Fairies, fuzzy monsters and Payson drama students garbed as Vikings converged recently in Phoenix at the 30th annual Costume Con.
The Payson students came away with awards.
Costume Con is a four-day international conference that showcases the talents of folks who design, make and wear costumes. Design themes come from fashion, science fiction, history, art to wear and everything in between.
Kathy Siler, chair of the Payson drama department, asked local costume buff Parry Morton to attend Costume Con with her students and help them with costumes.
Siler and Morton have collaborated for years.
“I used to work for Disney,” said Morton, “I’ve done the Renaissance Festival for 22 years.”
Morton designs and wears elaborate costumes from a Viking to a Steam Punk genre character. He has participated in festivals and contests for years. He uses his design talents at each drama performance to create costumes and makeup with Siler’s students.
For this year’s Costume Con, Morton dressed drama student Sarah Sprinkle in his intricately patterned leather costume of the Viking Valkyrie sister to go with his Sven the Viking costume. He spent more than 5,000 hours working the leather.
“The costume Sarah wears has Olaf’s (a historical Viking King) crest on her leatherwork,” said Morton.
Morton and Sprinkle, along with Morton’s fiancee Marguerite Young, former Payson student Deanna Biesmeyer, and Matt Southard won a prestigious award for the intricate tooled leather on the Viking costumes and the ethereal fairy wings.
Morton said Sprinkle could not believe the attention she attracted.
“Sarah couldn’t believe how many pictures were taken of her,” he said, “The more you wear the costume, the more you become the character.”
Siler hoped bringing the students to Costume Con would inspire them to consider what Biesmeyer has done. She makes her living designing fuzzy creature costumes.
“Deanna has talent,” Morton said, “She puts her costumes on-line and they sell in five minutes.”