Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball 2016
Article by: Geek Girl Mistress Zelda|
Labyrinth of Jareth is an event as magical as the movie that inspired its inception. For 2 days each year, patrons are transported to a realm not quite of this earth – a fully immersive costumed performance spectacle that recently took place at the beautifully decadent Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Labyrinth Masquerade Ball boasts some of the most whimsical and talented people in the entertainment industry, both as attendees and performers alike. It is without question the most important and influential annual costumed soiree in the city. Most of the people who attend are involved in several costumed subcultures; everything from cosplay, medieval re-enactment, horror/SFX, Fetish, cirque, film, television, Ren, pirate and Viking faires, drag, theater, Burning Man, Wasteland Weekend, photography, modeling, bodypaint, and dance of all types. This is the only event that combines us all, and every costumed culture dons some of their most spectacular attire over the course of the weekend. Costumes that light up, giant headdresses, stilts, puppetry, incredible makeup, every material known to man. It is the embodiment of whimsy and while in the midst of it, you can be certain you are not in this world.
As mentioned, Labyrinth is a completely immersive event. They enforce a strict dress code so as to not break the illusion for anyone who is attending – upscale fantasy and masquerade attire is required, and you will be turned away at the door if not in compliance. The hired cast and crew create an atmosphere of mysticism with themed rooms that feature goblins, mermaids, knightly men and courtly ladies, ballroom dancing, cirque acts, comedy, theatrics and music. Even the bartenders are dressed to fit in with the theme. I went with a friend who had not gone before, and he likened it to being in a movie (which of course is how the experience it is meant to feel).
The Biltmore is an absolutely grand and beautiful historic venue in the heart of Los Angeles. Surrounded by the intricate architecture, sprawling hallways, meandering stairways and imposing glass windows looking out upon a veranda, it is like being in a fairy castle. Patrons are welcome to dance in one of several ballrooms featuring a variety of different entertainment, and performances can break out at any moment in any corner of the event – you are never sure who is there as an attendee and who is a performer. Even vendors selling their gorgeous wares are dressed to the nines, are as the photographers there to capture the event. There is even a tea service downstairs for folks who purchase the package.
Last year was the event’s first year at the Biltmore due to the sudden loss of their original venue – this year offered marked improvements on organization and flow, although there was still some confusion as to how to efficiently get patrons into the event and to keep them informed as to where to find performances. Food is a bit difficult to come by and the lines for bars can be long, but you’re never bored while waiting – everywhere you look is something spectacular to look at.
Thank you to the cast and crew of gnomes and fairies who work behind the scenes for weeks and months on end to make the event seem so effortless. Photos of the event by the fabulously talented John Truong
, who manages to capture magic in his camera.
Geek Girl Mistress Zelda
Geek Girl Mistress Zelda
Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball
Article: Geek Girl: Mistress Zelda
Photographer: John Truong Pictures
(and photos of Mistress Zelda by Russo Mutuc
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August 18 2016