Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


We wowed ’em!

I am home after a very long day.  Today was the Wearable Arts Show at The Centre for Creative Arts.

First, I have to thank Amy Retzlaff and Stewart Loewen for their commitment and amazing, fantastic, wonderful performances!  You guys rock!

Amy was here at 8 a.m. this morning and stood, sat and laid while I covered her in many, many coats of liquid latex and glitter, then body painted the remaining skin with dark pancake make-up, then did her face…all of which took until 2:30 p.m.  So six and a half hours it took to get her done.  Then she wrapped herself up in a couple of bathrobes and sat on a blanket in my RAV4 to get over to the Centre for the 3 p.m. call time.

Stewart met us there, stripped down and he and I put him into his costume.  A costume I had spent the last week and a half spending every spare minute creating by hand, including all hand stitching! I actually made two complete male costumes as I did have another guy who was supposed to be there… but he was a no-show.  I have no idea why it is so hard to find guys willing to strip down to the shorts to parade on a runway for hundreds of people.  Do you?

All I did for Amy’s costume before today was the crown/headpiece.  It took me about four days total with the drying time figured in.

And then the six and a half hours today actually painting her.

I am very pleased with how it all went.

We were 19th out of 20 in the program…. basically the last piece as the 20th was a hoop dance performance, not a wearable art presentation (she was the first model out actually and was wearing the same costume without the hat.)

We chose the theme music from the movie Cleopatra… the 1963 version with Elizabeth Taylor.  It was a slow processional march that swells with a beat that starts 21 seconds in, in a two-minute cut.  It was perfect… and very emotive music for Amy’s performance.

Amy choreographed herself… she wore Isis wings from her belly dancing outfits, and they matched the glitter of her “dress” perfectly.   The dance she did was slow stately and quite stunning. The wings were really effective!

Stewart was her bodyguard and he did great… got some laughs too.  He did give me a HUGE scare though at the final run through… I had told him what his role was and at the last rehearsal I had done it with him (standing in for the second no-show guy).  Then today told him to just go with it.  Stewart is a very talented actor that I’ve worked with often – I’ve made him into the Wolfman and a Panto Dame to name but two characters.  But in the final run through he added in a bit at the beginning of their piece where he kneels before the Queen… he kneeled, the stage tipped slightly as he was on the edge and his leg slipped off the side, completely scraping the skin off the front of his shin… had to do some first aid.  But he kept on going.  Said it looked worse than it felt…

Anyhow… The name of my presentation was “Legend of the Nile” and the program blurb said “Body painting with liquid latex and glitter to re-create the legendary beauty of the Nile.  The embodiment of Queen Nefertiti glows and sparkles with new life for you tonight.”  (I wrote that!)

So… after teasing you about this… here are some photos taken with my little Sony camera (there will be a dvd and pro-photos available to use later!)

First is my original sketch that I had to submit to be accepted into the show:

Then here are Amy and Stewart posing in one of the dressing rooms for me:

And a few shots from the runway:

Waiting between shows:

Head shot of Amy that shows the detail on her collar:

And the line of the art waiting to head up to the staging area (there were a bunch more in the room waiting too):

Final exit, with artist in the background… I thought about “dressing up” but… I was busy:

We got masses of feedback and compliments, I was interviewed by a reporter from the paper, people were asking… that’s painted on? constantly and asking to touch it… Amy was really great about it all.  After the shows were over she and her boyfriend headed over to a Costume Party at the Cultural Centre… I headed home.

I’m already brainstorming for next year… I LOVED the gold glitter I had.  If I can get that exact stuff again I am going to do something ALL GOLD next time!  I’m thinking a gold mini dress, boots on a go-go dancer…