Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Robin Sparkles

Character: Robin Sparkles
From: How I Met Your Mother
Made: 2008

"Robin who?" You mean you've never heard of Robin Sparkles, the Canadian teen pop sensation? She dominated the early-90s airwaves (the 80s came to Canada a bit late) with her hit song, "Let's Go To the Mall," although her followup, "Sandcastles in the Sand," was considered a disappointment. She disappeared from the music scene shortly thereafter, and hasn't been heard from since...

...so anyway, if you're a fan of "How I Met Your Mother" (and if you're not, you should try it!), you know that the character Robin Scherbatsky, a no-nonsense, career-oriented tomboy, has a deep dark secret-- that as a teenager, she toured malls all across Canada as "Robin Sparkles." When her friends discover the music video of "Let's Go to the Mall," she's utterly mortified, and everyone else is riotously entertained. The HIMYM folks actually made a full music video, and it is 80s-tastic; they've got it on YouTube here.

I love HIMYM, and I laughed my head of at the LGTTM music video (honestly, the whole episode where Robin Sparkles is revealed, called "Slap Bet," is a classic). So after I went to Dragon*Con for the first time in 2007 and discovered people dressed up as all sorts of random TV characters (Jim and Pam in their Halloween costumes! Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters!), I decided it was the perfect place to run around as Robin Sparkles.

I debuted my costume at D*C 2008 on Friday night, and had so much fun that I wore it on Saturday as well. And a good thing too, because it turned out that there was another girl dressed as Robin Sparkles on Saturday. We met by chance-- and I am 100% not kidding-- AT THE MALL. IN THE FOOD COURT. It was glorious. Actually, the reaction I got as Robin was fantastic. Not everyone recognized me, but the ones who did *freaked out.* It's a hella fun costume, and as the song says, "having fun is what it's all aboot."

Dragon*Con 2008

In point of fact, there's not really much construction involved in this costume; I bought every piece and then altered a few of them. And there are a ridiculous number of pieces to this costume! I use little ziploc baggies to keep track of all the jewelry. Here's a rundown of where I bought everything, from head to toe :

  • Wig: the Anne wig in Golden Brown from Cosworx (apparently no longer available), trimmed down substantially. I really wanted a slightly lighter color, but the only blonder option was super-blonde, which wasn't right either.
  • Hairbow: a length of red lace fabric from Jo-Ann
  • Earrings: Etsy
  • Pearls: Charlotte Russe
  • Black-and-silver beads: The Icing
  • Chain necklace: The Icing
  • Dogtags: My own
  • White shirt: Wal-Mart
  • Denim jacket: Ebay, embellished with fabric paint and 20SS heat-fix rhinestones from The Rhinestone Guy (3 gross, plus another 75 or so smaller ones I had on hand). I attach my rhinestones by placing them upside-down on a hot plate until the glue melts and bubbles, then using tweezers to quickly press them into place. It's about a million times faster than using those one-at-a-time applicators.
  • Jelly bracelets (black and multicolored): Wal-Mart and Ebay
  • Black bangle: H&M
  • Yellow beads: Claire's
  • Belt: The Icing; I added the X shapes with white yarn and a tapestry needle
  • Skirt: Etsy
  • Fishnet leggings: Ebay
  • Lace ankle socks: Ebay
  • Shoes: Wal-Mart

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