In the spirit of Halloween, I thought it would be great to do this month’s artist profile on Julie Bos, who has been into costuming since she was a child.
This year she made Halloween costumes for her daughter’s family, which we’ll showcase today, and I thought it would be fun to interview her about her love of costuming.
Tara: What drew you to costuming?
Julie: I’ve been fascinated with sewing since I was a child. I had a great aunt that was fantastically creative and did a lot of sewing. When I was 7 or 8, she made my two cousins and I ‘costumes’, which were really evening dresses. She also made me the most fantastic Indian costume complete with fringe and beads. I wore those costumes, and played make-believe, until I couldn’t fit into them any longer – which was a sad day.
Tara: So you fell in love with costuming because you loved wearing them? Did you do any other kind of sewing?
Julie: While I did a lot of clothes sewing during the next 20 years, it was the Halloween costumes that were the most fun. I also ‘invented’ a lot of activities as an excuse to make costumes.
For example, when I got excited about the Renaissance Faire, I not only made costumes for my family and neighbors to wear, but I created an event at our church where we had a Mother’s Day Brunch that was renaissance themed. I made all the costumes for the kids that participated in the 3 hour play I wrote for them to be in, while the guests dined on Renaissance period food. It was so much fun!
Another time I got all the church kids interested in ‘clowning’, and YES, I made many clown costumes!
Tara: Where do you gather inspiration for your pieces?
Julie: Now days Pinterest has great ideas, and many times I get inspired from going somewhere like the Renaissance Faire.
When I first got into costuming, I did a lot of historical study, and that was extremely interesting. Now, when I watch a historical movie, I can tell by the clothing what era they are trying to depict. I am also a snobby critic. I say things such as “They didn’t have bustles in 1850! What are they thinking?” Or …”That type of fabric was invented until the 1920’s!”
I do this when I go to the Renaissance Faire too. Years ago, it was very pure and everyone was dressed appropriate to the era, but now it’s ‘anything goes’. This bothered me at first, but now I’m embracing the chaos!
Tara: What have been your favorite pieces?
Julie: I really enjoyed my time in the 1850-1860’s. I got several historical patterns including Scarlet’s barbecue dress from Gone With the Wind. The hoop skirts and waist shirts, etc. It is a really fun era to depict in costuming. I made up many outfits from this time period that I ended up donating to my girl’s high school drama department. My girls said they would see people wearing them on campus during Halloween.
Tara: Are there any new challenges you plan to take on in costuming?
Julie: I love that CosPlay is so big right now. There are really no boundaries when it comes to era (Renaissance, Star Wars, etc), but rather it has bits and pieces of costuming from all different aspects of clothing and ideas. It is really a ‘free for all’, so it leaves huge options for creativity.