Sunday, October 30, 2016

Nightmare on the Strip

It's that time of year again, when many kids (and adults) arm themselves with swords (usually plastic) to extort candy from their peaceful neighbors.

Fencers clearly have a costuming advantage. All we have to do is pillage our equipment bags to embellish our outfits.

I remember one year I scared the bejeezus out of the kids coming to our house by opening the door clad in a dark robe, complete with hood thrown over a black fencing mask. Apparently that, by itself, was enough to induce terror, but there is so much more that can be done with our stuff!

Women's Vet 50 foilist (and World Team member) George Love concocted this gem for her club's Halloween fesitivities:
Personally, I think epee fencers are scary to begin with, but if you need to gild the lily:

Source here

There are many variations on the classic skull. Here's another, from Mary Hart on Pinterest, channelling the Nightmare Before Christmas: 

And from Alex Fiacchone, also on Pinterest, the Punisher:

But there is so much more to fright than skulls. Perhaps you've heard of the Scary Clown sightings around the world? Fencing clubs are not immune.

I love this one, though I don't know whether it is original, or homage to a classic with which I am unfamiliar. 

Courtesy on Pinterest

Allison loves this one, because she's a Star Wars geek:

In the interest of being thorough, I did a Google Image search on ="fencing mask" and "Hillary Clinton" or "Donald Trump." I was very relieved nothing turned up. 

So how about it? Add links to your own fencing-related costumes in the comment section below, or post pictures on the USFA Women's Veteran Fencing page on Facebook. Let's see what you've got!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A-Diorable Fencing Fashion

It's particularly gratifying when fencing fashion bleeds onto the couture runway. Most recently, Allison and I are squeeing over the designs in Maria Grazia Chiuri's debut collection for Dior Spring/Summer 2017, recently showcased at Paris Fashion Week.   

The most explicit homage looks a good idea like the first fencing jacket I ever owned, right down to the snap closures: 


(Though of course my foil jacket had a crotch strap.) If only I had paired it with a tutu for practice.

If snaps aren't enough, add a few buckles for good measure 

This next version is embroidered with what I think are bees. Heraldically, bees stand for industrious and indefatigable effort--a good symbol for fencing practice, yes?

Several of the looks draw inspiration from plastrons, I think. 

And then there's this, which (if it were in black) would make a very nice coaching jacket. (Note that Chiuri even paired it with very practical sneakers!)

Oh, hey, here we go--black. And with a veil that kinda channels a fencing mask. 

Now if only she had ended the show with a fencing-inspired wedding dress. :)

Photos from the Los Angeles Times, The Dapifer, and South China Morning Post.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pan American Youth and Veteran Championships

I spent the last week of August in sunny Puerto Rico for the Pan American Youth and Veteran Fencing Championships. It's what it says on the tin - a competition for youth and vet fencers from North/South/Central American countries and the Caribbean. 

Part of the fun was seeing all of the country uniforms during the opening ceremonies:

Chile appeared to have several designs for the backs of their sweats:

Old and new USA logos on display:

Venezuela were easily the most colorful:

And brilliantly costumed vejigantes led the Puerto Rican delegation in their red and white: 

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Best of Summer Nationals: Part 2

In my last post, I promised you a tuba.

Voila: a tuba

Also a saxophone, two clarinets, an oboe and a flute.

This ensemble opened the competition with the Star Spangled Banner on Friday, July 1. Class act.

And to follow up the National anthem, the award for Most Patriotic Warmup Outfit goes to:

Dang, I didn't get his name. Can anyone provide an id?

You may have noticed I have an abiding love of socks. Since I've started collecting Wonder Woman Converse high tops (two pair is a collection, right?) I was thrilled to spot these beauties:

Gotta get me a pair of those.

However, those shoes (above) clearly beyond with these socks (below). Props for defying stupid gender conventions about color, dude. 

Anyway, pink is just pale red. Here's a fashionista wearing the color undiluted, and (classy touch) pairing it with a red mask.

 Best Haircut goes to Victor Ji, from Canada. I admit my vote was influenced by the hip blue frames on his glasses. Could those be Warby Parker? Mmmmm. Maybe.

Best collection of international fencing pins goes to Anne-Marie Walters, perennial member of the Vet World Team.

Actually, Anne-Marie double medaled, picking up "Cutest Grandchild" as well.

The third post in this series will be an in depth look a the most fashionable vendor at this year's event. Stay tuned...

Friday, July 8, 2016

Best of Summer Nationals 2016, Part 1

Hey--Badger here, recovering from a cold I picked up at Summer Nationals. (There are germs in the venue? Say it ain't so!) I stayed in Dallas an extra day-and-a-half to cheer teammates and hunt for fashion pics. I'll parcel out my finds in a few post over the next week.

First up in "Best of" categories: Best Fencing Mask

David Hadler, of the
San Francisco Fencer's Club
Why a trident? Digging around on the web, I believe it's because David is a member of the UCSD Tritons fencing team. Perhaps the implication is that they're spearing their opponents. Go Tritons!

Best Lamé

Remember a few years ago when some people decided it was legal to silkscreen or airbrush additional designs on the lamé, as long as the result was not too intrusive?  There was a brief flurry of creativity, which died away--either due to the expense and bother of applying such designs, or because people got busted by bout committees for non-conforming equipment. In any case, I was delighted to see this lamé echoing the club patch on the fencer's sleeve.

Forrest McDougall,
Precision Athletics Fencing Club
Torrance, Calif.
Very classy. I could see this becoming a thing.

I know people can't exactly take credit for the name on their lamé (though my practice lamé does read 'Badger.'), but how cool would it be to rock THIS moniker in competition.

Rainer Dragon
Fencers Club, Metro NYC
I would totally want to screen a design like this behind the name

Oh well, on to

Best Coaching Outfit

Coach Michael D'Asaro
Salle D'Asaro, Torrance, California
First of all, the club jacket is awesome: the color (acid yellow, echoed in the athletic shoes), the font (an elegant cursive), and the BOARD SHORTS (OMG--so California). And--crowning touch of cool--Coach D'Asaro sports a gold hoop in his left ear. 

And the last, best "best" for today's post: Best Referee Fashion

Alice Chamberlain
Boston, Mass.
I particularly admire refs who work within the sartorial rules governing their outfits (blue blazer...blah blah...sensible shoes...blah blah) and still achieve flare. Alice nails it. Note the:
  • Zip bodycon dress beneath the requisite blue blazer
  • Ankle boots with a chunky heel (I think they are sensible!)
  • Spotted tights
  • Great makeup
I think she is challenging the other refs to up their game, as it were.

OK, that's enough for now. Stay tuned for our next installment, featuring notable socks, warmup gear and fencing pins. Also, a tuba. (Seriously, a tuba.)