Take it from a master of disguise: costumes don’t have to be scary to be memorable.
For her eye-popping transformations into characters like Captain Jack Sparrow, Wonder Woman, and Lydia Deetz from “Beetlejuice,” Alyson Tabbitha, a Florida-based artist and cosplayer, has gathered up 1.1 million Instagram followers and nearly 400,000 YouTube subscribers.
Her costumes are so lifelike that she is frequently accused of impersonating them.
She insists, however, that she is a self-taught “one woman show.”
Tabbitha told The Washington Post, “I don’t use filters on my photos.” “When I originally started doing this a few years ago, and my photographs went viral, people said, ‘Oh, it’s just Photoshop.’ People have told me that I have a styling team. It’s a great compliment.”
Tabbitha’s YouTube channel, which contains detailed step-by-step tutorials, is a good place to start if you have any doubts.
“Because I’ll be wearing these in public, the makeup and outfits must be convincing.” “They have to be able to move and transmit well in real life,” Tabbitha, who did not reveal her age, said.
She’s become a popular attraction at cosplay gatherings, and she’s had social media sponsorships from Disney, Netflix, Lionsgate, and HBO Max, among others. She’s even been approached by Hollywood makeup artists who want her to shadow them on set.
Tabbitha, who handles everything from cosmetics to making her own costumes, building sets, and modeling the ensembles, oddly enough, stumbled into the “hobby” by accident.
Captain Jack Sparrow
She was homeschooled as a child, and her parents encouraged her to pursue her passion for drawing. Her Barbie dolls were her first cosplay models. “I’d shave their heads and paint their faces.” When I was 14, I started manufacturing Joker dolls and selling them on eBay to get money.”
Tabbitha, whose mother taught her to sew, dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow for Halloween as a preteen. “‘Mmm, a grown man, that’s an unusual choice,’ my mother said. That was the first costume I put a lot of effort into.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” fan continued to challenge herself with her costumes, and in 2014, she shared a photo of herself dressed as the big screen swashbuckler on Facebook. It was then shared on Tumblr. “After it went viral, people began asking whether I had a cosplay website.” What is a cosplay page, I wondered?’ I always dressed up for Halloween, but I had no idea what cosplay was. “I got sucked in.”
Tabbitha finds limitless inspiration in the films of Johnny Depp. “He’s one of my favorite performers and a great example of someone who can really turn into a character,” she added, adding that she has looks ready to shoot for the Mad Hatter and Sweeney Todd.
She used some basic materials, such as her glue gun, a wig, and craft paint, as well as one unusual item: a mound of her own hair clippings, to change herself into Captain Jack Sparrow.
“I was a strange kid.” I used to cut my own hair and store it on occasion. I did use synthetic hair as well. My natural hair in my Jack Sparrow wig, as revolting as it sounds.” She rolled the genuine and artificial locks in her hands with some adhesive, painted them, and affixed them to a thinned-out wig to create his matted mane. She used watered-down brown craft paint to make a white puff-sleeved garment look aged and dusty. She then added a vest, leather belt, and hair beads, as well as extensive contouring on her face to match Depp’s chiseled bone structure.
Mystique from ‘X-Men‘
TreeFLX, a moldable thermoplastic, was used for the bodice and arm bands. “It comes in sheets,” says the narrator. Tabbitha, who molded over a dress form and then adjusted it to her body, said, “You heat it up with a heat gun and you can form the material.” She explained, “I built out the details, cut out craft foam, pasted it over the base, and then painted it.”
Tabbitha’s sartorial sex change was made possible with a custom-made costume with padding, a groomed wig, and cosmetics. “Sometimes a company will provide me a costume,” she explained, “so I thought it would be fun to vary things up.”
The rest of the procedure involved concealing her feminine traits. “I don’t need to use a lot of makeup when I dress as a guy.” It’s largely about removing my features and then contouring my face to make it look bigger. “I also had artificial brows on,” she added.
Tabbitha also recognizes that she makes for a really attractive man.
“Right now, I don’t have a boyfriend, and when I look in the mirror, I think to myself, ‘Why can’t I find a man like the one in the mirror?'” she said, laughing.
“Probably one of my most dramatic looks,” Tabbitha acknowledges of the blue shape-shifting femme fatale, who has been played by Jennifer Lawrence and Rebecca Romijn. She began with a plain blue bodysuit and added internal structure to it by attaching a breast shelf into the fabric. She then used blue Mehron makeup to conceal her face. Mehron is a cosmetics firm that specializes in special effects makeup.