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Ashley Eckstein's big reveal

Ashley Eckstein's Her Universe fashion show has become a staple of San Diego Comic-Con. The geek couture show changes the life of three designers selected to have their fashions made into a ready-to-buy collection for Hot Topic.

To celebrate the fifth year of the show, Hot Topic, Her Universe and Loungefly joined forces to put together a night packed with surprises and milestones.

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Behind the scenes

Every year, Her Universe founder and Star Wars voice actor Ashley Eckstein pushes the envelope to create a one-of-a-kind gown. 

Last year we saw a Cinderella-inspired dress (check it out in our 2017 gallery of the show). This year's signature dress is made with 500 Funko Pop Jack Skellington heads and weighs 400 pounds.

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The detail

A close-up of the bow detail and Funko Jack Skellington heads. Andrew MacLain, winner of the 2013 Her Universe fashion show, designed the gown. 

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25 years of Nightmare Before Christmas

One of the milestones celebrated at the show was the 25th anniversary of the release of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Oogie Boogie inspired

Designer Andrew MacLain wore a suit inspired by Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas. It was quite itchy, he confessed, but sometimes you have to suffer for fashion.

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Matt Lanter and Dee Bradley Baker

After the announcement of the return of the Clone Wars show to Disney's streaming service, Ashley surprised the crowd by welcoming Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker) and Dee Bradley Baker (Clone Trooper) to the runway and yes, they did work that runway.

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Let the show begin

The fashion show is a competition for 24 designers who create a gown inspired by their fandom.

This dress was created by designer Kelsey Michele, who has a background in illustration and likes to tell a story with her designs. The name of her design is Style on Space Mountain, and it was inspired by the Disney park. 

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Convor couture

Candice Miller had to do a lot of crochet for her Star Wars-inspired dress.

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Convor couture

Candice is a fiber artist from Virginia who loves making unexpected things like lightsabers and headpieces with yarn. 

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The transformation

This Harry Potter-inspired gown is a creation of Lynne Martens, who wanted to surprise the judges with an unexpected twist. The gown transformed just as a Fawkes rises from the ashes in Chamber of Secrets.

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Flight of the Phoenix

Lynne Martens is a costume maker with an expertise in garment construction. She's also a fashion history vault.

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Flight of the Phoenix

Fashion takes flight. 

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Directive...?

Phoebe Ping is the talent behind this design inspired by the movie Wall-e. 

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Bettlesuit V:1

The classic film Beetlejuice inspired this designer, who made the outfit if Lydia was Beetlejuice and this was her suit. 

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Subject 89P13

Skyler Barret turned to Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy for inspiration.

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Nerf This

Designer Rachel Roth is a gamer and comics fan who had a surprise for attendees.

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Nerf This

Her pants transform to reveal a skirt in a look inspired by Overwatch.

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King couture

Sarah Hambly traveled to Black Panther's Wakanda for inspiration.

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Bespoke Barber of Suburbia

Edward Scissorhands inspired designer Lynleigh Sato.

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Bespoke Barber of Suburbia

She is from Redondo Beach, California.

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Vincent and exploding Tardis

Carina Langley-Lacy got inspiration from Doctor Who and Van Gogh's Starry Night.

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Vincent and exploding Tardis

Carina is a costume technician from Palm Springs, California.

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Best. Dress. Ever.

Harmony Leiker created this Tangled-inspired gown.  

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Best. Dress. Ever.

Harmony also loves painting and sculpting.

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Zinthos

Teen Titans inspired this gown by Stephanie Flor.

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Zinthos

Stephanie started drawing traditional fashion and also superheroes.

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Coffee at Luke's

The TV show Gilmore Girls inspired Sara Timm, who has a background in dance and theater.

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My Alebrije

Aaliyah Frye got her inspiration from the movie Coco. She played with black light added LED lights to her design.

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My Alebrije

The Coco-inspired outfit is full of movement and vibrant colors.

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Godzilla, Queen of the Monsters

Tanya Apuya worked the catwalk in Godzilla couture. 

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Godzilla, Queen of the Monsters

Tanya is from San Pedro, California.

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Seamstress Sally

Kimberly Burns created this gown inspired by Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Seamstress Sally

Sally was her inspiration because she put herself together figuratively and also literally.

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A special intermission

It the middle of the show, Ashley Eckstein asked for a break to let a model walk the runway in Doctor Who-inspired designs.

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The Doctor

The audience exploded when the model removed the hood to reveal herself to be Jodie Whittaker, the first female actress to be cast as The Doctor in the BBC show Doctor Who.

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Rebellion reborn

Adria Renee designed this two-piece garment inspired by Star Wars. 

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Yimbambe

Melissa Lynnette gathered her inspiration from Black Panther.

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Yimbambe

Melissa is a self proclaimed "giant nerd" and seamstress.

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Courage, daring, nerve and chivalry

A Harry Potter inspired design by Jill N. Nofzinger

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Darkness Rising

Christopher Lopez created this Kylo Ren-inspired gown.

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Darkness Rising

Christopher aspires to be a costume designer for film and entertainment.

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Colors of couture

Chatam Gray looked to Pocahontas for inspiration.

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Colors of couture

The gown is fierce and flowing. 

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Howl-in' For You

Sewing machine company Singer, a partner in the show, chose Jane Burson as its favorite. 

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Howl-in' For You

Her design is inspired in by the Studio Ghibli film Howl's Moving Castle.

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The Couture of Water

A gown inspired by Guillermo del Toro's Shape of Water, designed by Cynthia Kirkland, who won the judges' vote. 

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The Couture of Water

Cynthia Kirkland started as an art student but opted to move to Orlando, Florida, to pursue a career as a garment cutter and seamstress for Walt Disney World. She was a participant in the 2016 Her Universe Fashion Show.

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PWL Chic: Ripley in the Powerloader

Kristi Siedow-Thompson won the fan favorite vote with an Aliens-inspired three-piece outfit. 

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PWL Chic: Ripley in the Powerloader

Kristi is a fashion designer from New York. 

I voted for this outfit because it looked chic and I need that coat in my life.

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Celebration!

An emotional celebration after the winners were announced. They'll start working right away designing a Marvel's Avengers 4 collection for Hot Topic.

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