Posts in costumes

July 18th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Events/Happenings, Participate!

Compression! Art and Fire, this weekend in Reno

Evening crowd shot from the Cal Neva parking garage during Compression 2010. Photo by Bill Kositzky

Reno is blowin’ up. Living here right now is highly exciting, despite the recession that just won’t die. We may not be rich, but we Reno dwellers have great art at our fingertips and Burning Man culture up the wazoo. Who needs money when you’ve got art and fire?

For years now, the City of Reno has been working with BRAF to exhibit Black Rock City’s best artworks. This month, the Spire of Fire is in place and will be lighting up every Tuesday night as part of Artown, Reno’s month-long art festival. Read more »

February 6th, 2010  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

Mardi Gras (And Another Pre-Event Costume Frenzy)

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, like the Burning Dude, is impossible to explain during just one cafe conversation. Like the Burning Dude, too, a newcomer needs to remember EASY DOES IT: enjoy the first year, don’t be too ambitious, focus in on one or two aspects, and branch out from there. Mardi Gras is a lot to swallow, and us, we’ve only just begun to chew.

For a good history of Mardi Gras: read here. Zulu parade: Here. And Mardi Gras Indians: Here and here.

(Mardi Gras Indians = feather envy)

Someone asked yesterday what we going to wear for our first Mardi Gras as New Orleans residents. “Do we NEED a costume?” Yes!, they said. Ohhhhh crap. Another lesson learned quickly: This is the high holy holiday in New Orleans, and even if thou art just walking down the street, thou shalt style thyself accordingly.

We are not the kind of people to show up un-costumed to a costumed event. In fact, quite the opposite. A friend offered to loan us her costumes from last year … but that just didn’t … feel … right. For our kind, costumes must be hand-crafted, filled with the spirit, and wearable post-event — not store-bought, forgotten about, and donated to the community center along with the bridesmaid’s dress and the fondue set. Our threads won’t be anything fancy — but they’ll be ours. Even at this late date, we’ll get it done.

Preparation for the fete is the spell we cast; costume, the pre-battle warpaint. As we make black-and-gold streamers for the Saints Superbowl game-day party at the Village, we wish on the Saints to win. As we cobble together the effluvia found during our Year One in NOLA, in hopes of crafting a costume that doesn’t suck … our fabric, our spirit, our memories, our treasures ground-scored and laid aside for occasions just such as this, and for that one other burning dude in August … we reflect and ponder and plan for the future. Certainly, many folks in New Orleans — especially the Mardi Gras Indians — are doing the same.

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July 23rd, 2009  |  Filed under Participate!, Playa Tips

Tips For The Reluctant Seamstress

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There is no better place than Burning Man to wear what you dig. Back when I volunteered for The Man we talked about Radical Self-Expression, this idea of Going For It, of opening yourself to who you really are and letting your freak flag fly. For many Burners, costumes are the door to accessing and expressing ourselves and feeling A Part Of It.

Home sewing projects, thrift store finds, random cool junk you found: do not be intimidated. Here are a few suggestions for the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-hotpants crafter.

*When sewing by hand, thread several needles before you begin stitching. This way you can keep on sewing when the thread snags or runs out.

*Very little can be done with less than a yard of fabric. I usually buy 2 yards of anything unless I have specific pattern measurements.

*Old or discount thread snags and breaks. Get the $1 upgrade and buy the good stuff.
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