About Us: Designs of Distinction
the RKIDs’ History as Told through their Costumes
Before we reorganized Andes’ Dandies into the Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers, from time to time we were asked to perform. We took a casual approach. For costumes, everyone wore green t-shirts; the men wore jeans and the women wore jean skirts.
Slowly an idea for a new costume emerged: Black skirts (below the knee), white blouses, and embroidered green capes for the women; Black pants, white shirts, and green ties and belts for the men.
Second Generation of Costumes
In order to get these costumes altogether, several of the women in the group gathered at various houses to “sit and sew” the embroidered capes. Some members did more than one so we would have spare capes. The purple and lavender embroidery threads created a lovely design on the edge of the capes. Ties and belts for the men also had to be made out of the same green fabric as the capes. There was a little grumbling from the men about the green adornments, but if you wanted to perform this is what you had to wear.
Costumes "Rel 2"
A Fine Design
About 1999, Bobbie McLaughlin joined the RKIDs. Inspired by the show Riverdance, she suggested a new design for our costumes. At a steering committee meeting she presented her ideas and no one hesitated to say, "Terrific!" Bobbie put together a whole new look. For the women, there were black skirts (above the knee), black scooped-necked tees, black stockings and shoes, and a graceful lavender and purple cape (which she volunteered to make for the performers). For the men, black pants and shoes, a black golf shirt and a purple sash (also made by Bobbie) to be worn around the waist.
The end result was a stunning new look for the RKIDs. We have come a long way from t-shirts and jeans!