Star Wars Mandalorian and Ahsoka Tano
Star Wars Mandalorian and Ahsoka Tano - Photo Credit: Three If By Space

Dragon Con 2023 Cosplay Highlights, Trends and Artist Spotlight

By: Robert Prentice

Dragon Con 2023 started early as far as getting its party on this year. It seems each year Wednesday becomes more and more the unofficial start to Dragon Con. Throughout the weekend cosplayers feature their favorite characters, mashups, and trending topics in the form of cosplay. The trends for 2023 were somewhat as expected, with a few surprises thrown into the mix.

Artists in the vendor hall also came out in force with new designs and collectibles that feature the hot new trends of the past year, including classic ideas reimagined for fans of all genres of pop culture new and old. Today marks the close of Dragon Con 2023 but memberships for next year are already on sale, and if you buy now, it’s only $100, which will save you a lot versus waiting until the last minute. And that is for the full all-day pass as well. So visit DragonCon.org to buy your 2024 tickets today.

Cosplay Trends

Dragon Con is always a bellwether for the popular pop culture trends of the year, including the enduring and lasting impressions of older titles too. Coming as a shock to nobody, Barbie was one of the most popular cosplay trends for this year’s convention. And not just Barbie herself, but Ken too. And in true Dragon Con style, most Barbie and Kens were not your typical straightforward styles, they were mashups of all kinds, including the weird Barbie seen in this photo. They creatively also brought a manacin leg to go with their cosplay which sealed it as our favorite Barbie cosplay of the weekend.

Weird Barbie, Nadja, and Barbie

Weird Barbie, Nadja, and Barbie – Photo Credit: Three If By Space

Even with all the Barbie cosplay, what didn’t translate into a big trend this year was Barbenhiemer. While there were a handful of people who did have creative mashups of the cinematic duo, it wasn’t a prevailing trend for this year. Mandalorian mashup cosplay continued to top the list as well, growing on prior years with new combinations of characters that lent themselves to creative and fun cosplay ideas. Among my favorites was Marvin Mando, a mashup of Marvin The Martian and Mando. Another great one was a pink rhinestone studded Mando for a Barbie mashup.

Cosplay Highlights From Dragon Con

I did expect more Rebels and Ahsoka cosplay this year with the show’s release, but the proximity of the new season dropping to the start of the con proved too much and such cosplay were few and far between but here are a few great ones we saw.

Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, Hera Sendulla, Kanan Jerrus

Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, Hera Sendulla, Kanan Jerrus – Photo Credit: Three If By Space

Star Wars Rebels: Ezra Bridger with Chopper

Star Wars Rebels: Ezra Bridger with Chopper – Photo Credit: Fanbolt

Star Wars Mandalorian and Ahsoka Tano

Star Wars Mandalorian and Ahsoka Tano – Photo Credit: Three If By Space

Our friend group also did a What We Do In The Shadows group cosplay as Nadja, Lazlo, Guillermo and Nandor.

What We Do In The Shadows Nadja, Lazlo, Guillermo and Nandor

What We Do In The Shadows Nadja, Lazlo, Guillermo and Nandor – Photo Credit: Fanbolt

Along with these highlights are some additionally awesome cosplay mashups and themed group cosplays that we found to be well executed.

Vendor/ Artist Highlight

One of the other fun places to go and check out during Dragon Con is the vendor hall. Every year artists and vendors from around the country come down to the hall to show off their geek and pop culture collectibles and artwork for fans to purchase. There are 4 floors of booths and no shortage of creativity. We found a few pieces that we ended up buying that we wanted to call out for fans to check out their store.

Herofied Art – Rob Taylor

Herofied Art was featured on the top floor this year in the Comic and Artist Alley at Dragon Con. I immediately stopped at this booth when I saw the Rebels art that he had featured. His Etsy store offers a wide range of pop culture art from Star Wars, to Marvel and DC. Here are the prints I picked up this year and you can find in his shop.

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