Tag Archives: costume

Gee, This Year Was A Hallo-Win

1 Nov

Growing up, Halloween had a magical quality to it. Every year when October rolled around, I would have a month long countdown to costumes and candy. My mother devoted hours of time and energy to constructing just the costumes that my sister and I wanted, and my dad guided us through the ritual pumpkin carving process.

My dear mother's Belle costume creation from Beauty and the Beast.

But as I abandoned trick-or-treating in my middle school years, the Halloween magic dwindled. I didn’t put much effort into creating my costumes throughout high school and college. My anticipation for the holiday all but disappeared. I might attend a get together with friends, but I never “went all out” like I did in my childhood years.

My Queen of Hearts getup.

This year, however, Halloween made an epic comeback. My roommate Kelsey and I decided to get crafty and put some real effort into our costumes…and it truly renewed my appreciation for the holiday. I created my own version of the Queen of Hearts, and Kelsey took on the Cheshire Cat. I even busted out my new sewing machine for the first time to attach fabric hearts to my dress! A big crafting milestone.

Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts with ScoutMob party waivers.

We debuted our costumes at an amazing ScoutMob Halloween bash at the Goat Farm in Atlanta. The quirky party featured distorted dancers, eerie musicians, a haunted house, a Smilebooth, and so much more. Seeing so many unique and creative costumes fueled my enthusiasm about the Halloween holiday.

It comes down to this: when you put time, effort, and a little heart into the festivities, you can see the day in a whole new light.

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Gee, It’s An Otakon Invasion!

31 Jul

Otakon Invasion on Light Street

Driving down Light Street this morning, my mother and I spotted two men in white overcoats strolling towards the Convention Center.  One of the young men had what appeared to be blood spatter adorning his coat.  At first, I was alarmed.  Why would someone wear a bloody ensemble out in public on a Saturday morning?

“They’re just doctors,” my mom said.  But no.  This couldn’t be right.  As I eyed the young men a bit more carefully, I noticed their dark accessories and giddy expressions… and it hit me: Otakon.  Sure enough, we drove just a block further and there were flocks of people sporting wigs, capes, wings, etc.

Every summer, hardcore anime enthusiasts can be found roaming the Inner Harbor territory in Baltimore.  According to John-John Williams IV of the Baltimore Sun,

“Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, with an emphasis on music, movies, and fashion. The three-day convention is entering its 17th year. It has been held in Baltimore since 1999.”

Baltimore Tourists

When I worked as a waitress in Little Italy of downtown Baltimore during my high school summers, we had Otakon patrons waltz on in for some good Italian grub wearing full warrior princess garb.

While I do not fully understand the concept of Otakon, I truly respect these passionate people.  I can safely say that these are some of the most confident individuals that I have ever come across.  These fans assume the identities of their favorite anime characters, and they hold nothing back.  They have no qualms about looking a little bit different to pay tribute to something that they care so deeply about.

I don’t know that I will ever resort to their extreme levels of fan-dom, but I will certainly take their presence as a reminder that sometimes, you just have to loosen up and abandon some of those pesky inhibitions.  Every now and then, it’s refreshing to make a bold fashion statement or just fight the status quo.  That is some Otakon inspiration.