Andressa, our newest Dare Fashion Team member, went to Renaissance Faire for the first time last year. Valerie, from our marketing team, interviewed her shortly afterwards to get her first impressions.
V: What made you want to attend a Renaissance Faire?
A: As a lover of cosplay, who mostly observes, and an apparel major, I have always wanted to attend a Renaissance Faire. Since I couldn't go to my favorite concerts because of the pandemic, I could not believe it when I found the Nor Cal Ren Faire! I typed the fated words “renaissance fair near me” on google. That same day, I asked my sister if she was free to go with me. After that I asked my friends, and told them to ask their friends.
Andressa is wearing our Renaissance top in Burgundy
V: How did you prepare for the faire?
A: Two of us decided to start with Dare Fashion tops. We went to 3 goodwill stores for additional costume pieces, we did end up wearing most of the stuff we bought. We also spent hours making flower crowns! Though the faire started at 10am, we got there past noon. During the car ride, we planned our schedule of activities. The temperature kept increasing with every few miles we traveled towards Hollister.
V: What were your first impressions upon arrival?
A: Right after we passed security and walked past the entrance, it was like entering another world (the music, the smells, the costumes, or “garb” as prominent faire-goers like to call it)
There were costumes of every type (fairies, elves, movie characters, gypsies, warriors, Vikings, pirates, men in Scottish kilts and everything else). The place was also huge, but we saw some of the same people a few times.
V: As a first timer, is there anything you didn't know before but would've liked to know?
A: I wish I knew how hot it was going to be! With the research that I did, I knew it would be hot but they didn't say how hot. I was wearing boots and even though I don't tend to sweat a lot - I was dripping. Also, you have to drink lots of water but water is expensive.
There were vendors everywhere selling swords and clothes and stuff, but everything is so expensive! I wish I knew how expensive it is. I brought cash because from what I read its easier to do cash, but it was hard to find affordable items. Everything is handmade so I understand.
Just wear the most basic thing (base layers) you can and put on accessories when you get there - it's way easier and more comfortable, plus the drive for us was an hour and a half. When we were in the parking lot getting ready, a guy said to us, “I assume you guys have been here before, do you know where the entrance is?" Me: *laughing* "Sorry it’s our first time too, so I’m not sure.” I wish we could have helped him out, but this encounter did make me feel like I was dressed appropriately.
I told my friends they think we are locals so we must be doing pretty well. It was a great compliment.
V: Did you end up buying anything?
A: I bought some earrings!
V: Did you find the faire easy to navigate?
A: Since we were still newbies, we got lost trying to get to where we wanted, went around in circles a couple of times, and we missed our first scheduled show *lol. People are nice and you can ask for help.
V: I know you and one of your friends wore Dare Fashion Tops, how did you feel in them?
A: They were a great start! Plus they were breathable in the heat! We added stuff on top: corsets, skirts, belts, and jewelry. But yes, since we were dressed up, we fit right in.
Some people were dressed in street clothes, but most people were in costume and that's way more fun! Dare to Wear's style is a great fit for Renaissance Faire, even if you don't add any accessories. But with the right accessories you can make them into all sorts of appropriate costumes: maiden, pirate, Viking, fairy, elf, gypsy, warrior - you name it!
V: What would you say your takeaway is?
A: It was fun, not just going there and being a part of things, but it was fun because my friends and I were super excited and started planning our outfits and shopping and sending pictures beforehand. The whole experience of deciding to go, planning, going, and then having all the pictures afterwards as memories. It's really cool having these photos of my friends. It's a really fun thing to do with a friend group. I said to them we are definitely coming back next time and doing it better.
V: Okay, I'm convinced. I will be attending next year.
A: You definitely should! There is probably one closer to you [Valerie currently lives in New York City] as they have them all over.
Editor's Note: There really ARE Renaissance Faires all over! Click here to access Fairefinder.com, an extensive directory of Renaissance Faires across North America. You can also access Pirate Festivals, Celtic/Highland Games, and Fantasy & Fairy Events on that site. Or click here for a listing of Renaissance & Medieval Faires worldwide.
Let thine celebration commence!
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