For the eighth consecutive year, UC Davis students have an array of costumes available to rent from the Enchanted Cellar Costume Rentals at the theatre and dance department, located in the basement of Wright Hall.
The Enchanted Cellar offers students recycled costumes from stage productions put on by the department. Students can rent costume kits, which come with a costume and wig or hat, or separate accessories, all for 50 percent off the tag price.
“Most of the kits range from $60 to $150,” said Roxanne Femling, the costume shop director. “UC Davis affiliates always get 50 percent off and this year for Halloween, we’ve extended that discount to the Davis community.”
This year’s price also includes the cost of dry cleaning.
With three changing rooms full of costumes, wigs and accessories, students have plenty of options. Costumes of well-known characters, from categories such as Harry Potter, pirates and classic superheroes, hang alongside more obscure costumes such as a character from the Hitchcock film The Birds. Costumes from science fiction movies and superhero movies tend to be the most popular.
“Captain America immediately left,” Femling said.
Other popular choices include costumes from Star Trek, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, as well as Marie Antoinette and Anthony and Cleopatra.
“If students don’t want to work on a costume because it’s too expensive somewhere else, they can find a legit-looking one here for half the price,” said Joanna Kaplan, a veterinary medicine graduate student and employee of the shop.
“These costumes are way better looking than the ones in stores, plus they’re very unique,” said Vanessa Chen, also a veterinary medicine graduate student and store employee.
The majority of costumes are handmade by the costume shop. The rest are purchased, donated or put together from items found at thrift shops. Femling and her team of seamstresses often add unique elements to costumes that are purchased in order to make them more distinct. The revenue from the rentals goes toward the theatre and dance costume department.
“These costumes are high quality and it’s nice to recycle them since the materials aren’t cheap,” said undeclared first-year student Jean Liu, a costume shop employee.
For Halloween this year, Femling has produced new costumes, including Catwoman, Emma Frost from X-Men and Nite Owl and Silk Spectre from Watchmen.
“If people have been here before, they’re going to find new things,” she said. “We got a lot of girls asking for French maid costumes last year, so this year, we pulled out costumes from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Students also have the choice of renting accessories separately to add to a costume they already have. Accessory rental prices range from $3 to $15, not including the additional 50 percent off students and faculty receive. Pieces include shoes, jewelry, wigs, hats, swords and corsets.
The Enchanted Cellar is located in Wright Hall Room 17 and is open for Halloween costume viewings and fittings Monday through Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m., Friday from 2 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments for fittings can be made by phone at (530) 752-0740 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEPHANIE B. NGUYEN can be reached at email@example.com.