#LARPerspotlight returns in a new and improved format, as you can see, we've moved ourselves onto our own website and instead of a facebook post, we now have a literal page assigned to each of our LARPerspotlights where we intend to do a deep dive on the costume but also the person behind the costume and ask them about their own Larping experiences as well as their thought process, regarding the costume that we have on the spotlight.
The Post-Apocalyptic Survivor
In this first edition of the new LARPerspotlight, we wanted to focus on a post-acpocalyptic character. We saw Paul Waldreps character and simply found him to be very cool. The worn and ragged look for his character and the stitched up nature of all of his costume and the slightly anachronistic feel, all helps in making the costume become bigger than the sum of its parts and Paul's character ends up feeling like someone who fits perfectly in a setting like Fallout.
We also took the opportunity to ask Paul about his history with LARP, even more details about his costume and more!
The design of the costume all started with, as Paul puts it, the Coat. It was the feature from which everything else sprung from.
"As far as costume, it’s all about the jacket. I started off at thrift store and bought the jacket, sports and shoulder pads and woman’s leather boots. I cut the top off the boots and made the arm cuffs. Cut the pads up and used on shoulders. I cut the inside hard board material out of an old suitcase and glued on. Then attached the buckles off old belts to those using leather shoe string."
The result is a wonderfully battered and usage worn look that blends perfectly with a fallout setting. Fallout was also the main inspiration and a key reference for the style and general fashion sense that he aimed for.
"The fallout universe is harsh but full of options. A trench is a good base for nearly any character. But I wanted it to look like it has been through hard trials and repaired repeatedly. So I cut holes and stitched back up and added red stains. Trying to replicate stab/battle wounds. I added leather boot tops to the cuffs, and so on. I just get ideas and run with it."
In terms of creation time Paul said it took "About 2 weeks originally, but I typically add things between events. It helps represent the characters arc I think if the costume evolves with the character. And it’s natural to do so."
As for how often he's used it, his estimate puts it at about about 8 different events so far, as he puts it "[...]6 was Aftermath events, 1 Dystopia Rising event and a another event called Killing Fields"
The devil is in the details
One particular detail that Paul is very proud of is the "[...] painting I added to the back. It was my 1st time painting fabric and my 1st time making a stencil. It was a fun learning experience and I’m probably most proud of it than anything."
We can definitely understand why he's are proud of that, it is not easy to paint on fabric, but the end result can be exceptionally impressive.
About the creator
Paul started LARPing 7 years ago, and was convinced to participate by Geddon Mathew Pennbaker, who hosts an annual event called Aftermath based on the fallout universe.
Paul went with his kids and all got hooked. Which is a wonderful way to spend time with family. We are quite sure that a a few here at Epic Armoury would want such a rad way of spending time with loved ones.
We were also curious about what his leaning were in terms of Creation versus LARPing and in that regard, Paul had this to say:"I made me and the children's costumes from the start. It’s half the fun of it. Character creation, costuming and props introduced the kids to the technical side of theater. It broadened all their perceptions. So not only does Paul lean heavily towards the creation part, being able to share it with his children simply sounds amazing and really cool!
All in all, we saw the outfit from Paul and were blown away by its grungy and used look. However, we were utterly spellbound by Paul enthusiasm and interest in sharing which was a real treat, as such we would want to thank Paul Waldrep many, many times for being so nice and forthcoming and we look forward to seeing the next outfit that he manages to cook up!
Photos by: http://www.ksharpstudios.com/
Costume: Paul Waldrep