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KREWE DU LEWD COSTUMES

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I’ve never had a clear answer to the get-to-know-you question ‘what’s your favorite holiday?’ until now. It’s so obviously Mardi Gras! I grew up with the Mardi Gras, I know how to hang at a parade, I’ve made bead crafts my whole life, I tramp around the Quarter with friends on St Anne’s, and I thought I knew what it was about.

In true Mardi Gras voodoo fashion, I was called. A friend connected me to his Krewe, Jason and I quickly re-arranged our travel plans, and our local network helped us make it happen. The world is what I make, and making costumes for one of my favorite parades felt like destiny.

AND THEN Jason and I were asked to be guardians! We would wear our official tee shirts and act as support as our drunken Krewe careened for miles through the French Quarter. My job was to be a buffer between the marchers and our jazz band, so I got to hear the great music and laugh with the Krewe all night. And of course, offer some 5 star level costume support.

95c461148d_DSC5868What a group! Krewe du LEWD is a sub-krewe of Krewe du Vieux, which celebrated its 30th XXX anniversary as I celebrated my initiation.

505d389c25_DSC5850A group of volunteers built the float and Blanche the mule pulled it through the Quarter. Such glory!

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You can see me on the bottom right, furiously hot gluing as we prepare to roll. Costume designer gets it done! I’ve never worked so close to my deadline before, even with Burning Man; I’ve never asked for help before, and I look back at the whole project with pride, relief, and gratitude.

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e9b5925bd2_DSC5757These two troublemakers are a Mardi Gras Isis and CaliguNOLA himself (and two of my favorite LEWDists)!

c1251cc93e_DSC5974Miss Pink Mess above is the Spirit of Roman Candy (basically a taffy stick sold in Audubon Zoo).0585b9ce7d_DSC5884 The Senator! He requested a two-piece toga, which is basically a toga shirt worn over a toga skirt. The toga layer is worn over his gold long-sleeve and pants (worn over thermals).7a96925a83_DSC5896

e51e050a93_DSC5726I made his costume too: tunic, toga wrap, and wreath. The wrap is lined for comfort, so he can wear it for Red Dress Run and not worry about sparkly chafing!

7ce8c1aed1_DSC6043Thank you to Gus from Where Y’at for the great photos!

If you’re still suffering with post-Mardi Gras post-Lent blues, check out this great video my husband made of our night.

Mardi Gras / Krewe de Lewd 2016 / Krewe de Vieux XXX from Jason Siadek on Vimeo.

 

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GOLDEN GOD OF MARDI GRAS

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I guess I’m still recovering from Mardi Gras, or maybe it never ended this year. Golden God of Krewe du LEWD, made by Julianne

One of the key players in my 2016 Mardi Gras work was LEWD co-captain Drew. Not only did he help me connect with the Krewe, he also ordered his own custom costume. He was smitten by Malcolm McDowell’s fresh little outfit, and I knew I could up the ante Mardi Gras style.

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Drew’s costume consisted of the gold shirt and pant layers, gold tunic, snap-on silver cape, sword skirt, and the laurel wreath made from fleur de lis. Quite a kit! I try to make each piece interchangeable, so that instead of being a particular costume, it’s part of an overall costume wardrobe. Cause we like to party, and the party is always weirder when there are costumes!

Golden God of Krewe du LEWD, made by Julianne

Complimentary and independent couple costume (see shots of Lady LEWD here). I’ve had so much fun with this gang since Mardi Gras!

made by Julianne

My favorite part of this costume was the sword skirt. I glued Mardi Gras beads onto felt-backed glitter foam, and the proportions and placement makes me laugh every time.

Check out more LEWD photos on Where Y’at!

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LADY LEWD Mardi Gras costume

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The plan was to head back to California in early January, but luckily plans aren’t forever. Through the help of many friends, I was able to stay in my city and contribute my own art to my favorite time of year.

I landed a dream gig designing costumes for LEWD, a sub-krewe of Krewe du Vieux (considered the start of parade season and a spectacle of weird and raunchy satire). For KdV’s 30th year, the theme was XXX and my group’s float was CaliguNOLA (or: The Fall of the NOLAn Empire). Over three weeks and an inconvenient illness, I designed and sewed nine costumes for that parade. I was working around the clock, even called in my crafty lovelies Maria and Patrick for last-minute help, and was hot gluing LED wreaths at the Den as the parade gathered. It was exhausting and exhilarating, and I can’t wait to do it again.

One of my favorite creations for the parade is Lady LEWD, a Medusa / Godiva hybrid with a thrilling laugh and a lot of sass.

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The gold spandex bodysuit has sparkly pink nipples and a luxurious bush, and is topped with a sheer red sequin gown. This hot momma decorated her own mask, and was accompanied by her Golden God of a husband and her delightful snakey sisters. She rocked the night!

snake sisters, Krewe du LEWD

Mardi Gras Medusa, made by JulianneI was working late, recovering from a cold, and having the time of my life.

Thank you to Gus and Jason for getting such great photos. Check out more photos from Krewe du Vieux on Where Y’at! 

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FREEDOM FRY winter 2015

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Just before leaving LA last fall, I made another batch of outfits for the indie music group Freedom Fry. We used the same basic shapes as our first outfits, since those silhouettes flatter and the fit is accurate.

Once again, Marie’s former career as a thorough stylist was evident. She pre-washed the fabrics, paired them with notions, and attached sketches with reference photos for each variation. She effectively communicates the aesthetic she wants, and I am able to apply my own design ideas and craftsmanship. It feels like we’re really in sync, and I love being able to help this band evolve more fully into themselves.

Freedom Fry outfits, made by Julianne

Freedom Fry outfits, made by Julianne   Freedom Fry outfits, made by Julianne

All fabrics came from Michael Levine. The outfits above and below are both quilting cottons.  Of course the adorable dog matches the home. Did I mention Marie is a stylist? Total respect for this lady’s design execution.

Freedom Fry outfits, made by JulianneFreedom Fry outfits, made by Julianne

These white outfits turned out to be my favorite from the group. The fabric is a loose weave cotton-linen blend, and I used the raw selvage throughout both garments. Marie’s dress has an attached poncho with a plunging neckline to keep the look young.

Freedom Fry outfits, made by JulianneWhat a babe!

Their home was the perfect setting for our informal photo-shoot, and really brought their outfits to life. I love working with this couple!

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ALLIGATOR DREAM PURSE

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For this slice of New Orleans life, we’re living upstairs from my old apartment. My best friends Maria and Patrick are in the other upstairs apartment, and we have breakfast together on our back porch. Soon after our arrival, Maria told me about a dream in which she found a nest of baby alligators, and they were all pink. It’s such a charming swamp discovery. And so: fanny pack!

baby pink alligator fanny pack, made by Julianne

baby pink alligator fanny pack, made by Julianne

I used glitter vinyl, one of my favorite materials. The baby gator was cut with an exacto, carefully sewn, and the edges were finished with puff paint. I used puff paint for the teeth and claws too.

baby pink alligator fanny pack, made by Julianne

Such meticulous puff painting! I practice almost every night. I omitted the planned eyes, because this magic alligator sees through dream visions, of course.

baby pink alligator fanny pack, made by Julianne

I really love these findings! The metal parachute clasp is so smooth and shiny, and I love the durability of a brass zipper. The piping is reflective plastic, given to me years about by Patrick. The sides and backing are a metallic printed denim, and the lining is waterproof rip-stop nylon.

baby pink alligator fanny pack, made by Julianne

There’s a zipper pocket with contrast lining, as well as a slim pocket for ID. Enough pockets to keep your gear safe and accessible, but still easy to look through in a dark party.

baby pink alligator fanny pack, made by Julianne

It was a lot of fun to make, and since we share a studio space and live in adjoining apartments it was hard to keep secret! But I managed to keep it together.

baby pink alligatorIt’s seen a lot of action since our swampy Xmas celebration, but I don’t think the little critter has a name yet. Maybe it will earn a playa name at Burning Man this year!

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