Tag Archives: Opera

Worldliness from Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots

20 Oct

When you look at the title of this post without a background in German, the title of the play just looks like a jumble of letters. I assure you, however, that it means something in English, the equal jumble of letters, “The Obligation to the First and Foremost Commandment”. This opera, Mozart’s first, is an allegorical play about Christianity where Worldliness (similar to a disguised Satan) comes and tries to lure a sleeping Christian away to earthly pleasures.

My photo illustrates this allegory. The Knight has cast his armor aside, and fallen asleep, while Satan disguised as a beautiful woman comes to seduce him.

Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots, Act 1 by Tyson Vick

Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots, Act 1 by Tyson Vick

These costumes were some of my earliest costuming work. At this point I was learning how to sew using patterns, and this was the first pattern I needed to alter. This gown comes from Simplicity 3782.

Simplicity 3782

Simplicity 3782

I needed the lower cut bodice to close in the front, and so began my long career of pattern altering.

Elizabeth models this gown for Etsy.

Elizabeth models this gown for Etsy.

This gown also caused a bit of a problem, when after it was complete, I realized it could never — ever — be laundered. It was made out of a Brocade with a Rayon blend and Satin. The rayon would shrink by entire inches when wet, the satin would stain and the boning that I used could not withstand the dry-cleaning. I am now much more careful. I pre-shrink everything — who cares what it is? All of my wool is very tiny now, lol. Or I make sure it can be dry cleaned.

The gown has a full skirt.

The gown has a full skirt.

However, the color choice is still very pretty. I sold this gown on Etsy when I first set up shop! And yes, I told her about the laundering trouble!

The bodice was altered to close in the front.

The bodice was altered to close in the front.

You will also see that I altered the pattern to have more sleeve slashes. I wish now I would have put these on the top of the arm, because you cannot see this detail in the final image very well.

The sleeves pour out of cuts in the back.

The sleeves pour out of cuts in the back.

I also made a corset for this gown!

Elizabeth laughs in the matching corset.

Elizabeth laughs in the matching corset.

The corset was pre-shrunk, thank goodness, and so it won’t warp when you spill water all over yourself. It was made out of scraps which were cut and sewn back together, a bit like a quilt!

The corset is made of strips of yellow and brocade fabric.

The corset is made of strips of yellow and brocade fabric.

This was the first thing I ever listed on Etsy, and it still lingers there, unsold. :( It was even down to $30 once, when I was trying new things and seeing if low prices would move the items. It did not, and so I put it back up, but not, perhaps so high as it should be…. go buy it.

The corset is in the medieval style.

The corset is in the medieval style. and comes from Simplicty Pattern 2621

 

Remember to subscribe to the blog to see all of the costume posts! There is a new one every week, and this will last a while!

Don Giovanni Outtake

13 Oct

I wanted to share this with you guys, because it’s pretty funny. During my Don Giovanni shoot somebody got a picture of me taking this picture:

Don Giovanni Title image with Joshua Kuehl as Don Giovanni.

Don Giovanni Title image with Joshua Kuehl as Don Giovanni.

I was going through my outtakes and I found this. I thought it would be fun to share! There I am taking the picture seen above! So much fun!

zani_03

More costumes posts are coming soon, so remember to subscribe!

Don Giovanni Costumes, Womenswear

6 Oct

Last time, we took a look at some of the menswear from my award-winning Don Giovanni photo. Today, I’m going to show you all of the gowns I made for the ladies!

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

As I mentioned in my last post, the image depicts Don Giovanni during his dinner party where the players are entertaining him. Each player is supposed to represent a character from the Commedia Dell’arte and each outfit is supposed to enhance the sex appeal of a certain body part (Bosom, Legs and Hips). Commedia Dell’arte is an art form, the basis of most comedy throughout History, and is formed of stock characters such as the fat buffoonish man (Harlequin) and his sexy wife (Columbina), who you will recognize in modern comedies such as The Simpsons (Homer/Marge), Family Guy (Peter/Lois) and many sitcoms. Each character is represent by a mask, so that no matter who plays Harlequin, the face is instantly recognizable. It’s a lot like a grassroots ad-campaign, getting people to know the characters in a time before television and advertising existed. There are numerous other characters in Commedia as well!

These costumes, while all based on something Historical, are meant to look more High-Fashion and theatrical. I wanted to do a Historical Dolce and Gabbana, essentially.

 

Guitar Player – Isabella

First, the sexy hips of Isabella, the Guitar Lady. Isabella is Commedia Dell’arte figure who is generally a very sassy, strong willed woman who finds love with the help of the other characters.

The model, Danica, wears the dress cheerfully.

The model, Danica, wears the dress cheerfully.

Her dress is based off a dress conceptualized by the illustrator Barbier in his image “Jour et Nuit”. I based my dress of of “jour” down there.

Barbier's illustration "Jour et Nuit" (Day and Night)

Barbier’s illustration “Jour et Nuit” (Day and Night)

I made the gown out of Silk Taffeta, and the bodice, which descends over the hips, is made up of random pintucks of the fabric.

The white, pintucked silk gown worn by the guitar playing lady in my photo.

The white, pintucked silk gown worn by the guitar playing lady in my photo.

The gown laces up the back, and the skirt is lined with tulle to give it some more shape.

The white silk gown from the front and the back.

The white silk gown from the front and the back.

A hoop is placed under the gown to make the hips suuuuuuper wide. Because I’m using a rococo hoop, which is worn at the waist, and the dress extends to the hips, it sort of forces the hoops to pop up through resistance. The neck ruff, which stood up so nicely in the arid climate of Montana, drooped despairingly when we got to the humidity of California, but, there it is.

A hoop is placed underneath and this lifts the hips out.

A hoop is placed underneath and this lifts the hips out.

The lady also wears this lovely vintage set of jewelry I purchased at the local antique market, and which I have listed for sale on Etsy. I am also selling the dress to clear out my closet.

rhinestoneset2

 

 

Masked Lady Plaer – Columbina

Next up is the player based off of Columbina. Columbina is a spunky servant girl who is either married to or in love with Harlequin.

I made her mask out of craft foam on the fly, because a leather one was too expensive to buy.

This mask was made from craft foam and rub-n-buffed to be silver.

This mask was made from craft foam and rub-n-buffed to be silver.

The dress, on the other hand, was a fun one to build! It is also the dress I got into an eternal loop trying to turn. When you sew a garment, you sew it back to front and then turn it through an opening and press the seams. Somehow, I managed to make this dress into a sort of tube, and tried to find the other side of the garment, fruitlessly, for around 20 minutes, before realizing it was impossible to turn. Hilarious sewing antics aside, the gown was made out of all of my white fabric scraps!

The center gown was based of of Harlequin and is made of patches of fabric.

The center gown was based of of Harlequin and is made of patches of fabric.

The gown is a skirt in the front, but has a small train in the back. I was trying to think of a High-Fashion take on a rococo gown, with the wide hips, but that showed off the legs. This is what I got:

The patch dress is a skirt in front but has a train in back.

The patch dress is a skirt in front but has a train in back.

I have a lot of white fabric scraps, and I sewed them together, randomly, to make fabric yardage. I did not use any new fabrics, only scraps!

You can see the patchwork fabrics in this detail.

You can see the patchwork fabrics in this detail.

This lady wears the Jewelry shown below. With this necklace I purchased a super cheap necklace at Walmart and added my own jewel findings to it in order to make it more gaudy.

UpcycledGemstoneNecklaceSet2

 

The Feathered Lady – La Ruffiana

The lady on the far right is based off of La Ruffiana, and if you look closely you will see she is holding an ugly mask. La Ruffiana is a Commedia character who is an ugly old woman, usually a pimp or lady of loose morals. I sort of decided, without telling any of the models, that this lady was the Madame of this troop of players, and I just sort of assumed that they all played instruments, did plays and were available for after-parties (if you know what I mean) for Don Giovanni. In the play, Donna Elvira denounces Don Giovanni for his late night sex parties. Anyway, that’s part of my inspiration for illustrating this scene as a high-fashion, Commedia Dell’arte mash-up.

don_giovanni_group03

The “madame” of the troupe of players on the right.

You will notice this costume displays bosoms prominently. This gown is based off a Renaissance cut and concept, with poofy sleeves and more of an A-Line then the Rococo’s huge hips.

don_giovanni_group01

This dress got stained during its travels, and so I recycled it into another gown for my illustration of “La Finta Semplice”. You can see that process here.

Finally, here is some of the big Jewelry worn by these ladies:

3RingGems2

I hope you’ve enjoyed the look at these Commedia inspired gowns I created for my Don Giovanni photo!

There will be so many costume updates from here on out, that I urge you to subscribe to the blog! You won’t want to miss any posts!

 

 

Don Giovanni Costumes, Menswear

29 Sep

Now that my Mozart Project is nearly finished, and I am working on getting the book ready, I will be taking you on a tour of all those costumes which never got blogged about before! As I am currently preparing the photos for my book which will feature all of my illustrations of Mozart’s operas plus text I am writing about each play, there is very little new costume progress to show you guys! But perhaps you will enjoy looking costumes from the finished photos a little closer?

don_giovanni_group02

 

First up is Don Giovanni! In my award winning photo, seen below, the feast scene in Don Giovanni is depicted. I chose to photograph it like a fashion spread, and therefore made unique costumes for each player, as well as the leads.

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

Don Giovanni Act Two, by Tyson Vick

 

Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni’s coat is opulent. The structure is a Renaissance doublet, and the effect used on the fabric is extremely complex. It is essentially hundreds of pintucks.

Jake models the outfit worn  by Don Giovanni to show it off clearly.

Jake models the outfit worn by Don Giovanni to show it off clearly.

This, to date,is the most difficult costume I have made. It is the only one that I have ever attempted that I thought I might have to quit because of the difficulty. I used an idea from the book Fabricate by  Susan Wasinger (which is practically free on Amazon, so click that link and git it!) where pintucks are overlapped to create a fabric made of ridges.

A close up of the fantastic detail of the coat.

A close up of the fantastic detail of the coat.

The problem with the tutorial is that it was impossible to control over the size and dimensions of the doublet pattern, and after the first two rows, it went completely insane. I was about to give up, when my mother suggested doing the strips separately. Essentially, cutting each strip, folding it over once, sewing it down, and then repeating that process. This is what I ended up doing, and it worked great.

 

The models lounge around on the sofa.

The models lounge around on the sofa.

 

The doublet is made out of eco-felt (a felt made out of recycled bottles), because at the time, which was very early in my garment making (it’s basically the fifth thing I ever sewed), I could not afford anything expensive because the yardage required for something like this is quite a lot.

 

Leporello

Leporello basically makes this image. People love how he is just in the background eating, while everyone else is looking so Fashionable! I think this evokes the nature of the party scene, where musically, Don Giovanni has things to do and Leporello just wants to eat.

I built a new shirt for Leporello. Many years before this big scene image, Jon portrayed Leporello in an image with Donna Elvira. That was back before I was making costumes, and so his shirt is just the most pirate-y looking thing I could buy at a store. I decided to build him a very similar shirt, but with much bigger sleeves, for his return to model for me again.

Damask Pirate Shirt worn by Leporello.

Damask Pirate Shirt worn by Leporello.

The shirt is made out of an awesome rayon-knit damask. I drapes romantically, and I loved the fabric. I have some more, because I bought it all, to make even more fun shirts!

The Damask shirt from the front and back.

The Damask shirt from the front and back.

 

Masked Boy Player – Zani

The boy in the Zani mask, playing the flute, also wears a pirate shirt. This one was 100% rayon, and reveals a lot of the man’s torso. Unlike Leporello’s above, this one can actually close. Each “player” who is entertaining Don G. is based off of a Commedia Character. This flautist is Zani, a character in stock comedy who comes on the scene to do something hilarious whenever the audience looks a little bored.

zani_01

This shirt is just a New Look pattern that I liked to use in my early shirt making exploits. I still like it, but I feel like I need to alter it for a man’s body, because the sleeve and waistline fit a little small.

Jake modeled this shirt in Kismet Magazine, not just to photograph it better!

Jake modeled this shirt in Kismet Magazine, not just to photograph it better!

All the players are given outfits that enhance their sex appeal. When we go over the ladies dresses you will see one emphasizes breasts, on legs and the other hips (hilariously).

white_rayon_pirate_shirt_front

This shirt looks more renaissance than Leporello’s, which is more Pirate.

white_rayon_pirate_shirt_frontback

Stay tuned for the next post, which will feature all the ladies costumes!

And remember to subscribe to this blog, because I’m going to be putting up a lot of costume posts, and you won’t want to miss them!

Awarded 1st Place in WPPI Photography Contest!

12 Aug

I am pleased to announce that my photo of Judith has won the First Place and Silver Award in WPPI’s Photography Competition in the Creative Composite Category in recognition of Photographic Excellence!

First Place Award - Creative Composite - WPPI Photography Competition

First Place Award – Creative Composite – WPPI Photography Competition

My Don Giovanni photo took 3rd Place in the same competition! Please check out the other winners and categories at the 2014 WPPI winners page!

Third Place Award - Creative Composite - WPPI Photography Competition

Third Place Award – Creative Composite – WPPI Photography Competition

Thank you to all of the models and stylists involved! Thank you also to the Puffin Foundation Grant which made the Judith photo possible!

Der Stein der Weisen (The Philosopher’s Stone) – Photos and Costumes

18 Apr

“Der Stein der Weisen” or “The Philosopher’s Stone” is an opera that Mozart wrote as a collaboration with many other composers. Frau Mozart describes the writing style as each actor writing his main part and then passing it around to Mozart who made little changes or orchestrations here and there. He is known to have authored around 30 minutes of original music entirely himself.

The story is a fantastic Asian Fantasy story, involving two warring gods, a kidnapped maiden, a boy over-laden with weapons who has to rescue her (Like Link in Zelda!) and a buffoon and his sexy wife who gets turned into a cat.

Der Stein der Weisen Title. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Jadi Stuart. Model: Sunny Brains Berro.

Der Stein der Weisen Title. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Jadi Stuart. Model: Sunny Brains Berro.

I chose to illustrate the photos in a way that evokes the styles of video games like Zelda and Final Fantasy, since the plots of those games are strikingly similar to the story of this opera. The genie in the opera brings a magic bird which sings for the most beautiful maiden who winds up kidnapped by the god of the sky. I based the genie off of Buddha.

Der Stein der Weisen Act 1. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Lizzie Hatfield. Models: Sierra Rae, Meilyn Saychow, Kolya Cain

Der Stein der Weisen Act 1. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Lizzie Hatfield. Models: Sierra Rae, Meilyn Saychow, Kolya Cain

In the climax, the hero accidentally kills the maiden after shooting her with an arrow while trying to rescue her. Happily is saved by the magic of the Philosopher’s stone which brings her back to life.

Der Stein der Weisen Act 2. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Jadi Stuart. Models: Sunny Brains Berro, Katie Gibson

Der Stein der Weisen Act 2. Photo by Tyson Vick. Hair & Make-up by Jadi Stuart. Models: Sunny Brains Berro, Katie Gibson

Here is a view of the corset the heroine is wearing.

Corset for Der Stein der Weisen

Corset for Der Stein der Weisen

I made a cat hat for the photos, as seen below, but it doesn’t make it into the final photos.

Nadir's Hat, Der Stein der Weisen

Cat Hat!

The hero of the story, Nadir, is costumed in bright orange and white. I made the shirt out of silk, and was going for an elvish sort of look.

Orange shot silk shirt made for Nadir with piping.

The shirt has a design of piping. I made channels and ran some piping through them to make a cool design.

A little more detail on Nadir’s silk shirt.

The hero also has Trapunto pants. I based the pants off of a character from the video game Magna Carta designed by Hyung-Tae Kim.

The image I based Nadir’s trapunto pants comes from a book called Oxide 2 by Hyung-Tae Kim.

The pants feature a cross design. The pants are made out of bridal satin, and the back layer is linen. I drew the design on the pants with water erasable pen, then stitched around the design. Next I filled the channels with fiber-fill, the type you use in stuffed animals.

A view of the trapunto pants.

I also build a collared arm piece. It only covers one arm, which is a staple in costuming designed for Final Fantasy.

White arm guard for Nadir’s costume.

All the pieces combined to make Nadir look like a video game style hero.

The armpiece and shirt together are meant to look like something out of a Japanese video game, like Final Fantasy.

My father also carved a horsebow for the hero, which I’m sorry never made it into the final shot, because it is so cool. I actually gave the model Zaden “Sunny” every weapon the character is given in the opera.

Here I am photographing a "Der Stein Der Weisen" picture. The costumes were influenced by video games like Final Fantasy and Magna Carta.

Here I am photographing a “Der Stein Der Weisen” picture. The costumes were influenced by video games like Final Fantasy and Magna Carta.

We shot the photos outside of Los Angeles on the way to Malibu through the hills.

Jadi prepares Katie's hair for the shoot.

Jadi prepares Katie’s hair for the shoot.

Our female model was a no show, and so our friend Katie agreed to take off work to fill in!

Zaden.

Zaden Sunny Brains

 

The genie photos were taken in Seattle on a hill in Gasworks Park.

Nikolai, Sierra and Meilyn Saychow hang out while I adjust fabrics.

Nikolai, Sierra and Meilyn Saychow hang out while I adjust fabrics.

I guess that’s all for today, what do you think?

  • Read more about the Seattle shoot here.
  • Read more about the LA shoot here.
  • There is a great recording of Der Stein der Weisen available for purchase as well if you are interested in rare fantasy opera. It’s one of my favorites.

La Finta Semplice – Costumes and Behind the Scenes

11 Feb

At last I can share some images of my costumes for my “La Finta Semplice” photos. The opera “La Finta Semplice” was written by a 12 year old Mozart, and is a broad comedy in the style of “South Park” or “Family Guy”. The story is about a family with two brother and one younger sister. The sister, Giacinta, wants to get married but cannot until the eldest brother has, and he has vowed to “remain as virginal as the day he was born”. So Giacinta and her fiancee bring Rosina, a shrewd woman, to pretend to be a moron. When the eldest brother sees how over-awed she is by his “intellect” she will gain the family fortune and Giacinta and her true-love can marry.

In the end Giacinta and the maid steal the family fortune and run off into the woods with the boys following them, vowing the men can marry any girl they catch. That is the scene I chose to illustrate through photography.

Both Ninetta, the maid, and Giacinta, the lady, wear dresses made from the same patterns, but they look totally different. They were portrayed by sisters, and rockers from the band “Hello My Name Is“, Chantell and Cortney Bury.

Sisters Cortney and Chantell Bury in costume for the La Finta Sempice photoshoot.

Sisters Cortney and Chantell Bury in costume for the La Finta Sempice photoshoot.

A while back I was hired to create a rococo dress for a lady who had a small budget. We discussed the options, and settled on creating an understated look based off of Liv Tyler’s costume in the film “Plunkett and Macleane”.

Liv Tyler in a costume by Janty Yates for "Plunkett and Macleane"

Liv Tyler in a costume by Janty Yates for “Plunkett and Macleane”

A few years after receiving the garment, she asked me to make some alterations, and so she sent it back to me. It was during this small window where I was both available to shoot, had a costume and found models (it was seriously about a 24 hour window), and the owner of the dress graciously allowed us to use it! This dress was used for Giacinta, the sister with the intrigues.

The front and back of Giacinta's rococo dress.

The front and back of Giacinta’s rococo dress.

This green silk dress was made with a blue skirt for the client. I used an ivory one in the final image because it was more appropriate to my color scheme, and I didn’t have a blue skirt. The bodice is made of randomly folded silk, and has gathered silk details along the edges of the stomacher.

Close-up of the front and back of the bodice for Giacinta's dress.

Close-up of the front and back of the bodice for Giacinta’s dress.

The garment’s sole design feature were the random pleats. There are no other little details.

This dress was made from a Simplicity 4092 pattern with only slight changes. For example, the sleeves come from Simplicity 3637, since the first patterns’ sleeves are unattractive.

Sleeve detail.

Sleeve detail.

I also altered it to close in the front instead of the back. I think the final product is very lovely.

A close-up of the dress details.

A close-up of the dress details.

I also made a dress for the maid, Ninetta, with my apprentice, Catey. I wanted the maid’s dress to have a orb shaped skirt — a skirt that is wider in the middle, at the knees, than it is at the hip or ankle.

I made the skirt out of silk, and I think it is really cute, and I love the weird shape.

Front and back of the silk skirt.

Front and back of the silk skirt.

The dress was made very simply, just like Giacinta’s with the same two patterns, but with even less adornment. The skirt isn’t formally bustled, it’s just sort of pinned to hold it into place.

The front and back of Ninetta's maid outfit. The dress is really tiny and doesn't close on the mannequin.

The front and back of Ninetta’s maid outfit. The dress is really tiny and doesn’t close on the mannequin.

Looking at these two dresses you can see how the same two Simplicity patterns (4092 and 3637) can be used to create entirely different looks.

A close-up of the bodice portion of Ninetta the maid's dress.

A close-up of the bodice portion of Ninetta the maid’s dress.

The Rockin’ TJ Ranch in Bozeman was kind enough to let us use their property for the photoshoot. This event center has a beautiful and meticulously manicured property. If you ever need to hold an event in Bozeman, MT, this is the place for it. They also have a farmer’s market in the summer every Monday.

Cortney Bury, Tyson Vick, Chantell Bury

Cortney Bury, Tyson Vick, Chantell Bury

I hope you enjoyed taking a look at these two dresses!

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