Life Ball 2015

Life Ball

The Life Ball 2015 is history already, but I still feel its impact – after working ca. 160 hours (next to school) in the last month, I’m still exhausted. But so happy! Going to the Life Ball one day was one of my big dreams. I never thought I could fulfil it as soon as this year, but I’m beyond happy I could. It really was an amazing experience. One could feel the joy, the happiness, there was so much creativity… truly a celebration of life!

In the last month, I worked in the costume departement – making, fitting, repairing and changing existing costumes for the opening ceremony of the ball. We made all the hats and painted all the dresses for the 100 (x2) debutants, the armour for the Sacrani (fitting the ballet dancers was… fun and unnerving), the wings for the angels (over 200 swarovski crystals on each wing), the costumes for the artists on the two carts, the Beethovenfries also needed some changes and tweaks… A lot of work – A lot of spray-painting (mostly gold), glueing (hot glue guns and textile glue forever), using shellac and wood glue to harden the hats…. It was exhausting, tiring, fun, rewarding… maybe even the best month of my life? At least since I came to Vienna… I met some fantastic people, got to know others better, shared many laughs and just knew – this is what I want to do, it’s were I belong – with the creatives, the people who have a vision, who work hard for this few moments that stay in your memories forever. I’m grateful I got this assurance that I’m on the right path with my education.

So, see you next year, Life Ball! I’m looking forward to the next theme… maybe something aztec inspired? That is my first guess, we’ll see what Gerry Keszler will come up with… It will be spectacular, that’s for sure!

Life Ball - make-up

life Ball - debutants

life ball - angels

Conchita's Adele dress

Life Ball - Athena

Life Ball - break

life ball - town hall

I’ll be back soon!

lifeball_backstage

This is the reason why I have been silent these past days – I’ve worked for the Life Ball over 100 hours already, all next to school (accountancy test!) and first preparations for  the Eurovision Songcontest. The ball is on saturday, so two more days of sheer madness and then a super lazy sunday – I’ll probably be asleep the whole day. I still have to finish my own costume for the ball as well – I’m recreating the dress from Klimt’s ‘Bildnis Emilie Flöge’ and currently I’m covered in sequins (and gold colour and all types of glue imaginable).

Once everything is over, I’ll be more active here on my blog again. I know, I still haven’t posted the Spain pictures, but I didn’t have time to finish Adriana’s costume. I will, though, and I’ll blog about it as soon as possible. Sadly, I didn’t even see the Grand Prix, except for its start, but everyone has to sacrifice something for the Life Ball!

I’ll be back soon, check my instagram for immediate updates (saturday night) on everything!

Thoughts on Screen Printing

screen printing - detail

I love patterned fabrics. I might lean toward solids or easy patterns such as polka dots, stripes or plaid when sewing, but I love beautiful prints just as much: think Liberty, vintage florals and interesting geometric patterns to throw in between. So of course it’s a dream for me to come up with my own design and then print it myself.

While you can print practically any design with digital printing, hand-screen-printing has some restrictions: limited colour choice (2-3 max.), difficulties with precise repeats and possibly uneven colour application. Also, the paint ‘sits’ on the fabric and may crack if it is too thick. But there are so many good and interesting parts about printing as well: Preparing the screen, washing it out, mixing the colour, ironing the fabric onto the printig table…. and then the actual printing!

Our theme was structure/TEXTure and after some random doodling, I came up with my design: Speech bulbs, some of them with flowers inside them, others exploding and releasing the blooms. Honestly, very random, but I quite like it. There are several ways to bring your design onto the screen – what you need is an opaque desing, it could be a paper stencil or printed transparency paper. I wanted a very hand-drawn look, so I chose ‘Pausdeckrot’ (a colour that restists the intense light) and drew my design directly onto some tracing paper, which I then lay on top of the prepared screen. It worked fine, I just shouldn’t have diluted the paint that much – the lines are not as precise now as they could be and some parts were really difficult to wash out, because the light did get through.

But then I was ready to print! I chose light blue on white cotton, keeping it airy and simple. Printing was actually the fastest part of the whole process. Sometimes I could have used more paint, but I like the overall result. I don’t have concrete plans for the fabric yet, maybe a light dress for summer. I also printed a scrap piece of curduroy with a pattern from one of my colleagues – the colour sank right in, but paint flattened the pile, which creates a really interesting effect. The fabric is very dark, it doesn’t look like much in pictures, so no photos of this one. I might make a skirt out it, I’ll show you the fabric then!

Screen-printing was definitely interesting and fun, but I did not fall completely in love. I do like how fast you get great results, though! I also found a link for a printing-at-home tutorial where everything is explained step by step. Very helpful, check it out if you’re interested!

screen printing - design

screen printing

screen printing - fabric

April

This April, I…

magnolia

– dyed Easter eggs

– was not happy about the crazy weather (snow!)

– went fabric shopping (a lot)

– sewed (a lot)

– was excited about Game of Thrones s5

– collected ramsons in the woods

– started a Dirndl

– watched an unhealthy amount of cooking videos

– helped with the Life Ball preperations

– nearly got a tendosynovitis

dyeing easter eggs

easter egg

easter

Dirndl Pattern

town hall

park

 

New Projects

new fabric

And I thought I would have time in the next couple of weeks… But an opportunity has turned up I simply could not ignore: I’m helping with the preparation for the Life Ball 2015! And possibly also with those for the Eurivision Songcontest, which is a week later than the Life Ball.

Our school teamed up with the Life Ball for the past years, giving them volunteers and we students receive insight into the production, practical use of what we learned, internship hours (we have to complete 160 hours of internship(s) in total in order to be allowed to make the diploma) and, if we help regularly and work hard, we’ll help at the Ball and get tickets for it. So, of course I wanted to do it! This year the designer for the fashion show is Jean Paul Gaultier, so that’s super exciting, I can’t wait for it.

I’ve been helping there on Wednesday and yesterday and will be there the whole Saturday – from 10am to 8pm or possibly longer. The next weeks will probably have the same schedule. So far, I did a lot of painting, but that’s finished now and I’m curious what will be next. Only 3 weeks to go, everyone is getting slightly nervous…

For the Song Contest, it is not yet clear what our duties will be, I guess it will be all about dressing people at the actual event and being there behind the scenes. Once the time comes, I’ll tell you more!

So, obviously busy times are ahead! School isn’t yet over either and our teachers really don’t care how much else we do in our free time.  Especially the Life Ball will take up a lot of it. But I volunteered to do it, I just think it’s a great opportunity for me. I’ve always watched the Life Ball in television and my dream was always to attend it one day. Who new that it would be this year?

But I still plan to do some sewing for myself, on top of it all (at least I’ll try). I actually have finished a skirt recently, I’m in the middle of making the Asaka kimono and I already made the first muslin for a cropped jacket, tweaking it for a perfect fit. I also forbade myself to buy any new fabric before I haven’t at least finished five garments from my to-sew-list…. I just bought too much in the last month and I can’t sew it up all. In the picture you can see parts of my last purchase: A beautiful fabric (no idea about fibre content, haven’t tested it yet) with a woven pattern in violet and peacock green, which reminds me of the azetcs. Underneath lies a stretch denim in a cloudy indigo – it was a remnant, I hope there is enough for a pair of jeans.

Please forgive me if I won’t post that much in the next weeks. There are many exciting things going on right now and I don’t know how often I’ll have time to post some new content or take some pictures!