Pocket belts aren’t for everyone. Even pocket belt designer Katherine Becvar admits it: “My customers are the freaky folks who dress up for fun—they realize the potential of versatile costume pockets.” It may be that folks who “just don’t get” the belts (which can look like anything from your standard tool belt to one of Becvar’s stylish, colorful creations) have simply never had the need. Perhaps it’s not until you find yourself decked out in an unbelievable costume dancing all night in the middle of the desert that the style makes sense. Because, really, what else are you supposed to do? Carry a purse? Wear a backpack and throw off your masterly crafted costume? I think not. They are called utility belts for a reason.
This is why, this year, I’m head over heels for Becvar’s take on the trend—they’re customized, vegan (in a world where so many are leather), made from vintage, reclaimed and recycled scraps, and utterly unique. Mine is an adorable and surprisingly sophisticated navy blue with blue and white pinstriped pockets that snaps in the front and ties, corset-style, with sexy black ribbon in the back.
Among the many reasons to support this Bay Area designer is her “real woman” sizing—something that began back when she started sewing in high school. “I was a generously proportioned gal growing up in a conservative city in Texas, so I mostly started sewing because I wanted to make costumes and clothing that actually fit my body,” she says. “So even from the beginning, my work has been all about making people feel better about themselves through clothing that actually fits. My philosophy is that it's not your fault when clothing doesn't fit—it's the clothes' fault!”
Becvar went on to get a degree in costume and textile design and then to start her business, Blue Moon Designs. It wasn’t until three years ago that she started making and selling pocket belts (after getting inspired to make one for herself to wear around the Playa), but they’ve already taken off. “That's been so successful that I've moved a lot of my work in that direction,” she says. “I'm as surprised as anybody that my business has thrived in the middle of a recession.”
This year will be Becvar’s ninth year attending Burning Man, and her third participating in the Prepare for the Playa event that happens in San Francisco. This year’s Prepare for the Playa will take place on Sunday, Aug. 14, from noon to 7 p.m. at Café Cocomo. Expect vendors galore plus performances, workshops and fashion shows. In the spirit of community, why not “keep it in the family,” as Becvar says, and buy your handcrafted Playa gear from these Burner-preneurs? (It’s also a great place to get ideas and inspiration for DIY projects.)
Take a gander at Becvar’s designs at blue-moon-designs.com/Blue_Moon/home.html or visit her booth at Sunday's Prepare for the Playa event (preparefortheplaya.com/PftP/Home.html).
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