Thursday, May 8, 2014

Team Stripey Socks Cosplay Compendium

Cosplay snuck up on us. Seeing the amazing work at Cons and on the internet, we somehow made that fateful leap from "that's so cool" to "we should try that." Like everything else, we didn't do it halfway.

Last year's trip to NYC Comic Con featured a different cosplay every day. Here's a rundown of what we've done and what is in the works for the future.



Kae's List

11th Doctor (Doctor Who, Series 5)
It all started with the jacket. While shopping for work clothes, I stumbled upon a blazer that was so perfectly the Doctor's - the tweed, the buttons, the pockets, the elbow patches... I'd never thought about doing cosplay before, but the fit and the price were right and, to quote the Doctor, "my whole brain just went 'what the hell!'"


11th Doctor (Doctor Who, Series 7)
By happy coincidence, the Doctor's new outfit in Series 7 included a gray vest very much like one already hanging in my closet...

Watson (Sherlock)
This was prompted by an appropriately Sherlockian message from Kitty: "I have an awesome terrible idea..." (Perhaps it didn't have quite the same ring as "Come at once if convenient," but it amounted to more or less the same!) We both love Sherlock and it was a ripe opportunity to play off our respective heights - of course I was in! It helped, too, that Watson's sensible wardrobe fit with my personal tastes and offered lots of potential for wear in other contexts.

Jack Harkness (Torchwood)
As I was putting together the 11th Doctor's outfit, I noticed that, coat aside, Jack's was very similar - blue button-down shirt, burgundy suspenders, black pants... Plus, I even had a leather cuff bracelet that looked a lot like a vortex manipulator. Upon hearing that John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd were going to be at NYCC, this just had to happen.

Hogwarts Student, Ravenclaw (Harry Potter)
Harry Potter was one of my earlier fandoms and I'd wanted a set of wizarding robes for forever. I had little interest in dressing as any of the main cast but wanted very much to be part of their world. On the recommendation of a friend who worked at the Harry Potter Exhibition, I was able to do so with the help of a robe and uniform from Whimsic Alley. The hardest part was picking the house!

Kitty's List

9th Doctor (Doctor Who, Series 1)
Once I saw Kae's 11, I knew 9 needed some love. The whole look is pretty close to every day clothes for me, solid-color sweater, dark jeans and boots, and a ponytail. The perfect leather jacket became a bit of a quest, but the result is recognizable, and totally worth it.

Elizabeth Comstock (BioShock: Infinite)
I pretty much played the game because I love the look of it. It turned out I love the play and the story of it too. Most of my sewing last year went into the Elizabeth costume, but the jacket never got made. The BioShock cosplay community is amazing, so I'd love a reason to trot this out again (though I'll have to get my butt in gear to make that jacket...)

Femme!Sherlock (Sherlock)
I wore heels for fifteen hours, walking the show floor for this look. I also spent an hour curling my hair and protecting it from any influence that might uncurl it. The purple shirt was a Goodwill win, as were a pair of shiny black-patent brogues. Thankfully, Kae found me a blue scarf, and the whole thing was a winner. I think I spent the day being meaner ("in character") to Kae than usual. Finally a good reason to snark at everyone who speaks to you. As if I needed one. Obviously.

The Team with The Original Thom a.k.a. The Other Doctor

Hogwarts Student, Gryffindor (Harry Potter)
Kae got a set of robes, so obviously I needed one. Picking a house was impossible. Even Pottermore gave up, and told me to pick for myself. I was soundly on the Hufflepuff/Gryffindor line, and to be fair, I look very poorly in yellow. Thanks to the CyberMonday sale, I have a full uniform, and most of it has been worn to work at one point or another.


Kae's List

Osgood (Doctor Who, Day of the Doctor)
In discussing the 50th Anniversary special, several friends noted that they'd thought of me when Osgood the U.N.I.T. scientist appeared. (Thanks?) I took that as a cue to make sure that my lab coat and inhaler were readily accessible, and I had been looking for a reason to knit a more wearable 4th Doctor scarf...

Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)
Game of Thrones is not a show I ever thought I'd do a costume from, especially given how rarely the women are fully clothed. However, Arya is easily one of my favorite characters in the series and one I've felt I could pull off reasonably well - she's dressed, she's short, and we even have similar hair! The sword and training armor only sweeten the prospect.

Jayne Cobb (Firefly)
Possibly the least probable choice of costume for me ever. This is all because of the cunning hat.

Kitty's List

Delsin Rowe (InFamous: Second Son)
I love the series. I couldn't pull off either of the females in the first two games (Kuo would have been okay, but much like Sherlock last year, it would have begged the "Cosplay or Office worker" question). I seriously considered Fetch, but I can't live with a wig, and pink highlights are as far as I'll go. 
I like Delsin's look, loved his character, and I knew I could recreate it. When I got the collector's edition of the game, complete with beanie and pins, I knew it was game on.

Belle (Disney's Beauty and the Beast)
After seeing a few Hipster Ariels and good Snow Whites, I have been kicking this idea around for a few years. I like Belle, she's smart, loves books, and always knew Gaston's only true love was himself.
Sew a blue dress and an apron, carry a basket with a book... how hard can it be? (I'll tell you the answer when I'm crying and sewing at 3am in October...)

Femme!Booker DeWitt (BioShock: Infinite)
I loved the BioShock community last year when I showed up as Elizabeth. I was tempted to do it again, but the too-big corset from last year still made for a giant question mark. I didn't want to buy another white corset, and I haven't played Burial at Sea yet.
The internet got me thinking about doing a female Booker costume, so did this Ask Lutece post
I found a nice pair of slacks as Goodwill, and most of the costume could be off-the-rack. We'll see how this goes. Burial at Sea is coming up, so this might be backburnered for BaS Elizabeth. Who knows.


Kae's List

Cecil Palmer (Welcome to Night Vale)
I'd heard a lot of buzz about Night Vale leading up to NYCC but became even more intrigued when I saw the cosplayers wandering around. It continues to fascinate me that the fandom of a radio series has seemingly come to a collective agreement as to what the main character looks like, even though he's never actually described! I fell in love with the show and with Cecil, and already have a vest and microphone available...

Vanellope Von Schweetz (Wreck-it Ralph)
While it's not a top priority in choosing my costumes, I enjoy when I find a character whose body type vaguely corresponds with mine. Vanellope is a pretty easy fit: she's little, slightly pudgy, and has a black ponytail. Even better, her sugar-fueled personality offers a perfect character-appropriate outlet for all the energy I have when we go to Cons.

Hobbit (The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings)
A recurring comment in my house while watching the shire scenes in The Hobbit is that hobbit clothes look really comfy. Costume-wise, comfy is a huge selling point. And being hobbit-sized anyway, this was inevitable.

Kitty's List

Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)
All the talking we've been doing about Kae's Ayra costume and all of my friends diving deeply into Season 4 of GoT got me thinking. Brienne is pretty much my favorite character, making the costume would allow me my first chance at making body armor, and it's a great way to play up my size/not worry about needing to be pretty.
The more I think on it, the more fun it is, but this one is going to take some time.

Gandalf (The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings)
Do I really want to be Gandalf? No, not really. Do I like missing an opportunity to be a punchline for Kae's jokes? Never! It seems like it'd be good fun, and a pretty decent outfit. 

Burial At Sea Elizabeth (BioShock: Infinite DLC)
I love a retro look. Love it so much I taught myself pincurls and belong to retro-fashion message boards. A chance to combine that styling with BioShock? Yes please. Problem is, it requires a lot of sewing, and a lot of styling, and if it's not done right, it can look a mess. Like a Brienne costume, this one just can't be rushed.