Halloween is my favorite holiday because I love, love, LOVE to wear costumes! Seven-and-a-half years of weekly theme parties has given me a seriously deep inventory of costumes. It takes me longer to dress like a “normal person” than it does to look like just about anything else. On the many nights when I’ve ventured out in some sort of wacky drag, people enjoy yelling, “Halloween is over!” For me, every day is potentially Halloween. The same can be said for these folks!
Darrell Thorne is the most talented costumer I know. And that is saying a lot! The photos of him hardly even look human. He creates massive headpieces and enormous wings, coats himself with layers of glitter on top of layers of body paint, drapes himself in chains and basically becomes somethin. Darrell works for all the big fancy parties in NYC — and around the world — as a go-go dancer but he is really more of an art installation. I mean, look at that photo. Seriously. Obviously he is in high demand
whether he works as a stylist, makeup artist or performer. He also creates otherworldly accessories for others, including Madonna, Brooke Candy and Jennifer Hudson. Check out the After Dark profile of Darrell for photos of his many looks.
Nina and Jim always spend ages on their costumes for every event they attend. As the reigning king and queen of Kostume Kult, they really need to bring it. And they consistently do! “Costume Jim” is a founder of the Burning Man theme camp and event production group that’s behind The Black & Light Ball, The Horned Ball and their annual Halloween Parade float. On-playa, they give costumes
away in their dome and invite people to model their new ensembles and Jim presented a TEDTalk: “Fun, Farce and Purpose.” Year-round, Jim is an artist, event producer and executive recruiter. Nina is a psychiatrist who conducts brain experiments and serves on the Fashion Committee at The National Arts Club. But together, they’re an indomitable costume duo. Jim really found his costumery equal in Nina!
Paul Nagle is a clever combination of costumer and activist. He often creates his outfits with a political concept behind them. That’s him at the Peoples’ Climate March, in the photo above, with the white robe and colorful halo of flowers. He takes to the streets in full regalia to support the causes he believes in: protests against Monsanto and fracking, the NYC Pride March, Bernie Sanders rallies, as well as all the best celebrations: Dance Parade, HONK NYC!, the Halloween Parade, SantaCon, Invasion of the Pines, the Mermaid Parade…well, you get the picture! And so does Paul! The camera loves him; he shows up in the photo essays of every event he attends. He works tirelessly for a number of community organizations, volunteering his time even when not in costume!
Machine Dazzle is another masterful costumer, shouldering some of the most cumbersome ensembles I’ve ever seen. For one Mermaid Parade he was one of five dancers; he carried the mannequins of the other four! I met him back when he was designing the costumes for the Dazzle Dancers and have stage managed him at numerous events, including Night of a Thousand Stevies. He’s another one who’s a blast to have backstage! He is “an alchemist, able to take humble materials and spin them into charmed garments that transform humans into radiant, magical beings.” And speaking of magical beings, Machine was the costume designer for Basil Twist’s recent show at Abron’s Art Center. I was loving the rhinestone-studded loin cloth!