Sunday, October 31, 2010
Trick or Treat
Jean says: I love Halloween because all of my skull jewelry is suddenly uber-fashionable. I wear my skull rings, earrings, necklaces and scarves year round, but they're truly "in season" on All Hallows Eve and Dia de los Muertos. Although you can't see them in the photo, I'm wearing vintage Kenneth Jay Lane red plastic bee clip-on earrings.
With the exception of the left pinky (a vintage bakelite cube ring) and the right middle finger (gold signet ring from high school with initials worn smooth), all of the others (three black, three white and one red) rings are Made Her Think skulls by Meredith Katz. As regular readers know, I do my own nails. For this manicure, I used Romantic Red aka Brucci Nail Hardener #212.
My skull rosary necklaces and choker are also from Made Her Think.
The skull ring, pendant with bird and earrings with pearls or crystal are all by East Village jeweler extraordinaire Kirsten Hawthorne. My all-time favorites are the silver skulls with white pearls because their jaws are hinged and swing open and shut. They are amazingly comfortable to wear.
Heck, even my valve caps on my bike and my car are chrome skulls! (Courtesy of my Vegas connection! Here's a shout out to my peeps TW & JK.)
This is my sole contribution to the skull thing - I don't want to infringe on what might by now be Jean's intellectual property. During a trip to Mexico to see Day of the Dead, I bought a bright yellow plastic tourist bag imprinted with one of the well loved skeletons of renowned Mexican cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada (see the original cartoon at the top of this posting), and her hat and dress rendered in lush green. I also bought a tiny doll, also dressed in green, whom you saw two weeks ago if you read our Adut Toys entry. Since I did an impersonation of my red, green and black velveteen doll in that entry, I thought impersonating my teeny weeny Santa Catarina doll would be an appropriate follow-up. So I xeroxed (oops - I COPIED - wow - talk about infringing!) my tourist bag at a 170% magnification and made this paper mask, then put on my big green vintage hat (not nearly as vintage as the calavera, who dates back to the turn of the last century), white wool gloves from Strawberry, and my full length green Issey dress and had a little fun.
On Thursday evening, Kirsten took me as her guest to Our Lady of Sorrows Food Pantry's Annual Benefit. Although the food pantry is on the Lower East Side, the event was hosted by Calvary Church at 61 Gramercy (aka E. 22 St between Park and Lexington Avenues). The featured event was a Wearable Art Performance with fashions by Michael Calloway, shown here taking his bow at the conclusion. Michael volunteers at the St. George Thrift Shop, one of Kirsten's favorite haunts. Since "wearable art" usually makes me cringe, the fact that I was still in my front row seat to photograph the finale is a testament to how fabulous it was.
Kirsten has been raving about Michael's style for years. I finally got to experience it in a concentrated dose. I loved the fact that the male and female performers represented a remarkably diverse range of age and ethnicity. Although none were professionals, they aquitted themselves wonderfully well. Their movements were beautifully choreographed. Entering from the left and slowly strolling in front of and behind fabrics draped across a rope as backdrop, they silently worked themselves across the length of the room, variously sitting in a chair, formally bowing to one another, draping across a divan and circling back across the stage. The classical background music and the languid pace of the models created a very dreamlike effect.
All of the outfits had elaborate headpieces that stayed firmly in place and contributed to the theatricality of the event. Some were ethereal -- great frothy, foamy creations like this veil on steroids. The silvery, shimmery dress is hand-decorated with black stenciled designs. The performers' faces were painted in almost tribal designs.
Some headgear, like this bowler version, had jewels, fabric, pieces of broken mirror, glass, buttons and feathers for texture and design.
The costumes had a wonderfully retro feel. Some, like this black number, sans headpiece, would look right at home on one of the characters in HBO's new series, Boardwalk Empire, set in Prohibition era Atlantic City.
Another of Michael's creations was this lacy number that had a decidedly Gibson Girl feel, complete with parasol.
Other characters looked like they'd stepped out of a technicolor Steampunkt version of Oliver Twist, complete with Fagin.
Most of the men's fashions included brightly colored plumes. sometimes suggestive of military full dress uniforms and other times of tribal headdresses. This gentleman really rocked this variation on a man's suit, pared down to the bare essence, complete with arm bands.
Not only did the outfits have headgear, they also had footwear to go with each look. Although the men's looks favored boots, in this instance, the model wore black stretch gaiters above her black pumps, contributing to the old-time feel.
In addition to the gowns, Michael embellished jackets and sweaters with fur, lace, fabric and paint. The model doffed this sweater at some point as she wafted across the stage to be later retrieved and donned by another cast member.
Here's another example of the multiple embelishments of face and sweater.
This was my favorite performer and outfit of the evening. The gold Converse high tops were the icing on the cake.
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Tompkins Square Doggie Halloween Parade:
And if these were all treats, here's the biggest trick of all:
Cat in a Dog Suit!