While October is when most of us shop for Halloween finery, event planners are on a year-round quest for costuming and attire that will bewitch all occasions to the nth degree.
Keep these sources in mind when conjuring up fantastical looks for sensational events:
Work Of Art
Body painting as costume is all the rage, and makeup artist Dorota Buczel is a master of the art. Buczel, the owner of Alchemy Center Makeup Art Studio and Boutique, has been the makeup magic behind gorgeous makeovers and incredible body art and airbrushing for special events, fashion spreads and media shoots for over a dozen years. An instructor with several top aesthetic schools, Buczel can assemble models and artistry for on-site event applications including mini-makeover pop-up stations at galas, interactive live bodypainting demonstrations, and theatrical transformations of cast and crew.
Theatrix Costume House offers the full masquerade monty with a one-stop shopping inventory that includes 50,000 rental pieces spanning fashion history from David and Goliath ancient to ’80s pop star must haves, magnificent wigs and accessories. Staffed with theatre and fashion savvy pros, Theatrix also makes to measure, working in era-proper fabrics to fit theme and budget specifications. An extensive makeup department is also home to the company’s new makeup school which includes a mobile team of artists specializing in everyday cosmetics, airbrushing and special fx prosthetics.
Tutus And Beyond
From pointe shoes to historical apparel, Malabar is a performing arts community institution. Along with dancewear and accessories, the company offers a rental collection of 30,000 items plus sells costumes including licensed wear and novelty looks, wigs, hats and theatrical makeup. The store’s opera department, which produces opera and stage attire for production companies across North America, is the source for many of Malabar’s detail-perfect period rental pieces.
Costumes In The Bag
Come early October, a giant air balloon ghoul undulates from atop Amazing Party & Costume’s roof serving as a beacon to all Halloween lovers that its horror-propped aisles are ready for browsing. The store sells a huge selection of costumes, ranging from affordable one-night-only looks and accessories to a fab inventory of investment-worthy A-Z outfits. Halloween aside, the family-run shop maintains a year-round costume collection and is able to special order or research industry connections for unique requests.
Hhmmm … now to what use could events put sculpted Captain America-style leather motorcycle suits, complete with six-pack body armour abs, to work? At the very least, we think superhero gear makes for magnificent eye candy! Under licence to studios such as Marvel and Disney, Toronto-based UD Replicas sells the buff made-to-order suits through its online site. Given enough lead time, the company’s owner-designer David Pea can also create a leather look exclusive to your brand or event.
Dress A Production
Working directly with the event and entertainment industry, Stop Tyme Productions not only supplies colourful, original costuming, imaginative customer service representative attire, and unusual props such as themed walking tables, but also the talent to fill them. In addition to creating custom branded attire and performance wear, the company also set designs, produces and choreographs shows and unique visual marketing.
Lydia Mason Designs is the birthplace of many a mascot, from lovable, huggable walkabout creatures to licensed entertainment characters such as SpongeBob and Dora The Explorer. The design and prop house makes every mascot from scratch, bringing characters and ideas to life based on event need, theme and logo. Engineered with cooling vests, fans, animatronics for moveable eyes and lips, the company will also store, clean and maintain mascots.
If Titanic, Great Gatsby or Mad Men themes are on your event-planning radar, check out Gadabout Vintage, an east-end vintage clothing boutique. Two floors house an ever-changing collection of estate-sourced mint-condition clothing, set decorations, props and curiosities dating from the late 1800s to the 1970s. With an excellent eye for “old,” owner Victoria Dinnick is a whiz at pulling era-perfect outfits together with accessories from the shop’s extensive jewelry, millinery and footwear collections. Clothing can be rented for prop-use only, purchased for wearing.