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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Halloween, Costume & Party Show Wrap Up

I've just returned from the 23rd International Halloween, Costume and Party Show which took place in Rosemont, IL this past week. This is one of the largest annual shows that we attend every year to see what all of the manufacturers' costume lines for this year. So, it is our job to try and figure out now what will be popular for Halloween 2007. It's a tough job indeed! We look into the crystal ball, make and wish and throw the dice! Well, I can't say its that much of a crap shoot, since we have been doing this for quite a while now. I grew up in this business and my dad has been attending this Halloween Show since before it was a Halloween Show! It started out as a party and gift show with a few Halloween costume vendors and has grown and grown.

So, how do we decide now what costumes will be popular for Halloween? Well, movies and TV shows have a big influence in the popularity of Halloween costumes. If the manufacturers can get a license and make a good looking costume for a popular movie character, that is almost always a sure costume bet. This Halloween, you can expect to see lots of Spidermen running around, trying to catch some Halloween candy in their web. Other popular costumes will be characters from Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek, Harry Potter and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to name a few. Every year there are some new design twists on classic costume ideas that bring about updated witches, fairies and pirates with updated fashion looks. And then there are the sexy costumes. Sexy has taken over the costume industry in a big way. If you haven't noticed this over the past few Halloweens, you need to come out of your cave! Just about every costume manufacturer has a line of sexy costumes, so there are so many for us to choose from and wade through. Each company is trying to outdo the other; some have new designs and new ideas and some just keep removing fabric to make the costumes skimpier and skimpier. Soon they might just be left with a leaf, a string, and two sequins!

So, there is my update about this Halloween Show. I will ad some pics I took at the show as soon as i get them loaded on my computer here. In the mean time, let me know what costumes you all would like to see this Halloween. Our buying season ends in March, so I need to know soon!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Orlando!

Fat Tuesday may have passed but that doesn't mean the Mardi Gras party is over! Now through April 11, 2007 you can continue the Mardi Gras celebration at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. This is a high intensity party to the fullest including a fabulous parade and musical entertainment. Check their schedule so that you won't miss your favorite performers inlcuding some of the biggest names in music and bands straight out of New Orleans! Again, this Mardi Gras party continues all the way until APril 11th, so you have more than month to go and check it out. Even if you don't live in Florida, come down and take advantage of the warm weather and all of the other theme park entertainment that Orlando, FL has to offer!

Visit the 15th Annual Florida Renaissance Festival

Renaissance Festival Costumes
Renaissance Festival JoustingRenaissance Festival Entertainment

The 15th Annual Florida Renaissance Festival is going on now through Sunday March 11th, 2007. The Renissance Festival is located in South Florida at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach. Visit their website for hours and days they are open. The festival is filled with different events and each weekend is a different theme. This coming weekend's theme is
"Taste The Repast - A Wine And Food Weekend". Featuring: Renaissance Vaudeville and Hypnosis Show Whet - Your Appetite for Entertainment! Royal Encampment Food and Wine Tasting Event; Sponsored by Beringer Wine and Cabot Cheese Food Drive Benefiting Gateway Community Outreach - $3 off Daily Adult Admission with the donation of 3 or more canned goods. In addition to the theme events, every week you can see jousting, eat lots of great food, purchase momentos at the market, and see plenty of other entertainment. To buy tickets to the Florida Renaissance Festival, Click Here. If you decide to go in Renaissance Garb, be sure to visit AnniesCostumes.com for a great selection of Renaissance an Medieval costumes to wear to the fair. Both children and adults will surely find everything they need to be dressed and a proper lord or lady or even a knight of the round table! It is a fun time and should not be missed!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mardi Gras in South Florida!

Mardi Gras Fiesta Hollywood, FLJust down the road from our offices in Dania Beach, FL is the annual Mardi Gras Fiesta in Hollywood, Florida. This Mardi Gras party has been going on all weekend! The theme is "Feel the Rhythm". Still to come on Fat Tuesday are concerts on the beach, a Gumbo contest and Miss Fat Tuesday competition. Plus, festivities and parties well into the night at all of the local restaurants, bars and pubs. If you live in the area, be sure to get out to Hollywood Beach and check it out. All Events are FREE!
If you don't live here in South Florida, plan a trip for next year! Wouldn't you rather be at the BEACH in 75° weather right now? Here's the Hollywood, FL website: www.hollywoodfl.org

Hollywood, FL

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Who says costumes are just for Halloween?

Upcoming Costume Holidays and Events in 2007:

Mardi Gras: February 20th
MardiGrasCostumes.com carries costumes, masks, beads, party supplies to make your Mardi Gras party or parade the best ever!

Purim: Sundown on March 4th
Purim is a Jewish holiday often celebrated by masquerading in costumes and masks. Costume are also needed for plays that re-enact scenes from The Book of Esther and The Story of Purim.
AnniesCostumes.com carries costumes featuring characters from Purim as well as many other masquerade styles. Many Purim costume parties often have a masquerade theme - use your imagination!

St. Patrick's Day: March 17th
Yes, this is a costume holiday for Leprechauns, Irish Maidens, Irish Dancers & more. Plus hats, beads and party supplies. Show your Irish pride!
AnniesCostumes.com carries Irish costumes, hats and party supplies to make your St. Patty's Day Party great.

April Fool's Day: April 1st
This is also a holiday for costumes: jesters & clowns, of course! Or dress up as whatever it is that you are a fool for! Love women, dress as one! Love food, how about a hamburger costume or a Hershey's Kiss? Dog lover? You get it! Plus, we also have gags and tricks for that perfect April fools prank. Or check out the great selection of magic at my brother's magic website: Wizard's Apprentice Magic Shop.

Easter Sunday: April 8th
EasterBunnyCostumes.com carries over 30 different Easter Bunny mascot costumes, bunny costumes for kids and babies, sexy bunny costumes for ladies and biblical costumes for children and adults.

It's Renaissance Fair Season!
Check out Renaissance fairs and festivals coming to a city near you!
AnniesCostumes.com has all of the garb you need to attend your festival dressed as the lord or the lady you are!

2 Days 'Til Mardi Gras!

I know you may be surprised, Mardi Gras comes a bit early this year. This Tuesday, February 20th is FAT TUESDAY! Its not too late to order your Mardi Gras costumes, masks or party supplies though. Visit MardiGrasCostumes.com to shop online for your Mardi Gras supplies, costumes, masks, beads, party goods & more! Next day shipping will get it to you by Tuesday night as long as you place your order by 4pm EST. (Check with customer service for Special Order items, just to be certain.)

Keep in mind, there is no law that your Mardi Gras celebration must occur on this one day though. You can celebrate Mardi Gras any time of the year! A Mardi Gras theme makes a great party any day of the year.

All the best to our friends down in New Orleans! I hope that the 151st New Orleans Mardi Gras is a great one. Here's to: a great parade, fabulous costumes and all the King Cakes you can eat! Check out www.mardigrasneworleans.com for the latest news, parade routes, Krewe info, and live cams in case you can't be there in person!

Original Obi Wan Robe and Other Costumes to be Auctioned

Sir Alec Guinness as Obi Wan KenobiThe original Obi Wan Kenobi costume worn in the 1977 production of Star Wars by Sir Alec Guinness is among many other costumes and props set to go under the hammer.

The Angel Star Collection - Dubbed as the largest UK auction of costumes from TV and film will take place at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, London on Tuesday, March 6, 2007.
This will, no doubt, be a very exciting event for the world of costuming. Never before have so many costumes from film and tv been auctioned at one time. The Obi Wan Kenobi Jedi Robe is estimated to be one of the most expensive at £50,000-60,000 ($97,500 - $117,000 US). The BBC News reports this to be "one of cinema's most famous". Of course, you can find licensed Star Wars costumes and costume accessories in child and adult sizes for sale at AnniesCostumes for much less of an investment. (Full costumes starting at $19.95.)
If you are short on funds or just not inclined to drop such a big load on these entertainment industry treasures, Bohnams Auction House will open viewing to the public for 3 days prior to the auction so that interested customers can get a close up view.

In recognition of the popular appeal of the items, and a world first in terms of a viewing experience, Bonhams’ saleroom will be turned into a star’s dressing room – allowing interested customers the opportunity to try on selected costumes.
Tim Angel, Chairman of Angels, and fifth generation of the family firm comments, “The joy of being in this business is that you know you are creating something that will help an audience immerse itself in a different world. Our costumes are famous for fulfilling the exact requirements and needs of the film, and are researched and tailored to the highest standard.
Whether it is the cloak of a Jedi knight from a galaxy far, far away, or the most elegant suit worn by Her Majesty’s best secret agent, our job is done if the audience are convinced by the authenticity and effectiveness of the costumes shown on the screen.
The flip-side of creating such iconic costumes, that become so very famous and so firmly associated with key movies, is that they can never be used in other films or productions, nor can they be made available from our fancy dress shop…for obvious reasons! With over a century and a half’s worth of costumes on the racks, each with ever increasing insurance requirements, and space at a premium, it seemed the right time for us to allow collectors and fans the chance to take home a piece of the movie magic.”

The famous jedi costume is only one of many iconic costumes going up for auction in this collection.

Also up for auction among the 350 lots are costumes from the Dr. Who TV series, which featured several different actors in the title role over the years. Here are the details from Bohnam's press release:
Costumes representing Dr Who include the original Tom Baker coat, Patrick Troughton trousers and Christopher Eccleston’s leather jacket all worn in the series. The remaining outfits were worn by the actors for promotional reasons but not worn on set.
The complete outfit made for Tom Baker [the fourth Dr. Who] includes a maroon wool topcoat, three pairs of trousers (tweed, grey wool and dark grey cotton), striped waistcoat, three felt hats and a striped scarf, and is estimated at £1,200-1,500. A wine coloured 3/4 length coat, complete with two large added pockets for the Doctor’s jelly beans and sonic screwdriver used by Baker in various episodes of Dr. Who (including some Dalek Episodes), is estimated at £8,000-10,000.
A Patrick Troughton outfit (the second Dr. Who) comprises full-length fur coat, tailcoat, checked trousers, shirt, tie, handkerchief and bandanas. Known for his scruffy appearance, Troughton played a much quirkier Doctor. The producers and writers behind the programme wanted the Doctor's second incarnation to be a contrast to first Doctor, William Hartnell's 'Victorian Headmaster' mode of attire. Therefore, Troughton was unveiled as, in his words, the "Cosmic Hobo," an eccentric exemplified by his unusual combination of garments, and in particular his long hair coat.
The third Doctor Who, John Pertwee, is represented through the promotional outfit consisting of black cape coat, burgundy velvet jacket, black cravat, and sonic screwdriver.
A promotional outfit for the fifth Doctor, Peter Davidson, is represented with a beige and orange-edged single breasted top coat, stripe trousers, cricket jumper, white shirt and straw hat, estimated at £1,200-1,500.
An promotional outfit worn by Sylvester McCoy – the seventh Doctor Who – including a cream linen jacket, grey pinstripe trousers, shirt, tie, pullover, scarf, shoes, cravat and hat, is estimated at £1,200-1,500.
After a 16-year absence of the series, Christopher Eccleston returned as the Doctor. In the sale is the original black leatherette jacket estimated at £3,000-4,000.
James Bond fans will be able to bid on a piece of their favorite secret agent. The auction will feature different oufits donned by both Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan; as well as several pieces worn by some infamous Bond villians, according to the Pocket-Lint website.
Some other costumes of interest in this auction include a grey linen overcoat, from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), as worn by Gary Oldman as Sirius Black is estimated at £3,000-4,000 and several outfits worn by Madonna in the Eva Peron film biography Evita (1997), are on auction including: a stone coloured coat, blouse and skirt (£500-700), a black silk patterned dress with a mint coloured and peach coloured slip (£400-500), a green coloured dressing gown, white satin and peach satin slip (£300-400) and a navy blue wool suit and blouse (£400-500).
Note: To convert all British pound prices to US dollars, multiply by 1.95.

AnniesCostumes in the News!

AnniesCostumes.com was recently featured in an article about contests in the South Florida based newspaper: The Sun Sentinel. One of the contests we run every year is our Top Halloween Costume survey & contest. Each year is a different prize. The PSP2 was actually the 2005 prize. In 2006, we had 5 weekly winners of gift certificates and coupons. What should we do this year? Keep me posted and look for our picks for the Top Halloween Costumes of 2007 to be posted on ExtremeHalloween.com next month! Here is an excerpt from the Sun Sentinel:

Web sites and online services can be especially effective for contest, said Jay Berkowitz, CEO of Ten Golden Rules, a Boca Raton online marketing consulting firm. Berkowitz worked with AnniesCostumes.com last year to create a survey and contest. The survey asked about the most-wanted costumes by category, including boys, girls, couples and pets, for example. The winning respondent won a PlayStation, Berkowitz said.

For the full story on contests and promotions: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/columnists/sfl-ybzbar12feb12,0,1160473.column?coll=sfla-business-headlines

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Renaissance is alive and well

The Renaissance is alive and well in Apache Junction, Arizona. This year’s festival marks the 19th year that the two-month festival has been around. People come from all over to spend a day at the 30-acre festival to see the jousting tournaments, a falconer, the comedy troupes, giant turkey legs and $5 ale.

The revelers enjoy the escape to a different reality for a little while. Most go in costume to get the most out of their experience, the festival also boasts stages of continuous live entertainment, an outdoor circus, a medieval arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament with performances each day, and a day-long feast.

Aside from the dressing up and watching jousts, people go for the wares that are often available at these festivals. This one is no different. For those that like trinkets, the Renaissance Fair is the place to look. There are vendors selling jewelry and various arts and crafts items. On the weekends, artisans come in and demonstrate their crafts sell their wares. During the week they replenish their stock when the crowds aren’t there.

Admission to the fair is $20 but offers a variety of activities from sightseeing to shopping, from face-painting and hair-braiding to camel rides and axe-throwing contests. This year the Arizona Renaissance Festival will be open February 10, 2007 through April 1, 2007.

If you're going to this or any other Renaissance Festival, be sure to check out Annie's Costumes before you go.