Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011

I am just so obsessed with the circus costume thing now... sequins have made their way into everything... I feel like a drug dealer with all of my little plastic baggies of sequins organized by color and size... when ever I look at something and it feels like it is missing something, I want to add spangles...I am a sequin pusher...
But you know something interesting is happening with the addition of sequins to things for example when I add sequins to a old vintage round linen with lace it transforms from something so domestic into something rather exotic...don't you think? So this is also another thing I am working on... perhaps a 'Ta Ta Table Cloth' (props to artist Tara Jensen for the name)... but this is what it's becoming about for me... the transformation of the seemingly everyday into something spectacular...

May 30, 2011 paper studies


May 30, 2011, other things

Other things I am working on in the studio... including more paper studies.

March 30, 2011

Thinking of signs of the times... It was a week for endings last week... endings of Oprah, endings of Langdon Street Cafe... it was a week for amazing sayings and catch phrases as I watched Oprah say "Live your Best Life" and heard Frank Stella tell my husband during a call in on ON Point with Tom Ashbrook "Do what you are going to do" and I listened to people talk about hope at the end of major life altering destruction from tornadoes, to floods, to war...
The point being... Live your best life... why not?  Be your best self....

Wylie Sofia Garcia

May 30, 2011

The progression of Sequins on the back of Thimbelina part II.

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

I have been adding sequins every day!  I love sequins, I feel like their power is so underestimated until they are out in public view...  I am still going with these little paper studies.  They are only about 4 inches tall... but I love how they are turning out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 21, 2011

Today was supposed to be THE RAPTURE, the only rapture I got was lastnight at the Spielpalast Cabaret. It was awesome, with great costumes!
Since there was no rapture, I guess it is up to me to make some for myself.  So...Sew Sew Sew... on a marvelous warm Spring Saturday evening.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Church of Circus

Looking at more circus pics for Thimbelina...Does anyone out there know who took that famous picture of the Burlesque Dancer at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland, VT?  Was is Robert Frank?  Walker Evans?  It's black and white with the dancer up on top of a prop with a barker in the corner... I know I am not hallucinating this picture.

Small Paper Sketchs of Circus Costumes...


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Life is like one of those puzzles that come in a box.  It is full of queer pieces which seemingly bear no relation to one another, and yet there is a way of putting it together into a perfect whole.
- Myrtle Reed

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Blog Additions

You can now view all the final photo shoots of The Dress That Makes The Woman by going to the bottom of this blog.  There is also a video section to link to various short videos I have made for this project as well as others.  Enjoy!

...where it all ended...or where I begin tonight...The slides that were not shown...

I was at the point of describing about how with The Struggle I was about to give up... but I was forcing myself to stitch every day...and then show this image...and then ah well, c'est la vie... but the good news is that I will be able to do it again the next time... so yea, there is a little dissapointment but only because I was so excited to participate... and well because my husband, who also presented got 35 extra hits on his website today and I got the usual average... so if you read this... share share share!!!!

Wylie Sofia Garcia

Fwd: The slides that were not shown...

So Lastnight I presented at Pecha Kucha at the Flemming Museum along with 10 other presenters.  It was an awesome experience, even though my last three slides were M.I.A.  It turned out when the entire presentation was transfered from one computer to the other, some slides (mine were not the only ones) were lost in the ether... so just as I was about to present my amazing Thimbelina climax, I was cut abruptly short.  So for fun, I have thrown in the last three slides that were cut.  Including a new one of THE AMAZING THIMBELINA!

Last Slide for Pecha Kucha at the Flemming Museum

Thimbelina as performer...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 8, 2011

Today is so beautiful here, it's difficult to be inside trying to blog.  Lastnight I started to attatch sequins to the shell of Thimbelina... did I mention that this is a Prada dress?  It's hard to see my marks on something that IS perfection....Makes my stitches seem so clumsy.  And yet, again this makes room for an elegant metaphor.  How much room in daily life is there for perfection?

May 8, 2011

Thimbelina part deaux...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7, 2011

I am now officially Half way there!  Here are two new images of other things I have been working on.

Thimbelina Story

Ok so I am working on a dress right now called Thimbelina... The persona is very feminine very reminiscent of an old vaudeville or circus performer lots of razzle and dazzle aka sequin work and details....
 Video has been a small component of the art that I create, but with this dress I would like to make a short film that will accompany several shows I have in the future which will feature Thimbelina....  The type of film I would like to make is kind of like and Anti Burlesque...where no clothes are actually taken off, instead more clothes are put on over the dress....  One of the shows is part of a circus themed project and I have volunteered to be "The Blow Off" the show that gets built up as mysterious and amazing and "never seen anywhere ever before"  (think world's larges bat, and you walk into a tent and see the worlds largest baseball bat)  but in my case you think you are going to see a cooch show but no skin is ever revealed...
Ok, so I am in the throws of making the dress, and the layers for the performance... what I am looking for is music...either old, pre existing or new or composed just for this performance.... so I am looking for ideas, suggestions or even some pointers of what to use... the film will be black and white and strobed to look like and old chaplin/ or keaton film...  the idea is that Charlie Chaplin just got off the stage and i am the next act... it's gotta be good....
The theme Thimbelina comes from the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale Thumbelina....about a small girl who is born out of a barey seed and gets kidnapped by a toad to mary the toads son, and then escapes only to become the ward of a mouse who then tries to mary off Thumbelina to her neighbor an old blind mole... and finally a Sparrow heps Thumbelina escape where she meets a fairy prince and then falls in love and they get married... barf barf barf... 
The story is so bizzare and so "woe is me" from a feminist persepective but it also has alot of depth  in interpretation and meaning. 
I have attached some good links to learn more about the story as well a cool short shadow puppet flim that some one made about the story too...
Wylie Sofia Garcia

Friday, May 6, 2011


My month is up, it has been a long time since I have posted any pictures or written anything, and I have so much to write about today. Where to start?  Hmmm well let's start at the beginning with a vintage dress that I found at a church sale when I was 15 years old.  I bought this dress for a Family  Easter Party.  It fit like a glove and it was so amazing to be wearing something so on the fringe for 1995.  16 years later this amazing vintage find has found it's way into a Dress That Makes the Woman, Whoa-  Who would have thought?
So then came the sequins and lots of them, and then the idea that this dress needs to be apart of something more than just the dress that makes the woman project... it needs to be apart of a larger performance project.  This is where the circus comes in...
I am working on a Circus themed project with several other artists.  My assignment: To make something that embodies the feeling of circus, so naturally I go to the BLOW OFF.  No, the blow off is not exactly what it sounds like, although I do want to capitalize on this common misunderstanding... no the blow off is the performance that gets hyped up and people pay extra to get into to see it and then are kind of duped, or fooled by their very own expectations of what they were going to see.  For example "Step right up Ladies and Gents and see The World's Largest Red Bat!" and Then you enter the tent only to see a very large red colored baseball bat on display.  Ha Ha right?  So I am doing the Blow Off... and yes, I want to do it in a kind of sneaky pull one over kind of way, but I also want to pay homage to the darker and more lascivious side of old vintage circus as well with the ambiance of the "cooch tent"  (Ever watch Carnival on HBO, then you will have a better idea of what I mean).  My interest in this whole project is in the ambiance, the feeling and the duplicity associated with the circus... so I have been trying to get to the bottom of what makes the circus so appealing to me and I have concluded that it is the illusion.  You see an illusion of perfection with the performers.  You see it in their acts, their smiles and their costumes... but really the illusion is the way it is because of all the distractions that are provided to keep you eye moving.  If you were really able to study that performer on the nitty gritty, you would see a whole lot normal, wear and tear just like any performer and you would notice that razzle and dazzle under good lighting can transform anything and anybody.  
So Sequins-  Performers-  Illusion- and the jump to Burlesque-
As I was thinking about how to tastefully pull off my Blow Off, I started thinking about the expectations of someone entering a tent expecting to see something kind of naughty and what would happen if the performance were to still have that feeling, but not actually reveal anything... and then a light bulb went off... I need to study the old, old Burlesque stars.  And so for the past month I have been conducting research, and alot of it.. looking at costumes, old burlesque routines, getting to know who the current famous performers are, trying to learn moves and methods and to soak up what makes the art of the tease so amazing and alluring and empowering....something even feminist.  
Then I discovered Paula, The Swedish Housewife and my research started to inspire me to think about how movement and the power of suggestion can reclaim a very feminine archetype: the muse.  So what better inspiration to lead to me deciding that Thimbelina/Thimbilina (still on the fence about the spelling) needs to become a kind of anti-burlesque burlesque dancer for the Circus Blow Off and as a persona for my dress project as well.  
So here were are, but we're really only 1/2 way because I realized that Thimbelina needed more layers to add to the performance, so I decided that she would have two major parts/components ie. be made of two dresses, one that pulls on over the other.  So I chose this Prada Dress that I have had since I was 18.  When I was given this dress, I was so thrilled!  I loved wearing it so much, that it became a kind of "summer romping dress" and I wore it for almost a whole summer.  And now Voila, here it is in the dress project as the second half of a potential performance piece as well. 
The pairing of these two dresses, both from when I was a teenager also got me thinking about quite a bit... why did I choose them for Thimbelina?  Why were they so important to me when I was younger and why were they so important that I have saved them, and brought them with me no matter where I have's been almost 16 years of moving, and living with these dresses from my past just hanging in the closet...why bring them out now? and why together?
So I had to get back to that mind set... I needed to reconnect with teenage Wylie... and <deep breathe> I have to admit I started to watch some TV shows from that past... including My So Called Life.  I began to listen to my old play lists... although they were just mix tapes.. I needed to go back.. not just in spirit, but in reality too... So I visited Houston, drove past old haunts trying to get a memory recharge... driving past school, old friend's houses, through Montrose, through Down Town... everything is different, but there are still some old feelings that surface... good fodder for the project, good fodder for my inspiration, good for getting the creating going too. 
I have to admit that I may have to refer to this month as the month that Pajamas made the woman.  I found myself wearing pajamas alot this month... but the dress kept needing work and to get washed... and then there was work, and being a mom, and the basement flooding and the beautiful days that just swept me away.  Like I said, I got distracted and I escaped the project a little...but still remained true to my loop holes and just stayed in Pajamas a little longer.... or all day but still went about business as usual. 
So now with that admitted, I am feeling a little better about what I am going to do.  I am going to continue to wear Thimbilina for one more month.  She is made of Two Parts, two dresses and I need the time to finish her in time to film the dance and to make sure that the Circus Show goes on!   So there are no final pictures, except for a few quick pics I took at the studio.  I have also received a new camera on loan to use for documenting, YEA that is about to really professionalize the set up. 
So there is alot here to "chew"on and there will be alot more, but for now at 11pm my time I am ready for bed.  I kind of feel like a politician here fighting for another term... one more month Thimbelina, One more Month! 

Paula, The Swedish Housewife, Images....

These image are of my new research subject in which Thimbelina will be fitting into which is the theme of Burlesque and I have been watching some of the best of the best am I must admit that Paula, The Swedish Housewife is one of my favorites.  Part Amazing Show Woman and Part Amazing Costuming, I just love her stage presense and timing.  Here is a link to the New York City of Burlesque School Blog that interviews Paula about her wardrobe...  **** NOTE THIS SITE MAY NOT BE APPROPRATE FOR SOME OF MY READERS... PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS SOME NUDITY AND RISQUE  SUBJECTMATTER  IF YOU GO TO THIS SITE**** 

May 5, 2011, Circus!