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Archive for the ‘Wearables’ Category
This costume was made using purchased pieces from a thrift store. The clothes were altered and aged using dye baths, sandpaper, and acrylic paint to describe a character.
Here are the completed sketches for my Russian folktale costume design. To tell you a bit about the design: each element is inspired by a piece of traditional Ukrainian or Russian costume. I was really interested in working with pattern (check out the home furnishing fabric which was once used to upholster a couch I sat on as a little girl) so I decided to trade in the intricate embroidery for pattern overload. The shape and style of the dress is an updated/ modern take on the details and layering of a traditional Ukrainian woman’s garments: the drawstring is replaced by a pleated neck, the cut of the dress and differentiation between the body of the dress and the shoulders was taken from a layering of blouse and overcoat, the apron relates to the story (the pockets as a means of storage during a journey) and references the apron that was once worn to cover the opening of a warp-around skirt. I am opting to hand-weave the belt that attaches to the apron (via the most perfect buttons- they reminded me of patterns I saw in my Russian folktale/rituals class) as a tribute to the many references to weaving in the story and throughout Russian folklore and history, as well as to add my own personal flare to the costume. This past week I completed the mock-up of the costume (which I still can’t believe I actually pulled off) and coming up is the real thing. And trust me, there will be plenty of pictures.
I just wanted to give you guys an idea of what I’m doing when I’m not weaving like a maniac (it’s like a drug, I’m addicted, I can’t stop weaving any spare moment I have). These are sketches (to be colored and scanned later) for a costume for the female protagonist of the Russian folktale, “The Feather of Finist the Bright Falcon.” More details to come as I work on completeing the costume over the next two weeks.
For my costume design class, our first assignment was a sewing test, given to evaluate our skill and craft with patterns and sewing. The test was to complete a miniature version of a dress, and while mine isn’t perfect, I worked so hard to make it as perfect as my little heart could.
Earlier today I had an absolutely wonderful and insightful conversation with friend and fellow staff member Stephanie about the work I do in weaving and the work we both do in poetry. The first thing that really struck me on her end of the conversation that I wanted to share was the idea that cloth today is not as precious as in the past because of mass production. Case in point: most people never think about how the cloth they buy in the fabric store is made (it doesn’t just grow on trees!). It’s something I’ve never really thought of before, and we talked extensively about the art of living a “slow” life, the idea that taking the time to do tasks that are otherwise provided for us in a mass produced society does not equate to laziness, but instead reflects an ability to focus and share an appreciation of hard, processed work. Re-reading that, it makes little sense, but maybe it’ll make you think of something similar. I guess what we were saying is that removing yourself from the modern pace of society, to some extent, to revisit crafts and skills that have been forgotten or discarded in favor of an easier production can be an honorable thing. Trust me, our conversation was much more eloquent than my fatigued thoughts. (I’m going on my last day of TARC training for the MICA pre-college program and it’s been intense).
The other thing we talked about was writing (because I mentioned the connection I draw between weaving and writing) and something we talked about was being proud of what you write, and taking ownership of it. And blurring the lines between private and public work. Out of that conversation came some inspiration for me to share some more of my own work on this blog, especially since I’m always talking about how important interdisciplinary work is, and emphasizing both my writing and my weaving at the same time.
The following works come from my book from my second semester poetry class entitled You & Me. The rest of the poems after the jump.
We make ourselves known
through richly paneled walls, chocolate drawn drapes
and the pronounced silence of hiding from essence
Lady Victorian Dreamer and Level Headed Modernist have met
and she’s not supposed to be here, aware-
how the long, bone cigarette holder dangling from her careless lips
reminds him of her legs, reminds him of progress
she coughs, a mouse in hiding and he notices
and the thing is, some how-do-you dos simply get lost in
the theories of lipstick and gin