Friday, 3 April 2015

Cosplay: New Terrain To Explore

I never knew much about cosplay, until the Dutch Official PlayStation Magazine's website decided to publish a weekly cosplay gallery in 2010. Agreed, those galleries were usually filled with pictures of sexy women, cosplaying as their favourite sexy video game character. Page views, guaranteed. When I was editor-in-chief for one month, I actually took advantage of my position to publish a cosplay gallery that was filled with pictures of sexy men, instead (Best student job ever!). But that's another story (and it was a great success). The point is, cosplay is fascinating, and some people do a terrific job at impersonating fictional characters.

Cosplayers usually make their own costumes. I have always looked up to cosplayers, because I'm afraid that I'm simply terrible at sewing stuff and cutting hair and dyeing cloth and putting make-up on my face. But recent events have finally given me the courage to give it a try.

T-shirts and accessories for our "Team Rocket Grunt" outfit, January 2015

In February 2015, Niels and I attended a "Criminal Minds" theme party at an old castle in Zelem. We were asked to dress accordingly. Knowing that Niels' colleagues never hold back when it comes to dressing up, we decided to express our never-ending love for the Pokémon franchise by putting together a "Team Rocket Grunt" uniform. "Team Rocket Grunt" is a type of enemy in the old Pokémon games. The outfit is very simple: black, with some white accents. We bought the white gloves, white belt, coloured wigs, black caps and a variety of Pokéballs in offline and online stores. I decided to bring along my old Meowth plushie and I even managed to find the toy Pokédex I used to play with as a kid. :) My only "creative" task was to print a big, red "R" on two black T-shirts. Niels' colleagues were surprisingly positive about our collective effort. That's why we eventually took the decision to wear our outfit at a real geek convention, where (hopefully) even more people would recognize us.

Niels and me as "Team Rocket Grunt" at Made in Asia, Brussels, March 2015
Credits: Egenius

In March 2015, we attended the Made in Asia fair in Brussels. We never expected to be photographed by more than 30 attendees, including "professional" cosplay photographers. Since our costume was very easy to make, we would not even call it a real cosplay. Nevertheless, we saw a bunch of Ash and Pikachu cosplayers run away from us in fear. And we even met two Team Magma cosplayers, who made evil plans with us to steal legendary Pokémon and take over the world. Overall, we had a wonderful day!

Teaming up with Team Magma at Made in Asia, Brussels, March 2015

I've made plans to put together a real cosplay outfit by September 2015, which will require me to handcraft many more parts of the costume. I'm planning on wearing it at the F.A.C.T.S. convention in Ghent. It's always good to have a strict deadline. :) It took me a while to decide which character I would like to cosplay, until I realized that the White Mage outfit probably fits me most. The White Mage is a "Healer" character class in most Final Fantasy games, and it is also my main class in Final Fantasy XIV Online. Although different versions of the outfit exist, it always has a characteristic white cape and hood, and several red, triangular accents. Furthermore, as I recently started playing Final Fantasy IX, I decided to cosplay Princess Garnet (also known as Dagger), wearing her White Mage outfit, more specifically.

Plans for a Princess Garnet (White Mage) cosplay, April 2015
Paint Tool Sai

I'm very curious to see how this project will turn out. I have some experience with papier-mâché, so the staff and the necklace should not be a big problem. It is the rest of the outfit that worries me, especially the hood and the cape! I think my grandmother will have to assist me. :D

See you next time,


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