A work of wonder
by Nikki Chase
Aug 02, 2013 | 6398 views | 0 0 comments | 154 154 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Comic Con costume
Tracy residents Victoria Matthews, 22, and her mother, Sally Matthews, 60, created an award-winning Wonder Woman costume from scratch.  Nikki Chase/For the Tracy Press
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Designing an award-winning Wonder Woman costume — from the character’s floor-length cape to her titanium bracelets — took a Tracy mother and daughter weeks, but they agree it was time well spent.

On July 20, Tracy bank teller and vocalist Victoria Matthews was named the best portrayal of a DC Comics character during the 2013 Comic Con Masquerade in San Diego.

The 22-year-old first decided she wanted to dress up like Wonder Woman for a music festival she was attending with friends.

She could have spent thousands of dollars on a replica of the original Linda Carter costume. Instead, she turned to her mother, Sally Matthews.

“I’ve been making costumes for her vocal competitions since she was 8 years old,” Sally Matthews said. “She’s my living Barbie.”

Many of the materials came from around the house. The titanium arm bracelets were originally aluminum drinking tumblers that Sally Matthews cut and sanded. The red stars for the headpiece and bracelets started as bike reflectors.

“Making it took about a month, but finding everything took longer,” Victoria Matthews said.

According to Sally Matthews, the trademark golden eagle on the corset top was the hardest part, and “completely hand sewn.”

The design turned out so well that she sent pictures of her daughter in their “reimagined” Wonder Woman costume to organizers of the 2013 Comic Con Masquerade.

Their attention to detail impressed judges and put Victoria Matthews on a Comic Con stage in front of 4,000 people.

She and about 36 other acts each had 90 seconds to wow fans and a panel of judges in the comic book and costume field.

“I’d never heard about the masquerade before, so I didn’t know you were allowed to do skits or bring music,” she said. “I tried to think of some type of movement I could do with the cape. I had to wing it.”

For her elaborate costume and improvised performance, Victoria Matthews received a special DC Direct collectible worth more than $300 as the best portrayal of a DC Comics character.

“Afterwards, when we were walking back to the shuttle, people were saying congratulations,” she said. “Apparently a lot of people saw it.”

In addition to competing in the masquerade, Victoria Matthews was able to explore the Comic Con attractions and spotted a variety of celebrities. She and her sister, Katherine Matthews, 29, saw the cast of the HBO series “True Blood” and Captain America himself, Chris Evans.

“They were really friendly and how you hope celebrities would be,” Victoria Matthews said.

The mother-and-daughter designing duo already has next year’s costume planned, but they’re keeping it a secret.

“Next year, I’ll be more prepared,” Victoria Matthews said.

 Contact the Tracy Press at 835-3030 or tpnews@tracypress.com.
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