Wednesday, 25 March 2015

'Blue Eyes' and Blue Skirts

Well, Turquoise and Pink skirts actually if we're going to get specific, but that seemed far less punchy as a title!
A few weeks ago, I shared the super exciting news with you that I had been asked by the wonderfully talented Jazz Mino to help her out with a really special sewing project - making her a skirt to wear in the music video for her new single 'Blue Eyes'. I had to keep everything a little hush, hush for a while (which is fine, because I am totally awesome at keeping secrets) but I can at last share all!!
When Jazz and I met up to discuss the skirt, the first brief was that the skirt had to be big. I don't mean matronly, or fit for a giant, I mean...triangular! I'll go into the image more later in an exclusive Q and A I had with Jazz Mino, but this detail is key for understanding the challenge I faced when approaching the project!
The second part of the brief was equally as clear; it had to be pink and turquoise. This is a major theme throughout Jazz Mino's video for 'Blue Eyes'.

Because Jazz wanted the skirt to be full and fitted on the waistline, I decided the best type of skirt to go for was a circle skirt with an elasticated waistband...and a massive netted underskirt!! Something I had never tackled before (of course!). I looked up a lot of great tutorials for making removable petticoats and netted skirts, but none were exactly what I needed, so, as always - I improvised!

I started by making a short lining piece to fit on the inside waistband of the skirt, the width of Jazz's hip measurement - this was essentially a really mini circle skirt. As we weren't adding a zip, I needed to ensure this would go on easily before adding elastic. (See how confident I sound? Yeah, that would be because I totally messed this up the first time and cut it to be the waist measurement - great until it wouldn't go over my hips when I tried it on!)
Next, I bought A LOT of netting, which I measured to be the total length of the skirt, minus the length of the internal lining I had already cut, and cut this into strips. Netting tends to come in really wide widths, so this worked well as I wanted a lot of volume in my skirt. These then had to be individually gathered and stitched to the lining - so simple!
Once this was all done, I made a simple circle skirt - there are loads of fab, easy to follow tutorials out there, so I won't re-invent the wheel (or circle!...No? Ok, moving on...) by clumsily explaining my method! When this was made, I inserted the underskirt to the circle skirt piece and stitched them together.
I was keen to add some real pops of pink into the skirt, so I decided to insert a pink satin ribbon between the top of the skirt piece and the waistband which I think was a nice additional touch that tied the skirt together and gave it more of a statement look, once combined with a sweet bow, the skirt really started coming together:
The final touch was adding a pink wavy trim to the bottom hem, attaching the waistband, and 'hey presto!' a skirt fit for a music video was created!
Some final adjustments were needed to ensure that the underskirt and the outer fitted together perfectly (by this, I mean I had to lay on the floor underneath my mannequin and attack the netting with a pair of scissors until it stopped dropping down!)

I was so nervous to hand the skirt over to Jazz, what if she didn't like it, or what if it didn't fit? Would we have to have an awkward conversation where Jazz had to pretend to love it and I would know she didn't? Or would she ask for changes whilst I had to grit my teeth and pretend I wasn't upset? Luckily, none of the above happened, and the skirt was exactly what Jazz was after - and doesn't she look gorgeous in it?!
Now, not only is today an exciting day because I get to share the details of the skirt with you, but today is also the day that Jazz Mino's single 'Blue Eyes' will have its YouTube video release - the link to which is posted at the end of this blog post! First though, I had an exclusive catch up with Jazz Mino about the video, the skirt and her fashion future!
Q. What was the inspiration behind the music video?
A. Good question! The inspiration behind my music video, was comic books! I knew I wanted to do something a little different to the average music video. A few of my fans say that I look like I’ve just stepped out of a comic book, or cartoon world – So I developed this idea.

Q. You do have a cool quirky dress sense, is image important to you?
A. Firstly, thank you! Yeah the way I look and present myself is important to me, I wear things on stage that I feel reflect my personality, songs and performance – Which tend to always be pretty vibrant and bold.

Q. Pink and turquoise are obviously prominent colours in your video, why did you choose them?
A. I love vibrant colours, and I think that turquoise and pink fit really well together. Initially when planning the music video storyboard for “Blue Eyes”, I had the idea that the heroine of the comic book (Jazz Mino) would leave clues for the Blue Eyed man in the style of ‘The Riddler’ in Batman. I then decided the theme of my clues would be a continuous colour theme; turquoise and pink! Kind of like the heroine in the music video has the superpowers of turning objects turquoise and pink as she pleases!
Q. Did you have fun filming? You shot in a few locations, how did people react to you?
A. Filming was awesome! I had so much fun on the day, apart from it snowing at one point! I did get quite a few looks, I even accumulated a crowd whilst shooting the scenes against the brick wall.

Q. So you write all of your own songs, what was your inspiration for Blue Eyes?
A. I do indeed write my own songs, I tend to write about whatever is happening in my life at the time and then build on the extent of the story. The same goes with “Blue Eyes” – It was inspired by a blue eyed man that I met. He was very mysterious and I knew the story would make a great song.

Q. Why did you choose Blue Eyes to be your single?
A. That’s easy – I absolutely love performing it, especially when live with my band. The song for me is powerful yet intimate at the same time, and strings, piano and rhythm do such a great job of conveying this. Its most of my fan’s favourite song and after a show many people tell me how much they enjoyed it and how catchy it is.

Q. Do you have any more videos in the pipeline?
A. I do indeed! I put up quite a lot of live material on YouTube. I recently posted a live cover of “Budapest” by George Ezra with my cellist at Bistrot Walluc, Shoreditch. This was lots of fun to film! In terms of the next single and official music video… You’ll just have to wait and see!

Q. Will you be having Emily make more quirky skirts for you?
A. I absolutely 100% will be. I’m hoping that Emily will make all of my future quirky skirts! The turquoise and pink skirt that Emily made for me for the “Blue Eyes” music video is by far my favourite skirt that I own. We’re currently working on the next skirt as I speak!

Q. Finally, I love the shoes! Where can I get some?
A. I actually make my own shoes. It all started one quiet night when I was living in Somerset, I had an old pair of shoes so decided to personalise them – one covered in haribo sweets and the other in buttons. I decided to wear them to my next gig, and they got even more attention than my music! From then I’ve always worn my odd shoes whilst performing. I sell my odd shoes on the side, as and when people request them but lately I’ve been so busy with my music that I’ve not had time! Maybe I can make you some as a special!
Finally, I am delighed to say, you can now see the video for Jazz Mino's 'Blue Eyes' HERE!
Em x


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