Sunday, 23 October 2011

Cosplay Sightings: Brighton Zombie Walk

Just a quick mention today of the Beach of the Dead zombie walk in Brighton.

This is a yearly event that roughly coincides with Halloween where thousands of Brightonians don their rags and lots of fake blood and hobble and scream along the busy streets of Brighton to the beach.
There is typically a 'lovely' mix of traditional bloodied up zombies, to the more geeky take on pop culture figures as zombies, to zombie doctors, historical characters and even zombie gothic lolita!
Although I did not take part myself, I did watch some of the event and my particular favourite costume was a zombie Clark Kent/Superman, and although this raises serious questions about Kryptonian blood chemistry, I really apprecaiated the effort!

Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? Oh, good God! It's a Zombie invasion!!!!

The event itself attracts much attention, what with all the shuffling, screaming and moaning and is the biggest en masse fancy dress event I have seen that was not at London Comic Con. There were additional frolicks as a Brighton Steampunk group  fronted the resistance by the pier with full costume and plaques saying slogans such as 'Don't panic and carry a gun'...

All in all I suspect many people enjoyed this event, but probably not the drivers trying to get to the beach along the zombie infested road!

Cosplay Tips: Dresscapade Resources

…as some of you may have noticed, Halloween is approaching super fast, and for those of you about to dress up- I salute you!

With that in mind I thought I’d offer some suggestions for my favourite places to acquire pieces/props and ideas for costumes…

Here we go:

Your local costume shop
I suppose this seems like an obvious place to start, but overall I’m not too keen on the ol’ costume shop, generally because they’re so expensive, so I wanted to get it out of the way quickly. What I will say is that if you’re pushed for time a costume shop can give you all the things you need in one place- although you’ll pay a premium for it! The main reason the costume shop is on this list is for their off season sales- you can get full costumes for as little at £10, wigs and accessories for under £5 (if your lucky) so its worth checking for staples occasionally.
Just make sure you avoid shops run by childhood enemies of any close personal friends or guardians like in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode 'Halloween'.

If you're wondering, Willow was dressed as a sexy ghost...
The fashion forward shop selling the uncostly stock is in almost every town in England (and there are pleanty of equivalents around for those of you not in Blighty) and the reason it is so useful is that you can buy all kinds of things there, from sparkly dresses, stripy tops and strapless bras to giant earrings and cheap shoes in all colours. Typically if its not something too outrageous, Primark will have it- there are rows of t-shirts, cardigans and all colours so this is a great place for getting the basics for your costume (also has been known to sell sequened pants, lace leotards, shoes decorated with fruit and silver leggings).

Charity Shop
Not always the best of stock available, but usually so cheap you can feel free to rip it, sew it, throw paint at it in order to make the item perfect.
For simple items like t-shirts they are pretty good, and its all for a good cause!

Cardboard Boxes
Just a simple one this, but you can cut them, paint them and wear them! Easy ways to make a transformer- like some friends at my birthday party, tv, street sign or various other things.
There are also free ones available at your local supermarket!

Soundwave transforms into two human females?!

You’re/A Family member’s/A friends wardrobe
The easiest to access stash of clothing for costumes is that of your own wardrobe- or any one elses that would be willing to let you borrow clothes!
I once borrowed a boyfriends shirt to dress as Karen from X/1999 which saved me buying one of my own (no pictures of that thank god!) I have said before always take into account the kind of pieces you have when choosing a costume for fancy dress and if you already have items the costume is that much simpler- and free! Hoarding Grandparents may also have several items that can be added to a vintage fancy dressing collection (if you’re lucky!).

Dash to the haber-dash-ery! For a limitless supply of fabrics, sequens, ribbons, buttons for altering and customising things you already have. I think most places have one, somewhere, although it may be tucked in the back of an old indoor marked or a department store- try to avoid the latter if possible as they are often more expensive. I recently went to Dainty Supplies at an industrial estate in Sunderland to collect buttons for my bridal bouquet (yes I’m getting married-eep! So expect a few posts on that in the up and coming months, after all it’s the fanciest dress I’ll probably ever wear!) and the buttons were much cheaper than certain other department stores. 

Not such a Dainty Store!

In the UK Boots the Chemist sells everything (almost) you need to complete your costume look and I’m fairly certain all countries have something similar for your pharmaceutical/cosmetic needs. The important thing about Boots is that is has all kinds of make up and hairdyes, for example my white hairdye for Black Cat came from a spray can I bought at Boots (that I was lucky to get!!) they also sell a great range of cheaper makeup that is animal friendly if you’re looking for a good one night only lipstick or eyeshadow. They also sell tights in all colours, cushioned insoles- for killer heels, blister plasters- for chafing costume parts, hair teasing tools and even painkillers for the morning after *wink wink.

Ah… Saved the best until last. My personal favourite for costume shopping is eBay. They stock ready made costumes at reduced prices, cosplay wigs imported from China (see Black Canary soon!) Zentai suits, cosmetics, clothing and all kinds of footwear. I almost feel like its safe to say that if eBay doesn’t sell it, it doesn’t exist! The only downside to eBay is that you have to consider postage time while compiling a costume, which means making decisions and buying early and very occasionally something you buy doesn’t turn out to be quite as expected. I have one disasterous story about a wedding dress that taught me to be more careful about eBay, but ultimately, you are always covered by paypal should something go wrong. The main bonus of eBay is the price- which is usually super cheap, you just need to be a little careful when buying- for any one interested a eBay how to will be following soon-ish.

Type in what you want, and it appears!

Ultimately that’s it! If you think I’ve missed anywhere important let me know!

Another Dresscapade should be approaching you shortly, and then reports on my costume efforts at the London MCM Expo!

Until then Happy Dresscapades!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cosplay Inspirations: Beetlejuice

Something a little bit different again today. I am trying to schedule more regular posts and come up with a few regular features- this is one of them :D

Movie Dresscapades, a.k.a. movies you should watch if only for fancy dress/cosplay inspiration or fantastic and visually stunning costuming.

This month its Halloween (in case you’ve not realised) so I decided to pick something themely.

Screen Dresscapades: Beetlejuice

Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice is a movie that I have watched on a fairly regular basis since I was very young (probably a little too young if I’m honest- but that’s what you get when you have a Dad that likes that kind of thing and a Mum that occasionally worked night shift on a Friday). It has a very odd mix of comedy, horror, sexual innuendo and bizarre visuals that over the years Tim Burton has become known for.

The plot premise is simple- a couple, Adam and Barbra, move into their small town dream house, accidentally die before they ever get to really live in it and are doomed to spend the rest of their lives haunting the dwelling- so far so good...ish. What complicates the matter is when the ‘outrageous’ designer Delia, her husband Charles and their daughter Lydia move into the house and start to make some changes. The couple then hire Beetlejuice, a striped suit clad spectre, to help them haunt the family away.

Big hair + big clothes = 80s

Beetlejuice himself is played by Michael Keaton, in his best role (in my opinion), he is a wonderful mix of crude troublemaker and sarcastic guide to the couple and Keaton gives a good physical, as well as verbal performance and is on cue with the laughs throughout.

Don't forget to wear your smile
Spooky yet stylish
Although Keaton’s look is a bit gouhlish, it is very iconic- meaning it is easy to get the look with minimal effort. The key is to be able to find the stripy suit (there are some inexpensive options on eBay), once you have that some white facepaint, eyemakeup and hairgel is all you really need to complete the look.

Another great look in this film is that of Lydia (played by Winona Ryder) the 80s goth inspired look is great to emulate, with the pale face, black clothes, giant hat and of course, a camera! Lydia has the great bonus of the red wedding dress from
the final scenes of the movie too.

Gothic-Lolita Chic

 The costume inspiration doesn’t end there either, there’s the huge hair and 80s dresses of Geena Davis, the plaid shirt stylings of Alec Baldwin, the hoard of dead football players among many others!
Of course you can always just go with the Sandworm… but I have no idea how you’d go about that- some kind of sock puppet I’d expect. Check out this one in particular!

In fact, this film has so much fodder for fancy dress that one of my favourite Brighton based fancy dress events Trailer Trash opened its doors at the Komedia with a cabaret club night based on this very film. (On a side note Trailer Trash is one of my favourite excuses to dress up, as anyone who has read any Fancy Dresscapades will be able to tell, and they have had many events each with a cult movie theme).

Costume Gem
My favourite possible costume in this movie is that of the dead-receptionist-beauty-queen. She wears a bright red dress, with orangy-red hair and has magnificent green skin! Quite the challenge for any fancy dresser!

I  wonder if the green skin was what got her noticed in that beauty pagent?

 Trailer Trash organiser and arial artiste Miss Kitty Peels pulled off this look with ease at the event in March 2009- check her out here! All I can say is that when it comes to being a girls best friend, body paint is right up there with diamonds…

Final Verdict
On a final note, although it’s a bit of a weird film, Beetlejuice is actually a very entertaining movie, and it’s filled with fancy dress fodder- definitely a good choice for any up-and-coming dresscapade.

So that’s it for now then.
Hopefully after a few more posts I’ll have quite a little catalogue for inspiration.
Happy Dresscapades!

You may also like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...