Sunday, February 23, 2014

Electrified Bride in the News

Hey!  I made the paper.  Photo by Erin O. Smith in the TimesFreePress and on line.  When you get to old to pull off a princess, you have to be more creative in your costuming.  The Electrified Bride is my cross over (mash up) Classic monster / Steam Punk.  It's always quite surprising how many people love this idea. 

Jeff and I are always looking for inspiration for new costumes.  Sometimes, it comes from the most unusual places.  Last year, I was working on school play costumes at Beauty & the Beast while watching the Saturday morning movie on TBS.  I didn't notice it was the 2004 Van Helsing movie when it came on, but I got all excited about the black and white close up of a Frankenstein's monster in thick boots with gears and hard wear on them.  It hit me, STEAM PUNK MONSTERS! 

The Bride of Frankenstein was my obvious choice for a number of reasons.   First off, she is pretty much the only iconic female monster.  After a bad car wreck when I was 16 years old, I went through my Senior year of high school with so many scars on my face and neck that I was frequently compared to the Bride.  Also, now that I'm getting older, I suffer from joint issues in my lower body which causes stiffness and limping.... PERFECT!  Finally, this was a costume that would allow most of my physical issues to enhance the characterization, instead of being a hindrance.

Since Dr. Frankenstein captured electricity from lightning to reanimate corpses, the Electrified Bride is 'powered' by her Tony Stark knock off chest implant.  Leg and arm braces help her move.  Electrodes moved to the temples store up power in the high hair, helping to circulate blood flow through implants in the forehead. 

Jeff Stringer jumped on the idea saying that he would love to do a Steam Punk Leatherface.  The chainsaw would be a perfect prop.  He chose a more classic, Victorian Adventurer steam punk look.

Steam Powered Sawyer, (Leather Face's sir name) sports his iconic mask made of patchwork human faces with enhancement monocle.  His chainsaw is powered by a small boiler on his back pack.  Leatherface protects his dapper clothing with a human skin apron and face knee pads.  Several trophies, including his 'Lovie' adorn his attire.

Christopher Fugate, being a huge Freddy Kruger fan, knew instantly which part he would play.  Freddy's iconic hat and the fact that he is known to change 'costume' from time to time, but always keeps the red and green stripes somewhere on his attire, Chris decided to go with a Western flair.

Clock Work Kruger sports a wider brimmed fedora and duster styled coat over his classic colored vest suggesting his familiar sweater.  All of his buttons have been replaced with gears.  His claw hand now extends all the way up to the shoulder with wind up clockwork motion.  Just in case his prey moves out of claw range, he now has a wild west revolver as a side arm.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Denim & Diamonds Ball

The annual Denim & Diamonds Ball is this Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014!  This gala event has been growing like gang busters over the years.  Rumor has it that they are already sold out.  This year's theme is Roaring 20's and attendees are encouraged to dress the part.  A lot of amazing people have been coming to Beauty and the Beast for costumes and accessories.  If the rest of the group are half as much fun as the people we've seen, this party should be a blast! 

Mardi Gras Gala

Looking for a fun way to celebrate Mardi Gras in the Chattanooga area AND feel good about where your money is going?  Check out the Mardi Gras Gala to benefit for the Chambliss Center for Children.  It will be held on March 1st, 7 pm until 11 pm at the Loose Cannon Gallery.   Tickets are $60 - $70 which includes food, drinks and other amenities.  It will be a great night of music, beads and masks.  All proceeds go to help provide a safe, loving day care for abused children in the Chattanooga area. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ordering for Halloween

Most people think that February would be a slow time for a costume shop.... but really is not.  February is the time when Independent Costume Retailers across the country are pouring over catalogs trying to decide what to buy and stock for the full year.  As the purchasing agent, this is the most mentally taxing time of year at Beauty and the Beast Costumes.  It is my job to predict what my customers will want in the coming year and to spend my budget wisely on items customers will want, that will be priced within their budgets.  I also have to try to predict what national chain stores will carry and sell at or below my wholesale prices so that I can avoid direct competition with the buying power of Walmart.

Beauty and the Beast is the only full service, all year around shop dedicated to Costumes in a 200 mile radius of Chattanooga, TN.  We are not only a family run and oriented shop, we are also a 100% female run business.  As manager and purchasing agent, I try to insure that our inventory reflects our belief that women are always ladies, from the cradle to the grave.  Flipping through catalogs, it saddens me how many companies follow the "Mean Girls" attitude that Halloween is nothing but Dress Slutty Day. 

While I believe it is completely a young woman's choice what she wears and what makes her feel good about herself, I don't think that always means wearing animal ears with an outfit from Fredrick's.  It simply means that I think someone needs to offer women a choice to wear something else.  Not all young women feel comfortable in skimpy costumes and many more adult women are attending parties where such outfits are not appropriate.   Beauty and the Beast Costumes strives to serve the often overlooked majority of women who are desperately seeking costumes that 'cover all their assets.'

At Beauty and the Beast, we cater to women who prefer sassy, fun costumes over sexually explicit designs.  While we will never judge anyone for what they want to wear, we understand there are plenty of places where you can buy sexier costumes.  As a woman who buys costumes to sell and sews costumes to rent, I will always strive to give my customers what they really want, not what a male dominated industry wants to push on us.