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26 Fantastic Examples of Star Wars Cosplay

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Flickr: Courtarro

When it comes to cosplay, one of the most common inspirations is Star Wars. And with good reason—it's one of the most iconic, best loved, and immediately recognizable franchises in the world. In preparation for Star Wars Day (May 4th, as in "May the Fourth be with you"), here are some of the greatest, and weirdest, Star Wars costumes ever created.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by me at the San Diego Comic Con or the Wonder Con. You can find more of my convention images at my blog, Rue the Day.

Traditional Costumes

These days, Star Wars costumes are so common at conventions that more and more fans have taken to modifying their cosplay into new and interesting creations. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with a clean, classic Star Wars costume, and here are a few particularly great ones.

1. Leia and Han

You get a lot of Han and Leia couple’s costumes, but these two were really able to sell the passion between the pair. If you want to cosplay as Han, make sure you have his sidekick Wookiee in tow by picking up this talking Chewbacca plush toy from the mental_floss store.

2. Slave Leia

Any convention is bound to have a few Slave Leias. In fact, you’ll sometimes see a large group in one place, like in this delightful picture by Flickr user Courtarro; there's even a PSA about the dangers of Slave Leia fatigue.

3. Classic Leia

There are so many Slave Leias around, that it’s sometimes just refreshing to see a lovely Princess Leia in all of her clothes, like DeviantArt user Ivy95 here.

4. The Early Episodes

While the new Star Wars movies aren’t as popular as the three classics, there are still occasionally cosplayers who find inspiration from episodes one through three. Queen Amidala is a popular choice with the hardcore costume makers because her beautiful dresses are so elaborate.

5. From the TV Show

The Clone Wars have also been building a bit of a following and it’s becoming increasingly common to see characters from the animated show like this Ahsoka Tano.

Kid Costumes

While they tend to not be as accurate as the adult costumes, it’s hard to beat children’s cosplay when it comes to cuteness, and these Padawans are simply precious. (Here's hoping these kids have fun Star Wars-related books like Darth Vader and Son and Darth Vader's Little Princess on their bookshelves at home!)

6. Inside R2

It’s debatable if putting a baby into what is essentially a fashionable stroller really counts as cosplay, but there’s no way I could leave this precious little bundle out of this article.

7. Straight from Hoth

While this AT-ST looks great, the best part of this costume couldn’t actually be captured on film. That’s because his suit actually played the noise the walkers made in the films as this little guy walked the convention floor.

8. Little Leia

As if this dedicated little Leia’s yarn braids and collapsible light saber weren’t cute enough, she even had a plush R2D2 backpack with her.

9. Pet R2-D2

What happens when you make Princess Leia look particularly princess-y and give her an inflatable R2D2 friend? You end up with this adorable angel spotted by Jen at Epbot at Star Wars Celebration VI.

10. Twice as Nice

If you want your prodigies to be as intelligent and fun as C-3PO and R2D2 are, respectively, then it’s never too early to start encouraging such behavior. Makezine’s tutorial on how to make toddler droid dresses can get you started on the path of great parenting.

11. Sand Kid

While most children’s cosplay tends to be pretty adorably inaccurate, Flickr user wardomatic’s son Erza looks pretty darn authentic in this amazing Tusken Raider costume.

Mashups

Because Star Wars costumes are so common and so easily identifiable, mashups have become increasingly common amongst cosplayers. Here are some particularly great examples.

12. Pimp my costume

This Pimp Vader and Fett are an annual fixture at the San Diego Comic Con as well as a few other conventions. And why not? When you make costumes this fun, you might as well get some use out of them.

13. Hunka Burning Trooper

Similarly, the Elvis Trooper on the left here has been attending plenty of conventions in his outfit for years now. In fact, he even has his own website. Like the real King though, Elvis Trooper doesn’t mind impersonators. In fact, when I caught him with a copycat at the SDCC, the two even sang a duet together.

14. Sun Trooper

With its wonderful weather and plenty of tourist-friendly activities, San Diego is a great vacation destination…and even Stormtroopers know it.

15. Hello Leia

Think Slave Leia is sexy? What about Hello Kitty? What if the two were combined, like they were in this costume spotted at Star Wars Celebration VI by Jen of Epbot?

16. Lego Leia

Speaking of unsexy versions of Slave Leia, this Minifig version, photographed by Flickr user insidethemagic, is a bit creepy to all but the most dedicated LEGO fans. Of course, it’s still an amazing and fun costume.

17. Pulp Wars

When I see this Pulp Fiction/Star Wars mashup picture by Tom Pigott, I can’t help but think, “And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my Emperor. And you will know my name is Darth when I lay the Darkside upon thee.”

18. Zombie Stormtrooper

These days, there are zombie versions of every costume imaginable, so it was inevitable that there would be zombie Star Wars characters as well. Then again, given how many Stormtroopers die during the franchise, The Empire would be ripe for a zombie apocalypse.

19. Kiss the Cook

Even the people who still enjoy episodes one through three still hate Jar Jar, so when Chef Darth serves up his head on a platter, everyone around seems thrilled with his cooking skills. You can try your own hand at making Star Wars treats with this cookbook, available in the mental_floss store.

20. Minnie-R2

While Minnie Mouse mixed with Star Wars characters seems odd, it starts to make sense when you remember that the company bought LucasArts—not only that, but this year’s Wonder Con was at the Anaheim convention center—right across the street from Disneyland. And so we have adorable R2-Minnie.

21. Minnie-Trooper

Even before the buyout was announced, the proximity of Star Wars Celebration VI to Epcot still gave this fan an excuse to be a Minnie Trooper, as photographed by Jen of Epbot.

22. At the Ballet

Similarly, ballet doesn’t really seem to fit in perfectly with the Star Wars universe, but it still makes for a fun cosplay opportunity. Here are C-3PO, Han and R2-D2 all ready to pirouette away at Wonder Con.

23. Tutus, Part Two

And Slave Leia and Darth Vader could make up Act II of this bizarre and fantastic ballet, even if they were at a totally different convention—Star Wars Celebration VI, as captured by Jen of Epbot.

24. Playing for the Dark Side

Are you ready for some football? These Miami Dolphins Dark Siders sure were, and I pity the one who tries to tackle Darth.

25. Family Wars

Family Guy created one of the most famous parodies of the franchise, so it’s not too surprising to that characters from the show popped up at Star Wars Celebration VI, and Jen of Epbot photographed the characters right in the perfect pose.

26. This is not a Joke

Because Harley and The Joker are just so crazy and silly, this seemingly odd costume mashup somehow seems right—if the characters were real, they would gladly cosplay as Jedis while trying to take over Gotham, just for fun. This particular image is my favorite of all the photos Jen from Epbot captured during the Star Wars Celebration.

As you may have guessed, this is by no means a full run-down of all the great Star Wars cosplay out there. Even a full website dedicated to the subject would have a hard time capturing all of the costumes from the franchise. Of course, if you know of any other Star Wars cosplay pictures that just can’t be missed, feel free to leave links or pictures in the comments.

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Lucy Quintanilla
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13 Stylish Facts About dELiA*s
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Lucy Quintanilla

Millennial women across the United States will remember rushing to their mailboxes after school to grab the hottest catalog of the ‘90s: dELiA*s. The groundbreaking magalog, which debuted in 1994, was, by 1998, sending out 55 million catalogs a year. REaD oN fOr A fEw fUN fACts aBoUt dELiA*s.

1. THE COMPANY WAS FOUNDED BY TWO MALE YALE GRADS.

Stephen Kahn and Christopher Edgar, former Yale roommates, were in their 20s when they started dELiA*s in New York in 1993. Kahn—who, after Yale, had studied political philosophy and Victorian history at Oxford—had taken a job at the brokerage firm PaineWebber and was studying for his MBA at night. But he was bored. He wanted to run his own company. “I was interested in being more creative,” Kahn told Crain’s New York Business in 1998. “And I wanted to make a lot of money.” He convinced Edgar to leave his comparative literature Ph.D. program at Columbia University to start the company. Kahn provided $100,000 of his own money, and his father provided another $100,000.

2. DELIA*S WAS ORIGINALLY AIMED AT COLLEGE-AGED WOMEN.

In the early ‘90s, 90 percent of catalogs were aimed at women aged 30 to 50; it was seeing fashionable undergrads at Columbia that inspired Kahn and Edgar to launch a catalog aimed at selling clothes to college-aged women. They called the catalog dELiA*s. (Where that name came from is a mystery.) Initially, they created 20,000 catalogs and, in 1994, hired students to distribute them around college campuses.

But the response from college women, Kahn told Chief Marketer in 1998, was “lukewarm.” After running ads for the catalog in a few magazines, they found a new market: the college students’ little sisters. “We got a huge response from high school kids,” Kahn said. “So basically the market found us.”

They expanded their customer base to include 10- to 24-year-olds with the goal of giving girls who might not live in areas with tons of shops for them an opportunity to buy cool clothes. (Fortune’s summation of the company’s strategy, from a 1997 article, is too amazing not to share: “Today’s average 14-year-old girl in Des Moines is just as hip to what’s hot as the 14-year-old in suburban Los Angeles … She, too, wants shiny avalanche pants and baby-T’s, but she’s stuck in the backwoods with nowhere to shop but her local Wal-Mart. Delia’s body glitter, like Dorothy’s red shoes, transports her from the farm to Melrose Avenue.”) “We felt that this group was not well served,” Edgar told The New York Times in 1997. “There wasn’t a recognition of these kids as real consumers.”

The first catalog hit campuses in the fall 1994, and quickly became a hit: Within four years, the company had annual sales of $158 million. When it went public in 1996, Kahn’s 57 percent share of the stock was worth $163 million.

3. KAHN AND EDGAR WOOED INVESTORS BY COMPARING dELiA*s TO MTV.

In the ‘90s, it was tough to get investors to put their money into catalogs. According to the Los Angeles Times, they “often doubted that teens will bother to leaf through pages and manipulate measuring tapes.” But dELiA*s was able to land financing by comparing its catalog to MTV’s programming. “We told them to think of us as a ‘channel’ through which you can program different types of apparel brands,” Evan Guillemin, the company's chief financial officer, told the Los Angeles Times in 1997. “We, like MTV, stay constant … but we’ll provide them with a constantly changing assortment of designs and brands.”

4. CREATIVE DIRECTOR CHARLENE BENSON HAD A DAY JOB AND WORKED ON DELIA*S AT NIGHT FOR THE FIRST YEAR.

The cover of the first-ever dELiA*s catalog
The cover of the first-ever dELiA*s catalog.
Courtesy of Charlene Benson

With its irregular capitalization and engaging photos, dELiA*s was a standout from the start. That strategy came from creative director Charlene Benson and her collaborators. Benson was the art director of Mademoiselle magazine when she got the dELiA*s gig—and she kept that day job for a full year while producing the catalog at night.

How Benson got the dELiA*s job is what she calls a “folksy” story: One of her friends, the writer Hilton Als, met Kahn at an art show, and they got to talking about the catalog. Benson went in for an interview. The office was casual; “It looked like they had collected all the furniture off the street,” Benson tells Mental Floss. “They didn’t really have an idea of what it should be yet. They wanted to know if I knew how to put together a photo shoot, how to do the layout, how to talk to printers. It was more of the business part of it.”

Given pretty much free rein—albeit on a shoestring budget—Benson hired some help and got to work … at night, after she finished at her day job. And though she loved working at Mademoiselle (which was, she says, “wonderful”), dELiA*s gave her a different kind of opportunity. “I did all of the things that I didn’t get to do at Mademoiselle—choose the pictures where the girls were making faces, and have kind of more chaotic layouts, and just have a certain kind of fun and a certain kind of real girl-ness that I always missed working at a Condé Nast fashion magazine,” she says.

That included randomly capitalized type. “We really liked that mixed up and down type,” Benson says. “Sassy had kind of done something like that [before dELiA*s] and we really liked it. But because I was such a bad typist a lot of times my typing would kind of look like that, so it was like, ‘This feels right.’”

Benson didn’t do any market research to create the catalog, but she did look at teen magazines that were available at the time. “When I looked at teen stuff it was a lot of ‘how to kiss a boy,’ or ‘how to know if he likes you.’” She and her team decided to do the opposite: “It was kind of like, ‘Let’s do something where that’s not in the picture yet or maybe it’s not the most important thing to her—that she’s more creative, and she’s more interesting, and she’s more about her friends still.”

The copy in the catalog (an example: “wOulD YoU rAtHeR bE iN a cAve oF sNakEs oR a bAthTub fUlL oF sluGs?”) also reflected that—something Benson says parents appreciated. “I got a lot of nice notes from moms that would be like, ‘Oh thank you for the funny copy. My daughter and I had a really beautiful moment reading it together.’”

The first catalog, which Benson says “wasn’t totally baked,” was a huge success; Edgar came back to Benson in two months and said they’d sold every piece of merchandise. “He was like, ‘So we want to do another one,’ and I was like ‘Wow, didn’t you find that first one really difficult?’,” Benson says, laughing. “And so we did another one. ... I did that for a year and was still working at Mademoiselle and I just basically had no life,” Benson says. After that year, Kahn and Edgar asked Benson to come on full-time, and she left Mademoiselle. “That’s really when we made the catalog grow.”

5. THERE WAS A “FICTIONAL DELIA.”

Though no one knows where the name Delia came from (Benson calls it "one of the great mysteries"), according to Jim Trzaska, dELiA*s' photo producer, there was a fictional Delia who “was supposed to be a girl’s girl who loved hanging out with her friends above all else, and dressed for herself rather than to attract boys. That naturally set the tone at the photo shoots as well.”

6. THE CREW HAD A STRATEGY FOR MAKING PHOTO SHOOTS FUN.

A page from the Summer '97 dELiA*s catalog.

Rarely will you find a girl in a dELiA*s catalog smiling; she’s more likely to be making a funny face or looking like she’s having the time of her life. They were looking for a particular type of girl, Benson says—someone who was expressive. "Sometimes I would ask them, 'Do you want to be an actress someday?' The actual shoots were super fun. We just had the funniest crew, and the stylist that we worked with consistently, Galadriel Masterson, was just really, really funny and she had this way of teaching the girls how to be on set and how to express themselves. She had a really good idea for how to put the stuff together because we weren’t match-y and we weren’t outfit-y. We just shot a lot of film until we got the funny pictures we wanted." Benson brought on Kevin Hatt to photograph the early catalogs, and later, Mei Tao shot them.

According to the models who participated in those shoots—who typically had already appeared in teen mags like Seventeen—they really were awesome. “Every single one was fun,” model Kim Matulova told MTV. “There was always a lot of energy and it was very natural, unforced, and spur-of-the-moment. [The photographer] would just turn on the music and let us girls do our thing, and he’d capture it.”

The photographer shot on Polaroid, and the models would get to take some photos home at the end of the shoot. “I have a huge box at my mom’s house full of old Polaroids and outtakes,” Matulova said.

A page from the Summer '97 dELiA*s catalog.

The crew also had a strategy for getting girls to let loose. “One thing that always got a big reaction from everyone on set was a fake boy named ‘Billy’ who was invented by our lead stylist, Galadriel Masterson,” Trzaska told Refinery 29. “Depending on what kind of mood we needed from the model, ‘Billy’ could be anyone from a shady ex-boyfriend to a bratty little brother or a gay best friend. He definitely helped us get the shot on more than one occasion.”

7. YOU MIGHT FIND SOME FAMOUS FACES IN YOUR OLD CATALOGS.

Miranda Kerr, Brooklyn Decker, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Cassie, and Krysten Ritter all struck a pose for dELiA*s back in the day.

8. AT ITS PEAK, THE COMPANY GOT THOUSANDS OF CATALOG REQUESTS DAILY.

Courtesy of Charlene Benson

According to Chief Marketer, by August 1998, Delia’s was receiving 3000 to 5000 catalog requests every single day. (Some outlets suggest the number was as high as 7000 requests a day.) The company had a whopping 5 million names in its database, each one accompanied by its precise order history.

According to The Cut, 4 million people—or 10 percent of the 40 million female Millennials currently living in the United States—have requested a dELiA*s catalog.

9. THERE WERE PLENTY OF COPYCATS.

Not surprisingly, dELiA*s' massive success led to a number of “magalog” competitors, including Zoe, Wet Seal, moXiegirl (or mXg), Alloy, Airshop, and Just Nikki. But Kahn was not threatened by the competition. “People will try to play catch-up,” he told Chief Marketer. “There will be a shakeout on the imitator side. Most of these guys will lose a lot of money for a long time.”

10. THERE WAS A SPIN-OFF FOR BOYS.

Droog, a.k.a. dELiA*s for boys, launched in 1998. Though it, too, aimed for a market Kahn and Co. thought was untapped, its approach was different than its big sister’s: Instead of being shot in a studio, Droog was shot in fields and parking lots. Its centerfold featured a car, shot head on, bearing a license plate which read “Droog.” The name was the result of a company contest. It was, Kahn told Catalog Age in 1999, a “natural progression from dELiA*s” that featured “streetwear, workwear, and urban and athletic lines.”

Sadly, Droog did not find the same success as dELiA*s; according to Catalog Age, it folded in 2000.

11. THERE WAS A CATALOG FOR HOME FURNISHINGS, TOO.

Contents, which featured roomwares for teens, launched in the late ‘90s. Says Benson, who collaborated with a designer named Whitney Delgado on the catalog: "I love the pictures so much, and those crazy rooms that we built."

12. THE BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORES POSED A PARTICULAR CHALLENGE FOR BENSON.

A Delia's storefront.
Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Following the launch of its website in 1998 (which, according to Chain Store Age accounted for two to three percent of the company's total sales in just two weeks online), dELiA*s began opening brick-and-mortar stores in 1999. Creating the look of the stores was, according to Benson, a tough but rewarding assignment.

To help, the company enlisted visual merchandiser Renee Viola and hired store designer John Farnum, who had worked with Nike. “The tricky part was like ‘OK, we have this thing, it looks like this and feels like this in print. How do we bring what’s happening here into the stores?’” she says. “We didn’t want to lose what we had. From a design standpoint and a building creative team standpoint, it was super fun—I haven’t been in a store development process that was so collaborative since. It was quite wonderful.”

13. THE COMPANY WAS SOLD, WENT OUT OF BUSINESS, AND CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD.

In 2003, amidst decreasing sales, dELiA*s was sold to Alloy, its former competitor, for $50 million. (Catalog Age called it “one of the hottest pairings in teendom since Britney and Justin.”) Alloy at first absorbed the company; then, two years later, spun it off again so it was a separate entity. In 2014, after it lost $57 million, dELiA*s filed for bankruptcy; all of its retail locations and its website were shuttered by March 2015.

But that wasn’t the end. In early 2015, Delia’s was purchased by Steve Russo and other investors and relaunched that August. “In speaking to women who came of age in the ‘90s, they all said they couldn’t wait to receive their dELiA*s catalog in the mail after school,” Russo told The Huffington Post. “The company in those days was visionary, with its inclusive product assortment. We saw an opportunity to revive that excitement in every girl again through print catalogs, exciting new social media campaigns, and a strong e-commerce presence.” You can shop here.

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A Hairy Situation: Meet the Winners of the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships
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Greg Anderson Photography

From long and thick to coiled or curly, every type of mustache, beard, and goatee under the Sun (and barber's pole) seemed to be present at the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championships. The biannual competition—held in Austin, Texas in early September, according to Laughing Squid—brings together hairy rivals from around the globe, who come before a panel of judges to see whose facial hair is the most coiffed and creative.

Participants compete across 17 traditional categories in three main groups: mustaches, partial beards, and full beards. Awards are granted to individuals with the best Salvador Dalí–inspired mustache; the best "goatee freestyle," or short beards styled into elaborate arrangements; and the best natural full beard, among other looks.

Held in Leogang, Austria, the 2015 World Beard and Moustache Championships had just 317 competitors, Bryan Nelson—who helped organize this year's event along with the Austin Facial Hair Clubtells Mental Floss. But the 2017 Championships attracted a staggering 738 participants from 33 countries.

Nelson believes that the Austin Facial Hair Club pulled off history's largest facial hair competition (the group is awaiting validation from Guinness World Records), and also says that the tournament was the first of its kind to include craft-based categories for women.

"We had Creative Moustache and Realistic Moustache, Creative Beard and Realistic Beard," Nelson says. For the realistic categories, female participants used either real or fake tresses to create authentic-looking facial hair (which they attached to their faces), and for the creative categories, "they were all over the place and could be made from whatever," Nelson explains. "Seashells, bacon, bones … it's such a creative event."

You can check out a handful of 2017's winners—who were captured in all their hairy glory by Las Vegas-based photographer Greg Anderson—below, or view even more hilarious looks on his Instagram.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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