Making Mardi Gras costumes is a creative outlet for many New Orleanians.
Mardi Gras has come and gone in my beloved New Orleans and one more year has passed that I have missed this epic celebration in the Crescent City. The above photo of me was taken at Preservation Music Hall in the French Quarter on Mardi Gras day, 2009. It was an amazing day filled with eye candy that I continue to look back on for inspiration. This year, I was tortured with pictures of friends and family dancing in the streets wearing amazing Mardi Gras apparel. It was a reminder of a period of time when I wasn't painting, sculpting or drawing, but creating costumes during carnival season kept my creativity alive.
New Orleans Mardi Gras costumes are an unique art form.
Most New Orleanians grow up costuming and most don't think of themselves artists. It's just what they do. They are given no direction. Mardi Gras doesn't have a theme, unless you count debauchery. If you're wondering what to wear for Mardi Gras, inspiration can come in many forms. There is a group of people called the Skeleton Krewe that all dress as skeletons. This year, some of my friends took on a beautiful floral theme. Some use Mardi Gras to communicate a political or social point of view. Whatever the chosen genre is, you can bet that New Orleanians go beyond the typical beads and face paint seen worn by tourists coming off of Bourbon Street.
Locals are versed in the art form of Mardi Gras outfits and I am always inspired by their creativity. Keep in mind that Mardi Gras officially starts on Twelfth Night in early January and doesn't stop until Shrove Tuesday AKA Mardi Gras. It is a multi-week celebration and that mean LOTS of costume opportunities. So, without further adieu, I give you photos of my very creative friends from this year. They are amazing and I miss them so! Enjoy!
Mardi Gras Wear at its Finest
Bethany and Michael said "If anyone is looking for artificial flowers, don't go to the Michaels in Elmwood, we bought them all".
Of her Marie Antoinette costume Veronica says, "Oh ho hi ho ( insert French accent) I am redy to be zeen by meh pezant people... you vill eat zi cake and you vill like it..."
Scarlett is very bacchanalian with her box of wine on a staff. I suppose that's the easiest way to have a drink when you're on stilts. Photo credit Ryan Hodgson-Rigsby.
Tiana (AKA MC Sweet Tea) and Sarah always rock it on Mardi Gras. Sarah says "My first run as a pony girl was magical". I mean that carrot...come on.
Leah doing the Tin Woman. I assume Dorothy and the rest of her Krewe are not far behind. Photo Credit Linka A Odom.
Laurie and Reya Sunshine in full bloom and looking gorgeous as always. All on a Mardi Gras day.
Buddha's neon suit is bright enough to wake the dead. Photo credit Mark Balsam Photography.
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