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Margaret Cho does Bettie

I love Margaret Cho.  I love Bettie Page. There really is no need for words...



Hope everyone had a wicked halloween!  Pictures of our costume will be posted as soon as we find some that do it justice.

Lucky Hat

Meet my newest love, a red satin top hat designed by Trashy Lingerie and bedecked with all the essentials- bows, crinoline, feathers and stripes.  However, this is not simply a gorgeous hat, ladies and gentlemen, this is a lucky hat. 

Last wednesday Malabar threw a cocktail party to promote their launch of select lines from the Trashy Lingerie designers, and a group of friends and I attended.  Being a little over enthused we arrived super early, before even some of the staff had arrived, and waited patiently (not really) outside the door.  Once we were inside we realized nothing was within a sane price range for us and spent most of the night gazing longingly at decadent corsets, tutu skirts, hats and fouffy feather hair things.  Me and a friend of mine who is quite the mad hatter were particularly fixated on this little red top hat.  


 
When the end of the night rolled around the hosts called everyone together to watch the draws for door prizes.  I have never won any draws in my life and find myself to be wildly unlucky on the whole. Clutching my crumpled paper stub in my hand I resigned myself to face the cold hard fact that I would not leave with any swag.  And then they called my number!  Despite my terrible history of luck, in a room full of people, and out of 3 different prizes I won the very hat I had been coveting along with a lovely red feather boa.  The chances of that happening are astronomical, I swear!  I therefore declare this my lucky hat.  I am very excited to do some photos in it that work around that idea.
 

The Chair

Hanna and I were on our way home from school this afternoon when we were confronted with a remarkable sight.  The Chair. On the front lawn of the house directly across the street, sitting perfectly centered on a block of concrete, was the vintage leather and wood victorian dining chair pictured below.  We were drawn across the road to examine it closer.  It looked too valuable to have been intentionally put out on the street as a freebie so we were hesitant to take it.  We knocked on the door of the house to ensure that we weren't stealing a recently purchased antique or ancient family emblem but an older man opened the door and told us it was all ours.  Holy fuck.  So... happy...

It is a little beat up but it is remarkable for a free find.  There is a portion of the engraving at the top snapped off and a deep crack on one side of the base of the backboard but the wear on it is otherwise only endearing.  I imagine this chair will end up used mostly for display purposes anyways.  I have wanted a victorian style chair like this for ages and would love to alter it to make it a little more dramatic.  These are possible sources of inspiration...


In conclusion: The Chair is all that was and all that will be.

Cyberdoll

It is a well known fact that cyborgs are pretty frickin cool.  Thanks to Mika Ruottinen I can now have more vivid fantasies about being one.  Here is his photo manipulation artwork of me as a killer cyber doll...



 



Here is the piece on DeviantArt in better resolution: http://mruottin.deviantart.com/art/Cyberdoll-127878302

You should also check out his DA gallery for more sci-fi goodness.
 

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Betty Monroe goes to Prom

About two weeks ago I did my first commission design project for Betty Monroe.  After I designed a dress for Mandi as a birthday gift one of her friends, Nezzie, asked me to sew a similar dress for her to wear to prom.  She already had this gorgeous red skull fabric (it totally glows in the dark... +2 points) so I cut it up and made this wrap around halter top dress.  I gave it two rows of lace trim at the bust, a nice big bow at the back and black mesh peeking out at the bottom.  The dress looked awesome on Nezzie and I have received solid confimation that she was indeed the cutest girl at prom. 

Here are some shots of the dress on Joan, our dress form.  Yes, she is named after Joan Jett.  No, she does not want to talk about the decapitation incident.


 

Cats at Anime North

Last month Hanna and I took an almost vacation with some of our fellow Shadowcats and spent the weekend at the Anime North convention.

We started out on Friday. After our late night/early morning shadow casting performance of Repo! the Genetic Opera finished sometime past 1 am we piled into our cat-mobiles (disclaimer: may not necessarily be any different from a normal car) and drove from the Bloor Cinema directly to our hotel near the convention. After a few hours of unsuccessful attempts to attain food and some amusing hotel shenanigans we all passed out. NEXT.

Saturday morning (AKA nearly noon) we all dressed as our Repo! characters and headed over to the main convention center to check out the artist's alley and the vendors section. Initially we were pretty nervous about what the general reaction would be to us dressing as repo characters for an anime convention, since repo is clearly not an anime, but we were almost immediately approached by a number of people who were really excited to see us there and we spotted alot of costumes that weren't based in anime either so it worked out quite fine. We embraced the opportunity and handed out some nifty business cards and buttons to anyone who recognized our costumes, asked for our pictures or simply expressed their interest by yelling "YAY REPO!!!" at our group. It definitely turned into a great opportunity to promote our show. However, my favourite activity to partake in at any convention is the people watching. Onwards to a whole lot of cosplay pictures and more...

Shadowcats in the Crowne Plaza lobby...
 

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Circus Freaky

Here is a photo of our stunning friend Bri from another shoot for our upcoming website.  Bri modelled both the outfits we created for our school fashion show and Hanna and I took turns shooting with my camera.  In this shot she is rocking the ringleader set designed by me as well as a Creepsuela Switchletto top hat.  The makeup art was done by Bri herself, another reason she is a pleasure to work with (also because she can do a very amusing Tim Gunn impression) .

Clearly we are two very lucky designers as we seem to have a vast supply of gorgeous friends who are willing to let us play dress up with them and take photos.  Looking at the shoots we have done so far with Bri and Natasha makes me feel very optimistic about our website gallery. 

On The Runway

After submitting our designs to our college's secret board of shadowy fashion figures both Hanna and I were selected to have our outfits featured in the year end student fashion show.  It was a very rare situation for us as designers to relax and view our clothes from the audience instead of being involved in the backstage chaos.  The downside to this is that we had no control over the styling or the selection of our models and no way to make sure our clothing was correctly fitted.  While we thought both our models were gorgeous I was disapointed with how loose my garment looks on her and Hanna was annoyed to see that her high rise bloomers were worn too far below the bust and her intentionally scandalous sheer blouse was worn with a white bra underneath.  

However, this does mark the first time that Betty Monroe designs have walked a runway, so it is an accomplishment well worth celebrating and a good motivator to keep pushing ourselves forwards with our design work.


 
 
 
 

Ringleader

This is my final outfit that I designed for the end of year fashion show at our school.  We were only required to make a blouse and skirt combination but I decided to make things challenging for myself and sew a four piece set.  I created a cropped jacket, a silk blouse, a waist cincher with tails and a short pencil skirt.  The outfit was inspired by the classic image of a circus ringleader in a red men's tailcoat.  I have always been attracted to men's tailcoats but I wanted to create a new way to wear one that was more tailored for the female form so I deconstructed the concept of the tailcoat into separate pieces that are more modern and feminine.  My entire vision for this outfit could be nicely completed with a black top hat and a long black whip.



(Btw, I designed this back in september 2008, far before Britney Spears ever joined the circus.)

The Blithe Spirit

Here are some quick snapshots of a final project I completed for our history of costume class.  For the assignment I read the play The Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward and then designed all the costumes for each character and organized them by scene.  The play is a comedy which revolves around a young couple being haunted by the husband's former wife.  You may notice the ghost wife, Elvira (it was very hard not to draw her as the other Elvira), is shown at the far right of the first scene in all grey clothing and grey body paint  to represent her supernatural state.  In the last act of  the play (spoiler alert...) Ruth is killed and appears in the next scene in all grey like Elvira to help the audience understand.  The play is set in the 1940's so I tried to keep all the costumes true to the period. However, I did use a much brighter palette then would likely be seen during wartime in the 1940's because I felt the characters needed a lighter appearance since the play is a comedy.  I also find the colours make the contrast between the living and dead characters more dramatic and effective. The photos do no real justice to the HOURS I spent designing, sketching and colouring these figures.  Anyways, enjoy...