Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gorgeous finger waves- tutorial!

My lovely friends Riikka and Jirina has made a lovely finger wave tutorial! I find it very helpful plus it's fun to watch!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oh, joy! More about dancing...

Dancing makes me come alive in a special way. I used to do ballroom dancing when i was younger but now i've been doing traditional jazz dance for four years. Totally fell in love.

Song for this choreography by Malin Grahn is King Porter Stomp by Fletcher Henderson.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Helsinki Traditional Jazz Dance Company

One thing i really love is dancing. I started out with ball room dancing when i was a kid but about four years ago i found the dance that really suits me, traditional jazz dance! Lindy Hop, Charleston, Black Bottom...! The picture above is our group performing at the Helsinki Burlesque Festival. I'm the one on the far right. As you may notice, i'm taller (and bigger) than all the other girls in our group, i'm 180cm. That sometimes bothers me a little and it's hard to find a dancing partner who is taller than me and able to lift me :) heheh, even though i'm not even really that 'big'. 

 If you want to see us performing live, our group the Helsinki Traditional Jazz Dance Company has two shows in few weeks in Espoo, if you happen to be in Finland :) Our teachers Malin Grahn and Clyde Wilder (US) have done amazing job with the choreography.
You can get the tickets from Lippupiste.

If you want to know more about 'what is traditional jazz dance' watch this little documentary!  

Featured dancers include Norma Miller, Frankie Manning, Clyde Wilder, Mickey Davidson, George Lloyd, Chazz Young, Dawn Hampton.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dreaming about having a huge wall of nothing but records

It's really small but i'm working on it! 

About the Goddess headpiece i made for LouLou D'vil and about why my headpieces are "so expensive"

So, many people have been asking about the details of the headpiece i made for LouLou D'vil. And while i'm at it i might as well say something about the prices of my headdresses, since not a week goes by that i don't have to explain to someone why they are "so expencive". But first, about LouLou's headpiece! :)

This is the inspiration photo that Loulou gave me (headdress form the movie Apocalypto, costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo) . As You can see we used some of the shapes, like the side rolls and the bun and used some of the same colours (colours that are seen in ancient arwork too). I changed the top, the piece on the forehead and added colour, sparkle and made it darker and more "burlesque" adding tassels, sequins and big glass diamonds. The shape of the base is different too and it's smaller in size. The structure is also probably very different because of the demands for the headpiece i made.

Some inspiring images...

The aztec goddess Xochiquetzal. She incarnated youth, love and beauty and was amorously pursued by several Aztec gods. Emblemised by flowers and colourful feathers, Xochiquetzal was patroness of lovers and prostitutes. Unlike other fertility goddesses, she encouraged love-making as a means of pleasure, not reproduction.

Mayan God Kukulcan, also known as the Serpent God, is the Mayans Supreme God. The Aztec called him Quetzalcoatl.

The frame is metal wire, padded and covered. I'm not telling you all my secrets, but i can share some of the details :)

Under the metal frame there is also buckram, there's lot of stuff on it so it needs the support.
The base in the front is covered with black fake hair, since lots of the pics of ancient south american gods and goddesses had "fringes".

I made the tassels on the sides from fake hair too, and added strings of beads. The base of the tassel is made of thin metal that shaped to fit the tassels and to cover the upper ends. I fastened the tassels to the metal band that attached to the base of the headdress.
The metal band is covered with rhinestones and bigger glass diamonds.

The side rolls and the bun-dish thing on top are also fake hair (yes, it was pain in the a** to make :)
All hand sewn from individual bunches of hair. There are also swarovski beads sewn at the adges.

The golden plate is made of resin. I carved the model out of wood and made a silicone mold of it and then made a resin cast, painted it with gold paint and covered with swarovski crystals. The plate is attached to bucram base that it covered with a web of vintage gold/white ribbon, sequins, swarovski and trimmed with two kinds of feathers.

There are also longer orange/black feathers on top and yellow feathers on the side (detachable) and green very long  detachable pheasant feathers, that are seen in the picture below.
The headdress is collapsible because it has to fit in a suitcase (it actually goes in four pieces+ the green feathers). It also had to be sturdy and stay on LouLou's head while she is dancing (everyone who has seen her perform knows that she is WILD on stage), yet it can not be too heavy or uncomfortable. It also have to be really easy to remove (in about 30sec.) And ofcourse it has to look good and be fierce...

This baby is all that. And what's most important, LouLou was happy with it. There is nothing better than a happy customer!

So, that is why my headresses are "so expensive". The burlesque pieces start around 300, but something as big and complicated as this is not hundreds, it's thousands..
I practically made everything on this headdress, this is really made from scratch. Just the materials were several hundreds of euros and the amount of hours i spent making this is quite something.

I make all my headpieces with love, they are unique and made to last and i use the best materials at hand and order lots of stuff from all around the world to get the best stuff.

I have to say that i truly love my job and my customers who make me do these crazy projects! The mutual respect, the joy of working with such talented and nice people. I must be the luckiest girl in the world, though it took me years to be where i am now and lots of work.

LouLou D'vil at Belle Epoque, Dark circus, London. NYE. High Priestess of the Feather Snake act.

Headpiece by Fiona Timantti Millinery
Corset base by Salonkiompelimo HiroNIA
Costume by Anni Laanti and LouLou 'vil

Read more about the "feathered serpent", Quetzalcoatl here.