Avant Garden Nomes

Woffles & Herb were invited to emcee the Silent Auction portion of SoEx’s annual art auction fundraiser again. The last time we did so in 2014, the party’s theme was “Smoke and Mirrors,” so we came as, well, smoke and mirrors.

(pic: courtney fink)

This year, the theme was “Avant Garden.” We interpreted this as a sort of Klaus-Nomi-meets-Gardening-Paraphernalia ensemble.

(pic: david  lawrence)

(pic: mike arcega)

Herb found a fantastic watering can on Amazon that he cut out the base of and fashioned into a headpiece over a padded balaclava. I engineered the Nomi costumes out of cardboard, vinyl and black duct tape, then added my usual default assortment of fake flowers and foliage.

Here’s a little of our muse, the wonderful Klaus Nomi, as a refresher (or a primer) for you all:

Interestingly, Nomi’s signature costume from those early 80s years was directly inspired by David Bowie’s iconic tuxedo worn on SNL in 1979 (when Nomi and Joey Arias sang back up for Bowie). David’s costume design, in turn, was itself directly influenced by the Dadaist costumes of Sonia Delaunay, worn by Tristan Tzara and Hugo Ball.

bowie snl tux
dada tux delaunay

The irony is that when we’d first started researching costume ideas for Avant Garden, we’d wanted to go with something Dada or Bauhaus inspired, but couldn’t figure out how to streamline (and budget) those ideas for a one-night event. Leave it to Bowie and Nomi to lead us there eventually, anyway.