Kuranosuke Koibuchi from Princess Jellyfish Otakon 2013
When deciding on cosplays, she likes to go as feminine guys. Thus, though this character is a little bit different than her usual character, she is still going as a feminine guy. She considers herself to be crossdressing as a male who is a crossdresser. She usually chooses characters that are not cosplayed as much, especially ones that are easy to cosplay. She usually does found, or closet, cosplays. However, this time she wanted to sew something and chose to do this character.
Asami and Bolin from Avatar: The Legend of Korra Otakon 2013
They usually try to do a cosplay that they can do together, and prefer one where the characters are a couple. They really liked Legend of Korra, so going as Asami and Bolin worked for Otakon. They made the costumes as a group with them and their parents helping as well. He likes Bolin a lot and got a lot of satisfaction from the fact that he already looked like the character. He likes the awkward happiness that Bolin gives off and how lovable he is. Bolin’s interactions with the other characters in are positive overall, and that makes it very comfortable for him to be Bolin. He likes that he feels loved because of the character that he is portraying.
She feels like she’s often overshadowed by her looks, something that happens with Asami as well. Asami is a very proactive character, but even though she is playing Asami, she doesn’t feel as proactive as Asami is. She mostly just feels pretty when cosplaying as Asami.
It was a lot of work to create the costumes, so they like getting appreciation. It makes them feel as if they’ve done something worthwhile. They were feeling “kind of narcissistic” in their costumes, especially since it was the beginning of the day and everyone was very excited.
Apple Jack and Big Mac from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Otakon 2013
Though these two were not cosplaying together, I found them hanging out and they were nice enough to take some photos and do a short interview.
Apple Jack likes ponies a lot and sees a lot of the character attributes for Apple Jack in herself. Since Apple Jack reminds her of herself, she lets her own personality come through when cosplaying as Apple Jack. When choosing a cosplay, she goes with what people like and suggest. Since a friend of hers was cosplaying as Twilight Sparkle, she decided to go as Apple Jack.
She watched My Little Pony, as well as the the Equestrian Girls movie and liked Big Mac best. She decided to cosplay as Big Mac for Otakon since it was an easy cosplay for her to do. She likes this version of Big Mac a lot since he reminds her of her boyfriend, who is southern. She considers her cosplay a crossplay. Even though she is dressed as a male character, she feels like herself.
Boot covers. These are probably by FAR my proudest achievement of this costume…
This is how I made the drill curls for my Mami Tomoe cosplay… I hope it’s helpful for anyone else doing Mami or another character with drill curls! :) Also posted on my DeviantArt:
Steampunk Hawkgirl at Otakon 2013
She chose to do a Steampunk Hawkgirl because she wanted to do something different. She changed the character so that she would only be recognized by people who were really big fans of Hawkgirl. She did this so that people who were familiar with the character and recognized her would be able to interact with her character. Wearing the wings and the costume gives her a better feel for the character. She wanted a costume that would test her abilities. When her costume is seen and recognized, she feels a sense of pride in her skills.
Check out the original on Deviantart: http://elenaleetah.deviantart.com/art/Tutorial-How-to-make-light-weight-wings-Kamael-348626950
How To Turn Craft Foam Into Leather
(Or not really but close enough. Also a side order of armour.)
I picked up this technique from this tutorial years ago, then adapted it further. You can use it to imitate leather, and with a few changes also to make thin armour parts, such as Vincent Valentine’s gauntlet as in the last picture. It won’t really work for thicker armour; there are plenty of tutorials on how to make EVA foam armour to be found online.
Back to fakey leather; you need the standard 2mm craft foam/fun foam/EVA foam/foam of many names, white glue, a brush, shoe polish, mod podge/podgy glue and a sponge.
You want to have most of the shaping and decorating done before you start. For example, for Athos’ pauldron I had already glued the three layers of the main piece and the fleur de lis shield together (UHU glue works well, all purpose glue is also okay), but had left the two upper strips and the straps separate to be attached after everything was done.
It is also easiest to do any embossing when the pieces are still flat. Foam won’t take an awful lot of detail, but with some patience the results can work quite well. You can use paper embossing tools for this, but make sure that the point isn’t too sharp or it will tear the foam. The back of a knife also works. My favourite tool for it so far is actually a letter opener. Drag across the foam for the first shallow line (it will spring back a bit) and repeat as many times as necessary without cutting the foam.
One layer of craft foam isn’t very strong by itself, so you either want to have at least two layers glued together or a single layer backed with fabric. If the final result includes stitching, definitely attach fabric or the thread may pull right through the foam. Cover the back of the foam piece with white glue, then smooth fabric onto it. Use cotton or linen (not synthetics), so that the glue can come through the fabric. When it is dry, cut the fabric along the edges of the foam, then brush another layer of white glue on the fabric. This makes sure that the fabric is firmly stuck and that the edges won’t fray.
(If you want to imitate metal armour, dilute the white glue a bit with water for the first couple of layers covering the whole piece; the fabric backing as well as the front and sides of the foam. This allows the glue to saturate the foam. Follow that with a few layers of undiluted glue, letting it dry in between layers until it’s stiff enough. The end result can be spray painted.)
Most importantly, when you glue layers of foam or foam and fabric together make sure that it dries in the shape it’s supposed to be. For Athos’ vambrace I wrapped a towel around a bottle to have something roughly the shape of my upper arm and then tied the pauldron around it while the glue between the layers was drying. Once it is dry, it will hold its shape. You do not need to heat the foam to do this! Heating it is inadvisable since foam is somewhat toxic. Foam is also a little stretchy, so you can carefully stretch it for an extra curve. Glueing fabric to it will help it hold its shape.
This is the point where I added battle damage to Athos’ pauldron by cutting grooves out of the top layer of foam with a stanley knife. The knife needs to be very sharp to prevent ragged edges, so use a new blade.
Now for actually making it look like leather! Rub several layers of shoe polish onto the foam, letting it dry between layers. The resulting colour depends on the colour of the foam and the polish. Use black foam and brown polish for dark brown ‘leather’, white or grey foam for lighter shades and so on (the Gondorian vambrace in the picture before last was made using white foam for the top layer and black foam for the bottom layer).
Then use a sponge to brush a layer of mod podge onto it. Mod podge is a glue varnish used for decoupage and is water resistant when it is dry. Two or three layers will do, and for a smooth finish dilute the mod podge with a little water for the last layer. Leave it to dry thoroughly. It will remain a little tacky, which can be solved by smoothing a little talcum powder onto the surface carefully. This also removes a bit of the shine, for a slightly more worn look.
Finally, assemble the piece, sew the bits that have to be sewn, paint decoration etc. As a general tip, if you want to make an object that looks like leather, treat it like leather! Add stitching, add metal grommets and so on. That goes a long way in making it look convincing.
Twilight Sparkle Cosplayer from Otakon 2013
She chose this cosplay because she and all of her friends going into My Little Pony and decided that she was the Twilight of the group. They planned the cosplay as a group. Her cosplay, other than the wig, is created using all normal clothing items. She chooses characters that she feels she can reasonably portray based both on how she already looks and also so that she will be recognized as the character she is dressed as. She tries to dress so that her cosplay will be recognized since part of the fun of cosplay is people knowing who you are dressed as. She sees cosplay as artwork; a way of expressing oneself. She enjoys doing genderswap cosplays. While she enjoys both making male characters female and dressing as male characters, she enjoys having the element of disguise that comes with dressing as a male. When dressed in a male cosplay, no one knows that she isn’t a guy until she speaks.
Hi! Sorry I haven’t posted much recently. Grad school has had me very busy. Now that it’s summer I’m going to try to do at least one post per week (maybe more) since I have at least 20 posts that I can make. Additionally, I will be at cons between now and October.
I have quite a lot of photos from Cons of people who ended up not participating in the survey, but did some really nice photoshoots. Would any of you be interested in me posting general cosplay pictures in addition to the interviews?
Cid Highwind from Final Fantasy 7.
Cid is one of his childhood favorites. He grew up playing the game and doesn’t see many people doing the version from this game, so when a friend needed a Cid for a group, he figured, why not, since he’d always wanted to cosplay as Cid.
He makes all of his props and armor. He’s redone this weapon in particular a number of times and was working on a new one since this one has been used so many times. He tries to make the costume himself if he can, but for this one in particular, he commissioned a friend to make it. Between him and all of his cosplayer friends, everyone is good at something so whatever someone isn’t good at, someone else can help them with.
What he likes about Cid is that he’s really amazing and efficient in the game. "I fell in love with him when I first played the game." When cosplaying, he feels great when people are excited and glad to see the characters he does. He’s learned not to feel down on himself when people don’t recognize his character and ask who he is. He realizes that different generations grew up playing different games and might not recognize the characters he cosplays.
When dressing as a character, he finds that he tends to take on their mannerisms, almost subconsciously. He chooses characters that he enjoys and loves for who they are. Since he already loves the characters, he’s familiar with their mannerisms, and so when he dresses as them, that familiarity with the character comes out.
Audrey SuttonClaude Vignon. Drawing, “Standing Figure in Oriental Dress”, ca. 1650. Graphite and red chalk on off-white laid paper. Gift of Hugh Cassel. 1958-143-6.
With the increase in the visibility and popularity of cosplay (short for costume play), I thought we could look at an example in the collection to show the long tradition of dress-up in western culture. In the past, people from other cultures, and their dress, were extremely interesting to western culture. These cultures were new to the west, so every aspect of them was examined, usually ending in their commodification. Though the word cosplay wasn’t coined until the 1980s, people have been dressing up for hundreds of years. Cosplay, however, has been gaining far more visibility these days due to television shows, such as SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay, and increased fan-creator interaction, such as how Marvel encourages cosplayers to send in photos. Conventions have always been around, but they have been gaining more media attention, such as articles in the New York Times about major conventions and their most recent photography project showing cosplayers in their homes.
Photo by Mike Rollerson, DC Steampunk Cosplay
When looking at current cosplay, one notices that it goes through trends, just like fashion. One of the current trends is idealized historical clothing, as well as more specific niches, such as steampunk, which usually consists of Victorian dress combined with antique-looking technology. People even expand upon the theme to create steampunk cosplays of more generic costumes, such as well-known superheroes.
This drawing, entitled “Standing Figure in Oriental Dress” is an example of how Westerners interpreted, or cosplayed, the foreign dress they were encountering. The dress and customs of the places visited were usually shown through drawings and travel accounts. Those who had traveled to the east often had images made where they were wearing the costume of the country they had traveled to. These images served as both souvenirs and as tools to teach others about the culture that they had visited. These images were not always accurate. Oftentimes the artist or the sitter would create an outfit from various pieces of dress to create an image that they found pleasing. Even an image of someone from that region might be constructed.
Of course, cosplayers put much more work into their outfits than that. Not only is lots of time put into their creations, but unlike westerners playing at dressing like foreigners, cosplayers strive to make their costumes as close to the source material as possible. However, not all cosplay has a source material or is true to the source material. Reinterpretation of characters and costumes, as westerners did with foreign dress, allows for creativity and a personalized element in cosplay. Cosplay isn’t just about accuracy, it is also about creativity and self-expression.
Looking at the items in the Cooper-Hewitt’s collection, what would you most like to cosplay as?Museum Number:1958-143-6
'conventions are for no-lives and losers'
more in video (x)
Utena Tenjou cosplayer from Otakon.
This cosplayer chose Utena Tenjou, from Revolutionary Girl Utena, because she is her favorite feminine character. Utena is her favorite because she’s not stereotypical; she’s an unconventional, strong character that everyone admires.
She is not actually like Utena, but she feels stronger when she’s cosplaying as her. She likes who Utena is and it makes her feel good. When cosplaying as Utena she feels more who who she wants to be and who she thinks she wants to be.
I have all the fabric and materials for my shield maiden (Lagertha, but not because I am not blonde) costume. I’m not sure how historically accurate I want to be with the tunics and whatnot. Should I do the historically accurate t-shape tunic, or make sleeves and armholes and cut my pants on the bias for ease of movement? What do you guys think?