Interview with Garnet Runestar/Elrowiel

It’s time for another interview, this time with Garnet Runestar/Elrowiel! She’s a crazy talented cosplayer from Utah, who is an amazing person!

Garnet Runestar/Elrowiel as C.C. from Code Geass, photo by EpicPix Photography

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I go by two aliases I suppose, but that was mostly on accident. When I started my account on Cosplay.com, I was really working on a fantasy series (an idea that has mostly fallen to the wayside, lol) and I thought, “why not just pull a name from there?” So, that’s where “Garnet Runestar” came from. Of course, when I joined DeviantArt, I couldn’t have any spaces… and since I hadn’t quite learned the art of the hyphen, I pulled another name from that same series and “Elrowiel” became my DA name. Naturally, this causes all sort of confusion… but what can you do? Lol!

Garnet Runestar/Elrowiel as Marie Antoinette from Rose of Versailles, photo by Hobbit Katie-chan

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I found Cosplay.com in 2005, but I didn’t actually get to cosplay until late 2007. Even though I didn’t have a name for it though, I always wanted to do it. I would watch Sailor Moon after school thinking, “I wonder if I could buy her dress anywhere? Surely someone could make it”. It didn’t occur to me until late high school that I thought maybe I could make it. I never did quite try my hand at things until much later. My first convention was in September 2007, Anime Vegas. And of course, since then I was hooked.

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Hmm… Fabric-wise I think Cotton Sateen. Of course, Satin Peau De Soie comes in close to that. Oh, and Taffeta, or Stretch Suede, or…. You know it may just be quicker to say that I just adore fabric overall. I don’t think that really needs an explanation; Fabric is awesome!

Other than that though, I do love Wonderflex and Sintra, with a smattering of Friendly Plastic. I tried working with clay, but I’m just utterly hopeless with it. I find with the thermo plastics I can construct much better, cleaner lines. I can make a pattern for armor or whatever and cut it with a heat knife. Then I can kind of build them together to make what I need. It ends up light and strong… but still looking like I intended it too. Unlike what happens when I try to use clay, lol.

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Well, I’ve got a couple things. Most exciting to me, I finally collected enough of the fabric I want to make White Queen Esther from Trinity Blood! That dress has been something I’ve wanted to tackle for years! I’m sure it won’t be finished for a very long time… but one day, I will make that dress.

Of course, something that I think will happen a lot sooner is that I’ve been working on Madame Red’s wardrobe from Kuroshitsuji. It’s been nice to get back into my familiar roots in Victorian clothing!

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Hmm… I like to see costumes that are well thought out. Not just in the sense of construction, but made in a way that makes sense. For example, say your character works on a farm… they aren’t going to wear something made of satin or taffeta. Cottons and linens are much more realistic. I like to build costumes thinking, “what would this character actually wear?”

As for who does them well, I suppose you want me to actually name people. But I don’t like to give too much of an opinion on costumes I haven’t seen in person. So, I’m going to give this one a pass!

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I think people put too much stock into fame in cosplay. Thinking about what to do to get attention and getting all worked up about who is talking about who. It saddens me to see it. What happened to, “we are all just nerds in costume”? Really though, beyond that… I adore the friends I have made because of this. I have met some of the most creative people I have ever met in cosplay. I love that this hobby inspires so much innovation!

Garnet Runestar/Elrowiel as Caterina from Trinity Blood, photo by Lustre-luck

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I wish people could just stop being so critical or so worried about fame. I wish they would stop trying to undermine and destroy each other. I want to see everything go back to basics. Can we all just make costumes and have fun?

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Research, research, research! Read about construction methods and hang out in fabric stores. The more you know, the better you will do! A well made and fitted costume will be always more impressive!

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Well, NDK and Fanime are on that list. ALA has a place there as well. NDK I think I keep going back to mostly for the people. I seem to miss most of the panels, but I always have fun at NDK.

Fanime, well Fanime was just amazing. Masquerade was so much fun! ALA is similar to that. A very pleasant masquerade and lots of amazing people/cosplayers to talk too. I tend to judge conventions based on their Masquerades. That and I love meeting new people.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
Hmm… Oh boy, I’m really not good at this kind of thing. How about… My black victorian Yuuko dress is 84 yards of fabric. This number is topped only by my white victorian dress which took 96 yards!

Garnet Runestar/Elrowiel as Yuuko from XXXHolic, photo by Angelicthreads

Thanks for the interview, Garnet Runestar/Elrowiel! You can see more of her work on her Deviantart, her Cosplay.com account, and her American Cosplay Paradise account!

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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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