Behind the Scenes at Strange Land Costuming
Strange Land Costuming is just one person: me - Stace. I do my tailoring as a full-time home-based business. This means the utmost in personal care, attention, and detail. You can rest assured that replica costumes are done to the greatest degree of authenticity possible, where source information is available.
I first learned about the world of replica costuming in 1999, when I wanted one of those warm, fuzzy Jedi robes so badly that I searched all over the internet and Star Wars communities to find out how to buy one. Well, it turned out you just couldn't buy them, you had to make them yourself. I had limited sewing skills from 7th grade Home Ec, no sewing machine, and a lot of enthusiasm. By 2000 I had sewn my own complete costume, and was beginning to take commissions based solely on my reputation for accuracy. In the space of five years, I did approximately 50 costumes of all kinds for other people. By the ten-year mark, it was well over 80! But, I’m still the same enthusiastic nerd who spends more time noticing what characters are wearing than whether the movie is any good.
Costuming is still and will always be a hobby for me. My costume closet holds around thirty unique, non-retired costumes I like to wear whenever I can. I’ve moved away from strictly movie replicas into anime cosplay, which I consider the same kind of challenge, since you’re still replicating from an image. Cosplay taught me about wigs and other methods of truly becoming the character instead of just having the costume, and bring a costume or character to life with better makeup, hair, and higher-quality armor and props.
I’m a problem-solver and an artist, two mindsets perfect for this hobby. I’m always striving for the perfect product, the garment that makes you look as if you stepped off the screen or poster. I’m willing to learn new skills and try my hand with new tools in order to accomplish something that will make a costume even better. I've learned about wigs and styling, I updated my knowledge of theatrical makeup, I’ve learned how to use Sculpey and latex and sintra. I found out about binding and taping to pull off the illusion of being male, and learned things about basic makeup and hair styling that I would have never known otherwise - I’m fairly low-maintenance in real life. And I can’t believe the things I’ve learned about sewing!
In 2007 I decided the local area costumers needed to have a club where they could meet, discuss costumes, and share tips and skills, so I founded the Madison Area Costuming Society. It is so much fun getting to pick the brains of fellow hobby costumers and enjoy events together with them! In spring of 2010 we decided as a club to incorporate with the International Costumer's Guild, and were accepted as an official chapter of the ICG. I was elected president to hold the first office, and as a club we are working to promote costuming in all genres in the Southern Wisconsin Area. If there's an event, a workshop, or a convention nearby, you'll probably see us all there.
I don’t do things the "normal" way. I have the ability to visualize my goal and somehow work my resources to make them turn out as pictured. I don’t mind a challenge, though I know my limits. And no matter how many awards I win or commissions I complete, I will still be found at any number of conventions running through the halls in costume, camera in hand, fangasming on other awesome costumes. My favorite saying is that costumes are like potato chips: you can’t have just one.
Strange Land Costuming is a smoke-free work environment. Please inform us if you have allergies to cat hair.
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Website by: QB Writing & Design LLC