glvalentine: (costume)
Last year I covered Miss Universe's National Costume Contest. I didn't realize when this year's was, but it was pointed out that pictures were out and I had better get started.

I'm not sure who the actual winner of this event is (I think that doesn't happen until Monday?). Since I have a different criteria than the judges of the pageant - they enjoy "bras that look like eyeballs" and I enjoy "Icelandic schoolmarm" - I wasn't sure exactly how to go about picking a winner of my own.

I looked for overwhelming trends this year (including Nonsense Capes, Escape from Prom Island, I Was a Project Runway Challenge, and Shit You Have to Carry), but I finally stumbled across a picture that made me realize the difference between perception of these national costumes and their reality.

This is Japan's national costume.



First of all, and I mean this: way to improve over last year, everyone. Sure, it's completely over the top, but this is Miss Universe, not the Parade of Dignity, so whatever. And yes, she's holding a fan as tall as she is, but hey, you guys got the memo about Shit You Have to Carry, so you're just doing your job.

But, uh, here's what it looks like in person.

In which pretty much no one learns a damn thing from last year, except Canada. )
glvalentine: (Default)
A few days ago I mentioned the cheeseball glory that is Dhoom 2.

Today, we do a Bollywood 180 for Jodhaa Akbar, a sweeping historical drama based on the life of Akbar the Great.

Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai star in both. I'm glad I saw Hrithik in this before I saw Dhoom 2, and that is all I will say about that. (Aishwarya…does her best.)



Nutshell: In 16th-Century India, Jalaluddin is the young emperor of Hindustan, handsoming his way across the country, trying to be wise and just and whatever. Jodhaa is a stunning Rajput princess who's married to Jalaluddin as a gesture of solidarity between Hindus and Muslims. Will these two incredibly genetically blessed people ever fall in love? Will Jalaluddin ever reconcile the two religions at war under his reign? Will this movie's eight bajillion subplots ever get resolved? We'll find out…in real time. (This movie is awesome, but it is also about eight years long.)

Let's hit it. )
glvalentine: (circus)
This weekend was the Steampunk World's Fair, where I read for the first time from my upcoming novel (exciting), saw a lot of great costumes (very exciting!), and had the usual problems with some elements of the subculture (Me? Have problems with something? Surely not!).

Overall, though, it was great, and I'm still beyond thrilled to have been invited. There were some wonderful costumes, both subtle and flamboyant. There was also a baby with a mustache glued to its face; every time I saw it, it was wearing exactly the expression you would imagine from a baby that has been brought into a huge room full of people and had a mustache glued to its face.

Pictures are still coming in (I didn't take any of my own, because they would have been a series of nicely-accessorized blurs), but this shot is my favorite so far:



The subtle colorway, the texture, the pose, the face - it reminds me of a Sargent painting or something. Call me a nerd, I just really like it.

Bonus: while I was at the World's Fair, I received some good news: my story "So Deep That the Bottom Could Not Be Seen" will be appearing in the Way of the Wizards anthology! That was a nice cap to the weekend, for sure.

Now back to the grindstone, with a new goal in life: to get some Dr. Scholl's in my zombie-fighting boots pronto, because those things get PAINFUL. Wow. Flat boots are supposed to be more comfortable! Why do you have to make a liar out of me, boots?
glvalentine: (costume)
I was looking over the catalog from the August Auctions Brooklyn Costume site, and found this pair of boy's pants from 1820mumble. Accidental research on how and how much people patched up clothes back in 1820mumble!



Answer: blatantly, until they fell into a million pieces. Also, those are wool pants, and only the waistband is lined, so there's an additional research point: people in 1820mumble clearly hated their kids.

There. Day well spent!

(The whole auction sidebar is worth checking out; some great pieces went up, and there are some nice detail shots.)
glvalentine: (costume)
So, last night was the Oscars, that gleaming bastion of class and merit, where they will give a woman an Oscar for directing the best film of the year and then play "I am Woman" before throwing to commercial. In keeping with this grand tradition, Hollywood takes the opportunity to go all-out, lining up for the fashion police in a glittery, flawless parade.

I am kidding. It was a disaster. This face says it all:



And when Kristin Stewart speaks for all of us, you know something is wrong.

It's a sad, sad day. )
glvalentine: (Default)
Today at Tor.com, I talk about SyFy's new reimagined-fairy-tale movies of the week. First up will be Beauty and the Beast (naturally), starring Estella Warren (naturally).

Do I think this will be awesome? Yes. But it has some serious work to do if it's ever going to compare to the most amazing version of this story ever broadcast, and I think you know which I mean.



This one. (Immortalized here on Greendale Elementary's picture day.)

Now, this show is not amazing for its overall storyline (which was three ounces of story in a two-gallon jug). Nor is it memorable for its individual episodes, which tended to be like the 90s remake of The Tomorrow People, in that almost every episode featured someone new learning about the underground society that has existed in secrecy for decades, except that judging by the discovery rate on the show, by now everyone in New York probably knows about it and just doesn't realize it's common knowledge because it doesn't come up in conversation. The Underground Renaissance Faire: New York's best-kept secret.

But neither one of those is the element that makes the show truly timeless. That would be the wardrobe.

You do not even know how many pictures are under here. )
glvalentine: (costume)
So, two things about this year's Golden Globes:

1. The wrong people won a lot of important awards.
2. It rained.

That second thing disrupted the event in a way that the horrible results seemed not to, which means that people were running through the drizzle with the sort of look generally reserved for the otters you see in the oil-spill commercials. Style this year was largely related to how nonchalantly you could hold an umbrella.



We'll get to that.

It's dial-up madness in here! )
glvalentine: (Default)
So, sometimes you see a costume and think, "That must have been a lot of work!"

Then you see a jacket based on a 17th-century original and handmade over a period of three years by over 250 people.



Enjoy the opulence of the finished product, and then realize that the silk lining was made by hand on a loom that the guy in question may or may not have BUILT HIMSELF.

I mean...I vacuumed this weekend and thought I had been really productive, you know?

You can follow the progress of this amazing jacket at the Plimoth Plantation blog.

It's seriously mind-boggling how much work went into this jacket, both because of the historical implications of the work inherent in the sort of clothes you see in portraits, and also because it means that 250 people agreed to do work on things like cutting out tiny spangles that would eventually trim the edges of the lace that would trim the shoulders on a jacket they would never even see. Just...awesome.
glvalentine: (Default)
So, The Young Victoria comes out today! I had the honor of seeing it early on a plane coming back from France. (I also had the honor of seeing it three times, because we sat for two hours on the tarmac and a bunch of other weird things happened. Maybe you guys want to have more than one watchable movie per flight, Air France? Cool.)



Anyway, after seeing it three times in a row, and realizing I always felt like I had dozed off for parts in the middle even though I hadn't, I had some problems. Then I realized if I watched it three times in a row and enjoyed it, then I had some OTHER problems, but we'll get to those some other time.

The point is, review and picspam below! Be warned, there's vague spoilery talk, though nothing that happens in the movie should come as a surprise, since it happened a hundred years ago and we've all had plenty of time to catch up.

In which there are more puffed sleeves than you can handle. )
glvalentine: (costume)
So, the Robin Hood promos have begun to trickle out from behind whatever fortress Ridley Scott lives in, which means it's time to decide if you're in or out. I wrote it up over at Tor.com, but let's face it, after that teaser trailer, I'm in.

The promo photos are not super-exciting, though, I have to say. I understand keeping spoilers under wraps, but most of these photos look like someone snuck onto the set with an iPhone and got a few shots in before security chased them away.

MARVEL as someone points a camera at a boat! WONDER as Ridley Scott tells Russell Crowe to do something! THRILL as Robin Hood and his men sit on horses!



They ride single file to hide their numbers, I guess.

But even these boring photos yielded the most exciting moment of my day yesterday. What that says about my day is up to you.

Be warned: under this cut, I nerd OUT over the Moy Gown. )
glvalentine: (nerd alert)
This weekend, the Miss World 2009 (2010?) competition happened. Despite not knowing anything about pageants, I'm going to make the sweeping generalization that this pageant is in general less fun than Miss Universe, because there's no parade of national costumes, which is just a shame.

On the other hand, there's always the talent competition.



Ladies and gentlemen, your Miss World. She's from Gibraltar, and below the cut, you can see who she beat!

(Though apparently she didn't win this talent portion, because no one could stop looking awkwardly at their papers long enough to write any scores down.)

Lots of Hostage Eyes, lots of sequins. It's how pageants roll. )
glvalentine: (nerd alert)
This weekend, SyFy gave us all Beyond Sherwood Forest. As I said over at Tor.com, it was the first good SyFy original production I've ever seen. (No, Tin Man does not count. It will never count. All it did was turn me away from Neal McDonough forever. Now, when I watch Band of Brothers, all I think is, "Shit, dude, you have no idea what's going to happen to your career, do you?" and then I'm sad.)



You have to admit they're trying for quality, though! They even have moody promo stills. (Well, one moody promo still. So they're trying…barely.)

Five things I liked about this movie. )
glvalentine: (costume)
...took place in an ENORMOUS RAINSTORM last weekend. I wrote it up for Tor.com, along with some pictures taken by my sister, who squelched her way all the way down to Brooklyn on my behalf, which was awesome. (I had to write that; sometimes she reads this. *waves innocently*)

The market itself was a little cramped, especially since it was hard to wander outside unless you wanted to look like you had recently drowned in a sea battle, but the vibe was very congenial, which went a long way. The other thing that went a long way was the fashion show; some of those designs really stood out. My favorite, by far, was the knit dress by Kristin Costa:



Another shot, closer up. )

The pictures don't do it justice. It was STUNNING. She looked like she stepped off the set of The Fall or something. One of the aspects of the steampunk culture I like is the emphasis on DIY, handmade-from-scraps, falling-apart-at-the-edges aesthetic; I love that the dress manages to look deconstructed and sort of knit-as-catch-can, and also so awesome.

P.S. The G train is a horror never to be trusted.

Sit? Here?

Oct. 21st, 2009 02:49 pm
glvalentine: (Default)
Over at Fantasy Magazine today, I talk about the movie Legend, and how despite its many missteps (piss off, Tom Cruise), Lily is kind of awesome.

And if you're so inspired, costume-wise, may I recommend:



It's pretty darn close to the original, no?

(I'm secretly really excited about this! Did Legend get really cool again and no one told me? Because I have a sweatshirt with a unicorn on the front and the MOMENT Legend is back, I'm wearing that shit.)

(Also, obviously the dark Lily costume is way better, but I think that's a lot of engineering for a Simplicity pattern to tackle. No one wants to turn that pattern over and under Notions see "Chicken Wire, Buckram, Rhinestones [100,000].")

And finally, a picture I couldn't resist, via the amazing The Costumer's Guide:



Nice job capturing the moment, continuity Polaroid!
glvalentine: (costume)
So, there have been endless articles about how most Halloween costumes for ladies exist on a sliding scale of sleaze, with values from from Stripper to Really Stripper.

However, since I believe you don't have to go naked this Halloween, I hit Target and looked for some decent costumes. There had to be some, right?

First, I found this, which baffled me then, and baffles me more the more I think about it. It's part of a series called "Sinners" based on the Seven Deadly Sins (how ATNM of you!). This is Sloth.



I would have assumed that lazy people would be wearing much baggier pajamas and be a lot less toned, but I don't want to be sloth-ist. Instead, I'll just wonder how a slothful person can exert themselves to the point that they pull a Hulk and bust out of the front of their PJ pants.

Also, would a slothful person take the time to lace up the corset sides of their pajama top?

Also, seriously, what?

Sadly, since it covers more than eight square inches, it counts. For something.

It only gets more modest! )
glvalentine: (costume)


DO: Make your daughter Anne of Avonlea! Remember, puffy sleeves mean you love her more than Marilla does.

DON'T: Put your eleven-year-old in a saloon girl costume, okay? Just, really not something an eleven-year-old needs to be.




DO: Make an owl costume for yourself or your child!

DON'T: Make EVERYONE an owl, for god's sake. I said OR, not AND. Just look at what will happen. Every single member of that fake family is smiling through their tears




DO: NOT EVER DO THIS.

DON'T: EVER.
glvalentine: (costume)
So, the Emmys happened! I don't care who won. I came for the dresses.



This entry is ENORMOUS. Dial-up is not safe beyond this cut tag.

The good, the bad, and the ugly! )
glvalentine: (costume)
The best thing in the entire world has happened: the annual Miss Universe National Costume Contest. Every country took a different approach; most of them failed miserably, providing endless joy for yours truly!

A photo essay is below, though in case you're thinking, "Is this a little tasteless for my browsing pleasure?", please know that this is the outfit that WON.



If you looked at that picture and thought, "That's just what I wore to my prom!", you will LOVE this competition.

This is in no way safe for dial-up, or for your sense of a just and rational universe.

Weirdly, the Muppet thing is one of the least hysterical ones. )
glvalentine: (costume)
Three of the most useful LJ entries ever made:

19th Century Fashion, 1800-1829

19th Century Fashion, 1830-1859

19th Century Fashion, 1860-1897


People who write stories set in the past (and located in America and/or Western Europe), check briefly the year of your story's setting against the costumes here. Some serious shit goes down in the 19th century, okay? In 180mumble, your character could be dressed with elegance. By 1820, she better have something else happening on that dress. Hint: ruffles and poufs, and sleeves that are wider than her head. (Don't look at me, I just report the news.) By 1850, if she didn't have a hoop skirt on, don't even ASK what would happen. (Mostly because I don't know. Fahsion police?)

Every time I glance at the scope of silhouettes in 19th-century fashion, it's boggling how many silhouettes they actually went through, as if they were trying to make women as uncomfortable (yet decorative!) as possible and kept trying different methods until women revolted. Then it was time for a NEW uncomfortable silhouette!

Also, in the late 1820s and early 1830s, it was illegal for a woman to have shoulders. Fact. You showed up with a shoulder seam? A month in the brig. (There were nothing but brigs back then, too.) By 1840, you could have a shoulder as long as it was halfway to your elbow. According to these pictures, looks like women finally earned back the right to natural shoulder seams around 1873.*


* None of that is true. Except the shoulder seam parts.**

** And the brig parts.
glvalentine: (costume)
I have come to accept that The Secret of Moonacre, about whose costumes I have already written much, will never see release in the States because of magical reasons of which I am unaware but probably involve dragons and things. So, I will have to make up this damn movie myself. Luckily, the best website in the world The Costumer's Guide, had a link to some new costume stills, so like photos of a crime scene, I can use these to piece together what's happened.

P.S. From these pictures, what happened is not good.



Oh, you can run, young heroine, but you can't hide.

Funny you mention a crime scene… )

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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