Greetings and salutations, Geeklings! Today in honor of the costumed fun of Halloween, we have a guest columnist discussing the art (and ease) of Cosplay: Jenna O. While Cosplay is not a portion of the fandom and geeking experience that I have ventured into myself, I have great respect for the men, women, and children who dress up as their favorite characters and represent their geeking pride at conventions and fan events worldwide. Professional and amateur Cosplayers alike, we salute you! —J.J.
A Disney-D.C. Mash-up: My First Major Cosplay
With all of these elaborate and screen-accurate cosplays at conventions world wide, venturing into the world of cosplay can seem extremely intimidating. I know I was when I first started. Granted, the only times I have attempted I’ve basically Disney-bounded, but that’s still a legitimate form of cosplay. But this past June at Dallas Comic Con, I wanted to try something different, and it honestly turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
A few months prior, I was talking with my best friend Dillon about the upcoming con, and we decided to do a matching cosplay. He is far more creative than I am, so I was curious as to what he wanted to attempt. With the release of Suicide Squad around the corner, and seeing as how Harley Quinn is one of his favorite female comic book characters, he decided to do a gender-bent Harley. Considering my penchant for red hair, I went along, choosing to be Poison Ivy. Now, I see so many versions of Poison Ivy at cons, but they usually center on showing a lot of skin. While I am confident in my body, I didn’t feel comfortable in that kind of outfit. I wanted something comfortable, but that I would still be recognized at Poison Ivy.
One day at Wal-Mart, while perusing the racks, I happened upon this light camo-green dress. It fell just below the knees, and had flowy sleeves with buttons at the end. I looked over to Dillon and said that it reminded be of Briar Rose’s dress in the forest with the three fairies, but in green. It was on the sale rack for like $10. And then it hit me: I had a black vest, just like Briar Rose’s; if I covered them up using flowers and leaves, then I could solve some of my Poison Ivy issues. Also, I have always loved Aurora, but am a red-head and didn’t want to wear a wig, this idea for a mash-up worked in my favor even more. It was there that my mash-up was born: Briar Ivy.
We grabbed that green dress and dashed over the crafts section, heading right for the aisles with the fake flowers and leaves. We grabbed so many different kinds, and even grabbed a bouquet of pink lilies for me to carry around. All in all, we might have spent about $20-25 dollars that day on what I needed. Later that week, at his house, we spent four hours hot gluing individual leaves to the bottom of the dress, the sleeves and the black vest. We also wrapped a thick headband with the piece of fabric that came with the dress as a belt. After wrapping it an gluing it down, we placed these ivy green flowers all over the headband, creating a flower crown. While tedious, it came out so great at the end. My Disney princess/D.C. bombshell had finally come to fruition.
The final touches the day of the convention were red flats (with all the green, I needed to add little red in there, obviously), and the stage-ready make-up I applied. I was ready to debut Briar Ivy, and I was so nervous and excited. The payoff came immediately, as someone asked to take our picture even before entering the convention hall! The first time putting serious effort into a cosplay, and it felt so amazing. And when a gentlemen dressed as Alfred walked past me, nodded his head, and said, “Ms. Isley,” I was so happy that people recognized what I was going for that day.
Why did I write this? I wanted to tell people to not be afraid to try cosplay. Even if you don’t sew, or can’t create screen-accurate props, the point of cosplay is that everyone comes together to celebrate being a fan.
Jenna is involved in a multitude of fandoms, the most notable ones being Once Upon a Time and Lucifer. She writes fan fiction under the name captainswaninmyendgame, which is also her Tumblr handle (her twitter is @csismyendgame). She is also a part of the Once Upon a Captain Swan Podcast. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbBg1v1mkhwRbyj6FqpBG6A.