Thursday, September 30, 2010

Corsetry Class #1

As stated in the link with the Marie Antoinette designs, I'm currently doing a corsetry course. Last Sunday was my first lesson, and we made our own patterns, cut out the fabric, and cut all the boning. Now we'll be ready to sew it all together in the next class. The style of corset we're making is in the Tudor style because they are the most simple in construction, however I've designed mine to be more of the Rococo style - like my Marie Antoinette designs.

My pattern

The back piece with boning pencil marks

The front pieces with bones in place
The bones we use are 1cm wide bits of plastic cut to lengths

And here's my design
I've bought blue ribbon to make the bows, gold trimming for details and pink velvet ribbon for the middle of the gold trimming for a more Baroqe texture.
This design is very similar to my original designs. It the same fabric just an easier corset type to make. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Glasses Survived

I'm very excited. My new glasses survived the heating and cooling process to fit new lenses. They are marvelous and I can finally see!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Glasses

I went to the optometrist yesterday to order my new pair of glasses. I needed a new prescription (eyes are getting worse, arg!), so I thought it was perfect timing to buy the pair of vintage frames I've been admiring on ebay and get lenses put in them.

These babies are French from the 1950s with diamontes all up the sides. I'm so excited to wear these, but the optometrist said that because they're old they may not hold up to the heating and cooling they have to do to fit the lenses, but that they look OK. So fingers crossed these babies survive! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Ol' Vinnies Finds

I was bored today, so I headed over to my local Vinnies for some cheap shopping fun.
Here are my purchases:
The most fantastic straw hat of the summer - $5

3 horsey silk scarves - $2 each

School Girl Tartan Dress - $8

Green Summer Dress - $6
(Actually was looking at this dress new last year, and it retailed for $30. I could never justify buying it, so finding it for $6 made my day)

That was time well spent.

Toronto in Winter

I'm very excited for this December. I'm heading back to the land up North for Christmas this year, and hopefully I'll get my dosage of snow. Australia is beautiful - it's sunny, bright, blue and green. But there is something about the grey of the Canadian winter that I really miss. It's so quiet and muffled. Calm. It's really something to see and experience. Until it all turns to mush in February, but I won't be there for that. Sounds like the perfect snow to me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Designs for Marie Antoinette Burlesque Costume

I've been inspired by my friend, Miss Lauren La Rouge, who's a fantastic burlesque dancer and was the "singer" in "The Schelling Point." I watched my favourite movie of all time, Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (it's horrible, but it's beautiful) and decided to have some fun and design my own burlesque costume. It also meant some time out from the current play I'm designing, which is a bit of a doozy.

Here is a design for a corset and pantaloons in different colour choices. Tell me which variation you like best. I have the fabric, and I'm doing a corsetry course of the next couple of weeks, so this costume may actually become reality sometime soon.



Designs Copyright (c) Marissa Dale-Johnson 2010

Recognize the Manolo Blahniks?

So comment and tell me which colour variation (1, 2 or 3) you like best.


Check out JAK & JILL BLOG for the most amazing photos of the new S/S11 shoes from NYFW! Tommy Ton is a fantastic photographer. He's one of my favourites out there.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


"The Schelling Point" finally finished this weekend. Find photos and my sketches on my Production Design webpage to see what I actually do for a living.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Double Exposure

I'm currently working on a new theatre production, and the director is obsessed with the image of double exposure photography. It's a beautiful art form, and I've done my own fair share of experimenting with it (see post on accidents in photography).

To experiment for this show, I decided to do some photoshopping. The play is half set in New Zealand, and inspired by the recent earthquake I've done some of my own double exposure. I was inspired by the colours in Boris Mikhailov's vintage photographs, and the landscapes of New Zealand. Original photographs were taken off newspapers and stock photos, but changed to be my own original artwork. Enjoy.

Photo post #5

Monday, September 13, 2010

If you go out in the woods today, you're sure for a big surprise.

If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily dance about.
They love to play and shout.
And never have any cares.
At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.

If you go out in the woods today,
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


Every teddy bear, that's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


Friday, September 10, 2010

My favourite photos are always the accidents

This photo is one of my favourites. The sunset is actually an Australian sunset out of our apartment window, and the house is actually a house in Toronto! How weird is that! My camera pressed the double exposure button while in my suitcase, so when I took the photo of the house and got it processed, this beauty popped up. My favourite photos are always the accidents.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Opinions Please!

I'm not 100% happy with my DIY Jeffery Campbell gold boots. I'm not sure what it is, but I really like how expensive the original ones look. Mine just look ratty. I also like how the boot is a lower cut around the ankle.

So, I have a plan B. Plan B entails painting my old school shoes (good ol' Dr. Martens) with gold leather paint. What do y'all think? I need opinions, people.

Do I paint these with gold leather paint?

F*** you very much

Fabulous new blog I found. It's a classic.

F*** you very much

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gold Jeffery Campbells Hikers

I fell in LOVE with these Gold Jeffery Campbells (STEM) when I saw them, but I didn't have the heart to dish out US $200 for a pair. So, I decided to make them myself.

I bought a pair of $40 denim boots from Rubi Shoes, some spray paint and red laces. I covered the surface I was working on in newspaper so I didn't destroy the floor of my garage, and sprayed the boots gold. It took about 3 or 4 coats until they had a nice sheen (and now I've noticed that the gold paint falls off the denim, so extra coats are necessary through wear). I then put the red laces in, and TA DA!

My Long Lost Friend: Leopard Coat

Remember back in my post on Sept. 3rd how I said that there were two fabulous coats that I wanted to wear but it's now too warm to wear them? Well, here is the second one.

A beautiful faux-leopard coat.


When I was younger, say around 7 or 8-years-old, I had the most fabulous faux seal and leopard coat that I wore to special occasions (the theatre). I loved it, and then I grew out of it. It was so sad! That coat was beautiful. Ever since I've been dying for a beautiful faux leopard coat, and I finally found one of ebay the other week.

This coat was handmade by the seller's mother in the early 60s, and when it arrived I could tell. It's beautifully made, but needed some TLC because the thread was falling apart. It is warm and fluffy and fabulous. And it has 3/4 sleeves for an extra bit of 60s glamour.

I had to fix some of the seams and take up the bottom as the hem had fallen down. I'm also gonna add some buttons, so it's can possibly be my coat for Canada in Dec (though the 3/4 sleeves are turning me off that - it'll be too cold!). 

Well, I just wanted to share my other new purchase. I adore it, it's just too HOT!

Monday, September 6, 2010


"The Schelling Point" has 5 shows left, and I hear that 2 of them are already sold out. Get your tickets now HERE or you may miss out, and that would be very unfortunate.

Stained Glass

Back in Toronto I lived in the most beautiful house. It was build in 1888 right on a cliff overlooking Lake Ontario. Since then, the highway went in, so it's now on King Street (one of the main streets of down town Toronto). When we got the house, we were told that in the 50s there was a fire, and two of the three original stain glass windows was destroyed. The replicas were pretty good, but this original window was just extraordinary. The lead was so thick and the colours were so vibrant. It was absolutely beautiful (The whole house was beautiful).

My thoughts go out to those in Christchurch today. I was talking to one of the actors in "The Schelling Point" and his sister's beautiful old home from 1888 has been destroyed. Well, not dramatically, but the chimneys fell through (the only part of the house that wasn't reinforced).  It was the old residence of the Govenor General, and when the Queen came she would stay in that beautiful home. All those beautiful old buildings of the "New London" are now gone. An era of architecture erased. It's so sad. But lucky that no one was hurt. Our hearts are with all those in Christchurch as they begin to pick up their lives again.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

It's Bad When...

It's bad when a 22-year-old remembers when the style that's in fashion now was in fashion the first time around. Here I am at age 5 in my acid wash shorts, floral shirt, gladiator sandals and straw fedora. You could wear this now and look the part.

Am I old? Or is fashion just catching up to itself? At the rate fashion is recylcing, this will all be in fashion again in 2 years or less!

More Photos

Some People will remember this dress, I wore it to one of the Gala nights for "The Schelling Point." It was my 16th birthday dress. A very special piece in my closet.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I miss photography

Back in high school my Dad gave me his old Minolta film SLR. I loved it, and I still do. But back then I was in Toronto and only 2 doors down from my friend, Claire, who's a model. It was quite handy, especially because I was interested in fashion photography. I've scrounged up the old photos in order to inspire me to use my camera again. I have the Minolta and I also have a Pentax that needs to be used. Got some photos that need to be developed from my last trip to Canada, but it's so hard because no one shoots on film anymore.

I also used the darkroom at school, which is probably why I loved photography so much. At the moment I have no access to a darkroom, but I've promised myself that when I move out and get a decent house I'm gonna make myself a darkroom so I can go back to making beautiful prints. For now I'll have to settle with Big W prints.

Well, I thought I'd share a few photos with you from the past. It might take a few posts.


Remember back in May when I modelled for my friend's hair stylist shoot? I said I looked like I put my finger in a socket. Well, here is the photo. Finally!

Quite a resemblance, eh? My mother joked when I got home that I looked like the Mad Hatter. I don't mind, Johny Depp is always awesome (and good looking) even with frizzy red hair and massive green eyes. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

I was glad it was a cold spring day

I think I'm the only one in Australia who is happy when it gets a wee bit cold. I love winter clothes, it's the Canadian in me. Earlier this week I was a little upset that the weather turned nice - I loved having my legs in the sun, but I have 2 new winter coats that were now pointless in this lovely Australian spring weather. Then, an amazing weather change happened. It got cold! Yay! The coats could come out and shine their way through the drizzly day.

Here is the first of 2 amazing new purchases from ebay. It's a 1970s suede shearling vintage coat with embroidered detailing. It's beautiful. I've been dying for a shearling coat for years, and I found one on ebay a few weeks back and lost the auction. I was devastated. Then one week later this beauty popped up and I snatched it for only $30! It needs a bit of TLC (there are some seems that have split), but overall it's in beautiful condition.

I wore it today into the city with my favourite pair of cowboy boots (a staple of mine). It was amazing how many looks I got. It was either because I looked incredibly out of place in my winter coat on the 2nd day of spring, or because it was fabulous. I like to think it was the latter.