Captain Robert (lead singer and lyric-writer) recently published his first novel, a fictionalized account of the band’s adventures in the past and future.  In his fictional world, there are people in the future who have abandoned life in the cities for a life of freedom.  He calls them “NeoBedouins” and has a few descriptions of how they dress.

Wool and leather vests, with ornate embroidery.

Baggy pants tucked into enormous boots.

Colorful cloaks.

Long knotted hair.

Headdresses of made of belts and odd pieces of machinery.

Henna tattoos.

Basically, in Robert’s world, technology exists and is used – but outside of the cities, mankind is reduced to a more natural/primal state as well, with attacks from wild beasts common, and people foraging or trading for what they need.  These NeoBedouins are not a particular race, but anyone who has chosen this lifestyle.

I took that, and I ran with it.  I loved the idea of the tech combined with the primal.  A group/race of people who live in such close proximity to dangerous wild animals, would use parts of the animals in their dress.  Fur, skin, teeth and claws….if only to demonstrate that they survived an attack.  But since they also trade or scavenge for their needs, they would have cast-offs from the city.  Fancy fabrics and bits of jewelry or “odd bits of machinery”.  Something that might be too worn or impractical for a their outside lives would be torn apart and modified into something new.

Enough of the talking, let’s get to the pics!  Here’s what I have so far (it’s still pretty far from finished…)

One wool vest, with embroidery.

Notice the watch pocket!

I made a pair of baggy pants (which do not show to advantage in the pics because my dummy has no legs.)

I went with a MIddle Eastern-inspired coat, instead of a cloak.  It seemed more…right, to me.

Yes, there is only one sleeve. I’ll tell you the reason for that at the end!

For the embroidery, I went with a sort of almost Scandinavian look, because I wanted to pull it away from a complete “Middle Eastern” look.  I wanted it to look not completely racially homogeneous, but more like the outcasts from a city were jumbled together, and their styles started to merge as they borrowed designs and ideas off each other.  The center of the flowers are tiny mirrors – totally NOT a Scandinavian style of embroidery!  :P

These embroidered panels on the sides hang underneath pockets, and I think they will have some sort of secret/fun pocket on their undersides.  Possibly a place to hide a weapon?

The back of the coat is split, to enable riding on a motorbike or camel.

I also cut the back of the neck down, to show off the embroidery on the vest.  I think I’ll put some sort of fur trim on the shoulders of this.

The inside of the coat is lined in bright turquoise fabric.  This will show in flashes of color when I walk.  It matches nothing else on the costume, but I like that.  When you’re trading/scavenging  for fabric, you can’t always find those exact color matches!

For boots, I’m making a pair of leather spats.  This is my first time sewing with genuine leather, and I’m loving it.  I bought leather needles for my machine, and it’s as easy to work with as any fabric.

Still very much in progress:

There will be buckles, I think, and possibly fur.  Or some other kind of decoration.

And now…the reason for there being only one sleeve on the coat.  These people are fighers.  Stands to reason they would have some sort of armor.  On my “sword arm” I’ve taken off the sleeve (which would only get shredded by a leopard, should I be fighting one off) and am making a steampunk leather arm protector thing.  Cool name/function still to be determined.

Here’s what I have so far:

This will wrap around my upper arm, and lace and buckle in place.  And yes!  It lights up!!!  In the pic below, it’s “full on” (and not very bright because of the camera’s lighting needs.)  I can also make it flicker, which I think is the coolest effect.  In dim lighting, it’s awesome.  I used EL wire that came in about a two foot length.  It’s powered by a small battery pack.  I coiled it underneath the painted drain stoppers.  Once it’s finished, I’ll get a video for you guys…in dim light.

So there it is, so far.  Just wait until you see what I have planned for my head!!!!

It’s DONE.  I decided not to finish the spats…I just didn’t have the inspiration for how to finish them, so I’m leaving them for later.  In place of the spats, I’ll wear my big boots…which actually matches the book description better anyway.

On to the pictures!

The necklace is little glass “talon” vials filled with colored sand. And a Jay’s feather.

Hip pockets.

These fit my actual hips better!

Pockets, pockets, everywhere!  Inside….

…and outside…

Plus, I made two wrist bracers. This one:

And this one:

And then there’s my hair/headdress.  I made a turban and falls.  And antlers!

The black veil can either go across my lower face, as it is here, or just unclip and hang loosely to the side.

The antlers are made of Paperclay.

The hair falls are made of 1/2 fake burgundy hair, and 1/2 yarn.  The hair has braided sections with knotted bits of beads, shells, and bells attached.  The yarn is quite dread-like, and I was pleased to find it on clearance at Michael’s.  It’s called “Horizon Tweed” by a brand called Loops & Threads. I bought three different colors: blue, lavender, and red.

Here you are!  Pictures of me wearing it!

It was a very comfortable costume to wear.  I had *some* worries that the weight of the headdress/falls would make it start to slip back too far on my head – especially with all the dancing and jumping, but it all stayed perfectly fine and didn’t even give me headache…which was my other worry, as I have a sensitive head and even a simple headband will sometimes hurt me after a few hours.  Around my eye is a fake “henna” design I freehand drew on with liquid eyeliner.  Someone at the concert thought it was real henna!  I bought waterproof eyeliner for this because I wanted it to stay put even if I forgot it was there and rubbed my eye.  I bought cheap Wet n’ Wild eyeliner, and by golly did it ever stay put!  I couldn’t get it off even with makeup remover!  I had to basically *scrub* it off…which wasn’t much fun since it was right around my eye.  Glad I didn’t use it actually for it’s purpose…I’d never have gotten it off!  :)  But next time I want a temporary design on my hands or feet (or anywhere else more friendly to scrubbing, I’m definitely using this brand.  It STICKS.

Oh, and I also met this guy.  No idea who he is, but he seemed kinda cool….  :D

*not-so-quiet SQUEE at getting a picture with the guy who inspired my costume, while WEARING my costume*

 

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