Several years ago for Halloween, I decided to bring to life my favorite Patrick Nagel painting. Usually described as “woman with flower in her hair,” the piece is also known as the alternate cover art for Duran Duran’s iconic Rio album.
The first incarnation of the outfit included a royal blue tube top and raspberry capris, both of which I made myself by altering commercially available patterns. Since I’ve gotten a lot smaller since then, I decided it was time to put together a new “Rio” look for this Halloween. This time, I’m using separates produced by popular pin up clothing manufacturers.
With the holidays fast approaching, you may find yourself in need of a fancy new frock or two. Yes, I realize that technically, a frock is just a dress that buttons in the back. But let’s suspend that reality for the sake of my prose. Anyway. I have some spiffy suggestions for what to wear for your Christmas parties, New Year’s Eve shindigs, spruced-up goings-out, and maybe even a Thanksgiving dinner or two.
Its slinky black stretch satin and knit fabrics and cute buckled collar make the Janelle a perfect cat costume, but it’s also wonderful cocktail wear for any fancy occasion. Drawing inspiration from the art deco and futuristic aesthetics incorporated into the science fiction/film noir classic, Blade Runner, Laura’s created a beautiful dress suitable for an impressive Halloween ensemble, holiday parties, or a special date night! For those who want a little variety in their colorways, the Janelle is also available in a vibrant red, a deep blue, and a lustrous pewter gray. Continue reading “Outfit of the Week: Easy Black Cat Halloween Costume”
In addition to my fabulous photo shoot with Tara O., my Viva Las Vegas itinerary included an amazing shoot at Paris Hotel & Casino with the talented and personable Angela Morales. Angela’s photography is breathtaking, but she’s also a lot of fun to work with and an excellent teacher to boot!
Her direction was top-notch, putting me at ease immediately. “Pretend like you’re mouthing vowels; start with A and move through U – that way you’ll get variety in your expressions!” and “If it feels silly, it’s probably perfect!” were my favorite instructions.
Yesterday was our Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild Falling for Vertigo: A Toast to Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco event. We had a wonderful time attending a guided tour of the Georgian portraiture at the Legion of Honor (an iconic Vertigo filming site), a nod to the fictional “portrait of Carlotta” that appeared in the film. Afterwards, we visited historic Fort Point, the location where “Madeleine” throws herself into San Francisco Bay, to explore the Civil War-era fort and behold the spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands. Our day ended with drinks and dinner at the Presidio Social Club (and for some of us, the Top of the Mark). Continue reading “Falling for Vertigo: 1950s Fashion and Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco”
Because I love Greco-Roman antiquity, I needed to make myself a chiton. Because I’ve performed Lady Emma Hamilton’s famous, classically-inspired tableaux vivants twice in the last twelve years, I needed to make myself a chiton. Because chitons are awesome and I like them, I needed a chiton.
By this point in the blog post, you might be asking yourself, “What the heck is a chiton? Who is Lady Hamilton? And those “tableaux” thingies?” I know it sounds like a strange combination of ideas, but it’s honestly not as complicated as it seems. In fact, the chiton – a very simple women’s (and men’s!) garment originating in ancient Greece and widely used as a basic dress or underdress for women in Roman eras – is extremely easy to make and wear. But I’ll get to that in a second.
Emma, My Inspiration
First, the Lady Emma part of the explanation. Our English Regency society puts on various events dealing with events and culture from the late Georgian period of British history. In the course of preparations for a ball honoring the great naval hero Lord Horatio Nelson, I somehow got roped into playing a role. And not just any role; I would be recreating Lady Emma Hamilton’s famous “attitudes.” Lady Emma performed these silent tableaux from 1787 through the 1790s and into the early 19th century, sparking several high-profile imitations and influencing modern dance and other forms of performance art over a hundred years later. Now, this was 1999 and I was crazy busy trying to finish my last year of law school. The last thing I probably needed on my plate was a performance of some sort, but for Emma Hamilton I made an exception.
October was kind of a sewing nightmare. I really, really hate sewing. Like, I’d rather stab myself with a rake than have to deal with the cutting, the pinning, the seamripping, the rumpled fabric (right, I don’t even OWN an iron)…yeah, can’t stand it.
Well, since none of my beautiful Regency wardrobe fits (still), I had to pull together an 1814-ish evening gown out of my trusty-dusty purple silk sari (not a very period color, I know) for the Bay Area English Regency Society’s Congress of Vienna Ball. I had a role – Princess Bagration, the White Pussycat and Naked Angel – so I needed something that looked lush. At any rate, the job’s not TOO bad for a rush. I didn’t have time nor a proper pattern to make period stays, so the silhouette’s not the best. Oh well.
For Halloween, I made myself a Patrick Nagel “Rio” outfit, perfect for “dancing on the sand.” This image was apparently the alternate cover image considered for Duran Duran’s legendary sophomore album.