This gallery of photos from a 1980s SF Convention has been floating around for a while, but it just crossed my timestream. While all convention photos from every era share a few things—gaudy hotel carpet backgrounds, at least one ill at ease looking guy with a pencil mustache, women with flaming red hair—this one does prove a few things. Although they didn’t call it “cosplay” back then —I believe the term was costuming—obviously people liked dressing just as scantily. However, based on these photos at least, the costumes are not as crafty and don’t involve the sometimes staggering amount of work that modern cosplayers exercise in terms of sewing, construction, and even electricity. Some of these ’80s costumes are little more than “Hey, I put fur on a bikini!”
Anyway, as we continue to unearth archaeological evidence from the “Hair Era” perhaps some who were there will speak up in the comments to explain and contextualize.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.