Who doesn’t want to be in style while heading out with friends during weekends or while being at work? Designers have created some of the best dresses for women at present year which they can wear in spring, fall and winter season. These trendy designs…
A Jurassic Park guard chases a tyrannosaurus rex into the intersection of South Main and Franklin streets. The guard keeps a stern face, focused on the task, but the dinosaur knows this is a game. They then pose for photographs with delighted spectators. These two…
Many fans remember an iconic moment from the Eagles’ victory parade when Jason Kelce sported a Mummer’s costume.
Now a local company is making that wild outfit available to everyone just in time for football season and Halloween.
When it came to celebrating the Eagles Super Bowl victory. There was one parade moment that was so Philly it sang.
Jason Kelce seen in a bright green leprechaun costume, created for the Avalon String Band eleven years ago marked an iconic Philly moment of Mummers and Eagles.
“My wife and I were watching the parade and Kelce and during his speech it was awesome,” said Robert Berman, CEO of Rasta Imposta.
Rasta Imposta is a homegrown costume company in Runnemede, New Jersey that’s been distributing original designs across the globe for 25 years.
Many are nods to local icons like the cheesesteak hat.
“We made it so it’s cut off exactly how half of a cheesesteak looks – so good you can eat it!” said Berman.
And now the Philly parade costume.
“We feel that it’s going to explode,” added Berman.
To get the rights they reached out to James May who created the original design.
“We met with him and his wife and a couple of days later we started getting the design made for a costume that could be worn by the fans,” said Berman.
And for a fraction of the price.
“Mummers costumes could be 2,3, 4 thousand each we wanted to create something designed and made for fans to wear to a tailgate, to the first game, Halloween,” said Berman.
You can buy the pieces separately or the whole look for $125. Rasta Imposta sells online and now in Chickie’s and Pete’s locations.
“It really resonates – it says Eagles it says Mummers and Philadelphia and it’s a great way to wear something to show your Eagles and Philly pride,” said Berman.
Many fans remember an iconic moment from the Eagles’ victory parade when Jason Kelce sported a Mummer’s costume. Now a local company is making that wild outfit available to everyone just in time for football season and Halloween. When it came to celebrating the Eagles…
The junior costume “Jump Up” presentation on Saturday, Sept. 1, was splendiferous. The children brought much merriment and a kaleidoscope of colorful costumes to the streets of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, massing in grand style. Children from as young as two years old were decked out…
You probably remember your mom telling you “you are what you eat” at some point during childhood. Have you ever thought you might be what you wear as well? Fashion is self-expression, we all accept this very generalized statement as true, but now the emerging field of fashion psychology delves deeper into the idea of what fashion means for each individual.
In an online survey, most University of Utah students see their clothing as an expression of self. Now, this doesn’t mean they didn’t wear comfy clothes or jeans to class their freshman year. Your self might be a star wars t-shirt, which is entirely acceptable and totally awesome in my personal opinion. However there is a trend of students dressing more business casual as they get further along in their college career. Whether they major in Theater, Business or Education sooner or later we all seem to find ourselves needing to look nice.
Along with looking nice, we all seem to be more confident in fancier clothes as well. There is an actual science to this feeling of confidence described by U student Maureen Degen: “When I am able to plan ahead and wear something nicer, it makes me feel like I have my life a bit more together.” The study of how we associate fashion is fashion psychology.
F-Psy is a new and emerging field, but it is tackling some big issues. Dr. Carolyn Mair finished school with a BSc in applied psychology and computing. She became a graphic designer and designs clothes on the side. Not long after graduation she found herself back in school getting successive degrees, a MSc in Research Methods and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience. She then used these degrees to change the fashion world forever. She developed a program for graduates to earn a MSc of applied psychology in fashion which graduated its first class in 2015. Dr. Mair believes in the power of f-psy to help our culture rewrite mass produced ideas of beauty and confidence. In an interview with careers in psychology she said, “Since the 60s, the fashion industry has promoted an increasingly very narrow stereotype of ‘beauty’ which has now become the ‘norm’ through the ubiquity of web and mobile technology. With the increase in exposure to such images, comes an increase in appearance and body dissatisfaction across the lifespan which can be addressed by psychologists.”
Another fashion psychologist also defines f-psy in relation to cultural norms. Dawnn Karen holds an MA in Counseling Psychology from Columbia. If that wasn’t impressive enough she is also a model, author, the youngest professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and has founded her own online school of fashion psychology.
Karen defines f-psy as “the study of how color, fashion and shape effects human behavior, while adjusting for cultural norms and cultural sensitivities.” This definition came about after extensive travel and research across the world leading her to interact with multiple different cultures and their ideas of fashion and self.
How does this all apply to the U? Well, people like Dr. Mair and Dawnn Karen became interested in this field because of the importance of fashion in their lives. Nearly all of the students I surveyed said they spend upwards of $100 a year on clothes. In fact most of them didn’t think that was a lot of money. This equates to ten of those fancy $10 cocktails at bars like Twist and Bourbon House. It’s a months worth of food or a sixth of your books for the semester. $100 pays for a couple dates, several miles in gas — maybe even a trip home. When you make minimum wage here in Utah you have to work around 14 hours to make $100, assuming you don’t have other expenses to pay first. Your clothes cost a lot and yet we as a society put time and money into picking out and buying clothes. Then we inevitably go to our closets and say “I have nothing to wear.”
Fashion psychology studies the moment we can’t choose what to wear or we splurge on a beautiful dress we can’t afford to buy. If fashion psychology isn’t real, why does retail therapy work? Our relationship to clothes affects our emotional equilibrium. U student Garrett Matlock said “I feel more confident and vibrant.” Then this phenomenon takes a step further into first impression and an external response we see when dress well. Alumna Savannah Maez feels “if I look professional people will treat me that way,” and current U student Paul Raine said “First impressions are important, and the first thing people see is how you dress.” Our clothing is more than expression — it is interaction, identification and owning our emotional state. I have certainly had bad days where I wanted to wear nothing but pj’s and good days when I dressed to impress. I have also had angry days where I wore all black and red lipstick and I know I am not alone.
As you head into another year of school or perhaps a new year think about the clothes you wear and what you are expressing. Your nerdy t-shirt might be the key to a new friendship and the sharp blazer hanging in your closet might just help you land that internship. Whatever you are dressing in, make it you.
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If you ring the doorbell and gain entrance past the barred door in the strip mall along West Sahara Avenue, the rows upon rows of clothing can intimidate.
Almost 4,000 square feet. Three thousand costumes. Seven hundred hats. Five hundred wigs.
A wall of bride and groom photos shows marriages for a Superman and Superwoman, a crew in Star Trek attire and the titular genie and her master from “I Dream of Jeannie.”
In the back, the masks of U.S. presidents, Abraham Lincoln cheek to cheek with George W. Bush, and snarling dragons look down on a suit of armor.
“Someone thought they could actually wear that,” said owner Martin Sadowitz, 71. “It’s hard to move in. I tried to talk them into a plastic one.”
American Costumes marks 40 years of business this year. But the milestone is bittersweet. On Thursday, the costume rental business began a store closing sale.
For the past 20 years, the business has occupied a store in a strip mall near the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.
American’s landlord, the Gold & Beyond consignment shop also in the strip mall, will expand into the costume store’s space, allowing it to grow to almost 10,000 square feet, Gold CEO Roi Zalach said.
American — which counted Siegfried and Roy among its clients and sold Elvis and gorilla costumes for a Penn and Teller TV series — will sell a new inventory online or in another brick-and-mortar space if it moves.
The business has started an account on the eBay e-commerce marketplace. But Sadowitz doesn’t want to lug his current inventory with him when he leaves the strip mall.
“I want to avoid the trials and tribulations of moving,” he said.
American Costumes came to life in the 1970s when Sadowitz got requests to rent the outfit he wore as a singing telegram.
Since then, weddings, themed corporate events, conventions and film crews have brought business to Sadowitz.
Elvis and Marilyn Monroe costumes are always top sellers. “Every man should be Elvis once in a lifetime,” Sadowitz said.
Burning Man brings high demand for goggles. And though Sadowitz hates to say it, celebrity deaths bring sales. He remembers the volume of calls after Michael Jackson died in 2009 and Prince in 2016.
“I’ll have to find my John McCain masks,” Sadowitz said.
Customers have also made requests that reflect contemporary culture as well. Sadowitz found shirts with rounded collars that fit the 1920s England setting for an event themed around the TV series “Peaky Blinders.”
American isn’t the first legacy costume business to close its doors in recent years. Williams Costume Co. downtown closed in April 2017 following the death of its owner.
Long time American Costumes customer Jaki Baskow said her talent agency has had less need for costumes in bulk over the years.
In the past five years, she’s noticed that showgirls and performers looking for work will bring their own costumes, Baskow said.
“I try to go online as little as possible; I like to see and feel,” Baskow said. “But I understand this is the new way of the world.”
Tennis great Serena Williams wore a sleek black catsuit to play in the French Open in May. It made her look like a superhero, but it also protected her against blood clots that had plagued her since she gave birth to her daughter. French Tennis…