Tag Archives: Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Twisted Historical Costumes (and a little history on Italian Renaissance Style Hair Horns!)…PART I

Written by Laura Ulak

I am part of a group known as the Wench Posse, and we attend the Day of Wrong at the Bristol Renaissance Festival and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival every year.  The idea of the Day of Wrong is to take a Renaissance style of clothing and make it, well, WRONG.  An example is below, of an Elizabethan style done in camo and Green Bay Packer fabric.

This sort of costuming is also known as Twisted Historicals, or covered under the Historical Interpretation category in most costume events.  A key part to really selling a twisted historical costume is the accessories.  A good fabric can do a lot of the work, such as the fabric I used in my I Love Lucy costume, and the fabric (plus Homer Hankies!) used for the MN Twins Pirate:

The polka dot fabric is part of the iconic image that we think of when we think of I Love Lucy.  But the hair, the lipstick, the pearls, the “I Love Lucy Heart”, the Vitameatavegamin Bottle and the girdle with the grapes and chocolates help sell the costume.  I could have just done the dress and hair, but adding in those extra accessories takes that costume up a notch.

An example of a different era is my White Queen Victorian – the snowflake fabric, wig and crown all add to the costume:

For this year’s Day of Wrong our group decided to dress as holidays or other events such as Wedding Day, Sick Day, Fishing Opener, Halloween, etc.  I went as Valentines Day.

I decided that an appropriately themed style would be as a courtesan.  I made a pink linen gown with a vintage Valentines fabric for the guard, my bloomers/drawers and my faux corseted front.  I attached heart ribbon from my sleeves, and sewed lace with hearts on it around my neckline.  The buttons on my sleeves and my pants cuffs were little hearts.  My necklace and earrings were made of velvet hearts that were made by me and Angie Kinser.  The girdle was 3 heart necklaces from JCPenneys that were attached together.  I wore heart stockings, red shoes and carried a red heart basket and a red plastic champagne flute.  And on my head I wore horns.

Hair horns were a popular hair style in Venice during the Renaissance and are featured in many portraits of the time.

Here is one by Franco that is actually of a courtesan:

Stay Tuned! On Monday Laura will be discussing how to make hair horns!

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Thrift to Fashion – Day of Wrong Edition!

Written by Laura Ulak

So your Mom calls you and threatens to throw out your old Prom dresses and while she is at it, get rid of all the old Christmas decorations.  You’re not sure your storage space is big enough to hold all of that stuff, and you wonder if you can you really USE any of it?

You bet you can!  And if you plan on attending the Minnesota Renaissance Festival on October 1st, you are one step closer to a fabulously crazy outfit!

October 1st is the Unofficial Day of Wrong at MNRF, now in it’s 2nd year.  Started in response to the very successful Days of Wrong at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in WI and several faires in California, this is the day to be as wrong as possible.

Want to get your Dark Lord, Jedi or Sith on?  Feel like going where “no man has gone before?”  That lovely looking 18th century dress in your closet feeling lonely because you have had nowhere to wear it?  Want to repurpose that military parachute and your old camouflage uniform into an Elizabethan?  Well, this is the day for you!

While actual employees of the fest do not dress up for this (unofficial) Day, plenty of Patrons do, and that is what makes it fun!  And it is a great excuse to use found items in your home, or to shop the thrift stores.  And with this time of year getting so close to Halloween, the thrift stores are FULL of fun things to wear.

Now back to those Christmas ornaments.  Got tinsel?  A tree skirt?  An epic Angel tree topper?  Put them together into a Christmas themed outfit like Maggie here did:

Not sure what to do with that old prom dress? Or that sparkly sequined fabric cape you had when you were 5 and that very cheap wig you wore to that crazy fraternity party sophomore year?  Dress up with a friend and go as a “Beauty Queen” and her “Bitter First Runner Up.”  Complete the ensemble with some Burger King crowns and handmade sashes and tell everyone that you “just want World Peace!”

Not really inspired by the inside of the house?  Check the garage and yard!  Grab a shovel, some acorns, and the bird’s nest your kid brought home from school and become the ARRR-bor Day pirate:

Halloween is right around the corner!  Grab your little sister’s curly witch wig and pumpkin sack, throw on a leather pirate bodice and some skulls and see what you can get for Trick or Treat!

Got old baseball jerseys sitting around?  Drowning in homer hankies and pins and stuffed versions of Joe Mauer?  Dress up as a Minnesota Twins Pirate.  Get yourself a black straw hat and with a few pins you’ve got yourself a tricorn hat!  (Also – the Gnome is out there all the time – check for her.  In this case, the Twins returned to the “gnome…”)

Lots of Christmas ribbon lying around?  Friends have extra ribbon they need to get rid of?  Dress up as a May Pole, or as May Day!

Your Angry Birds slippers looking a little worn?  Still hanging onto that ice pack and the hospital gown you got when you broke your shoulder?  Grab a TV guide and dress up as Sick Day.  Go around telling people that you aren’t contagious…

Did you catch the bouquet of silk flowers at the wedding?  Got some vintage tablecloths sitting around?  Dress up as a Pirate Bride and ask various patrons if they would be willing to marry you – for a few doubloons:

Feeling nostalgic about your glory days?  Not sure what to do with your cheerleading or danceline or band patches and buttons and jackets?  Dress up as Ye Olde Cheerleader or Band Member, etc.  If you have a friend who still has her pom poms from back then?  Borrow them!  Just make sure not to put your name on the back of your outfit or all day people will be calling your name – “HEY!  ERIN!”:

Did you find your old mesh gloves and rubber bracelets and Members Only jacket when you cleaned out your closet?  Grab a cheap blond wig, a Boy Toy belt and dress up like Madonna (bonus points if you recognize which video this is from):

Remember that the idea of using found items can work for Halloween as well.  All of the above ideas can easily be adapted for the annual party at the neighbors.  And it won’t cost you nearly what the guy down the block spent on his Frankenstein costume.

Accessories are what make the outfit, and what often make the cost of your costume go up.  If you can use items found at your home, the thrift store or your Mom’s house, it will go a long way towards meeting that budget.

So stop looking in your closet with frustration and start looking in there with inspiration!  Hope to see you out at MNRF on October 1st!

Please post in the comments with any additional tips and tricks!

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