Re: My Peacock Obsession

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Painting of Ruth St. Denis in her peacock costume which shows a strong Indian influence. Miss Ruth was one of the first American dancers to present actual Indian dance on the stage–and was roundly denounced for it.

This all started when I saw Troupe Mirage, a group of fabulous dancers from the southern part of my state, wearing skirts with a peacock feather design. While I didn’t want to imitate their costume, I did become intrigued with the idea of creating a peacock-inspired dance outfit of my own. My immediate problem then became how to create an ensemble that was danceable, flattering to my figure, and that said “peacock” to the audience.

One of the things I noticed right away as I was searching for peacock images is that you can’t be too subtle. Small peacock designs don’t cut it. You need to be big and bold.

Another problem is how best to convey the tailfeather fan image that says “peacock” to everyone. Costumers seem torn between the upper torso fan and the lower torso skirt or train.

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This commercial peacock costume gives you the best of both worlds–wear the tail up or down.  Points have to be taken away, though, for the rest of the romper-style costume.

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Balticon Feather Lady 2008 by catface3 (Flickr)

I like the idea of a floor-length dress and I covet–how, how I covet–that splendid fan she is holding. She must have made it herself as I’m pretty sure that you can’t buy fans like that.

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I was very impressed by her headress as well.

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Peacock belt by meadow sweetie (Flickr)

I like the belt for this costume.

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Peacock Dress 2007 by angelica star (Flickr)

Another stunning dress. Electric blue and teal-green seem to be popular colors for this type of project.

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Peacock Feather tights from ModCloth.com

One of the problems with projects like this is that you start seeing peacock images everywhere. These tights are from ModCloth.com. They also come in black.

My biggest hold-up right now is finding the proper fabric (or fabrics). I was hoping to find some Indian-style fabric that would do, but I just don’t see what I like at the local JoAnn’s.

Re: Green Gowns

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Santa Fe artist Nancy Judd models her cocktail dress crafted from discarded Obama yard signs.

Never mind Michelle Obama’s inauguration gown, stunning though it was. Here’s some real headturners made from recycled materials although, in all fairness, most should be classified as “wearable art” rather than ballgowns.

You can read a longer, Wall Street Journal article about Nancy here and see a slideshow of her other creations. I particularly liked the ’40s style dress decorated with nails and the bathing suit covered in circles cut from old detergent bottles.

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Arizona clothing designer Angela Johnson created these ballgowns from recycled T-shirts which gets the “Most Comfortable” rating in my book. I can’t believe that no one’s ever thought of mass producing formal dresses out of T-shirt fabric.