I absolutely loved that costume. It was even more uncomfortable to wear than any other I made before, but I guess it paid off to suffer while walking like Geishas or in plie like ballet dancers the whole time.
This year I have put even more emphasis on concept and details for the costume. I wanted to create something that was strongly connected with Venice, so postcards came to my mind easily. There is an uncountable number of greetings that are sent from the Serenissima (who knows how many postcards are sent every year from Venice? – but it must be lots) and when I found some old, handpainted cards from the past in the internet I knew it had to be one of those. Especially because the ones I chose showed the most well known landmarks of the city. I also loved the dim colours of the watercolour style. Matched perfectly with the colour palette I had in mind cause I wanted to use colours that represent Venice. The red of shoes and hair are like the brickwalls and some paints used on houses in town and Burano & Murano. The turquoise of the feathers is like the water in the canals when the sun makes it shine. The light blue of the old fabric I found is like the sky, the beige resembles the crumbling down walls of the houses.
I used more than 400 real Italian stamps of older times, scattered all over the dresses and male costumes. I almost bought all the stock a stamp collectors shop in Hamburg had 🙂 On the fabric I stamped written text so that even the justeaucorps, fans and masks became letter/card things. My handbag was a little suitcase with old cards on the sides. Instead of earrings we wore stamps on the earlobes. The stomacher (that thing in front that looks like a corset) was an old table coaster in gold.
On the wigs we had real Murano glass writing quills and real ink pots, more stamps and postcards of course. On my wig I placed a vintage hat that I bought at the opera house of Hamburg, Sisa’s wig had a hole so that the photographers could take shots through the hair. They had lots of fun with it. My little “ladybell” of brass made way for us.
Arlecchino was not planned in at the beginning. But when I thought of Wolfgang I knew it would be a shame putting him into a stiff nobleman. So two days before carnival I made the Arlecchino just for him, out of painter work gear. I ran out of the golden ribbon but luckily found some more matching one in Venice (for 6 times the price!). And I was glad to have made that costume because Wolf was the perfect Arleccchino. Allegro and cheeky all the time. We had so much fun playing with him and see him play with people in the streets.
The costume was very well recepted by the people in the streets and many wished us good luck for the competition saying we should be the winners.
Went to the final-final (last ten) but the jury did not understand the concept nor did they spend a close look at us. When we went to present ourselves to the jury, they sent us away before we even were close enough to them to see the details. That made me very sad. Also that they just called us “Cartoline”. In the pre-selection I told the host that we are “Saluti da Venezia per la Sissi” but he just called us “Cartoline”. Shame, cause there was a lot more concept behind the costume. I had even found out and wrote the date of Sissi staying in Venice, Lido, on the card so that we would also respond to the theme the organizers announced. I wanted to go beyond just making “some kind of Sissi”. But it seemed they were not too interested in the concept at all. No looks, no questions (as in the years before). Peccato.
But still we had great fun in the “Saluti” and a lot less stress and far more time for good fotos than the last years.
On our “familyday” when Sophia was back in town and eager to wear her beautiful dresses, I took the side fabric parts of the cards and zipped them together to get a full skirt in which I could sit (which is impossible with the cards and to walk then with a child). With some little alteration I made the skirt and put some more cards in the front and it was completed.
Stupid me: I fell down the 1.5m deep stairs infront of our apartment. Sophia caught my attention while I was stepping down and I slipped then and crashed on the marble floor. Luckily my strange wire crinoline worked like an airbag and I did not hit the floor with my head just with my shoulder which was sprained, distorted and bruised then. The crinoline stood up by 90 degrees but was rearrangable. I kept up for the next three hours but then the pain was too strong. Next day in hospital diagnosis was: No fractures, but shoulder and neck trauma, brace and three weeks rest!!! Grand! Four weeks later I still were not able do much and have heavy pain, but hey, breaking the arm would have been worse. It is just a pain in the crack to sit still all the time 🙂 and have a headache.
March 12, 2011