My first choice was Tails. The fast flying little fox from SEGAs retro platform game Sonic the Hedgehog. Me and my ten years older sister played that back in the 90′s. It was rad! She was Sonic of course and I was Tails. I researched Tails a bit, turns out he’s a he not a she and his real name is Miles Prower, a pun to Miles per hour because he so fast. But his identity is maybe a bit too two dimensional, literary and metaphorically. And I was stuck with to simple ideas, not wanted to complicate my not so complicated relation to this little lovely creature.
Lets move on.
So I needed to think of a new person. Roy Batty played by Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner (1982) came to my mind. He is a “Replicant”, a robot who together with his Replicant friends rebel against their predetermined work-for-humans destiny. And then “Major” from the renowned classic anime Ghost in the Shell (1995). She is a cyborg cop, that faces questions about humanity while fighting a new life form, a computer virus with a free will. And I can not help of thinking of Leeloo Dallas. The tangerine colored hair girl from The Fifth Element (1997) played by Mila Jakovovich. She is a bodily product of an experiment to create the perfect human, but who escapes her birthplace, the lab, right away. A forth person unavoidable to think of is Arzach. Created by french comic book author Moebius. Arzach is a half human, half (?) whose self assigned mission is to guard the planets. Never on one or the other side of a conflict, just a fighter for peace.
But I also think about a bum in a carbon box on the street. With layers of clothes that lost their color. With all the time in the world to turn inside to his or her own thoughts. One with a personal outlook on life. One who everyone recognize. One who is around. A rambler.
Roy Batty The Replicant, Motoko Kusanagi aka Major, Leeloo Dallas and Arzach
And below, some guy in a park with a vulture
What I did was to combine the persons in my head, creating a somewhat abstract genderless sci fi hoodlum. Who only exist in my mind, and barely not even there. I am also stuck in a aesthetics far away from the clean cliché futurism. And closer to the bum.
A way to further define my person is perhaps describe her environment. First of all its not in a known place but in a nonspecific dystopic far future. A environment similar where my persons described above are use to themselves. Its a supercity, to big for any authority to control. Left to its own self sufficiency. Every man and woman to him and herself and a free open market. In many ways, life for people is back to more primitive ways, but with an endless access to advanced technologies. The half mined out metallic asteroid Omega in the video game Mass Effect may be the represented place. A messy sanctuary for bandits and outlaws.
I know I wanted to work solely in black, maybe to make a little challenge for my self since I always prefer color.
I wanted a rough worn-out feeling. As if my person been around a lot, wearing the hat through fail and foul. I went to a fabric store to find some second hand leather but an old jersey fabric with pilling and nubs caught my attention. On waterlooplein I found a old leather hat which was soft in material but tough in attitude. I brought it with me for inspiration and material.
Since I wanted a little bit of PUNK to the hat, and to avoid making just another wizards hat I added some METALL.
like these eyelets and of course safety pins.
I needed a way to make a big stable shape. So I sewed in metal sticks to be able to form a shape I want.
I liked the look of the needles sticking out like spikes before I sewed the sticks in. I made some tryout on how I could keep them there instead, but decided it was to dangerous and non-practical. I want my person to have a wearable hat she can be active in.
With the bendable metal base I could try different shapes. Head in the hat skeleton or on top.
Many try-out on the shape of the hat. Like a cone, onion or a smashed cylinder?
On how to where what type of cap. Small one, round one, multiple ones, on the back, under the chin?
On how to were a cape. And if to wear a cape. Be anonymous, be protective?
I heard in a movie about superheroes ones that capes are really unhandy because they get stuck everywhere. We liked the idea of a cape. I decided to make a detachable cape. I wanted to have “big ears” on the hat. The cape now has “big ears” that are used to fix it to the hat, together with a black rope. Very convenient. I decided to have three caps in the front. It makes an odd but not crazy look. The person wearing it looks cool and mysterious. It covers almost the face whole but you still have mouth and eyes and nose accessible, so it is comfortable.
Everything is attached together more or less only with the eyelets, pins, ropes ect. You can more or less see the construction from outside.