Although I grew up in New Orleans, I’ve never costumed for parades before. Since this is my boyfriend’s first Mardi Gras we decided to go all out for the full experience.
Jason designed his ringmaster jacket and I made it, working in all his requests. It fits him like a glove (I had a blast measuring him) and looks amazing. Since he’s always warm, the interior is just a thin lining, and the trim is violet stretch velvet. I also made his red velvet pirate pants for the SF Decompression, and I have a matching bodysuit.
I wanted to have a little cape to be warm and snuggly in the frigid Nevada nights, so mine is lined with fleece. It can be worn many different ways so it will be just as great for dancing in the streets as for cruising around the playa in the art car. The velvet plackets at the arm holes keep them from opening up when I don’t want them to, and I made some fingerless gloves that I wore with green fringed arm warmers from my 2009 BM costumes. The cape looks great with all of my bodysuits!
Although these costumes are made in time for Mardi Gras, we also had Burning Man in mind when we designed them. When we first found the rainbow tinsel at Lincoln Fabrics we thought it would be too MOOPy, but changed our minds after testing the fabric in the Fashion District. Plus, we figured that the fabric would get all its MOOP out at Mardi Gras, making it safe for Black Rock City.
Mardi Gras masks often have fabulous feathers, but as we are both vegetarians and feathers are against Burning Man’s MOOP policy, we decided to find an animal and environmentally friendly alternative. My peacock feathers are made on recycled cardboard bases that were first painted in the Rainbow Peacock theme, then embellished with scraps of fabric, jewels, and shiny pieces of trash (the translucent green stars are from a plastic cup and the violet paper ribbon is from a bow I found on the street). Since they are mounted on spiraled pipe cleaners they move with me, similar to real feathers.
Best part about the mask? I can wear it over my glasses!