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Costume designer Leah Benson said this year’s theme, kaleidoscope, was being taken across all events with Sexy Costumes for parade and party.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “We are bringing in a whole new team of creatives for this year. It is quite edgy.”
With the theme in mind, she said one of the floats would be based on butterflies.
“A group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope,” Ms Benson said. “They have all the different colours of the spectrum.”
“This year we are doing a lot of the costumes in-house and we’re sourcing all the trims locally.”
She said some of the costumes included mirror ball headpieces and she was working on a sequined banner for one of the floats and props for the Mardi Gras party.
“This is the biggest year we have had in a while,” Ms Benson added.
Above the Mardi Gras workshop is a room with rail upon rail of bright, colourful and — let’s face it, somewhat racy — costumes from past parades including ridiculously over-the-top head dresses, leather “fetish” suits, sheriff’s hats, glitter wings, feather boas and sequined coats galore.
Interns Jane Zouch, Chai-Wei Lin and Ana Gutierrez Rodriguez probably didn’t know what to expect from a visit to the Mardi Gras costume department but with a bit of help from Ms Benson, looked like they would fit in a treat at the parade.
“We’re not really reusing stuff from previous years,” Ms Benson said. “But community groups (in the parade) can hire it out if they want to.
“We are a not-for-profit organisation so the money basically covers the laundry.”
Creative workshop manager Angela Sinnett said this year was the “biggest parade ever” and the theme Kaleidoscope was aimed at “trying to bring all the community together — all the different journeys — to express themselves in this most colourful way”.
“It’s been growing and growing over the last couple of years and the parade has got bigger and bigger than ever before,” she said. “It’s lots of fun, particularly the party.”
Click here for more details on the Mardi Gras.