Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lady Gaga "Judas" Music Video

Have I ever told you that I am a Lady Gaga fan? Oh, that often, heh? Well...

Lady Gaga's new video Judas requires mentioning because the costumes she wears in it are many, amazing, and come from various sources of inspiration. Here are my Top 5 favourites.

Number 5: The Wave Dress

Lady Gaga, "Judas" music video, 2011

In this case, it is hard to see the details, but I liked that it was long and metallic. I also always love water scenes. Hopefully one day, I will know more about it.

Number 4: The Killer Nails

Lady Gaga, "Judas" music video, 2011

I simply love burgundy and deep green together. I used to paint my nails in this fashion as a teen; maybe the fashion will finally kick in now! Plus I love all the bling on those claws (except maybe for the moss).

The shirt has a somewhat Victorian and romantic feel to it, from what we can see of it, i.e. the cuffs. And is it just me, or is that eye make up inspired by an Oudjat (slightly inverted)?

Number 3: The Doublet

Lady Gaga, "Judas" music video, 2011

Here we have a lovely embroidered doublet, straight out of The Tudors. I have a velvet doublet that I wear as a jacket; perhaps I will no longer be alone after this.

As for the hairstyle, I have read some comments comparing it to Snookie's , but my first thought was in fact Centauri males (in Babylon 5).

Number 2: Riding Look

Lady Gaga, "Judas" music video, 2011

Not only do i like red and purple together, but lets be honest: what girl does not love a Tiara? That bejeweled cold crown is gorgeous.

Really, I just thought Miss Gaga looked stunningly beautiful in this scene.

Number 1: The Egyptian Bride

Lady GaGa, "Judas" music video, 2011

This is my favourite look of all, and we only see it for a few seconds at the end of the video. The wig looks like something Egyptian, the dress is a mixture of Lolita and 80's wedding dress and the shoes seem to be 50's saddle oxford. It almost feels like I have seen this look before in a manga, but can't exactly put my finger on which one. In any case, someone had better market that wig because I want it. In fact, I think I may have found my Halloween costume.

If you haven't seen the video yet, here is you chance:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Princess Peach Project: Research

It is official: we (my daughter and I) are going to Otakuthon this year. I have paid for our registration, so unless one of us is too sick to go, WE ARE GOING.

Which means I have to start working on our costumes, and as we all know, research is the best part of planning. I had already decided back in February (see
Otakuthon 2011 Costume Project: Princess Peach and Toadette, posted on February 5, 2011) that we would go as Princess Peach Toadstool and Toadette.

Toadette from Super Mario

Toadette should be fairly easy to make: a summer dress, a vest, some white shorts and slip cover for my daughter’s bicycle helmet should do the trick. Since Otakuthon is the week-end of August 12 to 14, and toddlers tend to grow really fast, I will wait until July to start making her costume.

Princess Peach on the other hand poses a challenge. First, there are many designs to choose from.

Princess Peach as she appears on Super Mario Bros 3

Princess Peach in her appearance for New Super Mario Bros Wii

Princess Peach in her appearance for Super Smash Bros

I am leaning towards the second one. Simple, but slightly more detailed than the first one, and I really like the resemblance of the skirt to Disney’s Cinderella’s.

Disney’s Cinderella

The real challenge is to make it right. It looks simple, but looks can be deceiving. I have looked all over for pictures of Princess Peach cosplay that I liked, but in general, the fabric is too shiny, the proportions are wrong, or the fit just isn't right. I was beginning to believe that this was the costume that never looked good. It was suggested to me that I should see this as a challenge, to make a good looking one, but honestly, I was getting really afraid, thinking “What am I getting myself into?”.

But then I found two.

The first one is made according to design number one.

Jenni Källberg, aka Pixelninja, as Princess Peach

It fits well, the skirt has the right volume, and I really like the way the darker bottom colour in the sketch was interpreted as an underskirt. It makes the whole look like a real dress for a real person, not just a pink costume.

The second one is made to be like the more detailed concept art.

Princess Peach by Enayla

Again, beautiful fit and proportions. I have not seen the panniers look so good on any other cosplay of this character. The sleeves are also perfect puff sleeves, and the collar is just the right height. I will look at this picture often when making my own as a reference for these details.

I am now feeling a little better about the project. I now believe that a good looking Princess Peach costume, in the version I want to make, can, in fact, be achieved.

But since I am not as slim as the girls in the above picture, maybe I’ll invest in a good pair of Spanx. It can always be useful!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mondrian Kimono Project

span style="font-family:verdana;">I have had a crazy Kimono idea. It all started with an innocent discussion on the Immortal Geisha forum about fabrics we would love to use to make Yukata. One person there suggested printing a Monet painting on a silk Kimono, and suddenly it hit me: A Mondrian Kimono.

For those of you who do not know Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), he was an artist who became famous for his abstract paintings of grids with blocks of bold colours, generally primary colours (red, yellow and blue).

Composition with with Red, Blue and Yellow, P. Mondrian, 1930, oil of canvas

Of course, fashion aficionados will remember that Yves Saint-Laurent made a very famous shift dress inspired by Mondrian’s paintings.

Yves Saint Laurent, "Mondrian" Day dress, Autumn 1965 (Wool jersey in color blocks of white, red, blue, black, and yellow)

Since Kimono are so geometric (square) in construction, you can see how Mondrian’s art would fit the shape perfectly.

Once inspiration struck me, I began playing with shapes and colour to come up with this concept for my Kimono:

Mondrian Kimono Concept by Gwenyver

I tried to keep everything balanced, while placing the colour blocks in places where a Kimono would usually get more detailed decoration. I may re-work the design before actually making it, but for now, it gives you a good idea of my concept. Of course, I would wear it with a Ro Obi, but I am unsure what colour it should be. So many possibilities!

Now, should I make it by painting the cloth, like Mondrian, or should I use blocks of fabrics, somewhat like a quilt, the way Yves Saint-Laurent did?