Soylent Green Vendor
Soylent Green Vendor
By Marjan Farzaad and David Langston
Based on a Design By Pierre Pettinger
In the Winter of 2015, I received the folio for CostumeCon 33 which was to be held in May in South Carolina. I was immediately crazy about one design. I just had to do it, have it, be it. It was called The Vendor.
At the Convention, I met Pierre Pettinger, the designer, and asked permission to build his Vendor concept. He was thrilled, excited and wanted pictures! The “Vendor” has come a long way from Pierre’s design. Later, as I was sketching and surfing and drowning in “Vendor” one day, my husband, David, casually says, “Does she sell Soylent Green?” The Mobile Armored Vending Entity (MAVE) came into focus. David’s brilliant concept gave MAVE a setting, a world to live in. She wasn’t a sparkly out of the box sci fi dream. She was the beat up product of an overpopulated world with almost no resources left, feeding on itself. MAVE is a variation on the man-in-the-box costume theme. One half human, one half cyborg vending machine, she offers an array of Soylent Green products. Imagine Marie Callender meets Johnny Cab fro Total Recall.
There were two significant forks in the road in the evolution of the design.
First, as previously mentioned, we determined that MAVE was the product of a not-so-shiny world. So we incorporated hidden armor and aging for all components.
Much later in the process, we realized that Pierre’s simple “Flintstones” method of movement, did not work. MAVE’s box and parts of her costume were then redesigned to allow the whole contraption to be mounted on a hoverboard. Yes, I had to learn to ride one. Yes, I had bruises. Most importantly, there were some young boys mortified to see an old lady ride a box at the skate park, although their parents thought it was great.
The cabinet shell and circuitry was designed and built of wood by David Langston. The box is made of 1” x 2” pine lumber with 1” x 1” internal ribs.
MAVE had silicone prosthetics on her face and neck implying circuitry. But, it turned out it was easier to do that with string, beads and spirit gum.
She also has a sound system built into the right breast as I have some room there thanks to a lumpectomy. Her voice could be amplified this way as she hawked her wares to ice cream vendor music, chiding everyone to get their vitamins.
MAVE’s costume gives a nostalgic nod to bell hop/elevator operators to honor Pierre’s original design. The right side of the costume is a silver silk suit with green and silver braided trim. The jacket and pants are bought and altered (eBay $15, yay). All the trim work including tubing, lighting and alterations are courtesy of the contestant. The hidden part is more raw, more unfinished utilizing a combination of textural silver fabrics suggesting armor. She is attached to the box by cables and fuel lines and can stretch a bit outside the box to reveal the creepy side.
MAVE’s hat is designed and constructed by the contestant starting with a purchased silk Fez. The Soylent Green logo is made from cast acrylic thermoplastics. The hair is wired fabric covered in silver yarn with silver nail studs glued to the yarn in an industrial pattern. Her antenna is a re-used CB antennae repurposed for the costume.
The two main box sides are made of EVA foam. The process for smoothing and painting includes the same steps you would employ for building armor. Sand, fill, sand, fill, etc.
There are six (6) different kinds of lighting in this project including LEDs, EL Wire, fairy and X-Mas lights.
Thank you for considering our entry and we hope you enjoyed it. Here are links to some videos of MAVE in action.