This past weekend I had the great pleasure of contributing to the celebration of my friends Stephen and Mary’s wedding ceremony.  Mary entrusted me with the creation of her gown and Stephen enlisted me as his stylist.

Mary and I started discussions of the dress in November after she had tried on a dress which had some elements she liked, but didn’t cry out to her as The Dress.  She especially liked that it had fabric strips that wrapped around the waist and folded over each other to become a train.  Working with that, we looked for a way to incorporate the fabric wraps into the overall design of her gown.  While researching various wrapping options, an Oscars dress with an asymmetrical wrapping pattern caught my eye.  Using these dresses as inspiration, we developed the final design in a champagne silk dupioni with a crinkle chiffon overlay.

This was a rewarding dress to work on not only because it brought so much joy to Mary on her wedding day, but also because it presented some novel design challenges.  Since we knew the dress would be in a light color, have a train, and be worn in the woods, Mary was concerned about the dress getting dirty by the end of the night.  We looked to an Ombré dyeing technique to bring in some color on the train and at the bottom of the dress to mask any dirt that might collect on it.  Plus, the color we chose to dye it had the added benefit of coordinating with her tattoo and hair.  After the ceremony, Mary draped the light-weight train over her arm and eventually I braided it to keep it off of the ground as she danced.

Another problem to solve was due to the wrapping pattern of the chiffon overlay which circled her body several times in some cases.  I had to experiment with a few different iterations of zipper placement and wrapping order to achieve the effect.  I then created a fake knot for the wraps to snap into after we zipped her up. We also discovered at an early fitting that the wraps wanted to shift around a bit as she moved.  To counter this, I delicately hand-stitched each wrap (making sure to hide the stitches under the transparent chiffon) to ensure that they stayed exactly where we wanted them!

Both Mary and I were ecstatic about the final gown.  We collaborated in the creation of a dress that was not only beautiful on its own, but truly fit her personality and style.  The day of the wedding, I got the best compliment of all:  her new husband thanked me and told me that I had done her justice.

Enjoy some candid shots from the wedding.  Shortly, the professional wedding photos will be available, and I’ll make sure to share those with you, too. Coming up:  A post detailing Stephen’s outfit.


The Family UnitedMy last show with A.C.T. this season was assisting Sandra Woodall on “Boleros for the Disenchanted,”  an autobiographical piece by playwright José Rivera.  The story spans continents and generations, following his mother and father’s relationship from the village of Miraflores and bustling Santurce, Puerto Rico in 1953 to the Fort Rucker army base in Daleville, Alabama in the early 1990’s.  The play gives us insight into the universal American immigrant experience and how dreams are changed by time and betrayals.

Befitting these themes, Sandra wanted to focus on dressing the characters according to memories relating to our own families’ immigrant experiences.  We combined José’s photos of the people the characters are based on, our family snapshots, and vintage photos of Puerto Rico to flesh out the costumes with many authentic personal touches.  Don Fermin wears my abuelito’s (grandfather’s) fedora and checked shirt and Old Eusebio carries grandpa’s lucky Joker and picture of John Wayne in his shirt pocket (“a real man’s man”).   Old Flora is wearing Sandra’s aunt’s house dress and my grandmother’s jewelry from the ’90s while Dona Milla dons the faded navy dress and thin cotton apron of Sandra’s family from a small village in Portugal.

We hope that grounding the characters in such a specific reality will help the story resonate with the audience as a truth that relates to their own lives.  Were we successful?

Production photos by Kevin Berne


Achilles’ tale of love and war has been given a contemporary voice by the poet Christopher Logue.  Tonight, A.C.T. is premiering an epic new work based on this modern translation of The Iliad, War Music.   Beaver Bauer‘s costumes move the story dramatically, designed with a minimalist base upon which key details are added.  The set by Daniel Ostling utilizes the same techniques. The  actors all appear on stage in khaki cargo pants, but Gods appear in ornate gold masks, dawn awakes with a dance of watercolor silk, and Zeus presides in a boxer’s robe emblazoned with a bolt of lightning.  Soldiers in metal helmets echo battles of the previous century and remind us that wars continue to be fought for dubious reasons.  Still, love ain’t the worst of them.

This has been a challenging show to work on, but I’m looking forward to seeing the results on stage.  It promises to be breath-taking.

Production photos by Kevin Berne

successOpening night has come of the new show I’m costuming with A.C.T., Rich and Famous .  It’s a pretty silly satire about a not-so-great playwright who really really wants to be famous.  The costumes by Gregory Gale and sets by Scott Bradley are extremely detailed and captured the surreality of the show.  Very 70’s and over-the-top.

The SF Chronicle sets the scene in a recent review:

Not only is Bing Ringling a pretty smooth crooner, with Ashmanskas’ polished song-and-dance chops, but his story is kind of a circus. Scott Bradley’s imaginative set is a midway of sliding stages, billboards and ornate bedrooms against a patchwork of tawdry-festive Chagall-like splotches. Gregory Gale outfits the company in a clown show of ’70s costumes. Three supporting actors create a three-ring extravaganza of caricatures.

Since Gregory is based in NYC, I coordinated the execution of his vision in the A.C.T. shop. My favorite pieces were the starry tunic and sequined caped dress for a disco-era Dante and Beatrice and the hand-painted chartreuse ensemble for the composer Anatol Torah.

Production photos by Kevin Berne and Alessandra Mello


I’m finishing up the costuming for A.C.T.‘s newest production, Quality of Life.  The past 2 months of assisting Bay Area designer Lydia Tanji has been a lovely collaboration.  The show centers around two couples, one a UC Berkeley professor and his poet wife, another a contractor from Ohio and a housewife who loves “Jesus and handicrafts.”  Residing in North Berkeley herself, Lydia’s designs evoked familiar images of those artsy, world-traveler bohemians in the Hills without being too literal.  As a native Kansan, I was happy to provide some insight into Midwest fashion and gave thoughtful consideration when asked “Would your mom wear this?” According to SF Chronicle’s laudatory review,

Lydia Tranji’s [sic] costumes contribute beautifully to our understanding of the couples’ relationships.

The show is running through Nov 23 – I’d definitely recommend checking it out.  An engaging show with some nuanced performances.

Production photos by Kevin Berne

downtown bound

© 2005 by Beaver Bauer

© 2005 Beaver Bauer for A.C.T.

I’m so psyched for my new position as the Costume Design Assistant at American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). I start at the beginning of August and will be assisting guest designers from the Bay Area and NY for the entire season. Pretty rad. Rad enough to make the 9-5 schedule worth it, I hope! 1 World and 2 West Coast premieres won’t hurt. 🙂

Maybe I can convince some of my friends to check out more theatre in town. I hear there’s cheap season tickets for teachers and students. nudge nudge.


playa costumes


there’s a hole in your future the size of a desert evening…

photo by Cornwell

photo: John Cornwell, model: Toby

struggling to put together a playa wardrobe that properly represents the awesomeness that is you? or maybe the faux fur of your beautiful old standards is no longer flying fun, but flailing flat? and somehow, the neon green leopard print frilly panties at the bottom of the dusty plastic bin just aren’t inspiring you the way they always have before.

we’ve all been there.

good news: i can help! i costume for a living at places like the sf opera and on the road with ‘edward scissorhands.’ come to me with your ideas, your past successes/failures, or just a weather-weary old outfit that you want to breathe some new life to, and i’ll help expand your palette for self-expression.


check out past Playa creations here

le sigh….


I’m finally taking a breather after all the activity leading up to the wedding last weekend. All told, I had 3 gowns (including the bride’s!), 1 suit, 1 dress, 1 pair of tux pants, and several altered outfits in the celebration. I’ve posted a few candid pics, but posed shots are soon to follow.

thanks to Kasima, Becky Hurwitz, Stephanie, and Loren EC for pics

Tailoring is a strange art. Men’s suit jackets have all these pieces that fit together just so and don’t really like it when you try to fuck around with them.

Axel and I are working on project that will put some small twists on the classic black suit. An idea that resonated with us was a double layer collar, one that can lay flat and appear like a regular notched collar or pop up giving more of a short-collared military look.

It took many hours of rumination and several iterations of mocking up before reaching a clean solution. The right side of the collar is popped up and will lay also down like on the left side. Hurray!

All this men’s wear has made clear the necessity of getting a male dress form. Sorry for the bustiness, Axel.

stripes ahoy!


Inspired by this suit I created for Jacques du Playa (Burning Man 2006), I’m now creating a Dr. Suessian striped version for dangermarc. The fabric has been providing me with ample opportunity to practice matching stripes. I’ve decided they should all meet at the waistline around the jacket. I’m pretty pleased with the results! Will post pics of the finished product soon.