Interview: Marcy Harriell Talks ‘Suit Up!’ [NYCC ’18]

Marcy Harriell, Bluprint

(Courtesy of Bluprint)

With New York Comic Con 2018 on its way, Villain Media has an exclusive interview with expert sewist and host Marcy Harriell about her tutorial series, Suit Up, on Bluprint. NBCU’s digital lifestyle subscription service has something special for cosplayers, who are prepping in style for the mega pop culture event!

Bluprint,  NBCU’s digital lifestyle subscription service, is partnering with DC Comics for a series of online classes. Fans will learn how to make the perfect DIY Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Superman costumes. With a particular eye towards fashion, each episode highlights new takes on classic designs through low/no sew options to in-depth stitching.

With the launch taking place on Thursday, October 4th, 2018, host Marcy Harriell explains how she will inspire everyone to create their perfect look for New York Comic Con, Halloween, or everyday costume play. Your everyday closet will turn into a superb work of cosplay-art!

Marcy Harriell, Bluprint
Marcy Harriell, Courtesy of Bluprint

Villain Media: Tell me about the tutorial series, Suit Up!

Marcy Harriell: I’d actually call the series half tutorial, half entertainment–and hopefully all inspiring! My aim is to get people to dive into creating, whether it be a full-on head-to-toe sewn costume, or a simple T-shirt with your favorite logo. The point is to have FUN.

VM: What is it about Cosplay that sparks your interests?

MH: I look at fashion as armor. I’m the sort of gal who’s always happily, and quite loudly, overdressed. At first, clothing was a way to step outside of myself—I was super-shy for many years, and used my wild, store-bought ensembles as a sort of alter ego. A secret identity, if you will! When I began to create my own clothing, I realized I had a superpower—I could make my own costume for that everyday superhero. I’ve found that Cosplayers share the same desire to step outside themselves, to create and live that secret identity for a day. And MAN do they have creative superpowers!

The community within both the Cosplay and the sewing world—the maker world in general—is simply amazing. We all know what goes into making something out of raw materials, we put ourselves into it, and we are chomping at the bit to celebrate what’s been made–whether it’s a pair of bat ears, or Aquaman, from armor to trident.

Marcy Harriell, Bluprint
Bat(wo)man sketch courtesy of Marcy Harriell

Villain Media: What are the challenges to making the perfect DIY Batman and Wonder Woman costume that sewists might not have thought of?

MH: A sewist might need to look outside the box when it comes to materials for costume making—paint, pleather, felt, PVC pipe, duct tape, EVA foam…these are materials that morph into amazing creations in the Cosplay world. But most sewists shy away from these items in everyday garment making. But then again, Cosplayers can take a page from garment sewists—there’s a world of fabric out there dying to be stitched into a costume! Leather for Wonder Woman, vinyl backed neoprene for Batman’s winged cape…with costumes, anything goes!

VM: With Halloween coming up, what do you think is the most popular trend in costumes right now? Does inspiration mostly from comic books or from the movies?

MH: Whether it’s from the pages of a comic book or right off the big screen, I’m so stoked to see people making these heroes their OWN. Who says The Dark Knight can only be worn by a man? Why can’t Wonder Woman rock an afro? People are embracing these heroes, but in their own skin, their own shape, and their own style. More of that, always!

VM: You are also the host of Re:Fashion and run the fashion blog, Oonaballoona. How would describe your fashion sense?

MH: My fashion sense is probably at times nonsense! If the colors and prints I’ve slapped together make me do a little dance in front of the mirror before I head out for the day, I’m good. My combinations make sense to me, and make me happy, and I think that’s what speaks to people, whether or not it suits their own style. Let’s just say it’s easy to spot me on the streets of New York! On both Re:Fashion and on Oonaballoona, I play with color and print nonstop, and try to enable others to rock a little crazy in their lives.

Marcy Harriell, Bluprint
Wonder Woman sketch courtesy of Marcy Harriell

VM: How did Suit Up change you as a host?

MH: We did a lot more “teaching” in these episodes—and I put that in quotes because my brand of “teaching” comes with a healthy dose of laughter. I taught myself to sew via the internet (with many classes that are still on Bluprint, actually!). It began as an outlet for fun, and grew into a passion and a career, but the fun hasn’t changed. Even though this series came with more instruction, I knew that I didn’t want to lose the humor. I want people to have a great time doing this!

VM: What other projects are you working on now?

MH: Let’s see! I just finished a workshop of a new musical by Joe Iconis, during which I slam sewed two red carpet looks for the NYC Ballet Fall gala. My partner in crime, Rob, just launched Rude Red (an everything sauce) and we’re about to head out of town to put the finishing touches on two new flavors with our best friends and co-creators. During that, I’ll be prepping some make-at-home costume ideas for several live TV appearances to promote Suit Up, then on to a Bette Midler VS. Barry Manilow concert with the Loser’s Lounge here in town. But check back with me in a minute! I never know everything I’m doing until I’m doing it!

Marcy Harriell, Bluprint
“Batman In A Pinch” sketch, courtesy of Marcy Harriell

[Writer’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity. Links are highlighted in bold.]

The four-part tutorial series, Suit Up, launches on Thursday, October 4 on Bluprint!

Bluprint is available for a monthly plan at $14.99/month, or an annual plan at $120/year. A seven-day free trial is currently available. For more information, please visit www.mybluprint.com.

New York Comic Con takes place from October 4 to October 7th, 2018.

By Jorge Solis

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