It’s time for another interview, this time with Alli Cat Cosplay! She’s a cosplayer from California, who wants everyone to respect one another and have fun!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cos-alias is a merging of my middle name, Allison, and my rescue work with stray cats. Alli Cat just stuck.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I’ve been cosplaying at cons since 2004, but my first official cosplay was Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft, for Halloween in middle school. I wanted to dress up as her after seeing the film; I loved how it had this gothic take on her signature look, like AOD. They didn’t carry her costume in stores, so my Mom made it for me. I absolutely loved the feeling of walking around and having other students point and go, “She looks just like her!” when I headed to my classes.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Favorite things to work with would probably be avocado pits. Yes, you read that right. They can create a natural and eco-friendly pink dye when you boil them and make such beautiful tones. I highly recommend trying them out.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I’m excited for the day that I finish saving up for a 3D printer and join all the cool kids. I know I’m really missing out! I’m always excited when cosplay friends from other countries come out to visit. My friend, Velveteen Velours, who’s a very talented model from Russia, flew out here and we met up in Little Tokyo and talked about what got us started, being crazy cat moms and, our planned costumes for future shoots.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I enjoy different takes on costumes; people putting their own twist into something. I love the originality. I also love to see cosplayers dress up in scrapped concept art or character designs that have yet to be cosplayed.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
It’s made an improvement over the years, but still has a long way to go. Back when I first started attending cons, you’d get banned for being dressed sexy; security would escort you outside in front of everyone and block the doors. They can’t pull that crap anymore. We have support groups now and are able to call out problematic behavior and have it paid attention to. I’m grateful for that.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
While cons have stepped up their game on weapon policies, I’d like to see them do the same when it comes to harassment. Many cons still invite sexual predators as guests, proving to us that they only care about the money and not the safety of their attendees. That has to stop.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Absolutely don’t raceface. People of Color are not a costume. It’s disrespectful, hurtful and you look like a clown. People will recognize your costume, that’s what we’re looking at, your craftsmanship and attention to detail.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Of all the conventions I’ve been to, I’d have to say that Anime Los Angeles goes out of their way, to make fans feel like they belong. The staff is always very helpful. They also allow cosplayers to submit photos of themselves to decorate the con hallways.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I’m the most proud of my Poison Ivy (Batman #181) costume. A lot of love was poured into it and I had a blast hanging with my friend Claire Sassypants, who was my Black Canary. Random fact? I added the leaves on the stockings last minute, meaning I hot glued them to my legs. *cries in accuracy*