Monday, September 30, 2013

The Dress: Halloween 2013 Update

Over the weekend, I scoured the racks at the thrift store, and I actually found a decent base dress for $6 to start my Marie Antoinette costume. It's much more Antebellum than Rococo at this stage, but it's certainly a start. I will be cutting off and re-sewing new sleeves, adding lace trim and new ribbons, and poofing it up. In addition, I will perhaps make a jacket/over skirt. Such a bright red color was not my preference, since pastels abound in Rococo fashion, but I will make it work by adding more pastel accents. Hopefully, I'll get my start this weekend when I go to the fabric store. 

For inspiration, I've been looking at The Costumer's Guide's Marie Antoinette Page, which includes about 65 web pages for each of the dresses from the Sophia Coppola film.

Marie Antoinette Exhibit
This is quite the grandiose undertaking for me. I'm not as adept at sewing as I'd like to be, but this is a learning process. I just hope that I can do my ambitions justice. May the spirit of Halloween fill us up this Autumn. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Halloween is Creeping Up on Us!

Fall is officially here, and the month of October is right around the corner. I find myself still in the contemplation stages for my Halloween costume. Most years I'm very last minute, but I can't afford to procrastinate this time around. That's because I've decided on a more elaborate costume for this Hallow's Eve: Marie Antoinette (with a slashed neck, of course).

I've been searching online for inspiration, and I've been developing a tentative plan for how I'm going to pursue this costume. For the dress, I will keep an eye out for a prom dress at a local thrift store. It will need to be a sturdy fabric, preferably in a mid-to-light blue. I will need to make any necessary alterations and add sleeves, bows, and lace. As for the poof under the skirt, my idea involves sewing a couple of small pillows to tie to my hips. This would be easier that making a pannier. What I am most worried about, besides my limited time, is the wig. I cannot afford a high-quality costume wig, and I am also not very good with styling hair. Fortunately, there are online tutorials for my undertakings.
 Since this will be a process, I plan on posting occasional costume updates. Keep your eyes peeled. I wish everyone the best of luck this season with whatever your plans may be.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Flannery O'Connor and The Christ-Haunted South Lecture

Bedford/St. Martin's
For those of you who are not familiar with Flannery O'Connor or her work, let me take a moment to share a little. Flannery O'Connor was a writer born in Savannah, Georgia in the Twenties. She lived most of her life in a town called Milledgeville, also in Georgia. O'Connor's work is categorized as Southern Gothicism. Her wit is legendary, and her stories are characterized by their rural southern settings, grotesque characters, and the strong influence of her Catholicism (rare in the South at the time) on her work. To those of you who have not read anything from this lady, do (and comment with your opinions)! They are accessible online. Here is a link to "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," which is the first short story I read from her.

Monday evening after class, my boyfriend and I attended a brilliant lecture at Emory University-- an opportunity  that I hope comes around again. The lecturer was a man named Dr. Ralph Wood. He and William Sessions, a legend at Georgia State who also spoke, dedicated their careers to this woman's work.

O'Connor's self portrait next the Christ Pantocrator

The lecture was titled "Straightforward as a Gunshot," which everyone agreed was aptly named. It covered O'Connor's faith as an integral part of her work, Dostoevsky's influence on her writing, and the likeness of her self-portrait to the Christ Pantocrator icon. I enjoyed Dr. Wood's personal experiences he shared growing up in rural Texas, as his "redneck" South was the sort written about in O'Conner's stories. For those of you who are interested in further information, which you most certainly should be, here is the link to the lecture summary blog post from Emory University's Religion and Ethics blog. "Spirited Thinking." Also, click this link to purchase Dr. Ralph Wood's book, Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South.

And with that, I leave you all with a quote from Ms. O'Connor:

“I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.” -Flannery O'Connor

Friday, September 13, 2013

Depeche Mode Concert

Last night, Depeche Mode came to town. After a long week and much time spent looking forward to this, I'm glad to say I was in attendance. Justean and I ventured off to the venue with little incident this time (meaning not getting horribly lost like before). When we arrived, we noticed what a broad spectrum of fans Depeche Mode reached. There were a lot of drunken middle aged people, but besides that, there was a range of alternative types as well as more mainstream looking people. One thing is for sure that most everyone seemed excited to be there. In fact, at one point, I almost got in an altercation with a couple who was so excited, they decided to squeeze right in front of me and cut me off! Let's just say I got them to vacate my vicinity. 

It was a great night for a concert. The moon shone brightly, and looming rain clouds dissipated. As for the show itself, Depeche Mode knows how to work a crowd. They sound mostly the same in concert as on their albums. They even debuted some acoustic versions, which was a good variation to some of their more up-tempo songs. The whole crowd sang and danced (especially to "Policy Of Truth", "Enjoy The Silence", and "Personal Jesus"), and I was no exception; I sang and danced my little heart out. Depeche Mode said goodnight to the crowd after singing "Personal Jesus," but they came back for a 6 song encore. It was immense fun, and I recommend anyone to see their show.

Here are some shots of the Concert:

By the way, Happy Friday the 13th, everyone.