August 6, 2013

Colorado Renaissance Festival 2013

Me and my lovely friend Gina, anachronistic sunglasses for the win
 This weekend I visited the Colorado Renaissance Festival with my younger brother and some friends. I hadn't been to the ren faire in two years so it was nice to have an excuse to dress up even in the heat. The "renaissance" bit of the Colorado festival is pretty loose, there is jousting, jesters and a king named Henry but also 18th century style pirates, a big cat show and lots of people dressed in Victorian steampunk walking around. So its not the most historically accurate faire around but is still fun never the less.

 The festival is held annually every weekend throughout the summer on a permanent piece of land with "tudor" style buildings in bright colors. The festival openly includes many time periods and fantasy elements like wizards and fairies and even has both camel and elephant rides. Which is quite over the top and I hope the elephants and camels are treated alright :/ The worst part of this faire is the inclusion of exotic animals, which now that I have done some research into the companies who put on the cat show (supposedly a sanctuary but has had some legal trouble) and looked into a bit of the controversy surrounding the elephants makes me much less inclined to ever visit again. Which is a shame because the rest of the faire is fun but tolerating animal cruelty is not and is something I consider quite a serious offense. I am going to be signing a few petitions I found to have the animal attractions banned from the Colorado festival because as much as I like the faire I love animals more :(

All that icky-ness aside, I ended up making two costumes in two days for our visit. My brother has never dressed up for faire before and I have never made menswear before so it was a first for both of us! I think his quickly made medieval/renaissance/caviler-ish costume, consisting of a puffy shirt, a cotton tunic, and some leather boot covers turned out pretty good!

My friend Gina wore a stays style bodice from my senior fashion design line and an old costume skirt of mine with and old store bought Halloween blouse underneath. I ended up making myself a new ensemble to wear consisting of a ivory brocade skirt and a green velvet bodice. The bodice still needs sleeves and was pretty rushed but I was quite happy with the overall look. I tried to make my hair as Elizabethan as possible (seeing as its not very long anymore) but that center part is just not very flattering on me!

Please sign this petition to help put a stop to exotic animals being used at faires, I know I am going to :( and if like me you live in Colorado, perhaps write to the owners of the festival, lawmakers etc about how Colorado residents do not support animal cruelty and will not tolerate such abuse at the faire.

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