Friday, December 30, 2011

KostumeGirl's 2011 Wrap Up

As I look back on my posts from 2011, I'd have to say this was my best year for costumes yet! Through practice and good old fashioned trial and error I've learned how to build costumes that are comfortable without losing any WOW factor. I've also learned what can be built and what you should just purchase ready made. If you will oblige me, I'd like to take a trip down memory road and recap my favorite costumes of 2011.

The year was off to a running start in February with a very daring and clever (at least I thought so) costume that I wore to Kostume Kult's 5th Annual Alt. Oscars, the wildest costume Oscar party out there. Attending this year were flocks of Black Swans, Tron, Pixar characters and myself as the 2010 epic film Piranha 3D. How this film, NAY this work of art, remains yet un-nominated for an Oscar is a great travesty. Briefly, the movie is about an underwater tremor that releases millions of prehistoric piranhas from their dormant state. This unfortunate event happens to coincide with Spring Break at Lake Victoria where hundreds of coeds are letting loose in the water as well. The two make for a deadly mixer. So basically I was dressed as a college spring breaker who met an unfortunate piranha feeding frenzy demise. To read my detailed recap click here. For more photos from this raucous event, check out this great album of photos of the event by my friend Loren Darklyng. It won't be long before this event comes around again and the Kostume Kult red carpet is rolled out so start thinking about your favorite movies from 2011 and which one would make a great costume. You could win yourself a coveted Atly!

April brought spring flowers and an AMAZING event called Horned Ball 7: Road to Valhalla. Kostume Kult hosted this event at Santo's Party House this year. The Party House was transformed back in time to a viking wonderland with a ship, ice, fire and animal hides. Really an unbelievable transformation and the set up crew deserves lots of props for a bang up job. Oh and if you do not know, Horned Ball is a spring event with a horned or mythical beast theme. For the past two Horned Balls, I have dressed as a unicorn. The first attempt was pretty amateur with a paper towel roll horn but in 2011 I got it right. I found a Christmas ornament for my inspiration that was a white and red spiral and happened to look a lot like a horn! I mounted it on a headband and set to work on a red and white spandex body suit. I'm very happy with the results. Read my previous post for full recap for more pictures.

In June the NYC weather finally warms up and the sea creatures get their chance to shine at the Coney Island Mermaid Day Parade. I must admit this is the event I tend to get the most attention at. There are a LOT of great photographers there and I love finding my photos online after the parade. The event organizers have got this parade down to a science now since it has been going on for more than 10 years and there is even a family friendly section of the parade where the nudity is less brazen and the mixed drinks don't fly quite as loosely. Anyway I went to the mermaid parade with my wonderful college friend and co-creator of the "More is More" mantra, Erin. Also attending were our friends Melissa and Natalie, both Mermaid Parade first timers. The weather was great and we had an absolute blast. Read about it in my previous post recapping Mermaid Day 2011. If you are looking for an event that celebrates costumes without the debauchery of SantaCon give the Mermaid Day Parade a try. Coney Island is a bit of a trip but I love to do it once a year.

In July I was "featured" in a photographic list of "48 Things You Will Only See in NYC" on The photo is actually from 2010 when I was riding the train home from the Mermaid Parade. As you can see I was resting between some of my neighbors on the 7 train. As usual I was not thinking anything odd about the way I was dressed as strangers stared at me and took pictures! Anyway I'm proud to be part of the NYC spectacle. Living here never gets old that's for sure.

July was also when I debuted my first makeup tutorial! I did face paint for my Cheshire Cat costume for the Massive Mad Hatter Tea Party in the West Village. As I was getting ready I made a little tutorial to help out people trying to recreate the look or get some inspiration. I hope to add many more tutorials on makeup, sewing and costume crafting.

Skipping to October, I attended NYC Comic Con for the first time. There are some very serious cosplay and costumers at ComicCon so I was ready to be out dressed for sure. I went as Minnie Mouse since I've been a fan since I was about 4. I sewed my costume the week before and got a great pair of tights from work.The ears I found in the costume dome out at Burning Man. Thank goodness I held on to them! We took some fun photos at Comic Con, walked around all day and bought some great original art! I think I am ready to upgrade to San Diego Comic Con!

Such a busy October! Only two days after ComicCon was ZombieCon. I found my inspiration for my outfit this year at Mood Fabrics. I was buying plain fabric for a sewing class when I spotted a beautiful black and white striped thick jersey. INSPIRED, I went home and started thinking about how to sew it into a horrifying zombie dress. Luckily I stumbled upon some help when I found a video on YouTube for How to Sew a Morticia Addams Dress. It was exactly the silhouette I was looking for. Then I bloodied it up with some fabric dye and paint. This picture is silly and I have no idea what I was doing, but I like it. For some reason I do not have a lot of photos from that event. I'm sad cause I don't think I got a good full length one of the dress. Oh well. Sometimes you just have to go out and have an experience and not worry about documenting every second of it.
I also did a Zombie makeup tutorial that got a lot of views on You Tube right before ZombieCon. This video was much more complete and polished. It even had the music from 28 Days behind it. Hopefully it helped some people achieve the sexy zombie look they were going for.

Then of course, the Grandaddy of them all Halloween. This year was a special circumstance however since I had been in California Halloween weekend for a wedding. My flight back to NYC landed at 3pm the day of Halloween so I had just enough time to go home, throw on something and head to the NYC Village Halloween Parade! It was worth it to walk along side the Kostume Kult parade float which looked insane and great with its Eye-Kandy theme and rocking sound system. Check out some of the video I took. Also a highlight my friend Erin @erinokeefe5 won the costume contest at the W hotel on Park Ave! She was a Sexy Porcupine. Spiky!

Rounding off the year was SantaCon. This event has grown to proportions that are simply epic. Telling someone you are going to SantaCon hardly requires any explanation anymore. I was a Sexy Candy Cane and I think it turned out great. The wig and headpiece required a great deal of work but the leggings thankfully I reused from my Horned Ball unicorn costume. I love the bold red and white stripes and the long length of my wig. Right as I arrived at the South Street Seaport one of the most exciting events in my creative career happened. Bill Cunningham took my photo! He is a NYC fashion and street photographer for The New York Times and was recently the subject of a documentary. He took some photos of me, I said Hi and gave him my card and prayed my photo would show up in the Times. Then low and behold a few days later, there I was in the Times Sunday Style section and even in a video of the photos he took called Reds. So very exciting! I will have to save a clipping and put it in my portfolio.

So there you have it. The many events and many costumes of 2011. As always I have ideas brewing for the coming year so check back for more updates. Happy New Year!

Twitter @Kostumegirl

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Group Costume Ideas for SantaCon

Group costume ideas for Santa Con!

No two are alike after all but you and your friends could be a blizzard of fluffy white snowflakes! I've seen big foam snowflakes at the Dollar Store which you could attach to your white outfit. Of course if you are participating in SantaCon NYC your whites wont stay that white on the subway! Sorry.

Santa's Reindeer:

Of course you will have to fight over who gets to be Blitzen cause we all know how he had a problem with the egg nog. Extra points if you manage to tether all 9 of you together to a sleigh and drag it around town all day.

12 Days of Christmas:

Ok so the first few days are easy. Just hope you don't get screwed and end up having to come up with 11 Lords a Leapin'. *This is for very ambitious costume groups only.*

Home Alone

Nuff Said

A Christmas Story
Lots of good costume opportunities here. Raphie in the pink bunny suit from his Aunt Clara. There is even directions on making your own pink bunny suit on Instructables! Ralphie in his cowboy outfit with BB gun. Then again, leave the BB gun at home. The NYPD can be a little uptight. What about being "Blind Ralphie"? "It... It 'twas... soap poisoning!" Then they will be sorry!! Also someone has to be the most rotten one of them all, Scut Farkus. Someone could be the lamp! I saw on a blog once a girl with one leg and a great sense of humor who was the leg lamp for Halloween. Way to laugh about it! Fra-gee-lay! That must be Italian.

Check out some of my previous SantaCon posts for tips and MORE costume ideas!

Santa Says: "I'll be sending periodic bulletins through the rare North Pole twitter-bird at"

Monday, December 5, 2011

SantaCon Wig Progress

As SantaCon NYC draws closer still, my costume preparation is in full swing. Usually I procrastinate till the last few days before, but this year I'm almost ahead of the game! So with my motivation I've decided to write a little post about my big wig for the event.
With every costume it is important to pick a color scheme and really adhere to it. Otherwise your outfit can look a little haphazard. This year I am going to be a Sexy Candy Cane so my colors are obviously white and red. I found a lot of good Christmas decorations at dollar stores this year as well as my favorite store Michael's Craft Store.
*Side note: If you have a smart phone download Michael's app. They can scan weekly coupons right off the phone so you never have to be annoyed you forgot your 40% off one item coupon at home. I love it!*
Anyway the wig I had envisioned in my head was white with red stripes which would have to be custom made. However I'm not Lady Gaga and commissioning a custom piece is not in my wig budget. If it were, I would by wigs from PoshFairytaleCouture an amazing seller on Etsy with mind blowing headpieces and wigs.

Inspiring indeed.

So to realize my wig vision I had to do a little improvising. After reading lots of Amazon reviews I bought a long white wig that a lot of people had purchased to be Storm from the X-Men for Halloween from Its a very long wig for how inexpensive it was and it has little threads of sliver tinsel in it that you can't see well in the photo online but in person is very cool. Then I bought red hair extensions at Wigs and Plus (152 W 32nd St btw Avenue Of The Americas & Penn Plz). Great store for wigs, extensions, lashes, contact lenses at very good prices. The extensions are Kanekalon braids in bright red. They are not attached to a weft or a clip so its basically loose hair. They are kind of hard to work with since once you remove the rubber band the hair goes everywhere but I found a way to make it work. I took a needle from my knitting kit with a large eye. Then I threaded a small amount of hair through it, pulled it through the mesh of the wig and attached with a slip knot and a dot of hot glue. I tried to evenly space the red so it looked like stripes on a candy cane. It was a pain, but the results are amazing. I will wait to reveal the completed wig. This is after all just a tease. In order to add all the fun glitterly goodies I wanted to, I needed a base to attach them to my wig. So I took a styrofoam cone that would be used for a floral arrangement and bobby pined it to the wig but pushing bobby pins into the bottom of the styrofoam cone from inside, catching the mesh. I swirled the hair around it, pined it to the styrofoam and then went crazy with glitter picks and dollar store tree decorations. It looks as though Christmas has exploded on my head. Another Sneak Peek...
Meet up with me at SantaCon NYC on December 10, 2011 to see the final look. It's gonna be Candy Cane-riffic!
I will be tweeting during SantaCon so if the NYCSantaCon gets bogged down follow me @kostumegirl for locations!
Twitter Widgets