Halloween has always been one of our favorite holidays. Not only it is super fun, but also it is the best time to unleash your inside creative genius. We have been a big fan of two little "rocking" yorkies, Rory and Lane, for their unparalleled Halloween costumes year after year. Our curiosity of finding out more about the "mastermind" behind the curtains leads us to this interesting interview with Rory and Lane's proud mommy, Ashley.
Q: Ashley, every year you came up with some really creative ideas for your girls' costumes, where do you usually get your ideas/inspirations from?
A: It really varies. Their Olympic Gymnast costumes were something I had wanted to do for a long time, so when the USA women brought home the team gold this year (for only the second time in history!) I knew it was perfect timing. My husband came up with the idea for the Hooters Girls costumes. I know; I know; shocking. The others were more of a joint effort.
I always try to think in terms of what would be a great costume or couples costume in general, not what would be a great costume for dogs in particular. I think the distinction is important, because often times if you think in terms of costumes for a dog, then you really unintentionally limit yourself. I prefer to think of the costumes and then try to think how I can modify it to work for Rory and Lane. I know a lot of people like coordinating human and dog costumes, but I think it’s more fun and challenging when the pups can stand alone.
Q: Which year's costume is your top favorite so far?
A: That’s a tough one! I think MY favorite costumes were this year’s Olympic Gymnasts. They will always hold a special place in my heart since I was a competitive gymnast growing up, and, even as an adult, I love the sport so much. That being said, I think the overwhelming favorite based on reactions from the public were the Hooters Girls last year.
Q: I am sure you always enjoy the making process, but what are the most memorable difficulties you have encountered during this creative process?
A: There is always something that seems to pop up at the last minute, especially when you create very detailed costumes and add a pup or two into the mix! This year we were about to leave for a costume contest when I noticed one of the sleeves on Lane’s leotard was missing some Swarovski crystals and had wet spots (drool marks) on it! I can only assume she had seen the shiny Swarovski crystals on her sleeve reflecting in the light and determined they were simply too tempting of a treat to pass up. Thankfully, I insisted we buy extra crystals for just such an occasion, and my husband got to work with the applicator applying them before we headed out the door. For anyone concerned, she didn’t ingest the crystals at all (I counted), just plucked them off and spit them out.
Last year, as part of their Hooters Girl costumes, they wore brown pouches with rolls of cash, tiny pencils and waitressing tablets inside of them. We thought we had affixed everything inside the pouches securely, but we quickly discovered that wasn’t the case. When the girls shook, the fake money went flying everywhere, “making it rain” if you will. A few minutes and a lot more tape later the issue was resolved.
A few years ago, Lane was Slimer. (Rory was a Ghostbuster). We stuffed Lane’s Slimer costume so full the first time we tried it on her she couldn’t walk in it! It was a fine line between getting her plump enough to resemble Slimer without restricting her movement. Without a lot of exaggerated and obvious padding, she kind of just looked like a porkie Yorkie in green pajama
Q: How long does it usually take from forming an idea to get the costume made?
A: I pretty much start thinking about what the girls will be for Halloween a year in advance. And yes, I think I’ve already decided on Rory and Lane’s costumes for 2013. The person who takes my horrible drawings and turns them into beautiful creations is quite busy, so I try to start talking with her in July or August to get all the details ironed out. Since I can’t sew (even a button), I rely on her to tell me if something I’m picturing won’t work, or we will both realize modifications will have to be made along the way. Depending on the costume, I can spend a good bit of time looking at the human version and trying to figure out how to make it translate on to a 10 pound dog. The leotards were especially difficult, because there were so many details that I wanted to incorporate. I often pull together the accessories myself, so it can take a few weeks to find regular everyday items in a Yorkie’s size.
Q: How are your two girls, Rory and Lane, feel about every year's costumes? Do they have a favorite of their own?
A: It’s no secret Rory and Lane are exceptionally good sports when it comes to being dressed up in all kind of things.
I often get asked about how they tolerated the ping pong ball enhanced chests of the Hooters Girl costumes, but it really didn’t bother them at all.
Lane didn’t really like the hood on her Little Red Riding Hood costume and froze when I put it on her, but I called her bluff by pulling out my secret weapon, her miniature rubber soccer ball. As soon as I squeaked her ball, she came running and never gave the hood a second thought.
Rory was a super good sport that Halloween balancing granny glasses from Build-A-Bear on her nose, as the wolf in grandma’s clothes.
In general, I try to make sure their costumes fit them well, so their movement isn’t restricted in any way, and they are comfortable. Their favorite costumes probably are the ones that involve the least amount of me fussing with their hair! I don’t think the costumes themselves feel much different than their everyday wear to them. As far as attitude wise, we have always joked that Lane was thrilled to be a career Hooters girl, but Rory was simply working at Hooters to help pay her way through med school.
Q: Do you dress up yourself for the Halloween too?
A: I haven’t dressed up in a real costume for a few years. This year I broke my own rule, about wearing Hello Kitty as more than a shoe or accessory out in public as an adult woman (but I’m so young at heart!), with a Halloween Hello Kitty tee shirt, but that was the extent of it. I think I end up so focused on Rory and Lane that costumes for my husband and me are an afterthought! I am certain none of our costumes have ever been as creative as Rory and Lane’s though.
Thank you, Ashley for taking time to share your super fun experiences with us! And thank you, Rory and Lane, for being exceptionally good sports! We love you girls and can't wait to see your 2013 Halloween costumes!