Friday, November 16, 2012

General Costume Contest Winners!

First Place Winner!

Priscilla Queen of the Desert:

James, Chris, Greg, Luke, Terry, David B, David D, Deb

Chris came up with the costume idea on the 4th of July party at Deb’s house. The idea of creating Gumby costumes from Priscilla (the musical) was immediately liked by everyone. 

Elements of the costumes

Sewing responsibilities: Luke and James were recruited for costume construction. 

Headpieces: Greg was later asked to help with headpieces. He was able to figure out a great headpiece design after a couple weeks of researching photos and trial and error. Each person in the group was given a different color (every color of the rainbow with an added white/black and pink) and shape to individualize each piece. Providing a further touch of personalization, each person decorated their own headpiece. The importance of ping pong (from the movie) was incorporated into Deb’s headpiece. Chris decorated Deb's headpiece by placing a special red ball on the very top. 

Spandex: James, Luke and Greg were unable to locate any colorful spandex for the costumes in Columbus, but Spandex House had a large variety including a strawberry pattern! In order to make the costume a little warmer a fur jacket was added to each costume. 

Shoes: Greg drew a shoe pattern, then James and Deb began working on the shoes. Deb cut 8 pairs of plywood shoes that we each had to strap on our feet (spandex covered)! James took rubber floor tiles and glued them to the bottom of the plywood to give us a little cushion and support, and attached velcro straps on the upper side of the plywood to lock our feet in place. 

Suit Pattern: Luke and Greg worked out a pattern for the suit. James was the fit tester. Once the pattern was figured out, Luke would sew one, and then each person would get fitted, and then more sewing, and fitted again until everyone's suit was complete. 

Greg wrote that after 3 months of fitting, refitting, and numerous hours of work, the costumes were completed only 2 days before Highball. 

All members of the group have participated in HighBall on several occasions, highlights of previous costumes include cartoon characters, day of the dead, pirates, the gayest knights in all the land, and gnomes. And, James notes that despite the fact that 2012 was the most time and effort any person in their group had put into a costume, it was worth it! 

All originally from Ohio (Columbus, Reynoldsburg, and Grove City areas), the Priscilla Queen of the Desert group work in a variety of fields: Deb, Chris and David D. work in IT, James as a chemist, Greg as an artist, Luke in change management, David B in travel, and Terry in retail management. 

Regarding the most memorable moments from HighBall 2012 the group mentioned the fun of getting excited attention and photos taken by HighBallers and the silliness of having size 24 shoes to navigate the crowd and stage.

Second Place Winner! 

While Brandon Houseman was originally planning on Marge and Homer Simpson, Adam Bahgat rejected the idea of being fat and bald. Once one of his clients mentioned Marge’s twin sisters, Selma and Patty Bouvier, they happily decided to move forward with that idea about 2 weeks before HighBall. 

Brandon and Adam found dresses in thrift stores, bought yellow spandex body suites, yellow make-up, and black wigs at Costume Holiday House. They later spray painted the wigs the “perfect shade of gumdrop.” Styrofoam and quilt batting supplemented these items as breasts and hips. 

While Adam is originally from Upper Arlington and has attended HighBall several times, this was Brandon’s first experience since he only moved to Columbus recently from South Salem, Ohio. They both had a great time, and Brandon was even stopped by an old friend for a photo before he even recognized him. 

Brandon works as the Senior Library Associate for Ohio University-Chillicothe and Adam is a Hair and Color Specialist at his own salon at German Village Salon Lofts. 

Third Place Winner!

James Rodgers was inspired by his favorite movie, the second “Aliens” movie, and spent about 3 months making his costume 4 years ago. Constructed with window and pipe insulation, James used vacuum tubing, polystyrene foam and paper mâché, which were flash frozen onto gortex clothing.

Originally from Centerville Ohio, James graduated from the Columbus College of Art & Design, and does freelance pencil portrait work by commission (see James also works as a police officer in a Central Ohio suburb.

This year was James’s first HighBall experience, but he is already excited and brainstorming for next year. Creating awesome costumes including the Anubis Warrior from the Stargate movie and Mr. Freeze from the Batman movie.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Winner of Costume Couture Contest: Ryan Charles Richmond

Ryan's Process - Concept to Creation: Finding creative freedom in a methodical structure, Ryan allows his designs to unfold organically

Clearly understand the concept:

Ryan researched his creative inspiration which was an "ET character from a far-off universe" that was the "unfinished creation of a civilization that was apocalyptically destroyed." Somewhat like the Edward Scissor-hand story, where the character's creator died before finishing “the last step of his humanization process." 

Other sources of inspiration:
  • design from Alexander McQueen’s “Plato Atlantis” 
  • London designer Hussein Chalayan
  • Lighted arches in the Short North
Mood board or a series of drawn ideas in his giant sketchbook

Materials and Crafting the Costume:

Ryan's costume was made of quilted foam and a sheer overlay of metallic mesh and sequined fabric.  He described this piece as having a “very unique texture that resembled an alien-like membrane” that fluidly moved with the model.  Thousands of pearlescent and metallic foil 'paillettes' were special ordered  to create a “scale-like texture that flowed throughout the piece,” and which "provided so much light and shimmery texture."  LED lights were also wired into the costume for additional glow.

Finishing Touches

Ryan’s look was so flawless and memorizing that it is hard to believe he was wiring lighting on the costume the day of the event and “gluing, sewing and sculpting up until the final lineup was called.” Despite last minute preparations and adapting to new models after two dropped out in the final week, Ryan happily noted that the "evening went off without a hitch."

The Highball Experience:

As Ryan's first HighBall Halloween, anticipations were high, but expectations were met exponentially.  He loved working alongside a talented group of local designers and is very appreciative of the SNA for helping add another supportive voice to his brand and name. 

Biographical Information:

Pursuing his professional career in Columbus was logical for Ryan after graduating from the Columbus College of Art and Design.  Being also a finalist in the CMH Fashion Week, Ryan is proud of where fashion design in Columbus is going, he said “cities across the country, and even the world over, have begun to take notice of what we accomplish here every day”, as Columbus is “home to so many of the retail industry leaders,” like the Limited Brands, Abercrombie & Fitch, and the independent boutiques in the Short North. With incredibly talented designers like Ryan Richmond, it is no surprise than Columbus is getting the attention it deserves.

Costume Couture 2nd and 3rd Place Winners!

Bryston Walter: 2nd Place Winner

Bryston Walter’s “tree of life” themed green couture dress was magical and captivating to everyone in attendance at HighBall! While motivated by his original animal-inspired collection, this fabulous costume stands apart as a unique piece.  Bryston explains that the costume "definitely emerged over time," which is typical for his design development, he "love[s] the process of working with the materials and finding new ideas to incorporate into [his] original design."  The natural materials and colors organically woven together made a beautiful gown that impressed the judges and the crowd.

Currently a student at Columbus College of Art and Design, Bryston is excited to put the prize money back into his new collection.  Regarding his first runway show experience, Bryston says that “it was larger than life! The experience from beginning to end was so much fun."

Cierra Cunningham: 3rd Place Winner

Cierra’s stunning costume couture gown commanded the stage at this year’s HighBall Halloween. The dress, handcrafted out of painted newspapers, branches, and twinkle lights was the result of Cierra's desire to “enchant" and "sweep" the crowd into an imaginary "garden on a summer evening."  The costume concept was spontaneously inspired as Cierra was sketching a dress interspersed with twinkle lights.  When she learned that illuminatUS was the theme for HighBall, Cierra immediately began realizing her vision.  

Speaking enthusiastically of her second year as a designer at HighBall, Cierra noted that “it is always an honor to be a designer in the show and amazing to get to compete with such talented designers in Columbus.”  Cierra credits HighBall's "energy and creativity" for separating the event from all of the other fashion shows that she has taken part in.  

Born and raised in Columbus, Cierra earned her degree in Fashion Design at Columbus College of Art and design. She is proud that “Columbus really has grown in the fashion industry and has made a name for itself. You no longer have to go to NYV or LA for fashion.”  She could not be more excited for next year!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Coreroc and the UV mural!

HighBall Halloween will glow even brighter with murals created by laser beams on reactive material by Ashley Voss, Lea Gray, and Julia McCann.  Completed on free-standing wooden walls, these three artists will work on three separate murals during the course of the event.  One additional mural will be created for the purpose of a photo op for the public.  This photo op mural combines themes of fashion and costume, creating a flyer poster effect in a mural scale. It's going to be vibrantly colorful on a black contrast background with a fantastic glowing effect.  Finished in advance, this mural will be available for photos all night!

Despite the complicated procedures involved with preparing mural surfaces and laser beams required prior to the event, as well as the challenge of completing the mural in just one day, Ashley (who uses the artist name, Coreroc) can confidently rely on his 12-year background of mural painting.

On Saturday you will find the murals to be very cohesive to the party.  They tie seamlessly to one another and to the street scene and natural environment.  Especially exciting is the connection between HighBall's glow theme and the murals.  Using uv reactive materials and opic color will interact with the surrounding trees and environment to create a dynamic glowing scene.  Additionally, the illusion of particles will come off the wall and bring a new perspective of depth to the murals.

Be sure to check out this spectacular live mural painting just north of the courtyard of the convention center. 

Halloween HighBaller Highlight: Meet Greg Ferris!

Greg Ferris has loved halloween since his very first experiences trick-or-treating during his childhood. Even at this young age he sensed a magical quality in the opportunity to set aside his everyday identity and transforming into something new. This enthusiasm sparked a 20-year business venture of "Monster for Rent." Greg makes appearances at a variety of autumn events (parties, festivals, etc) as a 9-foot stilt-walking Frankenstein monster.

Having traveled to Salem, South Beach, and Key West for halloween events, Greg was thrilled to experience HighBall Halloween as one of the best he has attended for the first time in 2011.

For Greg the highlights of the event included the organization, security, and entertainment. This provided the context to have no cares other than having fun!

The most striking aspect of the event was diversity. Greg challenges any person who attends HighBall to "point to one other event where you will find such a mix of people from every walk of life." You will fit right in no matter your age or background.

Above all else, Greg loves the youthfulness and fantasy that accompanies Halloween, and encourages you to invite your friends and family, "besides, memories made while wearing a costume just last longer."

Dogtober Howloween! Tips and Information

Taking place on High Street at Vine Street (just outside the Convention Center near North Market), is Dogtober Howloween! Taking place before Highball tomorrow, Dotober registration runs 5:30-6:30pm with the costume contest at 7:30pm.

The Competition Categories include:
  • Candied Apples (under 40 pounds)
  • Great Pumpkins (40 pounds and over)
  • Haute Dogs
  • Mot fashionable
  • Mutt and Jeff
  • Dog and owner combo

Our fantastic judges:

Want to join the fun tomorrow but feel a little intimidated or concerned about your pet? Dr. Jane Flores has some tips for dressing your dog!
  • Your pet must be comfortable at all times. 
  • Dress your pet several times before the event so they are used to having the costume on. 
  • Avoid costumes that use rubber bands or anything that might constrict circulation or breathing. 
  • Avoid costumes with toxic paints or dyes. 
  • Your pet’s costume should be inedible. If your pet appears uncomfortable in any way, allow him to dress up in his “birthday suit”. 
  • Many costumes can be found relatively inexpensively at the major pet supply chain stores, however, many unique costumes can be found at the local pet boutiques.

More information:

PetCo donated 81 tennis balls for all contestants
Pets without parents will have a booth with adoptable dogs
All about the dogs are making 50 gift bags for the first 50 dogs to register.
++Winners will include giftcards from all four of the judges stores and more!

Monday, October 22, 2012

HighBall Halloween Accommodations: Hilton Downtown!

Concerned about driving home after HighBall on Saturday, October 27th?  With amazing prices and conveniently located at 401 North High Street, the Hilton Downtown could not be a more exceptional conclusion to your Highball experience.  

Hurry though! These special rates are only available until October 24th!

The HighBall Halloween Package includes (Rates starting at $159): 
  • 2 Entry Tickets to the HighBall Halloween event 
  • 2 Beverage Tickets in the HighBall Halloween event 
  • 2 $5 coupons for food in the HighBall Halloween event 
  • Specialty "Bling" provided for the HighBall Halloween event 

Just want a room? No problem! Room Only options include (Rates starting at $139):
  • 2 Queen Beds (October 27th-28th)
  • 1 King Bed (October 27th-28th)

Booking is simple! Register online with the links provided or call 1-614-484-5294

Information needed:
Highball Halloween Package:
  • Group Name: HighBall Halloween Package 
  • Group Code: HBPCKG 
Room Only

  • Group Name: HighBall Room Only Package 
  • Group Code: HBNOPK 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Meet the Amazing Giants!

The Amazing Giants like to Dress UP!  They are self-described "free-lance freaks, dancers and artists that go above and beyond" with a "passion for elevating perspectives and enhancing environments in a positive way." 

Jessica Minshall: (Jessijem) Stilt walking since March 2011 event in Colorado, she formed the Amazing Giants in Columbus shortly after.  In addition to organizing stilting events, Jessica enjoys writing songs, playing music, and taking care of Life.

Cate Owens: (Button Le’ Bouton): Dancing since age 7, Cate is known as the "fancy fashionista," and is at the center of the HighBall creative team.  In addition to getting high on stilts, she loves to squidgy!

Ziel Amalgamation: (James Pryor) loves Columbus.  Since moving from California in 2004, he has been taking active part in performance art groups including Anna and The Annadroids, Super Collider Theater, Quantum Fire, Kickin' It, and The Amazing Giants.

Kate Hunsaker: Originally from Clintonville, Kate studied sociology at OSU. She enjoys outdoor activities, traveling, and viewing the world from the perspective of a giant. 

Lindsay Nova: Originally from Florida, Lindsay moved to Columbus to attend Ohio University, earning her BFA in Dance. Currently she specializes in cirque-style performance art such as hula hoop, fire, aerial, and stilt walking. She credits her sanity to daily yoga practice, which she also teaches throughout Columbus. 

Lindsay Magpiie: Lindsay loves long walks on a beach, but truly prefers being 9ft tall with all of her best friends - dancing while spreading love and good energy all around. 

Victoria Woods: A student of fashion at Ohio State, Victoria is the newest member of the Amazing Giants. In her free time she plays string bass, hula hoops and stilts. 

Samantha Riccardi: Samantha is passionate about portraying concepts and visions through a variety of mediums and sharing these with the community.  In addition to being a freelance sculptress, dancer, photographer, and spiritual philosopher, she is an artist's model.  What is it like being in stilts? Perspective changes everything, a whole new world is right in front of you, if you are only willing to see. 

Patrick Powell: A junior at Ohio State, Patrick has been stilting with the Amazing Giants from their start.  He spends his time catering, studying, and working out, and loves mountain biking and food! 

Eleah Castle: Originally from Columbus, Eleah loves going out and listening to music at Dick’s Den.  Active in the Columbus music scene, she makes time for moving and grooving in all circumstances, and does booking for local festivals and

Thursday, October 18, 2012

HighBall Hotspot: Global Gallery and Latino Arts for Humanity's Day of the Dead

Concerned about getting too cold on the night of HighBall? Worry no more! All HallBallites are VIP this year with a heated space and hot drinks available to you when the coldness strikes. HighBall Halloween is excited to partner with the Global Gallery and Latino Arts for Humanity for this year's hot drink hotspot. More than a place to find warmth and hot drinks, you will be immersed in the arts of Latino culture right here in the Short North!

In fact, for several years the Global Gallery and Latino Arts for Humanity have been teaming up for Day of the Dead celebrations as a Bolivian orphanage fundraiser.  As a non-profit organization, the Latino Arts for Humanity state on their blog that they "exist to encourage, develop and preserve the arts and cultural heritage of the Latino community." The SNA is so excited that these goals can be met within the context of HighBall!

HighBall Halloween will remain consistent with Day of the Dead's purpose of celebrating life and honoring the dead with a recreation of a traditional Guatemalan cemetery.  Executive Director of the Global Gallery, Connie DeJong, describes the cemetery's atmosphere as vibrant, a place where the living go to celebrate, party, eat, and drink while connecting with the spirits of their loved ones.    

Catrina, an elegant and beautiful female skeleton, and a dominant figure in the Day of the Dead celebration, will be making an appearance in the form of live models, makeup, art, and banners.  Additionally, Latin American artist, Beatriz, will be contributing artwork made from elaborate paper cutouts. 

The hotspot zone is expected to be energetic, fun, and unique. DeJong is looking forward to this year's opportunity to share Latino arts and culture with the whole community and to bring additional flavor to the event.  

Make-up Tips from Waldo's Salon!

Unsure how to put the finishing touches on your HighBall costume?! Waldo's On High is here to help! Use these simple steps to create a stunning look!

STEP ONE: Apply a white base (either traditional halloween makeup or a very pale foundation) to the entire face. A brush is preferable, but makeup sponges work as well!

STEP TWO: Apply a white/iridescent shadow to the entire lid and brow bone, inside of the eye and underneath the eye.

STEP THREE: Wet a silver eye shadow with the makeup brush and apply to the lid and crease pulling it out past the eye.

STEP FOUR: Apply black eye shadow along the outer/upper lash line (up to the crease), and blend to create a smoky effect.

STEP FIVE: With liquid eyeliner, draw a line that toward your nose and slightly curves down, along the upper lash line and wings up and out past the eye. Then, line the lower lash line connecting on the inside and outside of the eye.

STEP SIX: Apply the eyelashes of your choice. Feathers, metallic and ultra voluminous lashes are totally in right now!

STEP SEVEN: Apply black lipstick. Then add drop of blood (using red cream halloween makeup, red lipstick or lip pencil) out from the corner of your mouth.

STEP EIGHT: To create a more hollowed out look we used a gray eyeshadow to highlight the cheeks. Finally, a makeup spray will set the look and keep you looking fabulous all night!

Meet Some of Our Invaluable Volunteers!

HighBall Halloween counts on over 150 volunteers to make the event possible. These generous people offer help setting up, working at the gates, serving drinks, and cleaning up following the event.

Shelby Bradford (21) is a seasoned HighBall volunteer. She originally began volunteering because of her affiliation with The Ohio State University Arts Scholars program, but now she also enjoys the event socially with her friends. This year they plan to take a trip back to the 90's by dressing up like The Spice Girls.

Aside from the costumes, she mentioned the fashion couture show, the music, and performances as being the best components of the experience, and has "gained a better knowledge of what the Short North has to offer" through participating in HighBall.

New to volunteering is Market District cashier, Phaedra Scherl (17). She very much "look[s] forward to gaining inspiration from the costumes that will be there on the runway," and is hoping to be able to come up with a more creative costume for next year. Phaedra has to earn service hours in order to obtain an honor chord for her school, but she wanted her hours to be put towards something that is fun and unique. HighBall is definitely the only place that she will be able to volunteer while wearing "a vinyl catsuit outfit with black knee high boots... with cat eye makeup and black kitty ears."

Rick Flowers (27) will also be volunteering in costume, who plans on dressing as a Hobbit or as Rodger and Jessica rabbit with a friend. His favorite elements of last year's HighBall were the costumes, friendliness of everyone involved, and the general energy created by the event. Last year he enjoyed his time "taking a few photos, making some new friends, and seeing old friends."

Mike Wallace, wedding photographer, also loves volunteering at HighBall. In years past he has been "absolutely blown away by the vibrancy, energy, and fun atmosphere of the people who came to participate in HighBall." 

Extraordinary energy and excitement has been a staple of HighBall Halloween since its inception in 2008.  Concurrent with our exciting 5th anniversary of the event is SNA's exciting partnership with the Hilton Columbus Downtown.  Go ahead, click on the link and hear about their incredible HighBall package!  Further, with over 10,000 parking spaces available, everyone is a VIP this year at HighBall!  With convenient parking and a warm place to spend the night, what reason is there to stay home?!

No matter who you are or what you do, HighBall Halloween has something truly unique to offer, and volunteering is one of the best ways to get behind the scenes and see how the event comes together.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Halloween HighBaller Highlight! Amazing Past Participants

It is the imaginative participants that make HighBall Halloween's public costume contest a truly unique experience every year.

Veteran model, Sabrina Hayes, demonstrates the energy and creativity of our best HighBallites!  Take a look at a few photos Sabrina has generously provided! 

Clearly, Highball's costume contest categories only provide the spark to participant ingenuity, beginning of guests to be as creative as their imaginations take them.  Sabrina and her friends decided to be their favorite super heros!

Sabrina is keeping her 2012 costume a surprise, but she anticipates yet another amazing experience. She particularly looks forward to fascinating costumes, the fashion show and local designers. 

Take a look at her smokin' take on Xmen's Storm and her fierce comic friends including Catwoman, Superwoman, Batwoman, and two Wonder Women. Watch for these electrifying heroic beauties on October 27th!

Need help finding a costume? Check out the fabulous people at Costume Specialties!

Styling Tips from Phia Salon!

The SNA is SO excited to have the talented stylists at Phia Salon back on the Highball team for the 5th year in a row! Phia helps to ensure that each model wearing the costumes of our fabulous 8 designers have exactly the right look for HighBall's Costume Couture Fashion Showdown. Sunshine is leading a team of 10-12 stylists on the day of the event and has generously given us some hair tips to make your costume pop!

The amazing efforts given by Phia are tremendous! Sunshine of Phia Salon notes that in addition to the hours of preparation required in the weeks leading up until Highball, the stylists will need 6 hours to finish the hair styles on the day of the event!

Styling Tips from Phia Salon:

To begin with, Sunshine shares some of her favorite products that will be used backstage:

Pure Abundance Style Prep: Provides thermal protection and strength while giving heat-activated weightless volume to wet/dry hair

Volumizing Tonic: Heat-activated volume and hold to damp/dry hair

Pure Abundance Hair Potion: Adds 17% more thickness when sprinkled on dry hair 

Control Force Hairspray: Gives strong, brushable hold to wet/dry hair

Sunshine's Steps to Fabulous Big Hair:

As Sunshine expertly advises, if you want to be Madonna, Frankenstein, or Snooki, you must know how to create a big hair look!!

The key to successful big hair is in a proper backcombing technique: 

  • Using a fine-tooth rattail comb, divide hair into 1” sections
  • Keep the comb at a slight downward angle, firmly pushing the hair to your scalp.

  • Repeat until section stands on its own.
  • Continue downward until all sections have been backcombed. 

  • Gently tousle hair at the root and you're all set to shine!

Sunshine is coy regarding details of the exact styles, but promises that backstage there will be "feathers, LED lights, wiring, and enough fake hair to make Nicki Minaj bat an eye!"

Be sure to visit our friends at Phia Salon!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Behind the Scenes with Little Tree Studios!

Little Tree Studios is contributing exciting new additions to HighBall Halloween!  If you have not already watched the introductory videos for each of our 8 fantastic designers, what are you waiting for!? You can find the videos under "Meet Our Designers" on or watch them directly on Facebook (don't forget to "like" us while you watch)!  

These videos provide a sneak peak of what to expect on the costume couture fashion runway, and exciting insight into the creative minds of our brilliant designers.  AND, stay tuned for the night of HighBall where Little Tree will be providing high impact and high energy videos introducing each designer's costume on the runway!

    Kyle Muza, at Little Tree Studios

Kyle Muza of Little Tree Studios took a few minutes to speak with the SNA about her experience and intentions behinds shooting these videos.  Working closely with event coordinator, Staley Cook, Little Tree was able to create a spectacularly cohesive set of videos while synthesizing the modern, crisp, genuine, and relaxed vision of Little Tree, the high energy and excitement of HighBall Halloween, and the individual personalities and aesthetics of each designer.

Little Tree approached the project using a DSLR camera to capture clips of each interview, and later spliced and edited with Final Cut Pro.  The entire production of the videos took over 64 hours, with about 3 hours to film, and 5 hours to edit the material collected from each designer.  Each video, while remaining constant with interview questions and shooting technique, varies in location, lighting, and music.    


Be sure to check out Little Tree Studios in Worthington, OH and at their website