Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Cosplay Bucket List

Greetings, fellow cosplayers! Today we’re going to talk about the most intimidating costumes of all: the ones we haven’t done yet.

Everybody has them. Those cosplay ideas you keep coming back to. That outfit in that one episode that makes you all atingle just watching reruns. That showpiece concept that makes your hands itch just thinking about it. The costumes you tell your friends about and say, “One day when I have time/money/skills/lose weight/find a group/make it to SDCC/build a time machine/whatever, I will do this costume, and it will be GLORIOUS!”

You know the ones. The ones that tantalize and terrify us. The ones on the Cosplay Bucket List.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of a bucket list, it’s meant to include all the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”, i.e. go to the great sewing table in the sky. It doesn’t have to be reasonable, realistic, or practical. It’s not necessarily things you’re going to do; it’s the things you want to do. You can take things off and tack them on at will, and the bucket list you make now might be totally different from the one you make 10 years down the line. It’s all up to you.

Making a cosplay bucket list is a good idea for two reasons. One, it puts all these ideas on paper (figuratively speaking, in this case) and gives you a record to go to when you’re stuck and looking for ideas. Two, it helps organize the ideas and maybe makes them not so scary after all, turning those wild pipe dreams into a list of doable goals.

I put together my bucket list specifically for this post, but I found it to be a really great exercise. It even helped me make some decisions about my costumes for this year. So, without further ado, here they are: the costume ideas that set shadowen’s heart aflutter.

Death’s gown, Sandman: Endless Nights: “The Heart of a Star”

About the costume: Death cosplay is done to, well, death. It’s generally just your best goth outfit, an ankh, and some fancy eye make-up. Hell, I’ve done it. No shame. This dress, though, is the antithesis of the perky Death we all know and love. It’s a floor length Victorian ball gown with serious detailing, and it’s gorgeous. It only appears in those four panels in Endless Nights, and I’ve never heard of anyone taking on this particular costume.

Why I haven’t done it: Time and money, the adversaries that kill so many costumes in their infancy. This is full on Victorian formal wear and, not being a dedicated steampunker, I don’t have the skills to turn out one of those in a week. Plus, if you’re going to make something that fancy, you don’t use cheap fabric, and I, fellow cosplayers, am permanently broke.

Dr. Girlfriend’s dress, The Venture Bros.: “Hate Floats”

About the costume: Honestly, I just want to own this dress. Forget cosplay, I’d wear this to the store. You can’t see in the picture (There are no good reference pics. For serious.) but it’s a mini dress with an open back. Yes, it’s only in this one episode. Yes, I’m aware that Doc Hammer hates it. No, I do not give any number of fucks. I love it, and I want it.

Why I haven’t done it: The print on that dress? Does not exist. I mean really. Who, other than me, would even want purple fabric with giant pastel polka dots? The fact that it’s so unbelievably 60s-tastic is what makes it so great, but it also makes it nearly impossible to recreate. But don’t loose faith, Venturoos. The search continues.

Dalek evening gown, Doctor Who

About the costume: So you’ve seen the adorable Dalek dresses, right? Well, I want to take that idea and translate it into an all-out showpiece gown. It will exterminate with extravagant elegance.

Why I haven’t done it: Honestly, as much as I like the design that I have, it needs work. The concept is so high-fashion, it needs a truly epic execution, and I don’t think my skills as a designer and costumer are quite there yet.

Marvin the Martian, Looney Toons

About the costume: I can’t possibly be the only one who remembers “Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 th Century”, can I? It truly blows my mind how many people give me blank looks when I mention Marvin the Martian. This pains my little Martian soul, fellow cosplayers, and I want to spread the message of Marvin love. Like the Dalek evening gown, this one is more of an interpretive costume, hitting those iconic high points I love so much while creating something new and different.

Why I haven’t done it: Engineering. How do you make a skirt that sticks out that you can (a) transport in a small space and (b) sit down in? I have ideas, but this is another one that isn’t quite there. Some day.

Alice, Superjail!

About the costume: I’m not even sure how to quantify the gender politics of a cis woman dressing as an MtF trans woman (who is also a cartoon), so I’m just not going to go there. All you really need to know is that Alice is the best, and that I am dedicated to the cause of Superjail!

Why I haven’t done it: It really only recently occurred to me that I could do this, and it would be awesome. My only hesitations are entirely the result of vanity. Alice is not a traditionally attractive character, and, frankly, I like being pretty. Doing this costume right would mean sacrificing a lot of pride for cosplay that would be an absolute hit with a very small group of people. And that, my friends, is a really stupid reason not to do it. I’ve resolved to strike one costume off the list this year, and this might be the one.

(I could also make the police dress do double-duty as a Victoria Seras costume, plus one big ass gun. So there’s that.)

Lust, Fullmetal Alchemist

About the costume: I have this dream of one day doing Homunculi group cosplay. Or any FMA cosplay, really, because it is the love of my anime life. Let’s face it, my cleavage was made to have an ouroboros stamped in the middle of it.

Why I haven’t done it: Right now, I’ve got the wrong hair, but I’m tentatively putting it on the docket for the 2013 con season.

Rachel, Blade Runner

About the costume: It’s everything you love about 1940s style with an extra helping of robot. A lot of people talk about Rachel’s super fabulous fur coat, but I’m eyeing that black suit, shoulder pads and all. This is another one where there aren’t any good reference pictures, partly because Blade Runner is such a visually dark film.

Why I haven’t done it: Same as Lust. It’s on the list for 2013.

And there you have it, fellow cosplayers. My cosplay bucket list, as of January 2012. Now, hands up! What are some of your dream costumes? Share with the class!


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