Monday, June 25, 2012


This piece, which has been dubbed X-Opera, will require some explanation.  I see it as a spiritual "sister" piece to the X-men do Vanity Fair piece.  Very similar layout and feel - fashion editorial spread.  It was commissioned for a client's boyfriend's birthday and the idea was simple: combine each boyfriend's major interests - in this case, opera and X-men.

The concept was to take famous opera heroines and combine them with the boyfriend's favorite female X-men characters.  The other challenge was to take the costumes of the opera heroines as inspiration for mid-century fashions for the women to wear.  So there were several layers to this one - opera heroine inspired mid-century fashion on X-women.Let's break it down from left to right:Mystique is channelling the Queen of the Night from The Magic Flute.  We wanted to come up with a way of not making Mystique stand out too much as this jarring blue figure, so in my head, it's a combination of makeup and costume that brings out her true blue.  I thought Marlene Dietrich, 40s-50s femme fatale dress.  The skulls on her head piece are meant to allude to her X-men costumes and the Queen of the Night.Psylocke is mixed with Cio-Cio San from Madame Butterfly which was a perfect match (if only for the obvious butterfly theme).  For some reason, I envisioned her in this striking chartreuse gown instead of the obvious purple.  I wanted pure 50s gown elegance, something Audrey Hepburn would have worn to the Oscars or something.  The fuschia in her gloves was added to remind of her psychic power manifestations and the head piece an clear geisha reference.Storm was Aida from the opera of the same name.  I can't say I was super authentic in Ethiopian references for her jewelry but I was inspired by what I could find.  I remember seeing outfits in the 60s that were heavily influenced by "exotic" and ethnic pieces from Africa, the middle east, and far east cultures so I wanted this to feel like that fashion movement.  Something almost mod, and incredibly intricate and detailed.  (Notice some references to her X-men costume in all her jewelry.)Boom-Boom is meant to reference Cunegonde from Candide.  Idea was to think pink and lots of jewels as referenced in the character's aria, Glitter and Be Gay.  I wanted her to be 50s with the full skirt and 60s with the more revealing bust.  Boom-Boom's purse is a diamond encrusted bomb, a tongue-in-cheek call back to her powers in X-men.Kitty Pryde is standing behind Boom-Boom with a silver flower in her hand, a depiction of Octavian from Der Rosenkavalier.  I had to find a way to depict her clad in silver (as Octavian is in the opera) without it looking like armor or unsaturated and uninteresting, so I chose to have her in different tints of silver with pops of color.  I saw mod-60s and my favorite part if in the details of her shirt.  See if you can't spot some references to her X-men character.Jean Grey is sitting below Kitty, lush in a violet (she's Violetta from La Traviata.)  Red heads in lush colors like violet just look amazing.  She was pure 60s in my head.  The camellias at the bottom of her skirt refer to Violetta and her broach and shoes are small details from her X-men costumes.Rogue is channelling Carmen from, what else, but the opera Carmen.  She needed to be sassy, spunky, ready to break out into flamenco - not a far cry from Rogue's personality.  I saw late 60s for her.  A dress Liz Taylor would have worn with a face Sophia Loren would be jealous of.Super long, sorry.  Hopefully it was worth the read!


Sol said...

It worth ^_^
I loved Storm, and Psylocke, even I really hate m.butterfly :>

SILVIA said...

fantastic pictures honey ;)
I hope you have a lovely day


Kelvin said...

It's Lockheed on Shadowcat's blouse!

Aman Chaudhary said...

This is just so brilliant. I love it!

Sean said...

Bloody hell! Wow!! As an opera singer and huge X-Men fan myself (and a recent discoverer of your work), this is sheer brilliance! Beautifully done!