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Unread 12-27-2011, 02:34 AM   #1
Amanita
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To those who do original character cosplay..

Who here likes to do original character cosplays?

To those who do, here's some questions, feel free to describe your own creations!

What inspires your costumes? Do you base them on a series or fandom, or are they completely your own creation?

Do you give your characters a backstory, or come up with "in-character" explanations for parts of the costume?

Overall, why do you do it? Do you like the freedom of original characters/designs? Do you like the challenge of coming up with a design from scratch, or do you find it more personal than strict recreation?

I'll start this off with my own answers:

1- Inspiration.
Lately a lot of my planned cosplays are personifications of some of NYC's skyscrapers which I am a fan of. I've been a huge skyscraper fan ever since I was a kid, drawing them in personified/avatar form for about as long as I can remember. When it comes to designing clothing for these skyscraper-folk to wear, I draw inspiration from lots of real-world sources. Sometimes I feel a bit like the costume designers from Star Wars, who used a ton of real world historical and ethnic influences, blending them together to create amazing looks for their characters, a whole visual language of sorts. Bet you didn't know that Amidala's episode 1 Senate Gown was based very much on a Mongolian women's outfit (even that hairdo!), or that Anakin's civilian disguise in episode two used real African mudcloth for its vest!
For my Skyscraper-folk, the actual buildings they're based on give me lots to work with too. Whether it's the bold vertical and horizontal elements of 55 Water St's facade, or the countless art deco details large and small of the Empire State or Chrysler, it's fun figuring out ways to weave those into an outfit that looks like something a living being would wear as either everyday, ceremonial, or battle dress.

2- backstory
Heck yes, I give my characters a backstory! Not just how the heck a skyscraper gains an Avatar in the first place, or the culture that these beings might create for themselves, but the history of an individual building figures in there as well. For example,One New York Plaza is a survivor of multiple fires, so she wears phoenix heraldry. One Penn Plaza may be a modernist skyscraper, but he wears some art deco elements, as a tribute to his elders.

3- why?
Short answer- it's fun! I get to combine two of my passions, cosplay and architecture. And in doing so, maybe causing people to look at something familiar, and see it in a new way. Recently, somebody online looked at the character drawings in my deviantart gallery and said (after googling buildings they were not familiar with) how well I had captured said building's nuances.
I love taking the ideas that have been in my head for years and bringing them to life though art, writing, and yes, cosplay!

Last edited by Amanita : 12-27-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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