Circus Culture, Or: Why You’re Wearing Feathers Right Now

El Circo

Our story begins almost 12 years ago, in a little town in Oregon, by the name of Ashland, where a group of kids came together to start a circus performance troupe called, El Circo. The group would gain recognition within the Burning Man culture for the extravagant parties they threw at the festival, featuring lavish fire performances, a large, geodesic dome venue, and a top-notch sound system that attracted world-renowned music acts to perform there. In a 2005 San Francisco Bay Guardian article on the effect that the various groups within the Burning Man community have had on San Francisco nightlife — an impact which now extends to the entire west coast’s, and arguably global, dance culture — the writer paid particular attention to the influence of El Circo […]

That same year, just two years out of college, I stumbled into the role of production manager for a newly-formed, L.A.-based vaudeville cirque troupe called, Lucent Dossier. Through that initial involvement with Lucent I would meet many other circus groups, including El Circo, who were by then based in San Francisco along with The Yard Dogs Road Show and Vau De Vire Society. There was also March Fourth Marching Band in Portland, Clan Destino in Santa Barbara, and Cirque Berzerk, and Mutaytor in L.A. As these acts grew, the I-5 Freeway became a central artery of culture, pumping a distinct combination of art, music, fashion, and performance up and down the west coast. A social scene evolved around these circus troupes the same way the punk subculture sprang up around the bands that defined it. For lack of another term, I’ve referred to this subculture over the years simply as “circus.”

Social Creature: Why You’re Wearing Feathers Right Now

(via Coilhouse)

Now is as good a time as any to plug my wife’s tribal fusion boutique, which sells many hand-made, cruelty free feather accessories: Siphonophoria.

Jillian modeling tribal fusion head piece

OK, so this headpiece doesn’t have any feathers on it, but you get the idea…

Note: I’m on vacation until August 22, so I may be slow responding to comments or making corrections.

Multifunctional Clothes for Modern Mystics

multifunctional clothes for modern mystics Beta Unit 2

Need the perfect outerwear for reading Arthur Magazine* at your favorite occultnik bar? Look no further:

Southern California’s Beta Unit introduces streetwear to an apocalyptic aesthetic that’s usually reserved for the runway. In the upcoming fall collection, knits with mystical-looking geometric patterns bring crop formations to mind and functional details fit for nomads, like a hood that converts into a scarf, feature prominently. “Like many of our other projects, we were driven by simply wanting to see an idea we had in our minds become reality,” explains Beta Unit’s Tim Sheehy.

Cool Hunting: A Southern California streetwear label’s multifunctional clothes for modern mystics

(Thanks Josh!)

See also:

Urban design body armor

Devil Worship Is The New Black

*I guess either back issues or on your mobile information device

Devil Worship Is The New Black

paris vogue satanism pics

More Pics: Jezebel.

(via Bambooshoot).

See also: Witch Style Hits Diesel

Fashion is contemporary mask magic

A few words from former Technoccult guest blogger Fell:

Fashion is the contemporary equivalent of the mask magic used by aborigines and shamans from times past. The difference is that the shaman had the power of wisdom, thus allowing her or him to encroach situations both spiritual and sociological, utilising the masks to their advantage. Modern-day fashion wh0r3s and the vulgar masses are unaware of their own esteem, thus they lack the power inherent in themselves and rely on the costume, their fa?ade, to supplant these necessary inner wisdoms of power.

And later on, in the comments:

As for fashion, it’s always interested me. Only now am I beginning to properly discern between hipsters and trendy folk, persons with a true style and intimate understanding of fashion as a symbolic language, and then the rest ? those that buy into styles and try to wrap incorporate them into their own veneer, such as skaters, preps, goths, et cetera.

I think this is a very important distinction to make, between fashion and style. How you dress has a magical/consciousness manipulation effect no matter what. But those with true sense of style seem to be more in control of really designing their own realities, rather than buying into ready made realities. And of course, someone can be a skater or goth or prep or whatever and have a deep sense of style. These people are often the trendsetters for a clique, or are on margins drifting between cliques. Either way, and consciously or not, they’re bending reality in conformity with their will.

Full Story: Occult Design: Fashion is contemporary mask magic

The Center for Tactical Magic(k)‘s first column in Arthur Magazine has some relevant commentary as well.

And speaking of clothes, I got my “23 / Everything is True” shirt from LVX23‘s Shiny Apes store today (more here).

Union made Converse clones

Irregular Times: A Tale of Two Sneakers

I’ve been meaning to mention the No Sweat sneakers for some time. While Adbuster’s “Black Spot” sneaker may never see the light of day, you can already pick up a pair union manufactured kicks.

I like the idea of using union labor in foreign countries to both bring jobs to developing nations and to ethically manufacture materials (and likely still for a lower price than using U.S. labor).

I’d like to see some edgier Puma-esque designs available. Also, No Sweat offers an entire line of union made clothing, but their stuff’s not very stylish.

My old sTaRe links

Editor’s note: sTaRe was a blog that ran from at least mid-2002 until at least late-2003. I was a guest editor there for about six months in 2003 before the site shut down. I posted a list of all the links I shared there below before the site went away.

Uncle Roy All Around You (site gone, check out the Wikipedia entry)



Landscape as Interface (cancelled Evergreen program)

Yukinori Yanagi

Tribe 13 (old homepage for the Tribe 13 gallery in Seattle)

Kris Kuksi (old homepage of artist Kris Kuksi

Memo to Barbie: You Aren’t The Only Model Ken Knows

Knock it off with the trucker hats already

Reefer gladness: Drug users in the next office and atop the corporate ladder

I Can Believe It’s Not Real Absinthe!

Bleeding Edge of 1983

New kid’s theme park simulates real-life

Geonotes (virtual graffiti)

1,000 Journals

The Dullest Blog in the World

droplift project

If thy toe offends thee, cut it off

About a year and a half ago I wrote a story about a women who cut off her toe to fit into a pair of shoes. My writing workshop said they weren’t sure it was believable.

Here’s a NYT story about women having toe surgery to fit into shoes : “With vanity always in fashion and shoes reaching iconic cultural status, women are having parts of their toes lopped off to fit into the latest Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos. Cheerful how-to stories about these operations have appeared in women’s magazines and major newspapers and on television news programs.”

Poverty-Chic: Diesel’s New Line

Interesting article on AlterNet:

Earlier this summer, as I read news reports of deadly crossings along the U.S.-Mexican border, I caught a preview for the new fall line from Diesel, the Italian clothing company, on display at one of its New York flagship stores. Mannequins dressed in gray-blue and green uniform-like garments stood with shovels and pickaxes at their sides and stacks of burlap sacks at their feet. Spelled out in the lower left-hand corner of the window was the line’s title: “Trabajadores,” Spanish for “workers.”

Alternet: Poverty-Chic: Diesel’s New Line

(via Disinfo)

Futuristic Fashion Catalog

XNX Designs has a catalog of clothes that look like they could have been on the cover of Mondo 2000.

XNX Designs

(via Die Puny Humans

Political Statements in Runway Fashion

If runway fashion is an art, then I suppose it makes sense that it’s being used as an avenue for political expression.

David Delfin presented a show in Madrid with hooded designs resembling “burqa head-coverings that women in Afghanistan had to wear when the Muslim fundamentalist Taliban were in power.” CNN: Death hoods bring fashion protest (via Drudge Report)

Saudi haute couture artist Yehya al-Bashri created a bloody stained dress with a picture of a tank on it to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestine. NY Post: Dressed to Kill on Day Terror Returns to Israel (via Drudge Report).

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