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Author Topic: Cosplay, Realism, and You: A Sewing Perspective (Taking interest and suggestions  (Read 945 times)

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Valley Wolf Cosplay

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Hey all,

Im putting this out here to sort of feel out the interest in this kind of panel as well as take suggestions for what an attendee would like to see from it. Im aiming for this to be an ~2 hour panel depending on what people feel should be covered or if it's worth it to break down into 2 panels to talk about certain things in more depth. (such as accuracy in cosplay and how to work within it to achieve a better overall look and fit )

The idea is one i've been playing with for awhile and touches on the main topic of: How to convert a digital character into a realistic/"believeable" cosplay that works with you as a cosplayer.

What would be discussed would be things like:
  • Deciding whether or not the "real" look is what makes sense with a character/show's personality
      ex. Adventure time has a radically different vibe than Dragon Age and fabric choices affect how a cosplay portrays that! Adventure time is cartoon-y and makes sense to portray it that
           way, where Dragon Age isnt. Even anime like Le chevalier D'eon can be portrayed differently than Sailor Moon but they both can have a realistic aspect.
  • What fabrics are generally associated with different types of garments (shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, coats etc)
  • The effect of fabric textures/types on a cosplay and how it makes a cosplay look "costume-y" or not
  • How to pick colors/hues that work with a cosplayer's coloring while still being accurate to the character to improve the overall affect of the cosplay
  • How to adjust a character's design to fit a cosplayer's body type while being accurate to the character to improve overall comfort and affect of the cosplay.
[li]The importance of fit and proportion in a cosplay and why crafting it to you as a cosplayer can improve the final affect.

As a seamstress who really delved and learned sewing through cosplay, I have noticed that there's a lot of focus on recreating the character and how to be accurate to the character without much discussion on the cosplayer portraying them and I think that that needs to change as the person wearing it ultimately affects the impact of the cosplay. If someone tries to be 100% accurate to a character without factoring in their own proportions and coloring they may make choices that dont really work for them and they're relatively easy fixes that I feel would also increase a cosplayer's comfort and confidence in a cosplay.

These decisions also have nothing to do with the skill of a cosplayer, there are cosplays I've made that technically were very well made but it didnt look as great on me because I didnt make decisions about how the style or cut or proportions fit me personally and vise versa where it wasnt well sewn but looked better on me because the style and colors and cut were better for me. These are fairly easy fixes and happen before any crafting begins but can radically improve a cosplay and make the difference between a great cosplay and an amazing cosplay as well as just make it more fun to wear. Noone likes wearing something that doesnt work with them and I dont want people to feel like they cant or wont cosplay a certain character because the style or proporitons of a character's outfit doesnt work with their body type/coloring when you can change that and still be accurate!

I also mourn the lack of sewing panels at conventions and would like to start hosting more of them.

I'm taking suggestions for talking points that people are interested in as well as just taking a general poll of who would actually like to attend this type of panel and if not, why!


Love Sign Master Spark

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This subject caught my attention mostly because I'm putting together a cosplay of a character from an SNES game and wondered to myself "what would this shade of yellow look like in real life?"  I'm not sure this makes a panel talking point but color limitations are a thing in digital media (especially older games) and I have thought about color choices when converting to a real world outfit that's not limited to 256 colors on screen at a time (or some other number).

Just speaking for myself that I don't think I have the attention span for a 2 hour panel on the subject you're proposing.  My perception is that attention spans at Fanime are short in general though I see this could fill a niche for attendees looking for something more focused.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 07:04:24 PM by Love Sign Master Spark »

Nina Star 9

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I think a panel like this is potentially a great idea. I'm always happy to see more in the way of cosplay panels that tackle interesting topics.

As someone who also gives cosplay help panels, I would agree that 2 hours is a bit long. Pare down the content a bit, since you aren't going to be able to keep people's attention for that long. I've given 2-hour panels, and while some people stayed for the whole panel, it was a lot of people moving in and out of the panel as it went, and there tends to be a smaller turnout than with 1-hour (or even 90-minute) panels, probably because people are intimidated by the length. If you wanted to give two 1-hour panels and felt you had enough content for that, you'd have to find a way to split it up so that each panel is unique somehow and now just a continuation of the other panel. I'd say a 2-hour panel is better than a 2-part panel, but that's also up to panels scheduling and what there is time for.

The other issue with this is determining how to teach these things -- teaching color choice can be done (in my panels where I talk about color choice it's only one or two slides on how to make colors cohesive, so going into how to make colors cohesive /and/ work with your skintone could easily expand into more slides, if doing a Powerpoint), and teaching proportion can be done to a point, but a lot of this type of thing, at least I've found, takes experience and a bit of intuition to know what looks right. I suppose teaching about general guidelines of proportion and body type would be good for people who are new, but knowing what looks good on your particular body seems to take a bit of an eye that isn't really teachable in the same way. It's not impossible, but you'd have to be really careful in how you actually go about teaching these concepts. I would focus on fit in this case.

I give panels on fabric choice, and I have to say that covering types of fabrics can easily eat up a TON of time that you maybe shouldn't use in a panel like this. If you cover what types of fabrics are used for particular garments, I'd try to keep it as brief as possible, and focus on how to choose fabrics based on a cartoony vs realistic look. I've given 2-hour panels on just fabric choice, so believe me when I say that it can take up a TON of time.

Honestly, I have a panel that covers a lot of similar ground (but more in a "here's things you may not think of that would really help take your cosplay to the next level" way), and it's my least favorite panel to give, so if this is something you are passionate about, please, go ahead and do it far better than I can! Though, if you want or need a co-panelist or any sort of input on structuring the panel or content or anything like that, let me know.
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