I was cleaning out my computer today and I found a bunch of images from early 2005, including progress pictures of my Tenten costume, which is one of my very early costumes. Judging by the dates on the files, I would have been 14 while I was making the costume, and turned 15 before the photos at Anime North 2005. (Girl, what is that FIT on that shirt!! Thank god you learned!!)
I included some shots of the Anime North crowd to show what costumes/dress kind of looked like then; wigs were very much an anomaly and most people used their real hair. The average technical quality of costumes was much, much lower, and props were pretty sub-par by today’s standards, but I kind of dig the DIY simplicity of those days sometimes :) (I certainly prefer the unprecedented access we have to materials, supplies and techniques we have today, though.)
The last picture of the Shiva and Chocobo cosplays is an idea of what super impressive costumes looked like back then. That Shiva was UNREAL at the time; custom-painted bodysuit, “ice” prosthetics, that WIG! The Chocobo is a great example of high-level costuming at the time, too. I’m not sure that they would quite meet “big leagues” muster today, but for their time they were (and are) incredible.