Posts from ‘Costumes’
We are working on this year’s Circus Smirkus costumes at the studio. It is my 6th year designing and making costumes for the whole production. It’s an intensely creative time, and just about the only time of year where I make anything for men. This year’s theme has me working with a lot of green fabric…every shade of green. On studio days, I find myself wearing green from head to toe. Not even on purpose!
Below are two pictures from past years. I was particularly fond of the purple tunic with gold painted circles and cutout holes.
I will post pictures later in the summer once I am allowed to. For now, it is all top secret.
Here are three of the drummers from ODAYA wearing costume sleeves I designed for them. They performed last night at the Rialto theatre for a Women’s day concert. They were fantastic. I admire the work they do and love the music they make. I guess you could say I am a fan.
I feel honoured to have made them these red ribbon sleeves. I felt it was important to decorate the part of their bodies that are in motion when they drum. They looked graceful and powerful. Below they are doing a song together with Maha choir and other musicians from the whole evening. It was a great finale!
This project started with a phone call. Can I make a mermaid dress for a graduation in New Jersey? Sure.
Grace had been a client last summer. We met at my boutique when she purchased a long black dress with a pink flower print that I designed. She told me she would be graduating in the study of Fish oils and omega-6. Wow! What we needed was a fish dress, not a mermaid costume. I was very concerned that we make her a dress she could wear again to other occasions.
I started by researching images and colours for Fish oils.
I wanted to build a colour palette around a small piece of “fish scale” fabric that I had designed 10 years ago while working as a textile designer for Tricots Liesse. I guess I saved it for a special occasion like this.
I was able to make a pair of long opera sleeves, so the dress would be sleeveless and floor length.
Below you can see the sleeves and the fabric choices, as well as some small silver fish I made out of silk, but didn’t use for the final dress.
I cut silk chiffon into bias strips and notched them. This was the water. On the final dress I distressed the chiffon slightly with a spray bottle of water and frayed the edges a bit.
I found three little green glass fish beads! Yoohoo! Combined with hours of setting Svarovsky crystals, we have ourselves a gala dress!
I am so excited! This painting is wonderful and colourful and contains one of my dresses! Today Johanne rang my doorbell asking me to come upstairs to her painting studio to see her latest piece. She was just finishing up. She hadn’t even signed it yet. Months and months ago, she borrowed some of my runway dresses for inspiration.
When I saw the painting I screamed!
This is the original dress. Actually it’s a skirt. Johanne’s model is wearing it all the way up as a bustier-dress for her painting.
And here is the artist herself. Johanne Cullen
Below is another painting that she did based on the same skirt, but she changed the original colours.
I love making costumes. They are challenging, but they are a fun distraction from production and administration. These are some pics from a costume I made about 6 months ago for Valerie Laplante-Bilodeau, also known as Inertie. She is one of the worlds top Cyr Wheel performers and she was looking for a new version of her classic costume. She had been performing in a whitish-grey flowy pant and halter top combo. We decided to stay with the grey, but add blues and golds and lots of hand sewn svarovski crystals.
These were my materials before I started:
I wanted to use really fancy materials for this one, so I chose some actual designer materials to start off: Dolce Gabbana and Dior and Gucci textiles. Ostrich feathers and Svarovski crystals.
My goal was to make her something sexy, comfortable, textured and fabulous! I also made the headpiece with handsewn petals, lace and feathers.
Getting dressed up for the holidays is another way to get yourself in a festive mood. I love having a Christmas dress that I wear only once a year. I know it’s an extravagance but it makes the day feel extra special for me. Every two or three years I buy a new dress for my daughter to wear at holiday time too. It starts our special holiday day off with the ritual of dressing in our special dresses. Here is a fun way to finish off your special look for when you are ready to join your friends and families.
Your life is your most powerful art. See you at the boutique.
The flowers remind me of Frieda’s infamous hairdo that she defiantly wore to to represent the traditions of her people.
The Day of the dead is a traditional Mexican holiday to remember and celebrate our ancestors.
This is the art of Nicole Dextras.
It is from a group of work called Weedrobes:
“New addition to the Weedrobes Collection: The Maple Flapper Dress symbolizes hope and prosperity for the new immigrant. The 1920’s was an era of liberation for women and here she is seen as a young entrepreneur fresh off the boat, with her old-world good luck charms of plants and animals.”
I think she is incredible and hugely inspiring.
This is one of my favourite costumes from last year’s Smirkus production. We stitched all the veins of each leaf mixing silk leaves that we made in the studio with fake maple leaves that i found. It took a few days of appliquee work.
One that note, the Fall collection is starting to arrive in the store. Come take a look!
I know it was months ago and I haven’t been posting a lot lately, but here are my pictures from the opening night of the Jean Paul Gaultier show in Montreal. It is the all time best show ever!
Go see it!
Don’t miss it!
I was very inspired and have been back to see it again since the opening night. It was so crazy that night, that invited guests had to line up for hours just to get into the Museum.
The first series of photos below were taken while Krin and I took were in the line up to get into the Museum.
Me wearing a turquoise silk bustier ($158-258) and Russian Bracelet ($12-16) and Silk chiffon scarf ($22-32).
My muse and circus super star Karin Maren Haglund wearing the Purple Bella dress ($278)
The slim fit crinoline in multi reds ($140) available in 12 different colors at Boutique Katrin Leblond 4647 blvd. St-Laurent
The Museum of Fine arts in Montreal decked out in JPG sailor stripes.
Just before we went in to see the show I bumped into Rosie Godbout. Her atelier is upstairs from mine and she is an incredible textile artist who specializes in felting and makes the most amazing winter coats.
Here we are inside the show admiring and stealing pictures on the down low.
My fave dress above and Krin’s fave below.
the famous Can Can dress was on a catwalk of moving mannekins. The installation of the show is superb and very fresh.
I leave you with this picture of the most incredible shoe collage: heels inside wedge sandals! WOW!
This is the last of my Artforms in Nature posts. I have really paid a tribute to artist and naturalist Ernst Haeckel. I leave you with a beautiful series of full colour plates showcasing larger lifeforms. Some might not seem so beautiful at first (the frogs!!!), but I insist, there is inspiration there for someone.
The orchids are just incredible. I made a series of dresses once for the Cirque du Soleil based on orchids. Below are two dresses by Michelle Ferranti that served as my inspiration for that project.
Here are the frogs!! Ha ha! They are so hideous and yet i have nothing against frogs. Actually, I think frogs are pretty important and I own a pair of little gold frog stud earrings that are quite delightful. We all loved Kermit the frog. Below I have added the image of a dress by John Galliano that seems kind of froggy to me.
This plate is classic Faberge egg inspiration. It is just so perferct. Look at he symmetry and ornament and texture.
You don’t need to be a genius to be an artist. You just need to take the time to do it. A lot of the work that I do is detail oriented and time consuming. Other designers look at my work and think I’m crazy to be cutting out shapes, making stencils and drawing with thread. But to me, it’s just what I do. Come see the new Spring 2011 collection at the boutique. I have been adding new styles every week.
How many of you have sea shells in your bathroom? I know I do. I even have starfish spray painted silver and driftwood that I lugged home from vacation. This post explores the connection between Nature, as illustrated by the drawings of Ernst Haeckel, and our desire to surround ourselves with objects from the ocean.
Below are some amazing contemporary furniture designs by a company called ARKTURA. I am totally smitten with the lines and shadows that these pieces cast. I am also a fan of the colour options they provide…what not just black and chrome?, but also plum, red and aqua…how do I choose?
a little bit of the real thing in pink and purple and red ( may favourite colours)…
…and a little bit of happy homemaker throwing an ocean themed dinner party!
photo by Jeffrey N Jeffords
Below are the sqid pages. mmm, yum!
We have this pin in the store. It is by an American artist called MamasLittleBabies.
Now this tops it all for me. Michelle McCoskey has crochet this squid scarf. I can’t say that I would wear it, but i was thrilled when I found theses images online and I hope you enjoy the ridiculousness and effort that went into making this masterpiece of crafty kitsch!
This is now in my top two favourite costumes of all times. It was comissioned for hoola hoop artist Danièle Béchard. She was a delight to design for and I was very inspired when I was making this little number. She wanted a skirt that she could roll her hoops up over without getting caught in it. She needed it to be washable, durable and yet still look luxurious and sexy. The initial challenge was convincing her to add a contrast colour outside of the red/black colour palette that we had decided upon. I knew that we would need blues and cools to make the red pop (pink was not an option for Daniele…she hates it) and so all of the stitching and embellishments are done with turquoise, blue, lavender and white for highlights. There is a lace up in the back that we cannot see in these pictures.
I have many pairs of WAWA tickets for you ladies.
The show is February 26th, 8pm
Here’s what you do to enter the draw:
1. Leave a comment below this post with your e-mail and phone number
2. Subscribe to this blog
3. Become a friend of Katrin Leblond Design on Facebook
Here is my take-two on the analyses of how artists are influenced by Nature. Sometimes we really stretch the truth, but sometimes the source of our inspiration is very close indeed. I have included two other artists in this series: Alexander McQueen (17 March 1969 – 11 February 2010) and Karl Blossfeldt (June 13, 1865 – December 9, 1932). McQueen, who died last year, was one of the best headpiece designers of all time. Below, I have included photos that seem to be directly influenced by the shapes and forms in Haeckels prints.
I mean, really? Is this not totally crazy awesome to see how closely linked all creativity is! We are all drinking from the same creative well!
These three images really need to all be looked at together. Above we have shapes that look to me like armour, shields and Samurai headpieces. Below we have another McQueen headpiece from his last collection FW 2011. Then below that, I have inserted three photos from early nature photographer Karl Blossfeldt. The references are stunning!
German photographer Karl Blossfeldt (June 13, 1865 – December 9, 1932) worked in Berlin and is best known for his close-up photographs of plants. It is documented that he was influenced by the the illustrations of Ernst Haeckel as a scientist and artist.
This is the fabulous Karin Maren Haglund: circus performer, fashion show artistic director, wife, mother and great friend.
I love that I get to make her costumes. I feel honoured that she chooses me time and time again as her costume designer. This was our newest collaboration. It ‘s for her wheel act.
It highlights her fantastically toned sexy-mama body and swooshes when she moves. The body suit is a one piece with gaucho wing legs. The back and straps are a-symmetrical with crisscrossing lines, ruffles and an amazing beaded collar piece that I saved from one of my grandmothers old Parisian haute-couture dresses. I am very proud of this creation.
Here are some casual pictures that she took backstage posing and looking adorable. Room #6.
Krin on tour with her little munchkin circus child Ole.
Not only does she blow me away with her talent and showmanship, her amazing ability to entertain, but she is a great role model for how to have a kid and still be yourself.
Love of love to all the circus families that just do it! -Kat