Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Hallowe'en: Imperator Furiosa, Her Cat, and a Cultist

Happy Hallowe'en, my friends. This year I went full-on badass, as Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron's character) from Mad Max: Fury Road, one of my favourite movies of last year. 
Don't mess with me.

  • T-shirt - Jacob, thrifted - one and done, purchased here for $5.50, and never to be worn again
  • Camo pants - Gap, consignment; last worn here a week ago for my most recent tattoo work
  • Boots - Ash; last seen here in February with my grunge team Stair Challenge outfit

Hurray for contacts, so that I could wear this look and not have to think about my glasses! 

"Don't forget to mention your badass cat."
I had a vision of what I wanted to do for this costume and I'm pleased with how it came out. Nearly everything was shopped from my closet.
"You're forgetting the best accessory, of the feline variety."
 This was fun to wear...for about 4 hours. Then, I wanted it OFF.
In addition to the t-shirt and camo pants, I have a black satin stomacher, a copper leather harness, a whack of belts (pretending to be a mechanical arm), and odds and ends of other things from my collection and our dress-up box.

I've had the leather and brass bracer for a few years - it was made locally and I got it at the Steampunk convention. I just wrapped a couple of belts around my upper arm, and looped them through the copper leather harness. They were still quite fussy all day.
Leather driving gloves (which dyed my hands black).

I used bulldog clips (those black clips that you use to clip paper together) at work to keep all the straps up around my shoulder.
No make-up aside from black from the midline of my eyes up into my hair, which I slicked back and covered with these ski goggles.

The stuff, part 1:
My favourite costumes are the ones that come together with a bunch of different things. These boots were voted by L as the best ones for the job. They were certainly comfy - I walked to and from work in them.

  • Grommet belt - gift from Ruth
  • Copper leather harness - Audra Jean (aka Audi, anyone remember her?) via re-purchase from Megan Mae
  • Stomacher - InWear
  • Ski goggles - thrifted for $2.95 on the weekend (into the costume box they go!)

The stuff, part 2:
I have a lot of sort-of steampunk stuff from when I was into that a few years back. It's handy for costumes!

  • Bracer and bracelet (on left) - Ian of SkinZnHydez, locally made
  • Belt w/silver - thrifted
  • Brown belt - Club Monaco
  • Fabric leg and waist harness - thrifted on the weekend for $6.95
  • Leather driving gloves - Heart's Content
  • Silver metal mesh belt - thrifted on the weekend for $2.95

I helped L assemble his costume. He thought it would be funny to be a cultist and "stump" for Cthulhu for the US election.
We made his campaign sign on the weekend. He posted signs in his office at work, handed out sticker and brochures. It's all about the accessories!
Nice addition of the wavy dagger, although of course he didn't take that to work. The cape is one I've had for about 15 years.

I hope you all have a safe and fun Hallowe'en!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Funky Fluffy & Fluevoggy; 1930s Urbanite Outing; Patchwork and Purchases

Hello, and Happy Almost-Hallowe'en! Are you excited? I have a rockin' costume this year that I'm wearing to work all day tomorrow - I took lots of pictures already, as L and I did a pre-try-on to make we could both get ready in our usual rush before work tomorrow morning.

But back we go to Friday. I had to wear those new Fluevogs, right? Of course I did!
I'm so classy with my bra strap hanging out.
Not the best pose for pants (they ride up), but at least it's bright and you can see all the colours and textures.

  • Top - Hommage, consignment; last seen here in June with the perfect leopard skirt
  • Trousers - Talbots, thrifted; last worn here in February with gone lilac leather
  • Booties - Room 502 Entrance, Fluevog; purchased here for $165.00
  • Coat (below) - Vassali, consignment

One of my favourite tops ever - I call this my "chicken top" as it's fluffy like chicks (and sheds like crazy). It's a piece of art, and is evolving the longer I have it. I got it in Vancouver at the blogger meet-up, so it also carries such wonderful memories of meeting all those fab women. Go here for a little trip down memory lane.
Every time I wear these lovely silk and wool, fully-lined trousers, I'm boggled anew that I only paid $6.00 for them. I've worn them 6 times now, so I'm down to $1.00 per wear. They are black with a grey/purplish lock and key pattern.

Outerwear for a day that started chilly.
A velvet and wool coat, a furry scarf and wool fingerless gloves. By the end of the day, I didn't need the scarf and gloves.

The stuff:
Such wonderful shoes - they were great for a full day's work. I wore thin dress socks with them and didn't have any rubbing.

A shout-out to the lovely and quirky Manon, who complimented them at the bus stop on Friday morning. We chatted for our ride to town and hit it off - I gave her my blog business card. Hello, nice to meet you, Manon!

Conflicting bling:
Badass or sweet? That about describes me, hee hee.

  • Studded cuff - vintage 80s
  • Leather cuff - Guess, thrifted
  • Earrings - vintage fair

Friday night was Urbanite at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (link, 'cause I love). We had a big group of friends all decide to go, and met up with familiar faces there as well. Urbanite is basically a 3-hour party at the AG, with a DJ, cocktails/beer/wine, an interactive element, and special tours of the new exhibits. There's usually a suggested fashion theme, which I love - this time it was either DIY or 1930s (link here for your own inspiration!). L and I decided to do 1930s.

Are you ready? Meet my grandmother.
I did authentic 30s hair and make-up - well, as authentic as I could make it. I do have purple hair! Deets on my look below.

I was actually a little freaked out by a) how much I look like my mother when she was this age and b) how much I look like my grandmother. My mom was born in the 1940s, so this would have been very close to the hair and make-up that my gran would have worn as a younger woman in the 30s.

I went for a glamour look!
I wore this full outfit all evening, so this is how everyone saw me.

  • Dress - Ralph Lauren blue label, thrifted; last worn here (3rd outfit) as a blonde for my birthday party (the second outfit)
  • Shoes - Channi B; last seen here (2nd outfit) at that same party, with a different dress and red hair
  • Rabbit fur jacket - Bebe, vintage; last worn here over that blogger meet-up in July 2015

I did my research on the 30s - I really wanted to try to make as authentic an outfit as possible, without actually owning anything from then. My own little fashion challenge, as it were.

The dress is  the type of bias-cut, long dramatic fitted dresses that were very much worn on the big screen by the famous Hollywood stars of the day. Why wear this dress again? It's perfect for the era, and now I'm down to $4.00 per wear. I did wear my shaperwear thingy again under this for smoothing.
The fur jacket is so dramatic! I took it off once or twice to show my non-era-appropriate tattoos.
The t-strap shoes were a dominant style in the 30s. I wore these for the colour, the style and the comfort - I walked to and from the Gallery in them with no pain at all.

This fur was warm enough for the walk as well, without being too hot indoors.
The "de rigeur" opera-length gloves also helped keep me warm. They are excellent at parties where you don't want to eat, but a major pain if you have to use the loo. I am a pro at gloves, though - this was the perfect venue to wear these again. I bought them when I worked at Fairweather women's clothing store back in the late 90s/early 00s - we sold a lot of fancy dresses, so we always had great accessories. I think these were $9.95 back in the day.
I don't have a huge collection of evening purses, but this lovely brocade one was the most era-correct. And it helped pull all the colours together perfectly!

Linking up to "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style!

Here's a better look at my hair and make-up. My friends were quite taken with this look on me. They're also still not used to what I look like without my glasses on, too!
Hair: I put styling paste in it, then scrunched it dry to encourage curl, did as much as I could with a curling iron, then forced it into waves with gentle combing/fingers and a health coating of hairspray. I bought the two rhinestone barrettes at Le Chateau after work on Friday for $9.95. My hair is super-fine so I had to massage them in gently.

Make-up: I used a liquid BB cream base, followed by powder base and cover-up. Eyebrows were "removed" with the cover-up, then drawn in much thinner. A shimmery pale gold eyeshadow on the brow-bone, and a soft matte coral eyeshadow near my lashes. I used only a titch of eyeliner on the outside top corner, and mascara-d top and bottom lashes. I applied a slightly heavier blush right on the apples of my cheeks, and my lippy is a brick red. Most of my make-up is by MAC and Rimmel.
It was really fun to try out another era's hair and make-up for a change. I would never actually pluck my eyebrows that fine, but I liked how the thinner brow opened up my eye. I also notice how much my eyes "popped" without my normal amount of eyeliner and shadow. The blush felt heavy to me, but I do look very healthy, don't I? Sometimes the pictures tell you more than the mirror.

The stuff:
That purse is one of my favourite items - the detail on it is absolutely amazing. I'm always happy to have an excuse to carry it.

Check out the interior:
All the bronze frame is fully engraved. It's by Spencer & Rutherford and was a Christmas gift from L via a vintage shop several years ago.

Rhinestone bling:
According to my research, because most movies were black and white in the 30s, actresses wore rhinestones or "paste" so that they would sparkle onscreen. "White" gemstone jewelry became hugely popular.

  • Stretch cuff - vintage, says "Hong Kong", Mom's
  • Bracelet - Birks, c. 1974, Mom's
  • Earrings - vintage 60s, Mom's
  • Barrettes - Le Chateau
  • Necklace - Alain, vintage, gift from Alison 

The oldest pieces are the stretch cuff and the necklace - they are probably late 50s or very early 60s, but they are pretty close to what was worn in the 30s. Every era comes around again!

Of course, L dressed up too! Look at my dapper man!
He was one of the few gentlemen at the Gallery who was actually doing the 30s - most of the guys wore modern suits, which heavily borrow from the 50s. The biggest giveaway of 30s menswear is the very wide trousers - L did not like wearing these wide pants all night! They felt weird to him after wearing skinny pants himself for so many years. They are a cuffed deep blue with a ribbon stripe, and are actually from a 3-piece zoot suit. Would it surprise you to know L has not one but two zoot suits? True!

I have a soft spot for this wool fedora - L was wearing it when I met him. He's had it since 1986.
His jacket is real authentic vintage 1930s - note the wide shoulders, fitted shape and full double-breasted cut.

The blazer is from L's former coworker from over 20 years ago - it was a gift from his widow. Nice to be able to pay tribute to an old friend by wearing it.
The brass buttons are a mix of original and replacement, by its original owner.

L enjoyed a pre-event whisky (as did I!).
The tie and matching pocket square are from Leroy's, the store in Seattle where L bought his zoot suits many years ago (Yelp reviews here, linking 'cause I love).

A shot of the cuffs/shoes.
L's shoes are by Giorgio Brutini - I don't remember when he got these, probably 15+ years ago.

And what did Vizzini think of these glamourous people?
"I think they should give me my treats before they leave, if they value their furniture."
We had a marvelous time, and were some of the best-dressed there. All of our friends were dressed to the nines and looked fabulous. I enjoyed the exhibits and people-watched and chatted with some lovely new acquaintances - hello to Stephen and urk! my brain! the art teacher with the most incredible handmade hat that her students made who was wearing amazing Fluevogs and a striped black and white dress (see, I remember all this, but names? nope). L and I hung out with Elaine and Nick afterwards, then tumbled into bed.

On Saturday morning, L and I headed to town for brunch.
I had to wear something to show off my tattoos for the gang at Floyd's Diner. They were suitably impressed.

  • Top - no label, thrifted
  • Skirt - Strawberry Jill, consignment; last seen here in March for my first shopping trip with Jodi
  • Boots - Mini Babycakes, Fluevog; last worn here a couple of weeks ago with non-obvious military
  • Jacket (below) - Club Monaco, thrifted; last seen here (4th outfit) for my birthday weekend a few weeks ago

Hmm...what shoes to wear?
I just felt like wearing black and brown after all that colour. Sometimes that's a nice change.
"I can help the Man with his shoes."
I like this patchwork-inspired skirt - it's a nice weekend piece.

A light jacket to wear for the walk to town.
I have long brown leather gloves (Club Monaco, consignment) on to make up for the short sleeves of the jacket.

The stuff:
Those boots are insanely comfy. I've had them for nearly 5 years and they only get better. I walked to town, shopped afterwards, and then walked home in them.

Steampunk bling:
Some of my favourite pieces which I'm sure will "grow into" vintage over the years.

  • Leather cuff - SkinZnHydez
  • Brass cuff - Jezebel Charms
  • Spinner ring - Twang & Pearl
  • Earrings - Plum

I had a shopping mission: find pieces for my Hallowe'en costume! I have always preferred to shop my closet for my costumes, but I needed a few odds and ends, so off to the thrift stores I went!

The first item I had to find was a cream or beige t-shirt - can you believe I don't own one? I figured I could find a cheap one and cut the arms off if needed. It was harder to find one than I thought!

I bought this at the St. Vincent de Paul.
Perfect! A plain cream tee...but wait, what is this?
100% merino wool? Made in New Zealand? Maybe I shouldn't cut the sleeves off, this could be quality...
 But it's only $4.00!
Nelson Merino - and ah, there we are, this is the Deep Scoop (link). It's $59.00 in New Zealand dollars, which is $56.61 Canadian. Wow, I got a deal! Not cutting the arms off...

I found L a bunch of ties at StVdeP, and I also found a gorgeous wool men's coat that I bought (didn't fit L, so will try the next most likely guy-friend). But nothing else that would work for my costume, so on to the WIN Warehouse store I went next.

I went through all the cream/beige/white tops and grabbed a ton to try. I thought I would try a sleeveless top and while it wasn't right for my costume, this one was really nice on.
I probably won't wear it to work, but it's a soft viscose with distressed edges and design, which is backed by mesh. It was $4.50 and is by Mystree. I see from poking around online that this would have been around $40 new.

I was in a hurry but still took a quick zoom through all the sections. I prefer to do a thorough look through everything when I shop, but I was on a mission, so I just ran my hand along the racks until something jumped out at me. Like this top!
It's sheer, a rich merlot wine colour, and the gold medallions and paisleys are slightly metalic (not shiny but with a sheen). They are woven into the fabric, not printed on - a sure sign of quality and expense in a garment.

Also, can you see the pockets in the picture above? Me neither! The fabric for the pockets has been cut so that it lines up to the medallions/paisleys on the shirt.
My mind is blown. That is an insane waste of fabric! You never see that anymore, except on a very high-end garment. It also has burgundy lining in the top part of the blouse, and in the button/hole plackets.

Based on the cut (big, blousy in the body and sleeves, small collar), I'd say this is from the early 90s, after shoulder pads disappeared. It's 75/25% silk/cotton.
It's by Peter Nygard and it was $6.00. That feels like a bargain.

I'm always on the lookout for big crazy sweaters to wear around the house. Look out, L!
Um, I'm sorry, L, it's like a sickness. I need an ugly sweater to be warm. The uglier they are, the warmer I am!

Look at the hideous texture!
It's SO soft!

It's by Dex and was $14.95.
And the most expensive thing I bought all day!

No freaking way I was letting this beauty get away from me.
Red fuzzy plaid with red sequins?

Please take my $6.00!
It's by Nine West, is a wool/nylon blend, it's fully lined (no pockets), and upon close examination, I discovered that the trim at the waist is actually leather!

Finally, I found the top I needed. It was long-sleeved, but I cut the sleeves off. Didn't I do a wonderful job of it?
Ha ha! This is a viscose tee by Jacob and was $5.50. The cowled neck works perfectly for my costume, too.

So, what is my costume? Well, in addition to this tee, I also bought ski goggles and a leg harness, but those are the only clues I'm going to give you! L and I both did full dry-runs of our costumes (including make-up for me) yesterday and today so that we could take pictures and figure out our timing before work tomorrow. I'll have a big post up tomorrow with our costume pics!

I hope you had a fabulous weekend, everyone!