Re: Rock Star Style

Ellen Degeneres dressed in Brooks Brothers as host of her daytime talk show, “Ellen”. Ellen looks both tailored and crisp and yet relaxed and hip.

Ellen again looking both relaxed and chic. Her coloring enables her to wear white and look good which most people can’t pull off.

When your work requires casual clothes, it can be difficult to look pulled together. You don’t want to dress too formally yet you want to look as if you planned your ensemble, not like you rolled out of bed and put on the first thing that you found on the floor. This contretemps is magnified when you have to appear on stage.  The folks I’ve cited here are ones whose style I admire. Their clothes look good on stage, but they are not theatrical in a costume-y or “I-set-fashion” kind of way.

Okay, is it wrong to admit that I consider a bunch of Canadian folk-rockers style icons? From left to right, Bob Hallett, Alan Doyle, and Sean McCann, the trio that’s the heart of Great Big Sea. The fellow behind them in the white T-shirt is Canadian actor, Allen Hawco.  The lads are looking pretty smart in their version of stagewear–dark shirts with blue jeans and a dark blazer, blinged up with some manly necklaces. Both Alan and Sean have Celtic pendants that they’ve worn for years.

Another look at Great Big Sea, a poster for their last tour. I’m digging Bob’s bowling shirt and Sean’s sneakers.  If you haven’t tried their music, by the way, I highly recommend it.

Sheryl Crow, looking both sharp and very natural, in a leather vest and torn blue jeans.

A look at Sheryl’s line of clothes which she describes as vintage, biker, and American heritage all combined together. She plans to eventually have a children and a menswear line as well.

Sheryl can (and has) worn dresses, but she usually prefers a top and pants kind of ensemble. Sheryl has said that she particularly looks for Americana-style pieces that reflect the Old West or the frontier.

Re: Alice in Wonderland

Moviemakers, take note. THIS is the kind of video costumers want to see, with plenty of close-ups on the costume details.

If you are looking for an interesting Halloween costume this year, I suggest taking a look at Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”, recently out on DVD. The combination of Burton’s Gothic outlook and Colleen Atwood’s inspired costume design has resulted in the creation of a number of excellent character costumes. However, don’t limit yourself to the movie alone. The “Alice” story lends itself to a number of fresh interpretations as you will see.

First up, however, let’s take a look at the Burton/Atwood creations.

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Helen Bonham-Carter as the Red Queen.

The costumes of the  Red Queen, the Mad Hatter, and Alice herself are probably the most popular designs from this movie. Since the playing cards are a major motif of the Red Court, those old card tabard costumes one sees around Halloween can be given new life and new relevance as retainers to the Queen.

I would also urge potential Wonderlanders to give some thought to re-creating the White Queen’s costume.  Looking at it, I think that an old prom gown or thrift store wedding gown could be easily re-purposed. Couple the white dress with dark lipstick and nail polish and a white wig and you can be Mirana.

Anne Hathaway as Mirana, the White Queen.

The Mad Hatter has a great ensemble and one that has inspired several how-to vids currently up on the ‘Net. The hat is critical to the look. You can get by without the other pieces, but not without the hat. I would also suggest cannibalizing several of those mini-sewing kits to get the spools for his thread bandolier.

Photo from the Alice in Wonderland Exhibit at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Taken by Jason in Hollywood on 4/26/10 and posted to his blog. See the full post here.

Every hip, young Goth girl wants to re-create the dresses Alice wore in the movie. I confess to be very fond of her long blue traveling coat myself. However, if you like her embroidered blue dress, but are too old for the her young adult look, may I suggest the blue, embroidered gown her mother, Helen Kingsley (Lindsay Duncan) wears? It’s hard to find pictures of it apart from the film so I was happy to find the above exhibit photo.  Matching embroidered dresses would also be a good choice for mother and daughter costumes.

“Alice in Wonderland” is always ripe for new interpretations. I particularly like Futuregirl Leah Riley’s Steampunk Alice” costumes seen here on Flickr. Check out the apron. The pocket detail is particularly nice. “Alice” lends itself very readily to Steampunk, being partly Victorian and partly fantastical. Kanira, another Flickerite, put together this set of Steampunk Alice costumes here. The stocking mask she uses for the Hatter is particularly sinister looking.

Other ideas: the Mad Catter (a mashup of the Chesire Cat and Hatter characters) would be fun. I would also suggest doing Tweedledee/Tweedledum–twins co-joined or otherwise would make a great two-some costume.