A bloody tampon fascinator, a foam Medusa wig, a set of armor made out of bones; Kelly Carnes’ costume closet could rival the costume departments of your favorite TV shows and then some. As the owner of Trove Costumes, a peer-to-peer costume rental company, Carnes knows what she’s talking about when it comes to donning a cape or suiting up, and on October 27, she’ll be bringing her cosplay knowledge and taste (plus a couple of quality costumes) to the DC Abortion Fund‘s Halloween bash, Rage for Roe at Hook Hall.
A homegrown event with a serious cause, Rage for Roe is a party that celebrates the best of D.C. (and the season) all while fighting for reproductive rights and having fun at the same time. Carnes’ outlook on cosplay and costumes mirrors that notion that fun can be transformative.
“This is about dressing up and having fun,” Carnes explains. “Costumes can either conceal or reveal you. They can empower you, they can imbue you with the characteristics of the character you’re portraying, they can heal you, they can give you cover to be a person you want to explore. If you don’t know where to start, just put on what you like, because it’s all about play.”
And if you’re wondering what Carnes might be bringing to Rage for Roe, you can look forward to a slew of badass costumes and accessories, probably with a leather armor and warrior bend. “I’ve got Daenerys Targaryen, I’ve got Lagertha from ‘Vikings,’ so I’ve got some pretty badass leather armor,” said Carnes, adding, “I even have an entire set of ‘Mandalorian’ armor that’s all built for a female body.”
Although, if you want to impress Carnes and give yourself a better chance at winning the Rage for Roe costume contest, you might want to stay away from those big name characters. As Carnes explained, it’s not the popularity of the IP that matters when you’re putting together a costume, it’s the creativity.
“If I see a throwback to a really niche costume, a deep cut, or a reference or a really creative mashup, I gravitate towards not just replication, but combination.”
While Trove is always available to help you with your costume and cosplay needs, Carnes also reiterated the quality of D.C.’s maker community, especially when it comes to whipping up a good outfit.
“There are lots of local cosplayers down here who are makers, look those people up and find them on Instagram,” Carnes recommended. “You can get tips from them. Some of them have tons of YouTube videos where they’re teaching DIY stuff.”
Of course, if costumes aren’t your thing and you can’t make it to Rage for Roe, there are still ways you can support the event and the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF). Besides donating directly to DCAF, you can also sponsor one of their community tickets to the event and help keep the party as accessible as possible. After all, there’s not a more potent combination than having fun and doing good.
Rage for Roe: A Halloween Bash to Support the DC Abortion Fund is Thursday, October 27 at Hook Hall. Register in advance here.
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