Costume conundrums in preparation for FON

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A FON tradition: students rushing backstage, hastily changing into their next costumes— assuming these outfits had all arrived in time for the performance. When it comes to FON costumes, it is commonplace for leaders and performers to grow anxious waiting for their packages to deliver. With most costumes finally here or soon arriving, students shared their experiences with FON wardrobe malfunctions. 

For some, shipping is the problem. Only a few days prior to the first performance, K-FON leader junior Vivian Chen said, “Since we ordered from an overseas provider, there are more factors that may prohibit us from getting the costumes on time. I ordered a month in advance but it still hasn’t gotten here yet.” 

Chinese Modern FON leader senior Kailey Van explained, “We ordered a shipment of costumes from [the Asian brand] Yesstyle. They were not able to come in so we had to reorder them from American websites so that was definitely a complication.”

In addition to shipping issues, some have problems with costume orders not arriving at all. Chinese Ribbon FON leader senior Emily Yan said, “We had to email the company to send us the costumes we were missing. We also had to find an alternative costume at a physical store since the estimated shipping time for another costume we had was too late.”

There are also complications when it comes to costume sizing and coloration. Emily said, “We’ve had issues with our costumes since they’re traditional chinese qipaos. The sizing for Chinese clothes are very different from American clothes, so we had to make sure everyone measured themselves and sized up.” Junior Anindita Bhattacharjee shared a similar issue with her Bollywood costume. “The top doesn’t exactly fit, which means I’ll have to get it tailored from outside of school,” she said.

Senior Faye Shemper, a leader of Hispanic FON, added, “A lot of costume issues came from incorrect colors, or things not being in stock.” Her FON underwent 20 or more costume changes before finally settling on a costume for their traditional girls dance.

Senior Lindsay Kim, a leader of Chinese Feather Fan and Flag FON, also shared, “It’s really difficult to coordinate buying costumes for FON. Some of our skirts were delivered later than others and had to be given out the day of the dress rehearsal even though we ordered them well beforehand.”

Some FON members also shared their complaints about the quality of this year’s costumes. Sophomore Ada Lin in K-FON expressed her displeasure. “The material tends to be very fragile and some of the accessories break rather easily. The costumes are poorly made and the material is a little cheap, with some of the costumes being a little bit too thin.” Junior Katie Hsu says of Chinese Ribbon FON that “it’s super hot when we practice so we’re all sweating in our qipaos, and I’m scared it’ll stain.”

Despite the endless hassle that FON leaders have experienced in search of the most cost effective and presentable costumes, Faye states that such changes will not affect the quality of the performance and that the endless costume changes “should actually enhance the dance.” 

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