Fashion

Super Mario Bros. and Princess Peach Light Up Global Dance Festival

Henry Cooke, Taylor Williams and Chris Cooke as Super Mario Bros. and Princess Peach at Global Dance Festival.
Henry Cooke, Taylor Williams and Chris Cooke as Super Mario Bros. and Princess Peach at Global Dance Festival. Mauricio Rocha
Lights, live music, carnival rides and interactive art installations filled the Mile High Stadium parking lot during Global Dance Festival in late July. There was plenty of festival fashion, too, with familiar pop-culture characters dancing through the fest. We were particularly taken with a trio based on the Super Mario Bros. games. The character of Mario was introduced in 1981, his fraternal twin brother, Luigi, in 1983, and Princess Peach in 1985; the original game is one of the best-selling of all time, and the figures are iconic.

Real-life twins Chris and Henry Cooke gave the Italian plumber brothers a modern-raver twist: Their outfits of matching baseball hats, tank tops and shorts included custom-built, light-up LED wands. We spoke with Chris Cook, the Luigi of the trio, and Taylor Williams, who dressed as Princess Peach, about their fashion sense, their costumes, and what they thought of the festival.

click to enlarge Chris Cooke created the light-up LED wands/staffs; he hopes to sell them at festivals one day. - MAURICIO ROCHA
Chris Cooke created the light-up LED wands/staffs; he hopes to sell them at festivals one day.
Mauricio Rocha
Westword: Where are you from?

Chris Cooke: I’m originally from New York, but I currently live in Florida.


What is your profession?

I’m a business architect for a medical software company during the day, and I create LED devices for music festivals in my spare time. They are only in the prototype phase right now, but I hope to be able to sell them really soon!

What inspired your Super Mario Bros. outfits?

My twin brother and I grew up playing Mario Bros. games. We wanted to go as them, but with a modern, EDM-style twist.

Who was your favorite artist at Global Dance Festival?

Illenium with Said the Sky was my favorite. I was supposed to see Illenium at Sunset Music Festival, but day two was canceled due to weather, so I was really excited to see him at Global.

click to enlarge Colorful beaded bracelets, or "candy," are a classic rave accessory. - MAURICIO ROCHA
Colorful beaded bracelets, or "candy," are a classic rave accessory.
Mauricio Rocha
Where do you like to shop for fashion?

I rarely buy clothes in brick-and-mortar stores anymore, but when I do, it’s normally outlets like Off Saks, Calvin Klein or Brooks Brothers. When I’m not at music festivals, I’m normally dressed in a polo and khaki shorts.

What is your style mantra?

When I’m getting ready for a music festival, my mantra is "Don’t worry, be happy." My goal when going to these things is to improve the experience of as many people as I can.

Is there anything you would like to add?

This weekend was the first time I got to meet my twin brother's girlfriend, Taylor, and she had the courage to do a group costume with us at her first music festival ever. It was the best first impression I could have possibly imagined!

click to enlarge Henry Cooke, Taylor Williams and Chris Cooke with custom-built light-up staffs at Global Dance Festival. - MAURICIO ROCHA
Henry Cooke, Taylor Williams and Chris Cooke with custom-built light-up staffs at Global Dance Festival.
Mauricio Rocha
Williams, who was dressed as Princess Peach, is from Highlands Ranch and works as a production assistant in sports television.

Westword: What inspired your Super Mario Bros. outfits?

Taylor Williams: My boyfriend, Henry, has an identical twin. Chris loves festivals, and especially loves attention, so he came up with the idea of being Mario and Luigi. Not only are they recognizable characters, but their red-and-green color scheme stands out in a crowd. I decided to play along and go as Princess Peach. Pink is my favorite color, so I was excited to get decked out in princess garb. I thought we would get some strange looks, but everyone loved our costumes. To my surprise, we weren't even close to being the craziest-dressed group at the festival.

click to enlarge Taylor Williams shows off her candy. - MAURICIO ROCHA
Taylor Williams shows off her candy.
Mauricio Rocha
Who was your favorite artist at Global Dance Festival?

Global Dance was my first music festival ever this year. I wasn't sure what to expect, but every artist we saw there was so much fun, whether I'd heard them before or not. The environment helps. It was awesome to be surrounded by people who just wanted to dance, laugh, meet people and enjoy the music. If I had to choose a favorite, I would say Illenium. The entire crowd was dancing!

Where do you like to shop for fashion?

Recently, I've loved Topshop's selection. They're the only place I could find a denim skirt pink enough for my costume.

What is your style mantra?

Look good, feel good.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Henry and Chris grew out their facial hair for the costumes, and Chris put mascara on his mustache to make it look darker. At the last minute, Henry decided not to. He brought up a good point: If he kissed me with a mascara-covered ’stache, all three of us would end up having mustaches by the end of the night, because his would rub off on my face!

Keep reading for more photos of Global Dance Festival.


KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mauricio Octavio Rocha graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in English writing and a minor in cinema studies; He has been writing about fashion and style for Westword since 2012. Rocha also writes songs for his music and art project, VULGAR FEVER.
Contact: Mauricio Rocha