Women in Games: Amanda McGinnis from Console to Closet
Amanda McGinnis shops around and finds the best outfits and accessories inspired by video game characters. Currently a junior English major in college, Amanda hopes to one-day work for a gaming publication, or become a community manager for a gaming community. In addition to keeping everyone up on gamer fashion Amanda founded Assassionista, a gaming blog. Here is my conversation with Amanda about her Tumblr, Console to Closet.
Natasha: So, how did you come up with this idea?
Amanda: I actually came up with this idea a few months ago, when I decided that I wanted to learn how to make jewelry. I had this idea that I could make jewelry that looked inspired by games for people who wanted to show their nerd pride, but still look fashionable. After one trip to Michaels, I realized I had no idea how to make jewelry. Fast-forward a few months, I was playing around on Polyvore, a website that allows you to create outfits from scanned in clothing from online stores, and made like 20 Mass Effect themed outfits. I thought to myself, these actually look kind of cool…I might be onto something. So I decided to make a Tumblr and see what happened. So far, it’s been going pretty good!
I started out doing my favorite characters, or characters that visually appealed to me. Since I just recently finished playing through Mass Effect 3, characters like Shepard, Liara, Garrus, etc. were the first ones that I made. After hearing feedback about the page, I opened up a place for readers to request characters that they’d like to see. It’s really cool reading so many different types of characters, sometimes I actually have to Google them to know who they are! I’m pretty fortunate that video games is a medium that has so many different characters to choose from.
So, true. Pericii from the first Star Ocean is one of my favorites.
Oh, I haven’t received a request for that character yet – added to the list
Anyways where do you find the clothes that create the outfits?
I use the website Polyvore, it’s a community run website where people scan in their favorite clothes from online stores. It’s basically a catalog of everything clothing related online. You can actually click through Polyvore to the online store and order every piece of clothing that I use in the outfits. One of the biggest flaws of Polyvore, however, is that you cannot sort through prices. When I make these outfits I usually have an idea in my head of how I want it to turn out, so I’m constantly scanning each page looking for items to fit that image. But since I can’t sort through price, sometimes I’ll be looking at items that are $20 or $2000. In more recent outfits, I’ve begun to consciously look at the prices of each item so that readers can actually purchase the exact outfit for an affordable price. I usually try to use items that can be easily replicated at numerous stores so if readers don’t want to purchase a particular item, they can usually find something similar in their own closet or favorite stores.
Do you plan on turning this into maybe a business partnership with Polyvore, or other clothing stores?
I’ve actually been planning on introducing my own line of jewelry and accessories to accompany most of the outfits. I’ve got quite a few designs in the works and am hoping to get them on sale within the month.
Oh wow that is really interesting! How do you get them made?
I’ve partnered with a friend who makes jewelry. Together we’ve come up with a few really cool designs to start it off – The one I’m most excited about is a Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time themed bracelet with the song of time music notes right on the bracelet. We’ve also got ones planned for a Renegade Shepard, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Dark Brotherhood. I think the jewelry will be a cool way to add a hint of nerdy to an outfit without overpowering it.
That is amazing. I have a friend who is obsessed as a person can be with Zelda and I’m a Dark Brotherhood fan so that is really exciting.
I’m a huge fan girl of those series, so to me this is just exciting to create something that I’d like to wear, myself, and pass that onto fellow gamers.
Do you plan to introduce guy accessories or clothing? Not that they are the most fashion forward individuals.
That’s the thing, I totally pandered to the stereotype that guys aren’t going to care about fashion and I didn’t include them in my outfits when I first started (which is something I really regret!). I received more requests for guy outfits that anything. I’ve begun to do a few outfits for guys, but it’s difficult for me though because I know nothing about men’s fashion. My fiancé is a very fashionable guy, so I’ve been seeking his advice with regards to the guy outfits and I’m hoping he will continue to help me with them. As for the accessories, I would absolutely love to in the future but as of now, I don’t have any designs planned.
So what do you exactly foresee in the future?
I’m hoping the site will continue to grow, I’d love to reach out to readers who aren’t necessarily “hardcore” gamers, but still appreciate the outfits. I’d also love to create more guy outfits as I think there’s a serious lack of resources for fashion for men, especially gamers. I’m also trying to get the community more involved, by sending in pictures of themselves wearing their favorite “game-inspired” outfit. And probably the biggest thing I have planned for the future is the jewelry and accessory line to accompany the outfits.
What is the hardest part of the whole thing?
This is going to sound so cheesy, but the hardest part is how much fun it is. I find myself on the Internet for hours making outfits, when I probably should be more productive with other areas of my life. I’m probably the biggest shopper I know, so I find that making the outfits is really therapeutic for me – It’s like retail therapy, without spending any money.
Thanks to Amanda McGinnis for granting us this interview. The outfits are amazingly adorable.