It’s time for another interview, this time with Cielrose/Cescat! She’s a lovely cosplayer from Australia, who has quite the amazing collection of costumes!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I apologize in advance for the cheesy story accompanying my cosplay alias ‘Cielrose’! I was very young when I made it. The sky, when it turns that lovely rosy color at dawn or dusk, is one of my favorite things and roses are my favorite flower. People also call me by my deviantART name ‘Cescat’ or my first name for those who know me personally. I prefer names that don’t give too much away about gender.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I started cosplaying five years ago, but it was very erratic as we only had one anime convention in my small home town at the time. I’ve only been making costumes more regularly in the past few years when I moved to a bigger city. As cosplay has only recently discovered a surge of popularity in Australiain the last few years, I’m considered to be one of the ‘long-time’ cosplayers, which I find incredibly amusing as I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface compared to many others whom I admire and cosplay with locally and overseas! I still consider myself extremely new to the hobby and with so much to learn.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I have a lot of favorite elements I like to use in costuming! To start with, BLING! I really enjoy using things that sparkle and glitter! I first went nuts with it in my Jade Country Sakura and Sheryl dresses, sewing diamantes, using glitter tulle, sequins, glitter spray, gold foil trim and crystals as I really love how they catch the light! I come from a stage background so I’m very inspired by how costumes will look onstage. The more sparkles, the better in my opinion! As for fabric, silk dupioni. It is the most gorgeous fabric I have ever sewn with! It has such a satisfying texture and drape, with just the most luscious and vivid colors evoked during movement. It’s simply beautiful and although I’m definitely not affluent enough to afford using it in everything, it’s something I try to save up and splurge on for very special costumes only!
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Please don’t laugh but I am really excited to be working more with resin! I used it for the first time this year making some epaulette jewels and fell in love with the diverse uses of it and how you can really customize it to make it your own. I mixed glitter through it, powdered gold colors and such. It’s so much fun! I am not a props person by a long shot so it really excites me when I try new things and methods away from wig styling, make-up and sewing.
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 people individually customize their costumes a bit more. I feel that too much emphasis is placed on being exactly accurate to the reference picture and while I do agree that is very important to a certain extent (otherwise you wouldn’t be cosplaying a set design in the first place) I feel it can be stifling and I don’t just want to look like everyone else in the world doing the same character! For me, cosplay is about the overall effect of portraying a character, so I don’t throw a hissy fit if someone has decided to use a slightly more elaborate trim as opposed to plain, or a printed damask as opposed to a plain cotton. As long as it doesn’t clash too much, looks good and more importantly as long as the person who made it is happy.. then huzzah! Great examples of this are the STARISH outfits from the series Uta no Prince Sama. It is so incredibly refreshing to see how cosplayers around the world have decided to represent those outfits! My favorites by far would have to be how the Korean cosplay group Spiral Cats have done it. They refused to be constrained by the original designs or fabric textures and just look all the more FABULOUS for it!
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I do feel it is universally misunderstood! I wouldn’t want to sound like a poseur by calling it an art form, but I relish that cosplay can evoke the most amazing skill sets in people that they often don’t realize they had. Whether they be aspiring costume designers, photographers, make-up artists, models, singers, dancers or actors, cosplay can really boost the self-esteem of those who never had the courage to explore those fields of expression before. I’ve seen people learn to dance, sing, sew, record skits, set up photoshoots and the like all because of cosplay and that has led on to amazing fields of employment never even considered before, or even a mental release from their daily tasks. The ‘cosplay scene’ like every other ‘scene’ has its positives and negatives and I think people often forget this. Should the scene get you down, take a step back and ask yourself why you do it and what it means to you. I think cosplay can be as serious or as lighthearted as you want it to (though I much prefer the latter, it’s more fun!) and I have met many amazing people and some of my closest friends through this hobby. I regret nothing!
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
It would be nice however, for people to remember that this is a hobby! I admire and get inspired from those who I think are great cosplayers, but I think it’s silly to put people on pedestals and to think “I could never be like so-and-so!”, we are just all human after all.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Don’t let others label what you can and can’t do. That happened to me for years when I got into cosplay and I think it hindered my personal progress in a huge way! If you want to do something and it will make you happy, just do it!
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I like to travel a lot and experience conventions overseas! The best conventions I have ever been to were:
– the Tokyo Game Show, meeting my favorite game character designers, making so many new cosplay friends and getting into Layers magazine was just the best experience ever!
– Comic Fiesta in Malaysia. It was just so nice, friendly, welcoming and the artists were epic!
– TonariCos and Comiket. I love the cosplay environment in Japan, it’s just wonderful! Events are always an awesome experience and I always meet new friends!
– SMASH in Australia. I always have so much fun at SMASH! It’s by far the best anime convention in Australia!
– Supanova in Australia. It includes both Sci-Fi/Fantasy as well as anime so the range of guests and cosplayers you get to meet is extremely diverse and that’s what makes it very fun! I really love learning from all aspects of the communities that engage in costuming (Sci-Fi, Historical recreation etc.) and this convention draws everyone together which is why it is awesome!
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I learnt horology when making my clock accessory for my Peter White costume from Heart no Kuni noAlice! I dismantled an entire clock, made new parts for it and built it back together so I would have a working time piece! It took about a couple of weeks of studying the parts, dials and fiddling with, I’m really happy with that considering I have not the slightest amount of handyman skills!