Wednesday 6 June 2012

Me And My Tennant Suit - Dan Neumann

It’s been a few months, but I thought I’d post anther entry in my occasional series, Me And My Tennant Suit.
This time we have Dan Neumann, who I had spotted at Gallifrey One this year and kept meaning to say hello to, but he was either busy chatting or I was in a rush to get somewhere.
Anyway, I friended him on Facebook and asked him to contribute. He’s what he had to say.

Name Dan Neumann
Age 22 years old
Location San Diego, California
Favorite Doctor Tenth!
Maker of my suit Baron Boutique
Colour of suit Brown Suit

I opened by asking Dan when he got his suit, “I ordered my suit in April 2011, right before FanimeCon!”

“After discovering Doctor Who a few years ago I was instantly obsessed with it, especially since David Tennant was my first Doctor”, he told me about his first encounter with the series. “A month or two after finishing the series I realized that I looked a fair amount like the tenth Doctor, and I had always been interested in cosplay but was too much of a perfectionist to go after something harder.” With that advantage in mind it seemed like a logical progression.
“I realized that replicating the tenth Doctor’s look was something that I would be able to do fairly easily, with the right suit - and so I found one!”

But what was he looking for in a suit? “I was looking for the best possible screen accurate suit I could get without breaking the bank. As a poor college student, I wasn’t prepared to spend a whole lot of money on a suit, and so I ended up looking for something around the $300 mark that was the most screen-accurate. The Baron Boutique suit worked excellently in this regard!”

So how was the fit? “Though it took a couple of round of alterations on the coat and the pants, it currently fits great! One of the best fitting pieces of clothing I own.”

Dan only gets to wear his suit four or five times a year currently, “But I’m always looking for more opportunities!”

“Having owned the suit for a year now, I have worn it every chance I can get, which is not nearly enough! I wear it every year to conventions such as Gallifrey One and FanimeCon, as well as to the Renaissance Faire and always for Halloween. I’m also going to be wearing it this year to San Diego Comic-Con!”

I turned attention to Dan’s suit, and he told me what he liked about it. “I think my favorite part of the suit is probably the character that comes with it.” Expecting the pockets, or the fit – this was a surprise answer. “Though I do love the style of it and the fit is fantastic, the most fun part of the suit is getting to dress and act like the tenth Doctor!”

“The only thing about the suit that I don’t really like is that it doesn’t really photograph quite well - in most lighting is can look more grey, even though the fabric is clearly brown when you see it up close.”

Dan went on to say, “The blue pinstripes are printed on, which is obviously not as desirable as having them be part of the cloth, but so far they’ve held up pretty well - none of them have started to wear off. The fabric itself is fairly nice to wear - its comfortable and since I chose the cotton suit, doesn’t end up getting too warm in crowded convention centers or hot weather.
Aside from that it’s perfect!”

But Dan clearly enjoys wearing his suit at any opportunity. “I think what excites me most about wearing the suit is the excuse to get into the character of The Doctor.” The chance seems to throw him back to his younger years . . .  “Aside from drama classes in middle school I have never really done any acting, but when I get into my Tennant Suit and spike up my hair I’m filled with this energy like I have two hearts beating in my chest. I also love the reactions I get from people - Doctor Who fans are some of the most awesome people you will ever meet.”

When I saw Dan at Gallifrey One this year, I noticed he accessorised his cosplay with a number of props. “I own quite a few accessories for my Ten cosplay”, he told me, “and I use almost all of them while I’m out at conventions! My favorite, of course, is the Sonic Screwdriver, which I purchased from ThinkGeek a while ago. There are definitely better replicas out there, but since I’ve already lost two of these I figured the cheap toy is better for carrying around - it still works brilliantly! With this I also got my psychic paper, which I always attach my convention badge to so that I can show it off at any badge checkpoints – and Doctor Who fans love it!”

But that’s not all!

“In addition to this I have three different pairs of glasses - his brainy specs, which are a set of Ray-Ban tortise shell colored reading glasses I picked up online, the 3D glasses, which I just purchased from a random website online, and the drunk sunglasses, which I purchased from a sunglasses stall at one of my school's markets. I'll always try to put each set of the glasses on based on what I’m doing - for example, if I’m at a panel or watching something, I’ll put on my brainy specs, and if I’m walking around a dealer’s hall or artist’s hall I’ll throw on my 3D glasses. It should be obvious what I put on the drunk Doctor sunglasses for!”

“Lastly, I have a cheap stethoscope I purchased from a drug store (this one hasn’t seen much use yet), and the chameleon arch pocketwatch my girlfriend purchased for me somewhere online. There’s still a bunch of accessories I have yet to pick up, but I’m always looking for the chance to carry around more!”

So far we have seen Dan’s brown Baron Boutique suit. But as our discussion continued a small confession came out! “I actually have two Tennant suits, the first of which was the blue suit from HonestDragonChina on eBay. Though I was instantly enraptured with Doctor Who, I had only done cosplay once before as Zack Fair from the game Final Fantasy VII with another internet-purchased costume and while fun I found the experience uncomfortable and a lot of hassle.”

“Eventually I realized I looked enough like the Doctor to pull it off, and the costume would be much more comfortable - it was only a suit and sneakers! So after doing some small research and weighing the costs I decided to purchase the blue HonestDragonChina suit, which I wore with an awesome tie I found in my Dad’s closet (red with blue boxes - it seemed perfect) and maroon converse.” Gotta love Dad’s wardrobe, haven’t you!

“The reception the costume got was so amazing that I immediately knew I wanted to get a more accurate, better looking suit. It was also around this time that I attended the Doctor Who convention Gallifrey One, and I loved it so much that I decided I would be returning enough times to make another suit purchase worth it. After doing a ton of research online at sites like the dw_cosplay group and Steve’s Tennant Suit Blog, I decided that I could achieve the best bang for my buck by going with the Baron Boutique suit. Although I had to originally send it back to get retailored (I had never taken measurements before), it easily became one of my favorite purchases ever! Since then I have worn it to various conventions for over two years, and I’m still extremely happy with it.”

I wondered if the dress sense of theTenth Doctor had inspired Dan to pick up a style he wouldn’t commonly wear. Had David Tennant turned him into a snappier dresser?
“It’s definitely been the case for me!” he told me. “In the past couple years since discovering Doctor Who I have taken a much greater interest in men’s fashion and dressing myself better. I now regularly visit websites dedicated to men’s fashion and always do thorough research before purchasing new clothes. The Doctor’s style definitely has inspired me in this regard!”

I’ll have to let Louise Page know her designs are shaping a new generation!

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