Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Give Yourself a Medal: The Awards Jacket

The Uber-Official-Looking Awards Jacket

Sometimes you just deserve a medal. No one else may realize it, but deep in your heart you know it's true. And there is a certain something about a guy — or a gal — in uniform. The much-maligned author Jerzy Kozinsky knew this better than anyone. He would go to uniform shops and have them tailor-make a uniform that would transform him into an intimidating, high-ranking officer from some vague, obscure, non-existent country. My trip down this fantasy road began with the discovery of some badges at the bottom of a basket of assorted rubble at the Depot for Creative reuse in Oakland. I snagged a few that appealed to me and supplemented those with some iron-on images I had created in the past from my stash at home. Once I spotted this military-style linen jacket at the thrift store right around the corner from me, I was in business.

Awards, left shoulder


I decided what all of the awards represented because, after all, I am the head honcho of this fantasy squadron. Note that the "Not" pin is from a previous post, "Dialog Pin for Troubled Times," where you will find how-to instructions to make pins of your own.

Right shoulder


Accidents happen in any campaign and in this case, when I decided to remove the original clothing label from this recycled garment, I inadvertently snipped right through the fabric of the jacket at the neckline. No worries. The "cross child" label below, which uses an image lifted from a Japanese language card, not only covers the glitch, it communicates that there is someone you don't want to tangle with inside this uniform.

Back neck label: Don't mess with me.


As an afterthought, I used my new (recycled) printing kit and fabric ink to print a motto for our times and for my branch of this non-existent military: "Despair is not an option." Quote courtesy of Bernie Sanders.

"Despair is not an option."

There is a fine line, when creating a garment like this, between fashioning something that can pass as street clothing and an interesting conversation-starter, and ending up with something that would make everyone on AC Transit move to the other end of the bus. I am hoping I have pulled off the former.

If you're ready to sign up for my non-existent army, go ahead and create a uniform of your own. This automatically qualifies you to become commanding officer of whatever branch of the force you wish, with full powers to award yourself medals. No saluting necessary, except maybe a peace sign.

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