Last weekend I went to the Voodoo Carnival, a one night extravaganza put on by the local event group Pandora Promotions. They always throw a decadent night filled with music, side show acts, dapper costumed men and scantily clad women.
The event was held at the beautiful Redmoor, in Hyde Park Ohio. The art deco building has an interesting past, opening in 1938 as a state-of-the-art theater. In fact the building’s current owner was one the first ticket holders at 10 years of age. After the theater closed it had new life as a restaurant and now as an event location.
Today, the Redmoor is a little deceiving from the outside. If you are from Cincinnati you see plenty of these art-deco tile buildings – however once inside you are treated to the lush decor of a time gone by. The doors opened into a nice sized bar area, the night of the event the bar staff were really wonderful, even putting on masquerade masks, they also made a good whiskey sour. There was plenty of seating along a central walkway that emptied out on to the dance floor in front of the stage.
There was good entertainment, Marmalade Brigade, a wonderful New Orleans styled jazz band. Robin Marks Magic they do great magic, large and small. I mean when’s the last time you saw a chicken in a magic act! The Pickled Brothers Side Show act always pleases and leaves the crowd feeling good and squeamish.
But on to more important things – like the costumes and clothing!
I designed three outfits for the evening, they were inspired by Day of the Dead costuming. I was lucky enough to have two good looking friends willing to dress up and hit the town with me.
The first look was part Day of the Dead, part Gypsy. The show piece of the outfit was an embellished tuxedo jacket. The back of the jacket was hand painted with a calavera and roses. It was further accented with faux rhinestones and vintage buttons.
The front of the jacket was also embellished with vintage buttons, jewels and brass and silver accents.
Paired with a top hat, belts and vest the look was complete. I was very happy with the end result.
The second look was a dark blue taffeta corset and skirt. The design was more Lolita in style, with the right accessories it went from
The overbust corset was paired with a layered and ruffled skirt. We added two layers of petticoats under the skirt to give plenty of flare. My model added all her own accessories, including brightly colored feathered earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets. They made the inspiration complete. This lovely lady also entered a contest with this outfit – you should go vote for her by following this link.
The third outfit was my own. It was what started the whole idea, my love for not only the holiday Day of the Dead, but also the style it inspires.
I have wanted to do a Day of the Dead corset for a while now, I knew I wanted the rib cage to be an applique or embroidered onto the corset front. I ended up making a lace rib cage applique. Because like all things, I put my own oufits last and ended up throwing the rest of the outfit together from pieces of other costumes. I’m lucky I have a huge costume closet!
I layered two bustled skirts, and pinned red, orange and yellow flowers in my hair and on my skirts. I had intended on doing full skull day of the dead make-up, but after a few trial runs I went with the concept of a jewel mask – if only the glue I had used was a little better quality I wouldn’t have lost jewels throughout the night.
All in all it was a great night. I got to dress up, have a few drinks and catch up with people I don’t see all that often. If you get a chance to check out an event put on by the lovely people at Pandora Promotions – the next one being on St. Patricks day you really should. At the very least it’s a great excuse to put on your finest and hit the town!
*some photos in the gallery are by Joe Herbert*