As of July 7, I will have been cosplaying for sixteen years. Damn, son.
My induction into cosplay started out as an accident. I attended my first convention in 2000, as a PA/handler for a friend who was cosplaying. The same friend shoved his Kenshin costume at me at a con the year after (this was when conventions only happened once a year, y’all), and the next thing I knew, I had joined my first cosplay competition.
I’ve attempted to retire from cosplay a few times over the years, but I just can’t seem to quit. Because the thing is, I really enjoy it. While I may not do the actual sewing, and am still hopelessly awkward in front of a camera, I enjoy the rest of the process. I like picking out fabric, constructing props, styling and doing makeup. I have a tendency to hyperfixate, and cosplay just feels like the ultimate love letter to a fandom.
It’s only fitting, I suppose. To celebrate my cosplay sweet sixteen by cosplaying twice at this year’s ToyCon, with the amazing ladies I’ve been cosplaying with for over 10 years. I’ve never really done multiple days in costume at a con before because of the hassle, but Leng and I decided to make a thing of it this year and booked an Airbnb near the convention centre.
Day 1 – Viktuuri Poodle Skirts
This was something Leng and I had planned for YoiCon last March, but didn’t have time to finish. The idea for it came from our mutual love of vintage fashion, and the need to cosplay something from Yuri on Ice. Neither of us can really pull off cosplaying a dude very well, and while I love Katsuki Mari with all my heart, her outfits on the show aren’t really something I was interested in working on.
Leng sewed our skirts and petticoats (and did such a fantastic job too), while I took care of the Vicchan and Makkachin appliqués and did our makeup and styling. Styling wigs is the worst, but I think they turned out pretty well.
Day Two – Filipiniana Sailor Senshi / Mandirigmang Mandaragat
The #TitasofCosplay and I have been talking about doing a group again for the past couple of years now, but our fandoms just never seemed to align. Until Sailor Moon came up at one of our Stitch n’ Bitch dinners last year. Based on the Filipino Traje de Mestiza/Maria Clara, this is probably my most research-intensive costume to date. Sheila commissioned a fashion illustrator friend of hers to draw it up for us, because we were bogged down by so much research, we were having trouble visualising a final look. 😛
The original plan was to have the baro and the panuelo made, but we found the perfect ones in the colours that we needed during our fabric run. While most of the group can sew, we also had the skirts made for uniformity haha.
Suffice it to say, that weekend was fun, but exhausting. I may refuse to accept that probably I’m too old to be cavorting around in costumes, but I am certainly too old to be doing so on multiple days in succession.