Archive for Costumes
Double trouble, double joy – TWINSIES! After weeks of designing, sewing, fitting, and drinking, TWO costumes made their debut at our event on May 25th. Resident wheel artist Chris “Thighmaster” Delgado took his first spin in his new duds, and cameras were there to capture the proud moment. He and I (Laura “Fire Goddess” WItwer) then made acrobatic adagio magic as Duo Ellipse at the evening show. Check it out!
Our star wheel artist, Chris “Thighmaster” Delgado, needed a snazzy new costume, and Laura “Fire Goddess” Witwer was just the lady to make it happen. For Part 1 of this series, click here! After the measurements have been taken, the costume designed, and the fabric bought, what is left except to begin? So begin we did.
Humble Beginnings – How a Costume Takes Shape
First, I used a fairly generic costume pattern that I like to call “Sassy Pants” to create the shell; we then tweaked the details like sleeve length, neckline, and how much “ease” (room to move) we needed to allow for in the legs so that Chris didn’t get an unspeakable wedgie mid-act, or telegraph his religion to the world. For this, we used a stretchy black spandex with an embossed reptile print to give it some depth.
It Gets Complicated – Layering and Shaping
Chris is tall and handsomely lanky, with freakishly long arms (and you know what they say about men with long arms), so the design goal was to broaden his chest, define his muscles, and increase his general bad-assery. Over the course of three booze-fueled fittings, I layered dozens of fabric pieces over the shell, and only stuck Chris with pins twice – that’s a record, yo! For the layering, I used a total of four different fabrics: one black burn-out fabric, and three red sparkly/shiny pieces.
The pattern was originally designed for separates, so I modified it to create a unitard. This of course required me to add a zipper (GAH!), though it would have been wildly entertaining to see him try to put it on without one. Chris also sweet-talked me (he’s good at that) into sewing a spiral down one arm, which meant I had to spend HOURS UPON HOURS sewing into a sleeve (Chris, you are the reason this Mommy drinks). I think the spiral was one of his favorite parts of the costume, so I guess it was worth the hangover. ;)
Tune in next week to see photos and video of the finished product! Chris and I are also now an acrobatic duo, so naturally I had to sew myself a matching costume. SPOILER ALERT: these costumes are completely hot. Until next week! Love, Laura
Photo: Eat the Cake NYC
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You may laugh, but making a costume is a lot like growing a baby (I speak from experience) – lots of shopping, complaints of “this doesn’t fit my ________!”, and a big sigh of relief when it’s all over. OK, it’s actually nothing like human gestation, but give Mama a little creative leeway! In any case, I hope you’ll join us for this Awesome Three Part Series on how a costume goes from being a twinkle in a costumer’s eye, to a sassy, fabulous, functional cirque-style unitard.
In The Beginning, There Was a Boy… and a Girl
The boy in this story is our AMAZING and super-talented German wheel artist, Chris Delgado. The girl is mahself (Laura), Co-Artistic Director of ImaginAerial and resident costumer. Chris is in need of a new, really dynamic Cirque-style costume for some of our upcoming shows, and I’m just the gal to make it happen! I sew most of the unitards for ImaginAerial – give me some spandex, rhinestones, and a seam ripper and I’ll show you a happy (really sparkly) camper.
At our first meeting, Chris whisked me off to Tahiti for the weekend. OK, not really (my husband just threw a VERY STINKY sock at me – jeez, I can’t get away with anything!). We actually had a chat about his needs as a wheel artist – what has to be covered? Uncovered? Loose or tight? Bedazzled or plain? We then touched on preferences like color, fabrics, and silhouette, and sketched out a design. Next stop? Spandex House, the Mecca for all things stretchy in New York City!
So, we’ve got a design and $100 worth of red and black spandex – what’s next? CLIFF HANGER! Tune in next time for the Part Two in the series (hint: it involves several fittings, and please believe me when I say you don’t want to miss that).
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Oh, how I wish I could erase some “questionable costumes” from my memory. We have been asked to wear everything from bedazzled coconut shells (um, no thank you) to neon so bright, our images were probably permanently seared into our audience’s retinas. Bollywood saris, odd white space alien type unitards, giant insect wings, you name it – we’ve worn it. But how should you go about choosing the right look for your event? Never fear, Dear Reader, we’re here to help. Here’s what we consider when making our costume recommendations:
- Consider Color – What lovely colors are you using for your event? We always start here – nobody wants to see lime green costumes in a burgundy room, but a gold or autumnal mix would be lovely!
- Consider the Theme – Just as color can make or break a costume choice, the theme of your event also has to be considered to avoid looking odd. Performers should look perfectly at home in whatever fabulous environment you’ve created, whether it’s “Alice in Wonderland” or “Tahitian Magic” (but please, we beg you – no coconut bras, they chafe).
- Consider the Acts – Many acts have specific needs when it comes to costumes, like having shins exposed for leg catches, or lower backs covered to prevent fabric friction burns. These are tremendously important for the success (and safety!) of each act.
And that’s all. folks! Once we have the answers to these three questions, we will send you a link to our private costume gallery along with our recommendations, and you can pick what you like. Don’t see anything that floats your boat? For an additional fee, we can have custom costumes designed for your event, or rent something fabulous from The Creative Costume Company; either way, you’re – or rather, we’re, covered! And now, for your viewing pleasure, some of our “favorites”: