The full costume consists of bodystocking, bra, belt, hip scarf, top and pants, with a ponyfall and necklace as accessories. I was rather pleased with the overall look, although I like wearing costumes for parties first before performance, as they give me a chance to test what works and what doesn’t before having to find out the hard way during a performance. In this case, the breakdown is mixed:
- the whole set is way too much for prolonged use in hot weather; I ended doing a sort of delayed strip-tease where I first removed the top, then the belt, and by the end of the night I was quite close to getting rid of the hip scarf and the ponyfall too!
- the ponyfall looks amazing, and will look fantastic when performing solo or parading, but is totally NOT suitable for a crowded environment like the restaurant’s: I kept getting it snagged on other people’s costumes on the dance floor; the weight was bearable but I had to try to keep it away from my skin, as it made me feel even hotter.
- the top worked great and gave me good movement; I’d already used it for the performance at Ifield so this wasn’t a surprise; however, again, it was too hot to wear for any length of time in a crowded place.
- the bra I’d already used before for a parade; I made it, it’s comfortable and very supportive, and displays my bust really well, no complaints about that, although I would like to make a similar one in a cotton sari fabric or something a bit less heavy than the velvet.
- the hip scarf was a new piece from Brighton Orient; it looks great but the length is a problem, and I found myself stepping on the bottom edge quite often; I will have to take it up before I can use it again or risk slipping
- the belt looked great, but the chains didn’t quite move as I expected, were also catching on a few things, and one of them broke during the evening; the belt also became undone at the laces quite often until at some point it just fell off. I suspect the heavy weight at the front has a lot to answer for, and so do the synthetic laces that couldn’t seem to “lock” in the knots, so before next time, I’m adding cable tie boning to keep the shape, adding the lining and changing the laces, although I don’t discard chopping off a bit of the front panel to get a tighter fit.
- the bodystocking, from Belly Stockings, worked really, REALLY well, and was one part that got universally praised even by people who normally don’t like tribal outfits. It was really comfortable to dance into, and kept me covered without being too much.
- the pants were great; they’re cheap and cheerful Chinese imports, got off Ebay for around what I’d pay for a pair of leggings in a High Street shop; I had to alter the waistband a touch but they are incredibly comfortable and light, and I love the effect on the bottom legs. For those of us that can’t afford or can’t fit into Melodias, they’re a good, reasonably priced option that allows us to check out the style before forking out considerably higher amounts. I’ve since bought a second pair in purple -they’re slightly smaller, though- and will more than likely buy a third pair in black.
The big elephant in the room -if you’ll excuse the pun- was my tummy. My first parade last year was, in theory, also showing tummy, except that back then I was wearing a thicker bodystocking, and a long sleeved fishnet shirt that I needed to cover up some unfortunate archery accident: bruises aren’t sexy, or pleasant, and my arms looked like I’d been doing heroine under a bridge with a troll-sized needle, so the fishnet was thick enough to cover it. The end result, back then, was that my tummy was under two layers of sheer stretchy fabric that ended being nearly as opaque as any normal clothing. So this was my first time showing it off proper… and I have to confess I was VERY nervous about it. But nobody seemed to care, I got plenty of great comments on the costume too, so that made up for it quite a bit.
Coming up: making of the belt (yes, this time I got pictures as I went along!), bra (update: DONE!) and more eyecandy from the Rustington Jubilee Carnival.