SweetLeigh

A Sustainable Life. Make Magick.


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ReFashion 2015: Cleopatra 2095

Cleopatra 2095 ReFashion 2015

I was sick for Halloween and still am but its all good because what I love about Halloween is living a little bit of fantasy for a little while and everybody else partaking in it too. Because let’s face it, I could do this all day everyday. I found that seeing all of my buddies on social media rock their costumes was really quite satisfying. And of course, I get to share my ensemble with you here. So all is well.

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This year I played with so many ideas a couple I shared with you here, but in the end, Cleo was calling me.  I love the concept of Afrofuturism and although I LOVE Liz Taylor, Claudette Colbert and Theda Bara’s portrayals of our queen in film, I thought I’d take my Cleo to another place.

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I am such a 20th-century girl and there are too many decades to love as far as fashion, but the 60s silhouettes are pretty badass and as some of these new silhouettes  emerged and sci-fi went mainstream, I came to associate the shapes of the era with the future. So my retro-future look was born.

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Some thrifted sequins fabric, thrifted & refashioned gladiators, thrifted gold snake like costume necklaces and a handmade headpiece does one Cleopatra 2095 make. Not to mention a party dress in time for holiday season. The Make will be detailed on my next post along with some styling ideas for my new favorite easy dress.

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To the future! More ReFashions to come lovelies!

xoxo,

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Make: Halloween – The Black Widow

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I am a total Halloweenie hence my second costume post of the month! I had two days before my first event of my season, which was this past weekend and hadn’t really given it much thought when I found some reat inspiration on Pinterest! I found a picture of a model channeling a 19th century veiled woman who I decided was a Black Widow and the decision was made. I was to become Mrs. Black!

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Realizing I did not have a long black skirt that wasn’t completely straight or made out of jersey, I decided to make one! Being a very DIY Kind of Girl I decided to make a couple of key pieces for my costume that I could wear in “real life.”  In my fabric stash I had a beautiful four way stretch woven cotton poly blend.

I found the fabric at Michael Levine’s LOFT store in Downtown Los Angeles, which houses their dead-stock, castoffs, & remainder pieces/rolls of fabric that are out of season or considered hard to sale. The fabrics at the Loft are sold by the pound at a remarkable price. SCORE! Even better, purchasing out of season castoffs saves the fabric from being shipped out of the country to landfills around the world. Bigger Score! I ended up with 5 yards of this gorgeous fabric in jet black and had already made a shirt with it.

photo 2I used the remaining 3 + yards to make a floor length 3/4 circle skirt. I improvised a pattern making the waist about 4 inches larger than necessary and created two pleats at center back creating a small train that could potentially house a bustle. Next, I made a lace crop top/tank. I had been eyeing a few fabulous crop tops in lace and this was the perfect excuse to make one. I intended to wear it over a blousen woven top to mimic an Edwardian look. In the end, it was  a bit warm so I opted to just wear the tank alone and the period is just inferred.
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In my wardrobe is an amazing silk hooded capelette that I invested in about 4 years ago. It is made by local designer Stella Dottir, who makes custom clothing for men and women. I love all that she creates: simple, timeless, dramatic, feminine pieces with an edge. The capelette is something I plan to wear a lot more of, as for the costume, it  did the work of transforming my pieces into feeling period. The sheer silk along with the lace also added another layer and texture to all of that black.

Finally, I made the veil. What’s a Creepy 19th Century Widow without her massive, face-obscuring and by default, disturbing veil!? Some tulle and vintage netting I scored by deconstructing a full skirted size 6 vintage dress (that I will reuse later in my own dress design) – did the trick!

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Click on the Widow to see the Short Film!

Voila! My Black Widow Check out the petite silent film on my Facebook Page!  What will you be doing for Halloween? What’s your inspiration? Who, or WHAT, will you be!?

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SweetLeigh: Be Your Own Royal

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Hello Lovelies! I want to introduce to you the Crown Collection! A series of original crowns I made that are now available in my Etsy shop!  These crowns are made for my most femme glamour queens. For bridal, costuming, fantasy wear, and even cosplay. I prefer everyday wear myself…. Simply put, Be Your Own Royal.

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I saw Singin’ In The Rain Friday night on the big screen for the very first time at American Ceinematheque’s Aero theater. I consider myself a musical lover and am somehow astonished that it took me this long to finally see this gem. The perfect holiday rainy weeked event I must say.

The story of Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), silent film star, and his attempt to join the talkie revolution after the Jazz Singer becomes a huge success. Lockwood’s screen partner Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) is an obstacle to this effort with her Brooklyn Screeching. Aided by his very talented pianist/best friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) and his newly found lady love Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) he finds a way to turn their latest silent movie into a Talkie Hit with a little singin’ a lot of extraordinary dancin’ and a bit of dubbin’!

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Of course Singin’ In The Rain is co-directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly. I have fallen in love! I loved the Artist, but had no idea that it was essentially a dramatic reenvisioning of Singin’ In the Rain, until now! As a film lover its hard to fight the urge to call this musical on the foils, farce and fabulousness that is the movies and its industry making it my new all time favorite dancing musical.

A smart, witty, hilarious movie that parodies fame and the movie industry itself while delivering one of the most entertaining love stories of all time. Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds love affair comes second only to our love hate relationship with the movies and the business of making movies. The best and the worst of it is all here.

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Debbie Reynolds’ feet bled after the Good Morning Number. Donald O’Connor’ was hospitalized for exhaustion after performing the thrilling continuous one shot Make em’ Laugh number in its entirety twice. And Mr. Gene Kelly, ever the dashing, driven perfectionist performed the iconic Singin’ In the Rain number with a fever of 103 degrees in one take.

Clearly it was all worth it. The dance numbers are only matched by the perfect comic timing by Kelly, O’Connor and Jean Hagen. It turns out Jean Hagen is actually the singing voice of Kathy Seldon, played by Debbie Reynolds while dubbing the song Would You for Lina Lamont (played by Hagen). Did you catch that? The irony!

Oh and Cyd Charise the fantasy vamp inspired by Clara Bow is everything in her dance sequence. Divine….

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And ofcourse we can’t talk movies without talking costumes! Walter Plunkett was the costume designer responsible for some of the most fabulous and over the top looks throughout the film. From Kelly and O’Connor’s windowpane vaudeville suits to Reynolds’ pink birthday cake ensemble and starlet “Olga Mara,” thought to be a parody of Polish silent screen star Pola Negri, in that fabulous Black widow ensemble…. Swoooooooooon.

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Definitely to live for moments. I am still in awe that I have yet to hear of a Burlesque evening devoted to the ladies and gentlemen of Singin’ In The Rain. Really Now! I have at least two new costumes to add to my repertoire! See it, and see it again. It will also be playing at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian theater in Hollywood mid-December if you are in Los Angles. You’ll be tap dancing out of your seats. Enjoy dolls!. source1 source2 source3

xoxoxoxo

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Icon: Edith Head, The Living End.

Edith-without-specs-832x1024Legendary costume designer, Edith Head or the “Dress Doctor” is the living end.  Her distinct individual style and her gglamorous hand in creating some of Hollywood’s most iconic fashion design is stunning.   Edith is known for her signature costuming of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and Grace Kelly in to Catch a Thief, but there is so so so much more. Ms. Head started her career in 1924 as an uncredited textile designer on a production of Peter Pan and ended in 1982.he is responsible for “It” girl Clara Bow’s charming closet,  Mae West’s vampy style in She Done Him Wrong ,while also the woman behind my favorite Cleopatra, Claudette Colbert’s costumes to her last film, Steve Marin’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.  Edith Head is Genius. clara bowclaudette-colbert-cleopatra EdithWongEdith head margo channing coctail party dress design, All About Eve SweetCharityCS   Ms. Head won eight Oscars, nominated for an 34, and worked on over four hundred other films. Most of which she admitted never seeing.

‘Fashion is a language,’’ legendary Hollywood costumer Edith Head wrote in her 1959 biography, “The Dress Doctor.’’ “Some know it, some learn it, some never will – like an instinct.’’

Ms. Head once described Old Hollywood as a “Barnum & Bailey World,” filled with gold bathtubs, ermine bathrobes, and film actresses draped in satins and minks. Clearly that would make her something of a ringmaster.  Her imagination and execution of beautifully clothed women in film play a huge role in my own aesthetics. As competent in fantastic fantasy costumes as divine day wear she is a huge inspiration to me.  Not only is her costume design sublime, but her personal style is also fabulous. My favorite note of knowledge from Edith Head? “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” Happy 116th Birthday to Ms. Head. Forever Inspiring. alfred-hitchcock-edith-head-family-plot edithhead0306 edith head with Glioria SwansonDesigner Edith Head holding up material, working on costume for a movie.[4] edith-head EdithHead2 edith-head-surrounded-by-some-of-her-fashion-designs (1)2010-10-30-edithhead

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According to a profile of Edith Head on Turner Classic Movie’s website  :The eulogy at Ms. Head’s funeral was given by Bette Davis, who said, “A queen has left us, the queen of her profession. She will never be replaced. Her contribution to our industry in her field of design, her contribution to the taste of our town of Hollywood, her elegance as a person, her charms as a woman – none of us who worked with her will ever forgot. Goodbye, dear Edith. There will never be another you.” Like Ms. Chanel and all great designers before and after her, Ms. Head let the woman, the man or the character take the lead. Touche darling Bette, touche. XXO

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CineStyle: Blade Runner

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Image via @Totxomotxo on Tumblr

I am less interested in “Horror” films than Thrillers and smart science fiction. I caved to horror the year Saw came out, which I loved — it was so well done but I had nightmares for days.  When I think of films around halloween, I think Costume and set design and bigger than life characters and gorgeous images. I think Cabaret, Metropolis and Blade Runner.

Rick Deckard, (Harrison Ford) is a Blade Runner, a detective of the future who hunts down and terminates replicants, artificially created humans who have escaped from the Off World, a colony where they are made to be slave labor for the Tyrell Corporation.  Deckard wants to get out of the force, but is drawn back in when 4 “skin jobs”, a slang term for replicants, who have hijacked a ship back to Earth.  Deckard must search for his targets in a huge, sprawling, bleak vision of the future. The film questions what it is to be human and choose humanity in the face of a world corrupted by corporate greed and power. Ever relevant.

A very sophisticated cast  includes Sean Young, Edward James Almos, Daryl Hannah and Rutger Hauer. 

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Blade Runner (1982) is simply fabulous. A fabulous movie, fabulous set design, fabulous costumes, fabulous story.  Not a hit when released the films popularity and cult following grew out of its fantastic production design. The film is based on a story by writer Phillip K. Dick. Directed by Ridley Scott, Production Design by Lawrence G. Paull and David L. Snyder. Set decoration by Linda DeScenna and Costume Design by Michael Kaplan. 

Utilizing a cluttered urban skyline inspired by Hong Kong and art deco styling it is a perfect blend of science fiction and noir storytelling set in future Los Angeles, 2019.

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“After reading the script, we definitely felt that Blade Runner was of that film noir genre, and we looked back to the films of the 1940s for inspiration. Deckard (Harrison Ford’s character) was as much a Gumshoe as Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart). For Rachel’s character, our chief inspirations were the tailored suits that Adrian designed in the late 1930s and early 40s. I liked the idea of combining different shades of suiting fabrics to create patterns – something Adrian did. In this case I used amazing vintage suiting woollens in shades of grey and beige, with metallic threads that I was lucky enough to find, which created a subtle luminous quality. I wanted to create a futuristic heroine who was believable in the future, but with her feet firmly planted in film noir past.”                                  — Mark Kaplan

 

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Blade Runner j’taime.

Images courtesy of: Another Magazine and CinemaSquid. For more glorious detail on Blade Runner see the Blade Runner Sketchbook. AMAZE.

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Sweetleigh X Halloween 2013!

Hello precious style hearts! I’ve got lots of new goodies up in a brand new section in the SweetLeigh Shop: Costumerie! There are some fab new pieces and charming old ones I hope will inspire your creativity! Whether you’re planning to be a Retro girl, a Disney classic, or a Mideival Heroine I hope you’ll find a favorite in the new Costume section. Here are some pieces and some  inspiration for their use!

Eartha Kitty Costume

The Eartha Kitty Costume: Kitty Mask and Kat Ears Headband. Be the best Cat Woman that ever was, or your most fabulous leopard lady.

Malefecint

This gorgeous makeup is an inspired companion to the Maleficent inspired Malcontent Witch Headpiece. Makeup image courtesy of Rose Shock blog.

Bat Woman

Two words, Bat Woman. Need I say more. Be your own Gorgeous Super Hero. ❤

Warrior Woman

Glamazons Unite! Calling all Warrior Women, Your ensemble is ready.

SweetLeigh CostumerieAnd there is more darlings. Visit the New section and visit the old favorites in the Cocktails section for classic retro inspired bell hop hats, Bardot Bows, and sweet somethings made with love just for you. You deserve it! XOXO

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