pimpinett: (Red lips)
2009-05-10 03:56 pm
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Das Leben der Anderen

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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2009-05-02 02:17 pm
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Lighter than they look

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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2009-05-01 11:11 pm
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Cuffs or no cuffs?

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?
pimpinett: (Default)
2009-04-30 01:33 am
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I received my Austro-Hungarian badge today

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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2009-04-26 12:53 am
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Black with silver m/60 buttons

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. )
pimpinett: (Default)
2009-04-23 11:45 pm
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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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2009-04-20 09:45 pm
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New hardware

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.

pimpinett: (Default)
2009-04-13 06:32 pm
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The Klinik - Hours And Hours

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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2009-04-08 07:09 pm
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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.

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2009-03-08 11:17 pm
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Röda läppar eller kniv?

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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2009-02-26 10:31 pm
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Um, shopping.

Went on a shopping spree yesterday, brought home a pair of vintage felted wool spats, six lovely Art Deco glass buttons and some odds and ends that are probably of even less interest to anyone but me. H&M sells coral seamed hose at the moment, as well as black, taupe and some off-white and champagne shades. Could not resist the sheer absurdity of the "yellowish pink" shade, so now I can match my lipstick to my seamed stockings - how awesome is that?

Size 46, whatever that means in spat sizes - probably the shoe size. Need some modifications to fit well over heels, but that shouldn't be a problem, and unlike both pairs of military spats and gaiters A owns these fit snugly around my ankles. I think the zippers are a very nice touch.

Yes, the colour is variable - some of them are browner, some greyer. The overall impression is taupe in person. I have no idea what to do with them, but they were marked down 50% in one of those honestly rather awful trendy vintage stores, along with the spats, so I couldn't resist. So pretty - a blouse or something, maybe?
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2009-02-23 10:42 pm
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Another dirndl sketch

This version will work better with the size of the buttons, and gives me the chance of using some grey leather I have been wanting to use for a while. Separates are so much more versatile than a dress, too.

Very similar to the corset with the American Red Cross buttons, yes. This one will have a high, princess-seamed back, though, and obviously shoulder straps. I'm thinking of doing something along these lines with the back of the skirt, but I'm not sure yet. Undecided on the hat issue too. Thoughts?

Good for Tinitus, perhaps.

On another note, Tech Noir is not back at Kolingsborg for the foreseeable future after all, as we thought. Last Tech Noir at Kolingsborg is on Saturday, with four live bands (Red Cell, Necro Facility, Kopfer Kat and one more as yet unnamed) and lots of guest DJ's. Kopfer Kat sounds promising (powernoise, very atypical of TN), the other two I have seen and don't give a crap about.
Sad to see Tech Noir leave Kolingsborg for good. It will very likely turn out to be a good thing for the local scene in the long run, they have completely dominated everything for ten years and a bit of a hiatus for Tech Noir will hopefully see the start of some new clubs, but Kolingsborg is a classic venue and I really like how the renovation is looking so far.
pimpinett: (Default)
2009-02-15 11:51 pm
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Shirtwaist with M/59 buttons

Horrible quality. I really must set up some kind of shoot in daylight, but I'm uncomfortable around cameras and I keep putting this off until later - when it's warmer, when the days are longer... The sun doesn't set until around five in the afternoon now, but still.

Two more. )
pimpinett: (Default)
2009-02-15 03:37 am
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My booze mojo from last Tech Noir is still going strong, apparently. I honestly don't know what it is, usually I'm not at all good at getting people to buy me drinks - it's a skill, I have met girls who were absolute champions. I can't do it, though, I feel like a leech.
I didn't pick up my booked Hootchy Kootchy ticket in time, so I spent the first half of the night at Tech Noir and then met the new friends at KGB. Have had a lovely time all around, and I took pictures. They are bad, but I'll see what I can do with the rest of them tomorrow.

pimpinett: (Default)
2009-02-13 06:34 pm
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Because there is no such thing as too many garrison caps

I did have some grey fabric that worked after all - it has no green undertones, but looks fine with the M/59 buttons anyway in small amounts and will match several other garments as well.


Black cotton twill, the piping is a black and beige shot cotton/rayon fabric that reads as grey, and I have posted about the signalist badge before.

Oh, and I finally got my hair up in a halfway decent Swiss braid. Far from great, but definite progress, and for once I feel that my hair might actually be too short - odd, considering that I've been thinking about cutting it off and trying to go back to my natural colour lately.
pimpinett: (Grau)
2009-02-10 10:04 pm
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My weekend plans are becoming complicated.

Now there's Tech Noir on Saturday as well as Hootchy Kootchy Club, and a couple of people I'd like to get to know better will be in Stockholm, with plans to attend From Russia With Love at KGB. The current idea is burlesque first, KGB later, which creates wardrobe complications - Hootchy Kootchy is a great place to dress up, KGB has been fairly casual every time I've been there so far. I rather wanted to wear the Carmen Miranda turban or the corset with the American Red Cross buttons, but both are a bit much for KGB, I think. The corset might work if I dress it down a bit, but there is no way I can dress down the turban, it's just not humanly possible.

So I might fall back on that dress I made around Christmas, with the plastic M/59 buttons, and make a matching cap for it while I'm at it. Crossed brims in front and buttoned in the back would be fun, but the crossed brims model looks best with contrasting piping, and I don't think I have any fabrics that would work. I might look around for some tomorrow, but grey shades are difficult. There is almost always an undertone of some sort, the grey of these buttons pulls towards green, for example, and I think that would be hard to match.

This dress would make a great background for the subdued Soviet buttons, too. Pity I haven't got any of those yet, the olive drab would be much easier to match with a fabric for piping than this odd grey-tinged-with-green in the Swedish M/59 ones.

One more. )
pimpinett: (Default)
2009-02-04 11:59 pm
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...and damn, now all that looking at old photos of 16-year-olds with crazy 80's hair made me yearn for an undercut again. It is conceivable that the hot girl from Saturday night has something to do with it, too - she maintains a perfect balance between butch and feminine, with a short, sleek undercut and clean-shaven sides. It's still not going to happen, I don't want it now, I want it ten years ago. I think I may regret not shaving the sides of my head when I was 19 for the rest of my life.
pimpinett: (Default)
2009-02-04 12:48 am
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New cap.

Just finished a new warm winter cap, my old one is very shabby and not that warm either.
This new one is made to match the fantastic vintage jacket I got before Christmas - I don't know if I mentioned that. First time I've bought a vintage suit and been able to wear both the jacket and the skirt without alterations. I have had a hard time dating it, I'm leaning towards high quality 70's (the lining has fusible interfacing and overlocked edges, the buttons are undersewn and rounded, vaguely military-inspired in metal painted black, and the collar points are insane) but the cut might be late 40's/early 50's just as well. The tags in it look older, the zipper in the skirt is the vintage, heavy-duty metal kind, the button in the skirt is an older plastic one, and the quality of the pieces and the level of work that has gone into it is not that common in off-the-rack garments made after the 60's (the collar is stuffed with horsehair, for instance).

Not that it matters, it is beautiful, especially the jacket, which has a couple of inverted box pleats at the center back accented with two buttons, like on an old frock coat and it fits as if it was made for me, in spite of being ready-made. No lapels, just a large collar with exaggerated points. The skirt is a wide, flared model with lots of panels in that difficult mid-calf length, both of them executed in a thick, black wool coating. I have been wearing the jacket a lot the last couple of months, it's very warm and looks good with practically everything I wear. I don't love that type of wide skirt,  and the length makes me feel stumpy, but it's a very comfy skirt, so it has been in circulation a little too.

The cap is a similar fabric, as similar to the jacket as I could find. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will not wear and age dramatically differently, but it doesn't matter a lot anyway. There's enough for a pencil skirt too, hopefully with a couple of inverted box pleats in the back like the jacket.

That's how I keep them in place, by the way, huge hair pin (groß Frieda!) skewered through my bun and a clip or barrette on the inside of the cap further to the front - I can headbutt someone with one of these caps on and it won't budge.
A has the good camera, getting something remotely useful out of the bad camera in indoor light was a bit of a challenge, but it is a couple of pictures, at least - far more than I manage of most of my projects these days.
pimpinett: (Default)
2009-02-02 06:39 pm
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"Dom kallar oss synthare" - it's all about the hair.

Still haven't found that ancient hard drive, unfortunately, will keep looking. One of the photos I was thinking of was on the newer one I did retrieve some files from, though, the first one here, and I found some other fantastic pictures, too. More picspam to come, probably.
Sweden, late 80's. I don't know any of these people, I just love the style.



Max Andersson and others on Teufelsberg in Berlin in P1 right now, Kulturradion K1. I don't know how many Swedish readers I have, but it's very entertaining and will be available online for the next week at least. I love the Swedish Radio, I really do.
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2009-02-01 07:03 pm
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Much to my surprise I feel just fine today, took a long walk with a friend and had coffee afterwards. She wants some help with a flamingo costume for the local burlesque club in a couple of weeks, so I came up with a suggestion or two, and hopefully I will get to play around with pink tulle and feathers in the next week or two, maybe make a beak too - that would be fun.

Isn't animals a dull theme, though? I'm sure there will be hundreds of pussycat and bunny costumes, and maybe one or two really clever and funny animal costumes, like E's shrimp suit. Not at all tempted to go with the theme myself, I think I'll try to flesh out the Carmen Miranda turban a little instead. I would love to get hold of a taxidermied bird for it, but I might try to make a bird wing myself.

We didn't take any pictures of the green shirt yesterday night, unfortunately - A was in no shape to hold a camera. I'll try to amend that as soon as possible. It turned out allright, I'm always displeased with something, but it looks pretty good.