In my experience, even when you love something, the passion you feel and the attention you put toward it ebbs and flows.
For me, costuming is no exception.
I love my work as Alice – and the thrill of spotting or purchasing a piece I’ve been eyeing – but it’s been years since we’ve had a steady diet of Twilight content to fixate on. I’m exposed to the Twilight fandom every day online, but it isn’t the same as having new books to read or new films to watch. In fact, my Twilight life at this point has largely narrowed down to three things: maintaining the Olympic Coven‘s online presence, creating my own Alice content via Dear Bella, and assisting with the fan experience at Forever Twilight in Forks.
But every so often, you get a spark of inspiration from an unexpected source.
Enter the Twilight Saga Prop Auction.
The Prop Store has partnered with Summit Entertainment to bring a two-day live auction of Twilight props, costumes, accessories and set pieces to Twilight fans. The live auction will be hosted from November 19-20 at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, California, but even if you can’t attend, you still have a chance to own a piece of Twilight movie history. You can register to bid online, which is called absentee bidding.
From a costuming perspective, this auction is a treasure trove. Every item featured was screen worn by Twilight actors or their stunt doubles, so there’s a level of authenticity and star power that you don’t get when you buy something on eBay. But that’s not what excites me about this.
I’m excited because some of these items present once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
This dress, which Alice Cullen wore in Breaking Dawn: Part II, is custom made – no wonder I couldn’t find it on eBay!
Many of the pieces for sale were created or customized just for the film. You can’t find them anywhere else. You could own Bella’s blood-stained wedding dress! You could own the wall of graduation caps, or Aro’s Volturi throne, or the costumes owned by the Amazonian Coven! As a fan, that’s an unreal prospect. When do we ever get opportunities like this?
Putting the star factor aside, I’m also excited because there are important nuggets of information to be found all over these auctions. For example, almost every Alice auction comes paired with a costume tag that includes brand information for every piece Alice wore as part of that particular costume. For people like me, who have spent a long time researching select costume pieces to no avail, that’s a big deal.
These tags are helping costumers everywhere identify these pieces and giving them an opportunity to buy affordable versions in their own sizes. And alongside those tags are beautifully high-resolution photos, allowing us to see details that we couldn’t glean from film screen captures.
Take the Shipley Halmos trench costume that Alice wore in New Moon, for example. Although the trench was identified only recently, we spent years thinking that Alice wore the Anthropologie Drawing Parallels blouse beneath it. As you can see from the above auction photo, however, the blouse she actually wears is semi-sheer and light grey with very fine pinstripes.
And, based on the accompanying costume tag, we now know the brand: Joie.
Now that we have all of this information and more, we’re about to have a surge of unspotted Twilight items brought to light. This means we’re better able to make a choice: what am I willing to spend at auction versus what am I able to find on my own? The reality is that not everyone can afford to bid, but rather than being punished for that, the inclusion of these costume tags allows for just about anyone to buy their own version of a particular piece – if they can find it. And I think that’s great.
But if you are thinking of bidding on that once-in-a-lifetime piece, like I am, just remember the following:
- Set a budget, but be realistic. These pieces are rare, and you will have stiff competition. You won’t be getting items for $100 or less. Every auction includes an estimate of the price they’re expected to go for, and if that number makes you uncomfortable, don’t bid.
- But remember… you have six months to pay the full price of your item. The Prop Store and Summit Entertainment are generously allowing us to pay for these items in installments.
- Consider all the fees. If you’re bidding online, you’re paying an extra 25% on top of the price of your winning auction. This includes the fee taken by the auction house itself (20%), buyer’s expenses (3%) and credit card processing fees (2%). And don’t forget shipping costs, too.
- There’s something for everyone, and it might not be clothing. These items are expensive, so many people will be hesitant to bid on items they can’t wear in their everyday life or won’t fit into. Even if you aren’t the same size as Kristen Stewart or Ashley Greene, there are over 900 lots to choose from. There’s something out there for everyone!
- Consider the reality. Before you drop thousands of dollars on Edward’s Cullen crest cuff, ask yourself how that item fits into your life and what you’re going to do with it.
…Or don’t. If you have the money, go nuts. Who am I to judge?
Just be aware that if you’re bidding on any Alice pieces from Breaking Dawn, you might be bidding against me. And I’ve been told that I’m a frightening little monster. 😉