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Thom Ravnholdt is a costume designer and maker, pattern cutter, and a multi-skilled creative working in many media.

10 December 2010

Ball & Bits for Empress Stah

Here's another outfit I made for Empress Stah. It consists of a patent leather covered helmet, and leather triangles stuck directly to her body. The amazing Perou shot the pics which are for Stah's new website, and she will also use the pieces in a new performance to be premiered in Australia in the New Year. (I have blurred her nipples so the Americans won't delete my blog.)

7 November 2010

Halloween Shirt For Fil OK

My friend Fil OK who is a DJ, club promoter and music producer asked me to make him a shirt for a Halloween party he was hosting at his club NagNagNag. Here's some pics of it.

31 October 2010

Costume Sketches for Christian Gentleman

At the end of November I am being flown to Copenhagen to make a costume for Christian Van Schijndel aka The Gentleman, who is hosting the 2010 New Burlesque Festival part 3: NEO Burlesque at Warehouse 9.
Here's some ideas for him to choose from:
-Nothing is set in stone, we will work the finished look out together, and I will post pics when it's done.

12 August 2010

Inflatable Hood For Empress Stah

I made this rubber hood for the wonderful performance- and trapeze artist Empress Stah, for a performance she did at this years KERRANG! Awards. Her show was all about plastic surgery and body image, and the character was a nurse with a heavily worked-on face. So I did this rubber hood with inflatable lips and cheek bones. Stah can inflate it herself by mouth with a rubber tube concealed at the corner of the mouth, that can be hidden away under the lower lip. The eyes are really exaggeratedly slanted to give it that Joan Rivers face-lifted look.
The dress is the 'U' Minidress by Torture Garden for House of Harlot.

6 August 2010

Friday Night Nemo

The other night I dressed up for the first time in ages. I was invited to a fancy dress party with an ocean theme. It was a colleague of mine who suggested Nemo, I'm not sure why. But I could easily picture myself as the adorable little clown fish. So I made fins out of rubber, in a double layer sandwiched over a wire skeleton. I stuck them on with Mastix spirit gum, and painted my face in Kryolan Supra Colour (grease paint). It was a success! Unfortunately there was no prize for best outfit (I would have won it, fins down).

22 June 2010

Gold Chaps For David

My Friend David who is a DJ and promoter asked me to make him a costume for him to wear for this years Glastonbury Festival where he is playing and performing. He wanted gold sequin chaps and a jock strap to match it. David provided me the fabric, and I got down to work. It is probably one of the most time consuming textiles I have ever worked in, but I think that the end result is super hot and camp:

8 June 2010

Wedding Hat For Therese

A couple of weeks ago, I went to my friends Marie-Claire and Thomas' wedding in Denmark, and it was SO romantic! I was crying my eyes out the whole day, and then I got really drunk.
My good friend Therese, who had been bestowed the duty of being Maid Of Honour, in turn bestowed me the trust to make her something fabulous that she could wear on her head. She sent me pictures of her outfit, her colour scheme, and a packet full of silk flowers, beads, sequins and other goodies, so I went to the drawing board straight away.
Therese had told me that there would also be a little bird in the packet (with a specific sentimental value to bride and MoH), so my initial idea was to make a little top hat, pierced by a leaf-gold-plated branch (no less), on which this bird would be perched. This looked something like this:
(Well, she did give me free hands, and told me to go the whole way, so I thought: You want it, you got it!)
But then the packet arrived, and the bird was tiny, and the flowers were really beautiful, so my ideas started to go more classic, simple, sculptural, fascinator kind of hat. Also, sitting up there with the bride (who looked absolutely stunning), I didn't want her to take any visual attention away from her either.

At first I started experimenting with steaming various felt and fabrics into shape, but after visiting Millinery Warehouse in Pimlico, (a charming little shop, well worth a visit), I discovered the material sinamay. It's like a very coarse canvas weaved from a natural fibre that apparently only grows in the Philipines. I knew of it before, but always thought that it had a quite naff Marks & Spencer's / Royal Ascot / Fancy Dress sort of quality to it. However, discovering all the different colours and kinds, I bought some to have a go with. After all, some off Stephen Jones' and Philip Treacy's best work is in sinamay. It was challenging, but great fun, and I will definitely work with it again. So I made the basic shape; short of a proper hat block, I used a plaster cast of my own head:
I trimmed it in gold silk bias binding, and then added the silk flowers and leaves. And last, but not least, the little bird!

Therese looked so beautiful wearing it, and the hat was a success with all the grannies and aunties who all wanted to speak to the createur, who got more and more drunk on pink champagne as the day progressed...

30 April 2010

Hand Joy @ C4RD

This Wednesday, April 28th, was the opening reception for Hand Joy at Centre For Recent Drawing (C4RD) in Islington, and it was a major success, with lots of people showing up. The weather was amazing, a lovely spring evening with loads of good energy, air-kisses, networking and cheap red wine. I was so all over the place myself that I almost forgot to take pictures, but Corinna Spencer took some, and I took a few on the day I installed my sculptures.

The exhibition is open until Friday the 28th of May, opening times are Wednesday to Friday, 12 - 6 pm, 2 - 4 Highbury Station Road, Highbury Islington, London N1 1SB, +44 (0) 2039 6936.
One of my new sculptures called 'Planet With Many Orifices' (on my bed before installation at the gallery). I have lit it from behind so that the internal structure is visible too. Every orifice leads to and meet in a smaller planet at the core of the sphere.
Same piece, front lit, and close up of an orifice
'Rosebud' hanging
'Rosebud' and 'Brown Baby' on the floor, prior to installation.
Installation view of 'Planet...' hanging, with Maxime Angel's collage/drawings behind.

A piece originally from my degree show, previously untitled, now titled 'Queer Self & Fish'.
Installation view.
Hand Joy's curator Paul Kindersley holding a map of how to find the pub for the after party.

More pics from the exhibition here.
And don't forget the launch party for the 2nd volume of Zine For Recent Drawing: Box Of Desires, featuring original artworks by the Hand Joy artists. The zine is a limited edition of 20, presented in an A4 box. This takes place on Wednesday the 19th of May, also at C4RD, from 6 - 8 pm.

17 April 2010

Calling All Boys Remix / Mikkokoo

Believe it or not, I also make music once in a while. Well, it's sort of on the back burner at the moment, due to the whole costume thing taking off. But follow this link, and you can hear a mix I did of 'Calling All Boys' by the funny and amazing performer/hostess/DJ Mikkokoo, for her project The Vagrants.
I love the charming Finnish accent, the bold and slightly surreal lyrics, it kinda reminds me of Amanda Lear or Yoko Ono, very arty. Go Mikko!

27 March 2010

April Art

Again, a quiet month here on my blog, have been 9 to 5ing like a mad man. However, at least one interesting project coming up. Will be part of a group exhibition 'Hand Joy' at Center for Recent Drawing (C4RD) in Islington, curated by Paul D C Kindersley. I am working on inflatable rubber sculptures for this, inspired by mutation, sex, orifices, science fiction, cloning, geometry, maths etc, gonna be very funnydisturbingkinky. My key words to work from are Desire, Eroticism and Memory. Opening on 28th of April. Will keep you posted. XX

9 March 2010

It's Nice, That!

Yay! This week, my friend and collaborator Shelly Love is the featured artist on From today and the rest of this week, I am one of her chosen artists , alongside Stuart Pearson Wright, Ron Mueck and others. Check it out!

16 February 2010

Bottle Cover / Rubber Rose

I also made a little present for Søren, to say congratulations with a successful show. This bottle cover with a bottle of red wine inside. It has a concealed zip at the back, just like the suits from the show. I put a rose on it to reflect the roses in Søren's hats. His initial idea was that all the cat suits would be covered in flowers too, I'm so glad he didn't because just this one took hours!

14 February 2010

Søren Bach - The Show!

So, Tuesday I went to Copenhagen to help Søren with the last preparations for his show Wednesday the 10th of Feb.
His hats are amazing! This new collection is so beautiful and romantic, and extremely professionally made.
I arrived in the afternoon, and we went straight to work. While Søren finished his pieces, I made rubber covers for all the models footwear, and helped Søren find ways of attaching his things to my rubber suits.
Wednesday the show was on at Copenhagen's Town Hall's beautiful main hall, and it went really well. We had to literally bathe the models in talcum powder in order for them to get in to the suits, and gloss them up afterwards with silicone spray. This mixture made the stone floor backstage ridiculously slippery, and my biggest fear was that one or more of the girls would fall over on the catwalk and snap their ankles, but luckily no-one did.
The show was a major success, it was Søren plus 10 other designers, each with 5-6 entries each, Søren's was first, and I thought it was the best and most remarkable. Only a few others were 'showy', the rest was quite boring to be frank.
Personally, I was very pleased with my own rubber work, all suits and accessories fit the models perfectly, they had the desired sprayed-on look that Søren had requested, and he too was very pleased with the final result of our work combined.
I hope you enjoy the pictures.

8 February 2010

Article in Out&About

This month (February 2010) I am gracing the cover of the Danish gay monthly mag Out&About. There's also an article about me inside the magazine about what I do.
Oh, I love seeing myself in print!

2 February 2010

Bow Tie & Braces For Jeffrey

My friend Jeffrey asked me to make a pair of skinny rubber braces for him and a classic tie-it-yourself bow tie for his boyfriend. So I did.
The braces are black with white pin stripes, adjustable and with clips. The bow tie is double layered in black and metallic pewter, also adjustable with snaps at the back. I hope he likes it!

20 January 2010

Quick Update / Project With Søren Bach

It's been very quiet here on my blog for ages, I know. I have been so busy at my day job, and I am currently taking on a lot of made-to-measure work for private customers, rubber gear mainly.
A project that takes most of my spare time at the moment, and one that I am very excited to work on, is a collaboration with the Danish milliner and Royal College graduate, Søren Bach. He is preparing his new collection of hats to be shown at the Copenhagen Fashion Week, and he has asked me to dress the models in made-to-measure rubber outfits. So I am currently working on cat suits, hoods, gloves and footwear for this project.
Søren's work is amazing, I have immense admiration for his skill and sense of detail, and I am constantly inspired by his creativity. His colourful and cartoonish creations have been worn by Björk, Grace Jones, and Joan Collins to name a few. This new collection is darker and more dramatic and romantic than the last one, perfect for winter.
The show is on February 10th. More to follow.

A shot from our last model fitting

Björk in a Søren Bach hat