Monthly Archives: April 2008

Weekend Notes: Vader in the Wild

I’m officially going to get a bit unofficial right now.

I believe that everyone needs to live a Polaroid lifestyle. What does that mean? It means that on a nearly daily basis you should be doing something that’s worthy of at least a Polaroid shot. Life is, afterall, such a heavy grind and it takes real effort to make sure you do something memorable and fun on a daily basis.  And well, if life is a grind, then my weekend was industrial sized.

So, it came as a huge surprise then when I was sitting at a friends apartment for a visit and Lord Vader came to the door. Yeah, that’s no joke. The man/Jedi loomed over standing at about 6’5″ (yeah I’m short). It definitely warmed my heart. Sadly, no camera was present and I couldn’t get a shot.

The guy who came by just wanted to show off his creation. It was a totally homespun version and looked pretty amazing. Costume fans seem to lurk everywhere and every once in awhile you find one with the chops to share it and not feel funny. Props to our Sith lord friend for making a public appearance.

It then got to me, it sure would be fun to try to get people to take various pictures wearing their favorite costumes in strange public places.

Right place, right time, right hobby. Sorry for no picture!

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Classy Costumes For The Literary Minded at Harvard

I don’t normally read the Harvard Independent. It’s a weekly journal for the students there, and it would seem utterly silly for a “wannabe” student like me to even embrace the idea. BUT they wrote about costumes

According to the site:

he Harvard Independent co-sponsored the Great Literary Figure Costume Contest on April 12, 2008. Along with the Harvard Square Business Association and as part of the Square’s “Bookish Ball” festivities, the Independent coordinated the Costume Contest to give contestants an opportunity to dress up as their favorite literary character and compete for a range of fantastic prizes.


(via Harvard Independent) click for higher res

I wonder if I can go in and vote….

Oh, guess what. You can. I put my money on the characters of N.I.M.H.

Leave it to the Ivy League to host costume contests based on literary icons. Voting closes on the 20th, so cast your vote now and maybe you’ll get an A+ for participation.

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Leaked Dragonball Film Photos Disappoint Eager Fans

2009 will be more than just the year before 2010.

It will also be the year that Dragonball Z superfans will emerge from their lairs to go see the live action film. Anime-to-film adaptation? You bet your tomagotchi, amigo.

Over a week ago a few leaked photos from the set and costumes made it onto the Internet and generated enough buzz to get the attention of Twentieth Century Fox Films. Naturally, to protect the IP and prevent rampant rumor spreading, they asked for the photos to be taken down. Fan reactions were all over the place, despite the work likely not being done.

So what was seen?

From the pulse we found around blogs and sites who had the pictures, it looks as though the makers are taking some liberties with the film and the outfits. How much of those are due to restrictions of translating manga to live action remain to be seen, but the general disapproval will prove to be a marketing obstacle if these unfinished photos spread too far. We’ll keep checking back to see how this story develops.

Posted in comics, movies, news | 1 Comment

Wanna Make Movies? Then Swede One…

We all know the feeling of dissapointment when you realize you have an inner Spielberg that needs to awaken. Then, like a no-show prom date you are knocked down to harsh reality when you don’t find the green to hire a crew, build a set, and film a masterpiece. It’s okay, just swede a film.

If you are a fan of Gondry, you know what we’re talking about. Jack Black and Mos Def brought to life the reality of sweding movies in their recent film “Be Kind, Rewind”. Basic premise? Well, a small time VHS store gets all its videos erased when Jack Black mystically clears the movies from the tapes whilst donning a full tin foil getup. In order to not go completely bankrupt they decide to re-make the films with whatever they got. Thus, sweding was born.

Yeah, I’m jumping out of my seat too. We’re totally in support of sweding here on MyDisguises. The costumes are the best part.

Well, because the Internet is such a repository of awesomeness, you could expect that eventually the common man was going to swede himself. Therefore we humbly direct you to this site. Who knows, maybe we’ll do some MyDisguises hosted Sweding ourselves. Check back for that. In the meantime, enjoy this pick…

Can’t deny the coolness of the drawn on muscles…

Posted in movies, random, video | 2 Comments

The Virtual Costume – When Your Avatars Outnumber Your RL Population…

Have you ever tried counting up your circle of friends? Now ponder the amount of people you don’t see on a regular basis, but are still friends. How many do you know? Hundreds? Thousands even?

Okay, now count up the amount of people you know online. Are you a gamer? Do you travel in Second Life? Do you have a few more friends than you should via the Internet?

Whatever the case is, there are so many avatars floating around that it’s been declared there are more virtual people than inhabitants in the United States. A rough number then? Well, roughly over 301,139,947. That’s the reported population of the United States. Shocked?

We are.

It’s no question that having an online presence is part of daily life. You could be on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Orkut, or whatever else suits your fancy. You may log in daily. But we’re talking about actual virtual avatars. Alternate personalities that people seem to like to take on.

Every day people across the world are seeking some sort of escape from reality and virtual worlds have offered that (for better or worse) better than most hobbies. It’s now commonplace for an individual to be known to more than a few people by a name other than the one they’re given.

It’s really something to ponder. As we write about costumes we find out more and more that the purpose of the costume is to get into something and be someone else. Virtual worlds offer this in a semi-private kind of way. In a world where we clutch so hard to the “musts” we all need a place to let go of them. With each new technological advancement we slowly integrate ourselves into the virtual arena bit by bit.

It’s crazy enough to note here on our blog and hopefully we’ll see more people emerge with opinions on the matter. However there is one thing you can’t fight. There is more to yourself than what you wear outside everyday. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be known equally as our virtual selves as we are our real selves. Anyone frightened for that day?

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MyDisguises Theater: Breaking Records

When you think of people setting world records, you think of some pretty impressive stuff. Well, we found a fairly beatable record that should be challenged. According to this YouTube video that was recently put up, the world record for the most people to be gathered in once place in video game character costumes is only just over 80. Impressive since the gaming community is so big…

There are plenty of iconic characters out there to mimic, and plenty of fans and cosplayers. In fact, I would wager to say that any big fan fest or convention has this record beat. But, it’s not official and that’s what counts I guess. Who’s going to be the first to smash this record officially?

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Finding Costume Fans Like You

Costumed Group

You might catch yourself in a public place wearing a costume that may not be deemed as “normal”. So what, right?

…well… you may want to go in numbers. As cool as it is to be socially offbeat, costume fans need to be supplied with reinforcements whenever possible.

A lot of costume fans find that they would have fun getting dressed up, but don’t know where or when to do it. Unless you’re holding a sign on a street corner to advertise business, you’re going to get funny looks.

So, as a generous task, we’re providing you with a solid list of people and places to find other costume fans to fraternize with.

The Search For Fellow Costumers Begins Online

The first place to look for a community is online. This will help you find out who is where, and what they participate in.

Forums – Forums exists all over the net, and for about every niche group possible. Cosplay, steampunk, general costumes, collectors, you name it and you’ll find it. Forums are a great place to ask questions that only a true fan would know.

DIY Web Sites – The great thing about DIY sites is that there are so many types of people there. You can be into any type of costume, and DIYers are all over it. Also, they’re extremely involved in the creation process, putting them in the know for all good resources on a particular subject or idea.

Digg, and other Social News Sites – Why Digg? Well, Digg is a haven for all the crazy stuff you will find on the web. How many ideas or articles have we found via social news? Well, lets pretend they’re all original things I see in person, mmkay?

Costume Events Come More Frequently Than You Know

The good news is that there is nearly always something going on for a costume fan to take part in, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get involved and make some friends, right?

Conventions – Cons are big in a very big way these days. They come in all shapes and sizes and attract everyone you could imagine. If you’re a fan of something like comics or anime, there are cons all the time for you. Find a costume, make a reason, and go dress up. People love to see their peers show their pride. Some cons are getting more well known for their costumes alone… sound like fun?

Release Events – Harry Potter movie, new Halo game, Star Trek release, on and on and on… if your costume is specific, and you’re in good company, you have all the reason to get decked out.

Fan Festivals – Fan festivals are akin to Conventions, but are usually surrounding a certain product or IP. The gaming industry is big on these. Fans of Blizzard Games, Sony Games, or Square Enix games can all find Fan Fests happening almost annually. It’s worth it to get in some garb and go to at least one.

Get Cultured and Celebrate Costumes Regionally

The Right CityTokyo is great for Cosplayers. New York has all kinds of dress up events, cultural mashups, and groups of enthusiasts. Los Angeles is home to the Hollywood hills, and the entertainment capital of the world. It doesn’t stop there, as most big cities have something unique to boast. Celebrate the city you love.

Cultural Celebrations – We’ve already covered Carnival and Oktoberfest. It doesn’t end there. If you want to immerse yourself in a really cool side of costuming, find a way to travel and get into some traditional threads. It’s always more acceptable and fun to blend into another lifestyle.

Well, not sure you got enough? We can think of many more. Check out our post on 79 Days, Reasons and Events made for Costumes. Search around for the ideas we’ve found and add some of your own.

Posted in conventions, cosplay, DIY, ideas, lists, steampunk, world costumes | Leave a comment

The Things You Find On Ebay – Steampunk Darth Vader

Steampunk Darth Vader

Are Star Wars fans synonymous with steampunk fans? Two worlds of the imagination couldn’t be more far apart than those two, but it seems that someone thinks they belong together.

In an unlikely marriage of these non-realities, a fan decided to make a Darth Vader steampunk getup for the tech/futuro-curious. According to the creator, this is a first time with anything Steampunk. Not bad on the bids for being a first timer, eh? Here are the words of the creator:

Welcome to my first venture into the art of steampunk. This Vader mask was sitting on my shelf for about 14 years.

It was originally purchased for me on my first trip to Disney World. Rather than get rid of it, I decided to have a little fun with it. I was inspired by some art from the Vader Project, and some other cool steampunk Star Wars stuff I found online. The mask itself was a Don Post mask. Not the best quality, but not the worst either. It is made of plastic and comes in two parts, the front face mask and the back dome. The two pieces are held together with velcro, wich actually works quite well. I modified the helmet by carving out detail to make it look like brass plate and adding several tacks to simulate rivets. This process was tedious and took forever. I finished it off with a WWI style helmet spike, which is actually a ceiling fan pull chain and an antique paint job. The chest plate was made from a shadow box frame (8 inches tall x 6 inches wide x 3 inches deep) and a bunch of cannibalized clock, and other device parts. I wired a green LED to a switch in the back that runs on two AA batteries. The steam tank was made from a piece of PVC pipe with a vintage pressure valve inserted into it. There are two holes drilled in the end of the tank which a rubber hose can be inserted into and then into the holes in the mask. I drilled out the spot where the tusk pieces should be. I am not going to permanently affix the hoses to the mask or the tank, in case the buyer wants to change them. The chest strap and shoulder straps were fashioned from a set of two men’s belts. the total width of the chest strap, including the chest piece is about 53 inches. The shoulder strap is in two pieces 22.5 inches and 18.5 inches in length. I did not cut any holes in the shoulder strap. I will leave that up to the buyer to measure. A lot of time went into making this piece. It would be a great start to a cool costume for either roleplaying or a convention, or just use it as a nice display piece. Dragoncon is right around the corner. Good luck and happy bidding!

Although this piece isn’t the caliber of some of the more focused steampunk DIY we’ve seen on the site, it’s on target for a first timer. Check it out and make a bid if you dare show your face at a fan fest any time soon.

Posted in DIY, special, steampunk | Leave a comment