When starting out in cosplay, it can be hard to justify the expense for an outfit you’ll only wear to possibly one convention ever! With design’s such as Catherine Elhoffer’s you can Geekbound (her term!) and wear outfits inspired by your favorite fandom every day!
Before The Force Awakens was released, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across something marvelous. A friend of mine had shared a picture from Elhoffer Design of a dress inspired by the character Captain Phasma.
I had a mighty need and quickly contacted the designer, Catherine Elhoffer. (See more of her amazing designs on her Facebook page along with the photos posted here!)
The Ordering Process
Catherine and I started chatting, and it turns out that I was actually unknowingly wearing one of her designs in my profile picture! I was blown away, and a little star struck!
My current profile pic is one of Catherine’s Spider-Gwen designs!
As I explained that I was hoping to wear the Captain Phasma dress to conventions, she suggested altering the cape so that it was full-length. Obviously, I was totally on board with the prospect of owning a custom full-length cape and thought it was an amazing idea.
The only snag in the ordering process was my own fault because I had no idea what my own dress size was! I held up the process while I had someone take my measurements, but Catherine was super friendly the entire way.
Once the dress came I fell even more in love, if that was at all possible. It fit me perfectly and the cape even has hidden snaps so that it stays in place.
The Dress In Action
I’ve seen The Force Awakens twice, and for the second viewing, I decided I was going to wear the dress to the theater. I went with my cape folded in my bag (turns out full-length capes draw some attention on the subway) and was wearing a sweater over my dress. At the theater, I didn’t really see anyone else in costume, so I got a little self-conscious and wasn’t sure if the cape would make an appearance.
Two dresses inspired by Poe. One inspired by his flight suit, the other by his jacket!
Then, a little girl dressed as Rey sat next to me along with her parents, and her two older sisters who were dressed as Kylo Ren and Finn. I got so excited. These girls were so pumped to see Star Wars, and little Rey’s enthusiasm just about made my heart explode. Needless to say, I whipped out the cape. (I was going to ask the family for a picture after the showing, but the girls seemed very shy so I decided not to be creepy.)
One of the Rey Dresses by Elhoffer Design
I’m planning on wearing my Captain Phasma dress to SDCC this summer, and hopefully other conventions before then. I’ve already got some killer new boots to wear with it, and am playing around with makeup ideas featuring silver glitter and bright red lipstick!
As we all know, I hate shopping and if I could just order the rest of my wardrobe from Catherine, I totally would. It is clear that she LOVES what she does and her enthusiasm is contagious! She made the whole experience so amazing and I’ve been stalking her social media, ogling her other creations, and excitedly deciding what I’ll get next! (Hint: probs this.)
The BB8 dress by Elhoffer Design
After my amazing experience, I was beyond stoked to have her on the podcast. Hadas and I had a blast talking to her about her sources of inspiration. We covered Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, as well as the idea of a modern fairy tale, which we will are discussing during our All The Tales event.
We spoke to Catherine for 3 hours, half of which was recorded. So we decided to break down the podcast into two episodes. Part 1 is on the feed and up top where you can simply press play. Part 2 is out now!
Some of Catherine’s sketches of her amazing designs! (Kylo Ren, C-3PO, Lightsaber, and BB8)
Besides her recent Star Wars inspired custom designs, she has designed a lot of other amazing costumes and geek-inspired clothing, all of which you can see on her site. The clothing she designs is the perfect mix of unique, geeky, and classy. Not only is my dress perfect for conventions, I could easily wear it out sans-cape to a club and boogie down.
Editor’s Note: Debbie, I request a demonstration of said boogying down in a future post, please. Perhaps a fitness challenge?
One thing I do know is that if I get struck by inspiration for a costume, or hear of anyone needing a designer’s opinion/expertise, she will be the first person I’ll contact or recommend.
Which Elhoffer Design Piece is Your Favorite?