Thursday, May 12, 2016

Black & Light Ball 2016: Guide to all things glowing


Black and Light Ball is Kostume Kult's annual UV reactive "formal" where we get fancy and glowing all in one fabulous night! All forms of light up, UV reactive and glow in the dark costumes are encouraged and the decor gets positively trip.
Hope fully you already have your tickets. If not ACT FAST and get them now!!

Below you will find my guide to finding the things that GLOW under black light.

Lets start in the garment/trim district in Manhattan (Broadway to 7th Ave on 38th Street).
Don't forget your keychain black light or here's a tutorial on how to turn your phones flashlight into a blacklight!

Joyce Trimming Inc. (38th btw 6th / Broadway)
Lots of ribbon! They have the best prices on wide satin day glow ribbon. This ribbon makes great ruffle trim if you run it through your sewing machine on the edge of a skirt or sleeve. Its only $1.50/yard.

Fringe Colors at B&Q Trim
B&Q Trim (38th btw 6th / Broadway)
This store is a favorite among my costume friends. They have a wide variety of feathers, gems, trims, fringe, studs, etc. The fringe and feathers were particularly good for black light here. I tested the fringe in pink, yellow and green cause they nicely gave me swatches and it glows excellently!  The pricing on fringe is determined by length.
6" Fringe = $6/yard
8" Fringe = $8/yard
and so on... the longest length they have is 18" but it is only in limited colors.
The feathers they had in bunches LOOKED UV reactive but it would be best to bring your portable black light along with you to test for sure. They were $4 a bunch in yellow, lime and orange. This seemed to be the place with the largest variety of neon colors for fringe and acrylic gems.

East Coast Trimming Corp.

Focusing more on the bridal trim, however but they do have tubular cyber lock materials which are these cool synthetic tubes that stretch and you can run LED lights on a wire through. 
Small $1.50/yard
Medium $3.00/yard
Large $4.00/yard
They had interesting reflective trim which was about 1" wide and came in white and a few neon colors. It was like the strips you see on road workers vest. Extremely reflective!

They also had a sale rack of ribbon with lots of neon colors, worth a peek. 

$22/yard neon spike trim with rhinestones.
Lots of gems and appliqués. Vast color assortment of ostrich plumes too however I found there are only a few colors of those that will glow. The coolest things I found at this place was a pricey but very bad ass trim with spikes and rhinestone. It was $22/yard but depending on the project may be the perfect finishing piece for a look. Also I loved the small and large rhinestone neon pieces. I did NOT test them since I had forgotten my black light flashlight at home.

Hardware stores are great for finding unexpected glow materials. For example Zip Ties! They are cool to craft with and glow very well. Home Depot sells a bag of 100 zip ties in various colors for $4.50. The only color that doesn't glow so well is the blue. :(
Also gaff tape. It is a little pricy but glows super well and comes in various widths.

Don't forget the Dollar Store when looking for UV reactive stuff. I know that Dollar Tree carries poster board in neon colors for a dollar a sheet. Its 22x28 and glows very very brightly. Why not make a head piece out of it!
$1 Neon Poster Boar at Dollar Tree
Lastly I am going to talk a little about UV makeup. Ricky's or Romeo's (discount version of Rickys) sells Krylon makeup in UV colors. I just bought the yellow lipstick pictured at Romeo's (5th Ave btw 35th / 36th) for $5.99. As you can see it is tested and APPROVED!
UV testing Yellow Lipstick
Paint Glow UV lipstick

EL Wire:
I myself have not had good luck with EL wire but my friend Jennifer of Costumegasm makes some brilliant corsets and fashion pieces with it. Here's her pro tip that I think is particularly genius. Cut a length of yarn the exact length of your EL wire you are working with. Then you can map out where the wire will go with the yarn first and tape it to the garment and then sew with clear thread the El wire where the yarn was! Love it!

I could write for days about what glows but I will leave you with tips from my friend Brite Lite who as his name suggests is a mastermind of light up costumes and accessories.

1) Shop with a pocket black light. You can get them for $10-$15 and it will help you for many years of great costumes.
2) Wear paper. The best neon paper glows brighter than fabric. Also, you can buy great $10 blacklight posters at and cut out blacklight badges. I've glued both card stock and paper badges on leather & vinyl outfits.
3) Most neon paper sucks. Don't buy at office supply stores. Some dollar stores have terrific neon card stock. Gotta bring a blacklight.
4) Only use Krylon-brand fluorescent spray paint.
5) You can find good stuff at some hardware stores such as neon zip ties and masonry twine. Although quite thin, its really bright. I've never found parachute cord that glows bright enough.

B&Q Trim (38th btw 6th / Broadway)

Hai's Trimming Inc. 38th btw 7th / 8th Ave

Hai's Trimming Inc. 38th btw 7th / 8th Ave

Ricky's NYC 
Hai's Trimming Inc. 38th btw 7th / 8th Ave

6) Spandex House, of course. If you don't have sewing skills, stick with the suggestions above. One of the easiest projects with a sewing machine is cutting a perfect pattern from old jeans, and using that to make tight spandex pants. Flare the bottoms and sew on a tight "tube" as belt.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Horned Ball 2016 at Webster Hall 20,000 Horns Under the Sea

Would you believe its almost time for Horned Ball again!?
Kostume Kult welcomes Spring with its annual emergence of horned beasts and creatures to party all night long.

This year we are going deep, deep sea diving that is. Come with us 20,000 Horns Under the Sea to a Steampunk themed adventure!

Kostume Kult Presents
-- Horned Ball 2016 --
20,000 Horns Under The Sea

Saturday 4.9.16 - 9pm to 5am
Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., NYC

TIX: Buy Now at
Tickets Tiers: $40/ 50 (Early tier $30 sold out)
$60 at the door (if available)
Drink Specials all night


This April, please join Kostume Kult for our largest ever horned spring bacchanal ever! Channeling Jules Verne, on April 9th we plunge into the sea with a steampunk adventure to the Lost City of Aquatis and its wild variety of sexy and strange HORNED creatures… And our Philly friends Space Pirates!

While HORNS of any type will suffice, to play along with this year's theme, come as steampunk explorer, horny pirate, mermaid, aquatic retro-futuristic, bizarro deep-sea, mesozoic oceania, tentacles, leviathans, krakens or anything with horns, spikes or tusks. Jules Verne wrote both '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' and 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'… We mash them together with artistic license and many questionable choices… WITH YOUR HELP!

DJs (TBA) in 3 rooms spinning Nauti-House, Fishy-Funk and Deepsea Bass downstairs icluding

** Marlin Room (Nauti-House) **

** Sunken Ship Room (Fishy-Funk) **
David Kiss
Luka Tacon
(all affiliated with DEEP NYC)

** Space Pirates Room (Deepsea Bass) **
Sequoia (Mischief/Meso Creso - DC)
Captain Shaggy2K (Space Pirates/Disorient - Philly)
Elixir (Space Pirates/Disorient - Philly)
STLTZ (Space Pirates/Disorient - Philly)
KDubz (Space Pirates - Philly)

PERFORMANCES (before midnight)
Dark Cabaret Musician Aurelio Voltaire (
Wild Women Of Planet Wongo (
Liah Alonso (
The Mating Game Returns
Aqua-Fashion Show (around 1am)

Neptune's SeaTrap
Jonah's Esophageal Lounge
El Pulpo Fantastico
Coral Boob Reef
Seahorse Stampede
Clocks & Cog
Coelacanth Ranch
Hydrothermal Venting
Narwhale Jousting
Pin the Tail on the Leviathan
(the return of) Let Loose the BuKKraken!
Live Painting with Tico Chango
*Propose Something*



Producers: Marianna Grace & Ema Takeda
Decor: Gabrielle Myst & Joanne H.
Volunteers: Eliza Spear & Stacey Wrangler
Music Curation: DJs Milk & David Kiss
Performances: Ema Takeda
Mating Game/ Fashion Show: Christopher Hardwick
Photography: Tom Egan
Flyer: Matty Weiss
Ticketing problems?:

Horned Ball is the longest running event of the Kostume Kult arts collective (Costume Cultural Society), a non-profit arts org supporting costume art, street theater and mad fun while bringing wonderful people together. Horned Ball is Kostume Kult's first of three official Burning Man camp fundraisers also including Black & Light Ball (5.19.16) and Freakkshow (late July). With the three events vibed Geek, Chic and Freak, respectively, HB is the most fantastical where all themes are set in fantasy realms as spring bacchanalias with the animals shaking off winter slumber with itchy horns and the urge to dance! Horned Ball is a safe space where all are welcome while warning everyone to *respect boundaries* and *ask first* whenever photographing or flirting... And quickly report creeps! (We have a zero-tolerance policy).

For more on Kostume Kult, our year-round events and Burning Man camp, please visit, join of FB Group and like our Community Page at

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Santacon NYC 2015 is Saturday 12/12/15

SantaCon NYC is swiftly approaching this Saturday December 12, 2015.  You & your elves are excited and gathering your costumes for the upcoming festivities. Here are some tips for getting even more fun out of your day!
Arrive early.
The best part of the day is when Santa first gathers and everyone is full of cheer. Things are not sloppy yet and everyone is ready to play reindeer games!

Bring a Game.
A hula hoop, chalk for drawing sidewalk hop scotch or a beach ball for bouncing. Participate in some reindeer games and you are sure to make new friends and your inner child will thank you.  Just be sure you are willing to carry what you bring out of the park. This is a leave no trace event.

Make a Santa Choir/Band.
You and your friends could perform a few carols that will surely delight the other subway riders or tourists!

Do a group costume.
This is fun for everyone. You'll get great photos and make lots of memories as a nativity scene or the 12 days of Christmas. More ideas on my other SantaCon group costume post. 

Dress appropriately.
Check the weather. Wear layers if its chilly. This year it looks like its going to be unseasonably warm. Either way wear comfortable shoes. Theres lots of traveling between venues.

You don't want to be waiting in a crazy line for a new Metrocard and get left in the dust by the other Santas. Load up that Metrocard ahead of time. You will be happy you did.

Donate to charity.
SantaCon NYC donates funds collected through their website to selected charities each year. Its a great way to join together and give a BIG monetary gift to one of our local charities.

For Santa's location throughout the day follow @santacon on Twitter or Text "Follow Santa" to 40404 to receive text alerts. Send "OFF" to turn notifications off.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ultratoomba: Rest in Beats ~Halloween Night 2015~

The Good People of New York Present
Rest in Beats
Saturday, October 31st, 9PM til 4AM


Deep below Union Square, a gateway to the underworld will open for one night only. Journey through the nether realm for a festival of the dead unlike anything you have ever experienced. The Ultratoomba awaits you, in all of it’s splendor and mystery. Sometimes the meaning of life is death. 

From the Good People who brought you End of the World, The Fortunate, Party Cat, Cosmic Dawn and Wonderland comes more than just a Halloween party. Join us for an immersive underworld experience beneath the underbelly of NYC’s own Union Square. A world designed to heighten awareness, treat the senses and captivate you from beginning to end.

27 Union Square W #500, New York, NY 10003


Ming | Hood Famous Music, Habitat Music, NYC
Jake Lama | Kostume Kult, Go Deep, SF
Saya | Pacific Jungle, Hawaii
Joro Boro | JunXion, NYC
Justin Aubuchon | NYC
Anna Morgan | Vitamin B, JunXion, NYC
Illexxandra | Vitamin B, Tropic of Bass, NYC
PartyFoul 5000 | Thunder Gumbo, Shhhhhhhhh, NYC
Tektite | Vitamin B, NYC
Beat Kitty | Wonderland, Icarus, Good People, NYC
Banginclude | Latino Resiste, NYC
Vice Royale

- Performances by
Poppy Liu
Subflow Afterglow featuring Wolf, Snowflake and Bioluminece
- Life/Death Ceremony by the mystical Andromeda of Earth
- Body painting TBA
- Create your own Dia de los Muertos Skeleton
- Energy/body work by
Dalia Maltese of Mana Massage & Wellness
- Tarot Readings
- Cuddle Lounge
- Flow Artists
- more TBA


Descend, humankind, deep beneath Union Square
To the dreamland of the Dead - the Boneyard Lair.
After life's parade, all ye bogeys by day,
at the golden hour, boogie the night away.
Join the Good People under their immortal moon,
At their bewitching foxhollow, as they swagger and swoon;
Come, human child, and bring a friend...
All mortals are invited to the dance at harvest’s end.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Kostume Kult Halloween Party 2015

Kostume Kult Presents
Halloween Eve 2015 – Mischief Night!
Friday October 30th, 9pm-5am

TIX - Buy Now at:
Presale tiers $40/50 ($30 tier sold out)
More at the door (if available)
Drink specials all night


251 West 30th Street
between 7th & 8th Avenues

RSVP on Facebook:

Mashing the surrealistic world of MC Escher with the Glam-Goth of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, we present a journey through the many dark, creepy corners of Slake… Beware the Goblins!

Enter this labyrinth in whatever Halloween costume you dare but prepare yourself for music, monsters and mayhem in many rooms - all designed to confuse and amaze… The Hall of the Skeksis mixes Henson, Escher and house music magick, the Urban Underground vibrates with black light, banging bass and street art, the Mystical Mesopotamia room flows with world beats and kaleidoscopic visuals, the Kreepy Karny room hosts ongoing performances, aerial displays and human oddities or take a break in the mezzanine's Purgatory where you can sort out your obliterated senses.

DJs on three floors INCLUDE:
- Lovecraft (No.19)
- Iman Rizky (Ebb&Flow)
- Terreyl Kirton (Soul Mob/Slur)
- Milk (Kostume Kult/Binative)
- Travisty (Trifucta)
- Myk 2Melo (JunXion)
- Monikkr (NYC Bass Collective)
- Teknacolor Ninja (Tropic Of Bass/PCF)
- Carmel (I Feel/Carmel Productions)
- Banginclude (Enchufada/Latino Resiste)
- Dirty Dan (Fresh Farm Music)
- Zach Ωhms (Future Strange)
- Casey Skodnek (JunXion)
- Rasta4Eyes (Stampede Sound)
- Bad Ginger (Digital Distortion)

Enter an alternative universe with many rooms and multiple stairwells…
- Ridable Skeksis and Lamasu by Kimmy D
- Infinity Dungeon Photobooth by Gene Harrison
- Multiple Monsters by Themendous
- Visionary Live Painting by Myztico Campo
- "WHODUNNIT" Interactive Mystery Game
- Escherized Stairwells
- Muppety Mahem
- All-Peering Eyes
* More TBA soon… Propose something?

- Mural by street artist Gazoo To the Moon
- 3D Projection Mapped main stage by Rhizome NYC

Curated by Link Link and Wang Newton

Vj Krunch
Rhizome NYC

Propose something, decorate? Set up art?
Do something fun or strange? Budgets available
fill out this form!

Who wants to help? Get Involved!
Fill out this form:

Producer: Isabeau Vidal
Decor: Rachel Eisley
Volunteers: Eliza Spear
Performers: Link Salas
Music/Audio:  Milk
Press/Communications: Joelle Musante
Photography: Tom Egan
Ticket Problems:

Kostume Kult is a themed event focused arts collective that has big fun while bringing tremendous people together… We are always looking for fresh faces and new energies and all are welcomed to get involved. Bring your own koolaid or try some of ours. It's delicious. More at

The day *after* the party Kostume Kult will be hosing its 16th annual Halloween Parade Float inviting to march along with our rolling party! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

ZOMBIECON NYC 2015 is Saturday October 17th

Zombiecon NYC #11
~Walkers in Wonderland~

It's official, "Happy Ever After" is dead. Not only is it dead, its rotting and it stinks of putrid decaying flesh. Those fairy tale dreams and childhood story fantasies you once had are shot down like a walker who broke through the containment zone. Come stagger and moan as your favorite zombified cartoon, fairy tale or childhood movie characters at Zombie Con NYC 2015: Walkers in Wonderland. All day enjoy the company of your fellow undead as create our own Dismaland shuffling after mortals and scaring the bejesus out of tourists.

Saturday October 17th, 2015
11:30am til Night

Our starting location will be announced the day before and zombies shall assemble to put the finishing touches on their zombie make up and begin to terrorize the neighborhood. We will shamble through streets and into fine establishments to quench our terrible thirst for brains. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for hourly updates.

Theme: All zombies are welcome however if you would like to play along with the theme dress as a zombie version of your favorite fairy tale character, childhood tv show host, cartoon star, muppet, beloved movie hero/heroine. Just remember to zombify it. Add blood, add brains, add fun!!

And don't forget if someone asks you "What is going on?" The proper answer is "Brains!"

ABOUT: Zombiecon NYC was the first big zombie walk and maintains its uniqueness with themes. We urge all to participate while staying safe and "leaving no trace" at all venues we visit. We are part of a bigger community with many year-around events with more info at

Mailing List:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

KostumeGirl's Burning Man Packing List

The clock is ticking and you need to pack your bin to go to Burning Man!
Don't worry I'm here with my moderate experience of going to the playa to help you.

KostumeGirl's Burning Man Packing List: 

Besides your shade structure which you are hopefully building with some friends to share, this is your home!
To keep my bin relatively light I use a smaller tent. Its 4 person which is fine for me for a week. The tarp is in case of rain or to contain something messy. Remember any paint chips, wood chips, random nails need to be picked up at the end of the week! I use a door mat outside of my tent door to keep my boots on and "try" to keep some dust out. I NEVER step foot inside my tent with dusty boots or shoes on.

Plastic plate

Canteen cup w carabiner (license clear taped to the side optional)
This not a backyard BBQ, nobody brought a cup, spoon, plate for you. Don't bring disposable cause you will have to carry it ALL out with you. You will produce an alarming amount of garbage that way and end up with no room in the car for it during Exodus.
Some people tape a COPY of their license to their cup. All bars at Burning Man check I.D.s (The law is still the law).





Baby wipes

DO NOT THROW BABY WIPES IN THE PORT-O-POTTIES. Anything that is not made by your body does not go in the potty. ANYTHING else gets stuck in the filters of the pump trucks and royally fucks up the whole bathroom situation. Deal with it. 
Power strip
The reason I list "heavy gauge" specifically for extension cords is if your camp has a generator for power you will be wasting power with flimsy household extension cords. Don't cheap out, get the heavy duty outdoor kind. 


Lights for inside tent


Every hour of every day and night at Burning Man there will be someone talking, laughing, blasting music, etc. Thats just how it is. There are NO quiet hours. Someone will think its funny to blast the Sound of Music on the first morning at 7am (happened to me). Tent walls are made of supremely unsound proof nylon. SO pack the big box of ear plugs, ear muffs, Noise canceling hats, Air traffic controller type whatever!



Eye drops
Each day take a little time to take care of your body. Simply spraying my nose with saline and blowing out all the dust make me feel like a new person every time. SPF every day more than once a day. Your body is working much harder to keep you going in this foreign and harsh environment. Replenish your vitamins and electrolytes.

Zip ties

Duct tape

Utility knife

Save your hands the pain of rope burn while tying down your tent. Put on gloves. Bring extras. 

Goggles (3)

Socks lots of socks

Take excellent care of you feet, you will use them more than you thought at the Burn! Bring lots of fresh socks, pack them in zip-loc bags to keep them dust free, treat yourself to a vinegar foot bath every once in a while.
Headlamps are VERY useful. You may arrive in the middle of the night despite your best laid plans. A headlamp will provide hands free light for tent set up.

Finally enough preparedness and time for fun.
Decorations for your bike (pack a bike lock)
Fur coats!
Glow sticks are not good for Burning Man. They mildly work for a few hours end up as trash you have to bring out again. I guess the same could be said for batteries but maybe you have a solar charger! 

My favorite part of the burn.
There are a million different events which are made better with costumes. The Billion Bunny March, The French Maid Brigade, The Unicorn StampedePirate Party, Onesie Monday, etc!  Pack your costumes!
Come to Kostume Kult at 6:45 & Esplanade and we will gift you a costume transformation that you will not soon forget.

and lastly...
Things to NOT pack in your main luggage or shipping container.
Here are things you should bring in your carry on and have readily available.
Identification (not a copy)
1 Dust Mask
Your Actual TICKET
Vehicle pass (needs to be actually stuck to the windshield -not just shown)

1 pair of Goggles

Your first playa outfit! 
Including---- Work Gloves and practical shoes /boots. while some people get right to work "unprotected" its makes things more complicated on what you can help with.

Light - Porto potties are dark...