M, E and I saw Das Leben der Anderen yesterday. It was one of the best films I have seen in a long time, incredibly well acted and directed and the whole aesthetic of it blew me away. I have this vague idea of what the DDR used to look like - you know, the clothes, buildings, packaging and so on, but that idea isn't really built on anything real; I have never even been in former East Germany, only seen a few Trabis on West German roads back in the early 90's when my father lived in northern Bavaria. This film has that aesthetic down pat, and apparently it was widely acclaimed for how well it captures the look of the DDR in the 80's - my assumption when I saw the film was that it seemed too good to be accurate, visually, perhaps romanticising the squalor of life in a communist state.



It's drab, minimalistic and colourless, done in shades of grey, beige and brown, and the whole film is completely gorgeous in all it's bleakness. It's a must-see for any fan of obsolete technology - bugging equipment, headphones, cars, gramophones, typewriters... and the main character, Stasi agent Gerd Wieser, has a wardrobe that is spectacular in it's spare, conservative monotony. There is a fantastic grey poplin/manchester jacket that had me salivating throughout two thirds of the movie, for example (and I don't even like poplin jackets), charcoal two-piece suits worn with a knit grey pullover, black tie and a shirt that looks not quite white, but very pale grey, the kind of grey shirt that might as well be a white shirt, faintly discoloured in the laundry. Ulrich Mühe is outstanding in the part. I would gush about how good he is, as well as the other actors, but it wouldn't do him justice.

Seriously. See it, if you haven't already.

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So, earrings for the Carmen Miranda turban. Nothing special, really, just artificial cherries, bones, odds and ends thrown together, hopefully they will add something to the outfit. I might add some feathers too.
Local burlesque club first, apparently I'm becoming the go-to person when they want someone to make instant crazy costumes from garbage bags, newspapers and gaffer tape, which is loads of fun and gives me a good opportunity to air the turban. Then on to the Jäger 90 and/or Spetsnaz gigs at Bodytåget, maybe.



We are having great weather, as you can see, which is nice in itself but less than great for taking photographs.
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( May. 1st, 2009 11:11 pm)
Every spring I scoff at the idea of specal summer clothes, thinking that I can just as well live through the summer in wool skirts and heavy slacks (seriously, how hot does it even get around here?), and every year I get the same slightly panicky reality check when the first late spring heatwave arrives. I thought I would be a little bright for once this year, plan ahead and make a few summer garments that are not the sloppy result of some frantic can't-stand-the-heat-anymore sewing, so I'm making a pair of 40's styled shorts.
Plain black rayon/poly/something mix with a twill structure, nice drape and a tiny bit of stretch, six of those huge, black American Navy peacoat buttons closing a functional sailor flap, wide legs and somewhere between mid-thigh and above the knee in length.

So, what do you lovely people think? Cuffs or not?
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and it's even better than I hoped it would be, especially after some polish. Photos tomorrow.

Am also bleaching bird and lemming bones for a pair of earrings to match the Carmen Miranda turban, which I will wear on Saturday if everything goes according to plan. Artificial cherries, buttons and bones.



Here it is!
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There's more, but I was not photogenic yesterday. Have been inexplicably exhausted today, so this is it for now - I will have a closer look at the rest of them tomorrow.



As usual, it's not completely finished yet, I'm going to add piping to the pocket flaps on the sleeves, and possibly some topstitching on the pockets themselves to keep them from bulging too much (if/when I can be bothered to remove them from the sleeves, and maybe the sleeves from the dress as well). I'm not sure I'm pleased with the cap either. Well, well.

I am pleased with the shoulder pads, though. Just needed to say that again - although I might beef them up even more.

Edit: fuck it, I'm wide awake all of a sudden. A few more (artsy-fartsy, B/W) ones here. )
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( Apr. 23rd, 2009 11:45 pm)
I now have a uniform-inspired dress with home-made shoulderpads that would make Grace Jones proud. They are stiff and hard, to quote Herr Flick in yesterday's 'Allo 'Allo episode.
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( Apr. 20th, 2009 09:45 pm)
How gloriously kitschy is this on, say, a scale of 1 to 10? There's a skull with what seems to be crossed stick grenades, an imperial crown over a shield with a big, gaudy K and it says Sturmtrupp. Supposedly Austro-Hungarian, WWI, probably pewter or pot metal. I won the auction yesterday, will post better photos when I have it.





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From Saturday's gig, with good sound quality.


Also, photos are beginning to show up - here's a peek at that Red Army-inspired dress + cap I made for an acquaintance last fall, at long last:


We couldn't resist grabbing the guy in the middle for a couple of photos when he happened to be passing, some British guy who shows up at big events sometimes. I loved both his outfits for the festival. Great attention to detail, what with the make-up and everything.
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( Apr. 8th, 2009 07:09 pm)
The leather bodice is nearly finished, just a few more buttons to attach (and decide whether I want some kind of silver braid on it, but that's a secondary if-I-have-time issue), the skirt is about half done, and the fabric for the shirt is drying as I write. Found rather a nice, pale grey cotton for practically no money at all, lucky me, and also this pin:



Vintage, pewter, probably a souvenir, perfect for this outfit. I also picked up a vintage bottle of Youth Dew - scary stuff, today I think it makes even more of a statement than other strong personalities in my fragrance arsenal, like Bulgari Black, Messe de Minuit and Angel, but I think (I hope) that I have the stones to pull it off - it can be my dirty old woman perfume, like Angel was my dirty young woman perfume! - and these:



About 3 cm across. On a collar, perhaps? I suspect silver plate, seeing the way they are worn, but I'm not sure with that white oxidation, or whatever it is. Probably just pot metal, I will see what happens when I polish them up a little.



Kropp were far better than I expected, actually - the singer's voice held and carried, he sounded better live than he does in the recordings, which was a nice surprise. Hatam was packed with people and there was a lot of enthusiastic pushing and shoving in front of the stage, even more than usual. I had a lot of fun, and experienced another one of those moments when I realize how much I love this scene and these people - long story short, Kropp's big hit is the song there's a live clip from below, Vad Ska Du Ha På Dig Ikväll? which has lyrics that are practically viral, they stick to your brain like glue. For the last couple of weeks we have been continuously working little bits of the refrain into our everyday conversations. It is complete nonsense - literally, what are you going to wear tonight? Knife, or wine? Red lips, or knife? - and that's pretty much it. It just rolls off the tongue so well, somehow.

So the place was full of sweet little boys with undercuts and neat side parts wearing their usual shirts, braces, army pants and uniform tunics plus bright red lipstick yesterday. An acquaintance told me that one or two of them were wearing fake knives on them as well - not real knives, of course, someone might get hurt! - and I don't know about the wine, but I wouldn't be surprised. See why I love this scene so much? There will be no bitching about scene politics and better-than-though attitudes from me, I'm looking firmly on the bright sides.

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