Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How I Make My Furry Costumes: Q+A with Lee Strom (a.k.a. Chairo)

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge sc_32_furtherconfusion2012.jpg

San Jose hosts Further Confusion 2012, California's largest annual furry convention, starting today (Thursday). Further Confusion 2011's attendance hit 2,801, and more than 3,000 attendees are expected this year. (Glossary Tip: The overall furry scene, fans, fursuiters, and those elsewhere on the spectrum, are collectively referred to as "the fandom.")

Lee Strom co-founded the first Further Confusion in 1999, and he has been actively involved with the fandom since before then as a fursuit maker -- including as the head of Frolic's NeonBunny -- as well as a party organizer and general raccoon-about-town. We spoke with Strom -- whose fandom name is Chairo (\chi'-ro\) -- about the history, art, and business of fursuits.

sc_32_furtherconfusion2012_bringmetheheadofneonbunny_3.jpg

What is the origin of fursuiting?

Fan costuming has been around far longer than the fandom. It became "fursuiting" only when the first convention, ConFurence, began in the late 1980s. Furry costuming is an extension of anthropomorphic art.

And "anthropomorphic art" means...?

"Anthropomorphism" is the assignment of human qualities to otherwise nonhuman entities, while animals and fantasy creatures are specific to the fandom. Furries who wear costumes do it for a variety of reasons. Some because they enjoy portraying a character, some because they love performing, others simply for the love of fur, and even others just be part of a rapidly growing expressive artistic subculture.

Who makes the suits? I'm guessing it's not an Amazon 1-Click kinda thing.

The fandom consists of professional as well as amateur costumers, the latter being predominant. Most people wearing costumes at a convention purchase their fursuits from makers in the fandom. The majority of fursuits are custom-made. Many get model sheets made from 2D artists who then supply them to the makers for transformation into costumes.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"