Masks and Deep, Deep Thoughts

An assigned project was to make a mask that represents the character Turandot.

I'll admit it: I'm not a fan of these projects. I feel that you end up just making something that you like then you bs how it represents the character during the presentation by saying something like. I'm much more interested in working out the design itself rather than getting sidetracked on these mini-projects.
All that said, I actually enjoyed this one. By working on my "abstract" mask I was able to figure out certain stylistic elements that represent Turandot which I will (surprise!) actually use in my design.

Note the spikes stabbing through the soft fabrics representing the depth and layers of the character. Her prickly nature is what stands out the most but there's more to her than that. There is also the element of an ugly and dangerous growth being presented, depicting pride, bitterness and anger. Left untamed will slowly engulf her until that will be all that's left. (I know I'm just blowing your mind by this deep and thought provoking depiction of the Turandot within *grin*)  


It's the Opera, Daaahling

Lord have mercy, today was pretty amazing. I got to go on a mini-tour of the LA Opera's hair and make-up department and see took a close up look at all the wigs and a couple of the costumes. I took a bunch of pictures but unfortunately they're copyrighted so no posting them here. =*( The show is designed by Achim Freyer (costumes/hair/make-up/set/lighting) and it looks phenomenal. It's very impressionistic and is is absolutely crazy, weird and beautiful - in a way only ze Germanz can be (Freyer being Deutsch and all...of course Wagner was one too).

Because I can't show any images of the wigs, here are some of the studio. Not extremely interesting but I enjoyed the wall of drawers full of hair pieces.

I only recently learned that a great deal of wigs are made of yak hair, which I'm still getting a kick out of. Meryl Streep's grey wig in The Devil Wears Prada was all yak.

Here's my favorite row of drawers, because you never know when you need a filler piece of pink fantasy yak hair??


Field Trip

{Image via WagnerOpera.net}

Woo hoo! Going to the LA Opera tomorrow to visit the hair and wig department. Right now they are doing The Ring Cycle which let's face, it doesn't tempt me at all to see even if it is German. I mean, its sooo long and I'm not a big fan of Greek tragedies. However I am excited about the costumes (natch) / sets / hair & makeup. I can't wait to get there and pester the wig people with questions. Who knows, maybe I'll bring my camera and take some photos?

Black & White - Construction Project

I'm building this 1901 gown from for a class am I'm really excited about the final product. Although it's not from the same period as "My Fair Lady," I absolutely love the scene at the races where everyone is dressed in black, white and grey. I'm using that scene as inspiration. I think the whole gown will be a white satin with a black stripe with a black net bolero that has pin tucks on the sleeves. The trim on the bolero and the skirt will also be black and white.

Next step is to scan in the sketch and play with some colors and patterns before I go and buy fabrics. There's nothing worse than spending a lot of time, effort and money on something that ends up just looking tacky.

I have a blind spot when it comes to stripes because I love them so much. I went through a phase where I wore stripes nearly every day causing a friend of a friend to start calling me a pirate. My best friend Lori really enjoys reminding me of that incident (thanks Lori, always a pal!)

Of course, when I wear the gown I will have to lean dramatically like the lady in the front. I think it really completes the look, no? *grin*


Here's a close up of the front and back of the bodice and bolero. Not sure how much I like the flower placement...
Here's where I am so far. Yeah.... I've got a loooong way to go.


Oh those crazy Super Heroes

Tim Gunn just needs to show up places and randomly critique things.
He just convinced me to order a Tim Gunn bobblehead.  Am I years behind the trend? Probably. Does it make it any less awesome? Never!!




I'm still developing these characters but here are some of my roughs for the show we're working on in a class. It's an Italian play about a Chinese princess whose father is trying to get her married. She has no interest in marriage and so she challenges each suitor to answer 3 riddles in order to win her hand. If they get the riddles wrong they get their heads cut off and hung on pikes throughout Peking. 

These costumes will probably change into something else entirely but here is my first take on these characters.


Fancy Schmanzy

 Due to an unfortunate kerfuffle with an exploding bottle of hairspray, my old camera bit the dust. But I just bought a Nikon P100 today and I love, love love it! It's very fancy and I can have more control over my photos. I really enjoyed my Casio Exilim while I had it but I've been reading too many blogs and wanting to do a bit more besides point-and-click or settling for whatever scenery settings the camera has preset. I'm now ready to take some swanky portfolio quality pictures.


Research via Flickr


This quarter I'm taking a History of Dress in the 20th Century and one of my projects is to compile a digital library of 40 images from each decade in the 1900s. I already have a pretty large stash of fashion images from magazines and ads so I wanted to challenge myself a bit and force myself to only collect photos of real people from Flickr. They are the hardest to compile and more accurate for costume research than from fashion shoots of the period (yeah, I'm a dork).

Well, I've been having far too much fun and found some pretty fantastic people. The clothes lovely (naturally), but the people are just so expressive!

Personally, I want to be the girl in the photo above. I'm seriously considering wearing my hair like that tomorrow, kerchief and all.

Here are some more photos I ♡.

{1900s & 1910s}
Why do I have the sudden urge to watch Anne of Green Gables?.....

 .....And buy sassy rounded white glasses?.....

{1900s & 1920s}

 .....While dancing on rooftops?.......

.....All while having been the best dressed kid on the block.....

{1930s & 1940s}

I just found two groups of friends I would like to join.....

.....Or I could hang out with this woman.
(Bonus Point: Note the cross in the top right corner)

All photos are from Flickr. Unfortunately I don't remember the photostreams for these images. If you know where they're from please let me know!