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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The clothes we wear » » Strolling Outfit for Festivals (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

naturalturn
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Hi Folks,

Any suggestions what would be a suitable outfit for strolling magic at street festivals? I always have a number of these types of events through the summer. In addition, photographers like to take pictures of colorful acts for their local papers.

Here's what I presently wear:
http://www.raywongmagic.com/photo_gallery/1-08.html

I've always felt my outfit is not colorful enough, yet I don't want to stick out as a tacky dresser, or a cross between a clown and a magician.

If anyone has any suggestions, or knows where I can purchase a colorful vest which is perhaps sequinned in the front AND THE BACK, please let me know.

Much appreciated!

naturalturn (Ray)

http://www.raywongmagic.com
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Peter Marucci
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Ray,
I'm going to assume that you are NOT the Viking! LOL!

There's not much advice I can give you, since you dress just about like I do. I wear a vest that is sequinned front and back with extra large pockets inside and outside; I designed it and it was made for me by a professional seamstress.
Tom James
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I think what you are wearing is fine as long as it fits your persona. I wear cargo pants and a nice shirt when I do street. It fits in with what you do. You want to go to ebay and type in magic tricks. There is a person always selling magicians vests. They have like 75 pockets in them.


Tom
naturalturn
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Thanks Peter & Tom,

Actually, my vest is only sequinned at the front, and just a thin black material at the back, as vests usually are.

I've been studying what jugglers wear, but want my own distinct 'magic' outfit (just for festivals) that's ME.

I was also thinking about creating a magic character (specifically for festivals) called, "BOK CHOY, the Amazing!"

Naturalturn
www.facebook.com/RayWongMagic
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Magicusa
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I like the look you have now.
Peter Marucci
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I'm a great one for arguing that we should use what we've got; I'm of Italian extraction and, so, I have a whole act based on the fact that my (mythical) Uncle Linguini couldn't make it tonight.
Some time ago, in my Showtime column in the Linking Ring magazine, I suggested the same thing and, specifically, to a young man who was of Oriental extraction.
Ray, in your character of Bok Choy, why not go with the brocaded, dragon apparel that you have on the first page of your photo gallery -- only a shorter, vest or jacket type?

BTW, isn't Bok Choy a kind of Oriental cabbage? LOL!
naturalturn
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Yup! That is it.

Thanks Peter & Magicusa. Actually, I was thinking about converting my long dragon robe into a jacket and/or vest as it's more practical.

Naturalturn
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EricHenning
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I have a purple vest that's vintage Chinese silk brocade with gold stitching. It's beautiful, and paired with a matching solid purple tie, has become something of a trademark look for me.

For corporate work, I wear a black or charcoal suit, white dress shirt and solid jewel-tone tie - I have several of these, in sapphire, emerald, ruby, amethyst, gold and silver. Amusingly, this is now apparently the hip "power" look for celebs on TV (see Donald Trump on "The Apprentice" - he's wearing my suit and purple tie!)

Bottom line, formal wear with a splash of color is very good but not too over-the-top - you'll be a magician but people can still take you seriously.

This applies to most indoor strolling and corporate work. For outdoor street magic, I found that a HAT makes all the difference. As Cellini says, "A hat is a character." For street, I simply wear my shirt and vest and a bowler hat or a top hat, and everyone knows I'm the guy doing the magic.

You might consider losing the sequins and going with a silk brocade, which will accent your Asian heritage with class!

Hope this helps,
naturalturn
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Thanks for the suggestions Eric! I really appreciate it.

Ray
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Michael Taggert
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OK Ray Here goes some advice from some one who has work so many festiva;s I have lost count:) eric's costumes are FABULOS havening worked with him I know how well his costumes look to the audience. I agree with his color suggestions as well as peters. Now for some practiucle advise. One of my costumes is completely velvet in red and blue. you have to kbnow the character to appreciate this. but the great thing is a costume designer worked with me and gave me strict instructions as to Fabric selections. Cotton good. natural fibers GOOOD synthetics Forget about it!!!!! when working outdoor festivals especially in the heat of summer you have to use fabric that can breath and can be laundered and not lose its color or texture. sequins look great but can cause you to literaly pass out on a 90 degree day in the park. my suggestion is light weight cotton or Believe it or not wool blends. Eric left out an important point many of his costumes fit this discription. start with a good base fabric and add the sparkle to it. remember, if its not at least 50 percent natural it is gonna be hot. btw personal hygeine (anti persperant is also a must outside.
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Blackwood
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I, too, would urge you to accentuate your Asian heritage. Not only are the styles of the east beautiful -- flowing silks, brocades, ornate embroideries, etc. -- they carry a rich connotation of exoticism and mystery to most western eyes.

Think of the huge number of early 20th century Caucasian conjurers who did their acts disguised as Asians, from Ching Ling Soo to Okito and on and on. The reason? The "mysterious east" just seems magical.

Think of all the effects that carry the word "Chinese," "Japanese" or "Indian" in them.

I won't belabor the point here but if you want to stand out, I'd think you'd be better served by appearing in colorful robes -- or even a simple Mandarin suit -- than dressing like most bar or restaurant magicians.

Just my two yen.

:bikes:
naturalturn
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Thanks guys!

Appreciate your input. I will look into what fabrics are available and talk to fashion designers as well, who can also suggest outfits (vests/shirts etc) which are suitable for outdoor festivals. Of course, my outfit has to suit the types of effects I'll be performing while strolling.

I had a gig on Canada Day (July 1st eh?!) and was sweltering in the hot sun with the present outfit I was wearing (yes! a heavy sequinned-vest is very hot when it's sunny!)

I think I'm leaning towards a modern colorful outfit that's classy, yet has subtle hints of my asian heritage. Born in the western culture, I personally tend to want to move away (tho not completely) from a stereotyped image. In addition, Vancouver Canada (3 hours drive North of Seattle) has a fairly high concentration of folks of asian descent, so someone wearing an asian outfit might not be too much of a novelty.

Thanks again,
Cheers,

naturalturn
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