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Friday, July 31, 2020

WonderCon 2019

Continuing last year's catch-up...

My friend and I went to see Captain Marvel a few weeks before WonderCon, and we were still putting together our costume lineup at that point, so when we both fell in love with the movie we decided to debut a new set of Carol costumes at the con. I absolutely had to do her flight suit, and my friend did her grunge disguise.

As per usual for me, what would and should have been a fairly straightforward costume had some hiccups. I bought a screen accurate and actual GI flight suit online, which ended up wearable but slightly smaller than I was comfortable with. I have nice wide manly shoulders, but otherwise I'm short and curvy and proportionally that just doesn't work with standardized uniforms meant for Doritos tall fit men. I ended up ordering two more in different sizes but shipping was delayed and I didn't think they would arrive in time (spoiler: they didn't) so I went to a local surplus store literally the day before the con and bought yet another and that's the E! True Hollywood Story of how I ended up with four identical flight suits. Miraculously that last one was a better size, and funnily enough was actually manufactured at the time the movie's Air Force scenes take place (late 1980s), so it was even a little extra accurate.

Tracking down a suit that fits and spending four times more than I intended was the only real hangup, and everything else went pretty smoothly. I also bought a set of patches, and otherwise used stuff I already had: my go-to blonde lacefront wig, vintage Ray-Ban aviators, and black leather paddock boots. (I skipped the black undershirt for the sake of the heat.)

I'd assembled everything else beforehand, but because I got the suit at the 11th hour I was still doing repairs on it and adding the patches the night before the con.
With some thematic background noise. Shocking no one.

The Carols went to the con on Saturday, and we did the big Marvel photoshoot put on by the West Coast Avengers of the Avengers Initiative which was a blast.

This is probably the first time we've costumed something that was still in theaters (we usually do much more elaborate costumes that end up taking months or years of research and construction, or costumes from retro movies that have already been out for years) and we definitely felt the current of interest in the movie. There were a lot of other Carols there, and we had a lot of people stop us for photos and to chat. Looking at photos afterwards I felt a little retroactively self-conscious, as the flight suit was still more fitted than I was comfortable with, but on the day I felt 100% untouchably amazing. Big Flight Suit Energy is real.

A small thing, but it was also my first time fully gluing down the hairline of a lacefront wig and wearing it with a pulled-back style, and I don't remember how it looked in person, but in photos it looks like I just have blonde hair again and I'm still so pleased with that.

Sunday we busted out Jay and Ice, which were already done from a photoshoot the previous fall (which I'll post someday) but otherwise hadn't been worn anywhere. The only changes were different jeans and an alternate plaid shirt, and I finished the spellbook to carry around as a prop.

We did the Disney photoshoot, which was a little haphazard and I don't remember much now. Not many people recognized our costumes, and the spellbook got more attention than we did—though weirdly a lot of people thought it was the Necronomicon from Evil Dead or the book from Neverending Story. Which, alright, but if you know those movies and know those props, how do you mistake them for Hocus Pocus? But the people who did recognize us or the book went absolutely wild, which is always gratifying. And the highlight of the day was running into a Dani! We hardly ever (if ever) see Hocus Pocus costumes in the wild, so finding her by chance was amazing.

Besides the costume highlights, we walked the floor, bought some cool art, ate at our favorite potato food truck, and hung out with some great friends. It was a good weekend, as usual. WonderCon is a pretty reliable winner. It's even more meaningful looking back on it now, with WonderCon 2020 having been cancelled. Looking forward to making it back next year.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Great L.A. Air Raid 2019

(I'm slowly slogging my way through the backlog of events from the last year that I never got around to posting. Bear with me.)

V for victory, y'all. Big Brother Churchill is always watching. (Sweatshirt by the incomparable SoCal WACs.)
One of my costume goals for 2019 was a proper 1940s ensemble for Air Raid. What I threw together last year was cute and comfortable and not completely inaccurate, but it also left a lot to be desired. I wanted to do something more accurate and more stylish for the second outing.

I have a few pairs of 1930s-1940s heels but they all need repairs, so I didn't have shoes ready to go that worked well with a skirt or dress. I also didn't have the time or inclination to make pants unless absolutely necessary. So the plan was to shop around for pants in hopes of finding something.

Ultimately the whole look was mostly my stuff with just a few new pieces, which is always kind of gratifying. From my closet I used my go-to faux pearl necklace, black pleather low-heel oxfords, a red probably-1980s-does-1940s blouse, a vintage 1950s(ish?) black beaded cardigan, and a vintage 1950s-1960s navy blue swing coat. I added a vintage grey fur collar from the stash to the coat and also did some much-needed repairs on it. A trip to La Bomba on Retro Row got me a pair of vintage blue wool U.S. Navy uniform pants miraculously in my size, and I got a fantastic vintage-looking brass stamping airplane off Etsy and turned it into a brooch. It got a lot of compliments and was a great low-cost jewelry piece to add to the collection. As usual, my hair was improvised with pin curls. My whole look was heavily inspired by a 1946 photo of my grandmother and great-aunt, looking absolutely fabulous in trousers and fur-collared coats.
And I'm not saying my grandfather was Indiana Jones, but...

Unlike last year, we also stayed until the dance was over. The MPs herded everyone out of the fort and it was amazing.

Then we went to the after-party on the Queen Mary, and walking around the halls and decks in period clothing and seeing everyone else dressed to the nines was an amazing bit of time travel. The Observation Bar was completely overcrowded with suits and gowns and uniforms and the scene was right out of a wartime photo.

This all prompted a low-key photoshoot to take advantage of the atmosphere, and it was a lot of fun.

An anonymous Marine crashed our photos in the stairwell...
But I approved!
Off by a few decades, but of course I had to squeeze in some RMS Titanic nerdiness.
And some spooky shenanigans.

Stay tuned!