Some of the most helpful costume links you find will be ones you find yourself, using the search engine of your choice. If you find something really good,
email me, will you? Happy hunting!
A NOTE ON LINKS: many stores have gone to a database format, which messes up the links something fierce (every time they update the database, the links break). So if the main link doesn't work, try a keyword search at the main page. I try to keep everything current, but I do miss things. If you find a broken link, please
email me. Thanks!
Suggestions on How to Make RHPS Costumes
- Cosmo's Factory
This site doesn't specialize in photos, but it has a lot of them, grabbed directly from the movie. He takes requests.
For high-resolution photos from the Blu-Ray, check out: http://www.cosmosfactory.org/gallery/imageFolio.cgi?direct=Rocky_Horror/Hi-Res
For lower-resolution, smallish (but detail-oriented) grabs from the DVD, check out:
- Rare RHPS Photo Site
The main page has disappeared, but the archive is still there. One of the best places on the Internet to look at rare Rocky stills. The variety and the quality here is astonishing.
- Cinema Collectors (no website)
1507 Wilcox Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 461-6519 (fax)
- Still Things
Has an online catalog of stills you can buy (text descriptions only). Nice selection, and they will sell you wallet-size color photos so you don't have to pay full price to buy a photo only to discover you already have it. I was a little unimpressed at how long they took to send me photos last time, but I still order from them if I need photos from a specific scene.
- Jerry Ohlinger's Movie Materials Store
No on-line catalog, though they will send you a text listing of Rocky photos if you send a self-addressed stamped envelope (ask for the Rocky Horror List, #37).
Forums To Talk About Making Rocky Costumes
- Student's Guide to RHPS Costumes http://www.angelfire.com/film/ickle/costumes/rhpscostumes.html
Making costumes on the cheap. Good suggestions for modifying items found in charity shops (and a large list of UK shops!), and suggestions for where to buy things in the UK. The Columbia instructions look helpful; Janet's are much less detailed but promising, and no one else is up yet. Well worth watching.
- Skeletons and Stuff (Ex-Deliveryboy.com Costume Help)
ex-deliveryboy.com is down and looks like it's staying that way. The folks at PlusSizeCostumeSuperCenter have replicated the site at http://www.plussizecostumesupercenter.com/csc_inc/html/static/articles/eddiecostume.html. Thanks, Charles!
The site features Scott McDee's take on Eddie's costumes, based in large part (with permission) on the text from the Anal Retentive Costume List, but with additional photos and comments.
- ShawnAnthony.com Rocky Horror submenu http://shawnanthony.com/rocky.html
Also uses (with permission) the text from the Anal Retentive Costume List as a jumping-off point. Information on the Frank jacket is notably more complete than the text here; information also included for Eddie.
- Rocky Horror Costume Instructions by [Sugarsh0x] http://www.angelfire.com/nj/RHPSColumbia/index.html
This is a page on how to make quick and dirty Rocky Horror costumes. I won't vouch for its accuracy, but if you need a costume and you don't have time to do it the anal way, this should help. Hasn't been touched in years.
- RHPS Costume Ideas http://members.tripod.com/~ScabbyDoo/costumes
Another "quick and dirty" costume page. More fragmentary than the first one. Appears to be largely an archive, but has been up for years.
General Costume Construction
- RHPS Costumes (LiveJournal)
People post stuff they're looking for, possible sources, etc. It's going the way of all Livejournal pages but the archives are worth a look.
Cosplay forums can also be helpful; you may want to add them to any searches, though I don't have any particular recommendations.
- The Rocky Horror Costume Forum http://amadscientist.proboards.com/
Very little traffic these days. Requires a login id (free). I've found the founder, Mark M's, comments on the rhpscostumes Livejournal group helpful.
- yahoogroup RHPSCostumesCostumersNFreaks finally went defunct.
People Who Will Make Rocky Costumes For You
- Coplay.com's Cosplay Tutorials
GodDAMN. Tutorial after tutorial on making costumes that look like what's on-screen, all aimed at regular people. Want to know how to dye a wig with Sharpie markers? These people know how. OK, most Rocky people aren't looking for tips on how to make animal feet or kimonos. But there is a wealth of knowledge here.
I really think it's more fun to make your own. (Don't know how to sew? Well, neither did the rest of us when we started. For ideas on how to find/cobble together/modify costumes, and finding the supplies to do it , please visit the Q&A page.) But some people really don't want to, don't have time, or would rather hire someone more skilled, and I got tired of getting email from them asking for a list of costumers. So here it is; if that's how you feel, you can contact one of these people. I haven't had dealings with all of them myself, but I have met most of them and personally seen examples of their work.
What About Those Commercial Costumes?
Fox announced in 1998 that they would be producing commercial RHPS costumes; in 2001 they finally did. I wouldn't recommend any of them except maybe the Riff wig (hard to find commercially; requires some skill to make one), or the Frank wig (not bad for a wig in a bag--they got the shape right at least). If you want accuracy, or durability, look elsewhere.
WARNING: the photos on the packages are not the same as the actual costumes (they were probably of higher-quality prototypes).
If you want an approximate audience costume out of the bag, these may be just what you need. Just expect to do a lot of maintenance as they were made very much on the cheap. Buying these is a lot less fun than hitting the thrifts and demonstrates a lot less creativity.
Tailors and Costumers
- The Frank wig and costume are the best-looking of the lot, but close up the Frank costume is flimsy, cheap and nasty. Fingerless gloves and corset are fronted with a plastic loopy scratchy material that looks okay if you don't get too close; backs are plain black. Gloves started to run immediately (they're not hemmed). Faux garter belt lace strip (attached to panties) looks good but started coming unstitched when I held it up.
- The Columbia costume, except for the hat, looks vaguely acceptable on. The hat looks like a floppy beach hat. You could wear a plastic glitter tophat from a party store underneath it...but that would probably look better all by itself.
Tube top: multicolored shiny stripes with gold foil dots printed over them (plain black back). Tiny red foil dot bowtie on white elastic. Pastel stripes printed on black stretchy shorts (yes, the picture shows sewed-on ribbons, but that's a prototype). Thin foildot shirt with tails. Rectangular black foildot lapels attached in some weird way which minimized number of seams. Unlined, of course.
The Columbia wig is an embarrassment: wrong color, too bushy. You can do much better at a wigshop without trying too hard.
- The Magenta dress is made out of velours-like material and the apron is attached to the dress. The shoulder straps are on the front of the dress only; they just stop at the shoulder-seams. Cap looks OK. Considering how easy it is to modify a dress, I don't understand buying this...but it beats buying an off-the-rack French maid dress. Magenta wig doesn't look good, but I've seen worse.
- The Riff costume looks horrible - it's a cheap polyester suit with attached vest and a shoulderpad (?) for the hump. The price is right for Riff's tailcoat (though the vest is attached--ick). Two poor-quality spats and gloves are included. It's really bad-looking. Really, just call around to tux shops after prom season's over. Tux shops carry vests and suspenders too. Or just buy a black jacket at a thrift store - it would look a lot better.
Costumers are listed here as a service to our readers, and the listing does not
constitute an endorsement.
If you have a problem with one of them, I probably can't help you.
Please remember that there may also be options in your area, and that if you can find someone local, you'll be able to try the costume on and check on its progress in person. Many people who are not listed here, for whatever reason, can be contacted through the rhpscostumes group on LiveJournal.
Be sure to ask for references and CHECK them. Sometimes once costumers become known for excellent work, they get lots of orders, get overwhelmed, and go down in flames or go out of the business. So ask around before you order.
If you are looking for recommendations, ask around. You can always talk with Edge, who prefer not to be listed here, or go to cosplay sources or Etsy.
If you do order a costume and there are details that matter to
you (number of pleats/eyelets; size of quilted spacesuit squares, etc.)
discuss it with the costumer. (One of the advantages to making
your own is that you know exactly what you want without having to explain it.)
Also make sure the size information
you send the costumer is as exact and complete as possible. Even if it is, you may have to make some final alterations once the costume arrives. On my most recent commission, I asked that the costumer send me a muslin mockup to try on and modify before they started the real thing. We'll see if that helps.
I DO NOT recommend buying a costume from someone if you need it by a specific date, particularly around Halloween, when most Rocky costumers are swamped. If you're on deadline, you are probably better off doing the costume yourself. Please remember that you are ordering a custom piece of clothing; some of the 1970s era fabrics are no longer made; and that most Rocky costumers are other fans doing this in their spare time.
A warning: if you live in a different country than the costumer, you may have to pay import duty on the costume, and shipping may be pricey!
- UK COSTUMERS
- Kazelle 4711 ( http://kazelle4711.yolasite.com/online-store.php
When people order a full set of floor show boas, they usually get it from Kazelle. I've seen them (my cast ordered a set) and they are lovely. She also does Rocky Horror Show tour boas, or custom non-Rocky boas, but she's a Rocky fan and doing movie-style boas is where she got her start.
- US COSTUMERS
As I mentioned above, Edge prefers not to be listed here, but they often have a booth at cons and can easily be found via Google and Facebook. We have some profound differences on some of their designs, though I like their boas and am impressed with the embroidery on their Brad robes. Many people like them, and they're the only US Rocky costumers left that I'm aware of.
They do not customize as far as I'm aware; if you disagree with their color choices or other details, they have plenty of customers who don't.
General Costume Sources and Lists of Sources
- Shawn Anthony (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As of October 2011, Shawn is back on hiatus and may not be back.
Shawn writes: "16 years of involvement in Rocky Horror. Have created costumes for fans and shadowcast performers across the United States and Britain. Trained and certified in stage costuming and theatre technology...Particular interest in Frank N. Furter and Eddie." Costume work won Best Frank at the 2005 Vegas con and Best Rocky at the Chicago 2006 con (field of two contestants). Photos; partial price list. Shawn notes that costume creation will take 4 to 6 weeks. We occasionally have some differences on costume shape but I must say some of his recent work is very nice indeed. He seems to be particularly well-known for his Frank shoes, and they do look very nice.
- Mina Smith email@example.com
As of October 2012, Mina has stopped taking commissions, though I understand she may still have hand props and other non-sized items (badges, patches, etc.) available, and she will be putting costume pieces up at her eBay store.
Even if you aren't interested in buying anything, check out Mina's site; she posts reference photos and useful information on how to make costumes, too, as well as a growing collection of patterns. (Disclaimer: I contributed to the lightning bolt pattern; I haven't used any of her others, though the spouse made a nice pair of Rocky shorts from a pattern she provided.) Her work on the site won her a BOSS award.
Mina does good-looking costumes for reasonable prices, and when I needed something made, or someone asked for a recommendation, I usually sent them to her. She's one of the few costumers left from the late 90s; she has a good eye, does her research, and is open to discussion. After getting overextended in the early 2000s, she issued refunds; spent some time doing only cast referrals and repeat customers; then moved on to eBay, where she garnered a feedback rating of 100%. In addition to doing Rocky costumes, Mina also does historical costumes, mostly Victorian era.
Mina is a Columbia and cast costume mistress and an active member of the rhpscostumes group on LiveJournal. She writes: "Mostly, I prefer working on Columbia commissions, but I do a fair bit of Janet and Magenta....The stuff I have finished for immediate sale will also be posted on my site - especially in advance of con and Halloween." She uses an embroidery machine to make patches for Frank and Brad jackets; we got a Triumph tiger patch from her and it looks great. She also makes nice vinyl lab masks (original light pink no longer available; I suggest you ask her not to cut them too large) and lightning bolt pins made of foam-backed vinyl; they look good but over time they delaminate and start to curl. She's looking into fiberglass now; that may do the trick. I've done bulk orders of lab masks/bolt pins for myself and casts I'm in. Mina also made a rather nice maid's dress for me with proper pleats from a pattern I'd cut (redoing the sleeves, which I'd screwed up).
Remember, you can find a lot of stuff looking around in the real world.
Specific Costume Piece Sources
- eBay http://www.ebay.com
I hope I don't have to tell you to look on eBay. This is where people post their old costumes nowadays, and if you're looking for authentic 1970's crap, this is where most people go to find it.
If you can't find it on eBay, consider hitting alternate country eBay sites, such as http://www.ebay.co.uk/.
- Frederick's of Hollywood
They won't have exact Rocky lingerie, but it's a good place to start. A good
source for cheap stockings (fishnet and otherwise), corsets, etc. Their satin
jacquard corset (cupless!) makes an excellent floorshow corset when worn
backwards; a lot of casts use them. Join their email list (if you don't mind lots of email); seems like they are always sending out sale notices.
Note: I have not purchased these items myself unless indicated, and am not
associated with any of the merchants.
A word to the wise if you're purchasing lingerie on-line--shop around. You'll find that the majority of sites you visit are selling exactly the same thing from the distributor--after a while the photos will all look familiar. Prices vary wildly: why pay twice as much for the same thing?