Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Celebrate 90 Days of Summer with the Costumer

There are some great discounts at The Costumer.

Celebrate 90 Days of Summer Discounts! June 1st - September 1st

Choose discount program 1, 2 or 3 to meet your costuming needs (you may choose one of the following*)

Discount Program #1: Costume Rental Discounts 15% on Costume Rentals of $450.00 - $2,499.99, 20% on Costume Rentals of $2500.00 - $4,499.99, and 25% on Costume Rentals of $4500.00 and over.

Top Theater in Your Back Yard (And Guess Who Has Provided Some of the Costumes?)

Washington Park Playhouse,  (Albany,New York) kicks off its 25th Anniversary Season with Monty Python’s Spamalot. I have never seen it, some say it’s hilarious and others say they don’t know what all the noise is about. I hear the costumes are wonderful, the cast is talented, and you get to sit outside and watch theater. What could be bad about that? Having been to many shows at the park, I’ve never seen a bad one.

If you’re really brave, you can produce Spamalot in your own backyard. If you’re interested or want to hear the music, we have provided a link.

According to Wikipedia, Monty Python’s Spamalot is a musical comedy “lovingly ripped off from” the 1975 Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Like the film, it is a highly irreverent parody of the Arthurian Legend, but it differs from the film in many ways.

We have our own Cruella de Vil, the creepy antagonist from the 1961 animated film adaptation One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Disney's live-action film adaptations. I’m thinking she's a mean lady. Who would kidnap Dalmatian puppies for a fur coat?  Check out the “fake” coat that we just got in.

The Costumer has moved on to creating costumes for Shrek. Shrek is about an ogre whose solitude has been invaded by a bunch of annoying fairytale characters who were sent away from their kingdom by his evilness Lord Farquaad. Shrek tries to cut a deal and rescue Princess, who is about to marry Farquaad. The plot thickens after that.

How about a Princess Fiona wig? We've got those at The Costumer and are working on costumes for Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, what are you wearing this year? You know it’s not too early to think about it, in fact, the earlier the better. You know there’s nothing worse than wondering what you’re going to wear two days before the Halloween party.

Disney costumers are really cute for kids. I   love this ballerina outfit.

Would you consider being Batman? This is definitely one of the best costumes for a guy.

How about a Fantasy Theme Party for Adults?

I’ve noticed that people complain about having to dress in costume for parties, but they love the photos.

How do you get people to dress up? You first have to know your guests.  If you have a crazy bunch of friends who are willing to participate, this will be a party that will never be forgotten. Planning a backyard barbecue can be more fun if everyone comes in costume. Consider an old-time beach party with bathing suits and dressing in clothing from the 20’s.  You can connect this with a Great Gatsby party. Rent the Great Gatsby movie and then decide what you would like your friends to wear. Why not take over the movie roles and assign them to your friends? You can also give them some of the lines to memorize, and you’re off to a wonderful evening; creating your own movie in your backyard.

Don't forget the props; balloons, streamers, good food and a DJ.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Come Dance with Me at The Costumer

The Albany Costumer at 1995 Central Avenue, Albany, New York, is doing over the Albany Store to include more dance wear.

There are more dance wear and ballet shoes for children and adults.

Even if you’re not a dancer, I think that wrap around skirts worn with tights are wonderful. They are always in fashion and are great for throwing in your suitcase. I probably shouldn’t mention leg warmers but when you need them; they may not be available.

I’m not sure if I want to be a ballet dancer, but I’ve always been enthralled with leg warmers. In addition, there is clothing for ballroom and modern dance.
Summer is the start of the Saratoga Ballet.

Don’t forget to check out the unique ballet shoe statues throughout the city.

Did you know the first ballet school was opened in France in 1661 by Louis the XXIV and only for male dancers? The initial ballet was performed in Italy in the 1600s. Women started dancing in 1681 wearing long dresses. Until 1789, performers danced, recited poems and sang songs.

Are you interested in ballet movies? If you would like a dark ballet movie, then the Black Swan (2010) is not to be missed. Black Swan allows you into Nina’s life as a ballerina in the New York City Ballet. Like all great artists, she is consumed by her profession and her competitors. Her mother is a retired ballerina who supports her daughter’s love for the ballet. Nina is auditioning for Swan Lake, and it requires a dancer who can play both the white (innocent) and black (evil) swan. What make the movie are the psychological twists and turns of women competing for this coveted role.

If you’re looking for the classic ballet films watch The Red Shoes (1948). This is another dark ballet film about the power of the red shoes.

We are so lucky to be near Saratoga, New York, the summer home of the New York City Ballet. . If you missed the earlier NYCB program, there is still time to see the Aspen Sante Fe this coming week starting on Wednesday July 24, 2013 ( The Sante Fe School of Ballet is a well-known Folklorico program. (The Folklorico program is composed of Ballet steps and musical pieces reflecting various regions and folk music genres of Mexico. ( Throughout the beginning years, until 1789, the performers not only danced, but also recited poems and sang songs.

And possibly get to the Saratoga Ballet, it will be a night to remember.
Ballet dancers go through ballet shoes very quickly depending on their dancing experience, and time spent dancing. A pair of pointe shoes will last anywhere from a few hours up to 12 hours of dancing. If you attend a class for a few hours, it’s said the shoes will last approximately three months. The cost of pointe shoes varies from sixty dollars to one hundred thirty dollars. Most non-professional dancers go through a pair of shoes every three months.

Even if you’ve never been to a ballet you’re sure to enjoy and marvel at the beauty of the dancers. Consider that it takes years of training to become an established dancer and an honor to dance with these internationally known groups.

There is something for everyone, so get a good seat.

Jabbawockeez: Can You Spell It?

When we first started talking about Jabbawockeez I didn’t know what it was, and I couldn’t say it. I was told it had something to do with white masks, so I went out to do some exploring.

In 2003, there were a group of friends who wanted to show off their dancing skills. Each member of the group came with a different dance background and a variety of styles. They danced together and started a style called Jabbawockeez. The mission of the Jabbzwockeez was to inspire the world with their music and dance.

The idea of the Jabbawockee is the brainchild of Joseph Larot, Kevin Brewer and Phil Tayag also known as 3 Musky but the crew consisted of five other members who collaborated and created the "style" of the Jabbawockeez.

By the way,“Jabberwocky" is a poem of nonsense verse written by Lewis Carroll, originally featured in Alice in Wonderland.  Apparently the words have been around a long time; they just keep getting changed and getting new meanings.  Did Jabbawockeez come from Jabberwocky? Who’s to know?

The group actually became famous on America’s Got Talent, won $100,00 and went on to tour with American’s Best Dance Crew. The above photo is the Jabbawockeez performing in their show called “Prism” at the Luxor Hotel  in Las Vegas.

A year in the making, the Luxor Hotel  created an 840 seat Jabbawocke theater for the group. The  theater   features top-of-the-line acoustics complementing  the musical artistry of the show. The dance has changed the way people see dance around the world. The identical white, expressionless masks allow the audience to visualize and understand the music through the Jabbawockeez music and their dance. Their moves are intricate and unusual,

According to Wikipedia, The mask and glove motif was adopted as a tribute to the 1970's San Francisco strutting crew Medea Sirkas. Gary "Gee One" Kendall and Randy "DJ Wish One Bernal were both members of the MindTricks dance crew which were active in the SanFranscico Bay Area. The reason for the white masks, to make everyone look like one. When they perform, the idea is for everyone as a whole not individuals.

Yes, the group started a whole new dance trend and a way to look. It never ceases to amaze me how clever people can be.

Want to do your own Jabbawockeez?

Of course, you can get the white masks and the white gloves at The Costumer and decorate them anyway you like.

If you want to be true to the Jabbawockeez, everyone will have to wear the same color masks and gloves. It’s now beginning to remind me of the Harlem Shake. Everyone looks like they’re just existing and then the lead dancer starts in, and everyone follows. Suppose everyone were to put on their purple masks? How cute would that be?

Now I'm wondering about the Blue Men? Were they really the first Jabbawockeez only wearing blue masks? If you’ve never seen them, you are missing out.. The blue masks aren’t distracting; they allow you to create your own reality as you watch them dance and play their musical instruments. It allows you to fanaticize about the group. I would assume that’s the same feeling you get with the Jabbawockeez.

So why not a party with everyone wearing similar masks, you paint the white masks to look alike or you leave them all white? Maybe for Halloween everyone can go out in black leotards and wear white masks.

Maybe a wedding is a little too crazy? A prom would be cool. How about just a fun party and everyone dancing to the Jabbawockeez music? The possibilities are endless.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Clowning Around at The Costumer

What do you think of when you think of summer? Does your summer include swimming and vacationing or a trip to one of our state fairs?  Would you be interested in some ‘clowning around?’

We love clowns at The Costumer. In fact, we’ve serviced the local clown population for a long time.

When was the last time you ‘went clowning around?’

As long as we can remember, clowns were part of history. It can be traced back to ancient Egypt where some poor soul, which was handicapped in some way, was made fun of. In old Greece, clowns first showed up in the theater. Court Jesters go back as far 2500 BC. During the Italian Renaissance, several clown characters were introduced to the public. In 1768 is the date understood to be when the first circus clown made his appearance, in England.

There are three types of clowns that you will probably recognize.

The first is the ‘White-Faced’ clown; their faces are white-based, usually dressed in very fancy clothing with a specific purpose in mind. They always seem to have a purpose, and you will never see them waving their arms out of control.

The next clowns are ‘Auguste’ clown, usually painted in red, white and black. They are silly, always falling around and getting knocked about by the white-faced clowns.

The third clown is the ‘Character’ clown, who is dressed in bold colors and wearing various disguises. Their characters usually distinguish what they’re like.

If you want to be a professional clown, you can head off to clown school. You can attend clown school on line, or the most famous clown school, Barnum and Bailey

Barnum and Bailey have a wonderful web site where you can take your young kids, take them to Barnum and Bailey and have them create their own circus. It is really a fun online game. You can train animals, create a name for your circus and develop circus acts for your show.

How about a birthday party for your child and yes, you get to dress up like a clown.

Not to worry we have everything that you will need. We have balloons for making those funny creatures or maybe a new clown wig. We also have an extensive line of clown makeup.

Maybe you’ve longed to be silly and funny without anyone guessing who you are. If so, clowning is for you. I remember when I was younger, and I used to go to the circus when it came to town. I always wanted to be a clown. I would laugh so hard at all the funny things they would do. It was great and it always made me happy. Sometimes we don’t get enough of that considerable fun as an adult.

 Maybe you want to be a scary clown. They are just so darn frightening. Whenever I saw them on TV, I would never sleep at night.

 I didn’t like the scary clowns when I was young, but we have them at The Costumer also.

If you want to do some ‘clowning around’ come and visit us at The Costumer.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy Father’s Day from Duck Dynasty & The Costumer

Why is Duck Dynasty so popular? I really can’t tell you why, but I watched it the other night and now I’m a fan.  I admit I loved it.

I thought the opening shots of the show were sort of a joke, and then I realized it wasn’t. The outfits were interesting—long beards and camouflage pants. The Robertson families are self-proclaimed ‘rednecks’ from Louisiana. With 8.6 million views watching the third season, they’ve shattered E viewing records. Have you checked out their Facebook page? They have over 4 million likes. They’re just a ‘down home’ family celebrating National Sweet Tea day. (Although I read that Uncle Si doesn’t drink sweet tea.)

The family that prays together stays together is one of the mottos for Duck Dynasty. They may call themselves red necks, but they certainly have made their place within our hearts. The public has acknowledged them with their wallets.

We’re not the only hearts they’ve captured. They have just completed a deal with Hallmark so if it’s a Duck Dynasty card you’re after for father’s day, it’s on the shelf. Your dad may be a fan, but I’m not sure if he wants his family to pick him up for dinner looking like the Robinsons. On the other hand, if he’s a fan, he just might love it if everyone shows up in camouflage and long beards.

 Just to fill you in, the Dynasty is composed of the Duck Commander, Willie Robertson, his wife Korie; his parents, Phil and Miss Kay, his brothers Jase and Jep; and Phil’s brother, Uncle, Si.

They are endearing, very funny in a nice way and certainly far from stupid. These are a bunch of well-educated, smart business people that are playing it for all it’s worth. In many ways, they are role models, a family that has worked hard and made it. Phil Robertson started the business in an old shed where he made duck calls from Louisiana cedar trees. Willie is now the CEO of the company. The men are all bearded with amazingly lovely wives. That’s the part that really adds to the show. Where did they get those babes?

So how about a Duck Dynasty party? There seem to be kids who are asking their parents to have a Duck Dynasty Birthday Party. It is becoming very popular and we have supplied the hats and beards for them. How much fun would that be?

Let’s see, you can serve duck or have a crab boil and serve lots of down-home Louisiana food. You can go to their web site, check out the recipes. Go to the Duck Dynasty web site and buy some seasoning.

For the costumes, you can get them from us at The Costumer We have plenty of camouflage items as well as long beards in many colors.

You can get a camouflage hat to add to your outfit.

  We do not have a duck call but we do have a duck nose to complete your outfit.

Who does the show appeal to? As you’ve guessed, it’s not only men. There are many women who seem to like this shaggy, bearded bunch. The rugged, outdoorsy look seems to be pretty popular. However, maybe they’re thinking about how the group looked before they go so ‘manly.’

How’s this photo with the golf clubs? Certainly is a different cast of characters. Are the beards fake?

Who knows, it would still make a good party.

Friday, June 7, 2013

How to have a fun and patriotic 4th of July

The other day my friend showed me a flag that she was presented with when her father died. Apparently, he was in the Second World War. No one in my family was ever in active military duty, so I never had a very close remembrance on that level. As she told me about the flag, she became very emotional, “I thought I should do something with the flag to honor my dad, but I’m not sure what to do,” she said.

 My first thought was to get a flag pole, hang the flag and have a ceremony in the back yard. As I researched the Internet, I came up with several prayers and ways to honor our military. Until we unfolded the flag, I didn’t realize how huge it was. It was too large to hang in the back yard; it needed to be hung from the New York State Library.  The thought was there. I still read a wonderful poem that I found, and my friend felt honored. We decided we would have a 4th of July party, get dressed up and honor him again. Apparently, he was very outgoing, loved life and according to my friend would have loved having a party. It will be a fourth of July party.

All of my friends  water skied on July 4th wearing skimmer hats and streamers hanging from our arms. Ah, for the good old days.

I suppose if we were to get dressed up now, we would wear red, white and blue wigs or have our hair dyed.   The Costumer happens to have a Mohawk styled blue wig that would look great for water skiing. It’s actually a favorite.

Many businesses are open on the 4th. What can you do to make it a party day for your employees and your customers?

If your business is open on July 4th, how about having a 4th of July theme party for your store and your customers? You can decorate the outside with red, white and blue crepe paper and streamers, add plenty of stars and balloons, and you have a festive day. You can also serve colorful popsicles in the patriotic colors and have the local school band perform.

 If you can’t find an entire band to perform in your parking lot, how about a drummer and a flute player? If you want to dress them up, The Costumer has plenty of patriotic costumes.

You will definitely need a real Uncle Sam outfit, and The Costumer has it. The Costumer has a red, white and blue outfit that’s stunning.  Don’t forget, you can purchase or rent many of our costumes. Take a look at the detail in the costume, isn’t it great?  The rest of your staff can wear the great-looking skimmer hats or have more than one Uncle Sam.

Should you really want to go all out for the day, check out the 1776 plot plan.  This will give you a wide variety of everything you will need including wigs, suits, dresses and all the trimmings. Having to work on July 4th may not be on everyone’s fun list, but having a party usually is.

Get your customers to take part by having a contest for the person who looks most like Uncle Sam. You can also decorate all of your products for the 4th of July and give our skimmers to all of your customers.

If you have a party and want to get dressed up, come in and let us dress you and get some photos for our Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What’s the Big News at the Costumer? A Catalog Shoot and Makeing the Costumer your Favorite Store!

The Retail Council of New York State has organized a contest to get consumers to shop locally. If your favorite store wins, you will be entered into a $500.00 drawing and the store will win complimentary Retail Council membership dues (up to $500.) We hope our fans will vote us their favorite store and get their friends to vote for us too. Go to and “like” the page and put in The Costumer Albany and Schenectady, New York.

The Costumer is getting ready to release their new catalog! With over 60,000 costumes and 395 show plots, putting together a new catalog means lots of organizing and creative thought. But the team at The Costumer is up for the task; theater is in everyone's blood. In addition to costumes, the catalog contains wigs, mustaches, boots; makeup and everything that you need to complete the outfit. The costume is a big part of it but the accessories are what make it look authentic. Actually the catalog is just the beginning. The costumes must be fitted to the customer’s measurement, and be sent out in good condition and cleaned when the costume is returned. This takes a multitude of people with each one doing their specialized job. Everyone takes their particular job seriously.

This week there was a photo shoot at The Costumer for the new catalog. I was so excited that I would have an opportunity to see everyone in action. The shoot was organized by owner, Kathe Sheehan, who obviously knows her stuff. I loved to watch the costume changes and everyone running around like we were preparing for a Broadway Show.

Shooting a catalog is serious business for The Costumer. A list of the precise photographs must be made as well as well as lining up models for the shoot. Everything must be professionally shot and look great.

By the time I got to the shoot it was well under way. The models were lined up; and the dresses were being fitted. The models were enjoying their work. Even the littlest turtle models liked wearing their costumes.

The turtles, Jacklyn and Jordan are Kathe’s granddaughters. Can you imagine how cool it is to tell your friends that your grandmother owns a costume store?

Skilled photographer Mike Hemberger had his camera attached to his laptop, so he could see which photos looked the best. It’s obvious that Mike has been at this for a long time and likes the Costumer atmosphere.  Mike took shots from several angles so that he could get the best ones.

Draper and Costume Maker Helen waltering altering costumes  Hair Stylist John tidying up hair pieces

While this was going on, Draper and Costume Maker, Helen was altering costumes to fit.  Hair Stylist Allan was tidying up hair pieces. It was like being in the wings of a Broadway Show.

Shots were taken for The Producers, The Little Mermaid and Forty-Second Street.

If you’re planning an event and really want to have fun, consider adding costumes to the event; it makes it more fun and unforgettable.