Saturday, January 16, 2010

Costume Monster Hoodie

I love ThreadBanger. What they call alternative fashion, I call everyday costume. Yesterday's DIY show was about transforming Hoodies into costumes. Usually, when you think Hoodie, you think comfy sweater you can throw on to go to the grocery store. With the Monster Hoodie project, you can do that, and freak out the Soccer Moms! How cool is that?

My Sweetheart walked into my Sewing Room/Office while I was watching the video and he told me that he wants the 'Ragon Head (he also asked if I was going to write that he wants the 'Ragon Head in my Blog - yes my love, I did). But seriously, I want one. And, I want to make one for my daughter. I'll even make one for my Sweetheart if he really wants one. I'll use sewing though, because I'm not a big fan of replacing stitches with glue.

I can see this project becoming a gift for a couple of friends (but I won't say who, or else it will ruin the surprise). Have I mentioned I love ThreadBanger?

Friday, January 15, 2010

The £1 Million Dress

I saw this in the news recently: "Lottery heiress Hannah Cooper has made a dress that looks a million dollars — because it's made of a million pounds". In truth, it is made of fabric. The fashion design student asked the Bank of England permission to print £20 bank notes on to silver silk.

£1 Million Dress by Hannah Cooper; Modelled by Miss Cardiff Summer Ghanavati

Actually, when I first heard about it, it was on Yahoo and the article said the girl had been given one million pounds by her dad and she had chosen to stitch the bank notes on a dress. Comments said it was either a hoax or a very selfish thing to do. Geesh! Talk about researching your story! Even this humble blogger can do a better job!

But back to topic: it does make for an original dress. Not something I would wear everyday, but still, it's an interesting design. I also love the idea of printing your own pattern on silk: that is not something I have learned in Fashion School, but I would love to know how to do it.

Good luck to Hannah Cooper in her Fashion career!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grandma Eve's Fur Muff

While looking for something in my Costume Closet, I found this muff which I inherited from my Grandmother. I have no idea how old it is, but as muffs, or had warmers, were very trendy in eras gone by, I thought I would share it with you.

Front View

It is made of real fur, though I do not know what animal it came from, and it has been worn out in some places. It measures 32 cm in height and 45 cm in width; the top measures 20 cm and the sides are 27 cm, with an opening of 23 cm.

Back View

The back is made of satin which is decorated with a machine stitched floral design. There is a zipper that opens up a purse section.

By the way, the zipper was first used in Haute Couture in the 1930's by Elsa Schiaparelli; before that, zippers were used only in children's garment and on men's trousers.

I tell you this because it helps me situate the period from which my muff comes from. As it stands, I imagine it is no older that the 1940's, but could possibly be younger, since my Grandma was born in 1929 (but for all I know, this was her mother's).

Side View

The muff is lined in a satin similar to the only used in the back, but without any decorative stitching. Inside the opening, there in a triangle of fabric which is sewn to both sides, keeping them in place and creating a pocket.

Loop Detail

At the top, on each side, there is a loop of fabric to which a cord can be attached so that the muff can hang from the neck.

Sewing Detail

The lining has come undone on one side, so I can tell you more about the construction. The lining is interlined with cotton canvas. To sew the lining to the fur, a braid has been added, so the lining is hand sewn to the braid and not the fur directly.

I hope you have learned new things and have enjoyed this little tour of my antique fur muff. Maybe I should start making some to sell. I'll think about it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Snow/Ice Queen

It is one of the Compulsory Costumes on the list: The Snow/Ice Queen. I think it's there because so many costumers like to make their own version. Just type "ice queen" or "snow queen" in Google Image and you'll see what I mean.

For my own interpretation, which I have been working on for quite a few years, I see the dress and coat looking a little like Winter Fantasy™ Barbie® (2003), which I have on my shelf.

Winter Fantasy™ Barbie® (2003)

I like the idea of a shimmering dress and a white fur trimmed coat. For the belt buckle, I plan on using a metallic snow flake Christmas decoration type thing, which I can starting November in many different sores. As for the tiara, I would like something a little more "ice" like. For example, I really like this Swarovski Cristal tiara:

Swarovski Cristal Tiara

Generally speaking, I plan on getting all my accessories for this costume in the Christmas Decoration section of my local Zellers or Canadian Tire.

Hair wise, I had thought of getting custom made dreads in white, blond, silver and maybe light blue, to look like icicles; unfortunately, my favourite dread maker, Elliss Seven of LS Seven Hair, no longer takes custom orders, so I'm no longer sure exactly what I'll do. We'll see.

As for makeup, I have shimmering white powder which I can use on the top part of my face, shimmering turquoise powder I would use as eye shadow and blush, and silver lipstick for an icy look.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen has been one of my favourite stories since childhood. I could make a whole wardrobe for my Snow Queen if I didn't hold myself back.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Star Wars Burlesque Show

It is true ladies and gentlemen: some geeks have really weird fantasies. I once saw Twi'lek porn on a friend's computer. So it comes as no surprise then that a Star Wars Burlesque event could be organized at a club in L.A. A friend shared a link to an L.A. Weekly Blog which shared pictures of the event (Star Wars Burlesque: Tatooine-Styled Shenanigans at the Bordello). I have chosen a few to show you, in which the performers are still decent. Proof that any costumes can inspire... any costume.

Character: C-3PO
Performer: Lucy Fur
Photo by: Shannon Cottrell

Character: Jabba the Hutt
Performer: Scarlet O'Gasm
Photo by: Shannon Cottrell

Character: Princess Leia
Performer: Olivia Bellafontaine
Photo by: Shannon Cottrell

Character: Boba Fett
Performer: Audrey Deluxe
Photo by: Shannon Cottrell

Character: Darth Vader
Performer: Charlotte LaBelle
Photo by: Shannon Cottrell

Character: Stormtrooper
Performer: Courtney Cruz
Photo by: Shannon Cottrell

Well. I'm speechless. I like burlesque as much as anyone, but that's not really my bag [baby]! Still, when I started this blog, I told myself I would talk about any and every type of costume, and so I have.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Movie Monday: Agora

Still not much on the new movie radar this week, so lets talk about a movie for which we have no local release date yet: Agora (2009). The movie tells the story of astronomer-philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria (played by Rachel Weisz) and her relationship with her slave Davus (Max Minghella), who is torn between his love for his mistress and the possibility of gaining his freedom by joining the rising tide of Christianity. We are shown the event that happened in Alexandria, Egypt, in the year 391 C.E. and of which we still know today: the destruction of the Library of Alexandria by Christian Emperor Theodosius I.

So what was in fashion at the end of the 4th century? For men, a tunic and a toga (6 metres of wool wrapped around the body), and for women, a stola (long robe) and a palla (mantle or shawl).

Photo from
Agora Trailer - Agora Pictures

If it's not too cold by the time this movie comes out at a theatre near me, I might go in my chiton and himation (which you know as my Circe Costume). Sure, that costume is Greek and not Roman, but they are somewhat similar, and besides, I'll be the only one to know.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sleeping Dictionary

Last night, my Baby just wouldn't fall asleep so I ended up watching a very late night movie (no, it was not and adult movie). It was The Sleeping Dictionary (2003) staring Hugh Dancy, Jessica Alba, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Mortimer and Bob Hoskins. Normally, I'm not a big fan of Romantic Comedies, but this one is set in Sarawak in 1936, so of course, costumes come into play.

What I was fascinated with in this movie is the traditional costume of the Iban women, which we see Selima wear during the festival scene. (By the way the Iban is the ethnic group that the character of Selima belongs to.)

Jessica Alba as Selima, The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)

Of course, you know me, I had to know more. So the first thing I asked myself is "Where is Sarawak?". No offense, but I had never heard of the place. As it turns out, Sarawak is situated on the island of Borneo and is one of two Malaysian state on the island. Now that I have learned something new, let's move on to the costume.

I found the following picture on the National Geographic website and it gave a description of the costume worn by the girl.

A young Iban woman wearing traditional ceremonial attire poses among Sarawak, Malaysia's lush forest. Her costume includes numerous silver ornaments, including a necklace, a sash of coins on her sarong, multiple bracelets and anklets, and a tall, ornate silver headdress called a sugu tinggi. Photo Credit: Dave Bartruff/CORBIS

Of course, what really caught my eye was the silver headdress or sugu tinggi, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one to feel that way! As I learned, it is a comb case made entirely of silver.

Lets look at more eye candy from the Sarawak Tourism Board website.

An Iban Dance

Beautiful ladies in Iban costume

Beads to adorn the Iban costume

Can you believe those collars are made of beads! Now that is impressive work.

What a beautiful Traditional / National costume. I wish Québec's was that impressive, but all we have is a tuque and a Ceinture Fléché (Arrow Sash). The belt in itself is nice, but I want a whole attire, not just an accessory.