Cosplay getting big in the Bay

BY JESICA SLABBERT - JULY 18, 2016

Cosplay is the new, creative craze that is sweeping the nation, but what is Cosplay exactly?

Cosplay is derived from the words ‘costume’ and ‘play’. In other words it’s like dress up for grown-ups! Cosplay incorporates clothing design, creativity and even crafting and hardware design for the ultimate character.

 Characters that one might Cosplay can come from any type of franchise, such as anime, manga, comic books, movies, games and even TV shows. Cosplay is a new and fresh way for people to express themselves.

Cosplayers have a deep sense of companionship and comradery, as many would help each other with designs and even share trade secrets. And when it comes to evens you will see that fellow cosplayers will admire and appreciate each other’s work and representation of a character and their outfit.

For the cosplay newbie, sewing your outfit from scratch can be a little intimidating, especially when exposed to some expert work with handmade armour and weapons. Fret not, there are places online where you can buy a ready-made outfit and have it delivered on your doorstep. Most websites to order outfits are overseas but there are a few local places that have started to pop up, and offer you the chance to either buy or rent your preferred outfit.

  Most cosplayers prefer to make their own outfits though, and you can see in their work that they dedicate a lot of time and effort into what they make. Cosplayers sometimes work on their outfits for months on end to get it perfect. The more complicated the character’s outfit, the longer it takes to create it in real life, especially when it comes to armour, weapons and wigs.

Cosplayers get very creative with materials and equipment and even use old materials like curtains in their homes to make a brand new outfit.

There are no barriers when it comes to cosplay. Age, gender, or even size play no role in defining what character you can become. Many cosplayers do something called ‘gender-bending’ which means that they would either take a traditional male or female character and transform their character and clothing into the opposite gender. Imagine a female Mad Hatter, or a male Little Mermaid.

Cosplay has always been a popular trend overseas ever since the first Comic-con people have enjoyed cosplaying and dressing up, now the trend is making waves in South Africa.

Local cosplayers can regularly meet up at events and conventions now and show off their new designs and expand their community. There are many conventions now in South Africa for cosplayers to meet up thanks to its growing network, and even Port Elizabeth is hosting its own convention; Con.ect.

Con.ect will take place on the 30th and 31st of July, with a cosplay masquerade and competition taking place on either day. The masquerade will allow cosplayers to show off their outfit and their character with a quick cat walk and is less intimidating than the competition and is just for fun. The competition is where cosplayers will face off and show off their cosplay in order to be selected as the best by a panel of judges and receive prizes for their designs.

Those interested in Cosplaying and want to enter competition and the masquerade can enter on the official Con.ect Facebook page.

Con.ect

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