Ptown Carnival Costume Ideas
Ptown Carnival Costume Ideas
No Sheets Allowed!
This year’s theme, Gods & Goddess, provides endless opportunities for creativity. Plan ahead – or decide that week.
No-sew costumes: Take your Carnival costume up a level with these how-to’s by Amy Starr.
Inspiration from above: Check out these deities for inspiration.
Order a costume: Amy Star – MFA in Costume Design, University of Hawaii – will make you stand out in the crowd (of 90,000). Email Amy for details.
Finding Costume Inspiration
1. Search for physical descriptions of your chosen God or Goddess: Is a particular color palette mentioned? Are there recurring adjectives? Feathery, winged, dark, etc.
2. A quick online image search will reveal pop culture references, fan-art, historical depictions, or even cosplay interpretations.
3. Fuse concepts: silky, green-black crow feathers are described in celtic mythology but we were also inspired by traditional burlesque elements like sparkly pasties and sexy fishnets.
Costumes Made from Thrift Store Materials
Look in Linens for fabric remnants or upholstery—think brocade drapery not flimsy bedsheets. These rich, patterned fabrics make great capes or shawls and provide a color palette for your costume brainstorm.
Large thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army sell bulk costume jewelry by weight. You won’t anger the fashion gods and goddesses with the sin of over-accessorizing at Carnival—layer multiple necklaces and bangles!
You can often find masks in Jewelry and Wall Art. We found inspiration for this costume from a repurposed wooden mask meant as a wall hanging.
Huitzilopochtli, Aztec God
Huitzilopochtli is the Aztec god of the sun. His name translates to “hummingbird of the left” and is often depicted as wearing blue and green colored garments.
He wears Aztec warrior gear that also resembles the hummingbird’s likeness. Blue and green feathers would be an excellent addition to your costume.
The Aztecs believed that this needed human blood to strengthen this god. So if you’re feeling really gory, you could subtly incorporate blood into your look. A snake shaped spear is sometimes seen in his hand, representing the serpent of fire (sun rays) he used to destroy his evil siblings.
Shiva, Hindu God
Shiva is the 3rd god in the Hindu triumvirate. His role is to destroy the universe in order to recreate it.
He is characterized by his extreme behaviors caused by his unbridled passion. He is often depicted as wearing snakes around his body, representing his control of sensuality and desire. Shiva has the power to control and transform animal nature.
Let your wild side show by donning an animal print. He is said to have drank a powerful poison in order to save the world, which he kept in his throat and thus it turned blue. You could paint your neck a shade of blue or your whole body if you feel so inclined, as some artistic renditions show Shiva.
Other versions of Shiva show him wearing a skull necklace, representing his destructive side. Perhaps your version of Shiva will carry a trident, which is symbolic of the three gods that make the triumvirate.
Gods like Shiva are shown with multiple arms to demonstrate their control and power over many things. Put on an extra set of arms if you can get your “hands” on some.
Pele, Hawaiian Goddess
Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, dance and volcanoes. Your look should reflect the elements of fire and ash associated with the firey goddess, with flashes of reds and oranges.
This goddess is also known as “ka wahine ai honua”, the woman who devours the land. You may even call her a man-eater, as she is known for her many passionate love affairs.
Legend has it, a man once rejected her for the love of another woman. She killed them both! Guilt over her actions led her to turn the woman into a shrub filled with delicate flowers.
Your look could incorporate flowers for this legend and to represent the beautiful flora found in Hawaii. Her home is said to be Halemaumau crater at the summit of Kilauea. Perhaps you create some lava rock jewelry.
It is said Pele curses anyone who removes lava rocks from her home island. A smoldering eye and a bright red lip would amp of the fierceness that is Pele!