Maybe not unsurprisingly, this year my work has been infused with snake iconography. Being the year of the snake, it must be simmering away in the back of my mind and surreptitiously sneaking forth.
So, originally, Razia Star whose belly dance costumes I love making because we work so well together wanted a green costume with chains and dangling spikes comprising belt, bra and skirt with draped chiffon in the sides. I think it was while hunting for green lycra that the snake first started to weave itself into the design. Colour concepts included green and metal hues bronze, gold and copper.
My first design sheet was a riot of variations on these themes.
And once I met with Razia we hammered down almost everything except the exact design of the snakes and their positioning although we agreed that there should be one snake that coiled on the bra and two on the belt that reflected each other and that in no way shape or form should any of the snakes look at all like a penis, which was a troublesome occurrence I noticed whilst researching snake belly dance costumes and was to be avoided at all costs.
I am really lucky that after working on several costumes with Razia that she is fully used to my chaotic design process, and trusts that the final garment will be amazing despite not seeing any final design sketches. In truth sometimes the best things come in a flash of inspiration at the end of a deadline, so it was with the snake decorations. I did a super quick paper mock up of the position of the snakes and e-mailed it off, exactly as so...
And once I got the yes it was full steam ahead with the embellishment of the bra and belt ( I in fact got a capital letter "FUCK YES!" so I knew I was on the right track, haha!).
|Final bra design before the bling|
This was also the week of Brighton Fashion Week so time was firmly against me, and I was working until at least 2am every night that week. Razia needed the costume by Tuesday as she was flying to Germany on Wednesday to perform in it; no pressure!
Bling! It takes longer than you think to bling.....exactly twice as long as you think.
So the final costume was ready and posted off by 3.30 on the Monday, and being so tight to the deadline (what isn't?) I didn't manage to take any final pictures of the whole costume as it was more important to get it in the post, so I am hoping that Razia will send me pictures at some later date.