Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Coat That Ate My Weekend

OMG - when it rains, it pours! Not only did I get to make a corset last month for the new Chix 6 show opening soon in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, but I got to make a coat a couple weekends ago for Lady Gaga, of all people. Like I said: when it rains, it pours. I was so super excited - I cant even tell you how excited I was - and I couldnt really talk about it until she actually wore it. Because you know how showbiz is. They could have not liked it and axed the whole thing. Happens all the time. Then after I made it, I started a new part time job, where I have to be - you know - humble, so I couldn't really keep jumping up and down in glee any longer. But I'm still pretty happy about it.

What happened was that not 5 minutes after interviewing for a job (that I started that next Tuesday) and while about to head out to the fabric stores for my usual perusals, Chris March got ahold of me and informed me that Lady Gaga's people had just asked him to make her an outfit for her gig at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.. Well, he is in the middle of costuming Chix 6 and getting ready for the premiere of his new tv show airing October 4th, so he only really had time to design a coat and hat and make parts of the coat. He couldn't construct the whole thing in that short of a time frame. He had remembered a coat that I had made years ago and asked if I would be into reproducing something like that. Well, FUCK YEAH. (pardon my french for you polite people).
They said they wanted Pleather. I think that is kind of a broad term for anything leatherie looking. They wanted it to be lightweight. But Chris and I both agreed that anything vinyl would probably be heavy and uncomfortable. And I think it would stink. Literally. Some of those upholstery vinyls could work, but they have that awful odor. And I didnt even know if there really was  a such thing as "pleather" anymore. But I said that I would go to Fabric Outlet and have a look. What I found was a black doe suede that had a great wrong side that I thought would be perfect.  I sent him photos, he ok'd it and I just happened to have cash in my pocket. How fortuitous was that. And I bought a lightweight lining that I didn't really like, but I didn't want the coat to be too heavy and there wasn't much to choose from. It really just had to look good for a flash when she dropped her coat.
Chris sent them a photo of my coat, I drew a sketch of what it might look like so that they would all know that I wasnt sitting here smoking crack, and he sent them that, and in three days I gave them the coat I got hired to make - made with plenty of fabric to play with if they needed to make changes - and knowing full well that they were going to embellish, alter, and maybe redo parts, which they did. I did a good job with the fit. I dont think they had any problems with that.
So for almost three days I holed up in my studio and worked on this thing. After I finished the corset for Chix 6, I copied my old coat and made a new pattern according to her measurements. Some of them didn't make sense, so I had to figure that out. They may have been taken for a specific outfit. Who knows. We made several changes. It was looking too Regency, so I slashed the shoulders, built them up, and gave her more of a normal sleeve so that we could have big shoulders to support the armor that Chris sent me to add on. The collar needed to be redesigned and so I made a new one according to Chris's specs. I didn't have time to add any studs as it had to be sent out by Monday.  There were a couple things that took up some time in the construction - but its all a blur now.  Oh. The ballast went out in the lights above my work table and I was working on black in very dim light, but that's how things work around here - you never know whats going to happen, but I always manage to get things done somehow.

Her team shortened the coat and they may have changed the back a bit - its hard to tell in the photos, but they actually managed to make it look more like the sketch - Good team work!
And thank you to Lee Kobus of Fool Proof Studios for racing me over to Fed Ex at the very last minute to put this baby on the truck to Ms. Gaga!
 She came out on a giant motorcycle covered up by a giant fringie hat, danced around a bit, threw it off and that was that for my part of the show. What a blast! Of course, like with every single project I do, I swear I'll never do it again, but all mothers say that after they give birth, dont they? Yet sometimes we do it again. I do it over and over and over again. This was the biggest deal that Ive had the opportunity to participate in. I hope with all my heart that she has Chris make more things for her because if anyone can carry out her over the top fabulousness, its Chris March.

May the fun never end!

Watch MAD FASHION this Tuesday night - October 4th!


Ella said...

Congrats! That is super exciting!

Martina said...

my goodness!! Lady Gaga, how many folks get to say that??? huge congrats...the jacket looks great in the clip:)) xooxoxox