Sunday, 29 June 2008

"Narnia" Lion

This photo shows the before and after of a recent Lion's head project.

When I was training in Theatrical Costume at SIT East Sydney no-one told me I would be making historical repro costume one day and animals the next. Talk about variety being the spice of life! This week I turned a child's lion suit into a "Narnia" style lion for the Dancing Studio I frequently work with, using completely recycled or stash materials.

We canibalised a bear suit which I made several years ago, added some fur to the tummy area, and added paws taken from the too-small lion's outift. Next I tackled the too-cute head. It sits on top of the head, so the face needed a "curtain" and the face was far too baby looking. Aslan is an adult Asian lion. I used mr Google for some images, then decided to add patches around the eyes in felt, and some whiskers from 12 pound fishing line. I highlighted the mouth with some braid and felt, then after several unsuccessful shoppping expeditions for long haired fur in a suitable colour, the Studio found some fur vests in their store room. I ripped out the linings, cut through the shoulders and after making a toile in calico I cut a "hood" pattern to suggest a full mane. I made a padded "sausage" like a bum roll and stitched it to the head behind the ears to give some height. The "mane" is quite full and will cover the shoulders of the dancer. The Studio covered some long rods with beige fur fabric as the dancer will be leaning over like the animals in the stage version of the Lion King. The production number is part of the entertainment at a major banking conference, and about 30 dancers will be on stage. I hope to see the number later in the year, as I'd love a photo or two for my albums.