If you’re at Electric Daisy Carnival this weekend, keep an eye out for a glowing, feathered creature with piercing red eyes. His name is Ronnie, and he wants to dress you in light.
Ronnie Brust is the founder of Illuminated Couture, a local costume design company that specializes in the kind of glowing accessories you’re likely to find on the playa at Burning Man or at the Speedway during EDC. Right now he’s producing LED pocket squares, small bursts of light that add punch to an average outfit. But he also builds custom creations, elaborate getups conceived in his own head that come to life using feathers, chains, LEDs and fiber optics.
“When you’re walking around and you have a really amazing costume, people will notice it,” Brust says. “If you have the extra element of some lighting effects, people are just blown away.”
Brust is teaming up with another local designer to make an outfit for Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to don at EDC, and he’ll be there himself, dressed in that handmade cloak with 200 feathers and about 1,000 feet of fiber optics, not to mention the chains, spikes and black fur. Naturally there’s a headpiece, too. Hence those red eyes.
He compares strolling the Speedway in serious gear to being Brad Pitt at the airport. “Every five seconds someone wants to stop you and take a photo. And that’s really cool. That’s why a lot of people wear the crazy costumes—to get that attention and put a smile on people’s faces.”
Of course, not everyone has the skills or funds to go all out. Brust suggests starting simple and getting hands-on, making something outside-the-box that goes beyond all the daisy-covered bras and flower crowns.
Or just head to Etsy and pick up a pair of his illuminated suspenders.