I’ve been asked by friends, family, and strangers the following question: “What is cosplay?”
My first answer is something along the lines of “the most worthwhile circle of Hell.”
My second answer is the textbook definition from dictionary.com:
1.the art or practice of wearing costumes to portray characters from fiction, especially from manga, animation, and science fiction.
2.a skit featuring these costumed characters.
3.to portray (a fictional character) by dressing in costume.
4.to take part in cosplay:
He cosplayed as a Jedi from Star Wars.
My third answer is usually the most accurate, which is simply this “cosplay is when you fall in love with a character so much that you feel the need to make a costume, wear it, and parade around a convention acting like that character.” Cosplay is not just a costume. Most cosplayers either make their cosplay by hand or they pay someone (me!) to make it by hand, because cosplay is not simply an exact replica of the character but instead an interpretation of the character from a movie, anime, manga, book, cartoon, TV Show, etc. Cosplay is a different facet of creativity and costume design.
The cool thing about costume design is coming up with your own characters which is not cosplay. The cool thing about cosplay is thinking of original ways to replicate the designs of the character, especially an animated character. How do I make that pattern on XYZ’s dress? Do I embroider it? Paint it? Make it out of a different material? Cry? Each person is going to capitalize on their own talent too, so one person may paint it because they are more comfortable with paints and another may embroider it… which one is better? Neither. It will look different but it will have the same concept. Likewise, it will show different personality types.
In conclusion, cosplay is a facet of the art form Costume Design.
Let me know if you guys would like to know more about it or if you have any other questions. Maybe I will make a separate post about it if I have enough to say on the subject!
Poison Ivy: Me, Ashly Blake, costume designed by me
Batman: Unknown. It was a guy at Ikkicon in Austin that I took a picture with.
Catwoman: Linda Guthery, costume designed by Linda
Harley Quinn: Sarah Young, costume designed by Sarah
Blue haired Guy: Unknown, he ended up in the picture at Ikkicon in Austin as well