The Coney Island Mermaid Parade: Part Deux!

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If there one thing you should know about performers, it’s that there’s nothing we like better than not being ourselves. What we like even more is attention, and given the right opportunity, fancy costumes. As such, I decided to take another trip to this year’s Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, Brooklyn, which is now quickly becoming my favorite day of the year.

 

(Photo credit Amanda Hatfield)
Me and my bro, kicking ass, taking names. (Photo credit Amanda Hatfield via brooklynvegan.com)

 

For those of you that are unacquainted, the Mermaid Parade, now in it’s 35th year, is a crazy mermaid themed bohemian art parade that celebrates Coney Island’s rich and wacky history. Mostly, though, it’s for artsy people to have a good time, create things that are beautiful and crazy and, of course to be mostly naked.

 

 

(Via untamednewyork.com)
(Via untamednewyork.com)

 

Anyone who wants to can march, there’s no heavy branding or corporate sponsors and no one’s really out to make money. Artists from all over the world, in a variety of fields (think costume designers, burlesque dancers, sculptors, textile artists and graphic designers) come out to celebrate by making elaborate, ridiculous and beautiful costumes, all because….why the fuck not? It’s fun.

 

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Julius the cat: Destroyer of worlds, hinderer of craft projects.

 

Think of it like Halloween, except your one lame friend who goes to the party every year as ‘himself’ isn’t invited. Make no mistake, the Mermaid Parade is not about half-assing it. You have to use, like, your entire ass. (Or tits, depending on how many weirdos you want photographing you. And there are A LOT of photographers. Mobs of them. Everywhere.)

 

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I drew a bunch of these, but this one is the first one where I actually kind of had an idea of how everything would look finished.

 

I had the basic concept worked out for my costume way back in October, when I decided to be Marie Antionette for Halloween. After an exhausting search, (Seriously, it took a few weeks,) I found the perfect wig, which was unfortunately, $80. I couldn’t justify wearing it only once for that price so, the idea for Mermaid Antionette was born. I just took out some of the old flowers I had sewed into it and replaced them with sea inspired embellishments.

 

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Just an FYI, I fixed that gap between the rose and the tentacle but I’m pretty burned out on taking photos right now, so this is what you get. #sorrynotsorry

 

This gave me some time to slowly collect various floral pieces and little accessories throughout the year instead of trying to put together everything all at once. I also reused the panniers (the thingies that make your dress puff out and give you giant hips) from my original costume.

 

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‘member these?

 

Since I went for a full dress on Halloween and the parade is all about (partial) nudity, I thought I’d work the Marie-Antionette-in-her-skivvies angle. I bought a fantastic white brocade corset from Phialli on Etsy. It was beautiful and well made for a great price. (Keep in mind their items are coming from Australia, so it took about a month to get.) I got the beautiful sequin fabric from la20fabrics on Etsy. They’ve got every kind of sparkly, holographic or spandex-y fabric you could dream of and it came super quickly.

 

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Note: Be careful with a glue gun, sometimes it melts the softer plastic floral items.

 

Initially, I had planned on covering the corset entirely in the sequin fabric, but I loved the way the brocade looked, so I only sewed it onto a few panels. I had no idea what I was going to do about the skirt, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got much more fabric than I thought.

I wanted to use real shells to glue on the bra part of the corset, but since I had no good way of attaching them, I went with a cheap pre-made sea sell bra that I took apart and decorated to my liking. This was also convenient since they had pre-drilled holes in them so it was easy to sew onto the corset.

 

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Before!
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After! (right before I sewed on the beads)

I actually painted the shells with nail polish, which seems ridiculous but worked really well. Then I glued some lace to the back of the shell. After I had sewed/glued the seaweed into place on the corset, I sewed the shells on. Lastly, I embellished the shells with pink beads. I decided to skip the starfish because they were extremely brittle, so I didn’t think they’d make the trip to New York. (Also, because they were real starfish, they smelled pretty gross. Now I have a bunch of dead starfish I have no idea what do to with.)

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Laziest skirt ever.

 

I did almost nothing with the skirt. After I was done using the fabric for the corset, I cleaned up the edges a bit. It’s SUPER annoying to cut with the little sequins everywhere but luckily, it didn’t really need to be hemmed. Then I sewed a seaweed boa that I used for an old costume along one edge. Basically, I just ended up with a big rectangle. After I put the corset and panniers on, all I did was drape it over the panniers and safety pinned the crap out of it, which worked surprisingly well.

 

...like so!
…like so!

 

Next, it was onto the small detail stuff. Since wide fishnets are all the rage, it was easy to find those white fishnets on Amazon. The necklace I found a few years ago at the Brimfield Antique Show. Lastly, I painted my nails sea foam green and found some awesome nail stickers at Walgreens that went perfectly with my costume.

 

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I’m not a manicurist but this gets the job done.

I did my makeup roughly the same as when I did Marie Antionette for Halloween but with more PIZZAZ! I mixed a super light foundation with white face paint and used lots of blush and a dark pink lipstick. Since this was non-traditional costume anyway, I also did a pink sparkly eyeshadow with a cat eye and tons of mascara, as I wanted to be seen from afar.

The parade itself was rainy but absolutely did not disappoint. Despite the rain the parade was packed with marchers in beautiful ridiculous costumes and spectators alike.

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Yup. Totally normal day.

While we were on the subway there, we were photography mobbed by a bunch of Asian tourists, and then when we got off the train when it was pouring, mobbed by the people waiting out the storm in the subway. (Seriously, whenever we stopped there would be a circle of photographers that closed in on us.) When we got sick of it we opted to walk into the pouring rain, had a bunch of cops yell, ‘Let them eat cake!’ at me though a loudspeaker in a police van and when the rain stopped about 20 minutes later, we were mobbed by photographers in the actual march. It was glorious and exciting and totally crazy. There’s always a general positive vibe throughout the march and it really feels like you’re part of a community.

This year, I made it a point to really up the ante costume-wise. While I liked what I put together last year, my mistake was not realizing it really needed to be seen from afar. I had a lot of small details in it, that generally went unnoticed when in the middle of a giant swarm of people. That’s why, this year, I opted for a giant wig. Two feet of hair is hard to ignore.

 

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I like big coiffés and I cannot lie.

 

My goal this year was to get a couple of photos in a few news outlets/have a few professional photographers interested in me, instead of a bunch of nerds with iPhones. Sure, there is technically a costume contest, but no one really pays much attention to it. The way to really tell you did a good job is if photos of you made it out there. And yeah, there’s probably a little more crotch than I’d like to see of myself in a media now, but hey, it was worth it.

Now that it’s over the only thing I can think of is: How the hell am I going to top this next year?

 

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Cool chick I met waiting to register for the parade.
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Part of an Alice in Wonderland themed group. The Cheshire Catfish.
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Handmermaids!

Want to see more pix online….and also me? Check these links!

brooklynvegan.com

untamednewyork.com

 

Jumpsuit into the Women in Comedy Festival! (See what I did there?)

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Jumpsuits. I love them for some reason. Sure, you have to get almost completely naked to use the bathroom but unless you’re going to be doing a lot of drinking and using a gross port a potty (not recommended), it’s usually worth it. I mean, it looks like I’m wearing shorts AND pants AND a dress AT THE SAME TIME. That’s damn near impossible.

I took these photos awhile ago, thought I lost them, found them and ended up wearing the same outfit to one of my shows at the Women in Comedy Festival (WICF). Hell yeah!

 

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Some people call it “exploring the performance space,” I call it “doing a weird thing with my arm.” (Photo credit Jen Vesp)

 

After a year hiatus, WICF came back with a vengeance with tons more shows and fantastic comics than ever before. My lady focused comedy show, Broad Appeal was even featured as part of the festival.

 

Comedy accomplished!

 

It was a fantastic week of comedy. It was great being able to hang out with my comedian friends from out of town that I hadn’t seen in awhile. And yeah, we went to brunch. We ARE ladies after all. This is a stereotype I cannot escape.

 

Behold: My insistence upon never removing my fingerless gloves
Behold: My insistence upon never removing my fingerless gloves

 

I got the jumpsuit as well as the nail embellishments from Primark in downtown Boston. The nail embellishments are super cheap and aren’t too difficult to put on. You basically need to drop one on when your nail polish is still wet and kind of hope for the best. Using tweezers usually helps. After that you just paint a top coat over it and you’re all set. The polish itself is from Milani in the color Gilded Rocks. It’s a great rose-gold color that pretty matches with anything.

 

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I didn’t wear too much jewelry with this outfit, since the pattern kind of did the work for me, but I’ll never pass up an opportunity to wear my sugar skull earrings.

I was pleasantly surprised to get quite a few compliments on this outfit, despite the fact that I looked like I was wearing confusing ’70s pajamas, but ya know, classier. I’ll take it!

 

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(Photo credit Jen Vesp)

Another awesome WICF accomplished! I’m already looking forward to next year!

 

To find more about the Women in Comedy Festival go here! Not only do they sponsor a full week of lady comedy awesomeness, they also have several events going on throughout the year. Check it! 

 

Candy Striped Spring!

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Ahh Easter! That special time of year when you travel back home to eat a bunch of ethnic food, hang out with family, color eggs and something about Jesus. I’m a big fan of both food and decorating things so I’m all about this. What I’m not all about is the 9 hour bus ride I took to get me there, but I digress.

We had a great night of ALL OF THE FOOD EVER on Saturday with friends and relatives, followed by EVEN MORE OF ALL OF THE FOOD EVER when we went to brunch the next day. Good times all around.

 

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Girly shit.

 

I wore this dress to brunch. I got it from Lindy Bop. They’ve got tons of adorable, reasonably priced retro inspired dresses in a wide variety of sizes. I love this wiggle dress, but a lot of Lindy Bop stuff is made for people who are extremely busty (not me) so I had to make due and wear a super padded bra plus these weird cleavage enhancer things. (Basically little fake boobs.)

 

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To be fair, they are pretty fun to squeeze.

 

They’re weird and I hate them and I was totally paranoid about having one fall out the whole time but they got the job done. I wouldn’t have worn these normally (#feminism) but it was easier and cheaper than taking the dress to a tailor. I felt a little weird even entertaining the idea of wearing them but they were like $6 from Primark, so it was worth the easy fix (#sorrynotsorry).

 

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These boobs are lies.

 

I got the necklace from the Brimfield antique show. It’s a GIANT amazing antique fair that happens 3 times a year in Brimfield, MA. It’s an outdoor expo with of a wide variety of vendors, so you can always find something great. I got this particular piece from a place that was selling lots of old costume jewelry for super cheap.

The purse is actually the same one I used for my prom, a thousand years ago.

 

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I used a mint green color for my nails and painted a confetti sparkle polish over it. I did my hair based on a style in The Art of Hair: The Ultimate DIY Guide to Braids, Buns, Curls And More  by Rubi Jones. What I did looks pretty complicated but only took me about 10 minutes.

 

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I gots roots for days.

 

Basically, you just make a high pony tail, separate it into 3 sections and then pin the crap out of it in little intertwining loops on the top of your head. Then I classed it up with some pearly hair pins. This style works great with long hair and classes any outfit up without too much work.

 

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Easter: The best time for adorable food.

 

That’s about all for now! Next up: Some Women in Comedy Festival goodness!

 

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Shhh…My parents will hear and ask why I am taking stupid photos of myself.

 

Sometimes Things are Awesome and Sometimes Things are Plaid

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Comedy: Sometimes it’s kind of horrible and other times it’s totally amazing. One day you’ll be playing a 1,400 seat room and the next you’ll be doing in a show for 7 people in Worcester who absolutely hate you. It’s a little like having a shitty boyfriend that you can never quite let go of. Sure, it’ll treat you like crap most of the time, but every once and awhile it does something nice and you’re sucked right back in. About a week ago the comedy gods smiled upon me and I got to open for Michael Che from SNL at Boston University. Hell yes!*

I had never done a college show this size before, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for. The show itself was in the student union, which I couldn’t fathom having enough space to accommodate many people, but I forgot BU is a giantass college with a bunch of giantass buildings. (You know I’m classy cuz I attach the word ass to everything.)

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Yes, I asked for a picture. Do I feel weird about it? Absolutely, but I’m posting it anyway.

Anyway, we actually had to walk through the campus cafeteria in order to get to the performance space, which was a little surreal. Mostly, it reminded me that even though I thought I was an adult in college, it’s kind of a hard sell when all your meals are pre-paid for with the swipe of a pretend credit card with the cartoon of a an anthropomorphic tiger (or terrier in BU’s case) mascot on it.

The show was in a packed (1,400 seat) meeting space. To date that’s the largest room I’ve done. The Wilbur is about 1,200, so it’s pretty similar. You have to handle performing for really large audiences a bit differently than in smaller spaces, but it’s not as dissimilar as you’d think. Mostly, it’s just a matter of pacing.

 

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Me, making a dumb face.

 

The show itself went great, the audience was awesome, Michael Che killed it and was super nice. All around a great night.

Unfortunately, no one was taking photos of the show, so I didn’t get a pic of myself or Che on stage, but here is a terrible photo I tried to take from backstage after my set. It’s awful! The lighting on the stage was a little crazy, so the only thing I really got was the video screen. Alas!

 

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I am super good at photography.

 

….and here’s a pic of me at a sparsely attended show in NYC with a similar outfit. Comedy is a cruel mistress.

 

Me at a show in NYC wearing mostly the same stuff.

 

The dress itself looks like it could have come from a Hot Topic, but I’m super classy, so I got it from Rainbow, which is a terrible store, with terrible clothing. Once and awhile you can sift though the crap and find something cool, which is how I found this dress. The belt is from Fossil, the earrings are from Nomad, one of my favorite stores in Cambridge and the necklace was from the clearance section of an H&M. I’m not that cool, you guys. It’s fine.

 

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Oh and by the way, I performed with a sprained ankle and those boots were the only shoes I wasn’t terrified of falling on my face in. The first time I fell on my face (which caused the sprain) was when I was on a date, because ya know, I am super cool. Like REALLY SUPER COOL. Really. I’m cool. I promise.

 

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The BU wall of fame, featuring the ladies from Broad City!

 

Sometimes comedy is good to me and I get to do really cool things like opening up for Michael Che. It’s kind of what keeps me going during the lulls of horribleness. I always appreciate the good stuff and at least the shit gives me some good stories.

 

Want to catch me live? The Women in Comedy Festival is coming April 19-23! I’ll be on a bunch of shows this year, plus the show I produce, Broad Appeal, will be getting a special showcase! Get tix while you can!

 

 

 

*I’m sure the rest of this year will be just awful!

Life is a Waking Nightmare But I’ve Got a Sweet Outfit, So There’s That

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At long last! I’m back! And now that He Who Shall Not Be Named is president, I feel like I’m living inside a waking nightmare. I recently went through a breakup as well so I’m dating again, so I mean like, SUPER nightmarish. Like hell beasts and shit. I digress.

Any Valentine’s Day I’m by myself I always make the best of it. Why? Because, FUCK IT is why. I bought this skirt at Modcloth that day because a little retail therapy is all a lady needs. AMIRIGHT LADIES? (No. No, I am not. Shopping won’t fix your problems, BUT it will give you a small dopamine hit and I’m out of Xanex. We’re all just doing the best we can.)

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I got the earrings from Modcloth as well because kittens are adorable and I’m kind of a cat person. And no, I will never own more than one, because that would upgrade me to cat LADY and we all know what that means. It means I will have more than one cat.

The top is from Primark. As of late I have become incapable of buying a complete shirt. I don’t mind this, but it does sometimes get cold.

 

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Anyway, I wore this particular outfit to a comedy storytelling show about dating, which is a thing I have to do now. You kids ever heard of The Tinder? Eeep.

 

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#resist

 

Also, speaking of hell beasts, I went to that lady march in January, to protest President Hell Beast, with my friend and fellow comic Mariel Cabral. We made some badass signs. We did not have hats BUT I donated the proceeds of my last Broad Appeal show to RAINN, out of spite. Also because RAINN is great. You should give them money. Or the ACLU or any cool charity, or call your government officials or ya know, whatever Facebook tells you to do.

 

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#okaythatlastresistwaskindoftongueincheekbutyoushouldtotallyresistforreal

 

That’s all for now! Hopefully next time we’ll all be less terrified. But, probably not.

 

Want to support EVEN MORE lady comedy (and also some dudes?) Check out Broad Appeal Comedy Night, hosted by Yours Truly! Friday March 10th at Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA!

Get tix here:

Eventbrite - Broad Appeal Comedy Night!

I don’t want to spend my best dressed day in a casket*

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Holy crap you guys! It’s the one year anniversary of me not posting things within a relevant timeframe! …I mean it’s the one year anniversary of Stylish for a Standup! Hooray!

This of course, is what I wore on New Year’s Eve and to date, is the warmest dress I’ve ever worn on said occasion. I’ve had more than one New Years waiting for a cab at 2am while freezing my ass off and I will no longer stand for it. (Actually, I probably will, I just really liked this dress. Heh.)

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Normally, I wouldn’t have gone for something like this, because the dress itself was a little expensive BUT Modcloth happened to have a 40% off everything sale right before Christmas and I had been eyeing this baby for awhile. I took the opportunity and I’m glad I did…because, you guys…THIS DRESS HAS FUCKING POCKETS. HOLY SHIT!

 

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Pockets, a thing fashion designers have deemed not necessary for women. Oh sure, sometimes they will tease you a bit and give you pockets that are too tiny to use, or just straight up fake, but these are honest to god, usable pockets that you can put, you know…stuff in. Amazing!

Another thing I liked about this dress is that it came with a really nice crinoline petticoat built into it, so it gave the dress a nice bit of volume without being too puffy.

 

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Costume jewelry! (Ring from Meowington’s, bracelet from Macy’s, earrings from So Good.)

 

The only thing that I didn’t like about this dress was it was a bit too long. I’m about average height (5’5) and wore about 2-3 inch heels with it and it was still too long.

A lot of high fashion stuff is usually designed to be worn with crazy high heels. I have a pair of amazing super high heels that I’ve worn exactly once because I like not having a broken ankle more than I like wearing high heels. I understand this is a struggle for people, but not for me. Just make your shit shorter, fashion designers. I don’t want to be in pain all night and I like being able to break out into a run at a moments notice.

 

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I did my hair basically the same as last New Year’s Eve. Why? Because this particular updo takes some time to pull off, and it’s the one day a year where I’m willing to spend 2 plus hours on my hair. I also thought the funky side roll thing went pretty well with the vintage feel of the dress. I got the idea to do this from The Art of Hair: The Ultimate DIY Guide to Braids, Buns, Curls And More  by Rubi Jones which gives you pretty straight forward instructions on how to pull it off. Fun fact: I used chopsticks to roll my hair like that and it worked great. (Note: clean chopsticks first.)

I also did glitter roots again because its fun and super easy to do. Just add a bunch of glitter to hair gel, mix it up, then paint it on with a hair dye brush. I got excited and did an extra glitter streak, which didn’t look as good as I wanted it to but that’s what I get for experimenting.

 

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As you can see my nails were a miserable failure that could have easily been avoided. I added adhesive nail jewels on top of silver nail polish. Supposedly they were reusable and specifically said not to put a topcoat on. Against my better judgement I didn’t. The little nails jewels proceed to catch on everything, including my hair, scarf and anything remotely fuzzy or textured so by the end of the night most of the jewels were missing/covered in fuzz. Gross.

 

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The next day I resurrected my nails a bit by adding some glitter polish and a topcoat. This worked much better. If you happen upon these particular nail stickers, they work great, as long as you ignore the directions and don’t expect to use them again.

 

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Over all the night was great. Per usual I spent it celebrating at the Comedy Studio with a bunch of my friends. Also as usual I don’t really have too many photos from this because I was too busy having fun. But here’s one of me and my friend/lady comic Mariel Cabral backstage, before we got too drunk to look cute.

 

I have taken more pictures inside this closet than I have in my own house.
I have taken more pictures inside this closet than I have in my own house.

So, happy 2017 everyone! Hopefully things won’t be too terrible. And when in doubt…BUY A DRESS WITH POCKETS!

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*Line from Long Live the Cheif by Jidenna, who I am currently in love with, for a number of reasons that are probably obvious.

The Hills Are Alive! (with the sound of me wearing an Alps dress)

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It’s that time of year again! Chrismahannakwanzakah! The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year. Everyone is generally in a good mood, and you get lots of excuses to get drunk and be sparky. It’s the best.

I wore this outfit to a Holiday party over the weekend. I’ve been dying to wear it for quite some time. I actually found a skirt version of this dress at Modern Millie, while I was visiting Salem. I fell in love with it immediately because I’m German, and this dress is as German as you can get without wearing a dirndl. (Ya know, that dress with the tits that beer wenches wear.) They didn’t have my size, so I looked up the designer (Lindy Bop) and found out that they had not only one dress version, but 2! Yeha!

 

Sweet Jesus! What do I do? (via Lindybop.co.uk)
Sweet Jesus! What do I do? (via Lindybop.co.uk)

 

At this point I should point out that Lindy Bop is a British company (hence the pound signs) but, I directed you to the US site. It’s a fantastic company that produces many vintage style dresses for a great price, and like Modcloth, has stuff in many different sizes. (Their stuff goes from XXS-6XL. So everyone’s included. High five!)

 

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As you can probably tell it took me FOREVER to figure out which version of this I actually wanted but I think my choice was solid. The little jacket it came with definitely sold it for me.

 

Obligatory bathroom selfie.

 

Since this was not my first cutesy 50’s dress, I decided to invest in a petticoat. Holy crap you guys, I want to wear one, like every damn day. I didn’t go for an expensive one on the Lindy Bop site. You can find petticoats on Amazon for around $10-$15 in every color of the rainbow.

 

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All my childhood dreams are coming true!

 

I wasn’t initially planning on wearing gloves with this outfit, but I dug them up accidentally and thought they’d work perfectly with it. (Full disclosure, they were part of an old Cruella de Vil halloween costume. Heh.)

 

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I’m not gonna lie to you, I was doing this all night long.

 

Then, we partied! And yes, it was the best.

 

….And since is also comedy blog, here’s my Mrs. Claus costume for a sketch I was in at the world famous Comedy Studio Holiday Show!

 

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Obligatory bathroom selfie.

 

I bought exactly zero things for this costume. I used another one of my 50’s dresses, a wig from an old Halloween costume, Christmas socks with fur tops and a Santa hat I’ve had forever. Voila!

 

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I played a lonely Mrs. Claus, writing letters to a death row inmate, played by fellow stand up comic Ryan Shea.

 

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Shit got weird.

AND THEN WE ALL GOT DRUNK <3

Merry/Happy Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Winter Solstice/Whatever!

 

If You Say I Look Like That Frozen Chick I Will Smash You

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Oh boy, things have gotten costume-y as of late, but I promise you, dear reader(s?), I do, on occasion wear normal person clothing. NOT TODAY THOUGH!

I wasn’t actually planing on doing a post about this, but since it’s holiday appropriate I felt like I should go for it. I made/assembled this costume for a musical number from Grease 2 I was doing as part of Laughter Risk, a late night comedy variety show at Improv Boston. And yes, there was a Grease 2. As a person who performed in Grease in high school, I was surprised as well.

 

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The song we did was ‘Girl for all Seasons’ which called for a) girls and b) seasons. We had mostly girls and all of the seasons so we pretty much nailed it. Each of us in the number represented a month. I was, obviously I hope, the month of January, so I figured I’d go full on snow queen.

 

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This costume doesn’t exactly scream ‘JULY!’

 

The dress is something I wore for New Years Eve awhile ago. After 3 long years I finally found the right bra to wear with it. Clearly, ladies evening wear is only meant for 12 year old boys, which I find rather confusing.

I digress. I found some cheap snowflake ornaments at Micheal’s and safety pinned them to the dress in random spots. I also used a wig from an old Halloween costume (Daenerys! The Mother of Dragons!), wore a bunch of blueish makeup and once again brought back that super light foundation I used for my Marie Antionette costume.

 

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Showbiz! It’s crowded.

 

Lastly, and of course the thing I spent the most time on, was the crown. Could I have gotten away with no crown at all? Probably…but come on you guys, I can never resist a making good crown.

First I cannibalized an old headband. I pulled the old flowers off of it and wrapped it with blue ribbon, held in place by tacky glue. Then, I bought a bunch of wintery floral stuff that was on crazy discount, because a month before Christmas, everything is already almost gone and on clearance. I don’t pretend to understand the world, I just let it work for me.

 

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I stripped off the ribbony stuff that held everything in a single bunch off the white branches so I could use individual branches. Then I wrapped/hot glued the wire parts around the headband. I stripped the blue sparkly thing apart as well and glued them directly to the branch things. To finish it up I hot glued/wrapped the big white flowers around the headband and BAM! Winter flower crown.

 

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This photo is almost as blurry as everyone’s memory of Grease 2.

 

Admittedly, I feel like I could have done a little better on it if I had more time, but I pretty much slapped this together over the course of a couple of hours, so I did what I could. I think it looks pretty nice considering the time constraint, but it did end up poking me in the head, kind of a lot.

Hey, if it isn’t at least sort of uncomfortable, it’s not really a costume.

Over all the show was a blast and everyone had a great time putting together their costumes. Also, it turns out Grease 2 has a hot British guy in it, so hey, give it a chance.

Until next time!

<3 Christa

Dr. Christa’s Old Time Rock ‘n Roll Taxideritorium!

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Old timely shit you guys. I like it. Like a lot. I’m a big fan of vintage clothing/vintage inspired clothing and mixing old things with the contemporary to create something new and probably confusing to anyone who isn’t me. This is part of the reason why I love the steampunk ascetic. Now, I’m not the type to walk around with goggles and a corset but that’s mostly because I can’t wrap my head around wearing glasses or Spanx for more than 30 seconds. What I love is anything that looks like it has some history and a story behind it.

 

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I was planning to wear this outfit out to a taxidermy convention I went to in New York city while visiting my brother. (Yes, that’s a thing.) It was pretty cold that day, so I ended up wearing something else, but I did take a few fun photos in his sweet old timey house.

 

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Porcupine quill earrings from the taxidermy convention because I want all my jewelry to also be weapons.

 

A few weeks later, I ended up wearing this outfit (with slightly warmer pants, cuz November) to a super fun comedy/storytelling show called Maximum Sleaze at the Riot Theatre in Jamaica Plain. It was a sexy sex themed show and everyone was wearing something a little crazy (cue the fake mustaches and denim cutoffs!) so I thought the lingerie aspect of this outfit would be perfect.

 

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I’ve got kind of a crazy mix of pieces in this outfit. I love shopping in Salem because it has the exact mix of weirdness I like. The bracelet is from Emporium 32, an amazing store that makes all its own steam punk jewelry and accessories. I also picked up the sheer shirt thing there. (The designer is a’reve.)

After that I skipped across the street and grabbed the 1920s turban from Modern Millie, an amazing store that carries a ton of vintage/vintage inspired clothing. The broach, which I inherited from my great aunt, I added myself. (Real vintage! I actually have some!) As a side note my brother hates the turban and told me I was culturally appropriating from cancer patients. I appreciate his honesty.

 

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Sometimes I like my outtakes better than my actual photos.

 

The ring is something I inherited from my grandmother (more real vintage!) and the  gramophone necklace is from Buffalo Exchange, a funky consignment shop chain. Now, I’d like to think the necklace is antique, but who am I kidding, it’s so perfect it’s probably from Urban Outfitters. Those weird plether-y legging pants I’m wearing are from Express, because, why not? (I’m not linking Express. You know where it is.)

Now, rather than explore the finer points of taxidermy (that’s a separate article), here’s a sweet photo from the convention of stuff in jars. I also have photos of a live demonstration but….I’ll spare you of that.

It was a really good time, if it something you have a general interest in. When I was a kid my favorite part of the museum was the stuffed animals and I’m German, so I grew up around a lot of antlers.

 

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The event space was really cool, the only real issue I had was everything REALLY smelled of formaldehyde, which kind of put a damper on things. It’s hard to enjoy your cocktail and the sweet honkey tonk band that was playing when everything smells like death.  (And before anyone freaks out, this particular convention was cruelty free, which means all of the animals there died naturally and weren’t shot for sport. SO KEEP YOUR PANTS ON.)

 

I could post a photo of the live demonstration, but instead you get this weird selfie.
I could post a photo of the live demonstration, but instead you get this weird selfie.

The girls who put together the convention were celebrating the release of their book Stuffed Animals, so if you guys are serious or just curious you can find it here.

I wouldn’t recommend buying it on Kindle, you might get guts all over it.

Next up! Less creepy shit and more holiday cheer! I promise!

Halloween as Marie Antionette: An Epic 18th Century Wigventure

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Oh Halloween! How I love you! Everything about it pretty much my favorite. I love horror, costumes, candy, crafting and of course, not being myself. That is pretty much my favorite part. This year I really wanted to bring it since I was having a Halloween party, and oh my friends, it has been brought.

I decided to be Marie Antionette for Halloween. Every year I see about 1,000 Marie Antionette costumes that seem to cost a lot and look like crap. Usually they are about half a costume with a crazy short skirt, which gets points for sexiness but just kind of looks like you are wearing half a dress. I’m all for sexiness and weirdness if it’s done right, but mostly it just looks cheap.

I scoured the internet tirelessly and did a little bit research about Marie Antionette and came up with what you see here. It was super fun but also took a ton of work, research, a couple of makeup tutorials and a bunch of sewing. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!

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My initial goal was to go with the cheapest version of the best thing I could find, and just kind of make repairs, which worked pretty well, but oh man did I make repairs.

I got my dress from Victorian Choice. It’s a historical/reenactment clothing store out of Washington state. It might have been a bit pricy for a Halloween costume, but it was roughly as expensive as a ‘premium’ halloween costume from a regular Halloween costume store and looked much better.

Usually, reenactment costumes go for hundreds of dollars (I even saw some Marie Antionette dresses that were in the thousands,) but this stuff stays roughly in the $100-$150 range, which is much more doable. That being said there were a few drawbacks, mainly being that it didn’t fit that well. The fabric itself was good quality, but you really need someone’s specific measurements to get everything to fit correctly.

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I went with a medium dress, but probably should have gotten a small. I ended up moving the buttons over and putting a large dart in the back to make the top smaller. I also moved the bow because it seemed like it was up too high and took out the lace on the neckline. Sure, the lace could have stayed, but this is Halloween and I’ll be damned if I don’t show at least a little bit of skin. I wanted to look like Marie Antoinette, not a nun dressed as Marie Antoinette. I also added the cameo pin to the bow because I had it lying around and cameos were a thing back then.

Now, onto the question I was getting all night. How do you make your dress stay up? The answer? These guys!

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Oh no! You’ve seen my skivvies!

 

They are called panniers and were worn underneath those famous giant Marie Antionette ball gowns. These are kind of a half assed version of the real thing that I bought off of eBay. I bought it off of someone who made historical reenactment costumes. They came late and when I got them they smelled like cigarettes. The fabric of my dress was pretty heavy so they didn’t really hold up the dress that well so I had to stuff them with old throw pillows.

 

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Sorry eBay lady, I ain’t linking you.

In addition to the panniers, I actually wore an old halloween costume with a hoop skirt underneath my dress. The dress itself is deigned to be worn with a floor length hoop skirt, and its super long, so you can’t get away without wearing one. In retrospect, I should have just gone with a full hoop skirt instead of panniers, but I was going for accuracy.

It’s easy to find hoop skirts online pretty cheaply (look at eBay or Amazon) BUT they all come factory direct from China, so you need AT LEAST a month shipping time. You’ve been warned.

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During the French Revolution the upper class loved to powered the crap out of everything, which is why their faces always look so white. For my makeup I bought the lightest foundation I could find and dabbed some white face paint on top of it. I wanted to look pale but not cartoonish. I didn’t do much with my eyes except use a brown eyeliner and a light pink eyeshadow. Then I put on a crapload of creamy blush (Milk Makeup Lip & Cheek in Perk) on and did bright pink lips.

I had the prosthetic scar from an old costume, and I sewed the blue ribbon into it so it looks like my head was stitched back on. I also dabbed it with some fake blood.

There are tons of great makeup tutorials out there for historical and headless person makeup. Here’s one that I found most helpful. It goes through a bunch of makeup history, so it’s a pretty interesting watch.

Now, onto one of my favorite things: WIGS! Again I scoured the internet in attempt to find the perfect wig. Halloween wigs you get in a costume store aren’t usually great quality. Cosplay wigs and wigs from wig stores are usually your best bet and aren’t that much more expensive. I got this baby from Wilshire Wigs in California.

 

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Again, wigs are one of those things that can get incredibly expensive (I saw a few Marie Antionette wigs that cost around $400,) so I bought a mid-priced wig and decorated it myself. The damn thing was huge but the front hair curls were so close together you could barely see my face. I had to cut the thing up and sew it back together to make it fit, but it did work pretty well.

During the French Revolution, hair styles went nothing short of fucking insane. The bigger and taller your hair was the better and it was decorated with all manor of craziness. From birds and butterflies, to bride and groom ornaments, political figures and model ships, people would stick damn near everything in their hair.

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I went the more traditional route and used a bunch of floral stuff, bird Christmas ornaments, hair jewels, pearls and feathers for my wig. I wanted to do more with it but I ran out of time. Fear not! I plan on reusing and redecorating the wig for next year’s Mermaid Parade, (in which I will be Mermaid-Antionette!), so you’ll see it again.

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And there you have it! My costume from start to finish. I had a lot of fun putting it together but there was really a time crunch at the end. There’s some things I would have done differently but over all, I really liked the way it turned out. The party was great (right up until that brownie kicked in) and everyone had a great time (except everyone who ate the brownies.)

A word to the wise though, getting out of this kind of costume is damn near impossible when you’re fucked up.

SPOOOOOOOKY!

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