First, this is an update about content: things slowed down this week because my butt was out on the go to get some new content for this site. First, I went out to a boffer LARP known as Knights Realms in Sparta, NJ to get a look at some of the amazing costuming going on there. Then, I got some incredible news.
Yours truly is now a contributor to Ology.com! I will be blogging as part of Ology’s geek channel to contribute to the quality geek-dom coming out of that website! If you couldn’t tell by the multiple exclamation points, I’m very excited by this!
Another thing I will be doing very shortly is contributing to the event known as Speak Out With Your Geek Out. It’s an online event reaching out to the geek community to talk about the diverse geeky things that they do. I’ll be blogging about my geekdom here and on my other blog that covers my writing. Y’know, hit what is topical on each blog. If you’re interested in still contributing to Speak Out, go to their Facebook page. It’s running until the end of this week (September 12-16) and gives all of us with our nerdy goodness a chance to show the world that we are happy the way we are and we love what we do. So contribute or at least cheer on those who are!
I also have scheduled a few more events, like part two of my Renn Faire trip and tonight was a new burlesque show which I’ll be covering shortly. It’s been one thing after another, which is why content has slowed down. Yet fear not – we’re still here and still working to bring you the best content I can from the world of costumes. So stay tuned!
The Renaissance Fair – a chance to go out in your medieval and fantasy costume best, eat some turkey legs and drink some mead, and generally cavort around like it’s 1099. You hobnob with fairies, speak with thees and thous, watch grown men on horseback ride towards each other with pointy sticks, and listen to women sing (usually) baudy songs in their wenchy best. That’s right, it’s fun for the whole family out in the woods and you know you want to try it. These fairs exist all around the country and appeal to the inner child in all of us and don’t require any sort of geek cred or anything. They’re just damn fun and allows us to step outside of our everyday dress with an excuse to go medieval on our wardrobe for once.
Don’t be intimidated either: guys, it’s a chance to open up your shirts and show off some chest hair a little. Ladies, if you own anything ever described as a ‘peasant blouse’, go with that. For those of us who look in our closet and wonder when having more than one corset was a ‘practical’ issue… go nuts. The Renn Fair is the excuse (as if we need one) to dress to the nines!
Speaking of dressing to the nines, I attended the New York Renaissance Fair in Tuxedo, NY yesterday for their Labor Day weekend Monday event. It was Barbarian Day, which meant everyone was out in their best ‘grrr, I will smash things’ barbarian culture kind of deal. I went in my best warrior inspired corset, sword at hip, Celtic forehead band outfit and off me and the friends went. We drank mead, shopped for amazing stuff (I got a beautiful six-foot walking stick and new garnet ring) and ate delicious fair food. Me and the friends will be going back however since the whole day it POURED – but did that stop the festivities? Not a chance. We sat out under the trees and got soaked while drinking our mead and the parade on horseback still went by. Stores stayed open among puddles the size of lakes and flower girls went around selling roses from men to their ladies. The pickle seller was still out and the beer booths catapulted marshmellows at passersby to get them to buy something to quench their thirst.
And the shopping. Do not forget your wallet if you’re going to the fair. There is a MILLION things to buy from clothing to leather goods, jewelry and toys. There are shoulder dragons (a little shoulder puppet dragon that moves so well you would SWEAR they’re real) and real swords, hand-crafted boots and hand-blown glass. If you like hand-crafted, quality stuff and aren’t afraid to break out the wallet, this is the place for you!
So here are some photos – you’ll understand why there weren’t more (my camera does NOT like water). We will go back and see more before the fair closes, but my suggestion? Come out yourself! The last weekend is September 25th. If you’re in the New York area, check it out for a day of fun. If you’re not in the area? There’s got to be one near you. Renn Fairs are everywhere! Enjoy the photos and raise a tankard of whatever you’ve got for these amazing costumes!
Hey folks – an update from the world of Kristin Costa’s fashions and Psyche Corporation! I first reported on Psyche Corps music and Kristin Costa’s fashions during the Steampunk Anachronism III weekend bonanza. Now, Psyche Corporation has got themselves a music video for their serial killer single “Oh” featuring fashions designed by Costa. Check it out here!
I adore the winged look Psyche Chimère is working, plus the red handed multi-armed knife wielding… gorgeous work! As usual, check out Psyche Corporation on their website for more of their music!
DragonCon is Atlanta’s huge geek-fest once a year that is happening this weekend. It has been five years since I’ve been down to the event but I still remember with fondness the events, the costumes, and the photos I took! It was my experience there that put me on the path of taking photos of those in costume. I still remember with fondness a gorgeous costume of Gabriel from the movie Constantine and how fantastic it was to see the cosplayer doing the costume posing on one of Atlanta’s park statues.
My hope is to head for DragonCon again one year. But for now, I can enjoy the coverage DragonCon is getting from major media, including CNN’s new Geek Blog! It seems DragonCon is now getting similar treatment to Comic Con, and I’m pleased as punch about that! Meanwhile, if you’re down there, enjoy and take loads of pictures! Hell, hit up iReport on CNN to share or any other medium like that, to share the goodness with those of us not there. If you, like me, are trapped away from the fun? Check out one of the numerous galleries online- like this one- from the DragonCon costume parade to enjoy the cosplay fashions on display!
One discussion keeps coming up when people refer to DC Comics and their recent relaunch of all their major titles. No, it’s not about the validity of such a major relaunch. No, it’s not even about the massive changes to main characters and their origins. A lot of discussion has come down to one question: where have Wonder Woman’s pants gone?
For those not familiar with the debate, here’s the breakdown. Wonder Woman has been one of the major iconic heroines of the DC Universe for decades. Some would say she is THE iconic, standing as tall as Superman and Batman as one of the trinity of the Justice League and the pantheon of DC heroes. Her costume, the star-spangled bikini, red boots and lasso, have been the subject of much discussion throughout the years since it’s debut in ALL-STAR COMICS #8 in 1941. Lots of people have asked why such a powerful character, an icon for female power, is portrayed in such a tiny outfit. Yet the costume has remained a defining characteristic of Wonder Woman throughout the years.
Enter author J. Michael Straczynski in 2010. Straczynski was brought on to write the “Odyssey” storyline for the WONDER WOMAN comic, which had Princess Diana’s heritage transformed and the character ejected out into ‘man’s world’ away from the protection of her Amazon family much earlier in her history. Her rewritten history was more gritty and gave the opportunity for a little redesign on the costume. So Wonder Woman stepped out of her bikini-wearing past from this…
When considering the transformation from nearly beachwear to the the above armored breastplate and pants combination, it’s a hell of a jump! When asked why the change in an interview with Comics Alliance, Staczynski discussed that it reflected Diana’s new street-wise life better. He also pointed to the idea that although male characters in the comics are created as idealized male forms (all spandex and rippling pectorals) it is the women that are posed in more what equal more sexualized manners. The new costume was a playing-field evener for Diana and a chance for her to show a little less skin for a modern feminine look.
This costume change stirred quite a lot of controversy among fans. Lots of people thought that the new outfit wasn’t true to the classic, such as comments on Comics Alliance Costume Round Table who believed that the pants made Wonder Woman less ‘majestic’. Still more fans were excited by the prospect of seeing Wonder Woman out of her bikini and into actual clothing, as befits such a heroic icon.
Then came DC’s 52 reboot. And suddenly it was a case of the disappearing pants! First you see them…
…and now you don’t!
This retraction of the pants has brought about a buzz once again. Artist Cliff Chang prepared his cover for WONDER WOMAN with pants originally (see above). But later advertisements for the 52 line included the same cover sans pants. The pants have been redacted. Wonder Woman is pants-less once again. The question is: why? Did DC believe that Wonder Woman’s pants weren’t testing well with audiences? Did they make her look too covered? Less like she was on her way to the beach? And does it matter?
In my eyes, the discussion itself of the retractable pants is a valid one. Why step forward with the presentation of Wonder Woman in a more progressive, less sexualized costume if only to go back to the old ways at the first sign of resistance? The new costume integrated elements of the original (the tiara, the star-spangled undies, the breastplate design) while providing Diana with a little more coverage and clothing that appeared more battle-ready than the usual classic affair. Moreover, it moved Wonder Woman away from the cheesecake of the 1940′s costume that has lingered for so long and brought her into a modern interpretation of genre-appropriate heroine garb. Yet now it seems, DC has gone backwards to reclaim the old costume with only a couple of the new twists kept. Sure, the breastplate looks more like armor – but there’s so little of it! They couldn’t even leave her the little leather jacket to cover up the yards of open skin. Diana will go into battle in the comics once again in less than some wear to the pool.
Some people will say ‘just sit back and enjoy your comics and stop overanalyzing’. Others will point to the costume as a throw back to the traditional character and the classic Wonder Woman look. Yet I think, when considering the step forward made towards skin coverage equality for Diana in the last year, this new look is a giant step backwards towards the continued over-sexualization of a heroic comic icon. Wonder Woman deserved the revamp in a time when people are struggling to see her relevance in the comic universe beside such heroes as Batman and Superman and when Hollywood and the media are crying out for a well-made Wonder Woman television/movie representation. It’s a real shame to me that DC didn’t have the courage to stick to the courage of their original design. Only time will tell if that choice comes to bear when Wonder Woman #1 hits shelves later this September.
Meanwhile, here’s to hoping cosplayers keep the memory of a fully-dressed Diana alive in their costuming efforts, because that might be the last we see of the magical redacted pants. They will be missed.
*Note: all covers are the property of DC Comics and their individual artist creators.