When you think of Mardi Gras celebrations around the world, Moab Utah generally isn't on the tip of most people's tongues. But for the past six years, WabiSabi has been throwing a hum-dinger of a party on Fat Tuesday. It may have started out as an end-of-winter excuse to get raucously drunk and watch skimpily-clad beauties and beasts strut locally designed costumes crafted by home-grown talent. The outfits were auctioned off to well-lubricated folks in hopes of raising enough funds to cover the evening's expenses and put a few bucks aside.
Just as the WabiSabi non-profit thrift store operation has evolved over the years, so has the Mardi Gras Fashion Show Bizarre. Designers wait in line to get on board. Committees meet regularly and work out details and themes. It is the biggest fundraiser of the year, netting thousands of dollars which are then distributed to our local non-profit partners. From a town of 6,000 people, that's not bad. And people still have a raucously good time, perhaps just slightly more grown up. Reserved 'runway' seats were sold this year, and even at $45 a pop, they went fast.
The theme this year was "The Evolution of Moab: Moab Through the Ages". The designers tackled the Stone Age, the Cowboy Era, the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, Present Day and the FUTURE in Moab. Since they were only given promise of $30.00 reimbursement for materials spent for the three outfits they were to design, they were certainly encouraged to utilize recycled materials whenever possible. WabiSabi, of course, provided them with all the used recycled clothing and other inventive "stuff" they needed.
And recycle they did. It wasn't until their outfits were being auctioned off that a full description of materials used was identified. For instance, the young lady in the last photo is wearing a top made from melted and molded vinyl records. The designer "Alien Child" found a home for mini-blind slats and old CD's in his Lotus Queen design (photo #4); the red plaid flannel bride is wearing a re-structured comforter cover; Outlaw Girl's corset is partially from a US flag; the jeweled crown of the stilt-walker is small squares of mirror over a helmet. Outlaw Girl took the prize at $510 USD, which today equals about 6 Euros or 3 British Pounds.
After the business transactions were completed the real party began. But I was already home by then, anxious to find out how super Super Tuesday was going to be.