancers are professional and the Stars have already gotten famous by doing something else.) Having said that, Melissa was truly a talented dancer and at least, one can argue that she was a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader before she was on The Bachelor.

Now about that dress, I have to say I loved everything about it: it's royal blue, it's got glitter, and I loved the frilly skirt. I spent most of the dance trying to figure out how to make those frills. Definitely my favorite dress from Season 8 of DWTS.

Now if you're a fan of the show, or if you like Ballroom Dancing, you might want a dress too! Not to worry, commercial pattern companies have got us covered. Here are the patterns I own (but I haven't used them yet, so I can't tell you if they are any good):

Simplicity 3912

Simplicity 4312

Simplicity 4744

McCall's 5136

Can't wait to see what new costumes (and wonderful choreographies) Season 9 will bring us!