Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weird Al Yankovich and Amy Winehouse Costumes


Phil Spector, Barry Gibb and Madonna

Take me back! It came from the 80's! Love these!

We're On A Mission From Hershey

We're On A Mission From Hershey by andyi
We're On A Mission From Hershey, a photo by andyi on Flickr.

Blues Brothers Costume

Via Flickr:
"Oh, sure, Andy," you sneer, from behind your Jango Fett mask. "You keep spouting off about your little Rules and Expectations for costuming. But only those of us who actually serve in uniform can speak with any authority."

Don't claim that Ihnatko can't walk the walk. This photo illustrates most of my Fundamental Principles of Costuming, which I've formulated through years of field observations at cons and other geeky functions:

1) Costuming is fun. Dressing up on Halloween doesn't make you a weirdo and anybody who pokes fun at this basic concept has a broken chromosome somewhere where his Fun gene is supposed to be.


2) There is a proper time and a proper place. Such as: Comic-con, or answering the door on Halloween night, just to name two examples. You invite a certain amount of proper ridicule when you wear a Naruto costume at a parent-teacher conference...particularly if you're the teacher.

2) You must choose a costume that will work for you. Alas, this requires you to make a brutal and frank assessment of your appearance and body type.

Note the subject on the right. It should not be legal for a store to sell me a Spider-Man costume. I'm as opposed to the concept of a Nanny State as anybody else but y'know, there is such a thing as The Public Good.

3) If you're going to do this, then do it.

If you show up dressed as a Ranger from "Babylon 5" I'm not going to loupe your Anla'shok badge to make sure that the Minbari and Human figures are on the correct sides (Left and Right, respectively). But I am going to point out that their weapon of choice was a Minbari extendable pike...not a stubby hollow plastic pirate cutlass from Toys 'R' Us.

It wasn't just genetics and a lack of exercise that put me on the Jake Blues Expressway. I also happened to already have most of the costume in inventory, like a black suit and a white dress shirt. My sideburns? Built-in, baby.

The sunglasses are an important signature detail. My everyday prescription pair just happen to be classic tortoiseshell Ray-Ban Wayfarers...which is precisely correct for Jake. Elwood wears the same make and model, but in black.

And back when I had a job that required that I wear a tie, I wore skinny vintage ties exclusively. I had to reach deeeeep into my closet to get them, but I found something that worked.

In fact, the only thing I had to go out and buy was the hat. Thanks to the Internet, a black narrow-brim felt fedora is both easy to find and cheap to purchase.

(Incidentally, the Party Store is conveniently-located right there at the mall, true...but Jake did not wear a hat molded out of thin black plastic. Note well.)

So you see what I'm getting at, here: don't put together a costume that's "sort of" right. If (like me) you don't have the passion to produce detailed and gloriously-accurate reproductions of complicated and elaborate Star Wars costumes, don't be ashamed. Pick something simple that you can execute well. You'll look better and feel better in it.

Of course, it's no fun if you get completely obsessive. I don't care that I was wearing black shoes instead boots or that the Timex on my wrist was analog and functional instead of digital and broken. I considered adding the correct tattoos to my left hand, but I wasn't so committed to the costume that I wanted to wear Sharpie marker ink for the next three or four days. Ditto for dyeing my ginger-and-gray sideburns black.

But the short-sleeved shirt bothered me enough that I rejected the photo in this series in which my arms were crossed and my bare wrists were showing. I was truly self-conscious about the fact that the tie is actually two different kinds of black threads sewn into a striped much so that when I was editing this photo, I adjusted the levels in that area of the picture to make the shiny threads blend in with the non-shiny ones a little better.

And it's just a ten-dollar tie. I can afford a ten-dollar tie. I ought to remedy this problem.

In case I wear this again.

I do want to attend Comicon some year, after all...

Buster? What a dilettante. Show me one scene in the movie or SNL in which Elwood is naked. Pfft. What a farb. But he's a fine dog in all other respects. Besides, he's sick to death of dressing like Pongo (from "101 Dalmatians") every year.

He can be forgiven for wanting to mix things up a little. And in the end, the only rule that actually matters is to have fun.

Incidentally, this photo is also a great demonstration of the latest edition of Adobe Photoshop Elements. The Magic Extractor tool isolated me and Buster from the background without the need for any manual masking. The Selective Color paintbrush made it simple to repaint the wall.

Oh, and I only have the one hat and the one pair of sunglasses. I shot two otherwise identical photos and told Elements to replace Buster's bare head in Photo 1 with his head from Photo 2. Photoshop made a swap automatically, guided by nothing more than a couple of vague swipes of the mouse. You can see the seam if you look closely; if I bothered to spend ten seconds with the Clone tool, I could make that join invisible.

As usual, it'll take a little while before the Mac edition is updated to match the new Windows edition. But even Elements 6 kicks iPhoto's butt in every way that a buttless entity can be kicked.

Twitter Costume

Sarah Twitter Costume by BrianBoyd
Sarah Twitter Costume, a photo by BrianBoyd on Flickr.

Facebook Costume

Facebook Costume by Adam Crowe
Facebook Costume, a photo by Adam Crowe on Flickr.

Via Flickr:

Super Prez COstume

Super Prez by akashgoyal
Super Prez, a photo by akashgoyal on Flickr.

For Obama...

Dagmar and a Palin

Dagmar and a Palin by eugene
Dagmar and a Palin, a photo by eugene on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
The best Palin of the night was this woman we ran into in Union Square. I had hoped that a Sarah Palin costume mob would appear at 10pm PST, but apparently it never gained critical mass.

Palin was a popular costume, but the Joker was by far the most prevalent costume. Any fool with a few ragged clothes, white face paint, and some lipstick threw out an attempt at that one. Some may also just have been crazy people on the streets of New York.

Black & white feather wedding hat (learn to be Royal)


Via Flickr:
Black and White Chelsea Wedding Fascinator

Monday, July 4, 2011

Vintage Batman.

Bruce Wayne has nothing on this kid.

Little Person Costume

My Favorite Costume by netmonkey
My Favorite Costume, a photo by netmonkey on Flickr.

Trying to be PC here, but this is really a midget costume, or could be interpreted into Dwarf costume.

Pretty clever I think!

(short man costume? Small-size costume? Fun-size? I'm not sure what to call this!)
Mini Me??

Easy Group Costume

i love this costume by AmyRose of BMB
i love this costume, a photo by AmyRose of BMB on Flickr.

Synchronized Swimmers--

just need swim caps (flowers preferred for fun), blue tarp, bathing suits.