As many of you must have been aware by now, I just LOVE wings! I have made various kinds of wings from various materials from paper to wire to canvas to porcelain. But I have never made wings that I can wear myself! Not a long time ago I watched The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus on DVD and there I got my inspiration for a wearable pair of wings! So for Halloween this year, I decided to make some with my older step-daughter who was visiting us then.
I envisioned my prêt-à-porter wings to be somewhat steampunkish – with leather straps and brass snap buttons. The wings themselves would be made from wire-mesh sheets that I already have. So one fine day we went to Shamsuipo to get some leather straps and brass snap buttons. Well, leather straps turned out to be a tad too expensive so we got a roll of gross-grain ribbon in nice thickness instead. Then I found this ribbon that has a row of inconspicuous snap buttons already sewn onto it at regular intervals which gave me an idea on how to put the strap together!
First thing is the shape of the wings. I drew a template on a piece of drawing paper, then trace it onto the brass wire-mesh. Next I cut into shape with a pair of craft scissors. The wire-mesh sheet is soft enough so it was easy enough to scissor the shape. Next I took out my tool box to create the embossed ‘feather’ lines. You can use anything with smooth rounded head for this. A tea spoon worked perfectly to create a pillowy embossing inside the lines!
The trickier part is the straps. The black strap is the one with the snap buttons already sewn on it – and I made use of this feature to secure the wings onto the strap, and then inserting the horizontal straps into the intervals between the snap buttons. This way the horizontal straps are still flexible. You put the wings on by inserting your head through the V opening at the top. The horizontal straps open and close with thin velcro snaps at the side. They fit snugly around our ribcage, right under the bust.
Finally I prettied it all up with some jewelery findings and sparkling rhinestones! Phoebe wore the one that I made, and I wore the one that Phoebe made!
And the scary looking guy with her on the right? It’s her father (yup, my darling husband!). For the first time he has agreed to let me transform him into a ghostly, blood-thirsty looking vampire. And he thrived in the role too – scared quite a few people around! No, it was not blood that he was drinking! It’s wine and not even red!
And me? My look was inspired by a music video that Phoebe showed me the night before on YouTube: Jón “Jónsi” Thor Birgisson of arty Icelandic ensembleSigur Rós. I happened to have these black feathers fastened onto a strip of ribbon. And I have this old plastic headband with a slit in the middle. Perfect to insert the feathers in! And voilà! My birdy headress was ready! The make up was supposed to look birdy too – but I don’t think people see it that way. Never mind, I quite enjoyed it myself :). I think I looked quite scary too… especially when I stared hard with my eyes opened wide… It was quite a fun opportunity to dress up and to wear wings! That’s why I love Halloween!
In case you are wondering, the Halloween event we attended was the one in our neighborhood, down at the piazza. This year it was more festive with golf-cart parade (private cars are not allowed in the community, those who can afford it can buy or rent a golf-cart instead!). There was also a Haunted Castle – which was quite fun with kids from a local theatre group playing the ghosts. Some of them were really good too!