img_0151Here in the Bay Area of Florida, each year in February there is a huge celebration known as Gasparilla. It’s named of course for the infamous pirate Jose Gaspar who once frequented the Gulf Coast here, attacking the ships from Her Majesty’s fleets and hiding the plunder off the stunning sandy beaches. Thankfully, there’s a little less violence involved these days, but each year there is a ceremonial “invasion” of Tampa Bay as a real wooden ship arrives and hundreds of pirates take over the streets – and hold a parade.

There are dozens of pirate Krewes whose members dress and act the part, and create a vivid and colorful display on the streets of downtown Tampa and Ybor City. One of these pirates approached me just a few weeks before Gasparilla this year to ask me to create a custom corset for her to weare on the day of the parade (that first project is pictured above). Her Krewe required her to incorporate the burgandy fabric you see, but beyond that the design and style were completely up to her! She brought me another corset she owned and asked me to make something similar, in her current size and with some style modifications, in the required fabrics.

diozzap2front1It was SO much fun. Costumes invariably peak my interest; I love the fantasy and storytelling that are played out in fabric. And in the case of this request, recreating an existing garment as complex as this one was just challenging enough to be really enjoyable. And, best of all, my client was thrilled with the result!

A few weeks later she came to me and told me that one of the other members of her Krewe LOVED the costume so much, that she bought it from her on the spot! So, we needed a new costume, in a unique new style, in two weeks’ time, for her to wear to today’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

diozzap2withoutjacket diozzap2back

I’ve been in a frenzy the past two weeks piecing this costume together while also working on a number of other projects. With many late nights and more pots of coffee than I’ve bothered to count, I was able to complete the costume on time. The skirt was her design, all open panels of fabric that will fall away as she walks and show off the new thigh high boots she’s wearing! For the corset, again, and for the bolero style jacket as well, she brought me an inspiration piece to style the design after (with a few minor modifications).

diozzap2lacingI’m looking forward to hearing how today’s parade goes but in the meanwhile I just couldn’t wait to post a few pictures for you all to see! This kind of work is so enjoyable and so rewarding for me; I really love what I do.

Have a great day everyone and Happy St.  Patty’s to you all!


5 Responses to “Rumrunner”

  1. March 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Both outfits turned out beautifully!!

  2. March 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Wow, those are beautiful!!!

  3. 3 goffcouture
    March 19, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks! They were so much fun to make!

  4. March 22, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Arrrrr, matey! You did an amazing job on these! They look so authentic. Fun!

  5. March 23, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Wow – fabulous work!

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