We are all wearing some sort of disguise everyday. We sit in a cafe with our coffee and cell phone wearing an attitude….”Look at me, Iʼm (fill in the blank)….pick one of a thousand looks…someone may be watching. Perhaps our “costume” today is “sad girl” or “lonely guy” or “hip chick”. Its all a disguise.
The act of wearing an actual costume (a pirate, Cleopatra, a gorilla, Queen Elizabeth) gives us a chance to see ourselves in a different light. If we look at ourselves as some completely different person, animal or fantasy being, something changes….a shift occurs and beliefs about ourselves can change. We are no longer a set of beliefs about ourselves, we are now a character, a person, a unique entity. Even if the time spent being this new identity is short, it can create a different self image if only for a brief time. In that experience lies the opportunity for a new and fun experience.
I really enjoy seeing the change in people as they try on a costume. At first they think its a fashion they are trying on, but then the character they are portraying starts to emerge and the fun of masquerade overtakes them. We encourage our customers to get carried away and wear full costume make up in addition to all the hats, shoes, and other accessories.
I love collecting and making accessories for each costume. I start by studying the images in books in my research library. My books include sketches and silhouettes of many of the periods so I can create all the details and accessories to complete the “look” from that epoch.
I encourage all our customers to get a great photo taken when they are fully dressed and made up. Sometimes people are afraid to wear all the parts. They say to me, “I donʼt look good in that color” or “ I would never want to wear a long wig”. I remind them, that in a costume, you arenʼt “you” (the me your think you are every day), you are someone or something else. When they trust in the process, the fun really begins and the results are amazing.
Here are some photos of one of those transformations.