Once a year, thousands of people make the pilgrimage to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City – a temporary metropolis dedicated to art, self-expression and self-reliance. For only one week, it’s as if a portal from another dimension has opened up, spilling out magic unseen anywhere else in the world – this is Burning Man.
This annual cultural event gets underway on August 27th, featuring large-form sculptures, performance pieces, decorative living spaces and of course – costumes.
Ornate outfits have become a huge part of the festival, with participants often lugging trunks full of fantastic items to mix and match. Bikini’s, body paint, tutus, masks, wigs, florals, neon, LED, fur and feathers are all represented. And while some pieces are purely aesthetic, others – like goggles – are a must have in the dusty desert.
Gastown has some fantastic shops to get you glowing, shinning, resonating and burning with creative expression.
Deadly Couture is loaded with amazing alternative party clothing, costumes and accessories that are perfect for the festival. Catering to both men and women, you’ll find latex, steampunk, bright tutu skirts, strappy bodysuits, gothic getups, fluffy backpacks and leg warmers and a huge selection of raver gear including a whole section dedicated to festival gear. Neon wigs and pigmented makeup provide outlets for avant-garde expression. The boutique is a two-level playground of daring threads and costume adornments to entice, inspire and experiment with.
It’s a happenin’ joint where vintage flirts with rockabilly, pinups and burlesque. New World stocks plenty of sizes including full figured sizing. You’ll find very eye catching latex purses in wild neon colours (there’s also one in purple with a spider web design) along with classic 50’s dresses, vintage swimsuits, shades and a huge selection of crazy hair colours.
Stocking a nice selection of weird, unique and retro, Community Thrift & Vintage is a treasure hunt with one of kind vintage items that can be adapted, modified or turned into a dessert costume like something where Mad Max meets Pretty in Pink. Here’s where you can let your creativity run wild and turn something ordinary into something extraordinary – plus no one else will be wearing the same thing!
Sturdy footwear is essential to toughing the sporadic dust storms and besides, dressing like a cowboy, cowgirl or otherwise is fun! The O.K. Boot Corral is one of the best places in the city to find quality motorcycle or western boots with a huge range of styles available. Throw in a 10-gallon hat while you’re at and you’ll be good to swagger in style to Black Rock City.
This year’s Burning Man theme is Radical Ritual, which refers to a breaking of boundaries and a shedding of restrictions. Salmagundi’s is ritual central right now with lots of alternative spirituality items and accessories like magic wands, tarot cards, spell books, amber resin, crystals and incense.
Get your fortune read and then buy a deck of tarot cards to do readings for your friends and new friends at the festival. The Good Spirit stocks alternative spirituality books, awesome tarot decks from local artists and artists in L.A. and lots of other trinkets like crystals, talismans and candles.