My mermaid parade costume! I did a shoot a few days after the parade so the crowds wouldn’t be an issue. Big ups to Danny Axel for his beautiful photographs. I made almost all of this costume in a single night. My sister made the exquisite ‘Pearly Whites’ necklace I’m wearing for last year’s parade, and I cut & hemmed my top skirt a week before, but everything else! On Friday night (into Saturday morning), I:
- Gave myself a sweet skin fade, trimmed my mohawk, and dyed it aqua
-Attempted and failed to batik dye ships I’d drawn for this project onto the top skirt, sewed on the green ribbon waistband, and gathered it in the front to show my underskirts, accented with classy plastic aquarium seaweed
-Gathered several lengths of tulle, pinned and sewed them to a $3 bandeau top, then dyed it royal blue with white tips on the stovetop to make the underskirts.
-Sawed my turtle shell in half, lined it with felt, marked & drilled holes in all my various shells, strung them onto a clothesline & then knotted it strategically to keep them in place. My earrings are a large turitella shell and a landsnail shell, which I drilled small holes in & then attached to earring hooks with green embroidery floss. I used the same floss to tie smaller turitellas, a snail shell, and a scorpion conch to my bikini top. My starfish are stuck on with clear eyelash glue. I bought all my shells at The Evolution Store in SoHo, where I spent way too much money.
Not too shabby for one night, eh? Of course, I’d been drawing and planning it for months, slowly acquiring the various materials I needed. I went to a department store and bought real grown-up lady makeup for the first time because I wanted to look ‘dewy’ in these photos and I had no idea how. I had a tie dye party 3 weeks before to make sure I could competently dye fabrics in preparation for making the skirts. I drew my first sketch of this costume in February. So really, It was many months in the making, but when it comes to building, I guess I just like to marathon it.
I knew I’d done a good job turning myself into a real mermaid because most of my photo requests were from enraptured little girls, tugging their mom’s sleeves and asking them to ask me to take a picture with them :)
The measure of success was those little girls - you were exactly what they think a Mremaid/Sea Goddess should look like! Congrats!