Tuesday, 27 March 2012

vintage living - an introduction

Lately one can hear "vintage" everywhere. Clothes, furniture, everyone seems to crave for the treasures of ancient times. 
Buy an interior design inspired by past decades is nothing new and can be seen throughout the centuries. 
Whereas the Romans furnished their homes in antique Greek style, the sovereigns of the Middle Ages orientated their style in the manner of the Romans...

During the 19th century the eras changed more rapidly and today people learn to appreciate the things from our direct past.

Coco Chanel's apartment
pictures by Chanel
Our journey begins with the 1920s, an innovative period with changing manifestations of art and design and ends in the 1970s.

Case Study House No°8 by Charles and Ray Eames,
I will give you examples of architecture classics, design & furniture and show you how to combine old and new. So stay tuned!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

pin-up dress workshop part II: hawaiian dreams

_day 1:
the front is in shape and from the back just the zipper is missing. Thanks to my new flatmate Twiggy (she is a bit "hipless"), it starts looking like a dress. Tomorrow challenge zipper has to be faced and then there are the interfacings...
But tomorrow is another day. Now sauna is waiting.

_day 2:
the sun is shining and I managed to fix the zipper in the back! I have to arrange still the upper part of the dress where the shoulder parts go together.

But first the interfacings are waiting. I will continue now!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

a lifestyle of freedom and passion called burlesque

Looking at the latest spring fashion, one could get the impression that there is a tendency towards glamour and femininity. I have asked two gorgeous women who made a profession out of their passion about experiences and motivation.

Miss Glitter Painkiller by Julien Lesur
Miss Glitter Painkiller, burlesque performer since 2005, was one of the first french girls discovering the burlesque. 
Co-creator of the troupe Bump n' Grind Honeys and organizer of La Glitter Fever, she spreads her glitter now solo in the most popular french and european parties! 
She's the director or Le Velours, a booking agency of burlesques artistes and owns her own school where she teaches the art of burlesque.

Cherry Dee Licious is part of the Helsinki-based burlesque troupe The Itty-Bitty Tease Cabaret which has been teasing and delighting the audience since 2008. 
She spends her days in the harbor and as a freelance designer with her own fashion blog, but when the night falls she conquers the stage in her glittery heels.

Where and how have you found the burlesque for yourself and what is the motivation to perform?

MGP: I came to the burlesque by chance six and a half year ago. I immediately liked it, the costumes, music, makeup, glitter, it was really made for me!

CDL: I personally got interested in performing after seeing my first live show in Helsinki early 2008 (the first time for decades that anyone saw burlesque here in Finland). I have seen videos and images before, but never a live show and it immediately struck me, because it was so down to earth, regardeless ot all the glam and glitter. 

Sounds a bit contradictional perhaps, but whereas burlesque on a visual and aesthetic level is over the top, the attitude of the performers was fun, not too serious and laid back, which made it easy and nice to watch and also gave me the idea of "this is something I would want to do". Also the fact that the bodies on stage were classically feminine and not too thin or pumped up added to this.

The Itty-Bitty Tease Cabaret
We've been to many places and met different kind of people and other artists trough burlesque. It is also a form of entertainment where you can mix many fields and skills, depending on what you like and are capable of : costume, music, performing, dancing, making props... there are basically no limits other than practical of how you can make your shows and numbers.

Can you explain what the burlesque means for you?

MGP: For me, burlesque is a lifestyle, a discipline that allows me to live my passion and to be free.

Who is the audience you want to reach?

MGP: I'm not trying to reach a particular audience. It would be a lost case from the beginning, but when I organize parties I wish that the entrance fee is not too high...

CDL: When it comes to audiences, I would not limit it to any certain group. I've learned from many shows and places I might have been sceptical about before, never to underestimate a crowd. One can have a great audience at a venue one would never had thought would be right on spot for burlesque...
Burlesque may not be for everyone out there, but in the end it is a form of entertainment that is quite easily reachable. Most people have been positively surprised after seeing a show for the first time. 
Of course, there are different kinds of burlesque (and also different kinds of prejudices). Not everyone is thrilled by the humour in neo burlesque, they just want the diva like appearances and grace of the so called more classical acts, while others again find that boring and want to see funny faces, stories, making fun of one self and twirling. Some performers want to make statements with their numbers and not everyone is interested in that either.
In general, as a performer and entertainer I'd perform for anybody pretty much anywhere, but I choose the acts depending on where and for what audience the show will be. 

Miss Glitter Painkiller by Eve Saint-Ramon
Which part of the burlesque attitude is important for you in your every day life?

MGP: This is a very feminine milieu and I have many friends here. We support each other a lot, because it's not always easy to evolve in a microcosm.

CDL: For me, I think one thing with burlesque is and should be the fact that one should not take oneself too seriously. This does not mean that one should not work hard on shows and performance in order to get better, but more of an over all attitude to keep in numbers and on stage. And good to remember in every day life too.

The Itty-Bitty Tease Cabaret
And do you see cultural differences travelling abroad?

CDL: There are big differences between performers and their styles, not necessarily determined by culture as you can find some of each kind everywhere. I think  you could see the same kind of number made by a performer anywhere in the world, the differences in between the acts mostly depending on which genre and style of burlesque the performer prefers. 
I did notice in the States for example that the northern parts where more into neo and humour where as the souther parts  were more about sultriness and classical striptease. One also saw more breast implants in those performers for example. 

The burlesque audience may differ from country to country though, also of course depending on the venue. But in general the audience in Finland is very mixed, often with more women, whereas in the States I was told, it is still more men in the audience on burlesque events.

MGP: I performed in New York and I find that the performers have less cold eyes than the French! But maybe in France we do more numbers that tell a story...

So if you are more curious now, I have some links for you:

Monday, 19 March 2012

Friday, 16 March 2012

two movies - two styles

I am having a little holiday up in the North and it's, beneath a lot of nice things, also dedicated to watch a lot of movies, so yesterday I went to the cinema to finally watch "The Artist".

                                The Artist
W./E. by Madonna
The movie is a homage to the silent movies of the late 20s and is done in the same style without any spoken dialogue. The movie takes us to Hollywood in 1927, the turning point in the movie industry which discovered the sound, to tell us the story of the rise and fall of two actors and their interlinked destinies.
George Valentin is a silent movie superstar. The advent of the talkies will sound the death knell for his career as he refuses to adapt to the changing surroundings. For young Peppy Miller, who takes the challenge, it seems only the sky is the limit - major movie stardom awaits.

I was surprised that even some tough guys I know where very positive about the movie and my man whispered during the movie that he likes the outfits and asked if it becomes a fashion trend. And yes I have seen already dresses like the ones gorgeous Peppy Miller is wearing. That's why I want to show you my favorite looks of her.

Another great movie I can't wait to se is "W.E." by Madonna. 
W.E. tells the story of two fragile but determined women – Wally Winthrop and Wallis Simpson – separated for more than six decades. Lonely Wally Winthrop is obsessed with what she thinks is the ultimate love story: King Edward VIII's abdication of the British throne for the woman he loved, American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Weaving back and forth in time, the film intertwines Wally's journey of discovery in New York with the story of Wallis and Edward, from the glamorous early days of their romance to the slow unraveling of their lives. As Wally learns more about the sacrifices Wallis made in choosing to be with Edward, she finds the courage to follow her own heart and create her own happiness.

The movie was nominated for the best costumes and for a good reason in my opinion. I have collected for you my favorite images.


Enjoy watching and finding your favorite style!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

and the jungle fever continues

I am so excited! I could finally finish yesterday the prototype for my "Josephine" dress as you can see in the picture below.

I made it first out of simple white fabric as it serves as a sample to check the sizing and adapt length etc. If you have a look at the sketch you will realize that it has "lost" a sleave! I found it a bit more special like this and adapted the pattern already.

"Josephine" front piece
under construction
In the morning I have started with the real dress. I cut out the front and back pieces and started to give them their shape by sewing the darts. Hope I will get the front and back pieces ready today!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

sew it yourself

I found a couple of great sewing patterns from the 40s to early 60s and I have couple of ideas for them which I will show you later. I will make another workshop for my pin-up dress at the weekend and I hope I can show you a little more then.

But these are my latest treasures...

If you are not so interested in vintage styles but curious to do something for yourself and speak a little German, check out Cut - Leute machen Kleider. You will find design ideas and have the possibility to buy ready made sewing kits with pattern for some pieces. I liked the idea actually a lot, unfortunately not every post is in English.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

pin-up dress workshop part I: topic jungle fever

I have conquered the kitchen and declared it my sewing workshop for this weekend...

me cutting out first parts for my dress to be
I mentioned before that I feel tempted to make my own perfect pin-up dress and was amazed how much vintage sewing pattern one can actually find...

First jungle fever sketches: let's call them Josephine and Faye

But for my first project, I have chosen two styles based on Butterick Retro patterns which are easily available and not too expensive. The fabric in both styles is from Alexander Henry.

fabrics and tools
And this is what you need: around 2,5m fabric for the Josephine dress, a 45cm long zipper, hooks and eyes and the challenge begins...
I will continue working on my prototype now to check the sizing, but I keep you updated.