A bit over a month ago I had the pleasure of collaborating with the Stockholm burlesque festival, a glorious 2-day event at Södra Teater and Nalen. The festival was a truly magnificent experience with burlesque artists from all the corners of the world. Behind the festival, which took place for the 7th time, were the geniuses Fräulein Frauke and John Paul Bichard, true professionals who really know how to organise a show!
In my post last spring I described my meeting with Frauke. So the planning for the burlesque festival started way back, and they’ve already set the dates for next year’s event.
I was to create a uniform for the stage crew, something that would set them apart from the rest of the show while still allowing them to dress in their own style. The stage crew is a vital part of such a large-scale show, they basically make everything happen, much like the production crew of the music festivals where I work in the summer. My budget was 0 SEK, the outfits were to be wearable by anyone, and comfortable enough to work long days in. The burlesque festival was in the pink ribbon campaign (which went so well they raised over 14 000 SEK for the cause!), so of course the theme of the outfits was the pink ribbon.
Over the summer I looked for materials. With a zero budget my go-to hunting grounds for materials are my own fabric storage, warehouses in Turku where some of my colleagues get theater costumes, and of course the social media. My roller derby league Stockholm roller derby had leftover T-shirts for officials in different shades of pink, to my luck, since in roller derby the non-skating officials usually wear pink. Twelve of those and some used table cloths from a summer wedding, and voilà, I had my materials.
In order for everyone to feel comfortable in the outfits, we decided that I’d make harnesses that can be worn over whatever else the stage crew members wanted to wear. After getting their measurements I started out by making 20 meters of pink ribbon (see the pictures of my process above) using the table cloth fabric to stop the pink jersey from stretching. Everything needed to be super polished and sleek in the spirit of burlesque.
The amazing John Paul Bichard from Bichard Studios photographed the end results and some details, see pictures below. This little project was a great opportunity to meet new people and get to know the world of cabaret a bit better. There's a lot of love and devotion put into every show I've been at, and I'll definitely keep going. At the same time I'm looking forward to working with these amazing artists again!
Harness in the lower pictures on the burlesque artist Yemaya Storm, check out the website www.edenlostclips.ml
Now I'm putting down the scissors and fabrics for a bit over a week and will focus on the black and white keys instead. 10 days, 6 gigs ahead!
Not your average concert pianist! This blog is a work diary with updates about my life as a musician and designer.