Monday, December 13, 2010

Costume Customizing

How much more different should a person be able to alter their costume once they have paid and received their costume?

A friend and I ended up in a debate today over altering a costume. As a designer I never mind people altering a costume just a tad because it made them stand out and be unique, but I am absolutely against people making their own costume. Just because of the initial design and materials used, I do not want someone’s costume in my section to look completely different from the rest. It might end up looking like a bootleg version to the section or a bad reflection on you as a designer. This year numerous people have been placing orders to customize or create additional items for their costume. How drastic should a person be allowed to go? Is it disrespectful to the band/ designer if a person alters their costume? My friend stated that minor adjustments are cool, but adding large backpacks or collars is disrespectful to the designer and will cause a big issue with the band. What if the band gave you permission to customize you r costume, how far should a person be allowed to go? Should you obtain permission from the designer/ band? Some people believe that once you paid for a costume its free reign to do whatever they want to it, the band already received their money.

What’s your take on this issue?

* Picture from


Cliviaalana said...

I take it personally. The scale of section is smaller of course for me...but i think it makes it worse, In a sea of a gazillion masqueraders individual adjustments wont stand out as much...but a larger piece? What if they use materials I dont like? what it they add elements i specifically didnt want? This year i did section leaders for an already established design...and I made sure to show them in advance to the designer so that they agreed with the direction it was going in.
In the end i guess that they cant STOP someone from making their custom piece...but they sure as hell wont like it.

Zuri said...

Hi, Just came across your site.The costumes are gorgeous!
IMHO, I think that minor alterations are ok, but isn't the whole point about scale and putting forth a COHESIVE concept? As a custom costumer for belly dance, I understand the need for dancers/performers to be individual and to have their time to shine, BUT the vision that one dances under as a masquerader is ultimately the designer's vision. Alterations/Additions? If a dancer wants a custom costume- perhaps if applicable they can go to the appropriate section- buy the indivdual costume or try to get King/Queen of the band instead of the D-I-Y approach. If not, then the next year design their own costume, approach the band, and pay their own money to have their own section. Major alterations? maybe after the costume is shown at the designated parade/event the way that the designer intended;)lololol. Have a great night! Zuri