Local cosplayers take high fashion to nerdy new levels 

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Sean Cayton
Blue and gold dress; modeled by Erin Card. Card's outfit started with gold-leaf trim from a thrift store and deep-red gravity heels from eBay. The dress is made from stretch gabardine, and the outer layer is mystery fabric from Card's stash. Her fascinator uses the same blue fabric, gold ribbon and a pair of chopsticks.
Sean Cayton
Blue and gold dress; modeled by Erin Card.
Sean Cayton
Harley Quinn ball gown, modeled by Paola Dwelle. Dwelle brings out the more refined side of the character — after all, Harley Quinn earned her M.D. before starting her career as a supervillain. Her corset is from Corset Story; she built it out with red and black organza and lace recycled from other projects, before finishing it with fake jewels. Oversized mallet not included.
Sean Cayton
Harley Quinn ball gown, modeled by Paola Dwelle.
Sean Cayton
Blue dress, modeled by Zeta Arce. Arce resized and reshaped a sparkly blue dress to fit before adding straps made from a different blue dress. White crystals, pearl earrings and a white feather fascinator finish this flapper-inspired look that Arce says represents her style.
Sean Cayton
Blue dress, modeled by Zeta Arce.
Sean Cayton
Red dress, modeled by Debbie Benavidez. Inspired by fashions from the first half of the 20th century, this red dress is built from true period dresses. Arce says there's no replacement for vintage dress material. The boots have been outfitted with costume jewelry. Overall, the design has a unique western twist that gives Benavidez the air of a rodeo queen.
Sean Cayton
Red dress, modeled by Debbie Benavidez.
Sean Cayton
Androgynous outfit, modeled by Philip Krogmeier. Krogmeier's Goodwill-sourced women's jacket is water-resistant polyurethane with nylon lining, with new buttons added. His intense eye makeup, also self-designed, is Ben Nye. Borrowed from a friend's collection, the earrings continue the angular lines of the lapels, as well as sharp angles in the rest of the outfit.
Sean Cayton
Androgynous outfit, modeled by Philip Krogmeier.
Sean Cayton
Blue dress, modeled by Elizabeth Adams. Hertel's outfit is inspired in part from the Eye of Horus makeup design she wears. Hertel made the fascinator from turkey feathers and attached it to a headband concealed under her hair. She added the shading on the feathers with spray paint and eyeliner. The gold on the fascinator ties to gold trim on the dress. Like all of Hertel's designs, it's based on a species from a fantasy novel she is writing.
Sean Cayton
Blue dress, modeled by Elizabeth Adams.
Sean Cayton
Shadow angel dress, modeled by Stephanie Hertel. Hertel's outfit is inspired in part from the Eye of Horus makeup design she wears. Hertel made the fascinator from turkey feathers and attached it to a headband concealed under her hair. She added the shading on the feathers with spray paint and eyeliner. The gold on the fascinator ties to gold trim on the dress. Like all of Hertel's designs, it's based on a species from a fantasy novel she is writing.
Sean Cayton
Shadow angel dress, modeled by Stephanie Hertel.
Sean Cayton
Forest elf dress, modeled by Bonnie Noufer. Shadow angel dress, modeled by Stephanie Hertel. Galactic butterfly dress, modeled by Heather Braun. Water fairy dress, modeled by Amanda Craven.
Sean Cayton
Forest elf dress, modeled by Bonnie Noufer. Noufer assembled this dress from scratch, using cotton, satin and nylon from Mill Outlet. The design enhances Noufer's naturally elfin features to transform her into a supernatural steward of the forest. Noufer says hand-stitching the faux-leaf trim took more than three hours.
Sean Cayton
Galactic butterfly dress, modeled by Heather Braun. Made from new butterfly-print fabric, with a black Lycra wrap-sash, this dress puts a Greek-inspired neckline on a Chinese-inspired bodice. The skirt's slit allows the model to move more freely, helping her reflect Hertel's water-element concept.
Sean Cayton
Galactic butterfly dress, modeled by Heather Braun.
Sean Cayton
Water fairy dress, modeled by Amanda Craven. This dress uses a wide range of blue hues and textures — all new fabric from Mill Outlet — to evoke a waterfall. Craven's wings are made from nylon stockings stretched over a wire frame. It's Hertel's concept, but 15-year-old Craven assembled it herself with Hertel's mentorship.
Sean Cayton
Water fairy dress, modeled by Amanda Craven.
Sean Cayton
Pirate/gypsy dress, modeled by Tishanna Hill. Foul Owl Temptress of Pertheon, modeled by Azalea Hill-Lomasilo. Feminine warrior dress, modeled by Elizabeth Juvera.
Sean Cayton
Pirate/gypsy dress, modeled by Tishanna Hill. Hill's imposing look was built from upcycled fabrics. The skirt is a former tablecloth layered over a thrifted shirt and underskirt. Her face paint was co-designed and applied by Elizabeth Juvera. Her pendant is by local artist Lady Aladrah, and her horns are by elope. Her rings and pearls are from local Etsy sellers Infernal Contraptions.
Sean Cayton
Pirate/gypsy dress, modeled by Tishanna Hill. Foul Owl Temptress of Pertheon, modeled by Azalea Hill-Lomasilo. Feminine warrior dress, modeled by Elizabeth Juvera.
Sean Cayton
Foul Owl Temptress of Pertheon, modeled by Azalea Hill-Lomasilo. The base of this outfit, worn by Hill's daughter, is one of three made from an XXXL muumuu dress. The look is accented with thrifted black lace and belt. Horns and jewelry were purchased from local producers elope and Infernal Contraptions, respectively. The body paint was designed by Hill and Elizabeth Juvera.
Sean Cayton
Foul Owl Temptress of Pertheon, modeled by Azalea Hill-Lomasilo.
Sean Cayton
Feminine warrior dress, modeled by Elizabeth Juvera. The night before the shoot, Juvera and Hill pulled together a curtain, scrap fabric from Hill's stash, Infernal Contraptions beads and a smattering of body paint to come up with this wild, barbaric getup. Her brightly colored, teased hair, plus asymmetrical earlobes and facial piercings, add to the striking tribal impression she makes.
Sean Cayton
Feminine warrior dress, modeled by Elizabeth Juvera.
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Sean Cayton
Harley Quinn ball gown, modeled by Paola Dwelle. Dwelle brings out the more refined side of the character — after all, Harley Quinn earned her M.D. before starting her career as a supervillain. Her corset is from Corset Story; she built it out with red and black organza and lace recycled from other projects, before finishing it with fake jewels. Oversized mallet not included.

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