It has dawned on me that in a few days I’ll be off to New York City for the second Dances of Vice festival. And here I was, still trying to understand what happened to 2008 – somehow it’s nearly fall, yet my brain is someplace in April, griping about the onset of summer. Regardless, I’m excited – the festival dress code is described as “decadent” and by the whiskers of Munchhausen, it’s been too long!
There is a persistent dichotomy within my wardrobe, a battle between the slick and the elaborate. Of late, the theatrical had given way to the modern and monochromatic, so it was the perfect time to welcome the extravagance of a three day costume event. Still, spending mountains of cash on clothes I’d scarcely wear, alluring as the concept may be, wasn’t feasible. In the best interests of my wallet, it was decided to compose costumes from the current contents of my closet and to make matching accessories. Result: photo-documentation and suggestions on how to make your own Rococo gear.
To acquire supplies, I braved LA’s garment district. The plan: accessory components for three outfits. The spoils: yards of velvet ribbon, fake flowers, beaded appliqué and two ostrich feathers. My inspiration for the costumes was, as I mentioned, Rococo. This period’s fashion embraced the ludicrous with wasp-waist corsets, towering wigs, crinolines and bows absolutely everywhere. I echoed some of this sentiment, see below.
1. Velvet bow with a hair extension clip sewn to the back. I treated all the ribbon edges with glitter nail polish, to prevent fraying.
2. Matching stockings
3. Vintage brooch, silk flowers, ribbon
4. Extra ribbon, never know when you might need one
Do click on for two more looks and tips.
1. Velvet bow with a hair clip sewn to the back, same as above
2. Ostrich feather, to be clipped into hair with bow
3. Choker – ribbon with beaded appliqué, ribbon and vintage brooch
4. Shoe ornaments – appliqué sewn onto wide ribbon
1. Another ribbon folded and sewn into a star-burst shape with a particularly gaudy appliqué on top, plus a couple of safety pins make for a perfectly obnoxious brooch
2. Ribbons sewn to the waist of a long tulle skirt, for gathering and pulling up the hem. Rarr!
None of us play dress-up nearly as often as we should, people! While finishing these up today, I realized how much I’d missed the simple pleasure of just making ridiculous things for fun. A few hours and a little bloodshed spawned some unique pieces I’ll probably find reasons to wear well after the festival is over.