Heralded as one of 2015’s most entertaining charity nights by the Las Vegas Review, Circus Couture’s “Twelve” was truly a night to remember – I feel truly honored to have been given the opportunity to make my own artistic contributions to the event! As a balloon artist who specialises in balloon dresses/fashion, one of the joys of my work is watching the pieces I design come to life on the characters for whom they have been created – in this respect (along with many others) this evening did not disappoint! It was a truly magical experience for everyone involved – and to top it all off, it was all for an incredibly worthwhile cause!
For those of you who may not be familiar with this non-profit, volunteer-based organization or their work, Circus Couture is a Las Vegas based charity that uses art, circus and fashion events as a means of raising money for the treatment of and research for pediatric cancer. Initially inspired by the talented performers of shows on the Las Vegas Strip, the organization started small in 2010; it has since expanded and can now boast performances from some of the most highly revered artists in the community!
“Twelve” was the theme for this year’s event. Why twelve, you ask? The main concept behind this theme was the idea of winding down the clock for pediatric cancer and creating a healthier, brighter future for the many children facing the condition. There were many different ways in which this theme was incorporated into the night’s performances. One of the ways that the theme was expressed was through the twelve signs of the zodiac – this is where my artistic contributions to the night come in! The two costumes I made, Cthulhu and Ursula, were part of a comedy routine parodying the zodiacs.
Cthulhu (a mystical cosmic entity that is often depicted as part man, part octopus and part dragon), was modelled by Jon Deline (actor and physical comedian from Eugene Organ) and took me about 250 balloons and 13 hours to make! Perhaps the two most notable aspects of the costume were the large wings (that were built around a copper harness) and the eyes that lit up with the help of a few light bulbs. The balloon costume added an interesting new dimension to the character that was not only visually intriguing, but also contributed to the character development and overall plot line.
Modeled by Kelsey Custard (actress/clown for Cirque Du Soleil in KA), the Ursula costume took around 50 more balloons than Cthulhu (300 in total) and one hour less to complete (12 hours, in keeping with the event theme!). The famous sea witch (and arguably one of the most memorable characters in Walt Disney’s animated film The Little Mermaid) proved to be quite the attraction! The balloon dress seemed to take on a life of its own and was fantastically complimented by the talented performance of its wearer!
All the proceeds from this energy-packed evening were donated to the Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada. With a total of $192,000 raised through the ticket sales, auctions and donations, as well as an additional $10,000 addition from Larry Ruvo, the VP of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, the event was nothing short of a whopping success; I am incredibly proud to have been a part of it!