While looking over a couple of the older posts I realized that I had made a promise and didn’t follow through on it. At the end of the first Costume Con post I promised to write about the Simplicity Single Pattern Contest. Then I didn’t. Sorry about that. I suppose I just got carried away.

Although it’s been over for a while, I figured I should probably go ahead and at least post something about the contest.

So, here goes.

One of the many contests held over the course of the Costume Con weekend was the Simplicity Single Pattern Contest.

Basically, two patterns are chosen: One men’s and one women’s. Attendees of Costume Con are challenged to use these patterns as starting points for their own creations. They are encouraged to make the design their own – both with color and fabric choice, in creating a persona to go along with the pattern…even going so far as to encourage people to redraft pieces of the patterns.

There weren’t a whole lot of people who redrafted the patterns, instead of just altering the look with fabric or presentation, but there were a few. Believe it or not, this dress is actually made from the same pattern that everyone else was modeling. It was just drastically redrafted.

For the most part, people tended to leave the basic bones of the costumes much as they originally were. Most of the big decisions were made in fabric choice. Some folks used special techniques in their costumes (there were at least two who had hand-painted aspects to their costumes). Some used silks and some used the cheapest fabrics they could find. One person even made an entire outfit out of remnants from their fabric stash. I think I would have been more impressed with that one if it hadn’t looked like it was taped and stapled together by a three year old, and if she had given more thought to how the different colors and fabrics could be utilized in creative ways.

Most of the women went ahead and made the women’s pattern for themselves but there were a few who opted to do pieces based on the men’s design. One of the best was a coat that had an airbrushed pattern of skulls on the mantle and around the bottom of the coat. The woman wore a skeleton mask and a drover’s hat and added little touches to the character with the other pieces she wore underneath.

One entry consisted of a group of three people. They had also made the coats, this time in denim and sturdy canvas, and had added all sorts of cat toy accessories – as well as a number of stuffed cats. The name of their entry was “Cat Herders.” They interacted with the audience the best of any of the entrants, I think. In fact, one of them spotted me while they walked off the little raised platform in the front, took out one of their cat toys, and dangled it in front of me (I was Po that night).

There were a number of pieces I was kind of “eh” about, but there were also a couple that re stood out from the rest. One such piece was titled “Resistance is Feudal.” The concept for the costume was that a Borg had come to Earth during the Medieval period. The woman used the dress pattern, but the materials, the makeup and the additions to the costume all helped toally make it stand out from the rest.

Another piece that I loved was based on the women’s pattern but was modeled by a man. It was an absolutely gorgeous piece made using kimono fabric. The two of them walked in as a couple, and the whole crowd watching erupted in oohs and aahs. Another woman took the pattern and put a slightly Nordic spin on it. I think the color looked fantastic on her, and it was nice to see a slightly different interpretation on it. The original dress itself is not a pattern that can be directly linked to a specific style or period in history – it’s more of a vaguely historic pattern. The adaptation here, however, seemed more based in a culture.
There were a couple of folks who came out with pieces showing how you can update a Renaissance/Medieval pattern into a more contemporary look. One would fall into the Goth Lolita style and the other one…well, I’m not exactly sure which category it would necessarily go into, but it was probably my favorite of the evening. It was constructed as two entirely separate dresses and then layered, one on top of the other. I never would have thought to to either of these!

The biggest laugh of the night came from an entry that the emcee mispronounced as “No Alliteration Whatsoever.” We were all confused until the title was corrected (“No Alteration Whatsoever”) and the woman modeling the dress went to stand on the raised platform. Two long banners depicting the patterns that had been chosen for the Simplicity Single Pattern contest were displayed, flanking the stage, and the woman stood in front and to the side of the one of the Medieval pattern. When she posed, we saw why she had titled her entry the way she had…it was quite literal. She had made the dress, done her makeup and styled her hair to look exactly like the mannequin that was modeling the dress on the banner.
Kudos for, er, creativity?


One thought on “Oops!

  1. Pingback: A Steampunk in Tokyo « Dawn's Dress Diary

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