HighBall Halloween begins on Friday, October 11 for HB: On The Rocks with Studio 614, where Funk Worthy, Parker Louis, and Amber Knicole presents: Divas! will play cover songs and band originals in tribute to the sensational 70s. On Saturday, October 12, HighBall Halloween culminates with a celebration of costumes and creativity for HB: High Fashion. Designer Haley Topp looks forward to showing her collection for the Battelle Costume Couture Fashion Show, after local favorites NACHO Street Band, Nina West, and Mojoflo perform. Both nights feature over-the-top public costume contests and hosts Nina West and NBC4’s Monica Day and Matt Barnes. In this Spotlight, Topp talks about New Orleans inspiration, sustainable fashion, and preparing for competition.

You’ll be presenting your costume collection at HB: High Fashion on Saturday, October 12 for the Battelle Costume Couture Fashion Show. What excites you the most about this competition?

Mostly, I am excited to be a part of the entire extravaganza. I have been a spectator before, I know it’s a big deal and I am honored to be up on stage with so many other talented people.

Where are you drawing your inspiration from for the costume designs for your HighBall Halloween collection?

New Orleans! My favorite place on Earth.

What artists (visual, design, music, or otherwise) inspire your work?

Music heavily inspires me because there are so many different moods even within the same genre. I am also inspired by cubist painters. No one person in particular, it’s more about how the people within those mediums view life. Their viewpoint is much different than my own and when they can make me understand how or what they see, that is true
success in my mind.

How do you approach the creation of your designs?

From a sustainable aspect. I typically only use deadstock fabrics or “waste” materials for my designs. My creations are based upon what I have or can find and the utilization of 100% of those materials.

Sustainable fashion is still relatively new in the industry, but the movement is growing. How did you get started with zero waste fashion?

I have always bought my clothes from a vintage, thrift or consignment shops; I always disliked what was being sold in stores because everyone was wearing the same thing. Plus, I always believed there was absolutely no reason to buy my clothes anywhere else because I already knew the statistic that each person throws away 85 pounds of clothes a year. I also live the full lifestyle; I dye my hair with henna, use essential oils for skin care, eat organic and natural foods. I would say it was a natural progression.

Without giving too much away, what can we expect when you and your models stomp the runway during the Battelle Costume Couture Fashion Show?

Just think “Nawlin’s baby!”

HighBall Halloween 2019 will happen inside and outside the Greater Columbus Convention Center on High Street in the Short North Arts District between Goodale and Nationwide. For more information, visit highballcolumbus.org.