Thursday, November 11, 2010

From Helen's closet to Kimberly's closet

                                                     This is Helen P.

I purchased a nice carload of vintage clothing from Helen last May when she invited me to come over while she was cleaning out her family home across the river in Greene County.
 inlcuding the yellow and blue silk ensemble she is holding in the photo at top.

Helen served as a nurse in the Vietnam War, and had the outfit custom made during a visit to Hong Kong.  
 Just like the good old days (and still common overseas) You'd walk into a tailors shop, get measured, pick out styles and fabric, and then the outfit would be constructed, personalized with embroidery, and delivered to your door in a sturdy cardboard suitcase.

The ensemble included a blue purse to match the blue coat, and yellow shoes to match the dress.

This is Kimberly.
Unlike many customers throughout the summer, Kimberly was interested in the entire ensemble as a whole, (while everyone else just wanted the coat, or just the dress). She got the whole shebang for $50.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in a ca 1970 wool Nurse's Uniform, I promised Helen I would find a good home for that too.  It's about a size 12.

Happy Veteran's Day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Fairy Gaga Halloween Costume

I started on my Halloween costume early this year, as I usually do---with one big difference-- I didn't really know what I was going to be.   All I really knew was a) I wanted to wear a pleather dominatrix suit I'd picked up at Salvation Army last summer, and b) I wanted to try my hand at making a cage/hoop skirt from scratch.  At some point Lady Gaga entered into the non-idea, as well as the fact that I was attending a "Witches' Ball", so I just kept improvising and struggling along with multiple concepts, hoping for the best.  

ie. sleeve design fail 
Hurdles included bad wigs, challenging sleeves, fabric shortages, and what felt like seven thousand trial-and-error measurements getting the hoop skirt to look right.

many, many glue sticks into the project....

Much as I adore hours and hours wielding a glue gun, my favorite moment in the whole costume process came when I spotted the plastic Princess tiaras at Ye Olde Dollar Store, which I envisioned as brilliant sparkling epaulets.

The stars for the wand were also from the Dollar Store:

I did not decide on the fairy wings until just hours before the party, when I saw them at Rite-Aid while buying candy.  I bought them and changed the fabric and trim, using an old pair of silver pantyhose.   The wings provided 
a nice backdrop for the puffy sleeves, but made a fairy princess silhouette, which conflicted conceptually with the witch's hat. Uh-ooh...whatever.  With one more day I may have made a Glinda from Oz crown for the top instead, but --my time was up. 

In the end, it all somehow came together.

(Thank You to Scott Baldinger and Gretchen Kelly for use of their photos here )