Comic Con 2015 Costume Wrap-Up!

By Joe Kucharski - July 16, 2015

With attendance capped at 130,000, San Diego Comic Con is one of the largest and most popular comic conventions in the world. But with badges to the event selling out in a matter of minutes, millions of fans interested in attending just are not able. Whether you were able to attend or not, here is our exclusive San Diego Comic Con 2015 Costume Wrap-Up!

As the editor of Tyranny Of Style, I had the immense privilege of being invited by The Costume Designer’s Guild, the professional union for film and television costume designers, to moderate two panels, as well as pass out Hall Costume Awards and serve as a judge in awarding the Guild’s Masquerade costume award. While there, I also had the privilege of attending several amazing parties and mixers to celebrate the publications and people that work hard year round to entertain the nerdiest of fans!

 

PANELS!

Friday, July 10 – Technology as a Costume Tool – Hosted by The Costume Designers Guild.

This panel featured a talented group of costume concept artists, builders, and designers that shared with our audience what goes into bringing exciting film and television projects to life. Guild illustrators shared their process of working closely with costume designers to understand their research, aesthetic, and personal preference so they can translate that information into finished artwork. They also discussed the use of mixed media, the importance of hand drawing and traditional art skills, as well as use of software such as Illustrator, Photoshop, Zbrush, Wacom tablets, and more. Costume designer Soyon An shared how she approaches collaborating with illustrators, directors, and costume builders. Muto Little’s Renee Nault discussed how technology is helping costume builders, from clearer vision and style lines expressed in digital renderings, to the use of computerized embroidery, body scanning, and 3D printing for execution of a designer’s vision. Attendees had a chance to ask questions of our prestigious panel, and took the opportunity afterwards to receive autographs, pose for pictures, and even show off their own working portfolios to our guest speakers.

 

Saturday, July 11 – Today’s Costume Designers – Hosted by The Costume Designers Guild.

This panel featured some of today’s top costume designers in television, film, and live events! Representing an array of genres, time-periods, and media, panelists discussed various approaches to working with directors, actors, producers, and builders on tight timelines and budgets. Giovanna Melton shared how she approaches designing for Agent Carter, one of the strongest and most beloved female characters of the Marvel Universe. Kristin Burke discussed the challenging and exciting aspects of working on a television show and films that require her to bring together contemporary, period, and fantasy costume elements to tell a cohesive story. Ann Foley elaborated on how the timeline and complexity of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s costume requirements has ramped up over two seasons, and her creative problem solving in meeting deadlines and fan expectations. She is a master at maintaining the mystery of the Marvel world, but did share that we should be excited for what lies ahead in Season 3! Soyon An gave fascinating insight into her work on the forthcoming Jem and The Holograms feature. She shared with us the balance of trying to fulfill the director’s vision of a modern, 2015 Jem world, while staying true to her own desire to honor the original characters that meant so much to her, and the look and feel that she knew fans would be expecting. Ivy Thaide discussed the complex approach and tricks to costuming a show full of action, where multiple costumes can be stressful, and stretch fabrics and proper padding are essential to the safety and function of every look. All of the designers answered audience questions with poise, sharing wonderful insights. They demonstrated quite clearly why they are such successful leaders and visionaries behind some of the fan’s most loved film and television costumes!

 

COSTUME DISPLAYS! 

One of my favorite aspects of Comic Con is the amazing film and television costume displays on the convention floor. This year the two major costume displays were hosted by Weta and DC Comics, and represent some of the most highly anticipated films of 2016. (I was disappointed to see that both studios failed to credit the costume designers on ANY of the displays. Although, the actor who wore the costume was always noted. Can we do something about that next year, people?!)

Warcraft armor - Weta Workshop - Costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo 

 Warcraft armor - Weta Workshop - Costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo

Batman v Superman - Costume designer Michael Wilkinson

(This costume is massive an really phenomenal to see in person!)

Batman v Superman - Costume designer Michael Wilkinson

(Love these structureal and textural details!)

Batman v Superman - Costume designer Michael Wilkinson

Batman v Superman - Costume designer Michael Wilkinson

Batman v Superman - Costume designer Michael Wilkinson

(Just so perfect up-close!)

Batman v Superman - Costume designer Michael Wilkinson

Batman v Superman - Costume designer Michael Wilkinson

(A very sensible wedge!)

Flash - Multiple series costume designers

Flash - Multiple series costume designers

Flash - Multiple series costume designers

Arrow - Multiple series costume designers

Arrow - Multiple series costume designers

Arrow - Multiple series costume designers

Arrow - Multiple series costume designers

 

COSPLAY!

Just wondering the convention floor, trying to make it between panels, or out looking to pass out CDG Hall Costume Awards with the team, it was impossible to go more than a few feet without seeing some amazing feats of costume design and construction! From devoted recreations, to character mash-ups and new creations, this year’s cosplay enthusiasts showed an exciting range of characters and construction approaches. Check out some of my favorites from this weekend! 

 

(Soyon An for scale!)

Me with Popeye The Sailor Moon.

Beautiful Kit Kat "Giving Tree" performers at the MTV Fandom Awards

KFC Col. Sanders Wifi Hotspot Statues dressed in cosplay costumes!

KFC Col. Sanders Wifi Hotspot Statues dressed in cosplay costumes!

KFC Col. Sanders Wifi Hotspot Statues dressed in cosplay costumes!

MASQUERADE!

In addition to the Hall Costume Awards, I had the chance to attend Comic Con’s annual Masquerade. This is an exciting night of group and individual costume presentations, set to music, text, and/or choreography. Below is just a small sampling of some of the best (we'll spare you the worst!) entries, including The Costume Designers Guild award winner – “The Women of The Haunted Mansion.”

 

Beautiful Costume Designers Guild trophy for Best Costumes created by Legacy Effects.

Retweet to congratulate "The Women of The Haunted Mansion," winners of the Costume Designers Guild trophy for Best Costumes! 

PARTIES! 

No Comic Con would be complete without an amazing array of parties! My nights were packed with attendance at parties or mixers hosted by The Unofficial Comic Con Blog, Wired, Buzzfeed/The CW, and The Costume Designer’s Guild. A small snapshot of some of the celebrities, food, and fun are below.

Slap bracelets at Wired Cafe!

Folks getting down to great music, wonderful food/drink and even better company at Wired Cafe.

GORGEOUS views from the Buzzfeed/The CW party!

Great chatting with Brandon Routh at Buzzfeed/The CW party.

As well as Wentworth Miller!

 

SWAG!

So many companies hand out free stuff at Comic Con. The Costume Designers Guild’s MANY generous sponsors and friends gave amazing gifts for panelists and attendees alike. These companies and organizations included- Western Costume Company, ABC Costume Department, Universal Costume Department, International Silks and Woolens, La Cienega Cleaners, FIDM, Wacom, Icelandic, Mea Mac, Kind Bars, Legacy Effects, and Jelly Belly.

 

I would like to give a special thanks to Raygunz Inc. for the incredibly beautiful, hand-blown glass, artisan ray gun that was generously given to me for moderating the Guild’s panels. This is going on display immediately! Check them out at RaygunzInc.com!

 

Thanks to Ben Kucharski of the Unofficial Comic Con Blog for help and guidance navigating a jam-packed five days. Another huge thanks to The Costume Designers Guild for having me out this year, and especially Suzanne, Ivy, Michi, Jennifer, Gina, as well as the amazing panelists and volunteers for all of their hard work!