just plain sara: August 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big Barda completed pics

I was so excited to find my inbox flooded with gorgeous pictures of Ms. Emm Kay in the new Big Barda costume. She was responsible for the motherbox, the boomtube thingie (sorry my lingo is rusty) and the entire helmet. The rest was made or modded by me.

You can find all the information on the entire outfit by searching at The Superhero Costuming Forum and the League of Heroes websites.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hair Stories: To Shave Or Not To Shave

Cassie Ventura, Lala Vasquez and Keyshia Cole all took the plunge and shaved one side of their head!
1. ConAirPro Moda Groom Single Speed Clippers, $79.99, www.groomers.com 2. Creme Of Nature Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo, Kiwi & Citrus, $3.99, www.walgreens.com 3. Kidada For Disney Couture Pocahontas Gold, $78.16, www.asos.com 4. John Hardy Baby Monkey Silver & Black Palm Wood Hair Brush, $52.50, www.jewelrygalboutique.com 5. Aveda Brilliant Humectant Pomade, $22.59, www.target.com 6. Orangewood Large Porcupine Boar Brush, $6.99, www.sallybeauty.com 7. scunci Classic Pins. $1.29, www.walgreens.com 8. Tui Leave in Conditioner, www.carolsdaughter.com

It used to be that the ultimate hairstyle statement for a woman was to shave your head bald (or close), but these days celebs have put their own twist on the avant-garde style. If your not sure that you, or your head shape, can pull off a completely shaved look, ease yourself into the style by going partially bald first. Cue Cassie Ventura, Lala Vasquez, Keyshia Cole, Raven Symone and the pioneer Kelis. They've all put their unique interpretation of the style by adding hair dye, patterns, track lines and even ultra girly curls on the side of the head still with hair.

If you're going to try this style be prepared. Stock up on bobby pins to stop your long sided hair from falling across the border. Also, invest in a good pomade to keep your shaved side neat and frizz free. As always, keep your hair healthy with a good conditioner like Carol's Daughter's Tui Leave-in and Creme of Nature's moisturizing shampoo. So come on ladies, do Grace Jones proud and get the clippers out!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Big Barda (DC Comics) of the New Gods

THE BIG BARDA COSTUME FOR M.K. IS FINISHED!!! Time to go read some comics! Here are some Work In Progress pictures.

Here's a quick look at what the major elements were made from (I threw in some of the expenses just because they were in my hand scribbled notes):

Cape - modified a Butterick pattern #4377, added some length, made more narrow; cutting & construction about 5 hours, shortening after making it too long 1 hr; pleated & finishing 2 hrs; made from red crepe and red stretch lining (Denver Fabrics online)

- gold belt pleather from the ribbon section of Joann's Fabrics ($12); Wonderflex pieces heat molded ($20), craft foam sheets ($5), bra closure for adjustability ($2), velcro used in other things also ($15); spray painted gold caribiner clip

Body suit
cutting & construction - 3 hours (just the blue shirt & pants); another 2 hrs for zipper, hems, elastic.; modified Kwik Sew pattern #3029 for the pants and the torso - had to add long sleeves which are pointed and have an elastic loop to go around the middle fingers.

- custom briefs made from metallic foil spandex

- purchased by M.K. off ebay; I modified by cutting off a few inches of the gold, adding black spandex and snapping on gold spray painted buttons.

Strap accessories
- the shirt straps around the biceps are grosgrain ribbon covered in plasti-dip; the legs are just the plain ribbon w/o the plasti-dip; gold spray painted buttons snapped on.

- purchased by M.K.; sprayed the top 3" with black plasti-dip for about 3-4 coats; snapped on the gold sprayed buttons.

- completely done by M.K.

Chest armor
- made by Richie's Armor, the creator of the female stormtrooper ($45); dremeled, painted and accessorized by me; added straps.

I'm not doing the head gear. M.K. is handling that part of the project and posting progress at the SCF boards.

Officially the project began April 14, 2009 when I was contacted by M.K. and we immediately began conducting our research on fabrics and designs. That's exactly a 4 month period of working on this. It was by far the most challenging project I've done with many failed experiments along the way. I even tried making the chest armor myself originally and spent quite a bit on materials for it but it was just easier & cheaper to go to an expert.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Take a Leaf Out of Her Style Book: Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana attends the 'Star Trek' Germany premiere on April 16, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.
Zoe Saldana arrives at Star Trek Los Angeles Premiere at the Graumans Chinese Theater in Hollywood CA on 4/30/2009.
Zoe Saldana sits front row at the Lela Rose Spring 09 Fashion Show
Zoe Saldana arrives for the UK Film Premiere of Star Trek at the Empire Leicester Square on April 20 2009 in London, England.
Zoe Saldana appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 6, 2009.

Zoe Saldana and her stylist have had a busy summer. With the release of her summer smash "Star Trek" the Dominican diva had to come hard (and correct) on the red carpet. Naturally, Zoe delivered. Her style is simple. Pick a dress that will shine in its own right. Whether its large bows or bouncy frills, Zoe's dresses have people running to the internet to find out what she wore. To wear a dress with this much punch, you need confidence. See below for ideas on where to get YOUR shine.

My Picks!

Left to right: ASOS Parachute Dress, $82.76, www.asos.com; Tiered Halter Dress, $34, www.forever21.com; Animal Puff Dress, $100, www.topshop.com; Gardenia strapless wool dress by Azzaro, $2445, www.net-a-porter.com
Left to right: Karen Millen Rose Corsage Pencil Dress, $331.20, www.asos.com; Eliza J Ruffle Wrap Dress, $158, www.shop.nordstrom.com; Illusion Fringe Sequin Dress by Haute Hippie, $595, www.shopbop.com; From the Marchesa Spring 09 Collection

Whether it's a hot date, exclusive party or gala fundraiser, a head-turning dress is a fail-safe investment. All you need is one stand out detail to take an otherwise classic dress to a whole new level. Think oversized bows/flowers, excessive frills, sequins galore and voluminous shapes. Anything goes. Just be sure to pick a dress that flatters your shape. A-line dresses that cinch at the waist suit everyone.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good Hair... The issue becomes public.

Trailer for Chris Rock's new docu-movie "Good Hair."
Yaya De Costa, Terri Seymour and Beyonce display some of the varying hair textures and styles in the black community.

Behind the scenes of the "Good Hair" movie poster photo shoot.

I cannot express how excited I am to see Chris Rock's new docu-movie "Good Hair" (out this October). This is long overdue... like 200 years! When I first saw the trailer I was unsure about how this was going to pan out. Will the movie really explore the hair issues in our community or will it be nothing more than a superficial mockery that just scratches the surface? I watched the trailer several times and concluded that Chris Rock is just trying to add some humor to a somewhat sensitive subject. I am confident the movie will be equally entertaining and informative.

That said, are we as black women ready to face the questions that will undoubtedly come from those outside our race. Movie critics at the Sundance Film Festival, where the movie won an award, lamented on how they had "no idea" that black women went through so much to "look good." I personally do not want nosy commuters asking me if my hair is a weave on the rush hour train to work! Either way, this will undoubtedly be a milestone in our history. The movie has a lot of money behind it and will me watched by millions. I just hope it lives up to the hype. I equally hope Chris Rock interviews some natural sistas in an effort to dispel the myth that natural hair is hard to maintain. Visit http://www.goodhairmovie.net/ for more information.

Kerry Washington Covers H Magazine

Be sure to catch Ms. Washington in the latest issue of "H" magazine. She's rocking a new look and hairstyle at this shoot and I must say she looks fab! You can read the full interview here, but below is a excerpt addressing her support for President Obama.

“I think it’s good that people are feeling so excited about our country right now and about our President because we are actually living in really tough times. And so I think this enthusiasm is really healthy because it’s going to allow us to all be a part of the solution — which has always been a part of his vision. I think he is an incredible leader. I think what he’s done just in the short time that he has been in office has been so inspiring. It’s pretty incredible. It makes me proud to be an American again.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Say We... Yay or Nay?!

Singer Solange Knowles Promote Samantha Thavasa & Disney Collection at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel on August 10, 2009 in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan.

The internet has been buzzing with the news/photos of Solange's new hair cut. Why did she chop all her hair off? Has she gone crazy? Did she do it because she's going bald underneath all that weave?! Sometimes there's no conspiracy. Nor no explanation needed. Here's a novel idea: maybe she just wanted a change. Either way, Solange has stepped out of her sister's shadow and displays the character and poise of a woman coming into her own. I say Yay to the hairstyle and, of course, the outfit. The jury is still out on the shoes...

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Fantastic Four pictures on flickr

This is one of the first costumes I ever made back in 2006 (if I remember correctly). Originally this suit was just for practice and I was going to sell it; I was never going to wear it but a dear friend of mine convinced me that Sue Storm is one of the best female characters in comics. I just couldn't let go of the suit after that.

Sue Storm Richards aka The Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four (Marvel)
Costume created 2006
Photos from Aug 2009 by Riad Twal
from one of the Flemington Car Shows in front of Comic Fusion.

Jill's Rage Lantern costume

Jill the Nerdy Bird made a great entry on her blog about every piece of her Rage Lantern costume that she debuted at San Diego's Comic Con International.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Wonder Woman Pictures

I had the pleasure of working with Rick Tracy, http://www.modelmayhem.com/ricktracy. In just a couple hours we wandered up and down Main Street in Flemington, NJ and captured some really great shots of me as Wonder Woman.

The easiest place to see them is probably Flickr, but I uploaded to Facebook and Myspace as well.

Some shots are at The Great Lodge Cafe, one my favorite places to hang out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Guest Appearances

Thursday, August 6th at 10 pm EST, I'll be a guest on the Loud Idiots program. Tune in through HearNewBrunswick.com. There's a number to call in if you have any questions you want to ask. We'll be covering typical geek culture things such as comics, conventions and costuming.

Somewhat related, my YouTube channel is being further syndicated on some fantastico geek websites so you'll be able to see episodes at:
Naturally, my written Marvel coverage will continue at GEN Online and miscellaneous reviews & interviews at Dynamic Forces.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Be Inspired...

The Sartorialist's first book: regular edition is left and bespoke edition, right.

The Sartorialist, aka Scott Schuman, is finally releasing a book collection of his work. This coffee table style book will contain all of Schuman's hand-picked favorites. Expect to see famous fashion icons as well as innately fashionable passers-by off the streets. From Stockholm to Milan, London to New York, this book will showcase the most inspiring everyday fashionistas ever caught on film. The release date is scheduled for August 12th but you can pre-order the "Bespoke" edition at Amazon.com now.