Strike a pose!

GAZETTEER Vol. 5 June 2020

A young boy, with a smile on his face, looks closely at a Greek helmet at the museum
A Trailblazer looks at a Greek helmet at the ROM.

Hi Trailblazers. This week we’re exploring how we express ourselves through our clothes, hairstyles and accessories, and thinking about why we wear what we wear. Time to strike a pose!


Sometimes our clothes are all about style and self expression, sometimes they’re about function. Let’s explore an outfit which might not be practical but definitely looks cool!


Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen uses nature to inspire her wild runway outfits. This plastic dress was 3D-printed. What do you think this skeleton dress would be like to wear? 


Time to make your own fashion show outfit. Restyle a bunch of your own clothes to look like a completely new outfit. You can do this by combining different pieces in a new way: folding, twisting and tucking them or go crazy and wear them on a different part of your body! When you’re creating your outfit make sure you think about colour, pattern and texture.

A short puff-ball dress made from skeleton-inspired 3D printed plastic
The skeleton dress, designed by Iris van Herpen, 2011


Our hair can be a very personal thing, and it can tell different stories about us throughout our lives. It’s also a great way to express yourself!

In Hair Love, Zuri’s hair can do all that and more thanks to her beautiful natural curls. Watch a read along of Hair Love here!

Read along with Sarah and Christian as we explore Hair Loveby Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison.


There are lots of great hairstyles throughout the ROM galleries, but did you know you can also find examples of supernatural magical hair? 

Wall plaque with a mask of Medusa, Greece, 1st Century BCE.

One example of supernatural hair you can find in the Gallery of Greece is Medusa, whose hair was made of snakes and could turn people to stone. In the Daphne Cockwell Gallery dedicated to First Peoples art & culture, you can find a carved narwhal tusk showing Sedna, or Nuliajuk, mother of the sea animals, whose hair could catch them up when she was angry and leave hunters’ nets empty.


  1. Find a background for your artwork. If you’re going to be hanging it up, you will want to use cardstock or cardboard. If you’re capturing it in a photo, your background can be anything you like. 
  2. For a fun and colourful background, add a few drops of food colouring to a small amount of bubble solution. In an outdoor space, grab a friend or an adult to take turns blowing colourful bubbles and catching them on your background. 
  3. Take a picture of yourself and cut it out. Then place your picture on your background. 
  4. Find your magical hair. This can be yarn, string, tissue paper, fabric, or you can get creative with things you find outside! 
  5. Arrange your magical hair around your photo until it covers your natural hair – or let your natural hair show and add on to it, whichever you prefer! Add twists, turns, and gravity-defying stunts. 
  6. Now add small objects to your hair that are important to you and help to tell the story of who you are. 
  7. If you’re planning to hang up this art, glue everything in place once you’re happy with how it looks. 
  8. If you usually choose to cover your hair, remember that you can choose that for your art, too. This art is about things that matter to you


A steel helmet with grotesque features including bushy eyebrows over glowering eyes, a broad nose and a full moustache.
Ogre-faced Oni helmet, Japan, mid 19th century


This oni Samurai helmet from Japan is quite the accessory! Oni is the word for an ogre. In Japanese mythology the oni was part scary, part protective: so wearing it was a perfect way for a warrior to intimidate their enemies.  


Now it’s your turn to make something cool-looking but functional. Find a bike or sports helmet and use household materials like foil, paper, cardboard and tape to turn it into an awesome piece of armour. If you don’t have a helmet start with a sports cap. 


We want to see what you create! Take a picture of your efforts and ask an adult to share it on social media. You can tag us @ROMToronto and use #ROMTrailblazers

You got style Trailblazers! Show it off,

Amanda and Christian

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