When your faithful correspondents weren't geeking out at conventions this year, we were searching L.A. for parties, preferably ones where people donned cosplay and we could engage in conversations about Nerf herders (really, I wish I was kidding about that last part). Fortunately, there was no shortage of party geek nights on the town. Below, we spotlight some of our favorites from the past year.
Best Dolls Mistaken for a Club Kids
Ball-Jointed Dolls @ Mad Tea Party
Were it not for the size difference, it might be difficult to tell the difference between an Asian ball-jointed doll and a club kid. They share lanky frames, angular faces marked by dramatic make-up and outlandish wardrobes. The lion and unicorn dolls we saw at Royal/T's Mad Tea Party aren't a far cry from the looks we would go on to see on real people at events like Labyrinth of Jareth. It's all sort of eerie.
Best Absinthe Gizmo
Steampunk Drink Contraption @ Malediction Society
Erika Diehl of Glamour Lush (formerly LA Absinthe) served absinthe at Malediction Society‚s Steampunk Ball from this large, knob-covered DIY contraption. It may be cumbersome, but it looks as though it harks back to a past that never existed and, when you're at a steampunk party, it's machines like this that make a difference.
Best Moment on the Dance Floor
Waltzing @ Labyrinth of Jareth
It's not that often that you see people waltzing at a nightclub, but when L.A.‚s party people are dressed in formal masquerade fashion for the annual Labyrinth of Jareth ball, they will waltz. When you see them move oh-so-properly across the dance floor, you will wonder why this only happens once a year.
Best Literary Cosplay
Tiny Tim @ Wig Out! “Get Your Dickens On”
It's not the holidays without Tiny Tim. So, when Wig Out! threw its “Get Your Dickens On” party this December, we were excited to see the beloved character of A Christmas Carol alongside other Dickensian creatures like The Ghost of Christmas Future and Miss Havisham. Here's to hoping there are more bookworm club nights in 2010.
Best NSFW Comic Book Character
Just before Comic-Con, Devil's Playground threw a Comic Book Vixens night of burlesque. Kitty Cadillac portrayed Catwoman not only by donning a very Batman Returns sort of costume, but by crawling through a massive cat habitat and pouring milk on herself.
Best Circus Performers
The aerialists from Cirque Berzerk
2009 might just be the year that the circus invaded the clubs by way of Burning Man. These aerialists from Cirque Berzerk stand out as our favorites, not just for their injury-defying feats, but for the way they incorporate romance into the stunts.
The Wandering Marionettes @ Kabinet Theatre
With masquerade parties popping up on an almost weekly basis in Los Angeles, it would behoove any good party person to invest in a mask. The best, though, are the ones belonging to the members of The Wandering Marionettes. You could have a lengthy conversation with any of the performers in this dance/interactive theater troupe, but once the part starts, you will not recognize any of them, even if they are placing a hand on your shoulder as if you've known each other for years.
Best Hello Kitty Outfit
Jocelyn at Hello Kitty's Bats and Cats Masquerade
Truth be told, we kind of overdosed on Hello Kitty after enduring the crowds at Royal/T's Three Apples exhibit. During the month-long series of parties, there were hordes of girls dressed in their Sanrio finest. Naturally, most of the outfits were nothing but cute. Perhaps that is why we loved Jocelyn's Rivet Kitty look. She made Hello Kitty tough, ready to stomp through VNV Nation tracks at the industrial club anytime.
BlackHeart the Pirate @ Wumpskate‚s Pirate Skate
We've seen BlackHeart and cons and clubs. He takes the pirate role seriously and does quite a good job of channeling a high seas marauder. At Wumpskate's annual Pirate Skate event, he won the costume contest against some pretty stiff competition.
Candy Nurse @ Club Hell (slideshow is NSFW)
Chances are, if you go to a fetish night, particularly a medical fetish night, you‚re probably going to spot a nurse or two. Many times, you will see these nurses treat patients with copious bandaging or nipple piercing. Other times, though, your naughty Florence Nightingale, will arrive with candies portioned neatly into Dixie cups marked as though they were prescriptions. Sometimes, only Mike & Ike candies can cure your ailments.