Saturday, October 12, 2013

CoCO 2013 - The Experience

Being at CoCo was fantastic!  It's called Costume College for a reason, and the classes offered are really excellent.  There were a few duds, but overall, I learned so much and I could not stop talking about it for weeks after.  I attended classes about everything from apron styles during the 1860s, to cheap ways of theatre costuming, to Cavalier/Baroque/1600s hairstyling.

I packed a few outfits that could mix-n-match, depending on my mood, and also my Lady Vader bustle gown, minus the Vader helmet.  Costumes are by no means required at CoCo, and actually, it might even be easier to manage going to classes in Muggle clothes, but I figured that I don't get that many chances to dress up a bit, so I took the opportunity to be in costume.  (I'd like to note that I did pack a pair of jeans and a few t-shirts just in case.  They never left the suitcase.)  

Packing for CoCo = piles of costumes, hatboxes, a shoebox, Muggle t-shirts that I never wore, a suitcase, and a backpack
I was fairly proud of myself for being able to fit my clothes into just a suitcase and a backpack (albeit a large backpack meant for hauling around water polo gear) -- it took me a suitcase, a backpack, and my sewing machine's travel carrier to get everything to Comic Con.  It still took me several trips to get everything out to the car.  The travel carrier still had to come with me, but it was actually holding a sewing machine this time. :)


I was amazed by the different skill sets of the attendees.  Some people were excellent at making their accessories.  Others had the awesomest hairdos.  Francis randomly set up shop in the hallway.  It was awesome to watch him work and to chat with him.  I really want a pair of Elizabethan shoes, now.  Good thing American Duchess is developing some!

this is Francis ^^
^^ those are his shoes                               .
One of the classes was eye-opening.  (That's a stupid statement.  95% of the classes were eye-opening.)  The teacher is actually a drama teacher at a college, where she puts students with no sewing skills to work making costumes for their productions.  Some of the stuff they've done is really cool and really ingenious.  (I say "really" a lot.  I'm really sorry.)

Best use for pink foam hearts = gauntlets.

Paint + thrift store suit = pinstriped suit.

I forget what these kinds of foamy tubes are called, but they make awesome elongated-finger things when glued/sewed to gloves.
I took a class with The Historical Hairdresser on Cavalier wig styling.  I decided I'm really not a fan of Cavalier 'dos, but I enjoyed learning how to style a wig.  It was fun to play with hair that doesn't frizz when you look at it.  I loved seeing how everyone else's wigs came out -- we were all doing essentially the same style, but everyone's looked very different.  (I ran into one of the other women in the class later at the Gala.  She was wearing her wig and I didn't recognize her at all!)

From the back, it looks like Belle from Beauty and the Beast (Disney's version)

The wig is still being styled, so the front is clipped out of the way.

I have mixed feelings about the Gala.  It was about an hour and a half after the last classes of the day finished to give people time to change and get ready.  I wasn't staying at the hotel (my aunt and uncle live just a few minutes away) and I didn't have a separate outfit for the gala, so I wandered around for a while.  I eventually made my way to the ladies' room to reapply makeup, where I found a few other women getting ready.  We commiserated with each other that there was no formal dressing room for us to get ready in.  The Gala itself was a bit of a disappointment.  I had no one to sit with (the friends that I had made thus far at CoCo were not attending the Gala) and it's very hard to chat with your neighbors when the music is blasting.  (I will announce at this time that the little I was able to speak with my neighbors was very enjoyable, and I wish that it had been quieter so we could have talked more.)

The "red carpet" before the Gala

These two were excellent dancers!  They were such a joy to watch.

The dance floor towards the end of the Gala (most people had made their way outside by this point)
That's all the pictures I have!  If you are interested in going to CoCo 2014, I can't recommend it enough.

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