Interview with Celeste Orchid and Quick Announcement

Quick announcement: There will be no Sunday posting, as I will be out of town for family reunion. 😀 I will be back  and able to do Monday’s posting without a hitch!

Now then, it’s time for another interview, this one with Celeste Orchid! She’s a cosplayer currently in Kentucky who is talented and spunky!

Celeste Orchid as Misa from Death Note, photo by Eurobeat King

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cosplay alias is Celeste Orchid. My real name is Marissa Floro. I chose the nickname Celeste Orchid for a few reasons. I wanted something heavenly… so I thought of angels and such, but that was too cliché. Higher than the heavens was the stars, and then I thought of the celestial realms type of thing. I thought celestial would be too long for a name, so with trial and error, I finally arrived to Celeste: pronounced as Celes. Orchid was added on kind of like TommyHeavenly6 (Japanese singer). I wanted to have an ending to my name rather than just Celeste. Orchid is my favorite color, flower, and it’s a few of my favorite video game characters, those being Black Orchid from Killer Instinct and Kaldea Orchid from the Bouncer.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I started officially cosplaying in 2005, with my first costume being Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII. My first convention debut costume was the Dancer Class from Final Fantasy Tactics. I was always fascinated with the outfits from Japanese cartoons and video games, not excluding the stuff in Americaor other countries. I definitely got into cosplaying heavier when my friend Chris took me to a convention. I purchased my first sewing machine in 2006 and ever since then, I did not look back.

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I have always been interested in beadwork. I started off with jewelry, so it makes me super excited to do beadwork on costumes. I also like putting in lighting effects. I’m still new to fiber optic lighting but I can say its fun to work with. I like to experiment with different fabrics, and my most favorite fabric type is brocades. Brocades have that silky elegance to it, which makes me feel like royalty when wearing it. It’s also great for pictures.

Celeste Orchid as C.C. from Code Geass, photo by Kevin Lillard

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Hahaha in the future… there’s so much to behold. Really I can’t say much, other than my friends and maybe others that I have yet to cosplay with. I do plan on working with more exotic armor making skills, but for now I’ll brush up on my sewing and hand technique skills before I worry too much on armor and such.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I would like to see more attention to detail and seeing if it works for their body type; as in, if a color scheme does not exactly work out for their skin tone, I’d be happier if they changed the color ever so slightly so it would work out. I’m not saying that I can match colors perfectly… so it’s give and take on that part. Attention to detail is a must, especially when it comes to shoes. I wouldn’t want them to be the wrong type and completely destroy a costume, since the wrong shoes can make or break a costume. Another part of detail is wig styling. If a wig is starting to get tangled it would be best to treat it. There are many tutorials out there to help people take better care of their wigs.  

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Oh my views, well it’s fun and then there’s drama. There’s only so much a cosplayer can do without getting into drama. Really, there are just some personalities that clash that cause people not to be friends anymore. I enjoy seeing other people dress up but it’s another thing to see someone dress up as your favorite character and completely ruin them for you because of their attitude. Sure getting in character is fun, but don’t over do it.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I would like to see a bit more “class” so to speak. More or less not the “I LOST THE GAME”. It’s like really? An internet game in reality? Or appropriate times for the right things. I hear a lot of people bashing on cosplayers because of their size and race. I honestly would like to destroy those walls. It’s not cool. Hey if they like the character and they want to dress up like them, who said it was a bad thing? I know there shouldn’t be a Man-Faye or Sailor Bubba but these people did it for the sake of fun. The bold statement here is that we’re all nerds just trying to have fun. No one should take that away from anyone.

Celeste Orchid as Dion Rogers' Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII, photo by Josh Fries

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Oh I got your advice right here. BE NICE TO OTHERS. You all are nerds, geeks and such of the same fandoms. Don’t hate. If you are new at creating costumes NEVER GIVE UP! It takes a while to get good at something and cosplay is no different! It personally took me a few years to get where I am. So take your time, get tips from other cosplayers, GOOGLE AND YOUTUBE ARE YOUR TUTORIAL GUIDES. USE them!! The best part they never disappear… hopefully. Do ask help from other cosplayers. Majority of them already post tutorials on how to make things. If extra help is needed, send them a question! USE A WIG CAP. For crying out loud, it’s cheap and inexpensive. Just use it. Do not use Halloween store wigs until you are really good at wig styling. Wait… no. Just never use Halloween wigs unless its a running gag joke. Make sure to pick the right fabrics. If you tend to overheat, don’t pick a heavy fabric to make you sweat a lot. Never use felt for a real costume. At least, not for the fancy ones. Don’t be afraid to buy certain parts like dress shirts and real tabi socks. Sometimes it’s easier to purchase than to make it. Don’t forget about make-up! Getting good make-up practice can help create the overall look of the costume and helps gender bending!

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
One of my favorite conventions to attend is Anime Central. It’s where I’ve meet so many great people and had a great time! I also established Godly Team Cosplay at this convention. A lot of my friends attend this con so I can see them all at once. It’s great! Sugoicon was my first convention, so it’s my home convention. I have to admit I love the small atmosphere and the people there are very friendly. I enjoy myself at this con and make an effort to meet new people.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I love a lot of my costumes that I get done over night and they look amazing. I like my beadworking. My Rinoa costumes (except for the Amano styles and ball gown) have knitting and crocheting. So they were all time consuming, but they are my most favorite costumes. I’ve noticed that I tend to lean towards blue costumes. Wow, what’s up with that? One of the things that I’m really proud of is cosplaying in the snow. It’s SUPER HARD TO DO while wearing a bikini. I’ve done a few snow photoshoots in cosplay. If you can brave the cold, DO IT, but it’s not for the faint heart.

Celeste Orchid as Shiva from Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, photo by Ian Floro

Thanks for the interview, Celeste Orchid! To see more of her work, you can visit her website, The Secret Life of a Celestial Flower, her Deviantart, her American Cosplay Paradise, her Cosplay.com account, and her Twitter.

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About Yunie

I am a cosplayer, a nerd, a geek. I am whatever you call me. However, I have a brain and tend to use it.
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