When Tristan and I arrived at Faerieworlds on Friday afternoon, we were wearing jeans and plain tank tops, which was both uncomfortable—it was way too hot for jeans!—and embarrassing—we had entered a world of corsets and wings, of glitter and bright colors, of stilts and shining armor. Fully authentic Victorian costumes fit in. Mostly naked people painted to look like trees fit in. To stand out was to fit in.
How fantastic is that?
We promised ourselves that we wouldn’t buy anything on Day 1. We went to every booth and fell in love with a gazillion gorgeous fairy accessories—but which loves would burn fast and which would smolder overnight and bring us back? We came back on Saturday in our same lame civvies and then the blowing of our budget began.
I had no plan which is why I brought home three different miniature hats. (No regrets!) But Tristan? Tristan wanted a complete ensemble. And four simple purchases later, he was ready to start on a Middle-earthly quest.
1. First came WINGS:
We saw a lot of different wings at Faerieworlds, both from vendors and from the other fairies. There are two major varies: hard wings shaped with wire, which we immediately took off the table because of our limited bag space on the flight home, and soft wings, which, as one vendor put it, are perfect for a music festival because, “You can dance in soft wings without poking anyone in the eye! …Unless you want to!” Tristan saw some sea foam fluttering in the wind and went directly to don these organza wings from Dancing Wings.
The mother of a family dressed up as pirates told us that, her first year at this festival, her step-daughter spent her whole allowance on a shimmery set of Dancing Wings and it’s easy to see why. These wings are a bright, bold statement that look amazing moving in a breeze and glittering under the sunshine. When he wasn’t moving them, they laid tidily on his shoulders like a cloak!
2. Then he got a UTILITY BELT:
We saw belts like this from lots of vendors in the marketplace—some of them were canvas, others leather, in many colors and in monotone, with simple pockets and elaborate… he chose this one from Desert Rogue Designs above the others mostly based on price (they go for anywhere from $80-$350 depending on materials and craftsmanship), but also because he liked the mahogany color and the pretty stitched leaf-pattern pockets.
I’m convinced he can wear that belt all the time, though Tristan’s a little dubious now that we’re walking among humans again.
3. Next he picked up PANTALOONS:
These pants from Circle Creations are 100% cotton, made in the U.S., pre-washed so no matter which of the many vibrant colors you choose, they’re sure not to fade on you. Circle Creations is a Eugene-based shop that sells clothing for everyday wear. They always come to their local fantasy festivals, Faerieworlds and Country Fair, and it’s easy to see why because these pants were light and super comfortable for walking around the festival. The drawstring leg bottoms let Tristan turn these into shorts during the day and pull them down to his ankles when it cooled off at night. The only drawback is that there are no pockets, but Tristan got that black cotton bag for free with the pants—so nice! It was the perfect size to hold our blanket for sitting on the lawn in front of the stage.
4. He finished his fairy look with EARS:
We looked at a lot from a lot of vendors. Tristan tried on realistic latex ears, clay butterfly ears, suer long ears like the World of Warcraft’s night elf, but he was drawn to the leather ear clips. Donovan at Wing and Talon Leatherworks makes a gorgeous variety of leather fantasy goods, from masks to horns to hair clips, and a beautiful selection of ears. Tristan fell in love with these red maple leaf ears, the perfect compliment to his green-dominated look.
By the end of the festival, ten minutes couldn’t go by without stopping to ask for a picture or to know where he found one his new pieces. Christi Brown, of The Elvin Forest, one of the lovely vendors we met at the beginning of our journey—who we will be sure to spotlight later because their work is beautiful!—said she remembered his plain human disguise from Day 1 at Faerieworlds, admired his transformation, and said, “You blossomed, flower fairy!”