The Joker, Sailor Moon and nerdy ladies were the big winners at the Her Universe Fashion Show last night.
It”s an event where strutting down the runway were women wearing a Greek goddess-esque dress version of Groot, an elegant winter coat modeled after the TARDIS, and a frock with a skirt shaped and detailed to look like the Death Star, among other high fashion takes on characters beloved by nerdy fans.
In its second year at San Diego Comic-Con, the fashion show crowned two winners from the 25 finalists who submitted “geek couture” designs to Her Universe, the sci-fi fashion apparel company behind the event.
The judging panel-selected winner was a design called “Joker”s New Look,” designed and modeled by Kelly Cercone. The attendee-voted top prize went to a “Sailor Moon” design called “Usagi”s Transformation,” which was designed by Leetal Platt and modeled by fan-favorite cosplayer Chloe Dykstra.
The two winners will get to design a new collection of clothing for Hot Topic with Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein. Hot Topic also partnered with Her Universe to host the fashion show. Last year”s winners designed the Marvel by Her Universe “Avengers” collection.
“It took us a while to get onstage cause we didn't expect it,” Platt told HitFix. “We were sitting in the back eating potato chips, which [Dykstra] shouldn't have been doing in her dress! I told her it was okay d'cause we were done.”
At the event to support Dykstra was her beau, Sam Witwer. The “Being Human” actor was also there to support Eckstein, who, along with Witwer, is in the voice cast of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels.”
“I love what [Eckstein] is doing for the community,” Witwer told HitFix before the start of the fashion show. “I just love how inclusive she is and how she's bringing everyone together under a banner of inclusion and fun and what we all love this stuff for.”
In the five years since its launch, Her Universe has provided women with stylish clothing that gives them the chance to “flaunt your world” – to wear feminine ensembles that celebrate shows like “Doctor Who” and movies like “Star Wars.”
“What some people thought was an oxymoron – ‘geek fashion” – is more than a trend. It”s definitely here to stay,” Eckstein said while hosting the event. “Five years ago the odds were stacked against us when it came to providing fashion for fangirls… Now geek fashion is everywhere. It”s a recognized growing category, and everyone is talking about it.”
Before fashion for fangirls caught on, women who wanted to wear nerd shirts had to settle for ill-fitting T-shirts from the boys section, as Adria Sanchez-Chaidez, one of the show”s finalists, pointed out in her introduction video.
In addition to the in-competition geek couture designs that walked the runway, various Her Universe lines were on display, as women of all shapes and sizes showed off clothing inspired by “Star Trek,” Marvel movies and more. The event also unveiled the looks for “Spirited Away” dresses and tops that will join the Her Universe Studio Ghibli collection. Those long-awaited additions to the line based on the Japanese animation studio”s films will be available in Hot Topic stores this fall.
Another big Her Universe announcement from the event: The behind-the-scenes of the fashion show has been documented for a reality series called, simply, “Her Universe Fashion Show.” The series will be available will be on Lionsgate”s Comic-Con International streaming video-on-demand service next year.
In the gallery below, learn more about how the winning Joker and Sailor Moon designs came together and take a look at photos of other designs in the fashion show.