Ok, first things first-- what is Branson? Since we're in Arkansas, we refer to Branson, Missouri. It's hillbilly Las Vegas, or what Las Vegas would be like if you took away the drinking, prostitutes, fun, gambling and sand and replaced all that with elderly white people and Starbuckses. It's where pop and country stars go to die (Nelly was there recently!). It's the place people tell you they are going for a vacation, and you smirk inside and think about how sad that is that they are excited about Branson and then realize what a smug asshole you are and have to go listen to some Smiths. But really, how hilariously terrible is a butterfly exhibit called "White Flight" in an area not exactly known for racial transcendence?
|Gaga, Kanye and Justin Bieber masks, for those without costumes|
The idea for the party was to dress up like a celebrity or performer that you'd imagine would take a career dive and end up in Branson. I dressed up as Gwen Stefani (I have major issues with her "Harajuku" schtick) but there were a few Biebers, Ke$ha, fictional characters who just wanted to be there, Adam Lambert and some Branson tourists. Birthday friend likes a party with some real thought in it, so we put together a red, white and blue themed party with a photo corner where you could design a tack Blingee-inspired picture or get a photo with a life-sized Dolly Parton or Elvis impersonator. The IRL Blingees* were my drunken inspiration, but said friend is an absolute Blingee genius, seen here at Use Your Allusion. She has a master's in kick-ass.
|Job Bluth, of Arrested Development, showed up, also.|
|Don't go to Dollar Tree for flag bunting. We bought all that shit.|
|My "Hollaback Girl"-era Gwen Stefani. And for the record, I put a giant pair of sunglasses in EVERY blingee I've ever made.|
|Stars, flags and patriotic poofs. Elvis can barely be seen on the bottom.|
The party was a tremendous success. There was trepidation from people that coming up with an appropriate costume-- a pop star was one thing, but an aged pop star? With a dash of retro-futurism? In the end, everyone just showed up looking as much like their character as possible, and with an explanation of just why they thought said character would end their career in the Show-Me State. This was one of the only parties where I took the decorations down the very next day, they were that blindingly patriotic.
*IRL = in real life. Check out Blingee.com to see what that actually is