Thursday, September 4, 2014

Prime Viewing

Since our house is a cord cutting home, we spring for Amazon Prime to avoid going all "The Shining" on each other. Below is a list of some choice movies I find particularly inspiring. Also, I have added the reasons why you should cancel all your plans, pop some Orville Redenbacher and stay in all night.

"On A Clear Day You Can See Forever"
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Reasons to watch: (other than the above photo)
  1. Barbra Streisand
  2. Amazing soundtrack
  3. Cecil Beaton period gowns
  4. The extensive wig and hat budget
This movie will change your life and make you want to buy a wiglet. In fact, upon the first viewing I paused it just to run out and buy one so I could finish the film properly coiffed. Did I mention the epic turban? Oh yeah, that turban is EVERYTHING.

"What A Way To Go"


Reasons to watch:
  1. Shirley Maclaine's legs
  2. The Edith Head designed half million dollar wardrobe
  3. A young Paul Newman and his beard
We watched this movie to celebrate my birthday, low key style. It's a slow one but the costumes make it worthwhile.  I wish they made a full length version of "A Touch of Mink."  I uttered WERK a few times under my breath during that scene.

"First A Girl"


Reasons to watch:
  1. Original version of "Victor/Victoria"
  2. The stage numbers are insanely lavish
  3. The insane amount of egret feathers explains how they ended up on the endangered species list
The only drawback to this flick is that it is in black and white... man those sequins were probably amazing in person.

"The Girl Rush"


Reasons to watch:
  1. Rosalind Russell's fast talking wit
  2. Roz's fur stole in the big stage number
  3. Fernando Lamas... le sigh
Watched this one randomly night. It's a fun movie, but when Fernando sweeps on screen everything else melts away. In all seriousness I turned to Ryan and said, "I'm not even sure what anyone is saying when he's on screen.  He's so DAMN pretty!"

Did I miss any of your favorites?  Do you have any hidden gems that you've found that I should be aware of?  I'm always up for a good 'old timey' film.

-Philip Estrada

Friday, August 22, 2014

Current Obsession- Marlene Dietrich & Jean Louis

Right now I'm having a Marlene moment. Specifically during her "let' tour the world singing my signature tunes" period.


Marlene Dietrich, Las Vegas by John Engstead

Marlene Dietrich graced stages from Sweden to Las Vegas ensconced top to tails in beads, rhinestones and not much else!  All this finery was provided by the genius talents of Hollywood Legend Maker, Jean Louis.


jean louis costume designs | Her frosty allure drove American audiences wild.


Jean Louis will forever be remembered for designing the infamous nude gown for Marilyn Monroe when she sang Happy Birthday at 'a friend's' birthday party.



The nude embellished gown became a signature Marlene Dietrich. Bob Mackie is also known for his nude embellished looks and gladly points to his former boss as his source of inspiration. 


jean louis   costume designs | Marlene performing her one woman show. Marlene Dietrich in Las Vegas - 1955
Jean Louis, Marlene Dietrich in Las Vegas, Sahara Hotel, 1953 Marlene Dietrich

Just look at those photos, I mean come on! That is the epitome of 'Legend' with a capital "L."
One day I would like to make one of these bad boys. All I need a girl and a reason...

Who should that girl be?

Philip Estrada


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WERK... It Out!

One of my favorite terms is "WERK."  I say it all the time!  Under my breath, loud and guttural, sometimes even just in my head... over and over and over. So it was natural for me to want to sequin this my fave term onto a t-shirt, in my signature style.  Not one to rest on my laurels I decided to step my sequin game up a notch. Therefore I opted for an ombre effect.


To achieve my desired effect, I used two colors of holographic sequins.




The finished motif .
I started working horizontally at the top with solid color rows and slowly integrating the opposite color. When the sequins got to the center rows each color was alternated back and forth each color. I reversed the effect on the way to the bottom row returning to a single color.  
How about that Varsity style font?  Go team!


The finished product!  When trimming away the organza I left it inside the letters to avoid any accidental cuts!. The end result was very nice since it added an additional level of color.
Trust me... everyone I meet is obsessed with this beauty!


Doesn't everything looks better when run through the "Sparkle" app?


Sometimes the top sequins appear pink and sometimes they appear orange.  I love the AB effect of them!
Little know fact: 
Holographic effects on sequins and rhinestones are referred to as "AB."  This stands for "Aurora Borealis" to reference the rainbow effect.
  I mean come on, isn't that just the epitome of glamour?!


Any suggestions for the next color combination?
-Philip Estrada

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Makin It Happen With The Cap'n

This update has been a long time coming. For Halloween 2013 I transformed myself into an over the top Vegas style version of Cap'n Crunch. 

Concept illustration 

With an outfit like this I'll surely be promoted to Admiral in no time!

My feather festooned hat. 

Detail of the sash across the front of the hat.

Detail of the epaulette.
The beaded fringe on these were hand strung by me, because I never have enough to do.

Detailed photo showing the soutache motifs.
There was four pairs of this motif down the front of the jacket, one on each sleeve, each tail and the back of the neck. The fabric is an epic blue sequinned material that I found in the garment district.  I love it because it looks like crashing ocean waves, perfect for an old sea dog like The Cap'n.

Detailed photo of the sleeves.
I made doubly sure to include a total of four stripes to avoid the Cap'n/Commander controversy that the Quaker Oats company recently faced. 

-Philip Estrada
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