I spent the weekend at the 43rd annual San Diego Comic-Con International, a 4-day convention aimed at fans of comic books, pop culture, art, sci-fi/monster movies and supernatural televison shows.
Comic-Con is pretty intense if you've never been. Imagine 130,000 sweaty mouth breathers all pressed right up against your body the entire time, constantly poking you in the head with their omnipresent poster tubes and fake lightsabers.
I am a member of the Costume Designers Guild, which hosts a panel at Comic-Con every year. Costumes are obviously a huge part of comic book culture. The Costume Designers Guild's panel this year was called "Designing for the Undead," and featured some of our talented Costume Designers and Costume Illustrators from shows like True Blood, American Horror Story, and Fringe.
While preparing for the panel, I watched a ton of old zombie movies in my hotel room and scared myself silly. I was mildly convinced everyone I knew was secretly a zombie, and I barely slept at night. I was so tired on the train back to Los Angeles that I fell asleep and missed my stop, winding up in Santa Barbara. Amtrak didn't think it was all that funny.
Anyone who has been to Comic-Con knows that the booths, vendors and panels are only half the fun -- because it's really all about the people watching. Everywhere you look, there are people in crazy outfits.
When I went for a swim at my hotel one morning, a man in a pair of Speedos wearing a Boba Fett helmet walked out to the pool like it was the most casual thing in the world. Those fashion mag IN/OUT lists I dislike so much might actually be palpable if they were to do a Comic-Con edition. I saw a few Klingon generals whom I may have feared were it not for their sensible New Balance walking shoes. The wrong shoes always spoil the illusion for me.
I attended a bunch of great parties and met all sorts of cool weirdos. I also wandered the convention halls endlessly in search of some cool girly geek fashion stuff to share with you guys. Manufacturers are slowy realizing how many self proclaimed "geek girls" there are who are eager to show allegiance to their favorite shows and movies, but it's still a pretty guy-centric world.
Her Universe is a stellar line of T-shirts and accessories aimed specifically at fangirls. It was designed by the clever Ashley Eckstein, who provides the voice of Ahsoka Tano on the animated TV show "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Ashley is a big sci-fi fan and a total babe who smartly realized that there were many other girls just like her who wanted to show off their inner geek, but could only find T-shirts designed for men.
I love that Ashley got sick of making do with frumpy, oversized men's T-shirts to show her love of all things "Star Wars" and "Star Trek," so she did something about it. A lot of her tees also come in plus sizes.
I am a huge Princess Leia fan. My brother and I watched the original Star Wars 128 times one summer (on VHS, of course) and kept a log in an unused datebook of my mother's detailing each time we watched it. I have no idea why we felt the need to keep this log, it just seemed like an important thing to do at the time. I will most certainly be buying this Princess Leia hoodie from Her Universe:
Her Universe also has Battlestar Galactica fans covered.
Comic-Con was founded in 1970, and as the name implies, was originally focused exclusively on comic books. Over the past 43 years it has grown to include a huge range of pop culture touchstones: horror, anime, manga and toys.
I love the idea of re-purposing toys into fashion accessories. I saw lots of girls with toy Hot Wheels cars glued onto platic headbands and SpongeBob dolls sewn onto totebags. It is totally possible to work a toy-themed accessory into your look without coming off as completely childish! This ingenious Lego clutch is totally on-trend in bright orange:
There were also tons of cute dresses made from vintage/retro print fabrics for sale at Comic-Con:
I wish I had been wearing this Batman dress when I walked by the original Batmobile, from the Batman television show starring Adam West, which was a ridiculously campy parody of the comic that ran from 1966-1968. It was conveniently on display right outside the convention center.
There are groovy fashion accessories aimed at tech-loving girls too:
Who wouldn't want password underwear?
This iPad bag is actually a useful idea, keeping your iPad protected yet instantly accessible. I am saying it's "useful" but what I really mean is that I can lazily play "Bejeweled" without even having to take my iPad out of my bag.
This August, Geek Girl Con will hold its 2nd annual convention aimed specifically at recognizing and celebrating the contribution of women in all aspects of geek culture. I love the ethos behind celebrating geek girls and all things geek-girly, but I don't really understand why they should have to be relegated to their own separate event. Geeks are geeks! Can't we all just get along?