There are so few Black creators at costume events and I want to be one of them at the upcoming prestigious Costume-Con39 in San Jose and bring my fantasy creation CASCADE! Costume events are fun but more than that: as a woman of color, I get to represent.

This year I designed my first costume (yikes!) and it's inspired by waterfalls like Rainbow Falls. My parents, who were both teachers, took me and my brother (Central Park Birder, Chris Cooper) camping across country every summer. Yes, a Black family...CAMPING! I’ve been to some of the most spectacular state and national parks in the U.S. My favs are in California, where I now live, especially Yosemite with its magnificent cliffs and waterfalls. Like Yosemite, when Rainbow Falls are running hard, it's a wonderful sight and sound! I wanted to capture the rock that the waterfall springs from as well as the stunning torrential cascade of water.

I started making the dress, but I'm a newbie and I need more trim, notions, fabric and help attending the con in April. I'll upload images of the dress and con to social media for all to see. And I'm looking to connect with other BIPOC attendees. Just being there will make a difference! Black folks existed in all walks of life throughout history, from violinists to business owners, doctors, composers. So our mode of dress was varied. I often wear authentic or reproduction 19th century gowns. Best moment: being stopped by a little Black girl at an event: "You're a princess!" I stepped right into the opportunity to tell her about the historical figure I was representing and that yes, we did dress like this. Similar opportunities exist for fantasy and creations like CASCADE.

My parents both passed not long ago and I'm dedicating this dress to their memory: two Black teachers who shared their passion for the beauty of nature with me in ways that left a deep impression, taught me a different way to look at the world and inspired me to think I could sew a waterfall!

Financé par San Francisco, CA (March 2023)