FMD#11

I’ve been working on the sketches to get an idea of the pose and also to determine what would be best overall for the clothing for the bronze sculpture, as I’ll need to find actual clothes to work from. Fannie Mae, while loving fashion, was practical at heart and a true business woman. For her opening night of the Cotton Club she eyed a stunning red grown but opted instead for a black gown as she new she would get more use from it, it would always be appropriate and would be something that she could actually work in. First and foremost was running her club and other enterprises and if she were sculpted in an evening gown it would give the impression of leisure and watching a show rather than a hard-working entrepreneur that was running multiple businesses. 

Currently I have precious few photos of Fannie Mae to work from in this time period and those few that I do have are very small and quite difficult to see details of dress, shoes, jewelry and hats as details are lost in the black shadows. If anyone reading this has any photos that they would be willing to share with me please do contact me. If you don’t have photos but you find examples or photos of hairstyles or hats she wore, etc I’d love to see them - you can leave a comment in the section below or email me directly. Comments can be made by typing into the Comments box at the bottom of each blog page and then hitting the Return button on your keyboard to enter it onto the page.

The first sketches were a starting point to gather ideas and to know what it is I will be looking for. No sense wasting hours trying to source a suitable 1953 purse if in the end a purse is not going to be featured in the sculpture - best to spend those hours sculpting instead.

Part of my research involves collaboratively working with others - I don’t make the molds on large sculptures as that is very specialized - I hire great mold-makers. Ditto for pouring the bronze - I rely on great foundries. So it is with costuming - I find an expert in the field. Unfortunately we don’t have access to Fannie Mae’s clothes so it will be necessary to try to replicate or recreate her look either by sourcing vintage clothing or by creating costumes by hand. I nearly failed sewing in Home Ec (back in the day when they made us poor girls take it instead of shop ;-) so I have enlisted the help of a professional costume designer. I will be featuring him in an upcoming blog post after our meeting with weekend of Sept. 1 and 2.

I thought I would share with you the pdf brief that I I sent to him and have posted it as clickable jpgs below. He will be helping me to source the outfit in the sizes needed to fit the model, who is very close to the size, height and age that we chosen for depicting Fannie Mae. This is a very important part of the process and requires a lot of research and time. It isn’t possible to make up clothing and the way that it drapes, folds and moves (unless for a sketch) and sculpt it in a convincing manner - it takes having the real deal in front of you so you can see the weight and geometric forms that fabric takes on based on what is under that fabric. A slight movement or change of position will cause a draping fold to change dramatically.

And for those of you who may be interested, I have a Pinterest page that I use to keep track of ideas and references that I have compiled of period fashion, photos of Fannie Mae, props etc.

Planning the costume for sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Planning the costume for sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Planning the costume for sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Planning the costume for sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Planning the costume for sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Planning the costume for sculpture ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy


Sculpture and all images. Unauthorized use prohibited © Lori Kiplinger Pandy 2000-2018
All Rights Reserved  Site Map  Email: Lori@KiplingerPandy.com