Sunday, October 31, 2010 Jonette 0 Comments

2 weeks of illness. 
2 weeks of hard work. 

20 yards of cloth. 
2 fat spools of thread. 
5 meters of boning. 

2 Seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race.
1 Season of Drag U. 
3 Ali Project albums on the mp3 player.

Hours and hours of working late into sun-up, 
not to mention tensions running high with frustration, anxiety, nervousness, and sheer dumb determination. 

Was it all worth it? 

taken by Francis Botavara. 

taken by Cay Camarillo. 

Yes, I do believe so. 

I'm very happy to say that the Atelier Boz replica for the company Halloween party is finally finished -- petticoat, underskirt, over-skirt, corset, and peasant top. While I do admit it looks nothing like the original, I can say that I have notes a mile long on things I could have improved on or done better, and I'm happy to say I've learned from the whole experience. 

It was great receiving the oohs and aahs of fellow trainers. The exchange that often followed was this: 

Co-trainer: So, where did you buy this? 
Me: Oh no, I made it myself. 
Co-trainer: Wow, really? Like, the skirt?
Me: No, all of it. 
Co-trainer: *stunned silence* All of it?
Me: *turn around to slowly show everything*
Co-trainer: *stunned silence*.... seriously? 
Me: Yes. 
Co-trainer: Even the corset? Is that a real corse... Oh my god. 
Me: Yes, this one too. It's real; here, touch it. *takes co-trainer's hand to touch the boning and the lacing*
Co-trainer: Can you even breathe in that thing?! Seriously?
Me: Oh yes, certainly. See? *brings co-trainer's hand to feel my midsection moving with breath*
Co-trainer: Oh god. Well, If you collapse, we'll have an ambulance ready, okay?  

When asked who I was, I simply said, "well, I'm not sure. Give me a name. What do you think?" I've gotten the most interesting responses and reactions to that question throughout the night. I've been called an evil doll, a vampire, a noblewoman. Friends have asked me where my broom was ("because it's going to be cuter with a broom!"), and where I hid my whip or riding crop. AJ told me I reminded her of Hildegarde from the manga Beelzebub. Moki, my distant cousin and good friend, told me I was the vampire Queen Sophia of New Orleans. (a pox on me for forgetting about Vampire: The Masquerade lore.) My gal pal Joanne were either playing with my overskirt, poking the poofiness of my skirt in glee, or checking every now and then if I was still alive, well, and responsive in the corset! Haha! 

Jandy, another good friend and married man, gave me a playful low growl hen I gave him a curtsy. On our way down to pick up snacks at a nearby 7-11, he took my arm, looked earnestly into my eyes, and said, "will you please bite me?" Haha!  

I am very thankful I have great friends. Aj helped me lace up my corset properly (and I thought, "oh, so that's how tight this corset ought to be. I can still breathe, good. I think."). Anna lent me some of her black eyeshadow, encouraged me through the night, and dragged me to the makeshift photo studio Francis had set up to have our pictures taken. (I really am grateful she insisted I go with her; I might not have had the guts to do so if not for her!) 

I'm thankful to Ditas for pointing me in the right direction, and making my corset leaps and bounds easier to draft, and helping me to freak out less over it. I'm thankful to James Asis for helping out fix the computer, and doing everything in his power to jimmy up a makeshift grommet-setting system, even when it wasn't a part of the day's itinerary. I am also thankful to Cindy, who has been the most supportive and encouraging boss through this entire endeavor. I feel so happy and lucky to have wonderful friends like Clair, Ligaya, Oui, Jac, and more for all the encouragement, notes, and love. 

And there's James, who has been silently cheering me on in the background, giving me strength, taking care of me when my body gave way, and who gave me space and time to work on my own. I am thankful, and I do feel very loved and cherished. 

After the party, I decided to surprise my grandmother by showing up at her front door in this ensemble at four in the morning. she usually wakes up at that time, and I thought it'd be a nice surprise for her. It felt so good, seeing her face light up in surprise. Mama S is a seasoned Theater artist, and knows the ins and outs of on-stage and off-stage work. She saw and appreciated the entire costume on so many different levels in one viewing. She didn't care if I didn't win the Best Costume prize that night. She told me what was important was I finished what I set out to achieve, and that I made all of this myself. "This is creativity right there, that's Theater" she said. That made my heart swell.    

Production pics will follow soon. For now, I'm just really happy that Halloween Night was a success -- pictures were taken, everyone had fun, yummy food was a-plenty. My heart and thanks go out to Francis (or Fleeb, as we fondly call him), for making everyone look grand that night. 

Here's more of my friends, and Fleeb's awesome work: 

Jump shot. 

Elluz Macalinao as Spartacus: Redux.

AJ as Rorschach. She painted that mask of hers with poster paint. She had some difficulty seeing her way through, but wow! What dedication!

 Moki as a soldier. For some reason, This shot makes me think of Street Fighter. 

Mon being awesome as Oddjob. 

Anna as Stitch, deciding to have a plump truffle in black and burgundy for dinner. 

Mon and I, beating up a poor, defenseless Moki. 
"The Bourgeoisie reign supreme! On your knees, military dog!" 

Thanks for looking. Stay tuned for the production photo-dump and notes for improvement next post. If you liked this post or have something to say, let me know in the comments section below. Have a great one!

Errata: Vampire Queen Sophie was from True Blood! True Blood! This is what I get for not watching TV. *foreheadpalm*


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