Polynesian Attire - The Virtual Costumer
Polynesian Attire - The Virtual Costumer
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -1- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild ISSN 2153-9022 The Virtual Costumer the costuming magazine of the Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild Polynesian Attire Polynesian Attire Exploring the Pacific Island Exploring the Pacific Island cultures through their dress cultures through their dress SiW Dreamcatcher and ICG President's Award Recipients
Table of Contents Silicon Web Costumers' Guild President’s Message 3 From the Editor 4 SiW Members Receive ICG President's Awards 6 La Photographie Receives Dreamcatcher at CC34 6 La Muerta Receives Dreamcatcher at CC34 8 Virtual Author Talk How to Make Sewing Patterns 9 The author talks about what's new in this second edition Feature Articles Hula Kahiko 13 Historical recreation of ancient Hawaiian hula attire Costuming for Nā Lei Hulu 18 Creating costumes for a hālau (hula schools) show The Story of the Aloha Shirt 24 The inside story of the origins of this iconic garment A Chief of the First Born 34 A sci-fi adaptation of traditional Tongan warrior attire Creating Miss Fiji's Traditional Attire Costume 40 Costume honored at Miss Pacific Islands competition Mutants and Mai Tais 48 One of the wackiest Polynesian costumes ever Interviews Recreating Hawaiian Feathered Cloaks 52 Decade-long project recreates Kamehameha I court cloaks Short Subjects Oldest Dress Found 64 Egypt Tarkhan dress is at least 5100 years old Three Costume Exhibits at Kent State Museum 64 Fibers, flappers,and fashion at Ohio university museum R2-D2 Creator Dies 65 Special effects expert built Star Wars iconic robot Swagged and Poufed 65 Museum exhibits upholstered body of late 19th C.
17th Century Silk Dress Found in Shipwreck 66 Noblewoman's gown buried off North Holland coast Website Helps Date Old Photos 66 Resource helps use features in a photo to deduce date Upcoming Calendar of Events 67 Ongoing Events 68 The Virtual Costumer (ISSN 2153-9022) is a publication of the Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild (SiW), a non-profit, volunteer-run chapter of the International Costumers' Guild (ICG) Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Images, and material related to novels, movies, exhibits, or otherwise owned by others, remain the property of their respective copyright holders.
Authors with "*" beside their names are Silicon Valley Costumers' Guild members. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -2- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild ISSN 2153-9022 About the Cover Looking commandingly over the small town of Kapaau in North Kohala is an impressive statue of one of Hawai’i’s most revered leaders, Kamehameha I. The statue commemorates this leader and warrior who, in 1810, united the islands into one kingdom after decades of struggle and threats from western forces. The king is dressed in his royal attire, a bright yellow 'ahu 'ula (feather cloak) and mahiole (helmet).
Rick San Nicolas describes his decade-long project to recreate seventeen cloaks and helmets of King Kamehameha I and his court based on a painting by artist Brook Kapukuniahi Parker, starting on page 52. Photo: Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Silicon Web Costumers' Guild Silicon Web Staff President: Kevin Roche Vice-President: Elaine Sims Treasurer: Bruce MacDermott Secretary: Deb Salisbury Virtual Costumer Editor Philip Gust Web Diva and Assistant Virtual Costumer Editor: Kathe Gust President’s Message Kevin Roche* It’s spring! (Actually it’s almost summer. How did that happen?) I’ve been doing my lame imitation of an international jet-setter. Andy and I flew to Manchester, England for Easter weekend (and Eastercon, which was there this year) to promote the San Jose in 2018 Worldcon bid, and had a fabulous time. We took our “chairman” costumes -aka sports jackets, slacks and slick name tags -- and hosted a party in the fan bar on Saturday night.
We also did the RoboGames (ThinBot took gold again -- that’s 4 times straight!), FogCon, Costume-Con 34, and I’m writing this from the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, where we are off on our annual pilgrimage to the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival, one of our rare non-SF outings. It has plenty to see in the way of sartorial eye candy of course.
After having to cancel on attending Costume-Con 33 because of financial and familial obligations, it was great fun to get to Madison, Wisconsin for CC34. We set up the San Jose table, I was a judge for the Single Pattern Contest this year on Friday, we sponsored the hospitality suite for lunch one day, and my only other commitment was to take my masculine Barbarella homage down the runway in the Future Fashion Show. That meant I had the privilege of wrangling the Silicon Web group discussions on what might deserve kudos from SiWeb in the form of our Dreamcatcher Award for the Science Fiction / Fantasy, and the Historical Masquerades.
SiWeb's Dreamcatcher is awarded for creative use of technology in a costume made by someone who is not a member of our chapter (which meant Andy was frantically reviewing our roster for me each time something interesting came across the stage). This year, we had some serious discussions about what that meant, and made a point of looking at technologies that were more than simply the best blinky lights, including some bits of stagecraft. Our winner in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Masquerade (“La Muerte” from The Book of Life animated feature) was, in fact, an illuminated costume, but it was Rachel Kojetin's solution to the structural issues of keeping candlesticks vertical on her train and enormous sombrero that impressed us.
In the Historical Masquerade, the use of new printable fabrics to ornament her dress with turn of the 20th century photographic portraits netted Nora Mai’s “La Photographie” a Dreamcatcher. In addition to the spider-bestrewn Dreamcatcher trophy, Rachel and Nora received one-year memberships in SiWeb Costumers' Guild. Congratulations and Welcome to them both! As I mentioned in February, we are now in our annual officers election process. While the existing officers are all willing to serve another term, we welcome more involvement, in particular exploring the possibility of splitting the Secretary’s role to have someone take on our social media presence as an formal role.
Towards that end, I’m thrilled to announce that we (finally!) have an official SiWeb FaceBook page! Be sure to visit and “Like” the page so you can see our posts.
If you’d be interested in helping out, there is a lively and friendly discussion going on in our email group right now, or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know. I’m going to hold off on the actual election for a little longer to encourage folk to step forward. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -3- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild ISSN 2153-9022
As we move into summer, Westercon and Worldcon, of course, loom. This weekend (Memorial Day) I know we have members at Baycon, Balticon, FanimeCon, and Clockwork Alchemy, and I’m sure more I haven’t mentioned.
Where are you going, and what did you wear? Post pictures! P.S. Here in Las Vegas, we just did a vodka tasting at the Vodka Vault, an ice bar tucked into the Red Square restaurant on the strip. They even loan you Russian coats and hats to keep you warm while you are on ice! P.P.S. Site Selection for the 2018 Worldcon has just opened. Besides the San Jose bid that I am on, there is a bid from New Orleans. If you care where Worldcon (and its Masquerade) is held, take the time to vote. You need at least a supporting membership in this year's Worldcon (MidAmericon 2, in Kansas City) to be eligible, and you’ll have to pay an advanced supporting membership fee when you vote (converts to a supporting membership in the 2018 Worldcon regardless of who wins).
Visit the Worldcon site selection page for more information. Also visit the San Jose site and the New Orleans site. Both bids also have FaceBook pages.
Obviously I'm biased in favor of San Jose, since I'll be its chair if we win, but the important thing is that you vote if you care where the convention takes place! From the Editor Philip Gust* For many, a visit to a Polynesian island brings to mind a tropical paradise where people go to splash in the waves, drink beverages with little umbrellas, and take pictures of lush scenery and people in exotic clothing, all while wearing shirts or skirts of bright and colorful materials. However, for the people of the Islands of Polynesia, it is a place with a rich history, ancient customs, sacred places, and traditional attire that unites them while also making each of them unique.
This issue of VC explores the rich history and the cultures of Polynesia by learning about both traditional and modern attire of the people who call some of these island nations home. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -4- May 2016 Kevin Roche (2nd from right) with Mette Hedin, Andy Trembley, and Bryan Little (far right), vodka tasting in Vegas. The islands of Polynesia. Image: Hobe / Holger Behr.
We begin with a “Virtual Author Talk” by Don McCunn about his book, How to Make Sewing Patterns. A new edition provides expanded content and instructions for creating patterns of every kind for both men's and women's clothing.
In his article, Don tells us that he came to patternmaking through his interest in the theater, and the influence of a professor in college who had been a student of Lucy Barton, author of the classic Historic Costume for the Stage. The rest, as they say, is history.
Although she has never visited Hawai'i, Terry Walker became interested in Hawaiian attire when she took a dance class on a whim, and became hooked by the second class. In her article, she describes her recreation of attire for the ancient form of Hawaiian hula, hula kahiko, which she entered in the novice division of the Costume-Con 33 Historical Masquerade in 2015. Her greatest enjoyment is showing people what Hawaiian dance really is. Patrick Makuakāne is also passionate about Hawaiian dance, culture, and attire. He is the Kumu Hula (hula master) of Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu, one of the largest hālau (hula schools) in the United States.
His school puts on several shows a year for an appreciative San Francisco audience, with costumes that span the spectrum from traditional to urban contemporary, all made by the school and its students. In his article, Patrick shares with us some of his favorite costumes that have been featured in shows throughout the years.
Dale Hope grew up in the Aloha shirt business. His father was a textile salesman for a supplier of Hawaiian-printed fabrics, and Dale remembers ordering his first Aloha shirt from him in the third grade. He went on to become an executive in the industry, and a leading collector and authority on the Aloha shirt. Using stories and pictures from the newly published second edition of his book, The Aloha Shirt from Patagonia press, Don takes us on a fascinating tour through the history of this iconic garment. Designing a costume for a feared pirate and chief of the “First Born” from Edgar Rice Burroughs' “John Carter of Mars” series of fantasy books was much harder than first expected.
In my article, I describe how I looked to the traditional attire of a Tongan warrior chief for inspiration, as part of a project with four teams of costumers that we called, “Costuming by the Book.” Hair and makeup artist Ashley Phaneuf Wakai received a phone call in late 2015 from the newly crowned Miss Fiji, Zaira Begg, asking for help with her hair and makeup for the upcoming Miss Pacific Islands pageant. Little did he dream that he'd also be called on to design and create her Traditional Attire Costume, or that his creation would win the prestigious “Best Traditional Attire” award at the pageant.
In his article, Ashley describes the unique design, materials, and techniques that he used for the costume.
Kevin Roche's inspiration for one of the wackiest Polynesian costumes ever came from a beaded tasseled trim he found in a Texas fabric store that reminded him of robot hula dancers. An avid Doctor Who fan, his mind immediately made a connection and lead to the creation of the Tiki Dalek, based on a evil race of creatures from the series. The result was “Gilligan's Island meets Doctor Who.” In his article, Kevin describes the project and the reaction of attendees and fellow Dalek-makers at one of the largest Doctor Who conventions. When the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative contacted Hawaiian- born featherworker Rick San Nicolas, they proposed an audacious project: recreate seventeen royal feathered cloaks and The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -5- May 2016 Vintage travel poster promoting Fiji tourism.
Matson Cruise Lines, c. 1960. Source: Pinterest.
helmets of King Kamehameha I and his court depicted in a painting by artist Brook Kapukuniahi Parker to help promote their reforestation project. In his article, Rick explains how he undertook this decade-long project, how he learned the ancient techniques by studying historical cloaks, and how he hand-ties to a mesh over 200,000 feathers that look just like ones from highly endangered or extinct native Hawaiian birds. Here is a quick preview of what is upcoming in VC. In the August 2016 issue, we'll explore “Hair, Hairstyles, and Accessories,” and the many ways that historical costumers as well as those in sci- fi, fantasy, anime, and other genres, use hair, hairstyles, and hair accessories to accentuate their costumes.
The theme for the November 2016 issue is “Labors of Love,” exploring why costumers are driven to invest outrageous amounts of time and effort into their creations, completely out of proportion to any reasonable expectation of any return for their efforts. I am pleased to announce that the theme for the February 2017 issue will be Props and Costume Special Effects, focusing on the art and practice of making props and creating special effects to add an extra spark or a look of authenticity to costumes and their presentation.
See the Upcoming Issues page of the SiW website for details.
Now is a great time to start writing for VC, and share what you know and love with your fellow costumers. SiW Members Receive ICG President's Awards Two SiW members received ICG President's Awards at Costume-Con 34. The award recognizes extraordinary service to the ICG. It includes a certificate and a listing on the ICG President's Award web page. SiW members who were recognized are Kathe Gust and Bruce MacDermott. Kathe was recognized for collecting, scanning and indexing all issues of the ICG's Costumer's Quarterly magazine; indexing back issues of the ICG's International Costumer newsletter; and developing public relations material for the ICG Resource Center for Chapters and SIGs.
Kathe is the ICG Recording Secretary and a member of the Communications and Public Relations Committee.
Bruce was recognized for establishing and administering the ICG Group Exemption Letter (GEL) program, which enables participating U.S. chapters and SIGs to become 501(c)(3) non-profits easily and at no cost. Bruce is chair of the ICG Finance Committee. Kathe and Bruce join SiW members Betsy Delaney, Denisen Hartlove, Jay Hartlove, John O'Halloran, Carole Parker, Kevin Roche, Elaine Sims, and Jeanine Swick, as past ICG President's Award recipients. Bruce MacDermott and Jeanine Swick have both received the award twice. Congratulations, Kathe and Bruce! The other President's Award recipients at Costume-Con 34 were Patrick O'Connor, past editor of the ICG newsletter and a member of the ICG Publications Committee, and Vicky Asaratanakul, editor of the ICG's International Costumer newsletter and chair of the ICG Publications Committee.
See the President's Award page of the ICG website for details of these and all past awards. La Photographie Receives Dreamcatcher at CC34 Historical masquerade entry cited for Creative use of vintage photos printed on fabric.
During the Historical Masquerade at Costume-Con 34, SiW President Kevin Roche presented a Dreamcatcher award to Nora Mai for her entry, “La Photographie”. Nora's costume was cited for creative use of vintage photos that she collected and printed on the fabric of her costume. She received a Dreamcatcher, a one year membership in SiW, and a place of honor on the SiW Dreamcatcher Award page. We asked Nora to tell us a little about her costume and its inspiration: For much of the nineteenth century fancy dress balls were popular in England, the U.S. and Canada. A lot of time and money was spent planning and designing The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -6- May 2016
costumes for individuals and groups (for tableaus). Popular costumes were based on historical and literary figures as well as allegorical or emblematic costumes representing broad concepts or ideas. My dress was inspired by a Miss Stevenson; one of three women who attended the Garrison Ball in Montreal in 1865 as “Photography”. The origins of modern photography can be traced to France and the work of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and Louis Daguerre. By the beginning of the Belle Epoque, Cabinet Cards and Carte de Visite had become widely available, and were a popular way of capturing a portrait both in Europe and the United States.
Carte de Visite (CDVs) were developed first, generally as an albumen print mounted on cardstock roughly the same size as a visiting or calling card. They were immensely popular and commonly collected and traded, even those of prominent people and “celebrities”. Many cards were embossed or printed on the back with the photographer’s name, studio address and sometimes specialties. Cabinet cards gradually replaced CDVs. Essentially the same process but a larger image roughly 5 by 7 inches which could be viewed across the room when displayed upon a cabinet in the parlor. I collect old photos purely for the beauty and clarity of the images.
Some are actually from my family but others I acquired at estate sales or online. I like to think about these people and their stories. On the bodice of my costume, there are 13 portraits centered on a picture of my maternal great-grandmother Myra Lockwood. On the skirt there are 37 pictures centered on a picture of my paternal grandmother Ellen Nelson Schneeberger. Photos were printed from my computer after being scanned and edited, but the colors and the images are mostly unchanged.
It was based on the shapes and the construction techniques from around 1870 with a fitted bodice and pleated skirt but the dress is more about displaying the beautiful photos rather than historical accuracy. Many of my modifications were for ease of wear and surface maximization. I modified the basic bodice and added a curved collar to better display the photos. I arranged the selection of portraits to carefully fit them around the collar. Each photo was stitched in place then framed with gold grosgrain before the collar was assembled.
The band of photos around the skirt was pre-assembled on a strip of cotton for stability.
The photos were separated with grosgrain during assembly, and then the entire strip was attached to the skirt. A band of grosgrain was then stitched above and below the photos. Nora entered in the Master division, and also received a Judges' Choice Award in the Master division for Creative Use of Technology. Congratulations Nora, and welcome to SiW! The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -7- May 2016 Photo: Scott Johnson, Realtime Portrait Studio.
La Muerta Receives Dreamcatcher at CC34 Sci-fi/fantasy masquerade entry cited for giant sombrero and dress train with candle lighting effects. During the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Masquerade at Costume-Con 34, SiW President Kevin Roche presented a Dreamcatcher award to Rachael Cuddle for her entry, “La Muerte.” Her character is the Ruler and Queen of the Land of the Remembered, from the animated movie, "Book of Life.” Rachael's costume was cited for its giant sombrero and train with illuminated candlesticks. She received a Dreamcatcher, a one year membership in SiW, and a place of honor on the SiW Dreamcatcher Award page.
We asked Rachael to tell us a little about her costume and its inspiration: I was born and raised in Mexico to missionary parents, and retain a deep love for its people and culture. When the “Book of Life” movie came out, I instantly fell in love with their depiction of 'La Muerte' and knew I needed to recreate it in a costume. I kept an eye out for the perfect fabric and carefully studied pictures to make sure I could do the character justice. I learned to sew when I was 9 and have sewn both with and without patterns throughout the years. This is my first year really pouring myself into intricate costumes so I could try entering contests and I picked a fairly difficult one to start.
For La Muerte’s dress I wanted to get the perfect round train and the unique silhouette. I draped muslin to create the dress pattern and used that when cutting the dress fabric out; no store-bought patterns were used for any of the costume pieces. For the large round hat and the train to keep their shape I used PVC pipe. The top piece of the hat that is covered in marigolds was shaped out of Dollar Tree cutting boards and then covered with the fabric and embellishments. The gloves were also made without the use of an existing pattern and they had fold details painted onto them. Between the dress and hat there are approximately 200 hand stitched marigolds make from felt.
There are also around 50 little hand cut and painted craft foam skulls on the hat and dress. I was lucky enough to find the perfect candles for this costume at the Dollar Tree. The base that came with them was perfect for keeping them attached in place. There were approximately 27 candles on my costume.
All in all, this costume was a huge undertaking but it was a wonderful journey in improving my sewing skills and crafting, and I was so proud that it was my first Masquerade piece. I am sure it will improve as I find ways to make it better but this is a costume that I love and hope to get to show off for a while.” Rachael entered in the Novice division, and also received a special award for movement onstage. Congratulations Rachael, and welcome to SiW! The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -8- May 2016 Photo: Scott Johnson, Realtime Portrait Studio.
Virtual Author Talk How to Make Sewing Patterns Don McCunn* The author of a how- to book on practical patternmaking talks about what is new in the recently-published second edition.
My book, How to Make Sewing Patterns, has been continuously in print since 1973. I came to patternmaking because of my interest in theatre which I discovered as a junior in high school in 1959. I was a social klutz until I discovered the joy of collaborating with others to create live theatre. In the arts I am both cursed and blessed because I have no natural talent for anything. This is a curse because nothing comes to me quickly or easily. I have to struggle to learn how to do things. It is a blessing because once I do figure out how to do something, it is easy for me to share with others what I have learned.
And I do enjoy teaching in the classroom, through my how- to writing, and even as a director in the theatre.
When I started doing theatre I really wanted to be an actor. But because of my lack of natural talent, I was relegated to being the stage manager for a production of “George Washington Slept Here.” Believe it or not it was my good fortune that one of the leads literally broke his leg a week before the show was to open. Because I was the stage manager I knew the blocking, the part, and the show better than anyone – so I got the part. Actually as I look back on that experience I realize it is prophetic of how my life in the arts has evolved. Rarely do my plans for the future materialize the way I foresee.
Instead the fates direct my future and I am more than willing to grab the opportunities that arise.
As I progressed in theatre my focus was on directing productions. But I quickly learned that while many love to act, I encountered few people who were willing to commit themselves to the time and effort required for the technical end. And many of those who were willing to do the work had limited abilities. So being a control freak and rabid do-it-yourselfer, I determined to learn all the technical arts so I could fill in whenever it was necessary to achieve my vision for a production. For my undergraduate work I had the good fortune to attend the University of Texas in Austin which had an amazing teaching staff.
The costume professor was Dr. Paul Reinhardt who had been a student of Lucy Barton, author of the classic Historic Costume for the Stage. He introduced me to the idea of measuring the body to create patterns. But for the productions we students were relegated to sewing the costumes from the patterns someone else made—I don’t remember who. Not knowing how to make patterns wasn’t good enough for me. My perception is that if you want to create costumes, you need to be able to make patterns for any body shape, for any design, from any period of history, or maybe even imagine the The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -9- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild ISSN 2153-9022
future. So after I graduated from UT I set about researching the techniques for making patterns. What I found were approaches to creating patterns that were designed primarily for the fashion industry. There is a huge difference between the process of creating a pattern designed to fit as many bodies as possible as opposed to creating a pattern for the custom-fit of a specific body. So I set about to create my own approach to making patterns for costumes. It was after graduate school when I was looking for work that I decided to put my ideas into book form. I sent out letters of inquiry to about 100 publishers I thought might be interested, about 10 responded.
But one publisher, Harold Hart Publishing, wanted me to convert it to a pattern making approach for the general home sewer. He thought it would have a better market potential (the hand of fate at work). He assigned one of his editors to try out every instruction to verify that what I had come up with would actually work in real life. After a full year of going through my book and making all the garments, she did make one very useful suggestion: she recommended I use numbers for my step- by-step instructions. With a published book in hand I was able to get a teaching job through the San Francisco Community College Adult Education program.
This was an invaluable experience for me as I was able to see my approach applied to hundreds of different bodies. But the hand of fate was again at work. Harold Hart decided to close his publishing business.
All of a sudden I had hundreds of students and no books to use. I decided, as an avid do-it-yourselfer, to take control of the publishing myself so I wouldn’t have to worry about it going out of print again. About the Book I strongly believe that making custom-fit sewing patterns is not “rocket science” that requires four years of study at a fashion academy. What you need to learn is how to look at the human body and see reference lines on the three-dimensional body that can then be applied to create two- dimensional patterns. To create custom-fit clothes for an individual the basic process is to first create fitted patterns, called slopers, that show the contours of the body.
While measurements of the body are important, they can not predict all the The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -10- May 2016 Illustration from the Introduction showing the difference between a commercial pattern and the pattern shapes required for real bodies
contours of a specific body. In the new edition of my book I have eliminated all the darts from the initial draft. Measurements will tell you how much fabric you need to cover the body. But the only way to truly determine the shape of the body is to fit fabric to it. When I first started teaching this process, I used what everyone uses for initial fittings – a fabric called muslin. I used to go around class with a magnifying glass to make sure the grain of the fabric was corresponding to the reference lines of the body. Then I was in a fabric store one day and my eyes fell on gingham. This fabric has threads in different colors that clearly indicate the grain lines, so now I use that.
Once you have recorded the shape of the body with these slopers, you can create the designs you want using a few simple pattern alteration techniques. If you are a costumer who needs to make patterns for many different bodies, once you have done this process a couple of times, you can frequently be more selective in the steps you follow to achieve accurate results. The final 100 pages of the book give examples of how to create the patterns for a variety of different classic designs. I actually learned from the book I wrote for Mr Hart that it was important to use timeless variations rather than designs that are topical.
The example of bell bottom hip huggers got dated pretty quickly. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -11- May 2016 Sample pages from How to Make Sewing Patterns, Second Edition.
Ease of Use As I said, I really believe that custom patternmaking is not rocket science. One of the pleasures that I have had was a temporary assignment teaching a semester length introduction to costume class at a junior college. I taught the basics of design, patternmaking, and beginning sewing. The class project was to make a costume for a local semi-professional theatre production. Each student took a design for a costume in the production, measured the performer, created the pattern, fitted it to the the performer, and sewed the complete costume.
Some of the productions were fairly large with leads coming from Hollywood.
I assigned the beginning sewers the simpler costumes and the more experienced sewers the more elaborate costumes. At the end of one semester I learned that one of the men in the class had never learned to thread a bobbin. When a machine ran out of thread, he would move to a different machine. But he completed his costume. I found this process a great “division of labor” as, in addition to teaching the class, I was also responsible for running the costume shop. I had enough time that I was able to act in the productions. Being the tailor in Moliere's The Bourgeois Gentleman was particularly rewarding as I was able to do a particularly outrageous costume for “Monsieur Jourdan.” One of the features which I wish I had during that class was to have examples of designs in three-dimensions.
I have addressed that issue in this edition of my book by including instructions showing how to make a Mini-Me Dress Form. This dress form allows you to replicate the shape of a specific body in quarter scale. How wonderful it would be to be able to teach the history of costume and have examples of garments from the different periods for people to look at similar to the scaled versions used in Theatre De La Mode.
Don McCunn has been helping people learn patternmaking for over 40 years. In addition to 'How to Make Sewing Patterns', he has created a series of Pattern Design Guides that are Interactive e-Books with embedded how-to videos. They cover topics including 'How to Make Custom-Fit Bras', 'How to Make Custom-Fit Corsets', and 'How to Make Custom Dress Forms'. Visit his website for more information. How to Make Sewing Patterns Second Edition is available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Alibris. Visit the ordering page to locate other sellers. 8-1/4" x 10-3/4", 182 pages. Perfect Bound Paperback: US $24.95 ISBN: 978-0-932538-21-5 Case Laminated Hardback: US $34.95 ISBN: 978-0-932538-20-8 The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -12- May 2016 Model with quarter-scale version of dress.
Feature Hula Kahiko Terry Walker* A 'hula haumana' (hula student) describes her historical recreation of attire for performing the ancient form of Hawaiian hula, 'hula kahiko'. For a couple of years I kicked around the idea of doing a traditional Hawaiian hula costume to enter at Costume-Con. I have studied hula for about a decade, but I am not Hawaiian, I’m not from Hawai’i, and have never been to Hawai’i. I took a dance class on a whim and by the second class I was hooked. I love the poetry of the music and the flow of the movement. Most people think grass-skirts-and-coconut-bras when they picture hula, and I enjoy showing people what the dance really is.
Last year I found the inspiration for a costume in a chant describing the story of Hi‘iaka. An epic story in Hawaiian culture is of Pele, the goddess of fire, and her family of cloud bearers coming from Tahiti and settling in Hawai’i. Pele has many sisters; her youngest and favorite is Hi’iakaikapoliopele [Hi‘iaka in the bosom of Pele]. In one part of the tale, Hi‘iaka embarks on a journey to bring Pele’s lover, Lohi'auipo, to her on the big island. Among the many perils Hi‘iaka encounters along the way is a torrential rainstorm. The chant “A Ko’olau Au” describes this event. This is the chant that I performed to.
I chose colors, symbols, and greenery for my costume that represented Hi‘iaka.
My costume is in the kahiko style of hula. (Kahiko, which means ancient, is the style of hula to chanting and percussion, and is the old, traditional style. Auana is the modern style danced to music.) It has a pa’u (skirt) and wrapped top. Pre-missionary contact, it would have been a pa’u made of a bark cloth called kapa and worn without a top. Nowadays, neither of those is practical. Skirts A pa’u is a skirt worn by hula dancers, made of fabric, kapa cloth, ti leaves, or raffia. If the side of the pa’u is open, it is tied with rope; if the side is sewn up, the waistband is elasticized. The skirt is worn on the high hip or at the waist and is between knee or mid-calf length.
Historically, Hawaiian garments were made of kapa cloth that was wrapped around the body as clothing or draped over the shoulder to connote one’s status. Kapa is made from the wauke tree, which is a type of mulberry. When the missionaries to Hawai’i The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -13- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers' Guild ISSN 2153-9022 Attire for ancient kahiko style of hula, consisting of pa'u (skirt) and wrapped top, lei po’o (head) on head, and kupe’e (bracelet/anklet) on wrists and ankles. Photo: Ken Warren.
introduced fabric, kapa production fell by the wayside.
It is still made today by a handful of artisans, but on a very small scale. Most dancers wear fabric pa’u, but if they require something that resembles kapa, Pellon is used. It mimics the drape of kapa and can be dyed and stamped. There is protocol covering the wearing of a pa’u. In all lines of tradition, your practice pa’u is to be revered. What I have learned through my different Halau (hula schools) is that 1) I am never to put on my pa’u or take it off by stepping into or out of it—it must go on or come off over my head, 2) I am not to eat in the pa’u, and 3) I am not to go lua (potty) in the pa’u.
Other schools have other rules, e.g., put the pa’u on overhead, step out of it to take it off; do not hem it because that symbolizes a cutting off of your knowledge; the color represents where you are in your progress as a dancer. A pa’u that is strictly a costume does not require as many rules. If you have to do a fast change, that pa’u might have to be put on by stepping in. There are also pa’u worn for ceremonial purposes that might require the dancer to dye and stamp or paint the it in a certain way. It is treated with more reverence than a practice pa’u and is considered to have your mana (spiritual power) in it.
I treated my pa’u as a costume. As a side note, something that I hear occasionally is that a pa’u should be a width of 5 yards or 3 yards. I once heard that Hawaiians consider those to be sacred numbers, but I have absolutely no substantiation for that. What I do know is that no one gets offended by a 5 yard pa’u. For my costume I wore three pa’u. My base layer pa’u was 5 yards of Pellon 830/patternmaking, dyed in the washer with Rit Cocoa Brown without prewashing. I air dried it. I chose brown to represent the land, and the stamped symbols are my interpretation of mountains. It came out very well, with no tears or pilling, which surprised me because Pellon 830 isn’t made to be apparel.
I chose it because it was the only non-fusible that was 45” wide. The main pa’u is green for plant life. I dyed 5 yards of cotton muslin with iDye Kelly Green and then overdyed it with a little bit of black fiber reactive dye. The stamped symbols are a flower and woven lauhala at the bottom. Lauhala is the dried leaf of the pandanus (screwpine) used for weaving. At one point in the story, Hi‘iaka dances in the pandanus groves.
The overskirt represents the sky and clouds, and was colored a blue gray for that reason. Pellon 40/craft, chosen for its stiffness, was dyed using 1 part latex paint mixed with 3 parts water. I used latex paint because I reasoned, correctly, that if it didn’t wash out of the clothing that I got it on accidentally, it wouldn’t wash out of the fabric I wanted it on intentionally. I dunked the Pellon into a bucket of the paint mixture, wrung it out and laid it out to dry. There was a slight unevenness in the color due to the surface I dried it on. Next time I use this dyeing method I will deliberately dry it on a more textured surface for greater effect, as the paint settles in the lower areas.
The style of overskirt that I wore is used mostly on men over their malo (loincloth) but is occasionally seen on women. It is two pieces tied in front and back with a strip of black fabric, with the fabric also wrapping around the waist as a belt to hold up the overskirt. The stamp of stars was not only to signify the sky but also because the Hawaiian name given to me by my Kumu (master teacher) is “Waileia,” which is the ancient word for the morning star. I chose two different stars because I couldn’t decide which one I liked better. To make the stamps, I drew designs on graph paper with pencil and rubbed them The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -14- May 2016 Design drawn on graph paper and transfered to flexible craft foam.
Acrylic paint was sponged on stamp and pressed onto fabric.
onto sheets of flexible craft foam. I cut the designs out in stacks of three glued on top of each other to make enough depth. These were then glued to foam board. I used two layers of foam board, but that was not quite thick enough for a good hand hold. Acrylic paint was sponged onto the stamp and then the stamp carefully pressed on the fabric. The acrylic will not wash out of fabric, so there are no second chances with this process. Let me just say that this is not something I’m good at. But I decided that from far away, no one would see the mistakes.
Bloomers may or may not be considered a traditional part of a dancer’s uniform.
I have seen traditional dances performed with and without them. I chose to wear them to avoid my underwear showing, but as it turned out my skirts never flew up that high. I dyed them turquoise using a cold water dye to represent the ocean. They didn’t dye evenly, and I think that was because I used an old sheet that was worn more in some places than others. The top is black cotton sateen fabric and a 15-yard, 9-inch strip of the same fabric twisted and wrapped around it. I chose black as a neutral color because I wanted to emphasize my skirts. Leis I wore several leis—a lei mali around my neck, lei po’o (head) on my head, and kupe’e (bracelet/anklet) on my wrists and ankles.
A lei is defined as something ornamental that circles a part of the body. The kukui nut ankle leis are strung on black elastic cording to keep them on. You can buy them pre-strung, but I like mine a little bigger so I strung them myself.
One of the constraints that I had was getting fresh greenery to make the other leis. I wanted greenery that corresponded with the story of Hi‘iaka—pala’a lace fern and pandanus leaves. Pandanus leaves are available where I live (Washington, DC) but were too large to transport. When I tried cutting them, they went bad pretty quickly. I wasn’t able to get the lace fern before I left for Costume-Con, so I decided to see what was available in Charleston. I substituted Palmetto, which I cut from the side of the road, for pandanus. I was able to get a plumosa fern from a local florist to replace the lace fern.
Bad choice. That type of fern sheds all over everything it touches and didn’t have the volume of the lace fern, so I needed a whole lot of it.
Lei haku is a braided style and was used for the wrists. Palmetto and raffia were braided together. Lei wili style was used for the head and is characterized by twisting or braiding a material into a strip and using more material as a wrap for the flowers and greenery. In this case, fern, palmetto, lehua flowers and raffia were used. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -15- May 2016 Lehua blossom. Making the faux lehua flowers. Kukui nut ankle leis strung on black elastic.
I also used ti leaves because they are commonly used to make Hawaiian leis.
The ti leaves were brought from home because they have a wonderful property—if you heat them (iron on low heat), they become pliant and can be frozen and re-thawed. The neck lei is made from the ti leaves in style called lei hilo, made by twisting the base of the ti leaves around each other. Hi‘iaka is also associated with groves of lehua trees, whose flowers are impossible to obtain in my area and are too fragile for reliable shipping. So these are man-made. I made the lehua flowers by taking the bristles from a scrub brush and hot gluing them to a small piece of fabric that I shaped into a cone.
I stuck a piece of floral wire into the center for a stem. Spray paint was used to give them their red color. (I had tried latex paint, which did not work well). The “flower” base was wrapped in floral tape. Because the wrist and head leis had to be made the day of the competition to be fresh, I spent the afternoon working on them before judging and rehearsal. And because I finished the fabric stamping the day before leaving, and was working on other costumes while in Charleston, I never tried on the entire costume before competing. I didn’t actually see what I looked like until after I performed, and while there are tweaks that I would have made, I’m quite satisfied that it looked much as I had envisioned.
The Performance I tried to be mindful, in choosing the chant for the performance, that this was a presentation to show off the costume. Most hulas to chants don’t involve a lot of turns, so you don’t see the back very often or not for an extended time. I considered walking around the stage to a recited chant in order to show all aspects of the costume. But then I remembered that the second verse of “A Ko’olau ‘Au,” as taught to me by Kumu Kimo Awai, has the dancer turn in a square, and I knew that would be the perfect piece to display the costume.
Choosing a recording was difficult because none of them matched the version of the chant that I learned.
I ultimately chose the one that sounded the clearest. I also didn’t want to be on stage too long because this was a costume competition, not a show. I asked a friend who is an audio whiz to edit the piece to one time through the first and second verses and remove extraneous beats, which involved me writing the whole song as a score for him to reference – something I haven’t done in a LONG time. But he did a great job; the final track sounds seamless. There were a few hiccups in the performance. The lights blinded me, so I was unsure of my position on stage and felt my arms flailed a bit when I was afraid that I would fall off.
I tried to use the whole stage, but hadn’t rehearsed it that way, and it threw off my positioning. I could also see that the skirt was not full enough and didn’t move The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -16- May 2016 Lei hilo worn around the neck is made by twisting base of ti leaves around each other. Finished lei po’o. Photo: Ken Warren.
well. The underskirt acts as a crinoline, and it needed a second and maybe a third one. Final Thoughts I was surprised and pleased that I won Best in Class for Presentation in the Novice division. I thought that I might win a cheeky award like “Best Use of Interfacing” or “Best Adaptation of a Scrub Brush”, so I was floored that I also won a real award, for “Best Interpretation of Traditional Design with Modern Techniques.” My goals were to create a traditional hula kahiko costume being respectful of the Hawaiian traditions and culture, show people what hula is, and get out of my comfort zone by competing.
I feel that I achieved my goals with this project. Bibliography “Kane: The Rise of Men,” by Wanda Adams / Special to the Star-Advertiser on March 31, 2013.
Ka Hana Tapa: The Making of Bark Cloth in Hawaii, by William Tufts Brigham. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, HI 1911. “Kukula Ke Ea A Kanaloa: A Culture Plan for Kanaloa Kaho’olave,” by Dr. Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele. Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation, February 1, 2009. Terry Walker has been sewing for forty years but didn’t know about historical/sci fi/fantasy costuming until a few years ago. At her first convention she knew she had found her people. She and her husband live in Washington, DC.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -17- May 2016 Performing a hula kahiko to “A Ko’olau ’Au” in the Costume-Con 33 historical masquerade.
Images from the masquerade video by Eric Cannon, Rare Recorded DVDs. A Ko’olau Au A Ko’olau wau ’ike i ka ua E kokolo a lepo mai ana e ka ua E ka’i kū ana ka’i mai ana e ka ua E nū mai ana ka ua i ke kuahiwi E po’i ana e ka ua me he nalu E puka, e puka mai ana ka ua Weli, ke one i ka heli ia e ka ua Holowai nā kahawai Koke wale nā pali Hae e ka wai ka ilina he ’īlio He ’īlio hae ke nahu nei From Ko’olau, I watch the rain It comes with swirling dust The rain passed in columns, it passed by The rain roars in the mountain It sounds like the roar of the surf I t smites, it smites, now the land The sands were pelted by the rain The creek beds filled, water ran down It poured down the hillsides The waters became angry and raged like a dog The dog rages, he bites to be free Source: Bishop Museum, Mader Collection 1930-35, Kanahele Ka’io tradition.
This hula tells of Hi‘iaka's journey to Kaua’i to bring Lohiau back to Pele. Among the many obstacles she encountered was the rain at Ko’olaupoko, Oahu. Only the first six lines are usually performed today. Listen on YouTube.
Feature Costuming for Nā Lei Hulu Patrick Makuakāne The Kumu Hula (hula master) of one of the largest hālau (hula schools) in the United States describes what goes in to costuming a show, My hālau (hula school), Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu (the many feathered wreaths at the summit, held in high esteem), located in the San Francisco Bay area, celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. The school is known for its unique, contemporary form of dance called hula mua or “hula that evolves.” The style blends traditional movements with non-Hawaiian music like opera, electronic, dance, alternative and pop.
Both hula mua and authentic, traditional pieces are showcased in our company’s visually captivating stage productions. Over the years we have amassed a large collection of costumes and adornments, which span the spectrum from traditional to urban contemporary, with stops in between paying homage to classically nostalgic ensembles from the early to late 1900s. I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite costumes we’ve featured throughout the years. First and foremost, I’d like to speak about what most people assume is the national costume for the hula dancer: the grass skirt. Let’s tell the truth about its seemingly ubiquitous role in hula.
Ironically, the grass skirt didn’t originate in Hawai’i. It was brought by migrant workers from the Gilbert Islands in the late 1800s and possibly became popular when hula dancers traveled the vaudeville circuit on the mainland. It returned to Hawai’i and eventually insinuated itself as an authentic, traditional garb of the native hula dancer. Dancers do not use the moniker, grass skirt, they call it by the natural fiber from which it’s made: either raffia (a string-like weed found in tropical settings) or hau (made from the wild hibiscus tree inner fibers). Although it is used periodically, usually representing dances from the monarchy period in the mid- to late-1800s, it is not considered the national hula costume.
Below are two examples of costumes that use the material. At left, in a dance honoring King David Kalākaua from the previously mentioned monarchical period. At right in a modern co-opting for a hula mua piece, that is accompanied by a bass- laden electronic dance track. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -18- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers' Guild ISSN 2153-9022 Left: Dance honoring King Kalākaua. Right: Modern co-opting of hula mau piece accompanied by electronic dance track.
Traditionally, dancers wore material made from kapa (barkcloth). These bast fibers come from the inner bark of certain species and shrubs from the mulberry family. The process of creating a kapa piece was labor intensive, involving repeated sequences of wetting and beating the fibers on a kua kuku (polished stone tablet) with a hōhoa (rounded beater). And that barely touches the surface of all that’s entailed to create a relatively small piece. Traditional Hawaiian kapa makers were skilled artisans, crafting exquisite pieces, intricately designed with geometric figures and dyed in all manners of colorful hues.
Fastened around the waist of a dancer it becomes a pāʻū (skirt), accentuating the hips as it undulates in dance.
Many hula schools use Pellon or other interfacing as an inexpensive substitute for kapa, since it has a similar texture and dyes brilliantly. We have used Pellon in many productions as costumes for both men and women. It looks more traditionally authentic than cotton or any other fabric and, despite its synthetic composition, has a rather organic look and feel. Best thing about Pellon? It’s cheap! You can outfit an entire company rather inexpensively and it doesn’t require a seamstress, just the patience and skill to wrap several yards around your waist to achieve a layered, traditional look.
Traditional pieces are commonly adorned with head and neck leis, as well as wristlets and anklets. These range from greenery, ferns or nuts gathered in the forest The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -19- May 2016 Many hula schools use Pellon instead of kapa. An entire company can be outfitted rather inexpensively. To simulate boar tusks, we shaped oven-baked clay into tusks and sewed them together with thick cordage.
or shells found on the shoreline. Traditional accessories featured dog teeth bound on a meshed net wrapped around the ankles or animal tusks tied together as a bracelet. No animals were harmed in the creation of the anklets and wristlets adorning the men in the picture on the previous page. To simulate boar tusks, we shaped oven-baked clay into tusks and sewed them together with thick cordage. The hula which the men are dancing honors Māui, the ancestral navigator, credited in myth for pulling the Hawaiian islands up from the ocean floor with his magic fish hook. Hence, the large fish hooks upon the men’s necks, which are also made of clay.
King David Kalākaua ruled Hawai‘i from 1874 - 1891. He was an ardent proponent of the arts, with a special affinity for the hula. He is credited with saying, “Hula is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.” Most hula schools today honor him with a collection of dances and songs found in their repertoire. We are no exception.
In our home season of 2012, we dedicated an entire segment to his majesty, commemorating his 50th birthday jubilee in 1886. Costuming of the era, reflecting missionary influences, covered the dancers in high-collared peasant blouses. Gathered skirts around the waist could be printed with stripes, calico patterns or textured designs. For our presentation, we kept the traditional look intact, but freshened it up a bit with bold colors and fitted blouses. The holokū was a dress that acquired its name in the mid-1800s. It was a loosely fitted garment worn by women with or without a train. Influenced by fashion trends from around the world, it eventually transformed into a fitted gown with a long train and was often used by hula dancers in the early to mid- 1900s.
The trains gracefully glided over the stage, adding length and drama to the dancer’s silhouette. In a 2003 show, “Songs of Old Hawai‘i,” we premiered a song called “Mī Nei,” which was taught to us by my kumu (teacher), Mae Kamāmalu Klein. It is a beloved song choreographed by her teacher, the late, great Aunti Maiki Aiu Lake. Written in 1924, by Charles E. King, the song says, you are “searching for someone to fulfill the desire within, how bout taking a look at this beauty right here in front of you – mi nei?” The photo on the next page is of the long-trained holokū from the show. Our production in 2009 was called “Daughters of Haumea,” The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -20- May 2016 Above: Missionary influenced clothing of 1880s with high-collared peasant blouses, and skirts printed with stripes or calico.
Below: Costumes for our 2012 show kept traditional look but used bold colors and fitted blouses.
which honored the contribution of women in traditional Hawaiian society. One of the featured women was the makāula (seer). She is pictured below left, wrapped in traditional Polynesian kapa, folded and assembled to create an interestingly-shaped garment that adds a sense of mystery and power to her status as an oracle. The akua moʻo (dragon goddess) was another female entity honored in that same production. (below) A priestess is chanting over a newly born dragon. The egg was made with papier-mâché wrapped around an enormous balloon, which was then punctured, leaving an empty shell. The priestess and dragons have wristlets, leis, spines and tails constructed from colored The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -21- May 2016 Holokū, a fitted gown with a long train and was often used by hula dancers in the early to mid-1900s.
Makāula (seer). wrapped in traditional Polynesian kapa. Garment gives sense of mystery and power. Akua moʻo (dragon goddess) used papier-mâché egg made from giant balloon. Wristlets, leis, spines, tails, and men's loin cloths were of non-traditional construction using braided colored parachute cords.
parachute cords. We needed a heavy cord that the dancers could whip as tails to produce an audible snap against the stage floor. We also braided the men’s loincloths out of the same cords. Although cordage is not commonly used for traditional costumes, it is utilized for constructing nets and fastening implements together. In 2013 we premiered a show called “Ka Leo Kānaka – Voice of the Nation.” It was inspired by over a hundred years’ worth of Hawaiian language newspapers spanning from 1834 - 1948. We actually designed and created our own fabric that incorporated the mastheads of several historic newspapers.
Our traditional segment from that show featured chants and dances dedicated to Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, the youngest sister of the volcano goddess Pele. Hi‘iaka is considered to be a healer who uses foliage of the forest as medicinal cures. These pāʻū or skirts were hand-painted by one of our talented dancers, Marlo Lualemana. The designs are of plants, ferns and blossoms mentioned in the chants and tales found in the newspaper stories associated with the goddess, Hi‘iaka. The waists of the dancers are augmented with various colors of dyed Pellon, twisted and tied in the back to form a bow. These bows are a contemporary rendition of material tied around the waist to accentuate hip movement.
A photo on the next page shows these costumes. Christina Hellmich, curator for a recent exhibit at the de Young Museum, “Royal Hawaiian Featherwork,” wrote a wonderful article featured in the November 2015 issue of VC. She described many of the different feathered objects on display, one of which was the lei hulu or feather lei which is still popular today. Since part of our hula school’s name includes the lei hulu, it plays an integral role in our costuming. It is also a challenging lei to craft, requiring hundreds or thousands of individual feathers being wound in a circular pattern around a string until the required length is completed.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -22- May 2016 For “Ka Leo Kānaka – Voice of the Nation,” inspired by over a 100 years’ worth of Hawaiian language newspapers spanning 1834 - 1948, the company designed and created fabric incorporating historic newspaper mastheads. Lei hulu (feather lei), is part of our school's name, and plays an integral role in our costuming.
In 2014, for our Hōʻike Nui or Grand Recital, 120 students made their lei hulu for that particular performance. Traditionally, feathers were mainly drawn from a few forest species of Hawaiian honeycreepers and other domestic fowl and seabirds. Today, dyed duck and goose feathers are predominantly used. Adornments, such as lei poʻo (head lei), lei ʻāʻī (neck lei) and kūpeʻe (wristlets and anklets) are an integral part of a hula dancer’s ensemble, whether representing a traditional or contemporary look. (top right) There is nothing like the feeling of wearing fresh greenery and foliage upon your body.
You feel an immediate sense of connection to nature and the ebb and flow of it’s mana (spiritual power). The leis add an organic, sensual aura to any costume and gives it a very Hawaiian quality no matter how contemporary the attire.
Every upcoming production brings exciting and new challenges on how to costume each piece whether we’re faithfully reconstructing something traditional or artistically reinterpreting it. How do we introduce something fresh and innovative while retaining authenticity? We love the aesthetic look of a costume but does it function properly? What kind of leis work with this particular look? These are the kinds of questions that my designer, Malia King and I consistently ask ourselves. As a matter of fact, we are about to board a plane for Los Angeles to shop at the garment district and visit several fabric manufacturers for this year’s show.
No doubt, these and a host of other questions will plague us for the entire trip. No doubt, we will fall in love with a piece of fabric only to discover that there will not be enough yardage for all the dancers. It’s an exhausting and exhilarating pilgrimage we look forward to ever year. Patrick Makuakāne is a creative force in the hula world, and is well known for his innovative choreography while preserving the traditions and fundamentals of hula. Over the years, he has received numerous honors, including a lifetime achievement award from the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in 2006. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -23- May 2016 Pāʻū (skirts) were hand-painted by one of our talented dancers, Marlo Lualemana.
The designs are of plants, ferns and blossoms mentioned in the chants and tales found in the newspaper stories associated with the goddess, Hi‘iaka. Students in 2014 Hōʻike Nui (Grand Recital), made their own lei hulu.
Feature The Story of the Aloha Shirt Dale Hope A professional Aloha shirt maker and a leading historian of the subject tells the story of this iconic garment. I was born in Honolulu, when Hawai’i was still a territory of the United States. We first lived in a small cottage on Paoakalani Street in Waikiki. We were surrounded by quaint bungalows, and swaying coconut trees lined our quiet street. My dad had been a textile salesman for Fuller Fabrics, one of the original mainland suppliers for Hawaiian-printed fabrics. The year I was born, he bought a small factory and started a brand called Sun Fashions of Hawai’i.
In third grade I remember ordering shirts from him, and it took forever before he came home one evening with an assortment of shirts and prints. He would bring home new shirts when mine got small, and I wore them to school every day. In those days, we all wore Aloha shirts to school. As a teenager, I would buy them at the local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores and at our school's thrift shop where my mom volunteered a few days a week. Years later, around 1973, after I'd attended a year of college, my dad asked that I come back and help him with his garment business. We launched a new men's label, “HRH, His Royal Highness, “which were also his initials.
It eventually became a popular brand with local specialty shops, department stores, and resort shops in Waikiki and on the outer islands. In 1986, I purchased the name Kahala and completely changed our company name. Kahala had gone out of business years before and had been dormant for a long time. They were one of the first companies to "factory make" finer Aloha shirts beginning in 1936. The name was Hawaiian, pronounceable, the name of a great ocean- front neighborhood with elegant Hawaiian- style homes, and the name of a local fish. The previous Kahala had a reputation for having made the best Aloha shirts for half a century.
In a few years we were once again recognized as a great garment maker, selling shirts with prints that many fine artists like Avi Kiriaty and John Severson designed exclusively for Kahala. A few years later I sold Kahala to the surf wear company Local Motion and stayed on as the art director for ten years coordinating Kahala textile designs and brand marketing. In 1999, I left Kahala for a year to research and create a book, The Aloha Shirt, which tells the story of how and who created the art, these shirts, and an industry. This year marks the first revision of the book. In this article, I will tell you the story of the Aloha shirt, a garment that has greatly influenced Hawaiian fashion, and the image of Hawaiian hospitality world-wide.
Setting the Scene “Aloha” puts into one word the warm sense of greeting, love, and playfulness for which Hawai’i is so well known. The sensations of the warmth of the sun, the trade winds caressing your skin, the sand between your toes, the fragrance of a plumeria lei, have come together to inspire the canvas that is the Aloha shirt. It is a uniquely Hawaiian garment that, no matter where you are, brings you back to a lifestyle that says relax, be at ease, have some fun. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -24- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers' Guild ISSN 2153-9022 Photo: JOSS Vintage "HRH, His Royal Highness" Aloha shirt.
The history of the Aloha shirt is woven with the mystery and allure of Hawai’i and the stories of those who have lived there. Different tales have circulated for decades about its origins. Did it spring late one night from the hand-operated sewing machine of a Japanese tailor? Was it inspired by the tails- out shirts of the Philippines; elegant kimono cloth from Japan; or colorful, bold flower printed Pareus from Tahiti? What we do know is that Aloha shirts were created by a wonderfully inventive and artistic group of people during the time when Hawai’i was emerging as an island paradise for tourists when the building of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the christening of a trio of magnificent cruise ships by Matson Cruise Lines opened this majestic string of islands to the world.
Those were the days when boatloads of visitors were charmed by hula dancers swaying to the rhythm of a lone 'ukulele and enchanted by Waikiki beach boys riding the waves on their great wooden surf boards. For those who came from the far corners of the world, nothing painted a more vivid picture of Hawai’i than these bold shirts with their colorful island images. "In a sense, Aloha shirts put Hawai’i on the map," remembered renowned fabric designer John 'Keoni' Meigs, discussing his early fashion days. "The first thing people did when they arrived was make a beeline for a department store to buy one." Keoni was one of the many flamboyant designers in the Golden Age of Aloha shirts, from the 1930s through the 1950s.
They drew inspiration from the sunsets, beaches, flowers, and rain forests of Hawai’i. They and their visionary peers – manufacturers, artists, and retailers – made up the community that created this artform. Early Hawaiian Attire Long before Europeans explored the Pacific, Polynesian explorers came to the Hawaiian Islands in double-hulled canoes, powered by the wind in their woven sails. In this land of perpetual summer, where minimal clothing was required, the Polynesian settlers followed the age-old tradition of making bark cloth from the paper mulberry tree. The men cut down the tree branches, and the women used shells to peel away the outer bark.
The raw inner bark was then soaked to a pliant softness and beaten for days with round clubs on anvils of stone and wood.
Eventually, each strip of "cloth ," four or five feet long and two inches wide, was The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -25- May 2016 Pareus (a wrap-around garment) on display at the Sunday market in Papeete, Tahiti. Photo: Jeff Divine. “Aloha to the Lurline and You.” 1952 Matson Cruise Lines poster. Courtesy of the Honolulu Publishing Company / Paradise of the Pacific. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel opened in 1927 on a nearly empty Waikiki Beach, an iconic resort for celebrities and well-heeled visitors. Photo: Getty Images.
spread out in the sun to dry and bleach to a beautiful white.
The women made bales up to 200 yards long and four yards wide from thousands of these individual cloth strips. Many pieces of the cloth, called tapa, were pieced together to make a garment. The malo loincloth was worn by men, the pa'ū skirt by women. For normal wear, two or three yards might suffice for a tapa loincloth, while for ceremonial occasions many more folds were wound around the body, requiring copious amounts of cloth. Both men and women might wear a rectangular tapa cape to ward off cold. The early Hawaiians decorated their clothing in many striking ways, and the method of staining the garment determined its name.
They colored the tapa using the juice of the kukui nut tree, bits of red or yellow ochre, or charcoal. Sandalwood and the fragrant mokihana berry were used to lend a pleasing scent. The finished cloth was impressed with stamps to create geometric designs, reliefs, and patterns on tapa skirts, robes, and blankets. When a garment became soiled or worn out, the tapa was simply thrown away. Though the method of making bark cloth was simple,it required physical prowess and patience, and the female artisans were honored for their skill. During Captain James Cook's second visit to Hawai’i in 1778, his journals records trading King Lalani'o pu'u a cutlass and a linen shirt for prized royal ahu 'ula (feather cloaks), perhaps the first conventional Western shirt ever traded in the islands.
By the time missionaries arrived in Hawai’i in 1820, Western clothes were already being worn at least part of the time by Hawaiian royalty, and by 1822, it was common for Hawaiian women to wear the same Western garments as the missionary wives, fashioned with needle and thread. Two events played a major role in the development of the garment industry in Hawai’i. The first was the arrival of the earliest sewing machines, brought to Honolulu from New York starting in 1853. The other was the influx of immigrants from China and Japan who came as field laborers in the 1850s. Some of the more industrious ones supplemented their incomes by opening their own businesses, including tailoring.
In fact, ninety-five percent of the custom tailors and home sewers in Hawai’i at this time were Chinese and Japanese craftsmen, who made kimonos and shirts of fabrics imported from their homelands. The first businessman to advertise as a “shirt maker” was A. M. Mellis, who placed an advertisement in a 1889 Honolulu newspaper, offering custom-made shirts. Over the next thirty years, such import and tailoring shops would form the base that influenced the first custom Aloha shirts, and later the garment industry in Hawai’i. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -26- May 2016 Wearing ahu 'ula (feather cape) and malo (tapa loincloth), Duke Kahanamoku, dressed as an ali'i, (Hawaiian chief) for the 1917 Mid-Pacific Carnival.
Photo: Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate. Fijian tapa (bark cloth) decorated by a process of stamping, stenciling, and dyeing with geometric designs such as grids, squares, patterns.
Enter the Aloha Shirt The christening of the three Matson Cruise Line ships in the 1920s, and the building of luxury hotels like the Royal Hawaiian lead to an influx of tourists from the United States and other countries. In the late 1920s, most visitors to Waikiki beachside hotels wore only one socially acceptable daytime color - white. The fashion was white duck or linen suits for men, dresses for women. Tourists at the big hotels could have a suit cleaned for a mere fifteen cents. In the early 1930s, imported Chinese pongee replaced the conventional daytime whites. The pongee, a handwoven, crude- textured lightweight tan silk, was fashioned into suits and dresses by tailors in Honolulu.
These plain-colored pongee garments were practical and popular and were taken back to the mainland United States.
The Japanese and Chinese home sewers, tailors, dressmakers, and dry-goods merchants had established a tradition of using their Asian fabric in island clothing by importing fine fabrics such as Japanese printed silk and cotton yukata, a summer kimono material, from relatives back home. As of 1922, Hawai’i's clothing factories mostly produced plantation uniforms. Then, as Hawai’i began to change from an agricultural to a service-oriented economy, the emphasis of the island clothing industry shifted from the production of work clothes to sports- and casual wear.
There are many stories about the "who" and the "how" of the creation of the first Aloha shirt.
In a 1966 magazine article, journalist and textile designer Hope Dennis observed, "About thirty-five years ago an astute Hawaiian garment manufacturer (who shall remain nameless to avoid renewing a thirty-five-year old argument) designed the first Aloha shirt," launching what was to become the Golden Age of Aloha shirts – the 1930s through the 1950s. In a letter to the editor in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin of September 26, 1984, Margaret S. Young's recollection of the first Aloha shirt placed it in 1926: "A classmate of mine, the late Gordon S. Young (no relation), developed in the early 1920s another pre-Aloha shirt which became popular with some of his friends at the University of Hawai’i.
He had his mother's dressmaker tailor shirts out of the cotton yukata cloth which Japanese women used for their work kimonos. The narrow width material usually had blue or black bamboo or geometrical designs on white. Gordon had a broad figure and it took several widths to make a shirt, which he wore tucked in. He took a supply when he entered the University of Washington in 1926, and created a topic for campus conversation." Ellery Chun, who later became involved in the garment industry, also had early memories of students wearing colorful shirts. His Punahou School classmates were fond of wearing flowery print shirts in the late 1920s.
In a Honolulu newspaper article, local residents Bob Lowry and his wife, Sally, recalled how in the late 1920's their classmate James P. Kneubuhl from Samoa showed up at Madame Lester's School of Ballroom Dancing in Honolulu wearing a printed shirt with a striking tapa-cloth design. The shirt's material, from the store run by Kneubuhl's parents in Pago Pago, inspired Madame Lester to have a bolt of The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -27- May 2016 First Aloha shirt was likely made from Japanese-print fabric like this, with postcard-like pictures of Hawaiian scenes, laid over a background of coconut trees.
similar cloth sent to Honolulu. Hawaiian merchant Koichiro Miyamoto, 'Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker,' made shirts from the fabric for the other dance students. Eventually, shirts and undershorts made from the same tapa-influenced material became popular with high school students. Dolores Miyamoto, wife and working partner of Koichiro Miyamoto, also recalled that in the early 1930's famed Hollywood actor John Barrymore came into the store and ordered a colorful shirt made of kimono fabric. The Miyamotos could claim to have one of the most famous custom-tailoring concerns in the world during the golden age, thanks to their unique advertising and the undisputed excellence of their merchandise Among the other movie stars who ordered Aloha shirts were Douglas Fairbanks, Ronald Coleman, Alan Ladd, and Al Jolson.
They crafted silk kimonos for Mary Pickford, Loretta Young and Shirley Temple.
Ruth Hirata, then a young Honoka'a tailor on the Big Island of Hawai’i, remembers making colorful flowered shirts for Tony and Charles Labrador, who were with Alfred's Dance Band in Honoka'a, during early 1930s. Lila Watumull Sahney, a buyer for the legendary Honolulu retailer Watumull's East India Store, remembered, "The Aloha shirt came into popularity, or began to be noticed more as a fashion item when the haole [caucasian] boys here wore them. They would get Ellery Chun, or Linn's or Yat Loy, two local tailoring and retail outlets, or Musa-Shiya to make a shirt for them," Sahney recalled.
"And then they'd wear that to a lū'au." There are school kids, Waikiki beachboys, tailors, and vacationing movie stars, each of whom has a convincing tale regarding the creation of the Aloha shirt. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -28- May 2016 Musa-Shiya's retail store near Honolulu's famous fish market: Coutesy of Dolores Miyamoto.
Shirley Temple in Sailor Moku shorts and Japanese- print Aloha shirt, carries a 'ukulele and lei. Courtesy of the Bishop Archives. Mt. Fuji soars above connecting foot bridges and Japanese pine. Musa-Shiya Shoten Shirt Maker.
In matching the young islanders' love for colorful clothing with the tourists' desire to bring home keepsakes of the carefree islands, Hawai’i's clothing styles were forever changing. The shirts were first made commercially by Honolulu merchants in tailor shops downtown. Ellery Chun's family dry-goods store, King-Smith, was conveniently located next door to a tailor shop where visitors went to order custom shirts.
In 1932 or 1933 (two different dates are provided in newspaper articles), Mr. Chun decided to manufacture some warm- weather shirts to keep in stock so customers would not have to wait for them. In 1932, Surfriders Sportswear Manufacturing, owned by Ti How Ho, reportedly made and sold its first "Hawaiian" shirts. In the summer of 1934, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family visited Hawai’i, sportswear had not yet firmly found its place in Honolulu. the newspaper photographs of a large lū'au attended by FDR and friends show that "there were no gay Hawaiian garments on the participants as are now worn," observed Emma Fundaburk, whose 1965 history of the Hawaiian garment industry has become a classic.
"The guests at the lū'au were all wearing leis, but were dressed in regular street or afternoon wear as would have been worn on the mainland at that time." On April 17, 1935, Pan American World Airways flew its first massive China Clipper from the West Coast of the United States to Honolulu. An eighteen-hour plane ride provided a comfortable alternative to the six-day ocean passage from the mainland and made Hawai’i much more accessible. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -29- May 2016 Seamstresses at SurfRider Sportswear factory worked together to create exceptionally well-made garments.
Photo courtesy of Sharon Ho Kimoto.
Top: Swaying hula girls and musicians with hibiscus, pineapples, and fish. Rayon. Bottom: Yellow and red ginger. Rayon. Labels: Surfriders Sportswear. Painting “Where Progress and Romance Meet” by R. Frederick Heckman (1939) depicts a Pan Am China Clipper Courtesy of Michael Horikawa.
As the tourist trade and visits by the U.S. Navy increased, the demand for Hawaiian souvenirs grew. The word "aloha" was used in connection with many products advertised in shop windows and newspaper advertisements. Emma Fundaburk noted that "in 1935 and 1936 when the word 'aloha' was attached to many types of merchandise, it was not unique that it also was attached to shirts and sportswear.' On June 28, 1935, Musa-Shiya Shoten, Ltd., took out an advertisement in the Honolulu Advertiser: "Honolulu's Noted Shirt Maker and Kimono Shop.
'Aloha' shirts – well tailored, beautiful designs and radiant colors. Ready-made or made to order ... 95¢ up:' Aimed directly at the tourist market, this was probably the first appearance of "Aloha shirt" in print. "In 1936, Chun decided to give his distinctive style a more exotic name – 'Aloha Shirt' – and he registered this as a trademark. He advertised it locally with persistence, the shirts caught on and so did the name, and that was the beginning of a popular trend that gave impetus to Hawai 'i's fashion industry," noted the Atlanta Journal. During the mid-1930s, many advertisements by custom tailors of shirts, dresses, and uniforms started to appear in the local Hawaiian newspapers, largely driven by the increasing tourist trade.
By 1936, there were 275 tailors in Honolulu. Until the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the local garment industry continued to experience considerable growth. Large factories began to open with greater production capabilities. Two of the most important companies that changed the method of production from tailor made to factory made were Kahala (originally Branfleet) and Kamehameha. George Brangier and Nat Norfleet Sr. of Branfleet humbly launched their shirt business in 1936, sewing coconut buttons on Japanese silk kimono cloth shirts. Kamehameha's Herb Briner also pioneered raw silk Aloha shirts out of a factory on Beretania Street in 1936.
In 1937, sales of Aloha shirts and other cotton apparel to the mainland reached $128,000. As the decade drew to a close, more than $600,000 worth of Hawaiian- made sportswear was being shipped to mainland stores annually, and the industry employed more than 450 people. The Aloha Shirt Goes To War Less than a decade after the promising beginnings of the Aloha shirt industry, the high hopes of manufacturers such as Royal Hawaiian Manufacturing, Kamehameha, Kahala, and others were shattered on a December morning in 1941. The Japanese planes that bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbor brought a sudden end to fabric imports, shirt exports, and the tourism that supported the industry.
The war hit home hard for the shirtmakers, as for everyone in Hawai’i. New ways of living and working had to be found.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -30- May 2016 Jo Ching worked at Kahala for many years, cutting out shirt components that were made into high-quality aloha shirts. Courtesy of Daniel Blau. First Aloha shirt advertisement, ran in the Honolulu Advertiser June 18, 1935. Courtesy of Dale Hope. Editor's Note This article is excerpted from The Aloha Shirt 2nd Edition, by Dale Hope. Patagonia Books, 2016. Special thanks to Stephanie Ridge of PR by the Book.
With the coming of war, the throngs of tourists who had flocked to the regal pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel were replaced by an even greater number of battle-weary US sailors and soldiers on R&R.
The beautiful ships of the Matson Cruise Lines were put into service to carry troops and cargo. Lei makers were hired by the government to weave camouflage nets, and Aloha shirtmakers such as Kahala sewed camouflage material into uniforms. Despite such hardships, the shirt industry survived. The locals still needed clothing, and souvenirs were sought by the thousands of US servicemen who visited the islands. Between 1942 and war's end in 1945, Hawaiian manufacturers were restricted to satisfying the local market. Honolulu stores hurt by the interruption of clothing shipments from the mainland heartily welcomed this local clothing.
Aloha shirts became increasingly popular with Hawaiians who used to take imported garments for granted. In the Pearl Harbor factories, "Rosie the Riveter" workers wore Aloha shirts as they welded and repaired military equipment.
Available in the military post exchanges, shirts with Hawaiian and Polynesian design motifs provided popular proof that a GI had been to Hawai’i. Far from bringing about the demise of Aloha shirts, World War II and its servicemen in the Pacific helped spread the shirts' popularity back on the mainland. The Aloha Shirt Goes Global After the war, Hawaiian companies began to be recognized as worldwide leaders in sportswear manufacturing. Between 1944 and 1953, more than a dozen major Aloha shirt manufacturers opened for business, including Lauhala Sportswear and Kahana (1944); Paradise Sportswear and Tropicana (1945); Malihini Sportswear (1946); Hawaiian Togs (1947); Holo-Holo, Hale Hawaii, Nani Sportswear, and Hawaiian Casuals (1948); and Iolani Sportswear and Sun Fashions (1953).
As the 1950s approached, and with a couple of dozen concerns making a living in “the Aloha shirt game,” as W.C. Lock liked to refer to it, Hawaiian-made shirts were the main casual clothing choice for men visiting the islands. For the office, men still wore lightweight business suits. For more casual business meetings or sit-down dinners, slacks with a sports coat were acceptable. Special occasions dictated a coat and black trousers or a black tuxedo. But for casual wear, it was the Aloha shirt with shorts or slacks.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -31- May 2016 After WWII, airlines and clothing manufacturers worked together to create and promote shirts like this from Pan American World Airways.
Rayon. No label. Made for the U.S. Army's Tropic Lightening Division, this commemorative shirt depicted a wide range of war-time and off-duty images.
By 1949, Hawai’i garment makers were bringing in money for the territory and were eager to build for the future. The largest firms, those with ten or more industrial-strength electric sewing machines, joined to form the Hawai’i Garment Manufacturers Guild, which initially included sixteen clothing companies, or slightly more than half of the manufacturers in the islands.The group was dedicated to the promotion and development of the industry through lobbying and cooperation. The timing of the Guild's formation could not have been better. By1950, tourists were spending, on average, ten dollars a day on Hawaiian-made clothing.
Manufacturers were listening to customer comments and watching clothing trends on the mainland and elsewhere. Sport shirts, which accounted for only 17 percent of shirt sales nationwide in 1947, jumped to an astounding 67 percent of the market by the early 1950s.
The more aggressive advertisers among the shirtmakers helped the Hawaiian Visitors Bureau sell Hawai’i. Full-page newspaper and magazine ads in major mainland cities showed models wearing Hawaiian clothing in semitropical settings. “The reader would likely find the impulse as strong to visit Hawai’i as to buy the ... apparel featured,” said a daily newspaper article. After the war, mainland stores were ready for a product as attractive as the carefree island lifestyle. Hawaiian- themed displays included Aloha shirts stacked on counters amid coconut hats, grass skirts, fake palm trees, and painted ocean waves.
The best market for Hawaiian sportswear, as for many other island products, was California, where many stores maintained permanent Hawai’i sections and enjoyed year-round shirt sales. It seemed people everywhere wanted something to remind them of Hawai’i. And manufacturers were only too happy to capture the enchantment of the aloha spirit on shirts and to fold, box, and ship them around the world.
The turning point for the industry was 1951, according to celebrated Aloha shirt artist John Keoni Meigs. After going on a New York sales trip that year, he said that Hawaiian shirt manufacturers, who had previously sold only 20 percent of their production outside Hawai’i, had already received 50 percent more mainland orders. The Hawaiian fashion industry had become a $6 million-a-year business. That year, the Guild held its first tour for mainlanders, spending s.s,ooo to host Californian buyers representing hundreds of department stores. But success had a downside, too. Quick to recognize a good thing, mainland manufacturers had spotted the potential of Hawaiian sportswear and began turning out their own "Hawaiian" apparel, creating more competition for the manufacturers in Honolulu.
In the 1957-1958 clothing season, at the height of another big wave of popularity for things Hawaiian, the Hawaiian Fashion Guild – the former Hawaiian Garment Manufacturers Guild – held its first fashion week. For Hawaiian Market Week, a special United Air Lines DC·7 Mainliner carried buyers and fashion editors from Los Angeles to Honolulu. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -32- May 2016 Above: Simple motifs of pineapples, sugar cane, a lone steer fish, an outrigger canoe, and a warrior fill this vintage ladies' tie-front-and-tails aloha shirt. Kabe crepe. Label: Waikiki Fashions, Made in Honolulu.
1959 Market Week program.
The 200 malihini tourists enjoyed their week in the sun and went home impressed. The wining and dining at all those Guild- sponsored lū'au paid off, for the industry passed the $10 million annual sales mark in 1958, having grown from an industry of insignificance in the island's economy to third place, behind sugar and pineapple. "There's something of the old pioneer spirit in the way local firms have worked to get started,” said Lawson H. Riley, general manager of the powerful McInerny, Ltd., stores, congratulating the garment makers. The 1950s would end well for Hawai’i and for the Golden Age of Aloha shirts.
In 1959, Hawai’i became the fiftieth state of the Union, and Honolulu's Ala Moana commercial complex opened, becoming the largest shopping center in the United States. Built on a coral landfill over former swamp- land, the center included numerous stores where Aloha shirts were sold. Having become a cherished keepsake for island visitors and remaining warmly accepted at home by the locals, the Aloha shirt from this point forward would enjoy a unique position as an ambassador of "aloha." Dale Hope was born in Honolulu and has spent his life in and around Hawai’i's garment industry. He inherited his parents' clothing business when he was in his twenties; in 1986 he purchased the legendary Kahala label and led the company back into prominence.
Widely recognized as an authority on Aloha shirts, he received the first Governor's Cup for "Hawai’i Apparel Manufacturer of the Year" in 1987. Dale is an avid surfer and paddler. Visit his website for more information.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -33- May 2016 On August 21,1959, Hawai’i became the fiftieth state, and visitor growth to the “Pineapple State” began to explode. Photo: Getty Images/Leonard McCombe. Top: Visitors look out over Waimea Canyon on Kaua'i, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” on this spectacular shirt. Kabe crepe. Label: Iolani Sportswear. Bottom: Linking the Golden Gate Bridge with the shores of Waikiki, this shirt commemorates United Airlines' “Highway to Hawaii” promotion in 1951. Label: Made in California.
Feature A Chief of the First Born Philip Gust* When designing the costume for a chief of the Black Pirates from the “John Carter of Mars” books, the author turned to the attire of a Tongan warrior for inspiration.
In late 2008, four teams of costumers decided to see what it was like to design costumes for characters, based only on their descriptions in a book. My wife, Kathe, and I were one of the teams. We called our experiment “Costuming by the Book.” Hollywood and television costume designers face this problem whenever they work on a movie or a TV show based on a book. All of us were more used to recreating historical costumes or costumes from sci-fi/fantasy movies or shows.
We decided to take on the Edgar Rice Burroughs epic “John Carter of Mars” series because we had all read the books when we were younger, and thought that they would make a great movie. Since there were many books in the series, we decided to focus on the first three: A Princess of Mars (1917), The Gods of Mars (1918), and Warlord of Mars (1919). These books introduced most of the principal characters and races of Barsoom (Mars). Part way into the project, Disney announced that they planned to make a “John Carter of Mars” movie. We were happy that Disney saw the potential, but also a little nervous about how they would handle the characters, and about having our designs compared to the “official” ones from the movie.
We decided to capitalize on the publicity and get a jump on the movie by presenting our designs at the 2009 BayCon, a regional sci-fi/fantasy conference in the San Francisco Bay area where we all lived. We would have a panel where the four teams present their designs. Our cover story was that a major studio was planning a John Carter movie and invited four teams of designers to “pitch” their concepts. The winner would land the coveted job of designing the costumes for the movie and forever define the look of Barsoom for the public. The teams actually worked cooperatively throughout the process, and used social media to discuss issues, preview designs, and solicit feedback.
As luck would have it, the director of the BayCon art show was a costumer, and offered the teams space to exhibit our design drawings in the art show as well. We were surprised by the level of interest in both the exhibit, and the panel. From the opening, there were always crowds around the art show exhibit, looking at the drawings and commenting on the different approaches of the four teams. Teams took turns at the exhibit to answer questions. The large room where the panel was held on the last day of the conference was packed, and the questions at the end of the presentations benefitted from the audience having a chance to study the drawings in advance.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -34- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers' Guild ISSN 2153-9022 First three books about John Carter of Mars served as inspiration for “Costuming by the Book” project.
A special “Visions of Barsoom” issue of The Virtual Costumer in August 2009 (below) featured the designs, a report of the panel and art show, and highlights of the discussion at the end of the panel. A follow- up article, “Return to Barsoom” in the May 2012 issue featured several members of the original teams discussing their own designs, and John Carter costume designer Mayes Rubeo commenting on her versions and design process. Each team was asked to design a costume for each the three principal characters: John Carter, Tars Tarkas, and “the incomparable” Dejah Thoris. They could also choose several other characters to help illustrate their vision for the movie.
Kathe and I decided to do at least one design for each of the five races on Barsoom. Our design approach was to map our Martians onto various Earth cultures, and we began looking for design elements to carry over, in much the same way that traditional Japanese clothing provided elements for the Star Wars films Although we did not strictly follow traditional ethnic garment designs, we used pieces that made sense within the confines of the story.
The green Tharks were based on nomadic Eurasian cultures like the Huns. For the yellow Okarians, we chose the tribal cultures of of East Africa. The white Therns were inspired by the Sem priests of ancient Egypt. Our red Martians came from East India and Indonesia. That left us with the race of black Martians, known as the “First Born.” The black Martians were the most difficult to place. They were the only sea- faring people, and were feared as pirates. According to one of their leaders, Dator Xodar, in The Gods of Mars (1918), “'The First Born of Barsoom... are the race of black men of which I am a Dator, or as the lesser Barsoomians would say, Prince.” They use the title “First Born” because they claim to be the oldest race on the planet.
We knew that we did not want the obvious pirates of the Caribbean, so we considered several alternatives. The next most obvious are the Barbary Pirates (left), who operated from North Africa from the 16th to 19th centuries. The area was known as the Barbary Coast, a term derived from the name of its Berber inhabitants. They plundered much of Europe and England before being subdued by the European powers following the Napoleonic wars and the French conquest of Algiers in 1830. We also considered modern-day Somali pirates (below) who were much in the news at the time. These pirates were The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -35- May 2016 A Barbary pirate, Pier Francesco Mola 1650.
A Somali pirate with weapons aboard a vessel. Photo: Jan van Rijin / Digital Journal.
"Visions of Barsoom" issue of The Virtual Costumer.
driven by economic hardship caused by foreign boats taking advantage of the Somali civil war, which caused lost fishing income to local communities However, neither of these groups nor any of the others we considered fit the social structure or the extreme pride of lineage of the black Martians. According to Dator Xodar in Burroughs's third book, Warlord of Mars, “There is but one race of true and immortal humans on Barsoom. It is the race of black men.” We finally gave up on pirates and decided instead to focus on seafaring cultures who prided themselves in their history and traditions, and whose clothing somehow reflected their lineage.
One day, I ran across a photo (right) that made everything click into place. It was of a Tongan warrior chief that was taken at the Polynesian Cultural Center on the island of Oahu, Hawai'i. The chief is in ceremonial attire that includes a tupenu (skirt) and a ta'ovala (mat) worn around the waist and kept in place by a belt of coconut fiber. (Prestigious old belts made of human hair were also used.) On his ankles and upper arms are feather leis, and around his neck is a crescent necklace made of boar's teeth. His face shows either painted or tattooed symbols.
It was a powerful image that also fit in well with the physicality and overall appearance of a chief of the “First Born.” Armed with this photo, I set off to adapt the The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -36- May 2016 Tongan warrior chief in ceremonial attire. Photo: Polynesian Cultural Center.
costume to the physical conditions and the culture of the black men of Barsoom. I decided to carry over certain elements of the costume directly, starting with the skirt. The Tongan warrior wears a skirt of tapa cloth, made from the tutu (inner bark) of the hiapo (paper mulberry tree).
There are forests of giant trees in several areas on Barsoom, but based on the Barsoom Glossary, the most suitable source for plant material to make something similar to tapa seems to be the mantalia, a thick-foliaged tree found in groves on the dead sea bottoms. It is easy enough to harvest, and the bark would be discarded in any case since it is the inner pulp that is used as a food source. The Tongan skirt in the photo is printed with designs that appeared to represent ideas and concepts in the Tongan culture. I confirmed this by consulting several reference sources, including Pacific Symbols and the Stories They Share, published by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, and was even able to identify a few of them.
To come up with designs for Dator Xodar's skirt, I looked for clues in the books about ideas and concepts that were significant to the people of Barsoom and the race of the “First Born.” The first one came from a passage in The Warlords of Mars (1919): “In the shadows of the forest that flanks the crimson plain by the side of the lost sea of Korus in the valley Dor, beneath the hurtling moons of Mars, speeding their meteoric way close above the bosom of the dying planet, I crept stealthily along ( emphasis added) In The Gods of Mars (1918), John Carter's friend, Tars Tarkas says: “There was but one conclusion to reach when all efforts to locate you had failed, and that, that you had taken the long, last pilgrimage down the mysterious River Iss, to await in the Valley Dor upon the shores of the Lost Sea of Korus the beautiful Dejah Thoris, your princess.” (emphasis added) Later, in the same book, Dator Xodar explains the origin of the race of black men to John Carter: “'We trace our lineage unbroken, direct to the Tree of Life, which flourished in the centre of the Valley of Dor twenty-three million years ago.” (emphasis added) Finally, Dator Xodar explains their creation myth and the Tree of Life: “The buds from which the plant men blossomed resembled large nuts about a foot in diameter, divided by double partition walls into four sections...
and in the fourth the primeval black man of Barsoom.” (emphasis added) Armed with these clues, I created the designs (left) for use on the skirt and elsewhere on Dator Xodar's costume. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -37- May 2016 Designs for Dator Xodar River Iss Tree of Life in the valley of Dor Crimson plain in the valley of Dor beneath the hurtling moons of Mars Buds from the Tree of Life Lost sea of Korus
The drawing at right shows how I laid out the designs on the skirt in a similar way to those on the Tongan skirt that I used as my model. I decided to make the skirt somewhat shorter than the Tongan tupenu seen in the photo, and also omitted the ta'ovala mat beneath, to facilitate greater freedom of movement for the character during combat or while onboard his ship. I also replaced the feather leis of the Tongan chief with arm bands and boot cuffs that incorporate several of the designs originally created for the skirt.
Finally, the costume includes boots, and a leather harness and belt that are commonly worn on Barsoom, but not present in the Tongan costume.
I'll have more to say about the harness shortly. Although footwear is not often described in the books, I wanted to include an element of traditional pirate wear. The boots with the top cuffs seemed practical and also served the purpose. I selected the particular color scheme because it is slightly alien to modern eyes, and decidedly different to the colors used in traditional attire from Tonga or any of the other Pacific Islands. Although Burroughs occasionally mentions colors in the stories, he does not identify colors specifically associated with the “First Born.” In addition to its alien appearance, I chose this blue and red color scheme for the designs because the colors appear prominently elsewhere in the books as the principal colors of John Carter's adopted city of Helium.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -38- May 2016 Dator Xodar. Design and illustration by Philip Gust.
In addition to designs representing the mythology of Barsoom, I also wanted to include ones specific to Dator Xodar. Once again, I went back to the books to find clues. While reading through The Gods of Mars, I ran across a passage where Burroughs has this to say about the race of black men: “(E)ach was clothed in the wondrously wrought harness of his station and his house.” This told me that the attire of the “First Born” included devices that are associated with both their family lineage and their rank, and that the harness is one of the articles of clothing that include them.
When designing the harness, I incorporated the distinctive crescent-shaped necklace of the Tongan warrior from the original photo. It occurred to me that the inverted crescent is similar in shape to the buds on the Tree of Life that gave rise to the race of black men, and are so revered by their culture. I decided that the crescent would be the symbol that identified Xodar's station as a Dator (chief) of the “First Born.” At that point, I began to incorporate the inverted crescent shape into other parts of the design, including a row of them on the skirt representing buds that fell from the Tree of Life.
I also incorporated the crescent on the pommel of his sword, the shape of his knife worn on his belt, and even his crescent shaped earing.
For a mark of his house, I decided that a badge depicting the “the crimson plain … in the Valley of Dor beneath the hurtling moons of Mars” would be used by members of his house, and gave it a prominent place on the skirt. The square design in the same position on the Tongan warrior's skirt is strangely similar to the one that I designed based on the passage in the book. Kathe and I started with standard body outlines called “croquis” for our drawings. There are a number of websites that offer collections of them that can be printed, and there are also books of croquis that can be photocopied.
We used a standard figure for each of the principal characters to make them easily identifiable, and chose different ones for other characters like Dator Xodar. We drew in colored pencil on heavy 8- 1⁄2” x 11” paper. Once I had sketched Dator Xodar's costume on his croquis in regular hard pencil and noted the colors, Kathe and I worked together to finish him since she is a much better colorist than I am. She first colored in the skin and hair. Then we chose versions of the other colors that worked best. After coloring, she added shading. Finally, we took the finished drawings to Michaels Crafts and tried them out on different 12” x 12” backing papers until we found ones that we both liked.
We mounted the drawings for display in the the art show (left), put on labels, and added quotes from the book and descriptions to explain the characters and costumes.
All of the costumers who worked on the “Costuming by the Book” project agreed that designing from these books was much more difficult than we expected. Detailed costume descriptions are rare throughout Burroughs's entire eleven volume series. It required careful reading and re-reading to find the hidden clues about the various garments. The approach of using Earth cultures as a starting point worked well for the designs that Kathe and I did, and I felt lucky to have found one that worked so well as an inspiration for Dator Xodar. Philip Gust enjoys sci-fi and fantasy costuming, and has particular interests in props, special effects, and prosthetic makeup.
He also costumes in historical periods, including Regency, Victorian, and early 20th C.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -39- May 2016 Philip's and Kathe's costume drawings in BayCon 2009 art show.
Feature Creating Miss Fiji's Traditional Attire Costume Ashley Phaneuf Wakai A professional hair and makeup artist tells how he created Miss Fiji's award- winning Traditional Attire costume for the 2015 Miss Pacific Islands Pageant. When Zaira Begg was crowned Miss Fiji last October to represent our country at the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant in the Cook Islands in December, she asked me if my company, Hair and Makeup Perfectionist Fiji, would sponsor her with our hair and makeup services, which I was happy to do.
Two days after being crowned, Zaira was called in to do an official photo shoot for her portfolio. At the time we had just finished creating an outfit made of an old white wedding gown, but we modified it and added more traditional material over it. I suggested that she wear the dress for the shoot. It turned out amazing! The dress looked like it was custom made for her. Everyone who saw the images suggested that we should be the ones to design her Traditional Attire costume for the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant. The Miss Fiji Pageant committee also saw the images and The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -40- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers' Guild ISSN 2153-9022 Miss Fiji, Zaira Begg, in her Traditional Attire costume at the 2015 Miss Pacific Islands Pageant.
Photo: ABC Australia.
was impressed with the outcome, so they agreed, even though they had their own people who normally do it each year. It may seem surprising that someone whose business is hair and makeup has enough experience to take on designing and creating the most important costume for this international pageant. Over the years I have participated in local transgender pageants, and among the requirements for contestants is providing their own wardrobes to wear. I learned to sew as a matter of necessity and whenever I participate, I usually design my own attire. Luckily, Zaira and the Miss Fiji Pageant committee thought the skills shown in that first outfit were up to the task.
Design The first question was what kind of traditional costume to design. Fiji is an ethically very diverse nation, so there is no single ethnic attire that I could look to for the design. Taking Zaira's ethnic roots in India as a starting point, we thought about using the design of a ‘choli suit’ a traditional outfit worn by Indian ladies for special occasions, yet choosing traditional Fijian materials and accessories. We would use something different from the usual tapa material though, as we wanted our design to make a statement and to bring peace and unity within our people.
When Zaira was chosen to represent Fiji, there were controversies about her not being of a full Fijian race. This crushed her at first and she went through an unsettling period in her life. However, it ultimately inspired us to come up with this idea so people can see the beauty that can be created when different cultures and religions come together as one. We wanted to step a little outside our traditional boundaries, and explore what other traditions have to offer, yet remain true to the spirit of our homeland. Construction The costume we finally came up with has five pieces – skirt, bow, bodice, pauldrons, and headdress.
I'll discuss each. One constraint on materials was that the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant forbids the use of beads, sequins and rhinestones in any outfit worn by pageant contestants for the duration of the pageant. I guess this is to encourage designers to use materials that are of Melanesian and Polynesian origin, and keep the costumes as traditional as possible. We used traditional Fijian mats woven from pandanus leaves, magimagi (coconut fibre), printed tapa cuttings, pandanus leaf cuttings, sea shells, mother-pearl shells, pearl beads, strips of tapa. and wooden miniature war clubs.
Skirt The skirt and bodice are made out of a traditional Fijian mat, a material never used before by Miss Fiji representatives. Most of them preferred to use tapa, probably because it is easier to work with. For the details on the skirt, we used magimagi (coconut fibre), and tapa cuttings to create tanoas (kava mixing bowls). This also applies to the Fijian fans and painted bures, with the addition of shells and pearls to accentuate them more. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -41- May 2016 Outfit worn by Zaira Begg on a photo shoot two days after she become Miss Fiji that won the author the job of creating Zair's Traditional Attire costume.
Since the costume was a completely custom design, there were no existing patterns to use in creating it. Everything had to be imagined, sketched, and directly put to work as we thought of it. The normal process would be to drape the various pieces directly on Zaira. However, Zaira and I live 3 hours apart, and it would have been very difficult for us to get together enough in the short period of time we had to work that way. Instead, I took her measurements and then created the costume according to her body size.
The skirt has a special foundation garment to give it a more balloon or fuller shape.
We used a six-piece set of wired hoops. (left) The mat that the skirt is made of is so stiff that it needed this type of foundation garment to give it the fullness we wanted. The bodice, which is a separate piece, was also made of mat. The patterns on the skirt have important meaning in Fijian tradition and culture. As you can see, the bottom of the skirt is cut in a wavy form which signifies the oceans that separate us from the rest of the world, and is a place where most of our Fijian families rely on for their livelihood. The bottom of the skirt is then bordered with magimagi to hold the weaves together as they were cut raw.
Using black paint we drew a well- known Fijian print, which is the symbol of the I cula ni bokola (cannibal fork). To complete this pattern we glued sea shells and pearls amongst each print, arranging the sea shells in a pattern to form a flower.
Above the painted print we glued magimagi to create small Fijian bures (huts) right across the skirt and cut pieces of printed tapa to fill the inside part of the bures. In between the bures we attached magimagi to create traditional Fijian fans that are mostly used in a meke iri (traditional Fijian women's fan dance). The inside of the fans are then filled with cut printed tapa and glued white seashells and white pearls on each fan handle to accentuate the look of the fan. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -42- May 2016 Six-piece set of wire hoops help give it a more balloon or fuller shape.
Note pattern sewn into bottom of skirt. Skirt embellished with Fijian bures (huts), Fijian fans, and tanoas (mixing bowls) above pattern.
Above the row of Fijian fans is a row of tanoas (kava mixing bowls). Again we used magimagi to create the these and filled the inside, gluing cut pieces of printed tapa on the inside of the tanoas. Then we glued black and brown magimagi in tear-drop patterns from the top end of the skirt drooping down between the darts on the stiff skirt towards the tanoas. To finish off the skirt and give it a fuller look we added curled strips of vau fibre (dried bark of vau tree). These strips are curled using scissors just like the way you would curl up gift ribbons. Bow In our traditional Fijian costumes, we mostly wear ‘tapa’ around our waist, tied at the back in a bow.
The bow in this costume is made out of printed tapa. Tapa is a bit stiff, so it gave the bow a nice shape, with a long trailer down to the end of the bottom of the skirt. This bow is attached onto the skirt with Velcro and the bow sits right on top of the meeting point of the two ends of the skirt so it serves as coverage as well to give it a neat finish.
Bodice The bodice material is made out of gafigafi (woven pandanus leaves like a mat but with finer plaids; mostly worn by women from the Lau group of Islands). In this case, black dyed and natural coloured dried pandanus leaves are woven together. Just like the skirt, once cut we had to be careful that the weaves didn’t open. We actually cut the gafigafi hoping to achieve more like a corset look, so we cut a modern sweetheart shape on the front top, folded the darts along the waist area to accentuate her silhouette and sealed everything with a piece of cloth glued across the cut bodice. The The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -43- May 2016 Putting on skirt in green room.
Long fibers attached to top of skirt are scraped from a local Vau tree. Traditional bow in back of dress is made of printed tapa, and attaches to skirt with Velcro.. Bodice made of gafigafi (woven pandanus leaves) is woven with black-dyed and natural coulored leaves.
cloth was pieced, overlapping both ends of the bodice with hoops to secure the lace. On the top of the bodice, we glued magimagi on the edge as a border and arranged white pearls, black pearls and mother of pearl shells off-cuts. The same was done at the bottom of the bodice but we pasted (from inside the bodice) a long piece of tapa, pleating and folding it across the bottom of the bodice. It was meant to look like a traditional garland that locals wear in traditional functions. Pauldrons The pauldrons (shoulder pieces) are made from 2 coconut shells. They are sandpapered and the edges have been smoothed.
Mother of pearl shell off-cuts are then glued around the edges so that they sit comfortably on Zaira's shoulders. Small white sea shells are then glued onto the top of the coconut shells in rows. For the middle row, we combined sea shells and wooden beads.
The pauldrons are held together by long strips of magimagi, and a printed piece of tapa was glued onto the magimagi strips to secure them. This strip of tapa can be seen on Zaira's back when she is wearing the pauldrons. To secure the pauldrons when they're worn, we used a wire cord (wire wrapped in cloth). The wire cord is glued right across the inside of the coconut shells and they wrap around Zaira's shoulder and arms when they are worn. Headdress The headdress was the most challenging of the pieces to create. Head- dresses worn in the past by Miss Fiji representatives were always flowers made from tapa or pandanus leaves.
In the Fijian tradition a headdress is only worn by women of chiefly background, made of lawedua (a Fijian bird) feathers. We thought that we would go over-the-top with the design for this headpiece, but still keep it traditional. I think that Zaira is worthy to wear such a headdress. With her personality and her experience in life, even after the Miss Fiji pageant when she was criticized, she is quite a warrior. She fights for her own rights as a young Fijian woman in this modern day and age, and also fights for respect and equality for all women in Fiji. First we created a papier-mâché base from ordinary cooking flour and newspaper strips.
We simply mixed one part flour with four parts water to make a cake-like paste that acts as glue. We wrapped a mannequin head with Glad plastic wrap. The head was slightly smaller than Zaira's, so that the base would fit nicely on her head, and wouldn't need straps or slides to hold it down. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -44- May 2016 White and black pearls, and mother of pearl shell off-cuts glued to top and bottom of bodice look like garland.worn by locals in traditional functions.
Pauldrons are made of coconut shells covered in small white sea shells in rows. Middle row combined sea shells and wooden beads.
We pasted the newspaper strips diagonally, and carefully moulded them to form a round or a head shape. Once dry, the newspaper became stiff, allowing us to draw the shape of the headdress base after removing it from the mannequin. The head- dress base was then painted to add more security in holding the headdress together and also making it look neater, even though it will be fully covered with the detailing. We pasted shells, pearls, mother of pearl shells, shell off-cuts, wooden beads, and coconut shell off-cuts, in a manner that sweeps towards the right side of the head- dress.
Pandanus leaves are cut into fish scale like shapes and pasted along the left side. The tips of the pandanus leaves are painted lightly with light brown paint to create an effect.
Five miniature Fijian war clubs which were bought from a tourist handicraft were then glued upright across the middle. These war clubs were used by Fijian warriors in the days of cannibalism. Each war club has it different name and use. The Fijian war clubs are: The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -45- May 2016 Making the papier-mâché base for the headdress on a mannequin head that is slightly smaller than Zaira's. Pandanus leaves cut into fish scale like shapes with painted tips are pasted along left side of base. Miniature war clubs attached to papier-mâché base: i ula tavatava, dui, kinikini, sali, and i cula ni bokola.
I ula tavatava. A short-handled club with a fluted head. This is a throwing club used in war, made from the stem and buttress roots of the shrub used in making it. Tattoo designs decorate the handle. Dui. A moderately rare form of Fijian club, described in the New Fijian Dictionary (Capell, Government of Fiji, 2003) as having a broad head shaped like a fan. KiniKink. This club is very broad and could double as a shield. It was used by chiefs and priests as a symbol of rank. Due to their association with chiefs and priests and the ornate nature of their blades these clubs are rare and highly collectable native weapon.
Sali. A broadly curved club with a blade on the end and a spur on the upper curve of the club. The heavy end is highly decorated. These are sometimes called musket clubs because of their shape, but it is more likely to be inspired by the clawed cauliflower, a species of wild banana (Musasp). The club is mostly used to bring the blade end down on a victim, cutting through flesh and bone. The spur may have been used to penetrate the skull of a victim and to parry other weapons. This is a very heavy club but lighter ones were often carved for dance. The broadend of the club has a carved representation of tattooing.
I cula ni bokola or bulutoko. A priest or chief's fork, used in eating human flesh. The two faces at the head of the handle and others carved about the haft are unusual features. Length: 33.5cm.
Specially carved forks were used exclusively by priests and chiefs when eating human flesh. While it was accepted for the general population to handle and eat human flesh with their hands, certain chiefs and priests, as living representations of gods, could not properly handle any food at all. They were either fed by an attendant, who placed the food carefully in their mouth avoiding any contact with the priest or chief's lips, or, the priest or chief fed themselves with a wooden fork. This fork, having been in contact with sanctified fingers was then considered’ tabu’ (scared) and could not be handled by ordinary mortals, becoming a religious relic in its own right.
On the back of the headdress we attached an old brown wig and stuffed the inside so that it created height to accentuate the look. In between the hairs of the wig we glued long coconut fibres that had small white sea shells and brown pearl beads glued at random places along it. The wig and coconut fibres are then braided together. The purpose of this is to give the impression of a bundle of yaqona that we would see at our local markets. Yaqona is kava in its root form. Yaqona is presented during traditional Fijian ceremonies. This root is sun-dried, cleaned, and ground into powder form before it is mixed and drunk.
It tastes like mud water, but will make you a bit drunk if taken excessively.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -46- May 2016 Old brown wig attached to back of headdress meant to give impression of yaqona bundle at local markets
The Competition Unfortunately, neither I nor members of my team were able to travel with Zaira to the competition, but we did two fittings of the costume with her, and showed her and her chaperone how the costume should be put on. The costume was packed in an old microwave carton. We used Styrofoam to stuff up the box and made sure it had a “Handle with Care” sticker on it at the airport when it left with Zaira to the Cook Islands.
We also gave her tips on what sort of makeup to opt for. It was very natural makeup overall but her eyes were emphasized a bit more to compliment the head piece.
When it came time for her to present the Traditional Attire costume during the competition, Zaira walked in it and did poses while the announcer described the costume, what it is made of, and its significance. When we heard that Zaira won the Best Traditional Attire award, we were so excited! It was an amazing experience for us knowing that this was the main category for the pageant and also understanding that we were up against some very good designers from across the Pacific region. So to win this was a huge deal. It was also quite a tough completion because all the other costumes were stunningly made.
Final Thoughts It was such a satisfying and rewarding moment for my team and me, knowing that we were there for Zaira in spirit, and sharing in her happiness. We felt privileged to be a part of such an important endeavor for Fiji, and grateful to be chosen by Zaira and the Miss Fiji Committee to create her Traditional Attire Costume. Ashley Phaneuf Wakai has over seventeen years of experience in the industry. Ashley specializes in hairdressing and makeup for weddings, and has done over 500 in his career. He is well-known in Fiji for his finishing touches and attention to detail. His international clientele base challenges him to work on many different skin tones.
Ashley trained at Fiji’s top hairdressing academy Pivot Points which is globally recognized, and finished his makeup studies with Napoleon Perdis of Australia. His work with professional photographers enables him to tailor makeup to suit a wide variety of lighting and occasions. He also enjoys designing his own costumes for local pageants.
See a promotional video about the 2015 Miss Pacific Islands competition and a greeting from Zaira Begg on YouTube. The editor is grateful to Dr. Narayan R. Raju, Honorary Consul of Fiji in San Francisco, Mr. Ranjit Raju, and Miss Fiji 2015 Zaira Begg for their kind assistance with this article. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -47- May 2016
Feature Mutants and Mai Tais Kevin Roche* The creator of one of the wackiest Polynesian costumes ever tells the behind-the-scenes story of the idea and its creation. It all started with a tassel. In Texas. Seriously.
My husband Andy and I had been invited to be “Fen Guests of Honor” at FenCon VII in Addison, Texas, in September 2010. Before the convention proper started, local costumers took us prowling through their local secret fabric and supply stores, some of which were amazing (yes, in Texas!). In the trim department one of those stores, I found myself face to face with some enormous decorator tassels, that featured square beads decorated with knotted cord instead of simple round beads. I thought to myself, "Those look like little robot hula dancers..." And then the streams crossed. Stream Number One: one of the people responsible for our being invited to FenCon was Tim "the Dalek Builder" Miller.
He has built some beautiful replica Daleks. If, perchance, you don't know what a Dalek is, search for "Dalek Doctor Who image" online and look at the results. I'm referring to the robotic pepper-pot shaped things, which are one of the most successful (hence recurring) monsters on both the original and new Doctor Who BBC television series, dating back to the original 1963 season.
Stream Number Two: Gallifrey One: Catch 22 (the 2011 edition of the February Los Angeles Doctor Who convention that we almost always attend) had as its sub- theme "Islands of Mystery." Stream Number Three: Giant Hula Robot Tassel. In Texas. Standing there in the store, I had a sudden flash: a Tiki Dalek -- a Dalek, but constructed as though the Professor from Gilligan's Island had built it. And we were off! By Halloween 2010, I had a concept sketch ready and started ordering materials. The Tiki Dalek would feature a grass skirt at the base, with coconut shells (56 of them!) for the hemispheres on the base skirt, bamboo cladding for the center shoulder section, and cane webbing for the upper neck section.
The signature Dalek gun would be replaced by a tiki torch, and the plunger “hand” would be carrying a fruity tropical drink. A coconut cup would form the “eye,” with paper drink parasols replacing the Plexiglas disks on the on the eyestalk of the original. My original sketch (left) featured a thatched dome for the head, but a woven wood salad bowl proved both simpler and more effective.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -48- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers' Guild ISSN 2153-9022 Concept drawing of Tiki Dalek – Doctor Who meets Gilligan's Island.
I discovered that you can't order polished half coconut shells except in lots of 250. (Since I only needed 56, if you, Gentle Reader, have a use for just under 200 coconut shells, drop me a line and we can negotiate a price.) At just about the same time, I learned that Bryan Little, Mette Hedin and Johanna Mead, friends with whom I would normally share such a costume conspiracy, were very likely going to be judging the Gallifrey One masquerade.
The project was promptly code-named “Secret Project TDK” (for Tiki Dalek Kraziness) so that it could be mentioned in casual conversation around them without giving anything away. In November 2010, I began design and construction in earnest. Those interested in seeing more details can see a diary of the construction process in my LiveJournal . Building TDK proved a new and interesting costume experience. Most of my costume design and construction involves fabric with minor hardware construction; TDK was a full-on adventure in hardware, and I actually used a number of the techniques I’ve acquired in my research day job building automated vacuum chambers and their support hardware.
This is the first costume I’ve built for which creating a detailed 3D model in advance seemed a good idea. I invested in Alibre Design, a 3D parametric solid modeling program, to design the interior framework and components. I was very pleased with the results and recommend it highly; there are several versions available including a $99 home version which includes all the critical features. (I invested in one of the more advanced versions). I also found a number of places that my pattern drafting and sewing experience could solve problems in a unique way.
One of the first things I did was join and become an active member of Project Dalek. This is an online community of replica Dalek builders from all over the world, with a huge number of resources and members willing to share their experience with new builders. I downloaded plans for all the different versions of the Daleks as they’ve appeared on screen to get the critical dimensions I would need to build TDK, and then at the community owner John’s urging, I started a detailed build diary there. I did so with some trepidation, somewhat uncertain how my joke build would be received, and was happily surprised to be welcomed with open arms and encouraged at every step.
I took the time in my build diary there to especially carefully explain the steps I did using sewing techniques, as I figured a community of hardscape prop builders would likely not have any experience with them. (The build diary on the Project Dalek Forums is more detailed than that in my LiveJournal, but you must be a member of PDF to read it.) As the convention approached, the other Project Dalek members who were planning to be there all offered to help me on site if I needed assistance with anything. I finally got to meet them in person as they helped me hide TDK under sheets in “Dalek Central.” Daleks are too big to go through the standard hotel room doors, so Gallifrey One very kindly provided a space where all the Dalek builders could do final assembly and storage of their replicas.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -49- May 2016 Design drawing of Tiki Dalek using 3D parametric modeling software.
Nigel S., and Pat H. had built a beautiful radio-controlled replica classic movie Dalek named Rel, Steve had brought his human-piloted WWII Ironsides Dalek, and Jerry Chevalier his copper-hued “levitating” New Series Dalek. They were really appreciative and reiterated their offer of help, and we discussed when we might manage to parade all 4 Daleks together at the convention. I got another hint about how TDK affected folk as I rolled TDK (mostly covered) from my room down to Dalek Central on Thursday. Bits of the skirt were exposed as I moved it, and several dozen people asked me in excited voices if that was “a Dalek wearing a grass skirt?” Every time, I put a finger to my lips and said “Shhh… You’ve seen nothing!”, and every single time they responded in kind, “Of course… we’ve seen nothing….” (grinning conspiratorially all the while).
By the time I had TDK safely stowed, I suspected a hundred or so people had an inkling that there was something happening involving a Dalek and a grass skirt, but they all kept their promise to keep the secret from Shaun Lyon, one of the convention organizers. When the night of the Masquerade finally arrived, another friend, Jennifer Tifft, helped me roll TDK through the service corridors into the green room. We had a few minutes to practice lifting him on stage and for me to pilot him around (the first time I was in a space large enough to even try it!) and were satisfied that he’d work.
While waiting in the Green Room, a quintet of young costumers called “Cutesy Who” (3 Daleks, a TARDIS, and a Matt Smith Doctor all done as party dresses) set up camp right behind TDK; it looked like he was minding a trio of baby Daleks. Backstage, while we were waiting for my cue, Chaz Boston Baden started a heroic search for lights we could drop into the dome lenses. He managed to come up with a pair of cyanoluminescent light sticks (one red, one green, for port and starboard) and with some clever application of black duct tape, the dome was lit up for the show. On stage, TDK stole the show; the audience reaction as he “did the limbo” with MCs Patrick Beckstead and Tadao Tomomatsu was overwhelming.
While the judges deliberated, I climbed back into him and took him out to meet the folk who might be loitering in the lobby. I had an mp3 player and some small speakers hidden in the shoulder section, so as he worked his way down the hallway, the strains of the Herb Alpert version of Limbo Rock accompanied his progress. Unbeknownst to me, many of the other masquerade contestants had formed an impromptu conga The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -50- May 2016 4 Daleks and K-9 from the other side in Dalek Central. Tiki Dalek onstage with MCs Patrick Beckstead and Tadao Tomomatsu.
line behind me as I navigated my way out to the bar. At one point that night nearly 20 people were dancing behind the Tiki Dalek, including a giant rhino-headed Judoon (and several Amy Ponds)! I was thrilled when the results were announced and the judges had unanimously awarded TDK Overall Best In Show (for both workmanship and presentation). Even more important, though was how much fun everyone seemed to have every time TDK came out. I managed just barely (by luck) to get him into a photo shoot with the other 3 Daleks and a K-9, and then Jerry Chevalier took his R/C copper NSD (New Series Dalek) out for a bit while I piloted TDK.
Once again, we ended up with people dancing along behind TDK, running up to get photos hugging him, “clinking” drinks with his parasol-bedecked Mai Tai, and generally whooping it up. Several times the NSD stopped, rotated its dome and eyed TDK, demanding I “EXPLAIN… EXPLAIN…” to be answered (to the crowd’s delight) by TDK with “EXUBERATE…EXUBERATE…” or occasionally “PARTY ON DUDE…” Ian McNeice channeled his Winston Churchill character to pose with the two of us. We even took a turn through the dealers room, where several of the BBC personalities took the opportunity to join in the silliness and pose for photos.
Frazer Hines (“Jamie MacCrimmon”) couldn’t resist the urge to join the dance.
Finally it was time to roll TDK back to Dalek Central, and then, eventually back to our suite for disassembly. Few of my costumes have been just so much fun to take out into a crowd to play with people, and I’ve made a whole set of new friends as a result of this Secret Project. I've brought TDK back to Gallifrey several times since that first visit in 2011, and have made several modifications and improvements since then. TDK still makes occasional appearances at other events, so don't be surprised if you come around a corner at a convention to be confronted by this Island Survival Suit playing the “Banana Boat Song” with a line of fans dancing behind him, and please do join the conga line!
Kevin Roche is a sci-fi/fantasy and historical costumer with extensive experience entering, judging, and running masquerades. He was Chair of Costume- Con 26 in 2008. Kevin received the ICG's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. He is a past ICG vice-president, and is currently president of SiW. Visit his website to read his blog and view his costume photo album. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -51- May 2016 Kevin Roche and Tiki Dalek with other contestants after the awards.
Interview Recreating Hawaiian Feathered Cloaks Rick San Nicolas One of the world's leading experts on their construction discusses his amazing project to recreate seventeen cloaks in a painting of Kamehameha I and his court.
How did you become interested in Hawaiian featherwork? My interest in Hawaiian featherwork came way into my adult life. I was born and raised on Oahu, just outside of Honolulu. School in the 1960s was really not like schools in Hawai'i today where the focus is on bringing back Hawaiian traditions and Hawaiian values. When I was going to school, none of that was allowed, so I didn't get a chance to learn any of it.
After I moved to California, my wife, four daughters and I joined a hālau (hula school) in Modesto, where we were pretty absorbed in the hālau life on a regular basis. People brought in books because we were doing research on costuming for an upcoming competition. One of the books was Art of Featherwork of Old Hawai'i. That was the first time I saw a picture of a feather lei. Then a friend handed me Feather Lei as an Art by Mary Louise Kekuewa, and Paulette Kahalepuna. It's a good book that has lots of examples of how to make different styles of feather lei. As I started to read, I thought, “I can do that.” So I went out and got feathers and got into it by just trying.
I tried hatbands first, then I made my first feather lei after that. I continued doing it for a while just for fun because I enjoyed the work, what it looked like, and how it made me feel. Eventually, I started to make a lot of featherwork, feather leis, and hat bands that I sold at a few events. I've been doing the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hawai'i now since 2000, and it's pretty much the only show I do every year.
What got you interested in ʻahu ʻula (feather cloaks and capes)? I got interested after seeing them at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu on Oahu. I started researching them to see what methods I'd use, and then just experimented and practiced. The experience of completing my first cape was really a triumph in itself, and I thought that I'm going to continue making capes, and learn to make helmets too. In fact I completed a helmet first and the cape second. I enjoyed seeing people's reaction to them, especially those who were familiar with my feather leis. It also brought more awareness to traditional featherwork, that there are those who are still practicing these traditional crafts.
I also think that if there is any traditional Hawaiian artform that is going to be in really bad shape if people don't learn it, its cape making Capes and helmets are probably the most ancient forms of featherwork art there is.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -52- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild ISSN 2153-9022 Hawaiian chief's 'ahu 'ula (feather cape) and mahiole (helmet) on exhibit in the Bishop Museum Oahu, Hawaii. Chief in the background portrait is Kaiana. Photo: Gary Sizemore.
Talk about the feathered cloak project that you've embarked on. I was approached in by the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, who has undertaken a monumental project. Many native Hawaiian woods like koa are really endangered, and the Initiative's goal is to restore the forests of Hawaii.
They wanted to sponsor a Hawaiian featherwork project to show how important the trees are to the environment in Hawai'i as a habitat for native Hawaiian birds that were historically used for the featherwork. Without trees there's no birds, and without birds there's no feathers, and without feathers this artform would never have happened.
The project they had in mind was extremely ambitious: to recreate all the cloaks and helmets in a painting (right) by Hawaiian artist Brook Kapukuniahi Parker, whose ancestry is connected to many of the ali'i, all the way back to Kamehameha I. His paintings are about the Hawaiian royalty, including the chiefs, and kings and queens. The painting is titled “Aha Ula” (“Sacred Red Cord”). The people in the painting are all advisors to King Kamehameha I. Fourteen of the chiefs and the King have full feathered cloaks and helmets.
A client saw that I had done helmets and a cape, but that I had never done a full length cloak before.
However, that was actually the next step in what I was going to do personally that coming year. It was just a matter of which cloak I was going to make, whether I'd make my own design or duplicate something for the ease of duplicating it. They requested that I put a proposal together to see what it would take to make all the cloaks and helmets in the painting and what it would cost to do. You can imagine that I was pretty blown away by that request. We talked about it a little bit more, and then I put together a projection of the amount of time it would take to complete each cloak and helmet set, and how many years it would take to complete the entire project.
Once we looked at it and talked about it a little bit more, we came to a conclusion and reached an agreement, all over the telephone. My client and I never shook hands, and had never seen each other face- to-face, never looked into each other's eyes to get that firm agreement. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -53- May 2016 “Aha Ula” (“Sacred Red Cord”). King Kamehameha I and advisors. Artist: Brook Kapukuniahi Parker.
It's a huge project to take on, both financially for him, and as a significant chunk of my life. My life was literally about to change right then and there, and it did for the good.
It's still something I can earn an income from, but it's not what most people think it is. The value of these pieces is much, much more than what I get paid for my work and expertise. It's the story behind the project, and what people will feel each time we do one of these collections and installations. How many times do you get to do what you truly love to do for a living? There aren't a whole lot of people who can say that, but I'm one who can say it with confidence and be really happy that it's true. How long have you been working on the project, and how long with it take? I started the project in 2012, and I completed the first cape and helmet set in 2013, so that's about one per year.
The installation of that collection, the Kamehameha cloak, sash, and helmet, was installed at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai just outside of Kona on the Big island. In 2015, we installed the second collection of High Chief Ke'eaumoku Pāpa'iahiahi at the Kahala Hotel and Resort on Oahu just outside of Honolulu. The third cape, which I just exhibited at the 2016 Merrie Monarch Festival in April, was of Kamehameha's warrior Kekūhaupiʻo. It will most likely be installed on the Big Island of Hawai'i sometime in late August or the first part of September 2016. Then the fourth The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -54- May 2016 King Kamehameha I collection installed at Four Seasons Hotel outside Kona on Big Island of Hawai'i in 2013.
High Chief Ke'eaumoku Pāpa'iahiahi installed at Kahala Hotel and Resort on Oahu just outside of Honolulu in 2015.
cloak that I'm working on right now is scheduled to be installed an Oahu in the late fall of 2016, so we might have two this year. I'm pretty efficient in what I do already, and my efficiency has increased as the project moves along. There are times like right now where within one 12 month calendar year, I'll be finished with the second cape of the year, which I didn't think was even possible. It was a challenge because it was a chance to get one of our pieces directly into the Iolani Palace on Oahu. The deadline of June 10, 2016 was extended, and I'm still finishing the work. Doing two capes a year on a regular basis will be pretty tough, but I do know that the 15 year plan we originated with is probably going to go down closer to 11.
I'll be able to take off 2-1/2 to 3 years from the entire project because my efficiency level has gone up.
Are feathered cloaks specific to Hawai'i? I don't know of another Polynesian nation that has done anything even similar to what the Hawaiians did. Capes found in Tahiti and New Zealand have different styles and different feathers. However, I don't think that the techniques were similar. Although accurate dating is difficult, I do believe that the Hawaiian feather cloaks are the oldest. Its fair to say they were being made as early as the 15th century. Many historians also believe that there have been no cloaks made since the 17th century. The mid-17th century is probably the last time a cloak was made.
What was their purpose, and who made them? Hawaiian feathered cloaks were made to go into battle not just as a symbol of rank. They offered protection against spears and stones in the field, and they were also made to be seen on the field. The maker was always the kahuna (priest). As the feathers are woven into the netting, they would be chanting the family lineage into the cape, for strength or protection. Every step you take with your cloak on, you have your ancestors with you, The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -55- May 2016 Cape of Kamehameha's warrior, Kekūhaupiʻo, exhibited at the Marrie Monarch Festival in 2016.
“The Featherworker.” Author depicted as a kahuna (priest) making a feathered cape. Painting: Brook Kapukuniahi Parker, 2011.
and your ancestors will be battling with you, protecting you. The Hawaiians felt that the two things that most needed protection were the head and the spine. That's why special prayers were prayed into the spine of the cape, and the helmet. The kahuna passes his knowledge to to his son, or laterally to nephews if there is no son. In many cases a cape would be started in one generation and not be finished until the next, depending on the amount of feathers or the kind of feathers they're looking for.
Have you been able to examine cloaks in the Bishop Museum to look at their construction techniques? At the Bishop Museum I was able to spend a long time examining the Liloa's kāʻei (sash), which is the sash I replicated as an example for the first collection that I did. I also examined other capes at the Bishop Museum and the Honolulu Museum of Art. To see what some of these pieces look like in person and be able to handle and examine them closely, and look at what you think is important is really priceless. Had I not had the opportunity to do that for the first project of Kamehameha, I don't think that I would have come close to doing it accurately.
I can't even imagine recreating a piece like this and not being able to do that. But if you do it just once, then I think that one time really gives you an advantage moving forward. You might not need to examine any other pieces. With historical costumes from different periods, you have different designs, designers, different makers, and different materials, but with Hawaiian featherwork, it's pretty much the same materials.
I have also been to the Hawaiian Featherwork Exhibit in San Francisco a number of times and had a chance to take detailed photos from a craftsman's point of view, looking for the holes and for places where feathers were worn away. In all the examples I saw, the work and craftsmanship is very similar if not the same between the ancient capes and my recreations. One thing that people normally don't see is the back of the capes. When I'm able to look at originals in museum examination rooms, I can see places where the net was damaged and replaced, or in the making of the cape they ran out of net.
They would get whatever pieces of netting they could find to weave in the shape they needed to do the work. In some cases, there are large fields of The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -56- May 2016 Back side of cloak created by author with fiber mesh, showing orange Lady Amherst's Pheasant feathers Back of ancient cape, possibly repaired, with fiber mesh of different size eyes stitched together.
the original naturally woven net with the same size eye throughout, and then you'll see a patch that may have a larger or smaller eye. It's just amazing to think that in an ancient culture they would still think to repurpose and reuse anything that they had to complete the project. So now I look for those whenever I examine one. You also see examples of patched holes in cape mesh that were probably made by a spear or other weapon, and it really drives home the point that these capes were really a kind of armor that was worn in battle, and had to be patched afterwards. If you handle the cape correctly, and your'e attacked with a barbed weapon, it gives the the opportunity to use the mesh to grab the weapon from your attacker, or force that person a little bit closer where you can whack them with a sharp-toothed weapon and defeat a foe, and all because of how the cape is constructed and handled in battle.
Could you discuss your use of nylon mesh rather than natural organic fiber? The nets I use are a nylon and cotton blend. What's most important for me is the size of the mesh. The mesh in the cloaks we've examined are all roughly 4 to the inch, so we use a mesh of the same size. We're trying to duplicate 16th and 17th century work and materials in the 21st century, so if we duplicate the methods and keep true to that, I think that's really what matters. This year, I brought a cloak to the Merrie Monarch Festival, the first time one has been put on exhibit for the public to see. People were able to examine it very closely although they couldn't touch it.
Not one person, unless it's someone who knows I made the cloak, could tell it's not genuine. In fact several people asked why this ancient cloak is out there on display, how old is it, and which ali'i the cloak belonged to. If I continue to get that kind of response, then I know that I'm doing the art a service by making it as accurately as possible, and giving it the look of a cloak that is 200 or 300 years old, even though I may have just finished it 30 days ago.
Does the nylon mesh cape handle and drape pretty much like ones made on an organic fiber base? As far as actually wearing them, I feel that they do. I don't think that one flows less than the other when its being worn. This year, when I took the cape to Hawai'i for the Merrie Monarch festival, I also met with my client, and with the artist, Brook Parker, who is like 6ft 5in and 270 pounds. We actually put the cape on him to see what it looked like, and to see where the natural curvature of the cape would fall on body. Brook's biggest insight came from feeling the weight of an actual cloak on his shoulders.
All of a sudden he felt what the ali'i who were his and my ancestors would have felt like wearing it. That will certainly add to his work in the future. In fact, he told me that the next painting he's working on right now will be impacted by his experience with the cloak that I made. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -57- May 2016 Trying on completed cloak and helmet to feel its weight.
When you make a cape, do you have a fixed size pattern for the cloaks? Is it the same template for each one? I developed a die that I use for cutting the mesh for every cape. That actually helps with each of the places where we do installations in terms of making armatures and cases for the capes because they're all the same size. After you cut the mesh, do you reinforce the edges before putting the feathers on? Yes, a piece of cording goes from top to bottom on both the edges that acts something similar to a seam. However the bottom edge of the cape is not reinforced or finished in any way.
At the top, there is also cording where the ties go, so the cordage made for that just gets looped over and tied into place.
Let's turn to the feathers for a little bit. The traditional birds that were used are by and large extinct or endangered and you can't get them. What kinds of feathers were traditionally used for these things and what are you using to replace those in the colors that you need for the recreation of the cloaks? The feathers that I'm using are for the most part all natural colors. I just try to choose a feather that will give the look of the native Hawaiian bird that we're trying to replicate. I also keep in mind to give it an aged look too. That's actually one of the things that have made it successful, where people really think they're looking at an artifact instead of something newly made.
I'm fairly familiar with Hawaiian birds, though I also refer to my reference books, and know that choosing the right feather is really important. For example, the native Hawaiian bird which is the orange color feather, the ‘i‘iwi, is very much endangered. I can still see them every so often when I'm up at the Hawaiian Volcanos National Park, where I'm an artist in residence for a month each year. I use that knowledge to match them to what I have.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -58- May 2016 Stitching cord to reinforce side edges of mesh. Sewing mesh segments together. Die is used to mark pattern of segments onto mash. Cutting mesh segments to m pattern.
The Lady Amherst's Pheasant, for example, is where I get the orange feathers from. They come from the base of the body before it goes into the tail. There are probably 10 to 15 good usable orange feathers on a Lady Amherst pheasant, so we do go through a large number of birds to replicate a large field of orange. When I put one of those feathers next to the 'i'iwi to match color, it's amazing how nearly identical that color is.
It totally throws people because they wonder how I could possibly be using those native birds. I turn that into an educational moment by showing them the pheasant and the original color, and they find it hard to believe.
The gold feather I use is the natural color that comes from the Chinese Golden Pheasant, which matches the color of the extinct o'o. I also show an example of that bird in the exhibit I display with the cloaks. The black o'o is the one feather that is really difficult to match naturally, so we dye the same Chinese Golden pheasant feather with the long, hairy fibers on it. We first bleach out the gold color, and then dye it black. The results are pretty amazing because it comes out with the same look as the o'o body feather would have had, and still matches the fibers in the rest of the feathers in the cape.
It actually looks really good on the cloak I just finished, which has a large field of the black feathers Those are the three main colors that we use in all of the capes. Then there's one figure on the left side in Brook's painting that has a large number of green feather in it. This is Kaeaweaheulu Kaluapana, founder of the dynasty of the Kamehamehas. The color in the painting is more like a neon green, like a parrot feather reflecting in the The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -59- May 2016 Above: Endangered ‘i‘iwi. Photo: HarmonyonPlanetEarth. Below: Lady Amherst's Pheasant has small number of usable orange feathers at base of its body.
Above: Extinct male and female o'o'. Drawing: John Gerrard Keulemans. Below: Chinese Golden Pheasant. Photo: Animal Corner.
Kaeaweaheulu Kaluapana, founder of Kamehameha dynasty in unusual neon green cloak and helmet.
sunlight. From my knowledge and research, native Hawaiian birds that were green are more subtle in color. He was probably thinking of native Hawaiian birds like the ‘amakihi or the o'u'u, which were both green. He just went lighter on it, which is perfectly fine. That cape and helmet really stand out in the painting. I won't be working on that cape for a long time, but I have been working on a collection of parrot feathers that are similar to that look. We're going to tone down the color of the feathers we'll use and soften them to make them look more realistic.
How many feathers go into a cloak? It's only an estimate, but on any of the full cloaks, there's probably in the neighborhood of 65000 to 75000 bundles, or around 200000 individual feathers go onto one cloak. I believe that's comparable to the historical ones.
What is the process for creating a feather bundle that you attach to a cloak? The process involves getting the thousands and thousands of feathers that you need, of course. You have to cut them to the size and the length that you need. Then you go through and stack them in threes, then wrap them with heavy cotton cord and tie a long knot at the base. The bundling process is a lot of work on a regular basis. When I did my first cape five or six years before this project, I made my own bundles. It took more time to prepare the bundles than it actually took to build the cape. Even then, I was looking for ways to reduce my time so I could produce more capes.
Because of the enormity of this project, I now get my feathers directly from feather manufactures in China. I work with one company in particular, and actually trained them via video, photos, and Skype on how to create bundles for me. It took a number of months for them to get it right, and it was a great expense to me because I still had to order large volume to get them to do the project. There are minimums with that like any kind of manufacturing. So now I can order the featherwork from the supplier already bundled, but it still takes me over 2600 hours to build the cloak, where it would have taken an additional 3000 hours to do the bundling on top of that.
At that rate, I would not have been able to finish the cape project in my lifetime. What is your process for attaching the feather bundles to the mesh? When I'm working on a cloak, I suspend the mesh on a large frame, about 7ft wide and 5ft tall. That makes it easier to work on both sides and keep everything lined up.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -60- May 2016 Above: Individual feathers ready to be bundled. Below: Tying together a bundle of three feathers. Author with cloak mesh mounted in wooden frame.
I always start from the bottom because that way, all the quills are covered. I go from side to side as I attach the bundles with the same heavy cotton thread used to tie the bundles together. I use a ½ inch double knot. As I tie each one to the netting, I'll loop that knot into the mesh to secure it in place and add tension to the previous knot I just tied.
Then I'll make a double knot loop, and put a bundle into place. Then that is tied, and I just continue. That snugs one bundle up against the other. Everything is overlapping as it goes along. The bundles are spaced at ¼ in because I'm using ¼ in mesh. What kind of needle do you use?
I use a curved needle that is pretty much a carpet needle. The curve makes it very simple to pick up the knot from underneath, and then to push through instead of using a straight needle or a shuttlecock or anything like that. Can you sew a whole line of bundles on with a single threading of the needle? Yes, I can use the same length of thread to sew multiple bundles and “move the train” all the way down. For example, when you're starting the cape at the very bottom, there are nearly 500 bundles to tie on to make just one left-to right sweep. That's around 15 ft of the thread to make it across one sweep left-to-right.
Is the cloak heavy when it's done? What does it weigh? I've never really weighed one, but I would imagine that its in the 12lb to 15lb range. But then after you've had it on for five minutes or so, you're thinking it's over 20lb, especially since the weight of the cape isn't being carried on the shoulders like a modern cape. How is it worn? There's a cord that's woven in around the neck, so it's just tied in a big double know and then probably pulled back and looped back. I tie them onto the armatures too when we're mounting an exhibit. The Hawaiians who wore them had to think in terms of defense so if you have pieces that are sticking out like a piece of cordage, that becomes another way for someone to grab onto you, and yank and twist you, and get you into a vulnerable position where they can whack you again.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -61- May 2016 Sewing bundle of Lady Amherst's Pheasant feathers to mesh with curved needle and heavy cotton thread. Author working on partially feathered cape mounted on wooden rack.
There's no lining on the underside of it, so you had the itchiness of the actual netting plus the quills that may protrude on the inside. You're a big, strong Hawaiian going into battle, so that's what it is. Are the armatures for mounting the cloaks custom made? Yes, they're all custom made for each piece. I make a replica of each cape out of fabric material, so they can use that to check the armature for fit.
We also made a die for the hemet that's average size, which helps in creating their armatures. The armatures are made out of acrylic, so when you see a collection on exhibit, you see is a floating cloak and helmet inside the case. How do you store the cloaks? I keep them in the frames as long as I can. I have two frames that I work with, and when I'm done I cover it and take a break for a week if possible. As much as I work on these things – on a long day I might work 15 to 18 hours – my body is pretty in tune with what I'm doing: it shuts down and I kind of crash for a week. Then I'm on to the next project, where I'll start cutting the next pieces and start lashing the mesh up.
In fact, I had another frame made so I can do that. As soon as I'm ready to travel or ship it, I cut the cloak down from the frame and go over it to make sure everything is right. Then I put it on and feel it and take photos. At that point, I normally fold it in soft fold material in large areas, maybe creasing it where the netting has been put together, which is the natural place to fold. And then I just keep it in that fold for as short a time possible until it gets to where it's going to my client.
On the other side, I ask my client to unpack it and hang it out on a really, really big, fluffy kind of hanger. You can make one by padding a large hanger with a bunch of towels to make bigger, broader shoulders. And then, when we do the installation, I take them over and we go through the long process of getting it mounted and getting it perfect and then covering it up until the next day when we unveil it at the opening ceremonies. Where are the cloaks displayed? Each collection is put on display by the people who are supporters of the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative. The properties who are supporting the project are some of the big hotels throughout Hawai'i on all the islands.
They partner up with others supporting koa reforestation, and make a commitment on the order of a half a million trees over ten years time. This is a major investment for these sponsors. What they get in return is to have a cape collection (cloak, helmet, etc) in a beautiful cabinet on exhibit on their properties. They proudly place these collections front and center in their lobbies where no one can get into the hotel without seeing these pieces. That in turn generates a lot of interest for information about the featherwork and everything involved with it, and the koa planting project as well.
That's The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -62- May 2016 Above: Author installing helmet on armature. Below: Acrylic Armature in display case, ready for cloak.
good because the main project is putting trees in the ground, and getting these endemic trees back growing in Hawai'i in a manageable form and off the near extinction or endangered list. Right now, we have completed four cape collections, including the black one that I just finished and will be taking over in August, and they're all spoken for. When they're finished, I hope we can bring all the collections together in one location for maybe a year. It would be spectacular. Then the collections will go back to their respective hotels to display and be cared for for the rest of their lives. There are a lot of restrictions: they're not to be sold, not to be given, not to be removed – a lot of stipulations.
That will insure that travelers and native Hawaiian people, will see that these works are still being done and are important for the culture. What advice would you offer to someone who wants to undertake making a feathered cloak or cape? Wow! Advice? I would say that you should go through the steps of learning the art of featherwork, which starts in small steps – and even the small steps are hard. There are people who really take to featherwork because they have it in their heart. And then some people are just challenged because they can do almost any craft they put their mind to. There may be people out there who could take to making capes first without making feather leis, but I don't think that's likely.
Discipline is probably one of the hardest things to develop if it's not part of you already. If it's not, then doing this kind of work, and the repetition that goes with it, would be hard for anyone.
But if you have the desire and the drive, then I'd tell you to start out reading everything you can get their hands on about featherwork. Go out there and talk to people who are makers, and then take a class and learn what it takes to do some of these things. With any featherwork, you still have to learn the basic steps first that can easily be done in your hand or lap. When you finally get to cape or cloak making, you need to build the frame and cut the netting. Then there is the repetition of building your feathers bundles. And when you're attaching them, all these little designs and all the little “X”s on the netting make you dizzy.
It's a big undertaking. and the work just seems endless.
If you can find a love for it, and you're still able get your regular things done around that, then you must decide if it's something you have time to do. You have to be committed to go from start to finish, know how much time you want to give to it every day, and allow it to grow. If you do this, you'll have a better chance of succeeding. Rick San Nicolas was born in Hawai'i, but learned the art of feather lei making later in life after moving to northern California by reading books as well as researching, studying photos, and listening to stories told to him by kupuna that visit his booth at the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hawai'i each year.
His first attempt at making a feather cape used traditional techniques in the way of his Hawaiian ancestors. Since 2012, he has been working on a decade-long project to recreate seventeen collections of feathered cloaks and helmets worn by King Kamehameha I and his court, under the sponsorship of major donors to the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative. Visit his website, to learn more about his work View a promotional video about the project on YouTube.
The editor is grateful to Brook Kapukuniahi Parker for his kind permission to reproduce his paintings in this article. Visit his website to see more of his art. The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -63- May 2016 King Kamehameha I collection installed at Four Seasons Hotel outside Kona on Big Island of Hawai'i in 2013.
Short Subjects Oldest Dress Found Dress found in Egypt Tarkhan excavation is at least 5100 years old. While archaeologists have uncovered ceramic fragments and tools dating back tens of thousands of years, clothing is another story. Since most garments are made of delicate materials like linen and wool, ancient clothing finds are extremely rare—which is what makes the Tarkhan dress so unique.
According to recent radiocarbon dating tests, the Tarkhan dress is between 5100 and 5500 years old, making it the oldest dress ever found. The dress comes from the so- called Tarkhan excavations conducted in the early 1900s in Egypt about 30 miles south of Cairo. According to the study in Antiquity, the dress was buried in a tomb for thousands of years, and came quite close to never being discovered at all. While the main Tarkhan excavations occurred from 1912 to 1913, the dress was overlooked and lumped with a pile of rags. It was found more than six decades later, in 1977, when a bundle of miscellaneous textiles were sent to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for conservation.
The dress would have been worn by a member of the Egyptian upper class, and, although it came from an Egyptian tomb, it was originally created for the living, not the dead; it shows signs of wear. It's not the only example of an ancient garment, but it is the only one to have been "cut, fitted, and tailored," the researchers write. “A handful of garments of similar age have survived to the present day, but those were simply wrapped or draped around the body,” explains National Geographic. “The Tarkhan dress, on the other hand, is ancient haute couture.” Three Costume Exhibits at Kent State Museum Fibers, flappers,and fashion on display at Ohio university museum.
Three exhibits are on display through July and September at the Kent State University Museum galleries. Focus: Fiber 2016 is a juried exhibition of contemporary fiber art coordinated by Textile Art Alliance. Textile Art Alliance (TAA), an affiliate group of the Cleveland Museum of Art, is an active organization of artists, designers, craftspeople, educators and collectors with a common interest in the textile and fiber arts. The exhibit runs through July 3, 2016. Flapper Style: 1920s Fashion is at the Broadbent Galley through September 4, 2016. The flapper is widely seen as the epitome of 1920s glamor and decadence.
The term refers to the generation of young women who came to age just as World War I ended and shocked the older generation with their short hair and short skirts, their drinking and smoking and swearing. Flappers faced a world strikingly different from the one their mothers knew and their clothing reflected this dramatic break with the past.
In the Igbee Gallery, Inside Out: Revealing Clothing's Hidden Secrets highlights the art of beautiful workmanship that is hidden when the pieces are worn. This exhibition showcases these secret inner- workings that are usually out of sight. Weights, pockets, quilted linings, boning, ruffles and labels all come to light when the garments are flipped inside out. The exhibitions runs through July 31, 2016. websiteThe Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -64- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild ISSN 2153-9022 Photo: © UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
R2-D2 Creator Dies Special effects expert who built Star Wars robot found dead on Maltese island of Gozo.
Special effects wizard Tony Dyson, who built the Star Wars R2-D2 robot, was found dead at his house on the Maltese island of Gozo, officials said March 4th , 2016. The body of the 68-year-old Briton was discovered after friends alerted police that they had not seen him for a number of days, the Times of Malta reported. There was no immediate suspicion of foul play. Dyson, who owned The White Horse Toy Company, was commissioned to make eight R2-D2 robots for the film series plus the master moulds and an additional head. He said working on it was "one of the most exciting periods of my life".
The look of R2- D2 was created by the conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie who also created Darth Vader, Chewbacca and C-3PO. He made four remote control units - two units for the actor Kenny Baker to sit in with a seat fitted inside and two throw away units to be used in a bog scene in Empire Strikes Back where a monster spits out R2- D2 onto dry land, from the swamp. He had also built robots for various technology firms, including Sony, Philips and Toshiba.
Swagged and Poufed RSID Museum exhibits the upholstered body in the late 19th C. and today. In 1890, designer William Morris quipped that women were “upholstered like arm chairs.” Buried under folds, ruching, tassels, and fringe, they were on the verge of becoming fixtures in their own drawing rooms. The exhibit “Swagged and Poufed: The Upholstered Body in the Late 19th Century and Today,” at the Angelo Donghia Costume and Textiles Gallery at the Rhode Island School of Design (RSID) Museum, features women’s clothing from the past and present that shares aesthetics with upholstered furnishing styles of the late 1800s.
The contemporary fashion pieces emulate overlapping trends in 19th century women’s fashion and interior design. A center case in the gallery presents dresses, mantles, rugs and a carpetbag from the time period alongside contemporary fashions that bear similar designs, and a three-minute film accompanies the exhibit. The late 19th century pieces bear an “upholstered look” that “represents a time when there was much emphasis on textiles both for the interior and on the body,” said Kate Irvin, curator of costume and textiles for the RISD Museum. The quality, layering and elaborate manipulations of textiles for furnishings and fashion demonstrated a woman’s “personal refinement,” she said.
The preoccupation with textiles was tied to the Industrial Revolution and the far reach of empire during this period, she said. “Upper-class women spent much of their social life within the confines of the drawing room — nearly becoming one with the drawing room — though the soft furnishings of her interior and the fashions worn on her body made explicit reference to the riches and reach of colonialist enterprises during this period,” she said. The exhibit also reveals their continued influence in contemporary designs by Kenzo Takada, Gianfranco Ferré for Dior, and Maison Martin Margiela.
The exhibit at the Rhode Island School of Design (RSID) Museum in Providence Rhode Island runs throughout July 3rd , 2016.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -65- May 2016 House of Worth, design house French, 1858-1952. Charles Frederick Worth, designer British, 1825-1895. Reception Dress, ca. 1874. Silk plain weave with cotton net inserts and silk embroidery, appliqué, and fringe.
17th Century Silk Dress Found in Shipwreck Noblewoman's silk damask gown buried under sands off the coast of North Holland The island of Texel in the Wadden Sea off the cost of North Holland forms a natural barrier where ships have sheltered, waiting for favorable winds or taking on crew and cargo. The bad weather in the area has also resulted in hundreds of shipwrecks. Wrecks that were protected by the sand for hundreds of years can be exposed as currents shift. In August of 2014, divers from the Texel Diving Club discovered artifacts from the wreck of a well-armed merchant ship, buried since it sank in the 17th century.
One item was a bundle buried in the sand. When they brought it to the surface, they discovered a cache of antique textiles. The find was not announced right away to protect the site while conservators examined and stabilized the items. One of the items in the bundle was a unique find in exceptional condition: a high- quality silk damask gown with a pattern of flowers that later analysis showed probably belonged to Jean Kerr, Countess of Roxburghe (c. 1585-1643), a lady in waiting to English Queen Henrietta Maria. The delicate silk survived for over 400 years because it was protected from oxygen and animals while buried in the sand.
The dress included a bodice with loose- fitting sleeves and sleeve caps, and a full pleated skirt open in the front. The neck has an upright collar. The style can be seen in paintings from the early 17th century. The rest of the extensive wardrobe included a jacket, silk knee socks and silk bodices woven with gold and silver thread. Since all of the pieces are the same size, archaeologists think that all of the clothes belonged to the same woman. Only the gown shows signs of significant wear, which suggests it was intended for everyday use, The lack of silver and gold embroidery in the bodices also supports this conjecture.
Experts agree it is one of the most important textile finds ever made in Europe. The gown was on display through May 16th at the Kaap Skil Museum on Texel. It will undergo further research before going on permanent display. The finds belong to the Province of North Holland.
Website Helps Date Old Photos Resource helps you use features in a photo to deduce its date A resource from the University of Vermont helps date historical photos based on items in the photos, such as cars, clothing, hair, street lights, billboards, etc. Their introduction describes how it works. “So, what can you do with an old photograph and no date? Well, you can deduce that date, and our site is going to help you! Photographs are filled with evidence that tells a story about that snapshot in time. What is that evidence? It is our built environment; it is the clothing we wear; it is the tools and machinery that we use; it is the natural landscape.
Every feature you see in an historic image is an important clue to its date.” The site enables you to choose a feature from one of their categories that appears in an undated photo. Categories include: transportation, roadside features, agricultural features, buildings, human features, and other features. The site will display dated images of similar features from dated photos in their archive that can help you determine the date of your image. In addition to the image catalog, the site includes a tutorial that helps you use the resource to date your historical photo. For more information, visit the “Dating Historical Images” website.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -66- May 2016 Noblewoman's silk damask gown from 17th century shipwreck on display at the Kaap Skil Museum. Image courtesy Kaap Skil.
Upcoming Events Calendar of Events Westercon 68 July 1-4, 2016 Portland Doubletree Inn Portland, Oregon USA http://westercon68.org This venerable sci-fi convention features a full costume masquerade and numerous costuming- related panels and tracks, and staged masquerades and other costuming events. Comic-Con International 2016 July 21-24, 2016 San Diego Convention Center San Diego, California USA http://www.comic-con.org/cci/ World’s largest comic book convention with over 125,00 attendees. Masquerade attracted over 10,000 people, 40+ entrants, and 150+ costumes, with presentation, workmanship, and industry awards.
If it isn’t sold out yet, get your tickets and hotel now! Costume College 2016 July 28-31, 2016 Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills, California USA http://www.costumecollege.net/ Three-day educational conference on costuming and clothing, produced by Costumer's Guild West. Didn’t inherit tickets? Try anyway: you might get lucky! Worldcon 74: MidAmeriCon II August 17-21, 2016 Kansas City, Missouri USA http://midamericon2.org The catwalk style Masquerade is rivaled only by the Hugo Award Ceremony. Costuming-related panels and events.
DragonCon September 2–5, 2016 Atlanta, Georgia USA http://www.dragoncon.org/ Multi-media popular culture convention on sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, and comics. Features costuming track, and a plethora of costuming contests. Convolution 2016 September 30 – October 2, 2016 Hyatt Regency SFO Burlingame California USA http://con-volution.com/2015/ Annual three-day science fiction, fantasy, and media convention featuring guests, performers and vendors from a wide spectrum of the speculative fiction industry and community Includes some costuming related panels and masquerade costume competition. Archon 40 September 30 – October 2, 2016 Gateway Convention Center and DoubleTree Hotel Collinsville, IL (outside St.
Louis, Missouri), USA http://www.archonstl.org/ This sci-fi and fantasy convention returns to Collinsville with a full costume masquerade and costume related panels.
Convolution 2016 September 30 – October 2, 2016 Hyatt Regency SFO Burlingame California USA http://con-volution.com/ Annual three-day science fiction, fantasy, and media convention featuring guests, performers and vendors from a wide spectrum of the speculative fiction industry and community Includes some costuming related panels and masquerade costume competition. Gaslight Gathering 6 October 7-9, 2016 Town and Country Resort & Conference Center San Diego, California USA http://www.gaslightgathering.org/ Southern California's first dedicated Steampunk & Victoriana Convention, features many costuming events, and a Steampunk Grand Tea.
Anime USA October 21–23, 2016 Washington Marriott Wardman Park Washington D.C. USA http://www.animeusa.org/ Started by fans in 2004, this convention promotes Japanese arts and popular culture. Includes a Masquerade/cosplay competition, hall cosplay, and a hall cosplay contest FaerieCon 2016 November 4-6, 2016 Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn Hunt Valley, Maryland USA http://faeriecon.com/ Celebrating the Magical Life, features the Good Faeries & Bad Faeries Masquerade Ball with a costume competition, hall costuming, and many faerie related costuming panels. Philcon 2016 November 18-20, 2016 Crowne Plaza Hotel Cherry Hill, New Jersey USA http://www.philcon.org/ Hosted by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, features author Cory Dockorow and artist Boris The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -67- May 2016 Copyright © 2016 Silicon Web Costumers’ Guild ISSN 2153-9022
Vallejo, sci-fi costume panels, and a costume masquerade. Great Dickens Christmas Faire November 19 – December 18, 2016 Cow Palace Exhibition Hall San Francisco, California USA http://www.dickensfair.com/ Living history re-creation of Christmas in Dickens’ 1860’s London. See web site for costuming opportunities. Runs 4 weekends. Further Confusion 2017 January 12-16 2017 San Jose Convention Center, San Jose Marriott, and San Jose Hilton San Jose, California USA http://www.furtherconfusion.org/ Further Confusion is one of the world's largest anthropomorphic (or "furry") conventions. It features eminent guests, educational panels, and world-class costuming, including a masquerade.
Arisia 2017 January 13-16 2017 Westin Waterfront Boston Hotel Boston, Massachusetts USA http://www.arisia.org/ New England’s largest and most diverse sci- fi and fantasy convention. Many costuming events including a Masquerade. Gallifrey One 2017 February 17-19, 2017 Marriott Los Angeles Airport Los Angeles, California USA http://www.gallifreyone.com/ All things Dr. Who are at this annual convention thathosts stars from the series, along with many costuming events including hall costuming and a costume masquerade.
Ongoing Events Bay Area English Regency Society (BAERS) Various San Francisco Bay Area locations Numerous dance parties – see their schedule http://www.baers.org/ Early 19th c.
English Regency with dances from English Country tradition. Second-Friday dance parties, and fancy-dress balls throughout the year. Period dress admired but not required. Gaskell Occasional Dance Society Scottish Rite Tempe Oakland, California USA http://www.gaskellball.com/ Victorian Ballroom dances with live music, and a fancy Victorian dress ball. Semi-formal clothing required. Period formal dress of the 19th - 21st century admired but not required. Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild (GBACG) Various San Francisco Bay locations Many themed events – see their schedule http://www.gbacg.org/ For recreational costumers in the SF Bay Area.
Activities include workshops, costume salons, a costuming academy and many costumed events. National Civil War Association (NCWA) Various Northern California locations Many re-enactment and educational events – see their schedule http://www.ncwa.org/ The NCWA presents living history for the public in many forms, including military and civilian encampments, battles, and lectures. Peninsula Wearable Arts Guild (PenWAG) Campbell Community Center Campbell, California USA Second Saturday of each month http://www.penwag.org/ Members embellish garments with machine and hand appliqué, patchwork, fabric painting and dyeing, stenciling and stamping, machine and hand embroidery, beading, and more.
Period Events and Entertainment Society (PEERS) Masonic Lodge of San Mateo, San Mateo, California USA Ongoing monthly period dance events Sponsors events, classes, and living history perforhttp://www.peers.org/mances. Activities include historic dance, drama, music, literature and costume. Period dress admired but not required Tech Shop Ongoing classes monthly http://www.techshop.ws/ Classes on the shop’s computerized embroidery, industrial, and conventional sewing machines, and serger. Also molding, vaccuforming, cutting, and machining classes. See website for locations and hours.
The Virtual Costumer Volume 14, Issue 2 -68- May 2016 Editors Note Send calendar or ongoing costume-related events to email@example.com. Include event name, location, dates, URL, and brief description highlighting costume-related activities.