I love it when I get to make something a bit different - so I was fairly delighted when Glasgow based musician Tamara got in touch to see about commissioning a piece to be worn at gigs and promotion of her new single. Tamara Schlesinger (formerly of 6 day Riot), performing as MALKA, creates "tribal pop music featuring bright synths, loops and beats making a rhythmic core, and repeating sing-song vocals." Having a listen to MALKA's music lets you guess (probably correctly) the kind of alternative headwear she chooses to wear. When I first met her, she showed me some of the headwear she had collected over the years - all beautiful. Her idea for this particular headpiece was a mix of american marching band major and burning man festival type wear.
The initial inspiration pic sent to me was a hard plastic helmet style (albeit non traditional). Advising Tamara that my skillset does not lie in plastics, she was happy for me to create a similar shape from an extremely stiffened wool felt. I stiffened and blocked an alabaster wool felt, then stiffened it again...and again. It was cut to shape to emulate the militarial style she was thinking of and covered in gold lycra. Over this, handstitched were various elements of textured metallic fabrics aligned to create 2 symmetrical patches which would be filled with over 500 individually stiched sequins (ouch). All topped off with a central gold claw which joined a metallic pleat to the hat - because...why not?
We experimented with some gold goggles...they didn't make the final cut!
Anyway - below are a few shots of the inimitable Malka in her hat including one casually sitting on a gold toilet, as you do.
At the time of publishing this, Malka has a live kickstarter to fund her new album "I'm not your Soldier" - you can have a look at some of the perks and perhaps pledge here