What to Wear to EDC

Insomniac performer Adele Leopard shares her favorite DIY costume ideas 

Photo by Skyler Greene/Insomniac

Photo by Skyler Greene/Insomniac

Insomniac’s Adele Vannini—known onstage as Adele Leopard—is a Jill of many trades, including costume design, live performance and other artistic endeavors. The San Francisco State fashion-design alum will explore both sides of her creativity at EDC, by dancing and building performer costumes with the art department. So what’s cool for EDC this year? Vannini is a big fan of embellishing clothing with googly eyes, rhinestones and steampunk gears. She also has a few tips for ravers who want to create their own costumes.

Top Hats

Vannini suggests creating a custom top hat to dress up your noggin. Start with a top hat from a costume or party supply store. “A really cool way to spice it up is putting flowers around it. You can just [use] hot glue; there’s no sewing involved.” And for decoration? “Most Walmarts have scrap [craft] bins. You can also go to Jo-Ann’s or Goodwill and get some cool fabric to make your own custom top hat.”

Clown Collars

Feeling funny? Create a clown collar or ruff to wear around your neck with some materials you might not have thought of. “A really cute [idea] is a clown collar [made from] a little kid’s tutu. And then hot glue ribbons around the very ends of it and add rhinestones.”

Sticky Things

For simple fastening of buttons, baubles, fabrics and fun things, just use glue! Ravers can dress up just about any major article of clothing or costume piece. “You can use fabric glue. My favorite is Fabric Fusion; you can get that at most craft stores. Or even just hot glue works really well.”

Deconstruct to Reconstruct

Instead of starting from scratch, buy something pre-made and customize it. Vannini likes to start with Goodwill. “I look for something really flashy and kind of weird. I look for stuff that I can deconstruct. So maybe I’ll cut the sleeves off of a jacket to make a vest, because it is hot out there. … I’m a real big believer in getting [used] stuff and then adding flair to it. I’ll add buttons or studs from Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s.”

No-Sew Bandeau

Don’t sew? Don’t panic! Vannini says there are plenty of ways to glue, twist, tie and fasten fabrics to create custom costumes. “I know a lot of people [who] are scared of sewing. They end up buying their outfits, because they feel like there’s sewing involved.” Instead, “create a really cute strapless bandeau by getting two different colors of fabrics that stretch. [Layered on top of one another], you twist them in the front and tie them around the back—those are the rave bras that are really popular.”

Check the Interwebs

Next year, if you have time to plan your costumes and wait for shipping, lots of places online (think Alibaba.com, AliExpress.com and good ol’ Amazon.com) have large selections of decoration components, such as rhinestones, pearls, silk flowers and steampunk gears. “And,” Vannini adds, “they usually come in bigger quantities.”


Misplaced your glue gun? Grab your credit card and hit the virtual racks.

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Find alien pasties, infinity hoods and fluffies—oh, my!—at …

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