“what I’ve been up to”- words by Rochelle
So, the Kansas City Art Institute is out for summer! I am through with my first year of full-time school…and I couldn’t be more grateful for the free time I have right now to catch up on things around my humble home. But don’t let me get distracted here with all my spring cleaning and gardening commentary, because none of that is what I am here to share with you.
One of the workshops I was in this past semester at the KC Art Institute was called “Vestio: Put It On”. Out of many assignments, one was to create a costume that represented how we think people, or want people to perceive us. The costume could be conceptual or literal, but overall, it had to be completely handmade, wig and all.
I created what I call “Fire Mouth Mama”: representational of me as a mother, a woman who speaks her mind, as well as someone who is respectable, yet unique- different, even weird; all the while considering that I am also a retired Hair Stylist. Those were my key words when I started anyway……
I made my wig first. The mouth shape on top was inspired by a hairstyle that I saw on a fashion model (below):
As you see from my “work in progress” wig, I decided to use yellows and reds that define a fiery hot headed woman. Although I’m proud of my wig, as it is the second one I’ve ever made in my lifetime (rather than just assembling a crazy up-do hairstyle on a live person), it wasn’t a complete success. At least I know what I did wrong, so when I go at wig making again, it will only get better.
After I completed my hair, I made the costume: a pair of drop crotch leggings with geometric patterns, a coordinating tank top, and the “wearing a square” pullover I made from the pattern in Pattern Magic 2 by Tomoko Nakamichi. The contrast of texture and pattern: brocade fabric versus athletic fabric, mingled with lycra fabric, which I chose for my costume, was important and intentional- an element portraying my moodiness, randomness, eclectic taste, or even my indecisiveness.
For the finishing touches, I sewed real hair on the sleeves of my pullover and created a hair boa that wrapped around my neck. Amidst all the hair, on my sleeves and within the boa, I attached plastic babies- which unfortunately you can barely see (or not see at all) in the photos below.
Oh yeah, as I look again at the photo, I realize that I forgot to relay I made boot covers for my ankle boots. During my final critique, I was recommended to do something about my shoes before our class was to put on a one time only, public performance. Boot covers were my solution, and so, the day after critique and boot cover making, I was ready to perform in the crazy weird, student re-written rendition of the Emperor’s New Clothes that we titled “Measants, A Silent Musical….eeah Only the Virgins”. It was truly a silent musical. If I can get the video recording of our performance from my instructor, I will definitely post it.
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