William Shakespeare’s To Blame

When you think of William Shakespeare, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the fact that he was an amazing author during the Renaissance Period? Is it his prickly beard or maybe even his receding hairline? Whatever it is, everybody knows his name, and everybody knows his famous works. At some point in our lives, we’ve either had to read his novels and write about them, have a dramatic reading on some of his novel’s famous lines, or both. Some of us may even have been required to act in a “Romeo and Juliet” or “Macbeth” theatrical play. There’s no question that William Shakespeare has left his mark on history, and it is thanks to him – alongside other remarkable individuals – that we somewhat have a vivid image of what the Renaissance Period was like.


Apart from the lyrical and artistic masterpieces produced during their time, another thing that stands out to me from their period was their sense of fashion. Every single time I had to act in a Macbeth or Hamlet school play as an extra, it always was always a subject of laughter when it was time for dress rehearsals, especially when it was time for the men to wear those thigh-hugging tights. Although, oddly enough, amidst all the laughs and name-calling being tossed around, there was still something about those outfits that I couldn’t wrap my finger around that screamed, “Hey, look at me, I’m a handsome fellow.” I guess they saw something in these designs that people of today normally couldn’t appreciate.


Now, the Renaissance Period continues to influence the younger minds (I’m looking at you Mr. William Shakespeare) and continues to produce some of the most unique costumes out there.

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Dancing and Costumes: Why They Go Hand in Hand

It is almost unimaginable for dancers to perform without a specific kind of costume in mind during their performances. No matter what kind of genre, costumes help define and solidify the meaning behind each performance. Let’s take the hip-hop dance group Jabbawockeez for example.


The Jabbawockeez redefined the hip-hop dance community, as they became the Season 1 Champions of the popular TV series, “America’s Best Dance Crew”. With the help of their signature white masks, the Jabbawockeez are always able perform in unison and grace like no other. With everyone in the group looking the same, preconceived opinions on appearance are immediately removed off the table and the focus of the audience shifts to one thing and one thing only: their dance skills.


Now, let’s try imagining the Jabbawockeez during a live performance without their masks on and with ordinary day-to-day clothes worn. Would the impact on the audience still be the same? Will they still be as original and as unique compared to when they had their masks and outfits on? It seems difficult to comprehend. Their identical costumes have become a part of them; you can even say that it is their identity.


As arguably one of the best hip-hop dance groups to exist, these masked men continue to inspire aspiring dance groups around the globe to pursue and chase their dreams. They have officially made their mark on the dance community when they became champions; they have become legends.

America's Best Dance Crew Season 1 champions JabbaWockeeZ present DoSomething.org youth activist Josh Sundquist with a check for $10,000 to further his cause Less Than Four, a social networking site created to give voice to and empower amputees, during the live taping of the show's "Champions for Charity" episode at Warner Bros. Studios on Thursday, April 15, 2010. (Copyright Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. / Mark Davis)

America's Best Dance Crew Live
Photo by Polk Imaging/WireImage.com


Costumes and Fashion: Is There a Difference?

Fashion, amongst other things, is a form of self-expression through the different clothes you wear partnered with a variety of accessories and footwear to choose from to help accomplish the look you are trying to achieve. Although outer appearance isn’t the end-all-be-all of how you are defined as an individual, it does certainly have a certain level of impact on others. Unfortunately, it has become part of human nature to immediately judge someone based on what we see.


How is this any different from wearing a costume? What are the reasons why people put on costumes? Is it because they were paid to do so? Is it because they just wanted to for the heck of it?


Typically, costumes are worn during special occasions like Halloween, Christmas (Santa Clause), and themed gatherings. Yes, people do wear costumes during these times to follow suit and have certain guidelines to follow, but were they instructed to wear specific pieces of clothing from head to foot? More often than not, it is still their decision as to how to go about fulfilling the theme of the occasion. It is still an avenue for them to express themselves in a way they know how.


During a Great Gatsby-themed party for example, what should a man wear? For as long as he’s formally dressed and looking dapper, he can essentially wear anything he wants. Personally, I would go for a navy 3-piece suit with a crisp, plain white button-up shirt, a blood red knit tie and pocket square (in different patterns, of course), and mahogany wing tips as a final touch.


Don’t let today’s society dictate how you should and shouldn’t dress. Let your fashion sense and costume ideas express, not oppress.

Costumes and Fashion


Adult Women’s School Costumes: Why Is It Always Depicted as Sexy?

Normally, when we imagine female elementary school students in their uniforms, we imagine cute little kids running around in the playground with their classmates playing a game of tag or hide and seek. These are kids smiling and laughing with one another, enjoying the prime of their youth. There’s nothing wrong with that image, right? When did it become so vulgar? This article may come off as odd, but I wanted to find out why school costumes worn by adult women are always sexy in form, and if such practices should continue on.


Strangely enough, I feel that the root cause for such a depiction of schoolgirl costumes stems from one mental concept: innocence. As pure as this concept is, men have given innocence a meaning so ironic that its very essence has changed when applied to women of age. Depending on the circumstance, men think that innocent-looking women are very seductive and sexually desirable. Why is that so? Since when has innocence become so risqué?


Sadly, there are women who do like the attention received when wearing sexy schoolgirl uniforms. That’s not to say that these women aren’t respectable, but it just doesn’t aid in keeping the integrity of innocence. Hopefully one day this will change for women’s sake.


Alicja Pietrucha (R) and her mother Ilona are seen on their way to primary school on June 14, 2013 Kuligow, Poland. AFP PHOTO/JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)


Japan, What Have You Done?

Japan has, indeed, come up with some of the most innovative inventions that forever changed the course of history. They invented the first bullet train in 1964, the first portable calculator in 1970, and the realization of something so fictional – the android robots back in 2003. However, Japan has also come up with some of the strangest products, services, and concepts known today, with one of which actually becoming a worldwide phenomenon.


Cosplay (short for costume play) is a hobby in which participants (called cosplayers) wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Wait, before moving any further, you might be wondering: how is it any different from wearing a costume during Halloween?


The aim of cosplay is to replicate everything about a specific character, as opposed to simply celebrating and demonstrating the culture behind an annual holiday. As such, when in costume, cosplayers normally adopt the body language, speech, and mannerisms of the character they are portraying. The characters chosen to be portrayed are oftentimes fictional, typically from a video game, comic book, movie, an anime character, and so on.


Not only is cosplay unorthodox, it is also expensive. Depending on the intricacy of the costume of their preferred character, cosplayers could easily spend thousands of dollars on trying to perfect their costume just so they could replicate everything down to the smallest detail.


All these are reasons why cosplaying isn’t for everybody. Yes, it can be very cool when you see a cosplayer in full battle gear, but unless you are passionate about cosplaying and have the money to afford it, you’d best stick to the Spongebob Squarepants costume you saw in your local toy store.

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 25: Cosplayers attend Comic-Con International 2014 on July 25, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)


Christian Dior’s “The New Look”

Christian Dior, one of today’s fashion icons, shook the industry of fashion and made a name for himself when he launched his “New Look” Collection way back in 1947.


Back in the 50’s, while their husbands were on the battlefields of World War II, women were finally able to have a taste of independence, something which they never normally had pre-war. Everything – from the clothes they wear to the chores they do – were heavily restricted throughout and just after the war. It was only when the men were away that they began working at jobs they could never normally work in, or wear clothes they could never normally wear when their husbands were home.


In 1947, Christian Dior’s first fashion show in Paris permanently changed the fashion industry and, for the time being, angered a lot of women worldwide. Skirts that were once short and straight in style were now large and puffy that was mid-calf in length. Shoulder portions were softened instead of squared, and hourglass-figured designs instead of the boxy types. There were also skirts that were so fitted that women found it very difficult to walk in.


Because of the quality of the clothes from Christian Dior’s line, it took a lot of effort for women to maintain and required key accessories to achieve a perfect look. However, shortly after World War II ended, when everyone was slowly coming to terms with everything that had happened, people were ready to accept change, and the “New Look” was finally accepted entering into the 50’s period.


The “New Look” was revolutionary and has set in history the kind of fashion the 1950’s had. To this date, the 50’s generation is still highly looked into when coming up with costume ideas for men and women alike.


Oh, and did I mention that it was during the 50’s that Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley became famous?


25th April 1950: Fashion couturier Christian Dior (1905 - 1957), designer of the 'New Look' and the 'A-line', with six of his models after a fashion parade at the Savoy Hotel, London. (Photo by Fred Ramage/Keystone/Getty Images)


Cheerleaders: Eye Candies or Inspirations?

Yes, it’s true that cheerleaders are some of the most beautiful women we get to lay our eyes on. It’s a part of their job to grab the attention of men and women alike, may it be through their beauty, their outfit, their cheers, or their death-defying stunts. It’s unfortunate that society has somewhat degraded the image and value of cheerleaders through the years. I think we have Hollywood to thank for that. Let’s take the movie, “Bring It On” for example.

Like in most movies that have cheerleader characters in them, the actresses in this movie depicted cheerleaders as mean, dumb, bratty individuals that always make others feel that everyone who isn’t a cheerleader is beneath them. Although there may be some cheerleaders who really do act in such a manner, it shouldn’t be generalized that all cheerleaders are like this.

More importantly, men also shouldn’t objectify cheerleaders just because of the outfits that they wear or the demeanor that they portray. Yes, cheerleaders are beautiful, and, dare I say it, sexy, but there’s definitely more to them than just their good looks. They are athletes that put their bodies and lives on the line during their performances just so they may entertain the audience and viewers. We may also never know that some might actually be Einstein-level of genius, or amazing painters, or wonderful daughters to their parents. Unless we get to know who they truly are as people, we shouldn’t immediately judge them just because they’re a cheerleader. Bottom line, we should treat them like we would any other person.

So guys, Halloween’s just a few days away. How will you react the next time you see a beautiful lady wearing a cheerleader costume?



1980’s Costumes: Why It Is What It Is Today

The 1980’s was a period of diversity when it came to fashion. Trends like exercise clothing, bright neon-colored clothing, punk rock outfits, and power suits were popularized during this era. The general public had icons like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, and Jane Fonda to look up to and steal style ideas from. However, where did all these vogues come from?

Although its roots originated from the 1960’s, it was only during the 70’s, and even more so the 80’s, that the exercise clothing trend became popular. The fitness craze played an important role in this. At that time, men and women alike were following fitness exercises in studious and televisions to improve their physical appearance and style of living. To let others know that they were into such a lifestyle, people began wearing their exercise clothes out even if they weren’t about to exercise, and the trend eventually caught on.

If those leg warmers and tracksuits weren’t enough catch someone’s attention, neon-colored clothes also became a thing back in the 80’s. Whose head wouldn’t turn if somebody saw a woman walking down the street wearing an oversized lime green and orange sweatshirt with yellow leggings and candy red shoes?

However, not everyone wanted to follow and conform to such a trend during those times. Punk rock became popular in the late 70’s and was further hyped during the 80’s. It was a form of rebellion and self-expression for those who didn’t want to conform.

With all these styles prevalent during this era, it’s no wonder that people sometimes look to the 80’s when coming up with costume ideas. The possible color and style combinations are endless.


It’s Almost That Ti… Boo!

It’s almost that time of the year again where people decorate their houses with screeching witches and life-sized beheaded scarecrows. It’s almost that time of the year again where faces are carved on perfectly edible pumpkins. That’s right folks, it’s almost time for Halloween, where everyone is in the spirit of giving… giving tooth decays to little children and heart attacks to the unsuspecting.

A lot of people celebrate Halloween for different reasons. It’s a chance for parents to bond with their children, moving from house to house asking for candy from random strangers. It’s a chance for men to catch beautiful women into their arms as these women scream their lungs out (unless the exact opposite happens that is – that would be embarrassing).

However, the biggest reason why people enjoy Halloween isn’t because of the free treats or the beautiful women (okay, maybe the women if you were a guy); people enjoy Halloween because it’s the only day of the year wherein they’re allowed to wear the craziest costume imaginable without being judged or heckled for it. It’s a chance for an average joe to look like Edward Scissorhands and suddenly become the center of attention.

Although peculiar to some, families and friends do enjoy tossing around costume ideas amongst one another and enjoy thinking up of ways to actually materialize these ideas. Their smiles and laughter don’t just happen during trick or treat and parties; it all begins behind closed doors with everyone gathered around ready to switch on each other’s light bulbs.



Six children in costumes trick or treating at woman's house


The 1920’s: A Revolutionary Change in Women’s Fashion

The 1920’s: A Revolutionary Change in Women’s Fashion

During the 1900’s and 1910’s, women were required to conform to society’s depiction of what an ideal woman should look like and how an ideal woman should behave. No matter how uncomfortable or painful it became, they always had to wear torture devices like corsets and crinolines just so they could capture society’s definition of true femininity. All these, however, came to an end shortly after World War I. Society drastically began to change in so many different ways, and it was the people’s sense of fashion – especially women’s fashion – that reflected how rapid these change were.

It was during the 1920’s – also known as the “Roaring Twenties” and the “Jazz Age” – that certain fashion styles and trends came to be and continue to stay relevant even today. For example, it was during this time that flapper fashion emerged. Coming from a very suppressive Victorian era, it was a fantastic change of pace for women to be able to wear clothing that allowed them to freely move around and express themselves as they please.

It was also during this age that the famous Gabrelle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel changed the world of women’s fashion. She refused to follow the norm and redefined how she thought women should dress. It was through her constant innovations that the little black dress eventually came to be.

Today, the 1920’s fashion is often times used as a theme during events and formal gatherings because of the charm it exudes. It also seems to be a commandment that every woman should at least have one little black dress in her wardrobe. This era can definitely be considered as a cornerstone for today’s fashion industry.


La mode à Ascot (Grande-Bretagne), en 1925. RV-67520

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