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!