Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Student explores costume convention with family

Halloween happens 365 days a year for my family.
My parents own a year-round costume store called All About Fun Costumes. I usually miss out on the fun of finding and purchasing the newest costumes and accessories because of work and school.

However, this year the International Costume Convention, where retailers purchase their inventory, was held during spring break. Without hesitation, I joined my parents for a free three-night stay in Las Vegas, where the convention was being held.

Once we arrived at the hotel, we were transported to a Halloween haven.

Every morning, hundreds of retail store associates came down for a free breakfast and at 9 a.m. we all set out to roam the aisles of costumes.

The convention was packed into three ballrooms with just about every costume imaginable. Each booth contained a different vendor filled with their original costumes and accessories; from colored hairspray to a full metal royal knight.

As we walked around, my parents talked with wholesale managers and designers, while I tried on costumes, jewelry, makeup and more.

I stumbled upon a booth full of eyelashes. Eyelashes that glow in the dark, ones with feathers, rainbow colored eyelashes and a pair with spiders dangling from the ends.

One vendor was showcasing their masquerade masks. They had masks with glitter, sequins and spikes. They also had a thin metal mask that was laser-cut into the shape of a skull. It was something I had never seen before.

Another vendor designed full-face masks. The masks he displayed included a horse, unicorn, fox, camel, rhinoceros, goat and rabbit. One horse mask changed color under a blacklight.

Another booth I walked into had a person in a huge pink gorilla suit. There was a line around the corner of the booth to take to a picture with him. My parents did not waste any time with ordering a few of those gorilla suits.

The first night of the convention was also a fashion show. The hour-long show allowed each designer to showcase their most popular costume for the 2014 Halloween season. One model was showing an Indian costume complete with a feather headdress, fringe dress and feather and fringe boots.

A male model showed off a deluxe Captain America costume. He had a skin-tight suit with all the embellishments in leather, and he carried a huge replica shield that was from the movie.

Another model had a mermaid costume. She wore a long red wig, top made with shells and a long green skirt that looked like scales.

I took notes of my favorite costumes and vendors, so I could make sure to stop by their booth the next day.

One vendor was selling latex. They were demonstrating how to apply the latex to your body. Once they were done, the model had a full Superwoman costume made out of latex.

However, no costume is complete without the perfect shoes. Vendors had glittery go-go boots, gladiator sandals and green pumps with faux leaves for Poison Ivy.

Over the next two days, my bag got heavier by the minute as I piled an enormous amount of catalogs into it. Every night after the convention, my parents and I decorated each page with post-it notes and scribbles indicating which costumes were going to make their way onto our order forms.

By the third day, my parents and I were exhausted from all the walking we did and fun we had. We managed to walk through each and every booth, and my parents placed orders for over three hundred costumes.

Needless to say, I am ready for Halloween. The only problem is, I have no idea which costume to choose.

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