Geek couture dazzled at San Diego Comic-Con, where the Her Universe Fashion Show presented stunning designs inspired by the entire spectrum of nerdy interest.
The fashion show, hosted by Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein, gave 25 aspiring designers a chance to blend their loves of couture and pop-culture. The designers competed for the opportunity to create a clothing line with Her Universe and Hot Topic — and to make their mark on the groundswell of geek fashion for women.
Eckstein was triumphant as she kicked off the fashion show, which marks her company’s fifth anniversary. The actress recalled being told that there was no market for clothing designed for female nerds, but quoted the immortal words of Han Solo: “Never tell me the odds.”
“I’m happy to say that what some people once thought was an oxymoron — ‘geek fashion’ — is now trending,” Eckstein said at the start of the show. “It’s a thing, and it’s here to stay.”
The desire to assert their place in the pantheon of nerdy creativity was echoed by the design contestants, many of whom modeled their own creations on the runway. Inspired by properties as varied as Sailor Moon, Monster High, and Guardians of the Galaxy, many of the aspiring designers recalled an early urge to create clothing that reflected their love of stories, characters, and the craft of design.
“Fashion is passion,” one contestant said — and who is more passionate than geeks?
Two winners were selected following the epic sartorial presentation. Leetal Platt snagged the audience choice with her dramatic Sailor Moon-inspired design, “Usagi’s Transformation.” Judges Amy Beth Christenson, Andrew MacLaine, Cindy Levitt, and Jessica Nubel awarded their prize to “Joker’s New Look,” designed by Kelly Cercone. The flouncing number reimagined Batman’s nemesis in a more genteel light — though it still suggested the evil playfulness that so indelibly characterizes the Joker.
As the show wrapped up, new Her Universe designs inspired by Studio Gibli’s Spirited Away debuted on the runway. Eckstein also capped off the evening with an exciting announcement for fans of geek couture.
“We are turning the Her Universe Fashion Show into a TV show!” Eckstein announced. Produced in partnership with Blondie Girl Productions and San Diego Comic-Con, the behind-the-scenes series will debut next year on Lionsgate’s upcoming video-on-demand channel.