Cosplay is one of the most fun ways that fans can pay tribute to the media that they love! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all! Cosplay is when someone dresses up intentionally as a character from the film, show, or other media that they love! This can be super elaborate costumes that take months to plan and create, or pulling articles of clothing from your own closet that have the same vibe or feel from the character you are portraying! One of the awesome things about cosplay is there are no limitations! You can cosplay as an inanimate object like a vehicle, you can create a cosplay that is gender bent, the opposite gender of the original mainstream character, or you as a male or female can cosplay as a character of the opposite gender! Cosplay allows your creativity free reign!
Scarlett Rose is a professional cosplayer! She travels to conventions and fan events to perform and model the amazing costumes and characters she creates! She also utilizes social media as a major platform for her cosplaying business! I had the chance to ask her a few questions about her experiences with cosplay:
Everyone has their own definition of cosplay. Cosplay for me is what I would consider a creative outlet that has become a very prominent part of my life. By definition, I would say it is people using costuming and a love of fandom as a creative outlet through costuming and other means.
What drew you to creating and wearing cosplay for the first time?
I’ve always loved theater as well as the Renaissance faire and costuming, so this was a combination of that and my love of fandom
Do you think that cosplaying is empowering for you as a fan and as a woman? If so, could you describe why?
I definitely think so. I love dressing up as strong female characters that I feel I can relate to. It almost feels as if you take on a new persona of sorts. It’s hard to explain, but I always felt tat way.
Describe how your cosplaying transformed from a hobby, to a more fully developed professional level? What was the turning point or cosplay or event that lit the bulb?
It kind of just happened. Someone told me to make a cosplay page one day after I sent to a few conventions, and it sort of snowballed from there. I never thought it would get to this point but here we are.
What part does Social Media play in your cosplaying?
Oh quite a bit now! Initially I did not pay attention to it much, but from a professional standpoint it is definitely a necessity.
What are some of your favorite characters that you have cosplayed?
This is definitely a long list! I love so many of them, but amongst my favorites are Ahri from League of Legends, Cara Dune from the Mandalorian, Wonder Woman, and Tifa from Final Fantasy. The strong female characters 😊
Which one was the hardest to create, or most difficult to wear?
The hardest to create was definitely the moon fairy because it was so much hand stitching work. Most difficult to wear would be my FoxFire Ahri. I had very heavy tails that towered over my head. I needed two industrial harnesses around my waist to hold them up.
Could you explain what happened in January with your Cara Dune cosplay?
My Cara Dune cosplay was recognized by Gina Carano, and she shared it on social media. I ended up getting cast in a Superman fan film movie because of that. I was blown away.
How long have you been a cosplayer? When and where did you do your first cosplay?
I am on about fifteen years now
Megacon in Orlando many years ago 😊 Still one of my favorite cons
How did your first-time cosplaying make you feel? Do you still feel that way with your current cosplaying adventures?
Pretty amazing! I am a huge Final Fantasy fan so turning into one of the lead female characters felt awesome!
I do. It is somewhat different now that I cosplay professionally, but I still get very excited to meet new people that share in my love of the same fandoms.
Do you have a record or count of the number of cosplays you have worn and created?
Looking back, I really wish that I did. It is easily well over 100 now at least. I tend to average between 1-3 a month or more depending on the level of difficulty.
How big of an impact has cosplaying had on your life?
Huge. I honestly don’t really know what my life would be like without it.
I tend to cosplay characters that I enjoy and can relate to more than anything. If anything, it definitely does make me work faster on my costumes to get them completed.
How do you decide what characters you want to build cosplays around?
I usually lean toward doing stronger female character. Typically, if I relate to a character I am immediately like “Yes…I need to”. Which is how I felt with Katniss, Yennefer, and Wonder Woman to name a few.
I am proud of many of them, but my moon fairy that I had built took a solid two months of hand stitching individual flowers on a ballgown and that was a HUGE project to complete. Plus I had to build two pairs of wings and do embroidery then ship it all to Florida for a convention
Could you describe the process you go through developing and creating your cosplays?
Usual it starts with making a list and sketching out what is needed or the character you are working on. Once you have that you can start to create an item list of things you need to purchase. Once the items are obtained, I usually start to work on the costumes both on and off my stream. Once the items are completed a makeup test and test run are done to make sure everything works properly!
Photos above provided by Scarlett Rose Cosplay! Cosplays above: Gender bend of Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones, two pictures of Maya the siren from Borderlands, Psycho from Borderlands, a pink fairy, Maleficent, a tree fairy, Wonder Woman, Yennefer from Witcher, Claire from Jurassic World, The Lady of the Lake, Sansa from Game of Thrones. Images also include work in progress pictures of a Cara Dune cosplay from the Mandalorian, and Scarlett’s helper bunny!
Janine and Peter Jones are self proclaimed nerds, they “Nerd out loud”! They have attended several fan conventions and created cosplays to wear while there! Below are some photos provided by Janine and Peter and a video interview about these experiences!
Don’t worry if its not traditionally cool. if you like it that’s all that matters. That’s what makes it cool. You make it cool, run with it, celebrate it and don’t let anyone stop you from that!
Photos provided by Emily Kenniston and Rebekah Pierce
Photos provided by Meghan Hein and Rebekah Pierce
It let’s you escape the reality of your current world and live in the olden times. I enjoy having these outlets to express who I am!
Taylor Coan-Luckenbill is a fan of the Japanese style of cartoons and graphic novels, Anime and Manga! She has cosplayed at Anime conventions and in other events! She relates how cosplay has been a freeing experience to have fun with the characters that she loves!
Photos above provided by Taylor Coan-Luckenbill and Rebekah Pierce