Friday, December 8, 2017

Just me

It's stinkin' hot here right now. Around 28-30 degrees and a bit humid. So on my all too rare visit to the hair dressers on Tuesday (trim and deep conditioning), Martin used cold water to wash my hair. It was heavenly! Then he blew it dry and put some GHD curls in for fun. I took this selfie on the street afterwards. I should have gotten one with him!
Because I didn't, this is my darling hairdresser, friend and fellow drag queen, Martin/ Harlie Lux. Current holder of our city's Drag Artist supreme title - Mx Capital Drag. Apart from being one of the kindest and most talented people I know, I love how totally different Martin and Harlie look. But also, neither of them will ever smile for a photo but rarely stop smiling in real life!
We also share a passion for synthetic hair, and talk incessantly about it while he is doing my real hair. This tickles me.
Martin (left) and Harlie Lux (right)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The lure of faster fashion

I just had an insight. I am not a conscious consumer, I am a previously starved consumer. A consumer for whom there was nothing to consume, therefore I did not consume it, therefore I am "conscious."

Pfft.

As a lifetime fattie, I've mostly been ahead of the size range game. The availability of clothes that fitted was pretty dire, and clothes I would wear? Next to nothing. As a teen my only items of RTW apart from unders, were my school shirts (men's ones bought at op shops) and my dad's old suit jacket, which I loved. The eclectic collection that comprised my wardrobe was no more attainable in a womenswear shop in New Zealand than a handful of magic beans.
Over the years in between, more fashion in my size range has appeared, but its at one end uniformly depressing quality, cut and fondness for cheap synthetics, or at the other end loose cut and lovely fabrics but scary prices, kept my engagement very low and picky.
So, here we are in the 2010s, and I have been on a quest to own only A Few Good Things for most of it. And feeling a tad superior about it too I am ashamed to say.

Last night I performed the cross seasonal ritual of taking my most wintry clothes out of the wardrobe and packing them in flat containers that live under the bed, while hauling out sundresses and other summer fare to hang up. I have three feet of hanging space only so this really is necessary even with A Few Good Things. But this year I have noticed that my three feet is feeling a bit pinched. My wardrobe appears to have been packing on the pounds. And I have only sewn costumes for Constance (kept elsewhere) and done mending. So where did all the extra stuff come from???

Oh hai, City Chic.

City Chic (CC) is my Achilles heel. A ready to wear shop that has many flaws, such as having no colour sense whatsoever and an uncanny fondness for polyester. But it also acknowledges that women love a fit and flare silhouette, a peplum top, a maxi dress, and an interesting jacket cut.

It started with Constance - I was given a converted CC cocktail dress and it looked so good on me, I sought out the shop to see what else they had in that cut. QUITE a bit let me tell you. A good half of  Constance's wardrobe staples come from there. But then I started noticing real girl clothes, trying them on and getting interested. And then when I landed an office job again, I went a bit mad.
So yes, I am off my high horse. Of course if you can't find anything that you like and fit, it's easy not to buy anything.

I am really incredibly grateful to have had a body that bucks the RTW trend for most of my life, otherwise I would never have had the motivation to sew, I would never have formed a sense of style that was initially more about making a point about being different than anything else, but allowed me to learn to draft and drape and learn how to make the shapes I wanted to wear.

But it won't get me to Heaven any faster. Not when I keep prowling the online site Sale section, and buy things because they are marginally ok, instead of exactly what I wanted.
You may let out your breath now -having rumbled myself doing this, I am stopping.
Here's a collage of Constance in costumes that started life as City Chic buys. They've all been embellished in some way, except the devore corset cover. Which ripped at the seams on first wearing. More reason not to buy fast fashion tat!




Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Having Another Go at The Witches -Updated!

I just added Agnes nitt! See below!

Over three years ago, I had a go at casting the three witches from Terry Pratchett's DiskWorld books.
A couple nights back, I was thinking on it again, and decided to have another go with a younger set of actors.
First up, Granny Weatherwax. She is described as being ridiculously handsome with not a single wart no matter how hard she tried. She's all attitude. These three actresses are so good! In order: Geraldine James, Juliet Stevenson and Hermione Norris.


They all have The Voice, and The Presence. Hermione and Juliet have pretty noses which is not quite how Granny is described, but they have gimlet stares, which goes a long way!

For Nanny Ogg, I am going with the bleeding obvious. She may have got all svelte in her older years, but there's always padding. She has that wicked jolly sense of humour which matters the most:
Yup, that's our Dawn!
Last but not least, Magrat. She really is my favourite and the one I secretly have to fess up to being the most like. I want to be more like the others but her earnest sense of insecurity and flailing attempts to take control of her life that occasionally pay off are highly relatable!
Laura Howard, best known to us all as Cully Barnaby from Midsomer Murders. I often think Cully is a lot like Magrat, a late bloomer who is searching for something. A winsome vulnerability. I can see it. 
REALLY last and most definitely not least, Agnes, whom Jen reminded me of. As soon as she said that name, I knew. She played Jules in a weird sitcom called Mountain Goats and is IMHO perfect. I don't know if she can sing, but that's easily sorted hehe. Sharon Rooney.


Are you a fan? Do you indulge in this dream casting?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mary Poppins rides again.

Now I know that green eyeshadow, glitter and pink lipstick are far from the usual Mary Poppins look but Drag Mary is a different story! Also I climbed out of this costume into others.
You can't see it but I nailed the fake eye crease look finally. It's where you draw a new crease above the natural one and it's used on stage to make one's eyes look bigger.
Makeup is such an odd thing. I personally have very little time for it and my only concession is lipstick. The whole idea of painting on a face every day just to go to work, or out to dinner, bored me, it's a tedious chore. But using it to do crazy things like moving my eyebrows up, contouring etc for a character - that is interesting to me. I don't aspire to look beautiful or sexy, but to look like Constance, who is neither - like clown makeup.
Hey ho!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Actual fabric and sewing! Well, eventually!


Well today for the first time in ages, I went fabric shopping for ME. this means, no sequins, no metallic. Oh my word, what a surreal experience!
The Fabric Store, aka GlobalThatWas (GTW) (because really, it's a difficult name otherwise) was my destination. Because, they advertised 18 Liberty prints for $18m.
Now I don't know if you're studying my tasted in fabric that much, because, well, stalking, but I love the Liberty prints that are hard core pre-WW2 in their vibe. I love most of the actual fabrics - tana lawn, baby cord, Lantana etc. So, I get excited to the point of needing a slap over about 5% of the offering, and that's fine with me. Nobody wants to all like the same things, amiright?
This wee moment of absolute indulgence yielded three purchases:

1. Silk chiffon in the warm colourway of Alma. This is my all time favourite Liberty print - I have an entire dress in the Tana Lawn version. So I bought a half metre to make a floaty scarf to tie back me hair. This intense matchy matchy thing really appeals to me! I bought a length of the Lantana wool/cotton blend in the softeer colourway of this print a while ago that it will also look delish with.

2. 2.5m of baby cord in this amazing Bloomsbury vibe print in a range of colours that just scream, "Wear me with Denim!" It's a perfect weight for the spring weather, or the autumn weather because it may take me that long to make it Erk.

3. This Tana Lawn called Karm A, was what I went in to look at. It's quite green, and I love green more than it loves me, but I had to have it. Because Paisley!!!
My photo was so meh, here's the photo from their website. OH MY GOSH!
I bought 5m because I had a plan to also make something for Jack, who considers paisley to be his favourite colour. But after today, I am not so sure; this is why:
I texted in fun to say I was leaving the office*, going to GTW, and if I wasn't at the shop in 30 minutes, to stage an intervention (he was working at the shop) Well, it took a bit of time to get there and honestly I hadn't been there very long when their phone rang. The lass who answered it seemed a bit confused, but I realised soon the call was about me. I saw her writing something on a piece of paper, clearly under instruction, and handed it to me. One word, INTERVENTION! cheeky monkey.
His paisley privileges have been temporarily withdrawn. No doubt I will relent though. If only for the embarrassment factor of being dressed alike!. ;-)

*People I have a day job now. I am dipping my toe back into corporate life again. Only part time for now, and it's working very well - the shop doesn't need me full time thanks to awesome staff, and it's good to have Options.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

My August!

 I'm starting at the most recent and working backward. Last Sunday we had a photo shoot for our Time Travel Cabaret air raid shelter show in November. I am utterly stuffed to the gill with pride that my baby sister is joining us FINALLY. She sings like a dream and has so much stage presence. I've dug her out of suburban family contentment. She's not unhappy about it. Here we are in full quasi 1944 gear.
Here's the whole crew. We've not got the proper pics back yet, so it's selfies for now. 

Since my last post, I've started a 25 hour a week IT contract on top of the shop, so I am using my time with more...determination? I feel a little squeezed in, like my life is wearing shapewear. It's not terrible, but it is slowing down my blog reading and writing. Bah
AND, I have acquired my first ever knee high boots! Look! They fit my huge calves. Bliss! They were a swap.
AND, I attended the New Zealand Burlesque Festival. What an incredible experience that was. If I was a different person I would have five posts full of photos to show you all how incredible it all was. Set in the little village of Devonport on Auckland's North Shore, we had an amazing time of it. But I am terrible at photos and so you'll have to take my word for it. Here's a couple of shots of me on stage at the Saturday Spectacular Tease show
 Doing despicable things to my hookah
A close up dressing room selfie that shows my Mad Hatter makeup better. My most fun face to do!
The curtain call. Son Jack is the lithe figure in black at the right end. I am fourth right along the back, just where the black panel finishes. I still had my weird makeup on. 

Sunday started with a brunch at which the national Golden Garters Awards are handed out. These are by voting only, and I was totally blown away to be nominated for two - Favourite MC, and Faovourite non-Strip Tease Act with Clever for our Foodtard Song. Hans (Clever Hansel) couldn't come to the Festival so I took along his photo - seen here propped against my water glass at the brunch table. SoundBitch and Sharne are deep in talk - probably about life with a ponytail and black T-shirt aesthetic lol. 
 Well, the upshot was that I won Favourite MC, and here is my very gold award on the Wall of Amazing Things in my living room. Foodtard lost out to the act I voted for so I was stoked about that! it involves synchronised swimmers, a pole and Bolero. It is AMAZING.
This award means a lot to me as I am a tireless campaigner for Emcees who are entertaining but also respectful and do not take over a show. I must say the Emcee for our show, Miss La Vida, was FANTASTIC and hopefully will appear on the finalist list next year.
So that's me for now. I am tired, sore, contented, stressed, honoured, busy, challenged. Many more less readworthy things are happening and I may touch upon them if I get to post more often.
Thank you for reading dear ones xo



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fit to write again!

Hello, where has a month gone? Spent walking carefully and trying not to bend over because it hurts! And not being able to sleep for long in any one position.
However I am almost normal again. I've been to Christchurch to entertain the good people of TechCommNZ, I've done a workshop on stage makeup, worked in the shop, got a chest infection for which I am currently popping A.B.s, and new things are afoot! Afoot I say!
In the meantime, here's a video from our Time Travel Cabaret 1970s show in July. Our fabulous videographer Andrew (affectionately known as SoundBitch) has been so busy, it took longer than usual to get the final edits. He's our hero!
Speaking of heroes, this video is of my dear friend and fellow Pinot sister Debbie as her alter ego Anglebert Humpermink! Such a surprise!