View Full Version : serious costume help for some performances

Tail Feathers
December 1st, 2013, 02:28 AM
Hello, everyone...
I am a performer (by profession, classical pianist, but also actress/singer...)...
and I need your help !
I have several large performances in the next few weeks,
in some interesting festival settings.

One in particular, is quite theatrical in nature.

I will be singing/reciting and playing mermaid and sailor songs,
(sea shanties, in brief); and also reciting some poems
that speak of sea deities and water nymphs. . .

I have learned my parts,
what should I do as a "costume" ?
(I am Horrible with these things)

I was thinking to "chalk" my hair different shades of blue and
to leave it wild and loose
(Does that damage hair ?? I must use painter's chalks, because all
the fantastic products you girls use are not available here...)

any ideas ??

what should I wear ?

I will be onstage with my piano,
and at times a medieval-style jester
will weave in and out, juggling rings and similar

If anyone is very good at this,
please please please PM me, and I will send you my website
(so you can see me and maybe help even more !)

or otherwise,
any suggestions ??

thank you everyone so much for any help !

Tail Feathers
December 1st, 2013, 04:31 AM
pretty please, help !
someone ??

does anyone know about hair chalking ?
any other "sea-theme" ideas for a (serious; this is a very "important" international festival) stage costume ?
something that reminds of the sea (from which all these songs come), without going "overboard"

(i thought the near classic length mane painted blue (if that is not going to ruin my hair),
under stage lights, could be quite dreamy....)

any ideas ?? anyone ???
everyone here is so Much more creative than me with hairstyles and costumes and similar !!

help !!!

December 1st, 2013, 05:49 AM
This sounds fantastic! I need some time to think....I love costumes and costuming but am not a pro.

I am not familiar with hair chalks at all, but what came to mind immediately is maybe lots of green and blue and green-blue ribbons loosely braided into some of your hair or something like that.

December 1st, 2013, 05:52 AM
What about a sort of ancient Greek inspired dress (there are several youtube videos which show you how to make them and you don't even need to sew!) but in a sea-green color and a very silky or satiny fabric that will flow.

Can you pm me your website? Your performance sounds so cool!

December 1st, 2013, 10:28 AM
What do you have available to you? Any costume pieces, at all? A corset or dresses?

I think you can get away with chalking your hair for the look. Maybe only a few bold strands, even. Do you have access to any seashells to decorate a hair toy or make a headdress?

Andee's idea of ribbons is a good one. I used to use long pieces of tulle tied around one of those crinkly headbands. That worked really well and then i could braid them into my hair if needed.

You can kind of go two ways with it. Mermaid or medievial sailor/pirate wench.

December 1st, 2013, 10:55 AM
I haven't used chalk in my hair, but I've heard that it can rub off on clothes. Take that into consideration and don't wear anything that's unashamedly and will be ruined. I also hear it's drying, so be sure to condition well afterward.

December 1st, 2013, 11:04 AM
I'd go for a mermaid-ish look (probably with a long dress so you can use your feet on the piano pedals.
As for hair chalking, my experience with it so far (also using artists soft pastels) is that it isn't really all that damaging as long as you follow a few rules: first, always use downstrokes to apply to your hair (unless you want to end up with a mess that looks liks it's been back combed to hell and back). Wash out at the end of the night (again, unless you want dreadlocks to form in your sleep and give you a nicely dyed pillow). Many people heat-seal. I did not use any heat and had no issues as long as I didn't touch my hair.
Which brings us on to, lastly, Do Not Touch. Seriously. Comb your hair before applying, then once it's all covered and left to dry, don't touch those parts of your hair until you wash it out. Definitely do not prize strands apart. Firstly, because the chalk comes out and goes everywhere in little dry flecks. My clothes were generally fine if I didn't prize strands apart because the coloured strands were on my canopy. The other reason is that chalk dries out my hair a little, especially while still applied, which makes it more susceptible to other damage, but that was easily sorted by leaving in my conditioner a little longer when washing afterward.

You might want to test colours beforehand. Blues and purples go well with my dark hennaed red-brown, but green really does not.

December 1st, 2013, 11:08 AM
I just went as a "Siren" for Halloween. For the hair, I did a half-updo with a braided bun and wore the rest of the length down and in loose waves/curls. I braided in pearls and different strands of beads through the length and bun, then pinned in crystals and starfish clips I had made.

Most of my 'costume' was the makeup, so I did a very exaggerated cat-eye with sea-foam green, blue, turquoise, and purple shadows and a deep oceanic blue liner. Then, I used a loose silver pigment on tip to give it the "wet look". After doing my normal foundation routine, I also pressed the same shadows I'd used on my eyes onto my forehead, cheekbones, and down my neck to have to the appearance of scales. Then, to finish the look, I used eyelash glue to press small crystals around my eyes and my hairline.

As for what I wore, I chose a deep blue top with a mermaid-style skirt (closely hugging the hips, then flared at the knees).

I wouldn't recommend using chalk in your hair unless it is specified that it can be used for hair or skin, since regular art chalk can severely damage and dry out your hair. Whatever you choose, go for a loose, bohemian style because mermaids/sea nymphs are not perfectly coiffed! :) Hope this is helpful to you. I'd try to insert pictures, but my files are all too large. :(

Tail Feathers
December 1st, 2013, 11:35 AM
Thank you so Much !! to Everyone !!

i love many of these hints
the idea of the crinkly head band "prepared" with ribbons and tulle is fantastic

also the grecian-style dress .. .

usually my performances are more "serious"
this one is in a great festival, on a fine stage,
and full of fun !

thank you so much to everyone for the help !!

December 1st, 2013, 11:53 AM
You could put your hair up in a Mermaid/Rib Cage Braid for a mermaid effect even without the chalk. Youtube tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1lDPovn740
Whatever you end up doing, the performances sound amazing. Good luck!

December 1st, 2013, 02:31 PM
What about getting some blue and green ribbons or yard and tying/clipping/braiding that into your hair? If you got knobbly yarn it might look like seaweed. Also, anything sparkly will look really pretty on stage, so some rhinestone clips or including some sparkly yarn would be awesome too. I'm a belly dancer who wears crazy stuff in my hair, so I love this kind of thing. If you need tips on how to attach stuff, I know lots of ways. :)

December 1st, 2013, 03:24 PM
I would actually sleep with dutch or lace braids, and wear myt hair in a mermaid braid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7tXcrTjXiY)!. Or if you do hair chalk you can still do the mermaid braid.

You're in Sardegna right? Is there any way you can look for a mermaid dress/skirt? I think a green one would look fabulous, and it won't be as flamboyant. The mermaid cut is really flattering overall, I think you can find them on stores that are bridal or elegant if you have some around.

I would look for seashell necklaces and bracelets on the market to finish the mermaid look. If you can't find thew shells you can hot glue them to a piece of fabric and use them like a belt or scarf! They sell mermaid costumes actually that are skirts and not a tail and aren't as revealing, look for them during carnaval.

How fun! Post pictures if you can I'd love to see it!