Commissions we are working on, website technology changes, really nice letters from people, customer pictures, and more. Click here for blog archives.
Monday, August 31, 2009 0 CommentsMedieval and Renaissance Costumes and you’ll find some witches and vampires among them!
Witches and Sorcerers
From the Middle Ages, off and on through the Renaissance, people believed in magic and witch-craft.
Sorceress - tattered dress with overlay and drop sleeves. V-neck front and bottom, matching hat with "all seeing eyeball" medallion necklace as well as matching eye hand piece. Dramatic!
Sorcerer costume includes : black robe with elongated sleeves (floor length!), white stand up collar and black hood.
Mystic Sorcerer - Full length robe, hood with attached cape collar, waist sash, and jeweled bat medallion.
Since vampires are immortal, it stands to reason that they could come from any historical period.
The Blue Vampiress - is a beautiful blue satin dress with drop sleeves, ribbon stitch detailing and a stand up collar.
Flocked Vampiress – a long-sleeved dress with sheer red lower overlay, low cut front, stand up collar and gothic style choker.
Gothic Lace Vampiress - An elegant, long black gothic vampiress gown with stand up gothic collar & choker, and burgundy gothic lace sleeves with tassels and tassel tie belt.
Velvet Victorian Vampiress - Black lace up dress with red inset, and stand-up collar with attached choker.
Velvet Renaissance Vampiress - a velvet black lace up dress, a high red collar.
Renaissance Vampiress - black and red dress with a high red bat-wing collar.
These suspiciously-named royals were surely up to no good.
Queen of the Night – Black velvet gown with wire hoop, silver sheer gothic sleeves, silver detailing, headpiece and choker.
Blood Rain Countess – Black velveteen gown with red hood and gothic lace sleeves.
Wicked King - Full length robe with ornate bat wing design chestplate on front. Very stunning! (Crown and goblet not included.)
Queen of Darkness - sleeveless full length, low cut dress with red medieval style cross on front, red-lined stand up collar and cape.
Friday, August 28, 2009 0 Comments
Check out our Witches and Monster Costumes for Kids section and see how cute little monsters can be!
Here are some of our favorites:
Skeleton Zombie – It wouldn’t be so cute if it weren’t so little, but it’s a cool costume that combines the tattered zombie look with bones showing through—there’s even moss hanging off of him.
Fairy Tale Witch – Too cute! Pretty purple and stripey accents, it’s what Glinda the Good Witch would have worn for Halloween when she was a little girl, and she would have looked just as un-scary.
Werewolf Child – This fella is furry and huggable, just like Eddie Munster’s doll, but maybe not quite as well-dressed. That’s partly from his sudden transformation tearing up his shirt, but you can give him a nice pair of pants and some fancy shoes if you want.
Child Fairy Witch – such pretty autumn colors—she looks like a bouquet of fallen leaves and brings a harvest festival to mind. Who knew witchery could be so gossamer and lovely?
Gothic Vampire – He’s so posh with his velvet waistcoat and lined satin cape, and check out the impressive medallion on his chest. That’s gotta mean he’s descended from royalty.
Gothic Bloodstone Vampiress – she’s posed like she’s scary, but she’s too sweet. If the undead looked as cute as this, everyone would want to be bitten.
Reaper – He may be coming for you, but he’s so cute you won’t care.
The favorites mentioned above can be seen in the photo, but there are a wide variety of styles and looks to choose from. We have a number of different children’s vampire and witch costumes, plus interesting and slightly unusual costumes like the Bride of Darkness, the Emperor of Evil, the Countess of Darkness, Evil Outlaw, Sparkling Spiderella, Buccaneer Bones, Celestial Sorceress, and the Vampire Phantom.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 0 Comments
Just type the word “Teen” into our search box and you’ll get a bunch of cool Teen costumes to choose from.
Guys wanting to seem more manly can dress in Spiderman or Wolverine muscle suits, as Captain Jack Sparrow, the Ghost Rider or as a Gladiator.
While girls wanting to look pretty yet sassy have a wide selection of choices. There are cute ones like Pebbles from The Flintstones, a Sunflower Bee, Daisy Bug, Candy Korn Witch, Alice (from Wonderland), and Betty Rubble.
There are wholesome yet alluring costumes like Batgirl, a Sailor, Supergirl, or Wonder Woman.
Then there’s the slightly naughty – like the Heavenly Devil, Marie Antoinette, Betty Boop or a piratey First Mate.
Dark Angels include the Naughty Angel, Angel of Death, and Fallen Angel. And fairies of the darkness have proliferated with Veinia, the Skull Fairy, Devil Fairy, Corset Fairy, Vamp Fairy, Graveyard Fairy, Dark Pixie, Sweet & Sexy Fairy.
For Goth girls we have a lot too - a Corset Maid or Corset Devil, Gothic Goddess, Bloodsucker and Black Rose Vampiress, Gothic Prom Queen, Gothic Lace Vampire, Zombie Cheerleader, Bridezilla and Boodle Bones, the Goth poodle skirt girl.
For full-on naughtiness young women can dress as Demonia, a Naughty Nurse, Dragon Geisha, Classic Bunny or Maid to Tease.
Guys can try scare tactics with creepy costumes like the Undead Stalker, Zombie 3D, Zombie Doctor, Doctor Kill Joy or Pinhead. Or they might try to impress in our Anime Black costume, or be huggable as Bam Bam.
For more costumes check the Young Adult Costumes section or go to the Child Costumes section and click on Teen Costumes.
Monday, August 24, 2009 0 CommentsSexy Plus Size Costumes section if you’re a curvy girl who wants to flaunt her assets and see how much fun there is to be had.
You don’t even have to wait for Halloween, or a chance to take part in a LARP game, you can create your own role-playing game at home.
Get the attention of a sporty partner with our Sexy Plus Size Lipstick Referee, Sexy Baseball Player, Sexy Boxer or Racy Referee.
If you or your playmate would prefer a more military or law-related uniform, check out our Midnight Patrolwoman, Madam Sergeant, Private Tease, “Officer Arrest Me”, Gentleman’s Officer, Captain Layover, or be the Gangster Girl, or Naughty Prisoner. Or be superheroes–-dress your guy like Batman and you can be Sexy Robin.
For international affairs, try our Sexy Duchess, Geisha Girl, Sassy Lassie, Queen of the Nile,
Japanese Doll, French Can Can, Frauline, Scottie Sexy, or Belly Dancer costumes.
If you’re into medical drama, try our Plastic Surgeon, Nurse Nancy, Gothic Nurse, or Naughty Nurse. Or if you’re into other positions of professional service, try the Sexy Chef, Flirty Maid, Dust Devil, or Sexy Sexy Maid.
If you want your partner to take a role of authority, you can be the School Girl, Business School Girl, or Naughty School Girl (we’ve got two styles of this one).
Try being a Sexy Plus Size vamp like Vamptessa, or the Sexy Plum Vampiress, Gothic Affair, Black Rose Vampiress, Immortal, or a Goth Bloodstone Vamp. For other types of Halloween-y fun, try the Devious Witch, Gypsy Princess, Wizard Wanda (a la a Hogwarts School Uniform) or enjoy the Pirate’s life as our High Seas Vixen, or Scarlet Swashbuckler.
And there are many more, so let your imagination run wild as you let out your inner vixen!
Friday, August 21, 2009 0 Comments
Cosplay is wildly popular in China. In fact, ChinaJoy, the organizers of the national championships say more than 20,000 people entered competitions this year across China.
ChinaJoy is the country's largest annual video game exhibition, which also invites people to re-enact their favorite Japanese manga and anime on a game-show-like stage, as you can see in the video above. Competition teams can range from one or two people to 100, and are judged above all on their costumes, but secondly on props, choreography and audience reaction.
AFP reporter D’Arcy Doran described the scene. “The skeleton warriors briefly stumbled backward but kept lumbering toward 23-year-old Zhao Jing as she blasted them with two oversized six-shooters in a battle set to pounding music.”
Zhao's 36-member team rehearsed for 3 – 5 hours daily for months, and she's been competing with similar dedication in Cosplay tournaments from March to August every year for the past seven years. Last year she finally got the chance to represent China at the World Cosplay Summit international championships in Japan. Her team won second place.
At ChinaJoy 2009, female contestants easily outnumbered males, which may partly explain the video above. Zhao’s teammate, Zhang Li explained, "It's about making a dream world come to life." Dressed as a goddess, she shared that she’d been competing for five years, keeping it a secret from her parents…until she needed their permission to go to Japan. They were angry, but then at least she came home with an award. "Now they allow it as long as it doesn't disrupt my life," she said, before stepping on stage to magically repel sword blows with her bare hands.
Cosplay may resonate with young adults in China because the pressure to perform in school means childhoods are often deferred. But when they go to college, every university has an anime club and students have the freedom to invest time and money into it.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 0 Comments
Pet Costume Classics include a “big daddy” – a velvety purple jacket with leopard-print accents and a matching hat. His master can wear the Purple Big Daddy costume to match perfectly.
The Zelda prisoner pet costume (Zelda being the name of a famous bulldog, not a character from The Legend of Zelda) includes a striped shirt and pants, hat with matching prisoner number and a ball and chain. It would go well with our adult Convict or Jailgirl costumes.
A sailor dog costume offers lots of options for adult owners—from classic to sexy. Just type the word “Sailor” into our search field on the upper left of any of our pages and click “Go!”. The same works for “biker”, “clown” and “hippie”. There are also other Zelda costumes like a devil, or a queen. If you do a search for “bee” you’ll find great costumes for women, kids and a pet. Men could even dress in a furry mascot costume to make it fun for whole family.
Pet Costume Famous Characters include Superman, Spiderman, Zorro, Elvis, Mickey Mouse and Eeyore. Of course we have Superman, Spiderman and their friends and arch-enemies in our Adult Superheroes costume section. A search for “Zorro” and “Elvis” will reveal both adults and children’s costumes, but Mickey Mouse and Eeyore only have corresponding child costumes. Adults can check our Adult Disney Costumes section for ways to join in the fun with the kids and pets.
In our Halloween Pets Costumes, you’ll find the classic vampire, witch, pirate and pumpkin outfits. Witches and pirates have their own sub-sections under Adult Costumes. A search for “pumpkin” offers several cute kids outfits but only one adult costume, whereas a search for “vampire” will overwhelm you with choices!
Monday, August 17, 2009 0 Comments
Coming up this weekend in Colorado is a Renaissance Faire that we think is interesting for the reasons you’ve probably already figured out from the title. The Ravenshire Renaissance and Pirate Faire is a unique blend of the Renaissance in the year 1550 and Pirates of the 18th Century, all mixing together in the mysterious darkness of nighttime.
Their site offers some sketches of period-appropriate costumes, and some photos of last year’s daytime do (see above) but we’ve got a few ready and waiting for you in our Medieval and Renaissance Costumes Section.
For those who want to be upper class women, our Masquerade Queen (shown above) and Baroness fit their description – “Women of this time wore tight, conical bodices over full, cone-shaped skirts. Sleeves were long and tight, and usually had either puffed and padded sleevecaps or large, false stuffed undersleeves. Chemises were worn beneath all to protect the clothing from dirt and sweat.”
For the men, we’ve got the Renaissance Nobleman or the Noble Knight , both of whom are shown in the photo above.
The Ravenshire website also tells us that working class people would have worn garments made of solid, textured fabrics in colors obtainable through natural and local dyes--blue in almost all shades was a very common peasant color--as you can see in one of the photos above. Women wore a stiffened bodice as an all-in-one garment rather than a separate dress and corset. They could get away with shorter skirts (which in 1550 meant ankle-length!). When working, they would hitch their skirts up over their belt. Working men often wore leather aprons and long pants instead of short breeches and hose.
Friday, August 14, 2009 0 Commentsa website that lists a plethora of things to celebrate before the summer ends.
First and most importantly of all, August is Family Fun Month. What better excuse do you need to dress up as a family? After all, the family that plays together, stays together!
It can be an educational activity too, since August is also National Literacy Month. Challenge each family member to dress up as a character from their favorite book. Kids might like to dress up as characters from Harry Potter, or fairy tales, Cat in the Hat or maybe you can choose a book to read together with a historical storyline. It’s Pooh Friendship Month too.
Adults can dress up as characters from a historical romance, military suspense, or even from that all-time best-seller, The Bible. You can find costumes to fit any of these themes by going to the top left corner of any page and entering what you’re looking for under where it says “Search by Keyword”.
August is International Air Travel Month, the third week in August is National Aviation Week, and Orville Wright's Birthday is August 19th (he was born in 1871). See what our search for pilot costumes turned up! August is also Little League Baseball Month, so we did a search for “baseball”. The second week in August is Elvis Week and August 16 is Elvis Presley Commemoration Day.
This weekend you can also celebrate things like Victory Day, today, August 14. Our search for “military” brought up some cute options. Saturday, August 15 offers two choices for fun costumes: Wizard of Oz Day and “I Love Cowboys and Cowgirls Day”. And if you want to celebrate early, Monday, August 17, is Davy Crockett's Birthday– need a coonskin cap?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 0 CommentsWikipedia’s Anime and Manga Genre list, the Horror and Supernatural categories seemed like good places to look for Halloween-ish anime and cosplay ideas. Though the costumes themselves may not be that scary, you can make up for it with some convincing cosplay. (Or only go to Halloween parties thrown by anime fans and cosplayers.)
Vampire Knight is the only one of our favorites listed under the Horror genre. (Our favorites are obviously the ones we’ve made costumes from, right?). But Wikipedia’s Supernatural category offered more of our favorite costumes for cosplay:
Bleach – where death and evil spirits abound, and the costumes are dramatic.
D.GrayMan offers exorcism and body-snatching akuma to scare your friends. Dramatic costumes again, but we think Millennium Earl is the scariest.
Death Note - cleansing the world of evil via the written word. We especially like the black and white stripes on Amane Misa’s legs and Matt’s arms.
Devil May Cry - demons and devil hunters in kick-ass outfits. People are sure to be at least intimidated!
Hellsing - combating vampires, ghouls, and other supernatural foes who threaten England. That’s gotta give you an attitude.
Rozen Maiden - Gothic Lolitas fighting with their supernatural powers.
Sailor Moon - magical girls battling the evil force from a Dark Kingdom. Not really that scary or intimidating, but still supernatural.
XXXholic - witches and spirits and fate, oh my. Definitely dramatic too, especially our Yuuko Ichihara.
Yu Yu Hakusho literally translates to "Ghost Files" or "Poltergeist Report", and hints to Yusuke’s work for the Spirit World as a detective investigating demon cases in the human world. That knowledge should be scary enough.
Monday, August 10, 2009 0 Comments
If you have ever found yourself delighted and fascinated by stories that take place when steam power was still prominent, you might be a steampunk. The written works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne are central to the subgenre, but the themes found there have been played out in anime and manga, film and role playing games, among other places.
The video above is from a panel at OtaFest2009 in Canada, called "Steampunk Anime: Scientific Romances in the Land of the Rising Sun". For the complete series, check out Voyages Extraordinaires.
Wikipedia’s list of Anime and Manga Genres lists these among the steampunk sub-genre:
Steam Detectives takes place where the only fuel source is coal, and the only means to produce energy is the steam engine. As the only source of energy, the steam engine has been the focus of technological advancement to the point where it can be substituted for any other form of power in modern technology. Steamboy set in a 19th-century context, D. GrayMan because it’s set during the end of a fictional nineteenth century, and FullMetal Alchemist because the world is styled after the European Industrial Revolution in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques known to man. Others included are Howl’s Moving Castle, Last Exile and One Piece, but there are many others you can cosplay.
You may have seen Steampunk-styled elements in animated films like Disney’s Treasure Planet or Atlantis: The Lost Empire, or films like The Wild Wild West, or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Wikipedia tells us in their Steampunk page that fantasy steampunk settings abound in tabletop and computer role-playing games like Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, Skies of Arcadia, and Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. Final Fantasy VI also takes place in a steampunk setting.
Want a custom steampunk costume? We’ll make you one!
Friday, August 7, 2009 0 Comments
We mentioned the crossover between cosplay and LARPing in the West in our previous post. But according to Wikipedia, a somewhat recent trend at cosplay events in Japan is an increase in the popularity of non-Japanese science fiction movie characters like those from The Matrix, or Star Wars, or as fantasy characters, like from Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter films, which have many female fans in Japan, who enjoy cosplaying either male or female characters.
This leads us to another trend. When cosplayers take on characters of the opposite sex, it’s known as "crossplay”. Wikipedia explains that this may be because of the abundance of bishounen (beautiful youths)--effeminate male characters that females can often more accurately portray than men. Also perhaps because some characters cross-dress to start with, or finally because cosplay is about taking on a new persona.
But there’s another level to it too. Cosplaying as a character who dresses as the opposite sex is called "cross-dressing". Take for example the male artist Mana from the Visual Kei band Malice Mizer, who is known for dressing in female clothes. A female cosplaying as Mana would be crossplaying, but not cross-dressing, because she’d still be dressed as a girl. A male cosplaying as Mana would be cross-dressing (dressed as a girl), but not crossplaying (playing a guy).
Another trend that may have helped publicize events came by the late 1980s, when cosplay became a chance to be seen. A new kind of cosplayer emerged—one who attended events with the goal of being photographed. Photographers also started attending events to capture the best cosplayers on film, and wanted to get their photos published in magazines as much as the models wanted to be seen. Then with the internet and social networking, people could share their experiences and photographs with other players, sharing, rating and socializing about various events and cosplay costumes.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 0 CommentsWikipedia entry for Cosplay describes it as “a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves, with often-elaborate costumes and accessories, as a specific character or idea…. Cosplay participants ("cosplayers") form a subculture centered around wearing their costumes and reenacting scenes or inventing likely behavior inspired by their chosen sources.”
Wikipedia describes LARP by saying, “A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters' actions. The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character.”
So the main difference between the two seems to be that LARPing is more of an organized game, whereas cosplay may focus more on the expression of the character.
Wikipedia’s Cosplay entry points out that “Western cosplay's origins are based primarily on science fiction and historical fantasy as opposed to animation, and it is more common for Western costumers to recreate characters from live-action series such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter than it is for Japanese cosplayers. Western costumers also include subcultures of hobbyists who participate in Renaissance Faires, and historical re-enactments such as Civil War battles.”
These are genres that have been mentioned in the description of LARPing as well, so it would seem that cosplay in the West has its roots in LARPing. But they go on to say “the rise in popularity of Japanese animation in the late 1990s has led to an increase in American and other Western cosplayers who portray Japanese characters. Anime conventions have become more numerous in the West in the last decade….”
So the next major different between the two would be the genres portrayed. Cosplay seems to have Asian media as its focus, whereas LARPing seems to focus more on science fiction, history and fantasy from Western minds.
Monday, August 3, 2009 0 Comments
As we investigate different types of LARPs (Live Action Role Playing games), we found one genre that’d also be great to help you plan for Halloween—Horror LARPs.