Archive for Costumes

Sparkly Banana Hammock??!!! When Show Costumes Do NOT Work for Your Act

futurechicken.jpegP1010267_editedIf you’ve done any sort of touring or joining up with shows (or hope to), you’re bound to encounter some costume dilemmas that make you nervous. Really nervous. What happens when someone wants you to wear something that won’t work for your act? Step awaaaaaaay from the sparkly banana hammock….


futurechicken.jpegAngela and I toured for many years with a sassy duo trap act which included a roll around the bar. Any duo who has incorporated this move into their act will, at some point, become incapacitated with laughter (and sometimes just incapacitated) when your leggings or unitards entwine around the bar, and you are stuck stuck stuck in the most indelicate of positions. Your only options are roll backwards (sometimes nearly impossible depending on how your costume has become wrapped), take your pants off, or have someone lower your point.

We were performing at the Casino Estoril , and the show was providing our costumes. We sent a list of our needs, and arrived to find costumes that needed some adjustments. The one we REALLY pushed for was the tightening up of the material in the midsection. They did this for us, and our run went off without a hitch. HOWEVER. We were replaced by a lovely lyra duo, who also had a roll around the bar. They were more petite, and consequently, our costumes were a bit looser on them. When they asked to have them adjusted, they were told (wait for it….), “The girls before you never had a problem.” So, they left it. Guess what? During the show one night, they became so tangled that the lyra had to be lowered, and they had to scoot offstage still attached. Want to keep this from happening to you? Read on.

From Your Employer’s Point of View


Medieval Angels

Medieval Angels

As a pretty DIY company, we make all our costumes in house. We have a vision for how we want a show or event to look, and how your act will fit into it. As aerialists, we also have an idea of what may be a no-go (you are not usually working with people who understand performers needs). Sometimes, making adjustments to a costume may require taking the entire thing apart, or re-designing from scratch. So, it’s in our best interests to only make changes that MUST be made, and put the onus on you the performer to make the rest work. We also may be going for a specific look – it may be a bit of a pain in the tush, but the result is worth it.

Fcostumeor example, this is the Angel Statue costume from our Killian Cog show (it’s not usually wet – it’s in the process of being dyed). It’s long and flowing, and was created for the duo Spanish web act. Let’s be clear: no performer looks at a long, flow-y costume goes “Oh goody! Tons of fabric to work around!” But, these beautiful performers made it work, and the visual impact in the show was stunning.


Negotiating Your Costume

First, determine your needs. If you have a single shin to shin, you need shins uncovered. Period. Roll around the bar? Tight costume mid-section. You many need head/neck free, nothing hanging off, the list goes on and on. Determine those needs, and fight for them if you have to. If you get a lot of push-back, explain to your employer WHY this is so important (they often have no idea why one might not want slippy fabric when you’re hanging by a toe….).

Is the costume just kind of a pain to work around? Do you have to make small adjustments to your act to accommodate it? This is where you have to suck it up and be the pro you are. If it’s a few weeks or a month, really try to make it work. If it’s a long tour, see if you can partner with the designer to come up with a compromise that suits the show, and doesn’t require too much sacrifice on your end.

Bottom line, safety is a non-negotiable. Also, as a performer, you want your act to look amazing (trust me – your client does too). Really try to work with designers and employers to find that happy medium between what the show requires and what you need to look spectacular. Dare to imagine, Laura

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Light me Up Baby!

September 23, 2013 Comments Off on Light me Up Baby! Aerial Acts, Corporate Events, Costumes, New Offerings!, Theme Parties

Light-up costume  This Saturday ImaginAerial unveiled their latest and greatest! Introducing….The Light-Up Costume!! This was very exciting mainly in that we had no idea if it would actually hold up or not. It not only held up but brought down the house. Our performer even managed to make herself strobe mid-way through. Now that is talent, people. How many of you have self-strobed?!

Check it out!



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A Costume Comes Into The World Part 3 – Congratulations, It’s a…

June 26, 2012 Comments Off on A Costume Comes Into The World Part 3 – Congratulations, It’s a… Corporate Events, Costumes, Photos and Video, Uncategorized

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!

(Not sure what the heck we’re talking about? Catch up! Part 1, Part 2)





Ellipse in their fancy new costumes!

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A Costume Comes Into the World, Part 2

May 29, 2012 Comments Off on A Costume Comes Into the World, Part 2 Costumes, FAQS, Uncategorized

Chris being all dark and broody on his wheel.

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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A Birth Story: How a Costume Comes Into the World Part 1

April 10, 2012 Comments Off on A Birth Story: How a Costume Comes Into the World Part 1 Costumes, FAQS, Uncategorized

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!

You never know WHAT you'll find at Spandex House! I love this place!!!!!


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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Just Say No to the Sparkly Banana Hammock – Choosing the Perfect Costume for Your Event

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:


  1. 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!
  2. 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).
  3. 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”: