|Ladies attending the 2012 Titanic Memorial Tea, at a local tea shoppe called The Isles|
Hi All! Today I’m going to answer another question I get often – where to wear the splendid creations we as historical costumers just can’t stop ourselves from making. Most often the issue is that there doesn’t appear to be a costumer’s club, group, guild, or society, in your area, but never fear, I’m here to help you get such a thing going.
When I moved back to my home town of Reno, Nevada, in 2009, I was determined to start a costumer’s club similar to the ones I enjoyed so much in the San Francisco area. It seemed like a daunting task, and I was even discouraged by several people who said it would never work.
Does this sound familiar? Well here’s how to start:
|My partner in crime is my mum|
1. First, find a partner in crime. It can be your best friend, your mom, whoever will dress up in costume with you. One person is a geek, but TWO people are a CLUB.
2. Next, create a blog and a Facebook page for your new club, and start inviting anyone you think might be interested, in your area.
Be sure to post your mission statement in both places, to entice people to join. You will have a little group following along in no time. Also be pro-active about posting flyers in fabric stores, local college campuses, coffee shops, anywhere that will let you. Then…
|This was our first official Great Basin Costume Society event|
3. Throw a Getting-To-Know-You party. Our first meeting/event/thing for Great Basin Costume Society was a luncheon at a local coffee shop/bakery/restaurant. Everyone was invited to come in the costume of their choice. The invitation was sent via Facebook, and attendees were encouraged to tell and bring their friends. Over twenty ladies and even a few gentlemen came, and so was born our club, e-mail list, and most importantly, awareness of a group of like-minded people.
Costume clubs are event-focused, but events don’t have to be a huge deal. Start with small things:
- Tea parties at local tea shops or cafes
- Picnics on the lawns of historic sites
- Visits to museums, historic homes, points of historical interest
- Holiday get-togethers at a member’s home
- Crash other local events – we crash Valhalla Renaissance Faire, The Tahoe Gatsby, Sugarpine Living History Day, and Hot August Nights (vintage car show) every year.
|When you crash an event, such as we did here at Sugarpine Living History Days, you don’t need a big presence, just a group of good friends – people will ask you about your clothing, and may even want to join your club. It’s like a virus.|
Before you know it, you’ll have all sorts of people coming “out of the woodwork” to come to your cool costume events, and you may even end up jump-starting a scene in your area, for instance…
High Desert Steam, another local Reno club focused on Steampunk, just wrapped the second annual Steampunk Ball in nearby historical landmark Virginia City. The ball this year was double the size of last year, with well over 200 guests, all dressed in wonderful steampunk fashions. Next year it will be even bigger!
|High Desert Steampunks who came out for a photo shoot event, just for fun. This is what we’d call a “core group.” They come to everything steampunk, heck, they even march in parades in December, that’s how into dressing up they are.|
So don’t be afraid! Remember, you only need one partner in crime to get started. If only a handful of people come to your first event, don’t be discouraged, and throw a second event – more people will come. By your third event, you’ll have a healthy club going, and next thing you know, you’ll be throwing huge shindigs at your local historic opera house.
|Who are these people? I don’t even know! but they came to the Steampunk Ball and that’s the point.|
Why will you be successful? Simply this – people love to dress up in costume. They LOVE it, and are only looking for an excuse to do it. They’re sitting in their living rooms *right now* wishing somebody would come along and put on a smashin’ costume themed tea. That person is you!