Of Costumes and Cons  

Posted by RogueDash1 in ,

Well, it’s less than five months until Dragon*Con and past time for me to be thinking about what costume I want to make for this year. I have made a Final Fantasy XI black mage costume in the past, and have used my medieval warrior costume I built for the Renaissance Fairs, but I think it’s time for a new costume.

I’ve a few ideas bouncing around in my head right now. The first is to make a steampunk costume. I’ve been intrigued by steampunk since I saw the costumes at Dragon*Con a couple years ago. I like the Victorian style dress, particularly the rougher, adventurous style of the old American West. I also like the virtues and ideals of the period. The Art of Manliness goes into both aspects in some detail. But we’re talking steampunk, not straight Victorian fashion and behavior. Steampunk has always put me in mind of the 19th century’s vision of the future, along the lines of Jules Verne and HG Wells. The anachronistic imagining of 20th century inventions using 19th century technology has wonderful visual appeal. I could have a lot of fun making a swashbuckling adventurer.

But I have two problems with steampunk. The first is that I actually know very little about the genre. The only steampunk work I am familiar with is Girl Genius, which is pretty light on the punk aspect. Almost all of my visual references would be costumes from Dragon*Con. Still, imagining a steampunk version of something is pretty easy, even if building it is not. The second problem is that steampunk is very popular at Dragon*Con right now, so my costume wouldn’t stand out. I would have to come up with a unique and detailed implementation to distinguish myself from the crowds. Still, I’m a fan and would enjoy a steampunk costume.

Option two is to make a cyberpunk costume. Steampunk’s futuristic cousin, I love the cyberpunk genre. I am currently playing Shadowrun, and Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite anime series. I have a lot more to draw on than I do with steampunk. It’s also not near as popular at Dragon*Con, so a good cyberpunk costume would really stand out. The problem will be with making a good cyberpunk costume. Cyberpunk tends to be much heavier on the punk aspect of the genre than steampunk is. In making a generic cyberpunk costume, as opposed to cosplaying an actual, recognizable character, I’d have to be careful to not look like a normal goth or punk. Those are quite common at Dragon*Con, so an all black punk outfit with a gun is almost indistinguishable from a plain punk and not recognizable as cyberpunk. I’ve also seen people who look like random paramilitary dudes, something that is likewise not recognizable as cyberpunk, even if it was a copy of the outfits from Ghost in the Shell. I’d love to make a cyberpunk costume, but I’m just not sure how to approach it so that the cyber part of it stands out.

The third idea is to make a Link costume, from Legend of Zelda. Ocarina of Time was one of my favorite N64 games, and Link is an iconic character. As straight cosplay, it would be easier to make a Link costume than inventing my own steampunk or cyberpunk outfit. And while there are always a few Link’s running around Dragon*Con, he is not so common that I would blend in. Plus it would be fun to make some of Link’s equipment. Unfortunately, I have not played a Zelda game since the N64, so I would have to go buy a Wii and every Zelda game out there and play through them.

What? It’s important to do your research.

The final option I am considering is making a Jedi costume. I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was old enough to watch movies, and I’ve always wanted to be a space wizard samurai. I would definitely want to build it to the level of quality seen in the Rebel Legion, so I would look into joining their community for costuming help. It wouldn’t be a bad place to start, since they are a costuming group and could give me help and advice.

Those are the ideas I'm considering right now. Since it takes a while to design and make these costumes to an acceptable level of quality, I need to decide soon which one I'm going to make. I'll post further updates as I work things out.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at Thursday, April 14, 2011 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Best luck to you for next costume designing. I am very exited about Dragon*Con.
dean graziosi

April 15, 2011 at 1:36 AM

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