Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa: “Dandy Dillinger”

Andrew Littlefield By Andrew Littlefield May 4, 2017

Tabula Rasa—meaning “Blank Slate”—is a new series in which we dive into the planning stages of a creative project by showing the early sketches and outlines from creators, comparing those to the finished product, and hearing from the creators themselves on how the project came to life. Read past installments here.


Ashton Warren

“Dandy Dillinger,” Performer and Costume Designer

Absinthe Fairy, “Dances of Vice” event

Dandy Dillinger

“I was hired to be the ‘Absinthe Fairy’ at a vintage Paris event called Dances of Vice. I’m normally booked for 1920s art deco style events, so this time I wanted to change it up and go Art Nouveau.”

“The Art Nouveau movement had many beautiful paintings and lots of absinthe posters. I looked at posters for inspiration and found silhouettes and head pieces to follow. I started with a few sketches, research, and a mood board before getting started with the actual design and build.”

“I love Alphonse Mucha’s work and wanted to draw in that influence with the flowered headpieces and drape of the dress.”

“I knew I wanted wings but I wanted them to flow as easily as the dress, so I kept them in a light fabric and attached them to my arms so I could control the movement. The cape, was a little off plan, but I liked the idea of feeling like a fairy queen. In burlesque performance, it’s all about taking items of clothing off, so the more items the longer the routine and the more you have to work with.”

Learn more about Dillinger’s work at