Mardi Gras is busiest season for coast costume store

Crystal Locklar standing next to old costumes.
Crystal Locklar standing next to old costumes.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mardi Gras season is in full swing, and the Vice President of Josette's Costumes Inc., Crystal Locklar, is well aware of that. They've been working all year on costumes for Mardi Gras krewes on the Coast, Hattiesburg, Mobile and Florida.

Locklar gave WLOX a peak at the older costumes at Josette's.

According to Locklar, Halloween used to be the busiest time of year for Josette's, but about five years ago, Mardi Gras became even busier.

"The big thing this year is the costumes," Locklar said.

"Normally it is formal wear and tuxedos, but this year it's been costumes."

She said the popular costume themes this year include, "The Great Gatsby", pirates and Victorian era.

Requiring most of her team's time is the large trains worn by the king and queen of a krewe.

"A train can be anywhere from around 10 to 12 feet, all the way up to around 30 feet. It takes several months to do one the way it should be done, if you're going from scratch. If you're taking one and simply taking off appliqués and redoing them, we can do them in maybe in a month or less. But generally speaking, it takes several months to construct one from scratch."

Various fabrics and items are used to create the trains including velvet and plastic for the bottom of the train. Appliqués are made from various types of trim and Swarovski crystals, faux fur and anything else a client wants. Locklar said the sky's the limit in terms of what they make.

"Rentals range from $300 and up, and purchases for trains made from scratch can be as much as $15,000," said Locklar.

"Sometimes we work two to three years ahead of time on some of the trains. Lots of people are actually still coming in for trains."

The trains have ribbons on top and are tied around the backs of the king and queen.

In addition to the trains, Josette's makes the collar pieces that are also worn by the king and queen.

Collar pieces are lightweight and include complex bead work, ostrich plums, peacock feathers, Swarovski crystals, rhinestone trim and more.

"Two most popular colors are definitely gold and silver."

All of the costumes remain secret, until the tableau at the Mardi Gras balls.

"The secretive part adds to the whole mystique of Mardi Gras."

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