This weeks Cosplay Friday is very exciting, we gained several more Cosplay Features to bring to you over the following weeks and will be feature one of the recent additions due to some mischievous user that had hacked the Otaku House facebook page.
Model Name: Ally, xIchisex, Ichi, Ally-Ichi Cosplay
Q. What’s your name, and care to tell a bit about yourself
My name is Ally, but I go by xichisex, or Ichi, online regarding my cosplaying. I’m 24 years old, a Starbucks barista, and one of two middle children in my family. I have two cats, at least two that are mine, named Anastasia and Jarvan. I’m a gamer, a mediocre seamstress, a baker, a cake decorator, and bath enthusiast.
Q. How long have you been cosplaying?
I started cosplaying, technically, 2007 when I attended my first anime convention in San Jose called FanimeCon. I went as my OC, Ichise Gossip, who had purple hair and wore mostly black. It was also a crossplay. Since then I have been cosplaying and this year, 2014, will be my 7th year attending FanimeCon!
Q. What got you into cosplay?
I would have to say the idea of going to a convention got me into cosplay. The people I went with the first time didn’t dress up at all, but I did know that a lot of people did that at conventions and I wanted my first time to be in an outfit. I guess you could say that images online, specifically DeviantArt at the time, was what inspired me.
Q. Do you have any modeling experience?
I have zero modeling experience, but I am a tad bit narcissistic as far as taking photos over and over until I am happy with the outcome goes. Being a chubby child, and still kind of chubby, has made me very aware of my appearance, so I’ve always tried to look my best when taking photos.
Q. How has cosplaying changed your life?
I would say cosplay has had a huge impact on me. I always had a bit of a negative self-image growing up, being bullied, teased for my weight. From what I know, I’m not the only cosplayer who has been in this boat. Not so much the weight issue, but the bullied part. Before I went to my first convention, I finally made friends in high school.
Like… Friend-friends. Ones I knew I could rely on and not just people who I hang around with to not feel lonely in school. My best friend at the time took me to my first convention [FanimeCon 2007] and it was a shock at how many people shared the same interests as me. I was so happy. I didn’t make any friends that year, but when I finally revisited the convention center again in years after, I made so many friends that I still have today. Its opened up a gateway for me to connect to people, weird people, just like me.
These people all geek about, joke about, and straight up go insane about the same things I do. Its made me a much more personable person and its even helped me in my jobs. I can easily talk to customers about their day, make them happy. Its helped me socially and I am thankful to this community for teaching me this. I was always withdrawn and quiet before, but now I am outspoken and I’m not afraid to make new friends and I will be forever grateful to the community.
Q. What does ‘Cosplay’ mean to you?
Cosplay means dressing up as your favorite character from anything. Movies, cartoons, books, comics, video games.. So many mediums fall under this. Even real life people have been cosplayed by others. Its a great expression of what you love about someone you are portraying. Confidence, loyalty, strength, shyness, money. There are many reasons to want to cosplay a certain character and they are no limits to why and sometimes there isn’t even a reason why.
Sometimes you see something cute and you want to just dress up as it or even something badass that you want to wear. There is no limit regardless of body size, gender, race.. You can be whatever you want to be in this community and most people accept you and what you choose to dress as and who you pretend to be for those glamorous three/four/five days.
That feeling of being around others just like you and nerding out is what cosplay is all about. Making new friends, sharing interests. Cosplay is what you make it, but that is my cosplay.
Q. What are your plans for the future? Cosplay or Non-Cosplay.
First off I want to be a better seamstress with cosplaying. Some outfits have been bought, but have been altered by me, but I’m inspired to really learn how to sew and fit my outfits to my body specifically instead of altering a few things and leaving the rest as is because it is ‘good enough’.
As far as non-cosplay goes, I want to own my own bakery when I get older. I love making cakes and cupcakes and I am self-taught. I’m pretty damn good for being self-taught. I’m not going to say that lightly. Even if just part owning a bakery is what I will be able to do, it is the idea of running one that I am going to be aiming for as I get older. It may be when I am 30, maybe 40. Hell, maybe even 70, but as long as I have that idea in my head, I will aim for it regardless.
[Credit: Rave2theJ Photography 2012]
Q. What’s your favorite cosplay so far?
Velma. Velma Dace Dinkely. I love Scooby-Doo. This was probably my second full cosplay I ever did besides Himeko. Its the cosplay I am most known for. When I was deciding what I wanted to cosplay for FanimeCon 2012, I was stuck. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. The previous year I did Hinata, which I was super proud of because I got myself into super good shape to wear her, but I mostly did her because of her body. How she isn’t super skinny as I am a little bit on the large side. This influenced me to look up characters who had the same body type as me and I stumbled upon Velma. It was a no brainer and it brought back all the times I would stay home from school sick and watch the show with my mom while she complained about my fake illnesses.
I really don’t think I have a single cosplay I love more than her. I even wore her the Halloween before that Fanime and then the Halloween after because I always got such positive feedback when I would walk around town. People would say I look just like her and that pride in what I did and how I brought the character to life just made me feel so good about myself and my skills. This was also the first cosplay I did that I got an official photoshoot for!
Q. What do you think was your least favorite cosplay, if any?
Oh gawd.. Well.. Misa. It has got to be Misa Amane. It was a closest cosplay and 100% last minute. I wound up cutting my Himeko wig the morning of the last day of FanimeCon 2010 and throwing on some black items I owned and called the outcome Misa. It wasn’t a total travesty, but it is certainly nothing I am proud about and then, because of it, I also no longer had a Himeko wig.
Q. Do you have any plans to work with cosplay modeling or modeling websites?
I was accepted to Cosplay Deviants a year ago. They are a cosplay website that specializes in ‘Undressing the Art of Dress-Up’. Anyone can look them up to see what they are about, but while I was accepted, I never had the chance to produce a cosplay set to become an actual model. One day, when I have actual time this time, I will submit another application and hopefully become one of their many models. [http://www.cosplaydeviants.com/]
Q. Do you have any future cosplay ideas?
FanimeCon 2014 is coming up. I know I talk about Fanime a lot, but because of work this is the only convention I have ever been able to attend. Every year I come up with about 3-4 different outfits and usually I only succeed in doing about 2 of them, but this year I really want to focus on, and start early, on some of them. I plan to do Eleanor from ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’, Anastasia from ‘Anastasia’ when she is wearing her just-out-of-the orphanage getup, Seras Victoria from ‘Hellsing’, and Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in her town outfit. Wish me luck in actually doing these!
Q. How do you go about creating a cosplay?
Research. Some cosplays I make, others I buy and alter, and some I mix and match pieces I have found like when I did my Velma cosplay and some items were from Good Will like the sweater. I’m not that great of a seamstress, so a lot of things are half-assed unfortunately. I’m also not very patient unless it is something like painting my Brief backpack for instance. I spend a lot of time in the fabric store when picking out fabrics when I need to make my own items or if it is cheaper to buy the whole outfit online and then alter anything I need to when it comes in, then I go that route. The biggest thing I worry about when doing cosplay is the wig. I am HORRIBLE with wigs. I spend a lot of time when I get them in the mail deciding how to style it, cut it, should I attempt to try this process I’ve never tried before and risk ruining a $35.00 wig? A lot of things and a lot of it always makes me panic because I wait last minute.
Q. What materials do you use or recommend to others?
Hot glue, extra fabric [about a yard if you are like me and are super paranoid about messing up], and the right color threads. Safety pins and snaps are always great too. Velcro as well. In fact, all of these are good for multiple reasons. Hot glue for things you don’t know how to sew, the right color threads, so you wont have something extremely wrong colored to match your outfit unless the character calls for it, safety pins for emergencies or things like tails and bows. Velcro, I love, because this is great for anything you want to attach to an outfit, but want to be able to take off and put on easy when you need to pack or if it gets hot. This is especially good for things like armor.
For girls. Shapers. Shapers, shapers, shapers. Some of you don’t need them, thats fine, but it doesn’t even matter if you are large or small, these makes your outfit look fantastic. It gives your body a nice curve while hiding any lumps and especially those belly button indents that so many people get when they wear outfits that are tight. Then, of course, strapless bras for outfits that reveal your shoulders or even nipple pasties to hide your nipples and fabric to hold up any strapless items that tend to slip off or out of place.
Cosplay in America 2011
Q. Do you have any hints or tips for other cosplayers?
There will be haters. Everywhere. Conventions and online. You want to dress up as someone you love, admire, so do it. Don’t let the fact that you are scared of being called fat, anorexic, gay, that you are compensating, or get accused of not making your own outfit. This is not what cosplay is about. Cosplay is a personal attachment to a character and that is your business and it is your business how you want to portray the said character in any way you seem fit.
So many people hold themselves back because they are afraid of what others will say about their cosplays, but it is none of their business about how you do it. If they are going to be jerks about it, then let them. Let people criticize. You worked hard on your outfit and thats all that matters, so go out there and showcase your work in whatever means you want and please, if you ever see someone being bullied about their outfit or being harassed, step up. There is so much hate in the community right now, people claiming ‘elitism’ that doesn’t exist and it is wrong on so many levels. Help fight against people who think this way. I got into cosplay because it is a collection of people who have similar nerdy interests. In the end we are all nerds dressing up in costumes.
Also, bring your own food to conventions, lots of money for emergency expenses. Drink a lot of water when cosplaying. DO NOT HOT GLUE COSPLAYS TO YOURSELF. It doesn’t matter if those stones need to be attached to your skin somehow! Find another way besides hot glue! The same thing goes for knee length stockings! Take showers, wear deodorant. Be prepared to stand in long lines to get your badges no matter where you go [unless it is a new convention of course] and most importantly, have fun. Have all the fun at that convention and really make it one to remember.
Thank you very much for sharing with us, Ally, we’re very glad to have gotten to know you and to have featured you in this weeks Cosplay Friday!