Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

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Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Lady Arwen » Dec 29, 2013 9:42 pm

I've heard little smatterings of rumors of cosplay talk around the forum, and since I'm planning to attempt an alginate face cast, I thought I'd open up a thread! I personally love cosplay, but I've done costuming for quite a while, too. I've done a variety of projects, and I was quite interested to see the Heroes of Cosplay show last fall.

What sorts of projects do you work on? Or are you just interested in costumes in general? Is anyone hoping to go to a/some cons this year?

...and has anyone done face casting before? I've researched it, but those sorts of things never seem to go the exact way they're supposed to!

(Note: due to the family-friendly policy of Nweb, as well as the sometimes more revealing nature of cosplay, I would suggest linking to the picture, rather than posting it directly into the thread unless you are quite sure that the picture is family friendly. :) )
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Ithilwen » Dec 29, 2013 11:57 pm

I haven't yet had the means to cosplay. But once I do, it's something I plan on doing a lot, if I can.

Recently I've been compiling a list of characters I'd like to cosplay someday. So far I have:

Envy (From Fullmetal Alchemist)
Mello (From Death Note)
L (From Death Note)
Yue (From Avatar:TLA)
Toph (From Avatar:TLA)
No Face (From Spirited Away)
Princess Irulan (From Dune)
Tia Dalma (From Pirates of the Caribbean)
Mathilda (From Leon: The Professional)
Donna Noble (From Doctor Who)
Leela (From Doctor Who)
Romana (From Doctor Who)
Jo Grant (From Doctor Who)
An Onryo (Not really a character, but more a Japanese legend)


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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Shadowlander » Dec 30, 2013 8:46 pm

I didn't even know what cosplay was until Wren here explained it to me about 2-3 years ago. If you're not familiar with it and haven't quite gotten an image conjured up in your noggin think of it as fantasy dressup. I'm not really into it, but if I was going to a Con of some type and knew that this kind of thing would be cool there there are a few things I'd want to try:

Big Daddy from Bioshock. The bonus here is I have a 2 year old daughter...giving me about 3 year to put such a costume together. Con: The wife said "NO". Twice.

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I mean the guy even has his own Little Sister (on the right) and a Splicer (on the left). How cool is that? ;))

Brotherhood of Steel Paladin from the Fallout series:

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I mean c'mon! It's a super soldier wearing T-45d Power Armor and wielding a Laser Rifle! Toss in a few Raiders and Super Mutants and you've probably got the makings of a great little costume party. Pure 1950's Retro-Futurism at its finest. :D

Speaking of Fallout, it's my avatar!

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And last, but not least, from my very favorite movie of all time, Aliens, comes the Colonial Marine costume:

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I've actually done research on these and they cost hundreds of dollars just for the props, but it'd be well worth it to me. The prop gun is about $200+ last I checked 10 years ago, probably much more than that now.
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Puddleglum » Dec 30, 2013 11:24 pm

Have looked at some of the cosplay stuff on the internet, and must admit to a bit of fastination. Granted, as the good Lady has mentioned about some of it unfortunatly is less than family friendly. But there is an appeal to dressing up in public, and acting silly. This comes from a ( ahem ) middle aged gent with conservative leanings. Hey! Don't tell me you all grew up!
Since I'm already living my mid-life crises by attending rendezvous I think I can safely spare the Mrs. the embarassment of my further acting up in public. Unless there is some backwoods character from the mid 1800's that would work. Then again, my wandering about with my muzzleloader, pistol, and hunting knife would probably have someone calling for the constiblary.
Ah well. I can dream.
Ithilwen. I must ask. which Romana?
Shadowlander. I must admit to only being familiar with the Aliens movie. It would be the most comfortable. Any of the others I would think would be a bit to much of a hassle should nature decide to call.
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Ithilwen » Dec 30, 2013 11:45 pm

Puddleglum wrote:Ithilwen. I must ask. which Romana?.

Both. ;) Although, not at the same time. ;)) They both have really cool looks. Although Romana I would be easier for me to pull off than Romana II, since I look a lot more like Mary Tamm than I do Lalla Ward. Not sure if I could pull off a blond wig or not. :-?


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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Lady Arwen » Dec 31, 2013 7:31 pm

Ithi, everyone can pull of a wig if a) it is a good wig and b)they wear it properly! It took me a while to master it, since I have unusually long hair for a wig wearer, and every now and then I still get a wig that slides.

Stealth Donut, I wish you would do a Big Daddy/Little Sister cosplay. It would be super cool and I think cosplay would be a fun activity to have as a daddy/daughter activity. I know I would have loved it if my dad had cosplayed with me (he did plenty of other stuff, but it still would have been cool).

One of my friend's son's has announced that he wants a superhero themed birthday, and everyone is to come in costume. Normally, I wouldn't go to kids parties, but he and I share a birthday, and that means it is very important to him that I come. I've been working on a concept for a New Earth Poison Ivy costume to replace my old more RenFaire Ivy costume, but I'm not sure I'll have time to pull it all together in a month. I'm planning on detailing it pretty extensively, so each leaf will actually be its own piece and they can be adjusted as needed. That said, I'm expecting to have to make between 200-1000 leaves...so quite the project.

My newest costumes that I want to design are Elsa's Ice Queen and Mary Death's Nuri outfit (which apparently has no good pictures online). Elsa's is pretty straightforward (hardest part will be beading the cape, which you can best see by watching the video for Let It Go, if you really want to see), but Mary Death has a ton of different parts and materials on her outfit. Elsa also ranks a lot higher in my want-to-make list than Mary Death does. :P

Hmmm...I'm noticing a bit of a bad girl trend in my latest costume ideas. How odd. I guess it does balance out my cosplaying wardrobe a bit, though. ;))
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby TheGentleWarrior » Jan 01, 2014 11:39 pm

I love the idea of cosplay! I've been interested in it ever since I first discovered it back in 2008 when I was searching for Star Trek costumes on Google. :P

I'd love to start some projects however I don't have the time, money, or sewing experience to do much right now, which is a shame. I'd probably have nowhere to wear any of the stuff anyway, since I have no ways to get to any cons right now.

Regardless though, I would like to get at least one costume done in the next five years or so, even it I have to do small bits at a time. So far, this is my list of characters I'd like to cosplay in the future:

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Jadzia Dax (ST: DS9)
Random Betazoid (Star Trek)
Nina Sayers (Black Swan)
Susan Pevensie (Hmmm... wonder where that came from? :P )
Deanna Troi (Star Trek: TNG)

It's rather small. I don't really watch many movies and I know nothing about anime (Which cosplay seems to be largely about). :P

Has anybody ever cosplayed with coloured contacts before? Specifically prescription ones? I'm wondering if they would be worth it at all. My eyes are blue, and I would need them to be black for one of the Star Trek characters I'd like to cosplay.
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Lady Arwen » Jan 02, 2014 9:23 pm

Yaya Han has cosplayed with coloured contacts, and up until she got lasik, she had to use prescription ones and they worked well for her. I've yet to order any, since so far they've either been colors that are really expensive or I haven't need any, but I may end up ordering some by this summer, depending on what I do for the cons.

Really, it comes down to how badly you want to be perfect for the character or not. When I've done Arwen pieces, I haven't bothered with the colored contact lenses. For some other pieces, especially if the character has an unusual eye color, I will make a point to get the proper contacts.
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby King_Erlian » Jan 03, 2014 5:14 am

Sorry to be dim, but what exactly is cosplay? Is it just dressing up in a costume in the privacy of one's bedroom? Is it dressing up in a costume and walking around town while everyone else pretends that you're not there? Is it dressing up in a costume and doing some activity with similarly-dressed individuals? If so, is it any old activity like going for a meal, or does it involve acting out a scene from the film (or whatever it is) that you're costumed as? :-\
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Lady Arwen » Jan 03, 2014 5:33 pm

Cosplay comes from the term "costume play", and it is essentially the act of dressing up as a certain character and then acting/functioning as if you were that character, usually a character from scifi, manga, or fantasy sources. It differs from costuming in that costuming is not linked directly to portraying a specific identified personality, and costuming is not bound by portraying a character but rather focuses on the art of creating the design--so cosplay is a sort of sub field of costuming. Re-enactments are a different subfield where, although one might be portraying a known figure, the setting is historically accurate. When/Where/Why you are doing doesn't make it fall into any particular category--it's about how you're doing it, if that makes more sense. :)

That said, you'll see a ton of cosplayers at conventions, and they also like to come out at movie premiers--but you'll also see costumers at move premiers, too.

And yes, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman have all gone and gotten food before a show. :P Which was tons of fun. In my experience, some people will ignore you, some will ask questions, and some will just stare. You always have to be ready and willing to handle questions, though, and know that little kids will gravitate toward you (or in some cases scream and run) because it's cool and they see you as that character.
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby SummerSnow » Jan 05, 2014 4:16 pm

I recently started cosplaying, though I suppose since I don't act out the character, it's closer to costuming.
I've done four cosplays so far:
-Lucy from Narnia. I did this when I was rather little and had a similar haircut to her (in the first movie). I don't remember much about it. :p
-Darcy from Thor. This one was to go to the movie. I think I sort of blended her outfits together since it was hard to see it in the trailer. I didn't buy anything for this one, just used my own stuff and borrowed a scarf and hat from my sister.
-Sheeta from Laputa. I bought all of her outfit, except for the necklace which I already owned. This one was far from accurate, but all the shopping was done the day before so I was fairly pleased with how it turned out.
-Ace from Doctor Who. It was for the library's Doctor Who party to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary. It wasn't particularly hard compared to al lot of other cosplays, but it took the longest (and was the hardest) to make.
The jacket took a while to find. I'd looked in a few re-sale shops (and even the antique store) but everything was way too expensive, especially since it wasn't something I'd wear (none of the ones I looked at fit me very well, either).
I found a person who had this amazing guide to most of the pins on Ace's jacket. Using that I was able to find pictures of most of the pins. I printed them out, then cut them, and traced it onto the cardboard. Once I had cut the shape out, I glued it and did my best to make sure you couldn't see the cardboard or white around the edges.
I taped them to the coat, along with a whistle. They all stayed on (and still have) except for the whistle (which fell off, but I taped it back on and it has stayed on since then) and a small deck of cards 'pin'.
I wore a backpack (though that was hard, since I didn't want to pull off the 'pins') and combat boots. At least one person recognized me, which was really awesome. :)
Here's a picture of the front:
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and the back:
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I have a tendency to only cosplay in characters that faintly resemble me, but I'm hoping to get some wigs one day so I can experiment a bit more.
My list (so far):
-Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle
-Maria, May, Riza, and Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist.
-Arietty from Arrietty's World (or from the original books, but I think I'll base it off of her outfit)
-Shizuku from Whisper of the Heart.
-Linden from Rebel.

Lady Arwen, what sort of cloth would you use for the Elsa's cloak?
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Lady Arwen » Jan 06, 2014 1:15 am

Wow, Ace's jacket looks really good, Summer. The pins look really nice. I wouldn't have guessed from the pictures that they were made from cardboard.

I don't think there is a problem with doing characters that look like you. It hasn't been until recently that I've started using wigs and working on structure-altering prosthetics--and they're hugely time consuming.

Lady Arwen, what sort of cloth would you use for the Elsa's cloak?


I'm not sure yet, Summer. A chiffon isn't quite sheer enough, but I could see using it. I'd prefer it to a metallic mesh, which I've also considered because of the shininess. I've discarded that idea, though, since I've decided to bead/apply crystals. I may end up with like a silk organza or something. I like how chiffon lays, but I think the silk organza has more of the sheer value. Before I make a full one, however, I'll do some test beading before I make it, though, because I don't want to find out that if I make a mistake on the beading its going to leave a permanent mark. I'm hoping to use a pre-sparkled fabric for the sleeves, in which case, I could use that as a cheaper/less work intensive option to the organza. I would prefer to use the organza for the cloak though.

This will probably be one of my more expensive fabric-only costumes....
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby shastastwin » Jan 06, 2014 11:51 am

I think the closest I've come to cosplaying was the year I dressed as Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender for Halloween (complete with shaved head and blue arrows). A couple of friends of mine dressed as Zuko and Katara. It was great fun.

That said, I do enjoy costuming and usually throw together as good a costume as I can for Halloween each year. I'm not devoted or wealthy enough to go to the lengths some cosplayers do, but I usually get the right look if nothing else.

My personal favorites that I've done are Aang and the Doctor (Tom Baker) from Doctor Who. Then there was the day I went to class dressed as a Hobbit.

Costumes I'd like to do in the future:
either of the Elrics from Fullmetal Alchemist
Sora from Kingdom Hearts
Beast Boy/Changeling from Teen Titans
Either the 10th or 11th Doctor if I can convince my wife to dress up as River Song
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Adeona » Jan 09, 2014 4:39 pm

This is a great topic idea, though I have a feeling I'm mostly going to be lurking and looking at others' stuff on this one. :p

I have cosplayed once as Lucy for VDT (I made a kinda generic red double-breasted tunic that looked more like a crewman's than hers, which I wore over a white blouse. Also blue jeans, leather boots, and my hair tied back in a ponytail with a leather tie). It was a lot of fun and a lot of work.
I've also cosplayed as a rather modern Lady of Shalott just for fun -reclining in a canoe with young birch leaves strewn in my hair - and a generic District 12 citizen for the Catching Fire movie, for which I used dull-colored clothing and rubbed ash on my face and hands. :P
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby SummerSnow » Jan 09, 2014 9:10 pm

Thank you, Lady Arwen. :) Is it hard to find good wigs? I don't know much about them, but I've always wondered how you managed to find ones that fit your head and were of good quality. Do you have a specific place you like to get them or does it vary?
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Re: Costuming and Cosplay: Projects, Ideas, Daydreams, and Cons

Postby Lady Arwen » Jan 11, 2014 1:13 pm

Summer, it isn't too hard. If you are looking for one that is already styled, I would suggest seeing if you have an high-end hair salon near where you live. It used to be, at least, when I was a little girl, that nearly every hair salon also did wigs. Now, with places like SportsClips and the like, there's a lot less of that.

When I'm shopping for a wig, I look for a couple things: customer reviews/referrals and price. With wigs, you pretty much get what you pay for. When you buy a wig, you want one that you can use heat tools to style and that you can wash. That's a no-go for most cheap wigs, unless they come in a questionable package with Chinese letters all over it and, incidentally, went through customs. I would advise not doing that. :P what I would advise is trawling through the pages of "famous" cosplayers and see where they got their wigs. Arda Wigs is a go-to for several cosplayers, and I may end up getting my new Poison Ivy wig from there.

Wigs are meant to fit very tightly on the head, and they won't stay on unless you pin them. So before you even get the wig, you're buying about $10 worth of stuff, minimum. You'll need Wig pins, a wig cap and hair pins. Hair pins are different from bobby pins because they can hold a lot more hair and they also have a U shape. They work differently from bobby pins, and it takes some practice to put them in right (well, it takes practice to put a wig on right, period). If you're wearing your wig properly, you should be able to go through some fairly strenuous physical activity without it shifting (and by strenuous, I mean backflips and cartwheels and stuff).

I have long hair, so it took a bit of time to figure out how to do it before I put the wig on. Currently, I go with the two french braids solution, but I part my hair at an angle since you need to secure the wig at the very top of your brow. Don't know how long your hair is, but this is a helpful guide, anyway.

Wigs are something that I am fairly new to, so I'm still learning. As cosplay becomes a more serious pastime for me, I'm finding that I have to do more research on it, especially if I want to be able to really be comfortable in everything that I'm wearing AND do justice to the character. I still have trouble getting wigs on by myself (it helps to have a second pair of hands!), but it is really cool to be able to look at myself and go "I really AM this character, down to the last detail." On the other hand, it is slow going because I have to invest in pieces slowly. Ah well. When grown ups play dress up, it's still just as fun. :P
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