Monday, July 30, 2012

Hair, there, and everywhere

Aldo Montano, Courtesy Getty Images/Daily Mail

Hairstyles are another theme we want to explore. Even if your hair isn't as startling as Aldo Montano's new 'do, we want to know how yours is inspired by (or impacts) your fencing. Dye rubbing off in your mask? Forced into incredible braids to keep from covering target? Send your photos to me or Badger

We're uncertain of our posting frequency yet, but we're finding that the Olympic Games provide a lot of inspiring imagery!


Sunday, July 29, 2012


“You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.” –Fezzik, The Princess Bride 

I (Badger) once asked a friend’s coach, a highly rated referee, whether elaborately painted masks are legal. She replied, in her Bulgarian drawl “Un-for-tun-ate-ly, yessssss.”

Maybe it’s not so unfortunate after all. I’ll leave it to others to comment on the awesome fencing yesterday. I'll just point out, briefly, that if today’s Olympic display of custom-painted masks catches on, things could get really, really interesting on the strip.

Lee Kiefer, USA, Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post

Anna Bentley of Great Britain, Photo: Nick Butcher, Islington Gazette

Mask by V. Hanes

If nothing else, I wickedly enjoy the prospect of seeing the rules struggle to define what, exactly, is acceptable on a mask. If designs representing nations are legit, what about states, cities, universities? When does a design become rude or offensive? (Can I have a picture of a demon sticking his tongue out at my opponent?)

Should the example set by our team at the Olympics inspires you to pimp your mask, at least one site on the web advertises custom decoration: Pointed Comments. The artist, Vicki Hanes, isn’t currently taking orders (alas) but says she is hoping to start up again this fall. Please let me know of any other sites that offer this service, and share tips for DIY mask painting (materials, technique, equipment).

Also (reader), I want to know:
-are you for or 'agin exuberant mask painting?
-what would you put on yours?

If you already have embellished your mask, please send a pic to me--we'd love to feature it on this blog.

Friday, July 27, 2012

PrĂȘt? Allez!

Hi, I’m Badger, and I’m Allison
We’re each, in our own way, a little addicted to fashion. And we’re both more than a little addicted to fencing.
Somewhere along the way, we noticed it’s hard to reconcile these two enthusiasms.

Frankly, fencing doesn’t seem offer a lot of scope for fashion flair. Sure some vendors sell colored masks or lames (in a limited palette). Some clubs have STRIPED SOCKS (gasp). For a long time we thought really, other than that, what’s left? Decorating the nails of your off hand?

[Mexico's Graciela Teran, an athletics coach for Mexico and mother of walker Eder Sanchez, displays her nails painted with Olympic Rings at the Olympic village in Beijing August 10, 2008. [Agencies]

However, having kept our eyes open at competitions over the past few years, we’ve noticed that, in fact, you can’t suppress creativity.

Maybe it’s harder for fencers to add flounce to uniforms than it is than for tennis players

[Venus Williams, on Time Photos]

Maybe we can’t rock the color like snowboarders do
David, 20, Madrid Spain, from What’s Whistler Wearing]

However, we’ve discovered that panache can shine through even the most stringent regulations for safety and against sartorial splendor.

We decided to start documenting and sharing these little rebellions of individuality, snuck under or onto the uniform, or up onto the podium. And we’re looking to you for help in our quest.

So here’s to you, our fellow fencing fashionistas. Let’s show the world how we’ve modded, hacked, altered and enhanced our sport to make it just a little bit more stylish, a little bit more fun.

Want to help get us off to a good start? Let us know what you’d like to see on this blog, and what you would like us to cover.