Hats Off To . . .

“A hat is a flag, a shield, a bit of armor, and the badge of femininity. A hat is the difference between wearing clothes and wearing a costume; it’s the difference between being dressed and being dressed up; it’s the difference between looking adequate and looking your best. A hat is to be stylish in, to glow under, to flirt beneath, to make all others seem jealous over, and to make all men feel masculine about. A piece of magic is a hat.” 

-Martha Sliter

Just about any accessory can seem just that: an addition, an extra fleeting thought, or a complement to the overall idea.  It’s only seen as a small piece in a larger puzzle.  Such attitudes make accessories appear to be a second thought, but there is a great amount of thinking and deciding in these details.  Some accessories are deemed “essential,” but the one I regrettably find to disappear from society is the hat.  In recent decades hats have left the mainstream fashion scene, with excuses like “Hats don’t look good on me” and “I’m not really a hat person.”  Decades ago you would have never heard this response since hats were an indicator of the time period, of status and of personality.  Does this still hold true in modern times? Continue Reading ›

A Christmas Carol Style

It’s that classic time of year when red, green, and white decorate the streets of downtown Denver and the Clocktower isn’t the only building lit up as Christmas lights cover trees nearby.  It’s not only the holiday season, but a time for my annual work backstage on A Christmas Carol at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company which usually involves re-attaching miscellaneous pieces to Phantoms, carrying laundry baskets full of costumes up and down stairs from Stage Right to Stage Left, and systematically applying make-up and taping microphones to child actors eagerly lined up outside of the Wardrobe Room.  Add to my work the stress of finals week, trips to purchase Christmas gifts, and continuing to update my blog and Social Media, and you can see how it is easy for me to slip into moments of “Bah Humbug!” a la Scrooge.  Although my days are jam-packed, after seeing atrocities during protests throughout America for Eric Garner and Michael Brown, hostages held in Australia, and attacks at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, I can’t stop feeling the need for the Christmas Spirit and a reminder that all of humanity matters, it makes no difference your place in the world.  Rather than be a Scrooge, I still reach out to others to spread hope and cheer.  Do the holidays find you overwhelmed or sad?  If you’re still not quite convinced to make a special visit to see A Christmas Carol, read on to see Kevin Copenhaver’s beautiful costume designs that have inspired my modern ethical fashion style sets and Christmas Spirit. Continue Reading ›

Christmas Colors

A strange phenomenon is occurring this holiday season: my Pandora is playing “Christmas Radio,” a selection I’ve made and haven’t changed.  After running and hearing songs during A Christmas Carol, the last thing I want to hear is Christmas music, unless it’s the jazzy tunes from A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Last year I recall telling my sister Ming that she would be proud of me for listening to Christmas music on Christmas Eve, a rare circumstance given the fact that my co-worker Alan and I remind the child actors we help with microphones and make-up to “Leave singing for the stage,” anytime a cacophony of tiny voices is heard outside the Wardrobe Room door.  Perhaps this feeling is because I’ve seen more possibilities to assist artisans through my summer work with the social enterprise Run by Rural and my spirit is renewed.  Are you feeling overwhelmed by crowded shopping malls and endless advertisements for sales flashing before your eyes?  Then enliven your Christmas spirit by taking a look at some of my style inspirations from Christmas Colors featuring social enterprise and sustainable fashion companies that seek to improve the lives of artisans in marginalized and impoverished countries: Continue Reading ›

Costumes for Fashion Designs

From Left to Right: Amelia White (Sonia), Kathleen McCall (Masha), and Sam Gregory (Vanya). Photo by: Jennifer M. Koskinen

From Left to Right: Amelia White (Sonia), Kathleen McCall (Masha), and Sam Gregory (Vanya)
Photo by: Jennifer M. Koskinen

When people think of the word costume, they most often think of Halloween or “Sexy Nurse” or a lingerie set paired with animal ears.  Tell them you work in theatrical costuming and they usually jump to the conclusion that you’re a Costume Designer and they imagine period gowns or elaborate costumes from The Hunger Games.  Not all shows, however, require Effie’s extensive millinery or Katniss’ white fluffy ball gown.  My current backstage work on Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company would showcase the opposite, but just as much strategy, skill, and planning goes into finding just the right pieces for characters in a modern show.  Adding a twist to this set of modern designs is a twist in the plot where the characters head to a costume party, only to bring about tears, drama, and family feuds to Christopher Durang‘s comedy.  Meghan Anderson Doyle‘s recreation of classic costumes from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to transform Vanya, Sonia, Masha, Spike, and Nina show us how modern fashions and costumes can be combined with these Disney character costumes to create and compliment an onstage character’s personality.  Since fashion can influence costumes, can costume designs have an influence on fashion designs?  To see how they can, take a look at fashion inspirations from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company‘s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: Continue Reading ›

Let’s Go Royals!

Unfortunately for my family and my dad, the ultimate Los Angeles Dodgers fan, our team didn’t make it to the World Series this year.  However, I’m always eager to fulfill the family tradition of rooting for the underdog.  The question is, who is that this year?  What makes this World Series even more exciting to me is that both Wild Card teams are now National and American League Champions.  While some predict that Home Field Advantage will be in the favor of the Kansas City Royals, I can’t help but feel drawn to a team who hasn’t won a World Series since 1985, while the San Francisco Giants have won in 2012 and 2010.  I also can’t help enjoying the momentum of my co-workers backstage and on Facebook who support the mid-west team and I’ve found a way to help strengthen my team spirit with these eco-friendly and sustainable style inspirations:

Kansas City Royals for Work


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