Friday, September 14, 2012

Radical Self-Expression - Burning Man

Burning Man: Radical Self-Expression

Part one of a series reflecting on Burning Man through several of its guiding principles...

"Radical Self-Expression" is one of the ten guiding principles of Burning Man, and it certainly guides Burners' fashion senses. It would be hard to pinpoint trends in a place where DIY fashion reins.  The closest thing to uniformity to be found in this week long creative extravaganza is the prevalence of tulle (or pom-poms, as below) on "Tu-Tu Tuesday"

PomPom TuTu

Examples of TuTus inside "the man"

Daytime on the playa finds most burners dressed down--though not as much as in years past. One veteran burner lamented that "back in the day 90% of the women were topless and all of the gay men were naked".  With the advent of camera phones, most covered up.  Only recently have clothes been shed anew, but nowadays most breasts are adorned by pasties.  Gatsby's source, a talented body painted, said they "almost feel like a step backwards, though"  A better option?  Let your body become a work of art.  We saw breasts, backs and bellies serve as canvases for many a masterpiece.  A little time spent in Center Camp and you might come out just as impressive an art piece as some found installed on the playa. 

Body Art in Center Camp

A customized bike

After sunset,  Mad Max and the Nightriders come out to play, and the atmosphere is one of an intergalactic post-apocylptic party.  It's not just the battles at the ThunderDome and the gargantuan mutant vehicles---the long fur coats, leather jackets and steam punk goggles give many who brave the night the look of futuristic desert warriors. Add a lil "El" Wire (bendable LED wire used to accent and illuminate) and you've got custom looks abound.

Gonzo Gatsby here was stoked to be wearing a custom burner wardrobe designed by fellow burner (and GG Fam) Emyli Dahlia of GoldDust. From mermaid-inspired lace pants tto a stylin tee-shirt dress and a kick-ass custom hooded jumpsuit (see middle of photo below), we knew we'd have a look unlike any other on the playa. 

Technicolor Unicorns,  Cosmic Ninjas and Lost Boys...

A night-warrior

Fashion, arts & crafts and creativity fuse into one explosion of self-expression in Black Rock City. Whatever your style, rock it to the max, and you can't go wrong.  There's nothing more Gatsby than fixing up your finery, heading to the desert and bringing back a wardrobe Grimey with playa dust...and now, for that third round of laundry....

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