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Tell me about this cosplay thing!

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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Guest. 13/06/10, 06:46 am

I've done a few commissions too. In my eyes, who cares if you made it or not, as long as you have fun wearing it, it's all that matters.

But making costumes can be really fun <3

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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By PIe. 13/06/10, 07:02 am

While I myself have never gotten a commision and due to the cost of it am unlikely to I don't see anything wrong with it and think it's great that people can wear costumes they don't have the skill and/or time to make.
I've got a few costumes that have required me to do nothing more than wig styling, modification of clothing or prop making (Hibari, Gokudera, Misty) and while I feel a little bit lazy for not having made more of the costumes I still love wearing the costumes as the wearing the costume really is such a big part of it.

On the other hand I have commisioned a couple of wigs for people (it's the only thing I'm confident enough in my skills to expect people to pay for)
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By carnione. 13/06/10, 08:42 am



Liz wrote:
Here's another question to throw into the mix - what's more important/enjoyable, making a costume or wearing it?


In my opinion* the wearingof the costume is more enjoyable but the making of one is very rewarding (or upsetting, as I am the type of person to find fault in all of my cosplays and to improve on them when I feel like it later)

And again, "in my opinion" both the making and wearing of a cosplay is important (or unimportant, depending how you interpret this.)

I don't think this will be phrased properly XD but, bear with me, IMO - one could WEAR a cosplay and look wonderful in it, but there is always that standpoint that to cosplay one needs to put in the effort of making it themselves, as opposed to commissioning it or buying it.*

At the same time, one could MAKE a cosplay and not wear it for themselves (and by this I mean people who only ever make cosplay outfits, not those who cosplay AND do commissions)... I haven't seen this happen as often, but some people's* opinion is that it seems... heartless? Don't know how the psyche works on this one, but (again, IMO) basically - it's that person who the wear-but-not-make buys the costume off from.

Another (perhaps more-making-sense) idea/theory/thing would be that it is a general rule of thumb that it you make it, you must be proud of it, and YOU must wear it.

(Ok, now I’ve lost my train of thought, so that’s it for me) QK

*Just because it is, in fact, only an opinion :L
*… completely forgot the note I was going to make here. Err, I guess… there’s nothing wrong with doing this, and it is just an example? And that I am not intentionally implying that one must both make and wear their own cosplays (as, obviously, not all people are confident at DIY and not all people enjoy the wearing-and-being-in-character [or out] part of cosplay. Also, there are more things to cosplay than just the outfit, such as the props, which people will prefer to "specialize" in)

*SOME people – not all. Just to clarify.

----

Now that I am done at possibly sounding like an ass...

Okiedokie.

Short little anecdote-type-thing-but-not-really:
I love anime/manga, books, video games and whathaveyou. Then, when I was 9 or 10, I went to my first convention and saw awesome people dressed in awesome costumes. This captured my interest and it sort of branched out from that until I eventually manifested into... Present!Me.

-cough-

My main reason/s for enjoying cosplay would be that the environment and community is incredible.

Let's use conventions as an example, shall we? It is** (in the main-hall part, usually) this large area filled with hundreds of people and is basically a market (albeit, one you have to pay to enter [asides from the few "free" conventions] with all these "geeky" things and awesome people.

At the same time, this area also smells really bad, there are a lot of weeabos, many things are overpriced and there is often much pushing to get where one wants to go.

Despite that, people still go. Because it is awesomeness. There are still the awesome people and events and there are usually a number of fairly priced items to buy (or, there are a number of over-priced AWESOME things.) As much of a misanthrope that I can be, people in the cosplay community are incredibly fun and (IMO) are capable of interesting conversation XD (it helps that they have the same interests as me hehe)

... This is becoming a LONG comment



In short:
Cosplay = Awesome-epic-win-in-my-pants.
Due to various reasons depending on one's personal views. For me, it is the challenge of try to make something that doesn't fail from a book/movie/anime/etc. that stays faithful to the "original" and being in an environment in which I am around people that I am not awkward around who are great for many lulz.

Make sense?


(Only doing a half-arsed attempt at proof-reading)

**I'm talking about the area that usually has the main exhibitors and stuff; like Armageddon Expo (as opposed to a convention such as... -tries to think- Manifest where [in '09, anyway] there was a hall committed to sellers/buyers, various theatres committed to anime screenings/cosplay skits/kareoke/etc. and a courtyard [with FRESH AIR] that had a maid cafe, cosplay chess and other things.


Last edited by carnione on 13/06/10, 08:53 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : All of my emoticons disappeared, precious! + adding (though, again, refusing to proof-read) more... stuff)
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Thornback. 13/06/10, 09:15 am

I have no real problem with commissions-i can understand why some people think that for it to be truly "cosplay", you must make and wear the costume yourself-but eh.

Personally, i just love seeing things I've made being worn, used and appreciated, whether or not by me. With the exception of one cosplay (commissioned from another person) I've made all of Tracers costumes thus far, and seeing that i've helped spread the love of cosplay when she shuffles about half blind in her blackmage outfit and gets mistaken for Vivi-its a good feeling.

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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Static. 13/06/10, 11:10 am

For me, doing commissions means I get to make costumes that I would never wear myself Very Happy I think if you just make them for other people without grasping the 'why' of cosplay, you're definitely NOT a cosplayer - you're a seamstress, or a costumer. But if you do both, then you're a cosplayer first and a costumer-for-hire second; it's nearly irrelevant. I think if you get stuff commissioned and wear it and have fun in it, it doesn't make you any less of a cosplayer than someone who slaves away on their own outfit :) You might not be able to fuly appreciate what goes into the making of your costume, but you still have the enjoyment and still understand what cosplay is.
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Huntress. 13/06/10, 06:21 pm

Cosplay is different depending on the environment and the person and culture they are in. I don't think Cosplay has to be wearing the costume you made. (I actually started out in competition by wearing something someone else made and this inspired me to make my own costumes in a more serious manner.)

I think that what Cosplay is for an individual is just that. In different countries and cultures around the world "Costume Play (Cosplay)" is about playing/roleplaying the character. That is just as valid as what we do. Cosplay values creativity and commitment. For New Zealand Cosplayers we are DIY by nature and so the "you have to make it to wear it" view makes sense in our culture. Overseas Cosplay is looked at differently. So my question to you would be: Are you asking this specifically in reference to NZ Cosplayers or Cosplay as a more global concept? As this changes the way people answer.

Static wrote:
For me, doing commissions means I get to make costumes that I would never wear myself Very Happy I think if you just make them for other people without grasping the 'why' of cosplay, you're definitely NOT a cosplayer - you're a seamstress, or a costumer. But if you do both, then you're a cosplayer first and a costumer-for-hire second; it's nearly irrelevant.

How do you know if someone gets the "why" or not simply based on whether or not they wear the costume? How do we know why alterations to a costume have been made by the wearer? Wearing a costume takes guts, yes. However, making a costume is a skill. In making any costume the creator has to understand and research the character (or should if they take costuming seriously IMO.) This helps with selecting fabrics, etc. etc. I myself have had to remake Cosplays because the original material that worked for the pattern did not work for the pieces it had to hold up. I guess in that sense my mindset is more of the costumer/seamstress, yet I understand and love Cosplay.

I don't consider Cosplay something which is easy to categorise or put in a box. I think people express their love for it in many different ways. It is fairly easy to tell the difference between someone who creates with passion and understanding and someone who creates without. I think that while wearing it is important the process as a whole cannot truly be separated out. What drives you is what defines Cosplay for you and our differences in process and thought and our own personal "why I do this" is what makes this so varied, exciting and entertaining. Loving it and pursuing it for slightly different reasons adds to the flavour of Cosplay. I think those differences are what make it so great.

I struggle to label any creativity as anything other than awesome. Where do you draw the line and the distinction? I think the acceptance of the differences that bring us together in Cosplay is something to be celebrated IMO.

Yababababa... done XD
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By neimhaille. 14/06/10, 12:48 am

Liz wrote:
Cool, a few of you have mentioned the challenge of replicating something in a costume - so you'd aim to be as accurate as possible to the 'original'? I say 'original' in quote marks because there often is no physical original, just however much you can see in an anime, game, etc, and for historical costumes I would imagine you're more often imitating a type rather than a particular outfit (but I could be wrong).

I used to be more into interpreting and using my own creativity to alter elements or switch them around but I got suckered into accuracy because of the two avenues I have for wearing my craft: cosplay and historical reenactment.
FI use pretty much the same research techniques to do both but the craft is very different.

For example with my historical reenactment I pick a time and place and research the look of the local style of dress first.
I then look for extant garments and see where the art meets reality and then go back and reevaluate all those portraits and woodcuts. This includes info on all layers of clothing as well as the layers of materials within each layer of clothing.
I then look for extant texts of wardrobe accounts and wills and journals (yep there were journals in the 16thC and the scandals.. I tell you...) and if they are not translated to English I'll transcribe and translate the sections dealing with dress or people I recognise.
Then I'll look into the social status of the person who would wear the clothing I am making as well as the economic impact of keeping up with the royals and any sumptuary laws the clothing may be breaking.
I'll look into how women were depicted in public and private writings and look into food and perfume and day to day life where possible too.

My aim is to be as accurate as possible with cut and over all construction though using a modern sewing machine as much as possible. Health issues mean hand sewing is just plain stupid though I really do prefer some construction to be done by hand. Putting linings and interlinings and padding and boning in by hand makes a big difference to how the garments sit and look.
Then I want to use appropriate fabrics and colours, though what is appropriate in terms of colour is often not what people expect thanks to Hollywood and the various shades of mud they put peasants into.

Yeah... not everyone goes to the same level when researching a dress to make but that's why they gave me a laurel in the SCA ;) Overkill!


Liz wrote:
Here's another question to throw into the mix - what's more important/enjoyable, making a costume or wearing it?
Thanks for all your answers so far, it's really interesting!

For cosplay it is technically the wearing of a costume and portraying the character. I'm not sure if the creation of the word included asking if the costumers were self made or not ;)

I am primarily a costume maker. And it drives me batty when people call themselves a costumer but buy all their costumes ;) I don't know anyone here in NZ that does that though :) Cosplayer is a perfectly valid word. Costumer is specifically for the costume maker.

For me the most satisfying part is the making and research. Probably research first them making, again due to health issues making can be very difficult.
Wearing is an excuse to gas bag about the costume ;) I do quite like interacting with fans of all ages though at times it is very not enjoyable. Mainly the small public perception that you are doing this for them. It can result in unwanted attention. And no there is no excuse more repugnant than "you were asking for it going about dressed like that". I anticipate there will be reactions of all kinds but there are some no one should ever put up with.

Anyway, I will only be "in character/persona" where appropriate such as in a skit or posing or, in the SCA, in formal events. I am a trained actor and we had a lot of desire to play act stamped out fairly early on ;)
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Huntress. 14/06/10, 06:24 am

neimhaille wrote:
I am primarily a costume maker. And it drives me batty when people call themselves a costumer but buy all their costumes ;) I don't know anyone here in NZ that does that though :) Cosplayer is a perfectly valid word. Costumer is specifically for the costume maker.

Absolutely agree! I have never bought a costume in my life. And while I wore a costume made by someone else was still definitely involved in the making process (made harder as we lived a way away and I was studying at the time.)

IMO people who collect costumes (buying) should define themselves as "costume collectors," not "costumers." Though perhaps they confuse the term? Smile

Definitely think clarification on that point was needed.

Really agree with the research as previously mentioned. (Think of it as so much a part of the making process that I didn't think to mention it separately.) But the finding of materials and character research is essential to good costume/Cosplay making. Ups to everyone who overcomes health-related issues to make a costume (especially the really complex ones,) you are to be admired.
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Liz. 14/06/10, 06:35 am

@Huntress: I'm looking at cosplay in NZ for this project, but having said that, if you consider cosplayers elsewhere to have different approaches or emphases, that's interesting to me too. I'll try not to make any statements like "all cosplayers do/think this..." as it's evidently not going to be true!

Quote :
And no there is no excuse more repugnant than "you were asking for it going about dressed like that"
Don't feel like you need to volunteer details at all, but I take it from this that you (or people you know) have experienced some kind of abuse over how you've been dressed? Do you feel non-cosplayers treat your particularly differently when you're in costume (the good and the bad)?

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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By KotoneVersus. 14/06/10, 06:53 am

Personally, I have received a lot of prejudism with my costume choice (revealing costumes, skin tight costumes etc) however I also have problems with the "you were asking for it going about dressed like that".

I understand that I am going to get some unsavoury attention, and while some of the attention is fine with me, there are points where it goes TOO far and that's what a lot of people don't understand when we complain about it.

There have been incidents of stalking or inappropriate touching at cons, as well as being verbally abused (some young girls called me a slut for dressing up as a bunny sad Not cool). That's when it gets TOO unpleasant. I obviously can't say much about the subject as I have yet to figure out my own feelings about the way I feel I should be treated (but that's more of a personal thing. ><)

I'm pretty sure I was supposed to say something else and I am pretty sure what I just said makes very little sense, but I'll just leave this here and hope you can get something out of it.
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Static. 14/06/10, 07:04 am

When you're in costume in public, whether it is "appropriate" or not, you expect to get straed at. but you should never expect to get abused for it - that's just not acceptable. Sadly though, it happens. I've never been on the receiving end of stuff like that luckily, but I know a lot of us have. It's a shame, but that's people for you!
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By PIe. 14/06/10, 07:08 am

I have had very little to no bad treatment or abuse while in costume. The closest thing to would be a couple of teenage guy mockingly asking me "are you a guy or a chick" while crossplaying (with open shirt binding), I'm not too sure what gender they thought I actually was but it was mockery based on my not really looking like it nevertheless and the coments on dA and coscom on my Misa costumes from creepers that are highly innappropriate. I may just be very lucky though.
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By firecat70. 14/06/10, 08:45 am

The worst treatment that I recieved while cosplaying was having a full soda thrown at me from a car (I got a bruise and it put me in an awful mood but at least it didn't get my costume sweatdrop) - I am used to being yelled at (because I live in Chch) so that doesn't bother me so much but I still think the attitude that cosplayers are public property is really presumptious - we're not being paid to dress in costume - most of us are doing it for fun, people should just let us have fun, (unlike them) we're not hurting anyone by cosplaying.

My favourite part of cosplaying is definitly making the costume and seeing it finished. Wearing cosplay to me is a way of displaying your work that people wouldn't otherwise see and interacting with other like minded people. I personally don't act in character much because I get too nervous. I also really like the cosplay community in NZ and the forums. It seems a lot easier to connect with other cosplayers than it is in other countries. Some of my closest friends I meet because of cosplay :]
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By carnione. 14/06/10, 10:07 am

Huntress wrote:
Wearing a costume takes guts, yes. However, making a costume is a skill.

Aha! 8) You took the words from my mouth. Head. Mind. Train of thought?
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Mischa. 14/06/10, 03:05 pm

I'm not as keen on just wearing a costume if someone else has made it. What I dislike is when cosplay becomes about physical beauty rather then skill. to me the fun of cosplay is 90% making it and the rest is just an added bonus.
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Updating
Post By Liz. 05/10/10, 07:29 am

Hi everyone!

Just reviving this thread to let you know that I am working on my essay about cosplay at the moment and I'm planning to post a brief summary of what I end up writing for all of you to see here. Thanks heaps to everyone who posted here and who I spoke to, you've been a great help.

I've wrestled back and forth and changed my angle on this essay a few times due to the sort of thing I need to produce for this course and the limited research I did. You guys could be a thesis project probably Razz I hope I end up writing something that seems reasonable and relevant to you. Either way I think cosplay is cool and I'd still like to do it sometime!

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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Kitten Slave. 05/10/10, 07:53 am

Static wrote:
When you're in costume in public, whether it is "appropriate" or not, you expect to get straed at. but you should never expect to get abused for it - that's just not acceptable. Sadly though, it happens. I've never been on the receiving end of stuff like that luckily, but I know a lot of us have. It's a shame, but that's people for you!

Does getting wolf whistled count when you are dressed in black plastic?
Does it count if you are MALE?!
I think there may have been some abuse if they realized I was in fact, male.

Oh the trauma.

stare

whee

Meh, I guess for me, as always, it is how much entertainment / attention I can garner.

whee
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Nikopol. 08/10/10, 12:51 pm

I was in my Theodore outfit walking back from a bit of drinking at a pub near the con i was going to at about 2am in the morning. Our hotel was kind of on the edge of the Gay Quarter of Montreal.

It was pretty hilarious walking through there wearing a purple and black suit, with a small porters hat. A lot of attention to my sexuality in those 10 minutes :V.
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Re: Tell me about this cosplay thing!
Post By Rosenquarts. 08/10/10, 01:07 pm

For me cosplay is a way of seperating my self from others. I like to be different and this is how i do it. Ive never made a cosplay from scratch but i am doing it since i do have no money becuse money is an issue for me along with school and other things.

I like to be the character sometimes even if the person is dark and emo or happy and bubbly bu for me its only once a year ><
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