I had discovered cosplay from YouTube as I was really going into my anime phase in 2011. I fell in love with the idea of dressing up, but could never execute it properly unless it was Halloween. I would see CMVs (Cosplay Music Videos) on YouTube, and just DREAM of being apart of that some day.
Around 2013/2014 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, which sparked a desperate search for an outlet to escape. I had eventually switched from a regular high school at that time to an arts school, where I made a friend who took me to my first con, Anime Los Angeles!
I was SO into Kill La Kill. I worked so so hard to earn money to get my first full cosplay. It was expensive! I did things like pet sitting for my neighbors, pulling weeds and doing lawn care, and just chores around the house! I wasn’t old enough at the time to get a job, so those sufficed well enough!! I bought Ryuko’s cosplay on Amazon – I didn’t have enough skill at the time to sew it. I didn’t even know how to style the wig or anything! I was just so excited to be able to throw it on and go. I even bought the scissor blades (wood) at a local anime shop, with birthday money. I had a Senketsu backpack at school. I LIVED for Kill la Kill.
My first con was really spent just walking circles around the convention center! I don’t remember my first compliment in cosplay but I do remember being outside and a photographer came up asking if she could take some photos! We said sure thinking she was just going to use the area too, but no! She wanted photos of ME! It was so surreal, and I still have those photos to this day!! It is so fun to look back on them!
Now I strive to take second hand pieces from thrift stores, and flip them into inexpensive cosplays! Cosplaying isn’t the most environmentally friendly so using thrifted items really helps. Cosplay has really made me who I am today, and going to cons is how I bond with my Boyfriend.
So Sophie was a very risky character for me because I hadn’t actually watched the movie before my boyfriend bought the costume for me on Black Friday! It was so so so much cheaper to buy it rather than make it, so it just worked out. We had the movie on blu ray at the time for quite a few months before we actually watched it, and I really fell in love with Sophie’s character and her personality. The movie made me cry LOTS, and it was a really good bonding moment for my boyfriend and I.
When the costume arrived, It was far too long for my tastes. So when Christmas came around I asked my grandma to show me how to do a clean hem on the bottom, since I’m a bit of a messy seamstress. She actually wound up hand sewing a completely new hem for me, and I’m so so grateful. When I wore her to ALA she was very well received, and my photographer was so wonderful, and she really took some phenomenal photos of me! I was a little weird about buying a cosplay but, cosplay is meant to be fun, regardless on if you make or buy your costume!