Costume Retrospective: 2010
Time Topper, Harley Quinn mask, Joker Coat, Lovecraft Couple, Amperstam Aeiral Guardsman, Professor Xenagogue, Wolverine jacket, Captain America, Tron: Legacy, Wellington Books of THE MINISTRY OF PECULIAR OCCURRENCES
As we creep closer to the present, there’s some nice trends emerging. More original characters. Cleaner construction. More focus on details. Even more material experimentation.
The Time Topper was made for the Philadelphia Sketch Club’s 150 anniversary gala, which I hosted with JR and has been an essential component of my steampunk wardrobe since. It light up, tells time, and looks fabulous. What more could you want from a hat?
The Harley Quinn mask and the Joker’s coat was made for a live reading of the classic Batman comic MAD LOVE. Unlike the previous “Superheroes Who Are Super” offering, this one was played straight, with the jokes coming directly from the text. I loaned them my Batman costume, and made them a Harley Mask and a set of purple tails for the Joker. Sadly, the Joker role was recast last minute, and the coat was too big. The production as a whole was fantastic. The best of the SWAS shows that I was a part of.
2010 was the year I launched Fables of the Flying City, and did so in proper Aerial guard style. My favorite detail on this uniform are the collar pins, which are the quill pin insignia of Navy clerks. I’m essentially an Aerial Guard scribe.
Balticon that year also had a “Sci-fi Prom,” so JR and I pulled together some Lovecraft-inspired promwear (we were, sadly, the only ones who took the “prom” theme to heart; everyone else was just in regular costumes) That’s the shuggoth again, as well as my wedding coat.
Professor Xenagogue was my first attempt to create a supervillian analogue to J.R.’s Doctor Mercury. The idea of a criminal genius in a skull-mask and a suit was appealing, but he never got beyond the visual. I do like the visual, but there was never a story behind it.
The second of what is clearly a series of leather-jacket Wolverine costumes was made for my SWAS. During the rehearsal period, one of the claws was broken, as was the Cyclops visor I made. This, and the reaction of the people who did this, kind of soured me on doing costumes for other people. Costuming is not my job, it’s my hobby, and being involved with people like that kept it from being fun.
I did one more costume for SWAS, but it was more for Jerry, the actor who wore it, than the troupe. While Jerry wore it well, I was never happy with it.
While it is full of problems, I have a soft-spot in my heart for TRON: LEGACY. It’s a beautiful film, and costumes are fantastic. We were two months ahead of the release date for this, so no one knew who we were, but whatever. We look awesome in light-reflective material.
My last costume commission (Forever? Forever ever? Probably) was Wellington books of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences for his creator, Tee Morris. It was a complex job, involving many materials and techniques, and, on the whole, came out quite well. It’s a non-standard steampunk offering, which is why I like it quite a bit.