Kiki Delivery Service

 I was first introduced to anime with Kiki’s Delivery Service when I was 7 years old, and I was hooked. As I grew up, I felt like I related to Kiki more and more. She is so unsure of herself, and questions whether she in on the right path. And as I have grown up, I also feel unsure at times about whether I am on the right path. But ultimately I feel like, just like Kiki, I will figure out where I am supposed to be.

So while it doesn’t look like it, there is actually a ton of fabric. The underskirt is made of two double circle skirts (10 yd hem), and the overskirt is a mullet double circle skirt (I had to draft this twice in muslin to make sure I got the draping the way I wanted). The accessories are made from Original and Black Worbla. The staff is a PVC pipe that was sanded and shaved to give it the texture of wood.

Each accessory represents a part of Kiki’s journey. The necklace has Jiji on it because he will always be with her (even when he stops talking), the belt has two crows on it to represent the crows that attack Kiki in the forest and lead her to meeting Ursula. On the side and back of the belt are stars and wings, to represent the painting that Ursula creates of Kiki. And finally the staff combines the cage that Kiki was using to transport the Jiji look-a-like plushie, the forest she falls into while on her delivery, and her broom (the second most important part of any Kiki cosplay!).

I will say I was quite nervous when I first decided to cosplay Kiki because I am a dark-skinned cosplayer and I have heard of the negative response some dark-skinned cosplayers receive when they do light skinned characters. So, I was so surprised at the overwhelming positive response I received! People loved my twist on Kiki and complimented me on my craftsmanship. This is probably one of my best cosplay memories.

I actually first experienced cosplay at my first anime convention all the way back in 2006. My sister and I sat next to a woman dressed up as Lust from Full Metal Alchemist and we were blown away. But, I didn’t actually start cosplaying until 2014/2105.

Oh boy, my first cosplay was thrown together the night before. My natural hair is very similar to River Song from Doctor Who, so I decided I wanted to cosplay as her. However, I had no idea what I was doing! I bought a green dress from a cheapie store and cut off the sleeves, made a belt from a elastic with some studs, and spray painted a toy gun. Looking back I laugh at how thrown together this cosplay was. But! I met a little kids dressed as the Weeping Angels and a big Doctor Who  cosplay group and took a few pictures with them; so that was super exciting and only fueled my fire to continue cosplaying.

My friends and family are super understanding and have even helped me improve my cosplay. My best friend actually made the staff for my Dia de los Muertos Maleficent cosplay, and my mom has helped me sew last minute buttons/snaps (I hate hand sewing). My co-workers kinda get it, but I am kind just seen as the nerdy girl who likes to dress up. Ce la vie!

Oh gosh, I think I keep cosplaying because I love to create. That is partially why almost all my cosplay have a twist on them; I want to create something of my own. Plus I love seeing the end result of all my blood (sometimes literally), sweat, and tears. b. I have learned that I love meeting new people, and talking about my passions with them. There is something so gratifying about meeting someone who understands your love of something and being able to discuss your failures and successes.

 Recently, I went to a 15th Anniversary Cardcaptor Sakura Art Gallery by myself while dressed up as Sakura (check my Instagram, dressesandcapes, to see my outfit), and I was pretty lonely when I first walked in. I was debating whether to leave early (even though I love Cardcaptor Sakura), when some other cosplayers walked in. We immediately bonded and discussed old anime that no one else seemed to remember. I had a great time hanging with them, and now have new friends who also love Cardcaptor Sakura as much as I do - I mean, we all dressed up as her!

- Lauren

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