Sunday, April 24, 2016

And Pippin Continues…

Pippin is still filling my world. Now that I have the vintage circus chorus costumes finished, I’m turning my attention to costumes for the principals.  This week I created the Baron’s outfit.  I began with a black overcoat from the Sounds of South closet and rebuilt it by lining it with the red velour that came from a seventies lounge dress.  I trimmed it with gold Christmas cord and curtain tie-backs.  The coat, now a justacorps, worked perfectly with a quilted red and gold vest I found at the recycle center a couple of months ago.  I had no idea what I needed it for at the time, but it became quite obvious when I started working on the baron.  It just needed to add a few red sparkles as embellishment.  The vest covers a fancy dinner shirt that used to belong to the Beast in Beauty and the Beast last year.  I removed the blue gems from the neck ruffle and replaced them with a red and gold piece of a Christmas ornament that I got from Becky DeLong (thanks, Becky!!)  
 The buttons on the jacket cuffs are old earrings with red jewels glued in the center and the front panels of the justacorps are held open with flattened gold Christmas tree candle holders with a red jewel hot glued in the center.  My baron will sparkle! 

I also worked on Pippin’s ‘Morning Glow’ outfit.  I learned I needed to create this when Chris Miller came into the costume studio and asked me what Pippin was going to wear.  I looked a little saucer eyed at him and asked “what do you mean?”  He explained that traditionally Pippin wears something over the top, something surprising and eye-catching with a little ‘wow’ in it.  I pulled out a black and gold collar/bib that I had cut from a woman’s tunic top.  To that I added reclaimed gold Christmas ribbon.   
I pressed in gold studs on the embroidered lattice work and added gold trim that I bought in Tuscon last year at SAS Fabrics and Trim Surplus Store.  I added golden yellow jewels and I pinned on a gold chain with a tassel that Nancy Riggert will hand sew onto it (thanks, Nancy!)  I counterbalanced Pippin’s heavy front of the bib with three medals that I picked up at the Materials for the Arts - Recycle Center, taken from the Texas Senior Games.  That really tickled my fancy!  I put the studded bib on the chain mail-esque shirt and hoo-doggies—it looks great!  Chris was delighted. 

If that weren’t enough, I’ve been building the ‘Headless’ character.  I started with a damaged backpack from the Recycle Center and added an additional buckle across the chest for stability.  I inserted used pool noodles and scrap Styrofoam into the backpack to give height to the tall headless fellow who would be carrying the actor’s head.  I then took an old jacket worn by Jouvert from ‘Le Mis’ (many, many years ago) and cut a head hole in the chest panel for the actor and installed it on the backpack understructure. I repurposed two gloves from the recycle center and put wire and stuffed fill into each of the fingers so I could position them to look like they are holding a decapitated head.  The build isn’t quite done yet but it’s close. 

The other big news form the past two weeks comes from the Sounds of South trip to New York City.  Sixty-five students and a handful of parent chaperones took the city by storm.  The highlights include seeing the production of Wicked at the Gershwin Theater on the night we arrived.  The costumes were amazing and the singing phenomenal.  I just was completely immersed in the production, even though I was up at 2:15 that morning to make the trip.  Friday night took me to the Franco Zepharelli's staging of La Boheme at the Metropolitan opera, which was awesome—it’s the Met, so what can I say?  
 On Saturday afternoon I took in the off Broadway production of Newsical, which was completely inappropriate for language and content—and I loved every minute of it!  It was hilarious.  I stopped in at the fashion fabric mecca Mood and was just overwhelmed with the number, range, colors, and textures of fabrics.  
 It was astounding, and yes, I met Swatch.  The final evening dinner cruise on the Hudson was gorgeous and delightful, and the perfect end for an amazing three-day visit to New York.  We had a nice dinner when I got home, but I had to wait for the pie until this weekend.   
A blueberry pie for dessert on a beautiful spring summer evening out on the veranda was a fine end to the week.  The sad news was that I have been informed that there are no more fruit pie fillings in the freezer from last year’s farmer’s market.  All I can add is that I hope the rhubarb is ripe!

Until next week,

Martina Celerin

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