Pinned Miami hosted its event this May 23- 25, 2014. For an inaugural event it appeared to the attendees to be well planned and well within the fun and enthusiastic spirit that is Rockabilly, Pin-up and Burlesque.
There were many fun costume oriented events on the roster of workshops, and, of course, performances. It turns out that this group of costumed visitors and performers are friendly and relaxed. As burlesque performer and producer, Morgan La Rue, stated during the Burlesque Roundtable on Friday. “We’re in this to have fun!”
During the Burlesque Roundtable on Friday there were several audience questions about performance costumes and how to make them and each member of the panel mentioned that they make their own costumes and are always willing to help new performers getting started in the field. This in not often the case with other types of dance costuming, but in Burlesque each performer creates a new and original persona that is costumed specifically for their performances. You can’t “steal” another person’s costume or costume designs because they won’t work for your character. It’s also apparent that these performers genuinely want newcomers in order to help the local scenes flourish.
Of note some of the costume related workshops presented were:
Dame on a Dime with Miss Julia Rose, whose easy going informative style helped the audience understand how easy and cost effective it is to find thrift store clothes that with simple adjustments and the proper underpinnings work well for the Rockabilly and Pin-up eras.
The Rockabilly Costume Contest was like many inaugural costume contests under attended, but the participants had a great time and really did a remarkable job with the looks they created. This was a fun event that will hopefully grow larger in the future.
Representing the military influence of WW II that gave us the pin-up in the first place, were the members of 2nd Infantry: Baker Company, South Florida’s local WW2 reenactors. The grooup screened a documentary on why they reenact that was inspiring and the perfect film for Memorial Day weekend. It’s important to remember the sacrifices made by those who gave their lives for our freedom and this group really lives the idea that if we don’t remember history we are doomed to repeat it, by, well repeating history, to never forget!
Vintage hair and makeup also featured prominently at the event including a workshop by Beauty and the Beach given by a Paul Mitchell certified instructor.There were pin-up makeup and tips with Katie McBroom and a Hair Style How to with the Bobby Shop and Victory Rolls, Betty Bangs, and Pin Curls with Miss Sandy Tang of the Sand Muffin Make-up. Sandy also joined Miss Julia Rose’s Dame on a Dime as a surprise guest to explain how hair and silhouettes of the era went together to form the whole look.
Sunday there was a beginner’s Pastie Making Class with Miss Aurora Natrix.
All in all this was an amazing event for those Miami costume enthusiasts and designers interested in this fun and glamorous facet of costuming. Though most of the performers make their own costumes, and it’s part of the fun - the Burlesque Panelists mentioned it’s the most expensive start-up cost for the beginning performer and continues to be a large percentage of the performer’s business budget -after all it’s a vital part of the performance.
When asked about the role of costuming in Burlesque, the Pinned Miami, Burlesque Guest of Honor, Miss Angie Pontani aka “The Italian Stallionette” stressed the vital importance of costume to a Burlesque performance. Ms. Pontanti also made her own costumes when she was starting out in her career but now she hires costumers which she feels is important because working with a professionally trained designer and costume builder gives her the opportunity to try new and innovative ways of putting the costumes together, for example, “snaps in unexpected places, that give the audience a little bit of a surprise”. New costumes keep the act fresh and interesting for the performer and their audience.
The costumes, the bands, the cars and the performances all combined to make this Miami event a treat for the local retro costume enthusiast.