Mike and I are pleased to unveil our third series in The New Kit-Cat Portraits!
(The first series can be found here, and the second series can be found here.) We have reached the milestone of 20 portraits! There is one more wave planned for this fall, which will be our final one. It has been so great to work with many different members of the diverse Washington, DC-area historical costuming community.
In this installment, we worked on perfecting our skills with running efficient shoots, so we could get the shots we needed without taking a lot of extra time. That way, we could work with some folks that had busy schedules or time constraints. For Doug‘s session, we got his portrait done in only 15 minutes of shooting, which included two different lighting orientations and working with a variety of props. Going that fast is perhaps a bit extreme, but it is nice to know we can do it if necessary.
Our studio setup was almost identical to that in our two previous series.
Although Mike and I did not have any photo shoots pre-arranged for PAX East this year, we ended up doing a couple with folks we met there. Of course, we also took hall photos. I was impressed by the large variety of cosplays we saw, including many that were from media other than video games.
Our first shoot was with Sewpoke Cosplay, who had this really cool formal wear take on Commander Shepard from Mass Effect. I had met Amelia the week before at Costume Con, and when we ran into her at PAX East, I asked if she wanted to do a shoot. Her costume worked really well with the dramatic lighting pattern we did.
Since PAX East was my second con in two weekends, with no trip back home in between, I needed to limit the size and complexity of the costumes I planned on bringing. I wore one costume that I had also brought for Costume Con the previous week (Diana’s brown suit from Wonder Woman), and purposely chose things that were easy to pack and didn’t wrinkle easily. (They had to live in a suitcase for over a week–though my travel steamer was also helpful in freshening everything up.) In the end, I settled on Stephanie Brown Robin for Thursday, Golden Age Catwoman for Friday, the aforementioned Wonder Woman costume for Saturday, and Princess Luna for Sunday.
Stephanie Brown Robin
I have worn this costume a bunch of times, including to a previous PAX East. But I still love it.
This spring was our tenth year in a row going to PAX East! The first time we went, which was also the first time PAX East was held, I was still a graduate student living in a tiny apartment, and now I have a full time job and own a house. I grew a lot in the past ten years, and it’s funny to look back at all the past PAX Easts and think about how much both the con and we have changed.
Because PAX East took place the week after Costume Con this year, and both were being held in the Boston area, I didn’t bother flying back home in between them. I stayed with some good friends for a couple days, and then Mike flew up and met me on Wednesday. (Packing for two cons was a bit of an adventure. I’m glad I got everything into my suitcases!) This was our first time going to PAX East without any other friends in tow. It was just me and Mike.
The con started on Thursday, which is the quietest day. It’s nice, because it makes it easier to see the Expo Hall and shop from the vendors when it is not so crowded. There is also usually less cosplay on Thursday, but we saw a few folks dressed up. (I will post separately about the hall photos and shoots that we did.)
The Expo Hall on Thursday. You could see the floor!
My first con ever was Costume Con 27 in 2009, which was held in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD. There I met a number of folks who have become lifelong friends, including Maggie. In 2010 I would move from Boston down to the DC area and join the DC/Baltimore costuming community as a local. So I thought it would be fitting to make a return to Costume Con ten years later at the 37th installment, this time held near where I used to live in the suburbs of Boston, MA. As an added treat, Maggie and I went together as roommates.
A selfie of me and Maggie on the plane at BWI airport
Last year, Sierra of SierraRoses SFX Makeup had a cool idea to do a few different space-themed photo shoots that would involve airbrush makeup techniques. She loosely based the concept on this Planettes art series by GDBee Art. Sierra and Dan of Dan Arango Photography teamed up to bring this concept to life, and they were nice enough to invite me to be one of their models. Everything about this sounded super cool, so of course I said yes! We did the actual shoot last January.
For my character, Sierra chose a look based on the rings of Saturn. Although I did not have a costume at the ready, I was able to repurpose the catsuit and wig I use for my Darwyn Cooke-style Catwoman cosplay and add some different accessories to switch things over to the theme.
Three other cosplayers also participated:
Natalie was Neptune,
Evelyn was Mars, and
Angela was the Milky Way. They all did an amazing job!
We attended the Francaise Dinner last March at Gadsby’s Tavern Restaurant. It is hard to believe that this event has been going on for eight years! Back when it started, I had done only a little 18th century costuming. Now the 1780s is one of my favorite eras.
I wore a striped silk chemise gown that I bought from Vivien when she was doing a closet clear-out. I had always wanted to make a dress of this style, but never got around to it. When Vivien said she was selling hers, I snapped it right up. For this outing I styled myself a new wig, following instructions in Kenda’s book on 18th century hair. My jewelry is from my Etsy shop, and my shoes are by American Duchess.
Mike coordinated with my blue and white theme in his outfit as well.
Last January Judy and Stephanie organized a Victorian tea at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware. Since Longwood Gardens is not far from Wilmington, several of us decided to make a day of it and visit there beforehand for a costumed stroll. There was a beautiful orchid display on view.
I will start with the photos from Longwood. I wore an 1890s ensemble that I had not brought out in several years. The skirt is made out of some black wool twill leftover from another project (my 1860s day dress), and the blouse was purchased.
For this year’s MAGFest, I went with a DC Comics/historical costuming theme. Two of my costumes were of Wonder Woman, while my third was of Catwoman. My Wonder Woman looks were the 1910s suit from the movie and a regency mash-up. My Catwoman was her Golden Age look, which debuted in the 1940s.
These were all relatively new costumes for me, and I had never worn them to a con before. (In fact, I had never worn any but the Regency Wonder Woman to an event before.) Although none of them had a specific connection to gaming, they were all well received at MAGFest. It was funny watching people trying to figure out what the 1910s suit was from. Then they would see my sword, and it would all click.
Wonder Woman’s 1910s Suit
I purchased this suit off of Ebay. All I had to do was buy some accessories to complete the costume. In comparing my suit to reference photos, I noticed that stills from the movie make the suit look grey, while on-set paparazzi photos make it look brown. I think the fabric is brown in real life, but the color temperature that the movie was shot at is much cooler, making it look grey on film. Regardless, I like my suit. I really enjoyed wearing it, as it is quite comfortable, and this is not a costume you see that often. My sword is by 3D Printed Debris.
Because we did more shoots than we have in previous years, we have relatively few hall photos. There were a ton of awesome cosplayers, of which this is just a small sample.
Shiny Eevee by Tara Lyn
Star Fox by Eric