Sew Crafy

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Make the other "birds" green with envy!


In 2011 a Finnish official's wife made a big splash on the fashion scene by wearing a dress that depicted an angry bird from the video game of the same name. To make you leave your comfort zones and think right outside of the game box that is, this week your challenge is to design an outfit that represents a well known video game. 

Now don't be tricked here into the world of costume. This is Couture we are looking for, not costume. 

Producing a costume will lose you points, so don't be an Angry Bird and Fallout on this one. You show this Little Big Planet what you can do with Mario and his pals!!!

Teija Vesterbacka, the wife of an executive at Rovio — the company responsible for Angry Birds — made quite the entrance at the Finnish Presidential Palace. This couture interpretation of the adorably addictive game featured a subtle and tasteful red bird's eye along with a long, elegant sash down the front. This made our CDDC leader, Larraine, believe Angry Birds has hit high fashion! It also took me on an interesting journey trying to ferret out more Video Games one might use as an inspiration for this challenge!

If you look at adult Halloween costume sites you can find some inspiration. I managed to find a delightful outfit for one of my faves - Ms. Pac-Man! 
Touted as a true gamer's delight; one dealer claims her man will be willing to play any game she wants when he sees her in this Pac-Man Video Game Screen Dress!!

It's a short and sweet, black dress featuring a print of the wildly popular video game! I guess her wardrobe is why she has to be manipulated around the board so fast - I wonder if she's secretly trying to keep ahead of her beau!?!

I also managed to find an internationally renowned costume designer who calls herself WindoftheStars. She dubs herself as a re-creator and Cosplay model. Gaining inspiration from the things she loves, many of her works are recreations from Anime, Manga, video games, movies, TV series and pop culture. To her, each costume is like a puzzle that requires many technical skills that are in turn shared with the community through online tutorials and panels. She has made over 50 elaborate award-winning costumes since 2004, and a few of them featured in the photo above might be your inspiration for your couture ensemble - but   they definitely deserve a look because each has some interesting characteristics.

But it wasn't until I started putting: fashion influenced by...and then the name of a particular video game into Google that I began to make real progress! Included here are a picture of Avatar Neytiri designed as a costume, and I was pleased to see the Mario Brothers well represented (see above). These are just a few simpler examples.  

Perhaps you're into the Guild Wars or Final Fantay series - if so you'll be happy that you can even see outfits on both drawn and real characters.  This transition should aid in your development of a fantasy costume to a couture gown.  Just look at thee prime examples I've included!

I'm confident you will come up with other video games you favor by using this "formula."

The important thing is to not make your outfit into a costume; rather pull out a couture garment inspired by video game clothing!  Think high class ladies that lunch when your mind's eye goes to the client that will wear this clothing. Then stick to the rules of couture!  Plan your outfit carefully. Fabric selection will be important, too! Be sure to include the finest material possible, and develop designs that have movement - and you will be well on your way to solving what to do for this challenge!  

Your choices are a smorgasbord - nothing feels wrong style-wise for this challenge!!  Your choices could range from sportswear to formal to everything in between. 

 Just make sure you incorporate your video game feature subtlely; this will be the factor that sets your outfit apart for not being costumey; rather it will shine as true high fashion! 

Now on to other matters.  The designs just came in for your Challege One, so I thought you might like an introduction to your guest judge, Dal Lowenbein!   Dal is an avid and eclectic doll collector of over fifteen years with a collection of vintage to present Japanese and American dolls. She is a long-time Graphic Designer currently designing packaging and in-store displays for LOREAL Cosmetics. With her clear eye for design and structure she loves to sew up her own doll creations but rarely finds time to sell her OOAK fashions. However, you may have been seen them in past FDQ and DollReader magazines for winning online doll fashion competitions. Dal loves gorgeous fabrics but more importantly, will be looking for clear concept of design, beautiful presentation and her favorite doll fashion design with an innovative twist.  Her blog can be seen here:

And for Challenge Two, the recently announced "Angry Bird" challenge, your guest judge is Tamara Casey of Designs by Jude. Not only is she judging, she is continuing as one of our sponsors!! CDDC is lucky to have her expertise in judging this latest challenge. She’s the consummate Jill of all trades - she repaints, sews, makes patterns, and dabbles in other new doll ventures! And she's just an especially nice person that we’ve all come to know and love throughout CDDC's existence. If you'd like to keep up with Tamara, and be advised of her latest patterns before everyone else -- be sure to join her FTK group. They have fun over there, and you can, too!

I will be joining two other judges for the Photography contest.  I think all of you know me by now, so I'll just press on and tell you about the other 2!  Phyllis Erlenbusch and Sylvia Christianson are a sister team who have a shop called Our Eclectic Closet on Couture Doll Shop. There you'll find clothing for several sized dolls. Their designs range from classic to costume to everything in between, and their current faves are Ellowyne, Evangeline Ghastly, Deanna Denton, Amelia Thimble and carved Hitty dolls.

Sylvia carves and dresses the small 6 3/4" Hittys. She and Phyllis both dress the smaller dolls and explore sewn and crocheted fashions for 16-19" fashionistas. Phyllis handles the miniature knits while Sylvia does the fine crochet work. Both share a common belief that "Our dolls - and YOURS - deserve fine clothing," so you're sure to find some very nice items in their shop.  

Not only do they sew, knit, and crochet original patterns using natural fibers (silk, cotton and wool); they also find time to offer some exquisite jewelry from time to time. All you have to do to witness their camera work is to take a stroll on over to their website which is located here

Points will derive from three main categories:
1.  Lighting source:   
Consider type of light—natural or artificial, angle of light to subject, shadows, hot spots
2.  Composition of the photograph:
Consider pose of model, use of backgrounds and props that enhance, but do not overpower, the design
3.  Focus & sharpness of the image:
 Consider camera’s point of focus, angle of camera to subject, camera movement—use a tripod if possible.

Okay, that's all the insight I can give this week; but I'll be back soon to applaud the winners for Challenge One.  Thread those needles, rev up those sewing machines, and set up your irons, contestants.  You'll want to be finished early enough to take some fabulous photographs!!

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