Category Archives: discussion

Movement Against Racist Costumes Becomes Internet Meme

What do you think of the “cultural” Halloween costumes that appear in abundance this time of year? Is a Mexican costume racist? Or does it merely attempt to celebrate their culture? Are people being overly sensitive about racism, or is it a serious issue that should be addressed?

A well-meaning student group from Ohio University has launched a campaign to end “racist” Halloween costumes. Known as S.T.A.R.S, they are the “Students Teaching Against Racism in Society.” They’ve put out a series of posters like the two shown above.

Apparently, lots of people on the Internet are making fun of this concept, and have turned their campaign into a humorous meme. I did get a good laugh out of the images below.

So what do you think? Has political correctness gone too far? Does the STARS campaign deserve to be turned into a joke? Or are they making an important point about underlying racism in our society? I welcome your comments below.

[Know Your Meme via BoingBoing]

Posted in discussion, questions, world costumes | 7 Comments

Police Threaten Man for Wearing Costumes

Don’t wear a costume in Idaho?

I’m seeing this rather sad story all over the news today, and getting a few emails from MD readers.

Police in Salmon, Idaho have told a man he cannot wear his black bunny suit in HIS OWN BACKYARD. Neighbors have complained about the man named William Falkingham, and the cops threatened to arrest him for being a public nuisance. Apparently he sometimes adds a tutu to the bunny suit, and he also has a cowboy costume.

Well, well. It’s illegal to be unusual? This makes me mad. Perhaps someone can explain the definition of freedom to me?

Falkingham agreed to stop wearing the costume, but I think he could have easily fought this and won. He has a right to freedom of expression.

Remind me never to go to Salmon, Idaho, it sounds like a crappy place.

[via Yahoo News]

Posted in discussion, news | Leave a comment

Sports Fans and Spandex Suits

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more of those colored bodysuits worn by sports fans and athletes and party goers. It seems they are gaining in popularity.

The above clip shows a Phillies fan wearing a red Spandex suit as he runs around on the field during a game. LOL, silly man.

I’d have to give credit to the TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as the character Charlie made his “Greenman” suit extremely popular.

But what is it with these colored suits? You can check out all the available colors and styles at MorphSuits.com.

yellow-men

MORPH-66-TMORPH-51-T

Posted in discussion, ideas, tv, video | 1 Comment

Baby Dressed as Evil Dictators

dictator-baby-8

Most photos of baby costumes are adorable, funny and sweet. These? I’ll go with weird and controversial.

Danish-Norwegian artist Nina Maria Kleivan dressed her baby in various costumes of evil dictators. Her point? That all evil dictators began as little babies, and its up to parents (and society) to set them on the right path.

“We all begin life the same. We all have every opportunity ahead of us. To do good, or inexplicable evil. You need to be conscious that your actions have consequences that impact on your fellow human beings.”

It’s a very interesting way to explore the nature of good vs. evil, I’ll give her that. But I’m a little stuck on the fact that a mother decided to dress her baby up as horrible murderers. Hmm.. what do you all think?

[YouBentMyWookie via BoingBoing]

Posted in art, discussion | Leave a comment

Costume Design: Adapting a Male Design to a Female Body

One of the things costumers and designers have wrestled with for a long time is the adaptation of a specific look to either a specifically male or specifically female context.  This isn’t difficult when you have a general idea of what you want and the resultant male and female versions reflect that general idea, but things get a little trickier when you’re trying to take a specific male character and turn it into a female costume, or vice versa.

I want to show off a project that I’ve been working on so far in defense of my extremely vocal presecution of the “make-it-a-mini-skirt-and-voila” process of “female-izing” costumes.

I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with this fellow:

Original VincentDirge Vincent

Vincent Valentine, of Final Fantasy VII fame (owned by Square-Enix, not me!).  His is a costume which has been replicated over and over and over by (giant dorky) fans like me!  As you can see, his design has already undergone a little original tweaking from the original 1997 official game-art (by Nomura Tetsuya) to the 2006 game Dirge of Cerberus which features Vincent as the main character (Official game graphic version).

As a general rule, guys have no problem imitating this costume.  It’s built for a guy, and even if he’s not RIDICULOUSLY thin, it can still look really good.  Girls, though soooo many of us adore Vincent, find ourselves quailing a little at the thought–though some are still brave enough to try it.  In a moment of insanity last year I ordered this costume from a seamstress on Ebay, thinking that I could make it work.  What I got in the mail a few weeks later was a pair of skin tight pleather pants that fit me smack at the natural waist, a costume shirt, glove and cape.  The real problem was (as my female readers already know) the pants.

I finally figured it out!  HIPS.  The problem is HIPS!!  No woman, no matter how small, can look like the above picture if she has any kinds of curves at all (Sweeping statement?  Oh yeah, you bet).  I set out, then, to make a version of this costume that would not only capture the essence of what is our much-loved Vincent Valentine, but would also not make my pants look like I had forced two pigs into leather sacks and strapped them to my waist.

This was the resultant concept sketch:

Girl Vincent

I admit I got a little crazy with the buckles.  I love buckles.

Now–what we have here really isn’t that different from the original, and that’s what I was looking for.  I’ve borrowed liberally from both versions of the character design and included a few of my own touches, but the costume is still essentially Vincent.  The main difference lies in the trouser style and the width and positioning of belts.  I dropped the waist-band of the trousers to fit at the hip (a very modern fit–I’m sure we’ll all want something different in ten years) and widened the two belts to really chunky things, rather than the thin sleek belts Vincent sports.  Also, instead of a pleather or leather fabric for the trousers, I’ve opted for a low-sheen black denim. 

Why do all these things?   The drop in waistline is not only more comfortable for those who are used to modern, hip-riding trousers, it also allows the torso to appear lengthened, creating the illusion of fewer curves (some of the younger cosplay crowd get around curves by binding their chests, but I frankly find this to be totally barbaric and I refuse to participate).  The problem with low-waisted pants is that they usually hit at the widest part of the hip, which can make the hips look even wider, if you’re not careful.  To help counteract this, chunky belts are added–this draws the eye away from the line of the trousers over the hip and gives the observer the idea that the width is the result of the belts themselves.

Lastly, the change in fabric from a high-gloss to a low sheen eliminates awkward highlights.  Pleather is really a very reflective material, and nothing can make something look curvier than a dramatic set of highlights showing up in a picture from the flash.  Black denim absorbs light, and as everyone knows, black makes anybody look thinner!

This costume is currently about half done, so I’ll leave off here with the promise that I’ll post the rest of it as I get finished, including the golden glove/claw that I’m working on.  What I really wanted to do with this post was prove that you can take a male costume and make it not only feminine, but attractive as well WITHOUT resorting to the tired, old and totally uncreative minidress or miniskirt designs.

Posted in art, cosplay, discussion, DIY, gaming, how-to, ideas | 5 Comments

Sexy Schoolgirl Dog Costume? Noooooo!

doggy-style-costume

Hahahahaha…. sigh. *face palm*

WHAT?!! A sexy dog costume? LOL, this is so wrong. Leg Avenue, known for its lingerie and exotic wear, has a line of costumes as well.

This is a sexy schoolgirl costume for dogs! And that pose is sooo on purpose. Who are they trying to entice with that? This isn’t Doggy Fashion, it’s more like… Doggy Style.

And now I’m wondering what my dogs do when I’m away from home.

 

dog-working-computer

dog-working-computer2

DoubleFacePalm

[via Leg Avenue]

Posted in discussion, humor, questions | 2 Comments

Stormtrooper Costume: Art or Not?

stormtrooper

For years now, Lucasfilm has been going after Andrew Ainsworth, the man who created the stormtrooper design, for selling unauthorized replicas of the stormtrooper helmet and armor.

In 2006, the U.S. courts ruled in Lucasfilm’s favor, but recently the British courts sent Lucas an entirely different message: The Stormtrooper design is not art.

In Britain, copy protection of art lasts 70 years. But the courts ruled that it’s not art, but rather industrial design – which only carries copyright protection for 15 years.

From CNET: Ainsworth was, at the time of the costumes’ creation, an industrial designer. This is what he told the Times of his design: “I didn’t even know it was for a film to begin with.” At the time the costumes were made, the machine Ainsworth used was, he told the Times, “churning out kayaks and watersports stuff.”

Hmm. It’s not art? How is that possible? Doesn’t seem right to me. If the famous stormtrooper costume is a mere industrial design, then why is Ainsworth getting so rich from Star Wars fans? A stormtrooper costume is not a toaster, it’s not a kitchen appliance or CD player.

Ainsworth is the creator of the stormtrooper, he has the original molds for the helmet and armor. It might be nice if Lucasfilms would allow him to sell his creation – but that’s really a separate issue.

Is it art? I’d say of course it’s art. It will be very interesting to see what happens next when Lucasfilms appeals to Britain’s Supreme Court.

[via CNET]

Posted in discussion, movies, news | Leave a comment

The Vampires of Sherwood Forest

sherwood horror

When I was a kid, I thought it would be cool to visit Sherwood Forest in hopes of running in to Robin Hood and his Merry Men. It never dawned on me that the legendary forest might harbor a more sinister company of thieves…blood thieves.

No, my imagination hasn’t gone off kilter (again). I just stumbled on to some news that a modern re-imagining of Robin Hood, with a horror twist, is in the works.

“Sherwood Horror” will follow ex-con Rob Locksley home, after a six year absence, only to discover that his town is under the rule of an evil sheriff and his horde of bloodsuckers. Locksley will have to join forces with his old roughneck hunting buddies to rid the town of the sheriff and his vampire minions.

Hmmm, a modern day Robin Hood southern gothic horror adventure? Could be interesting…what do you think?

Hopefully, it won’t totally suck.

[via Dread Central]

Posted in discussion, movies, news | Leave a comment