Monday, August 21, 2017

Creating a Bowie Inspired Costume 2017

It's been an honor to join so many of my local musician friends to play a tribute to David Bowie at First Avenue called Rock For Pussy every year to benefit Feline Rescue Inc. in Minneapolis. This year I worked with local designer Megan Zwack to create a Bowie inspired costume for RFPXIII!

Photo by Tony Nelson

Photo by Paul Lundgren
A person’s fashion, especially a great costume, beams out energy. To me, it’s a catalyst to playing a role and inspires a good performance. Wearing a custom design is entertaining and fun but it can be even more so for the audience. I wanted to pull in a local designer to be a part of the Bowie tribute as collaboration between local music and style scenes. Music and fashion, especially if we’re talking about David Bowie, certainly go together.  His music has such a wide range and so does his style. So many people, both performers and audience members get dressed up for this show.
Megan sewing up finishing touches

Dr. Zwack is Megan’s own clothing brand and we connected on social media first. Music has been a major part of her inspiration.

Photo by Emily Hooper
“I have never been conventional in my approach to design and have always felt like a black sheep in the design community.  As a designer I have always found it difficult to create in terms of industry standards and have been completely uncomfortable with terms like ready-to-wear or resort wear.  Each of my collections or individual pieces is a song, a story, an album, or the soul consciousness of a musician or group ranging from Bobbie Gentry to Black Oak Arkansas.  The Dr. Zwack Lake Street collection is inspirited by the Wolfmother album Victorious.  The creative process starts with a song and I use my design skills, with fabric as my medium, to bring that song into physical form as a musician would use an instrument to create the song itself.  I have known from the start of my design career that my soul purpose is to dress musicians and singers for stage performance. After cutting my teeth in the local fashion design world, garnering skills and expertise, I am fully ready to branch out.  When designing for Chris Perricelli, inspired by Ziggy Stardust, I was very careful to amalgamate and ennoble the soul of both musicians while carefully riding the line of sophisticated design and costume ensuring that the story of both talents were represented.” – Megan Zwack

I had a feeling I should just contact her about making something special for this show. I sent her a message and she was thrilled for the opportunity to create something so we made plans to get together about it.
Hopping over to Eat Street Social we sat at the bar and flipped though one of my David Bowie books for inspiration.  We discussed costume possibilities and she was eager to work on a fun glam rock project.  
This was my first time meeting her and we hit it off quite well talking about music and style. She’s got an early 70’s vibe and a great personal style herself.
Photo by John Botkin

Megan’s first design concept came from her drawing:
She bought Italian silk material. One with a kind of a snake skin pattern for the jacket and the other was silvery metallic for the pants. She also scored some red vinyl to be displayed on the inside
and along the back of the collar of the jacket. After measurements and a session of pinning with a muslin pattern she got closer to pulling it all together. The design morphed into a fantastic glam rock costume that seemed to nod to Bowie from his Ziggy era all the way up to his more modern pieces.

Megan also lent me her hand made and cut Bobbie Gentry Stage Coat fringe jacket to be worn with my star pants that she altered along with a crazy full colored vintage polyester shirt. You can find this fringe jacket and more of Dr. Zwack’s hand made clothes at Showroom and she sells also by appointment on-line.

I wore the star pants, shirt and fringe jacket for the first set and then her full custom piece for the second part of the show. The clothes felt and performed really well with me and I couldn’t have been any happier with how it all turned out. On top of that it was a great show!!
Photo by Charles Robinson

Photo By Joe Teachworth

Photo by Danny Contreras Jr.