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Toowoomba woman wins global cosplay competition
2016/03/30 18:30:23 ブログカテゴリ 日常 | 書庫 Cosplay
AUSTRALIA has its first international cosplay champion and she hails from Toowoomba.

Sam Mansfield, aka Major Sam, was crowned winner of the Crown Champion- ships of Cosplay at the comic convention C2E2 in Chicago at the weekend.

It was her hand-crafted outfit of Gothic necromancer, Julietta Necromancer that won over the judges.

Her intricate skeletal costume features lit up cat skeletons and five layers of dyed silk organza.

It took four months to make the outfit and required more than 20 hours of hand-stitching.
the Crown Championships of Cosplay
Ms Mansfield said creating cosplay costumes was a tough hobby that required time and love.

Her advice to other champion hopefuls was to give it 120%.

"Go all out and don't cut yourself short," she said.

"If that one element of the costume is going to need dozens of hours to make, give that element the time it deserves.

"Giving a costume time is what makes a good costume great."

She said the painstaking time it took to make her outfit was definitely worth it.

"There is so much detail to look at and it's a perfect combination of scary and beautiful," she said.

Ms Mansfield took the top prize at the Australian Championships of Cosplay at Oz Comic-Con in Septem- ber last year, which qualified her to represent Australia in Chicago.

She said to be crowned the international champion was overwhelming.

"It's one thing competing against the rest of Australia, but against multiple countries is unfathomable," she said.

"It hasn't sunk in yet and I don't think it will for a while, if at all.

"I don't envy judges when it comes to a situation between needing to compare armour to sewing.

"But in the end it comes down to three things that apply to both types of costumes, the overall finish, amount of work and how many different skills were used."
the Crown Championships of Cosplay


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Cosplay: What is it and why do people do it?
2016/03/04 11:42:27 ブログカテゴリ 日常 | 書庫 Cosplay

Ahead of this weekend's Armageddon Expo in Auckland, Ethan Sills takes a look at the rise and rise of cosplay.
Jess Woodward's cosplay outfit
Five times a year, the Armageddon Expo takes place around New Zealand. A celebration of all things pop culture, the recurring conventions are perhaps best known for one thing: the costumes.

Cosplay, short for 'costume play', is a hobby that sees people dress up in highly realistic costumes based on their favourite fictional characters. With the rise of the internet and social media, cosplay is becoming more mainstream.

Every Armageddon Expo, there are always hundreds of people milling about casually in costumes that look like they were stolen from movie sets, easily disguising the fact these are, for the most part, made by amateur designers.

To the uninitiated and the dismissive, it is something that is forever linked with fan conventions - an occasional hobby for 'weird' people with too much time on their hands.

However, for people like Jess Woodward, cosplay is not simply a hobby. In many ways, it is her life.

Woodward first cosplayed in 2007 when she was just 14. She and her younger brother went to the Armageddon expo in Auckland, thinking it would just be a bit of fun.

Eight years on, she is now one of the administrators of the Cosplay New Zealand Facebook group, a group that boasts more than 3700 members, adding at least five new ones every 24 hours.

Woodward has come a long way from initially just planning to enter a contest with her brother.

She says that the New Zealand cosplay community she discovered online is one of the main reasons why she has stuck with the practice.

"None of my high school friends were into geeky stuff like I was, so I was drawn online to find other people into the same stuff as I was. It wasn't until I discovered the 'other countries' section of the cosplay.com forums that I met other [New Zealanders] into this stuff.

"Several [of the] people I met online before that first Armageddon I went to are still among my best friends now."

After going to 2014's Melbourne Armageddon, Woodward appreciates her community even more after finding herself alone for the first time.

"[I] was wandering around in costume by myself for most of the first day and it felt pretty isolated not knowing anyone in the community there."
Katie Seto's favourite character to cosplay
Another local cosplayer, Katie Seto, went to her first Armageddon in costume in 2009. She was there to have fun with her friends, but since then Seto has turned into a serious cosplayer.

A member of Cosplay New Zealand, she attends various conventions around the country in costume, sometimes spending up to six months at a time working on one outfit.

Like Woodward, the community aspect helped draw her into the hobby.

"Once you start looking for a community for the hobby, a whole lot of things start opening up and you realise how serious it can be."

Cosplay has allowed her to make friends throughout the country, giving her a network of cosplay-connections around New Zealand.

"There's something really unique about meeting someone at a convention; there'll be that moment where you see each other and realise you like the same series. And then you find out that they aren't from that city or you're from out of town, so that's just a really simple way for fans of the same series to be brought together.

The feelings of community are a strong part of cosplay's success, according to Dr Lorna Piatti-Farnell, director of the Popular Culture Research Centre at AUT University. Through research, she found there are different layers regarding the people who take part.

"Not all fans are cosplayers. There is an abyss between 'I like that' and 'I want to dress up'.

"[There are] people who like to dress up and doing it once a year, twice a year at a convention as part of their fandom practices. And then there are cosplays which are the more traditional cosplays, where people make their own costumes from scratch and it becomes much more part of their every day practices rather than the occasional ritual."

Dr Piatti-Farnell says that for people who actively cosplay on a regular basis, they have found "a sense of identification" with the hobby and develop a "cultural circle" that allows their hobby to flourish.

"It's not about how much they like an idiom or a character but about what kind of cultural relevance it has for them."

Despite cosplay becoming more mainstream, there are still a number of misconceptions about what it is. Dr Piatti-Farnell has found that the public can have inaccurate views about who cosplayers are and why they dress up.

"Sexualisation is one of the issues around cosplaying but not necessarily part of the community," she says.

"Those who look upon cosplay they interpret the practice as a 'sexy practice', because a lot of the characters, particularly the female ones, that come from anime, or comic books, tend to be sexualised themselves."

Seto agrees, saying she has at times felt uncomfortable walking around in more exposed outfits.

"Female cosplayers especially feel a kind of pressure around that no matter what kind of costume they wear."

Cosplayers should be aware that they can face harassment, she says.

Both she and Woodward lament the fact people at conventions seem to view them as being there to entertain them.

"It bothers me that some people do seem to think they have some sort of entitlement to us because we're in costume," Woodward says.

People will take photos without asking, and act upset if she turns them down.

In spite of these difficulties, the future looks bright for cosplay. Due to the rise in popularity of 'geek' culture, more people are taking part than ever before.

"Shows like Game of Thrones have really helped bring cosplay into the mainstream," says Seto.

"It's opened a lot of people's eyes to the hobby; a lot more people know it exists now, and a lot more people take part."

Cosplay is being taking seriously by the companies inspiring the costumes. Last October, Marvel Comics featured cosplayers on the front pages of their comics instead of their superheroes, an acknowledgement and celebration of the fan practice.

The company will also be launching a new series, The Unbelieveable Gwenpool in April, in response to the character's positive reception by the cosplay community. Gwenpool had only appeared on one variant cover before fans started copying her distinctive white and pink outfit, and the response was enough to get Marvel's attention.

New technology has also helped expand the world of the serious cosplayer. There has been a rise of cosplay photography, which lets people like Ms' Seto and Woodward showcase their work.

Peter James has moved from cosplaying into photographing his friends and colleagues. He says that he does it for fun and to celebrate people's work, not for money.

"There's nothing financial to really profit from in the cosplay community. Being a cosplayer myself I know what goes into them and they go through the same amount of time and financial stress perfecting their arts."

With the accessibly of technology and its prominence in popular culture, Dr Piatti Farnell says cosplay is here to stay.

"It's not just something that exists outside of the everyday. It is part of our 21st century lives and not just something that occasionally pops up."

Both Woodward and Seto are excited for what the future may bring. It seems that neither of these cosplayers will be hanging up their costumes any time soon.



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DIY Couples Costumes for Any Themed Event
2016/03/01 12:05:19 ブログカテゴリ 日常 | 書庫 Cosplay
diy couples costumes netflix lg
Most of us don’t attend costume theme parties every weekend, so Halloween, while fun, can also present a sticky challenge. But we don’t need to drop big bucks for a store-bought costume that we will never wear again ― and what fun is that, anyway? All of the supplies for a good couples costume are right at our fingertips ― and we’re not talking sexy fill-in-the-blank for her and a “this is my costume” t-shirt for him. Here are 100 DIY costumes for couples, one more clever than the next.

Pop culture largely influences the Halloween costumes we see, so we can look to this year’s movies, TV shows, celebrities, politicians and scandals for creative costume ideas. Last year Inside Out, the Disney children’s film, provided lots of fun inspiration. Here’s a DIY tutorial for how to make the costumes at home. Choose two, and you’ve got your couple’s costume. Invite some friends to join in and represent the whole cast. Group costumes are fun and spark conversation at a party. Here are 100 additional ideas for group halloween costumes.

So what are the pop culture influences we will see show up at Halloween 2016? American Horror story is always good for scary costume ideas, and this season is said to be a revisitation of some past characters. The movie The Witch frightened even Stephen King. And the release of the Marvel film Deadpool is a sure bet to inspire a wave of comic-book hero costumes this year. Look to the upcoming 2016 Wizard World Comic Con in February for a taste of what to expect in October, as the conventions are increasingly about “cosplay” ― “costume” and “play.”

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Costume design club churns out cosplays
2016/03/01 11:50:44 ブログカテゴリ 日常 | 書庫 Cosplay
Costume design Online
Made up of approximately 15 members, the Georgia Tech Costume Design Committee meets every Friday at 4 p.m. in the College of Computing.

“Basically we are a support group for cosplayers,” said co-president, second-year EIA Kat Hueber. “We usually have a short workshop, on say, wigs, or makeup or sewing. Then we just hang out and chat about what we’ve been making. It is a very casual atmosphere.”

Members of the club tend to be avid cosplayers who are actively making various costumes.

“Being a cosplayer in college makes you a bad roommate,” Hueber said. “Right now in my common area there is a mess of butcher paper, sharpies, hot glue and needles due to the project I’m currently working on.”

The paint on her shoes attests to the fact that the projects she works on take on a life of their own. All of the photos on her phone seem to be of previous projects or prospective projects.

“Most of the costumes that the members of the club work on are of anime or videogame characters, but I also enjoy musical cosplay.  Right now, I am working on costume design for the musical, ‘Hamilton.’ Costume design is the hardest part of the process. Deciding what materials you are going to use and how you are going to achieve your look is difficult, especially if it is going to include materials you have not necessarily worked with before.”

This is where the club helps Hueber in her cosplay endeavors. During the week she sends texts and pictures to club members, sharing her tedious struggles with what she calls her support group.

The group meets once a week, and at each of their meetings, members of the Costume Design Committee work on a specific portion of costume design, sharing their skills in workshops.

After a short PowerPoint on the workshop, a short demonstration is given and then the members discuss problems they have with the skill set being discussed that week or with current projects.

Another of the group’s main attractions aiding fellow cosplayers and commiserating over the process of designing and creating a costume, the club also has photo-shoots once a semester. This semester the photo-shoot is scheduled for March, leaving time for finishing some current projects.

Hueber, for example, is good at making wigs and applying costume make-up. She swears by authentic-looking wigs that she buys and dyes herself to achieve the correct color.

“Buying and dyeing a wig might seem like a very tedious process, but it is much cheaper than bleaching and dying your own hair as many cosplayers do,” Hueber said.

While, Hueber believes that design is the hardest part of the craft, she also believes that simpler looking costumes are much more difficult to pull off.

For example, the cosplays Hueber has made for two different anime characters, Princess Kraehe from the anime “Princess Tutu” and “Neon Genesis Evangelion’s” Asuka Langley, contrast significantly in terms of complexity as one had an intricate feather skirt the other consisted of a simple jumper school uniform.

Hueber found that making the feather skirt was a tedious process because it involved copious amounts of tulle and hot glue. However, she found the pleats and straight lines of her Asuka Langley cosplay to be significantly more difficult to achieve.

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