Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Counterpoint: The Never, Ever List

Hello, my darlings, it is I, Sabine. Did you miss me? I certainly missed you.

Shadowen has already showed you her Bucket List, but I'd like to take a moment to display why I am the pessimistic one. Ergo, here is my Never, Ever List.

While the Bucket List is devoted to attaining your dreams, the Never, Ever List is devoted to keeping yourself in check. It's a list of costumes that, for whatever reason, you adore but won't ever make.

Despite its apparent pessimism, I find this list to be a freeing exercise. It's a way to keep your feet on the ground while paying homage to what you'd do in a perfect world; it makes me feel okay to put things on this list, because it takes the pressure off. I don't have to do these things, and once I've acknowledged that, it stops me from frantically trying to figure out how to do them.

So let's see the list, shall we?

Elizabeth's wedding dress, Frankenstein (1931)

About the costume: Oh, the doomed love of Elizabeth and Henry Frankenstein. This, like The Mummy, is one of those movies where the heroine is supposed to go for the milquetoast friend character instead of the devoted, tortured, creeper-hot madman/reanimated corpse (Henry/Ardath Bay). Elizabeth's unfortunate end is inevitable, and she meets it in this glorious, innocent yet elegant wedding gown. It's a piece that not only looks good, but really impacts the scene that it's in; the way she gets tangled up in her veil as the monster attacks is just so spooky, precisely because it is a wedding veil. Really gorgeous sequence where the costuming and the cinematography mesh in a great way.

Why I haven't made it: This dress epitomizes the problems and benefits of making a showpiece costume. This is in no way con-appropriate. The dress is not particularly complicated, as wedding dresses go (which is to say that it is quite complicated), but the veil is. The veil is, near as I can tell, at least cathedral length, maybe a little more, which has a beautiful effect but is insanely unwieldy, from a construction, budget, storage, and transportation standpoint. This is some shit you build a case around.

Isn't it insanely gorgeous, though? God. I just want to touch it.

Rally Vincent, Gunsmith Cats

About the costume: Rally Vincent, still and yet, is my favorite manga/anime character of all time. Her look is simple and badass, suitable for fighting and generally tear-assing around, featuring a distinctive red double shoulder holster (which doubles as a boob enhancer, natch).

Why I haven't made it: I'm selfish and lazy. I actually have pieces of this costume and know where to potentially get other pieces of it, but, well, I really like to be recognized when I'm in costume. It's one of my things, y'know? And these damn kids today with their Naruto and their Bleach, I remember when we used to have to watch the first three episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Gunsmith Cats OVA over and over because that was all the video store would stock.

::shakes cane::

So even though it's a simple costume, I don't think anybody would get much joy out of it but me, and it's not complicated enough for me to get enough joy out of fabricating it on its own.

Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg's office attire, The Fifth Element

About the costume: Oh my god, Zorg, you guys, Zorg. There is no one better than Zorg, and his costumes, each and every one of them, are OUTSTANDING. The iridescent suit he wears in his office is my favorite. So representative of the movie's whole aesthetic, and so unique.

Why I haven't made it: Uh, talk about WILDLY impractical. Let's start with the fabric, shall we? You know how you can't actually make a proper BSG jock smock because the fabric is no longer made and the costume department owned all of it? Or how you can't make a proper Tok'ra costume without using tripe and latex? Same principle. Secondly, there's that damn collar. I managed to BS a stand-up collar for the Orpheus costume, but this is in a whole different league- probably one of my least concerns, but still.

Biggest problem though? No model.

I don't know any dudes who are committed to the cause enough to wear, help fund, and rock this costume. And let's face it, dress forms are not made to mimic Gary Oldman, and if they were, I wouldn't own one, because, y'know, other than this I don't really need a dress form shaped like a dude, because I don't make clothes for dudes.

So, stopped before we start. :/

Servalan's lizard dress, Blake's 7: "Pressure Point"

About this costume: Servalan is a baaaaad bitch, and all of her costumes are pure gold. This is one of my favorites and the one I would come closest to fabricating. I love how slinky it is.

Why I haven't made it: Biggest problem is, again, no model. Everyone I costume with is either too curvy or not curvy enough.

Second problem: that goddamned lizard. Where in the hell am I going to get a huge rhinestone encrusted lizard?

Cally's Volvo dress, Blake's 7: "Horizon"

About this costume: God, I love how completely ridiculous and how completely Blake's 7 this costume is. In my head it has always been the Volvo dress, because it looks like what you could make if somebody stripped out the interiors of a higher-end Volvo and told you to make a costume out of it.

Why I haven't made it: Okay, secret confession time: I cheated. I have made this costume before.

This costume was a real labor of love. It was made in seven or eight straight hours, with my mother's help, plus scouring the internet for pieces I couldn't fabricate. Much of it was made without use of patterns, especially the overskirt. It's actually really close to screen accurate, aside from the "wings," which I never made, as they were to be the last part.

I put the rest of it on, took one picture, looked at it, and swore to never wear it in public.

I knew I was taking a risk, because Jan Chappell and I are roughly the same height, but I have at least a hundred and fifty pounds on her. Even that aside, it was a Hot. Mess. All the pieces are there, everything is exactly where it should be and how it should look, and somehow it just doesn't come together at all.

I have seen unconvincing Servalan crossplayers who looked better.

Maybe one day I will try it again, but let's face it, I will never be the right shape to wear this costume- and if I did, it might be cursed.

Prop Making Bonus Round:

Liberator transport bracelet, Blake's 7

About this prop: You should have figured out by now that I love all things Blake's 7, most especially the Liberator, and this is one of the most distinctive things about it. Nobody could get through an episode without breaking one, or losing one, or leaving theirs at the TSA checkpoint, or whatever.

Why I haven't made this prop: The directions making the rounds on the internet all suck, and I am not very good at prop fabrication.

It is as simple and as complicated as that. The most popular set of directions going around starts with a Pringles can or postal tube, and we CANNOT BE HAVING WITH THAT. If my hand was even small enough to fit through it, which it's really not, that is tacky. Look, okay, I know the show used cardboard bracelets for a while, because 1) plastic ones were slow to fabricate 2) the crew kept jacking them, but really? I want something I can be proud of and keep for a long time

Unlike everything else on this list, however, this is a "never say die" endeavor. I will make me a transport bracelet somehow.

So that's the list, my darlings. Thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I'm making a small number of these. Not hinged, just sealed. but hopefully nice enough.