If you follow my blog, you may have read in some of my previous posts a few of the random facts I've shared about myself (see the majority here). But here is one I don't usually share unless I get to know a person, or recognize a similar interest in them: I can be a huge geek...and one of the things that I whole-heartedly geek out over is the TV show Xena (that's right...as in "The Warrior Princess").
Some people may think it's cheesy, but I not only enjoy the show and it's progression in both story line and character development over the seasons, but find it inspirational in many aspects (I do also recognize the cheesy moments...and I enjoy them as well). Some of my favorite characters are from the various Amazonian Tribes throughout the seasons. I decided to pay tribute to these ideas with a photoshoot (because I don't have a "Xena" outfit readily available, I figure this is the next best thing...for now).
I had a ton of help from Sam, who not only took charge of the photoshoot, but did 98% of my styling. I was shocked to say the least when she pulled together the most random items and created the look that we did.
Granted...I would have preferred the styling to happen AFTER I had done my hair and makeup, seeing as it was a bit difficult to put contacts in and try to pin my hair up with a blanket tucked into my corset (yes... you read that right...), but it all turned out beyond what I had imagined we could create.
So much went into this outfit, I decided to add some detailed photos of the individual items we put together to create the looks we did.
To start with, we actually created my coat first (kind of the inspiration for everything) by wrapping me in a blanket (inspiration comes from the simplest things). Of course, we did things a little backwards, because once that was placed just right we realized I would need more clothes to create an outfit. So we held the blanket in place with an underbust corset. It was too "elegant" for what we wanted, but that was easily fixed by covering it with a simple brown top.
Granted by "cover", I don't mean I actually wore the top like a normal shirt...we literally covered the underbust corset with it...which made moving around interesting since the blanket had to be partly tucked into the corset to stay put, but not so much that I couldn't move my arms freely...and feel the shifting of the "coat" as it started coming undone at inopportune moments, keeping in mind that any of the clothing I was wearing under said coat wasn't actually covering parts the neighbors don't need to see (because you know it's the perfect time to start to snowblow your boat and the rest of the backyard for no reason the second some strange girl is having her picture taken wrapped in a blanket, trudging through hip deep snowbanks...yep, I had an audience today- it made life a bit more interesting to say the least).
But no matter, it looked pretty damn good if I do say so myself.
We also added another layer around the waist to give the "skirt" more texture, also known as we tied a shirt and knotted the sleeves around the back (along with a few safety pins to create an interesting shape and add feathers for some color), and added a belt to hold both the sword and a satchel (seeing as I had no pockets to carry my...dice...in case you were wondering what I actually had in that pouch).
But that's not all folks! Sam managed to fold and tie my boots in such a way that they didn't even look like the same pair of boots when she was done (in case you wondered why I didn't tie my own shoes, it's because I was wearing a corset, and bending over wasn't really happening). A pair of leg warmers helped finish the look, aside from keeping my legs just a little bit warmer while wading through snow.
Another one of my favorite subtle details that Sam invented was my wrist guard. I didn't want to wear gloves seeing as the ones I have again, look too elegant. So we used them for the next best thing by wrapping them around my wrist and adding a detailed element with part of a hair accessory my mother gave me, keeping it taught with a piece of pipe cleaner.
It looked fantastic when we finished.
The last creation we made was my "knife", probably the most dangerous part of my costume seeing as it wasn't covered like the sword I was wearing, and was only attached to my leg by tying a fishnet legging around my thigh. We wrapped the handle in fabric and thread to give it a more rustic style, and I added some hair ornaments under the homemade knife sheath to add more detail for the straight forward shots.
This photoshoot went fantastic (if not a bit chilly once we reached the part of the yard where the snow was deepest...and I wasn't wearing pants...), and I'm thrilled with how this entire set came out. I can't wait to add it to my gallery!
Meanwhile, here is a look at the entire outfit (and what it looks like in the real world-aka-in the driveway), which only felt a little silly to be walking around in when cars went by.
Even though I have to throw my blanket in the washer with it being dragged and stepped on in the snow, it was a warm winter day in New England (30 degrees! Heat Flash!), so only having a blanket to wrap myself in between shots wasn't too bad.
I wonder what else this winter will inspire me to try... feel free to comment or send me an email with any ideas you'd like to see!
And a giant shout-out and thank you to Sam for helping to make any of this possible-what will we come up with next?!