Five years ago when Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein decided to launch a company devoted to making geeky clothing for girls, she was told what so many women who want nerdy fashion are told: it would be easier to give up and find t-shirts in men’s sizes instead.
But nowadays, not only are more and more women vocally participating in the geek world, but they're celebrating their fandoms by designing, wearing, and buying outfits inspired by the stories they love -- especially at San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest nerd event of the year.
"Fangirls are taking their rightful place as equals in the geek community and mainstream fashion is taking note of this new trend," Eckstein told the packed Hyatt ballroom last night (July 10) in a video introduction to the Her Universe Geek Couture Fashion Show, a special event sponsored by Her Universe, Hot Topic, nerd makeup retailer Espionage Cosmetics, and Ashley Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Productions.
So is the rest of the entertainment industry, too – not only is the Geek Couture Fashion Show returning for a third year in 2016 (it first began last year in 2014), Eckstein announced that night, but it will also become the focus of a new reality show on Lionsgate’s Comic-Con subscription video on-demand service.
At this year’s show, designers from all over the country submitted their ideas inspired by everything from “Star Wars” to “Sailor Moon,” and 25 were selected to compete. Only two were chosen to design part of Her Universe and Hot Topic next high-end fashion line, but every single designer there was a winner – many of them even wore their own looks down the runway, and they all brought the house down with their amazing designs.
Here's just a small sample of the looks we saw and squee'd at firsthand:
First we saw some of Her Universe's fashion line...
And yeah, it was basically amazing.
And you can buy these outfits at Comic-Con and online.
Then things continued with a "Star Wars" dress!Her Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
Designed by Andrew MacLaine, the audience winner of last year's fashion show who designed half of their recent Hot Topic line, and worn by Ashley Eckstein.
Designed by Lauren Andrews.
Designed by Harmony Leiker.
Designed by Daisy Evans.
Daenerys from “Game of Thrones”
Designed by Erica Williams.
Rose from "Doctor Who"
The Bad Wolf started with a look inspired by her 50th anniversary appearance and changed into this rose-covered gown, by Amy Scott.
Usagi Tsukino...Her Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
This dress by Leetal Platt (and modeled by Chloe Dykstra) started like this...
AKA Sailor MoonHer Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
And ended like this!
The Death StarHer Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
Designed by Tara Reich, complete with a TIE fighter purse!
Designed by Lindsay Hamilton.
Black WidowHer Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
Eckstein had several outfit changes that night, all of which were designed by Andrew MacLaine. They both described this look as "Black Widow goes to the opera."
The JokerHer Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
Designed by Kelly Cercone.
Designed by Oseas Villatoro.
The Xenomorph Queen
Designed by Jesse Thaxton.
Haku the River SpiritHer Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
Designed by Andrew MacLaine, Eckstein took on this look to announce that Her Universe and Hot Topic would be expanding their Studio Ghibli line with new garments inspired by the Academy award-winning "Spirited Away."
Seriously, check out the back!
And the winners were...Her Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
Kelley Cercone's Joker dress won the judge's pick!
And for the audience pick...Her Universe/Kelly Edwards Photography
BRB, my inner "Sailor Moon" obsessed child is crying for joy right now over Leetal Platt's amazing dress. Congratulations, you two!