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Black & Light Ball 2016

Produced by the New York based Burning Man theme camp Kostume Kult, Black & Light Ball is always one of my favorite parties of the year.

This year’s party was held at Slake and the theme was “DaVinci’s Brain.” The event description stated:

“Kostume Kult’s DaVinci’s Brain pays homage to the creative spark and the workings of the human brain. Preluding Burning Man’s 2016’s theme, “Da Vinci’s Workshop”, we dive into the mind of one of the worlds most prolific artist-inventors mixing in neurobiology and black-lit Italian Renaissance fashions. Like a Makers Fair on acid, this three-floor club will include a mix of high-tech gadgetry, black-lit art, glowy costumes and banging DJs. Dancing & performers in multiple rooms, makers projects throughout. Entertainment guaranteed 🙂 Whereas all black light reactive fashions will work, to play along with the theme, come as mad inventor, luminescent old-timey, realms of imagination, steampunk, synaptic psychedelia or anything that glows. Neon interpretations of renaissance-era costumery and glowing body art encouraged”

Kostume Kulter’s definitely know how to throw a party! For an event that’s produced entirely by volunteers they have a high level of production. Volunteers spent weeks crafting trippy decorations that illuminated the dark nightclub. One of my favorite installations was an LED cuddle puddle designed by Gene Harrison that allowed partygoers to take a break from dancing to cuddle and make new friends.

Cuddle puddles are an important part of the Burner party scene in NYC

Cuddle puddles are an important part of the Burner party scene in NYC

I’m always amazed by the creativity of attendees who craft their outfits for Kostume Kult parties. Much respect! I loved the blacktie reactive ziptie mohawks of Chad and Colleen. Such an ingenious use! The frequent Burner parties in New York give us the opportunity to have an excuse to design and craft new looks every month and there are usually crafting sessions before every big party.

Mohawk Crew: Miriam, Colleen & Chad in their ziptie mohawks, and me

Mohawk Crew: Miriam, Colleen & Chad in their ziptie mohawks, and me

From the moment I stepped through the door, I felt like I had ADHD trying to get glimpses of all the costumes.  It’s inspirational how much effort everyone puts into curating a specific look. I was aiming for a glowy goddess ala Victoria’s Secret Angel and wore my feather headdress, Fringe & Epaulette feather collar, white underwear, and a new LED kimono that I had designed for Black & Light Ball.


Rocketgirl has been my favorite Burner designer ever since I met her at my first Burner event at Glamtech 2012. You can easily spot her fantastical creations on the dancefloor. She and Rich are seen here in a new blacklight reactive version of their classic sneaker headdress made from cut up sneakers, rhinestones, and feathers.

Rocketgirl and Rich

Rich and Rockit Rocketgirl- the perfect example of how much effort is put into costumes for New York Burner parties.

You can always spot Pata at a party. She’s usually wearing a crazy contraption on her head. Tonight’s headdress not only glowed neon orange but rotated.

Pata and Costume Jim 

Pata and Costume Jim

Gilles in a new Fringe & Epaulette product that he designed himself, the Shogun Assassin hood

Shaolin Assasin hood by Fringe & Epaulette

Shaolin Assasin hood by Fringe & Epaulette


Crazy LED mirror helmet

Crazy LED mirror helmet

The club was packed with people glowing in shades of neon pink, yellow, orange, green, and blue. There were cages above the dancefloor that allowed brave partygoers to get their sexy on above the crowd.


I was sad when all the fun ended at 5am. Overall, I had a great time drooling over all the amazing costumes and dancing at Black & Light Ball. Everytime I go to a New York Burner event, I’m always impressed. It’s not a scene where people merely come to get fucked up and watch on the sidelines. Everyone contributes whether it’s through volunteering, costume design, dancing so hard they bring the energy level up, or giving free hugs.

Kostume Kult’s next event will be Freakshow held on July 23!


Shop the look now:

Shogun Assasin Hood

LED Kimono

All photos by Gilles Bonugli Kali

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