One quick glance around the mass of people and I understood excitement of Dragon*Con. Friends, familiar topics and COSTUMES. “Correction, a lot of costumes,” I thought as a buff man half-clad in leather walked by in his leather ensemble. With a smile, I glanced at my watch, grimaced as I realized I was late, and hauled tail to the SW: MOTF room located in Dunwoody this year. I manage to slip between two stormtroopers and a Moff before settling in the front and waiting to see what surprises the Star Wars costuming track had for me. I did not have to wait long as the Star Wars theme music blared to life and the guests came in escorted by the finest entourage of stormtroopers, Imperial Royal Guardsmen, Imperial officers and Alliance Rebels. Even in Star Wars, it sometimes is all about the costumes.
The guest panel extended from professional costume designers to amateurs to even a writer of the Star Wars Universe. I appreciated the contributions of Ann Crispin (SW author and moderator for the panel), Doug Barrett, Jeff Yanky, Cherylann Lambert, Pam Kinney, Mindy Dupler-Singer and Stacey Lee Feldman. As professionals, they discussed how common every day items could help construct award winning outfits every time. For those of us amateurs with limited bank accounts, it was amusing to note that Qui Gon Jinn’s communicator was a Lady Gillette shaver. It was also a comfort to note that it is possible for anyone to make a costume from scratch, even those who cannot sew. A proud amateur of the panel boldly admitted that her Qui Gon robe was made with sheer determination and ingenuity and looks rather authentic. Alas, Liam Neeson was not available to try on the robes. In addition to listing the types of stores they run to for the quick cloth or button, it was also amazing to listen to their extensive list of online locations used to find the perfect addition to a complete costume.
As a final bonus the panel gave plenty of examples of how to present the completed costume in a costume contest. I remember several costume contests that I have observed and the contestants either rattled on and on and on about their costumes, pricking their finger, their burnt bunt cake and the need to buy new shoes. Oh yeah, I definitely say give them the award just to shut them up. So it didn’t surprise me at all when several panelist suggest that potential costume competitors keep their costume descriptions concise. Keep your costume consistent and in theme, if you are wearing medieval wear, Air Jordan’s might not be the best way to complete your look. Hand-made is sometimes the way to the heart of a prize winning costumes. For those who are wearing costumes for just plain fun, remember you want to be stared at so relish the attention lavished on your appearance. I certainly hope the gentleman in the leather outfit I mused over earlier enjoyed the attention.