09.20.10: ask kidchamp,* round I {metal, owls, the alma mater}

dear @kidchamp, a) where can i find a titanium chain for my antler tine and b) would it be a bad idea to wear a titanium chain around my neck??

A: titanium's a fantastic material for accessories: it's light, tough, and physiologically inert, which is part of why it's used so often as a surgical supply (for artificial hips, screws, and so on). note that it osseointegrates (that is, bone tissue attaches to it), though, so if you ever develop an exoskeleton or acquire lady gaga's skeleton corset, you'll want to stop wearing the chain. as to where to find it, you've undoubtedly gathered that most titanium chains seem aimed squarely at the veiny-armed-guy market; the most delicate version i turned up is 2 mm thick and available in several lengths. if brick and mortar's your thing, i popped in to ask the girls at catbird about sources last night; they suggested going straight to the jewelry district. i would add that you might have luck with a jeweler/piercer, a la adorned; they have a lot of experience with alternative metals and could very likely point you in the right direction.

Dear @kidchamp, can you advise me on the best way to hash up an owl mask with minimum tears?

A: start with felt: good, sturdy felt if you can find it (i order wool felt from prairie point junction, and it is boss), squares from a craft store if you can't. the plastic masks you find at party stores would make a good base, though you might consider making your own template out of heavy cardboard and sandwiching it between two pieces of felt; it won't be as shaped, but you'll have more latitude for your base layer. hit google images for inspiration: think venetian bird masks, art masks (click on the question mark to see the full photo; that one's my favorite), the panels in watchmen when daniel dreiberg's making his nite owl costume. you can pull apart a duster for feathers (or find them in bulk at a craft store); personally, i'd stick to fabric, as it'll be more durable. upholstery fabric remnants are also a good bet; they fray nicely and are good for neutral colors with a bit of texture. use ribbon or a leather strip to create ties; elastic will get saggy over time, it does weird things to your hair, and it's not especially adjustable. as to the layering itself, invest in a glue gun if you don't have one, then make like my mom (maker of two full-body bird costumes, one of which she still uses twenty years later; i texted her for pointers last night): "Start w/a plain mask, then glue feathers in circular patterns from the outside in...but 1st, layer gold/brown felt w/stiff interfacing, cut into a 6" or so triangle, then bend it over nose part of mask and trim into right size for the beak. Glue on. THEN feathers."

what should a gal wear to her 10-yr college reunion (esp when all her fancy clothes have been in her closet since the 5-yr)?

A: her most flattering LBD (this is a good excuse to get a new one, if you feel like shopping; a good black dress pays for itself almost immediately) and one statement accessory (shoes or a necklace are solid bets), preferably one with a story behind it to serve as backup in case of foundering chitchat. "oh, this? i found it when we went up to seattle last year and stayed in this fun hotel with pet goldfish in the rooms..." my go-to dress is a short, grecian norma kamali for everlast i picked up for a wedding two years ago; NK's stuff is crazy-flattering, and her everlast collaboration is full of clever, durable materials.

internet, have you a secret titanium hookup (that sounds so cybernetic), owl mask experience, or reunionwear tips? how about an exoskeleton? do tell.

*tip of the hat to esb, whose dear esb posts (which, fingers crossed, could soon pop up at mcsweeney's) are so very titillating that i had to yoink the concept.


rachel (heart of light) said...

That felt source is insane! Plaid felt!

I recently bought some 100% wool felt by Moda and was super excited to find they have it in amazing bright colors. But I can't find it online, so this is sort of useless information.

esb said...

you might have to do this more often.

esb said...

p.s. you're making me look bad with the 24-hour turnaround.

kidchamp said...

purl soho's felt is also pretty great, though it's considerably more expensive. i'm always a little shocked by how quickly prices jump with felt; i once priced out materials for a raw felt headboard and had to stop when they climbed above the cost of wooden or wrought iron one. damn, son!  

@esb: i'll do anything to avoid having to write the THUNDERTOME post for arctic chill. that book was a downer, and i say that as someone who listened to "release the bats" a dozen times on friday. 

Celia said...

so... you don't know how to get the cat to stop eating the shower curtain either?  

kidchamp said...

i have theories, celia - i'm saving that one for round 2. 

kidchamp said...

oh, and! owlmask in brooklyn! i'm so committed to answers that i seek them for you while attending concerts, folks.

esb said...

I just noticed you posted my question as tweeted: "is it be a bad idea"

I guess I should thank you for letting me remain anonymous.

kidchamp said...

ha! i actually hadn't noticed. now you're outed and...righted?

these are fun, though i'm now officially out of questions. boo.