Hello! I’m Pippa Darling. I’m a cosplayer and crafter in the Chicago Area. I figured for my first post I would introduce myself and answer some frequent questions I get. The first being, “What is Cosplay?”. Cosplay is a mix of the words Costume and Play. Essentially it is dressing up like a specific cosplayer and embodying that character’s likeness and personality. The characters that people choose to cosplay range from Video games and Anime to Movies and other popular media. Cosplayers are the ultimate hobbyists using skills like sewing, hairstyling, and makeup to become a real-world version of a character.
“How did you get into cosplay?” I learned to sew and began making a big Halloween costume every year. I always wanted to be video game and movie characters but there either weren’t costumes for the characters I wanted to be or the store bought Halloween costumes were expensive and low quality. Around this time, I also attended my first convention and saw that people of all ages dressed up in cosplay and attended these events. I was so excited to learn that it was a hobby people participated in.
“How did you learn to sew?” It was actually completely by chance. In middle school we got to choose our first elective and the students got to pick their first, second, and third choices for what elective they wanted. I wanted to be in a different class but ended up in the Fabrics class. I ended up having a knack for sewing and realized during the class that I could learn to make costumes. Halloween was, and still is, my favorite holiday. I loved dressing up and getting the chance to be someone else for a day. After the class I ended up getting a lot of sewing books and watching Youtube tutorials to continue learning about costuming. Like any skill, it’s a long road to learn and I’m still learning something with every project I work on.
“What are conventions?” Conventions are an event where people gather to explore a common interest. They are usually specific to a certain type of content. There are Comic Con, Anime Cons, Horror Cons etc. However, there is usually a lot of overlap between fandoms and content. Most of the convention scene is the dealer’s hall. Usually, conventions have rows of booths with things like books, collectables, clothing, and toys. There is usually a section of the con devoted to artists called Artist Alley. Artists come from all over to show and sell things they created. Many celebrities also make appearances at select conventions where fans have the opportunity to meet them and get a picture of autograph. Conventions also schedule a number of panels where they interview celebrities, voice actors, creators and other various people where attendees can watch. Cosplay has become a big part of conventions with cosplay starting to enter the mainstream. Many cosplayers go to conventions to show off the things they have made, compete in costume contests, and connect with other cosplayers.
“Is it ok to wear a store bought costume?” Absolutely! A lot of people don’t have the time or resources to make their own costumes. There are a lot of costumes available online and even through Amazon. Cosplay is about having fun, not about having the best or most extravagant cosplay. Many cosplayers choose to buy a cosplay and then modify parts of it. Things like adjusting it to fit your body better and replacing parts with other pieces you make yourself. The changes can be small or large. Do what makes you comfortable.
Have a topic you'd like to hear about? Please reach out to me on Instagram @pippadarlingcosplay or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures by @iamphotovideoist and @scdesignsphotography