Sunday, August 1, 2010

Germanic Icons

Beer and pretzels, brats and Wagner--all are icons that might pop into your head when you think of Germany. I know if I went there, I'd definitely want some beer, although I hear they serve it warm. And sausages and various types of "wursts" would also be lingering on my taste buds.

Mel Brooks, ever the non-subtle writer, takes this to the hilt in his show "The Producers"

Here are some of the images of Germany, shown as headgear worn by show girls as they enter to the singing of "Springtime for Hitler" during the show within the show.

German Opera certainly is focused on Wagner, with his Valkarie woman singing her ridiculously high note! Here is our Valkarie headgear, certainly the easiest one to create, as I found the basic hat at Party City in the clearance bin. Thanks to my friend NC who decorated it to bring it to showgirl status.
This one was the most fun to create! Used a 1 gallon pitcher for the basic shape, covered with silver and gold poster board. Found the hair at The concept came from a picture of another version of this show, with the curly hair pouring out of the stein to give the illusion of foam, falling down on the girl's head. This got a lot of attention as she walks out, actually applause on opening night! Quite a bit to balance on a head!
Pretzels, we love to eat them! How about balancing them on your head? Made from spray insulating foam sprayed out on paper, then cut and shaped and painted to look like a pretzel. This cute wig is actually very small (costume wigs are not notably consistent in their sizing, they can run very small) so we had to buy another blonde wig which she puts on first, and then this wig is fitted over it. Our girls who are wearing these have a lot of their own hear that needs to be covered, so this is the way we solved that problem

This is the one that made me cry! I had a wonderful huge sausage all ready to go on the hair piece, and it worked when I first built it. Then in taking it apart to glue the elements together, it would not balance when I refit it. This was Tuesday afternoon, and when it fell to the floor from being off balance for the 4th time, I broke down in tears. Just left it on the floor in disgust! Then on my way home, trying to figure out what on earth I could put on this girl that looked like a sausage, I got a brainstorm, MAKE A LEANER WIENER! So from a 3 foot sausage, I scaled it down to an 18" sausage. Still got the point across but much more manageable in size!

The basic form for keepinng these icons on the heads was this:

I made a helmet of buckram shaped over a styrofoam wig head. Then I used one or two desktop spindles (like you put your notes or reciepts on) through the helmet. I glued or sewed the spindle bases to the helmet. Then I fitted the wig over the helmet mit spindles. Then I attached the icon to the spindles. I had to secure the beer stein by using some fish line as guy wires from front to back, side to side, threaded through holes in the stein and then down and through the helmet. Curly hair was also fastened with fish line. A little dab of Gorilla Glue helped the whole thing really stick together. The beer stein is the most secure as a unit, but is very top heavy, so we do a lot of pinning to keep it secure in one spot on her head.

Next post, showing the finished product on the girls.

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