Unordered List

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Links post: Medieval armour made from rubber inner-tubes, "sexy" 1970s sci-fi convention fashions, vintage crime-scene photographs, and more.

Beyond badass: Chicago designer creates “Joan of Arc” armour from recycled bike tubes. Bicycle inner-tubes are a great material to use for Halloween costumes/punk gear because they're so cheap, versatile, and easy to manipulate, but this woman has made something more awesome than I could ever manage: Medieval-inspired body armour.
Photos from here.
She's clearly thought this through very well because it's not just panels -- she's interwoven the lengths of rubber and used different sizes for texturing. It's so cool! Better than a lot of the post-apocalyptic goth/armour/fetish gear you see in movies like Mad Max because you can tell that this outfit was hand-made using easily-available recycled materials, but it still retains the WTF (in this case, Medieval armour) aesthetic required for this type of costume. I wish I'd thought of it myself!

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25 Vintage Police Record Photographs. Warning: some of these may be disturbing to some people. Nothing graphic, but they do include photos from the aftermath of car crashes, and a deserted backstreet abortion room.
"Missing friend" poster, from here.
Personally, I found this gallery fascinating, mainly because it differs so greatly from what we think of as "crime scene photos". You may have seen vintage mugshot photos before -- the internet likes that sort of thing because it combines a very human morbid curiosity about criminals with the nostalgic whimsy of sepia-toned 1920s flapper girls -- and these pictures share that same sort of feel. These photos seem so much freer and more natural (and probably less helpful, from a forensic standpoint) than the carefully framed and labeled photos we see in the newspapers or on forensic crime shows.

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from here.
Another thing from the department of "awesome costumes made from everyday objects": Nina Katchadourian's Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. These have been knocking around the blogosphere for a few weeks now and therefore probably qualify as old news, but I don't care. They fill me with glee. Using a scarf and the paper toilet covers one finds in public bathrooms, artist Nina Katchadourian produced a series of photos of herself posing in airplane bathrooms, all modeled in the style of dark-toned, serious-faced 15th-century Flemish portraiture.
from here.
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A Treasure Trove of Cosplay from the Swinging 1970s [NSFW] -- I love this because it combines the horrors of "sexy" 1970s fashion (Will the "sexy" fashions of now look this bad in 40 years? Probably.) with the sort of glorious, idiotic ingenuity one finds in the all the most fun parts of geek fandom.
photos from here.
I tend to agree with the writer of the original blog post, here: there is something more appealing about these costumes in comparison to many of the cosplay outfits we see at conventions today. Although I greatly admire the people who put huge amounts of work into making exact replicas of the Iron Man armour or figuring out how exactly one would construct a steampunk Dalek ballgown, there's something to be said for sheer, balls-out enthusiasm. I'm far from an expert on cosplay culture, but on the occasions when I have dropped into a sci-fi or comic convention, I've noticed a great divide between the truly awesome costumes that end up getting photographed by everyone, and the costumes worn by everyday plebs like you and me. Although there are always a few cool low-budget outfits and witty, clever ideas that people have managed to throw together using cardboard boxes and duct-tape, most of the younger cosplayers always seemed to be wearing costumes ordered from the internet -- especially the anime and manga fans. There are high standards to live up to, I suppose.
Love that soft-focus!

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Finally, this isn't really a link to anything, just a photo I came across on Tumblr today: k.d. lang after winning the American Music Award for Best New Female Adult Contemporary Artist in 1992. In my opinion, this is a very accurate visual representation of what "awesome" looks like (NB: other examples include photos of the original crew of the USS Enterprise). I'm dying over her combination of '90s Christian Slater hair, tiny sunglasses, awesome sartorial dandyism, and unabashed smugness.


  1. That is the most amazing Tars Tarkas I have ever seen.

  2. This post is the raddest! I'm at work, so I can't quite enjoy the glorious 70s cosplay yet, but I love all of this. (Vintage crime scene photography always gets to me, there's a series of books of crime scene/newspaper photography from my home town and such images are usually sad but terribly revealing.)

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