Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween Costume 2011 - Greecian Caryatid

The theme for our Halloween party this year was "B.C.", and I decided to go as a woman from ancient greece. I'm not entirely sure why, other than perhaps my affinity for architecture, but I particularly had in mind not a goddess, but a caryatid, like these on the Porch of the Erechtheion at the Acropolis in Athens.

caryatids, Porch of the Erechtheion at the Acropolis in Athens

I researched traditional greek clothing, and decided to wear a chiton, as pictured here:

I found information on about how to correctly size, make and fasten a chiton.

Thanks to Take Back Halloween, I found out that a full size flat sheet would be about the size I needed, and I went looking for a sheet set in one of the colors that mentioned as common in ancient greece. I picked green, and I decided to create the embellishment by sewing several ribbons near the edges. I used a greek key ribbon, and gold ribbons on either side. I tried to get something I could use later, so I ended up buying a queen set that would be able to go on our bed when I was done with it. I thought, "Another 8" or so isn't that much. I can just hide it in the fold at the waist." Actually, when it comes to clothing, the extra fabric was a lot. It was the difference between something that might have been easy to put on and something that took 1/2 hour of struggling and still didn't lay right. It's also one reason why I haven't taken another, better picture of my costume for this post. Maybe I'll do it after I wash it, though.

Anyway, I also made two brooches like this iron spectacle brooch from the Geometric period, c.8th - 7th Century BC, to pin it up with.

Last, I made a "golden" tiara sort of headpiece to replicate one of these styles seen on Fashion Era.

You can see in this (rather poor, sorry) photo that it was quite successful.

Halloween 2011 - greecian

Here is how I made the tiara:

I started with thick white craft foam, and I cut an arc shape, fitting it to my head. Using a wood burner, I carved an egg-and-dart pattern into the foam, after experimenting with the scraps and drawing the pattern on in pencil first, using an oval template for consistency.

first layer painting

Once I had carved (or melted, I suppose) it to my satisfaction, next came the faux gold painting. I started with a base layer of black acrylic.

Second and third layer

Next, I mixed a couple of browns for a mottled under-tone. Then, I dry-brushed the whole thing with gold modeling paint.

Painted gold

Finally, I picked out highlights with a little thicker application of the gold. I tied it with a little extra gold ribbon, and wrapped my hair up into a sort of bun or roll over the ribbon, as you see here:

Halloween 2011

Both the costure and the party were pretty successful, even though we didn't finish the basement in time and had to host the party at a friend' house.

Halloween 2011

(Scott went as the K-T Extinction Event -- otherwise known as the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.)

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