This is the second collection of interviews conducted while at Hal-Con 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This time, it features folks who are interested in becoming the characters they admire, at least for a little while: the costumers!
We all wear costumes. Some of them are thin veils (sweats & a t-shirt), others are deliberate masks (teachers, doctors, lawyers), others are more aspirational (best suit or dressfor an interview or first date, stylin’ chains & gold for the clubbin’ trip).
So, how are costumes at a convention different?
Well, the restrictions are pretty much gone. There are still basic elements of decency (it is a family convention, after all), but you can be outlandish and extreme. You can go for a perfect simulation of the target character, for something purely metaphorical which references the character, or for the range from completely original projection of a media product to something inspired by it.
I spoke with three different folks for this episode: Andrew Ollenbach of Halifax’s Jules Verse Phantastical Society, Luka the Faun, and Riddle the Semi-Pro Cosplayer.
Andrew Ollenbach was finely attired, dressed as a Steampunk Victorian undertaker. I asked around at the Steampunk exhibit in the artists hall at Hal-Con, and he was the guy to talk to. Andrew is a member of Halifax’s Jules Verne Phantastical Society and I believe a curator of the Steampunk exhibit currently on display at Halifax’s Museum of Natural History. We talked about aesthetics, philosophy and the many things that make up a Steampunk.
Luka had a detailed faun-human hybrid costume. I saw her walking around the artist’s exhibit, and couldn’t help but ask her about her costume, and where the ideas came from.
Finally, I have an interview with the enigmatic Riddle, one of the featured guests at the convention. We talked about how she got involved in cosplay, what drives her to do it, and the distinction between self-sustaining amateur and pro cosplayer.
Over all, the costumes I saw at Hal-Con were great! I’ve been to bigger conventions and smaller ones, and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of work that people put in to their costumes, and the amount of fun they have while doing it. I’m inspired to try a few things myself, but only time will tell to see if I’ve got what these people have: drive, passion and dedication!
Bonus: check out my full pictures of my interviews: