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Fan Expo Refresher – What is Cosplay?

What is Cosplay?

Fan Expo is three sleeps away! I’m so excited to see all the amazing and creative cosplay. In honour of Fan Expo, I thought I’d re-post I blog I wrote explaining what cosplay is for those who are not initiated! Enjoy and don’t forget to drop by and say hello to us this weekend!

Cosplay is actually a portmanteau of two words: costume and play. Originally, I think that the word specifically applied to anime culture where people would dress up as their favourite anime characters.  As time has gone by, it has expanded to include pretty much any pop culture icon. Some people are purists and get every detail perfect right down to the colour of the thread on the switching.  Some people mash up differently cultural elements to create a new version of a character like making a steampunk sailor moon or a little mermaid princess Leia.  Lots of people make gender bending version of their favourite characters like a male Harley Quinn or a female Captain America. The options are limitless and the community is super accepting.

If you are still not sure you understand, fear not! I have some examples of awesome Venus & Mars  versions of some of our most favourite fictional badass ladies.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is one of my personal favourite super heroes so naturally we had to include her.  It’s so empowering to have a strong, fearless female hero kicking ass and taking names. Who wouldn’t want to dress up like that? For Wonder Woman we combined the iconic Linda Carter look with some of the badassery of the new Gal Gadot look.  We put together a gold Venus & Mars bandeau with a red reversible VM waist cincher some blue booty shorts, a black velvet cloak and gold pointe glovettes.  Suffering Sappho, I have never seen a cooler Wonder Woman!

Harley Quinn

If you have ever been to a convention you know that if we had to include anything it was Harley Quinn.  There has been so many Harley looks over years and we couldn’t pick just one. We used her original black and red for inspiration but gave the overall outfit more of a roller derby feel. For this outfit, we combined a sleeveless red skinny tee, the reverse side of the reversible red waist cincher, black and red tap shorts and mix and matched a pair of red and black fishnet glovettes. We also added a pair of black goggles as a nod to the original Harley Quinn’s black eye mask. Trust me, puddin’, everyone will love this Harley look.

Princess Leia

We love Carrie Fisher. Her real life sassy no bullshit approach to Hollywood is something we can all aspire to. We absolutely had to pay homage to her with a Princess Leia inspired look. I know slave Leia is super popular but we wanted to show off the all white princess outfit instead.   We put together a white under blouse, white reversible waist cincher and cream panne cloak.  And we used a white pinstripe tube top as the skirt. To really sell the look we put Ivette’s hair into buns. I sense great awesome in this outfit. (PS. I love this picture so much. I think it’s one of my favourites ever.)

So what did you think of my definition of cosplay? did I get it right?  Would you explain it differently?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to hear about new and exciting things we are doing!

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Featured Product: Velvet Cloaks

Venus & Mars - Velvet Lined Cloak with Fur Hood

January is cold and miserable. I hate to sound like a downer but it totally is. Christmas is over. It’s rainy. It’s freezing. There’s still at least 5 months until we can comfortably drink cocktails on the patio again. How are you supposed to feel warm and cozy when Eggnog lattes are no longer available?

I have a solution for you that will warm your body and soul.

Picture this, you are walking through a snowy forest looking tragically gorgeous and mysterious. As you step into a clearing, all the chatter and noises of the forest cease and you surrounded by the most serene silence. The snow covers the thick evergreen trees like a veil on a bride. Far above you can see sunlight and blue sky breaking through the clouds. A white fawn steps into the clearing with you. It approaches without fear and nuzzles your hand then walks off back into the woods leaving you standing alone in your wine velvet cloak.

I can’t guarantee that will happen if you get a cloak but the odds of it happening is probably slightly better if you do have one. When you put on a cloak you get to wrap yourself in a warm hug that will keep the January chill off of you. You also get to wrap yourself in a fantasy. You could be an elven warrior, a regal diplomat, or even a superhero. The only limitation is your imagination.

Lucky for you, we have a brand new batch of cloaks fresh out of the studio. Our stunning wine velvet lined cloaks are back in stock. We also have some beautiful royal blueish purple lined velvet cloaks so you stay warm and stylish this winter.

How do you keep warm in January? Let us know in the comments below.

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.

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Don’t know what to be for Halloween? Try an Elf!

It’s already October 9th! That means there’s only 22 more sleeps until Halloween! Do you know what you want to be yet? Well you’d better make up your mind. It’ll be Halloween before you know it and you don’t want to be part of the last minute scramble for a costume.

One of my favourite series of movies of all time is the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I saw each film several times in theaters and I’ve watched the extended version on DVD more times than I should probably admit to. But what’s not to love? There’s magic, fighting, romance, orcs, hobbits and of course elves! This weekend, I was watching Legolas toss his majestic head of hair again and it occurred to me that we have everything you would need to put together a pretty decent elf costume in the shop.

So that’s exactly what I did! Or more specifically I put together a unisex accessory pack that could be the start of a most excellent elf costume. It begins with a green panne cloak. You could really use any colour cloak you want but green translates to elf for most people. Next we have a pair of prosthetic elf ears and green contacts. The ears are totally necessary but the contacts are optional. I find that they add a touch of other worldliness to the costume but the idea would still come across without them. I also added a pair of black velvet glovets. Again the glovets are not necessary but I think they help to give an air of royalty and elegance to your elf costume. Finally I topped the outfit off with a green glass potion holder because I just really just love the potion holders.elf

Now you may have noticed that setup isn’t a complete outfit. If you wanted to you could just wear a pair of black pants and a black shirt or a black dress underneath and you would totally look like an elf. However if you wanted to step it up then I would suggest a pair of brown vegan leather bondage pants with Jamie’s white button-up poet shirt and some boots. Alternatively, you could go for more of an Arwen look with green satin mermaid gown and some Victorian inspired boots.

So what are you going to dress up as this Halloween? An elf? Let us know in the comments below.

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.

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Halloween Costumes Online Now!

halloween costumes

I love Halloween so much. I mean what’s not to love: everything is spooky, people give you candy and you get to dress up! Costumes make me so happy.  Naturally, that makes October the best time of the year to work in the store. We get customers who make up insanely cool and unique costume ideas. Other customers come in with specific character costumes and you can’t help but admire their attention to detail. It’s my favourite time of year to work with people and help them realize their Halloween goals.

On the flip side, we get a lot of people who come in and have no idea what they want to be for Halloween. If you fall into this category, have no fear, we are here for you. If you’re a little bit nerdy (like me) you should check out our Guide to Cosplay. We make some cool suggestions for coming up with your own version of some of your favourite characters. If you’re into steampunk then you should check out our Halloween Steampunk Outfit Guide for some costume suggestions.

If you’re still feeling lost and alone in the woods, then I might just have a shining beacon of hope to lead you to Grandma’s house. This year we have decided to add a costume section to our online shop. If you’re expecting a typical pop up Halloween shop selection of bagged costumes then hold onto your hat because we have something way better. We have put together costume suggestions made of awesome Venus & Mars handmade clothing. You have the option of selecting all the items we show or just picking out a couple. That means all the outfits are customizable to your existing clothing. Best of all, all of the pieces can be integrated into your wardrobe for everyday wear. What’s not to love about that?Amazon Warrior

We will be featuring a different costume every Monday on our blog so if you haven’t already joined our mailing list now is the time to do that. We will also be featuring past Halloween outfit, helpful accessory suggestions, and lots of steampunk inspiration on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

So do you know what you’re dressing up as now? Let us know in the comments below!

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Halloween Steampunk Costume Suggestions!

steampunk halloween costume

Oh my gosh it’s almost October.  Do you know what that means? Do you? It means it’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right it’s just about Halloween month! It’s the holiday of our people: the spooky people. There’s going to pumpkins everywhere and skeletons and little bat friends. What’s not to love? In addition to all the spooky awesome, we also get to dress up in costumes! I’m so pumped I can barely contain myself.

October also means we’ll have a ton of people looking for steampunk costumes so I thought I’d jump the gun a bit and post some Halloween Steampunk outfit ideas to get October started right.

brown steampunk halloweenClassic Steampunk

So I think when most people think of Steampunk they think of three things: goggles, gears and the colour brown. This super cute steampunk outfit hits all those notes. I really like this look because it’s monochromatic but still interesting to look at. Ivette is wearing a brown satin peasant blouse with a brown reversible waist cincher, a brown lace circle square skirt and, a steampunk bustle pocket belt. We added a brown derby hat with bronze cybersteam goggles on top and black glovets and a choker to balance some of the black in the pocket belt. It’s a little Victorian, a little bit western and definitely ready for adventure. You’ll be immediately recognizable as steampunk in this outfit and you’ll be so much more unique than someone who bought a bagged costume.

Steampunk Watch Makersteampunk peter halloween

This dapper steampunk look may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of steampunk but it is just as steamy. The uniqueness and unexpected all black look makes it interesting. Peter is wearing a military frock coat with a black ruffle poet shirt. We added a pair of round spectacles and a pocket watch to give him a little bit more a nerdy, elegant look. We suggest pairing these items with a pair of black bondage pants, a black pocket vest and a pair of boots. You’ll be the classiest person in the room in this costume regardless of where your end up going.

 

Out of the Box Steampunk Mage

If you really want to try something out of the box then why not make your version of a steampunk mage? Ivette is wearing a pair of sleeves with a black bandeau, a wine waist cincher, a multipoint pocket belt and satin princess skirt. We kept the accessories pretty simple with a pair of red spectacles and a leather corset choker. This is a show stopping look.  I guarantee that no one will look as cool as you in an outfit like this. It may not be instantly recognizable as a character or traditional Halloween costume but everyone will recognize that you have the coolest costume in the room.

So there’s three Halloween Steampunk outfit suggestions for you. Which one is your favourite? What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Let us know in the comments below.

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.