Meet with Calssara
How do you store and organize your costumes? What advice would you give to be able to take care of the costumes at long term (wigs, props & sewing) ?
I have an extra closet in the basement area. There I store the costumes that I still plan on wearing that year. The rest is stored in air proof plastic boxes that are also labelled.
It is really important to take care of your things when you want to keep them for a long time. So try to wash/clean the costume after the convention before you put it back. Stains are much harder to remove later on. Also, I try to do small repairs before I put it in the box. Be careful that the room that stores the costumes is not moist! Mold can easily creep up into fabrics. Air tight bags can help to prevent moths from eating your precious costumes! For props it is important to keep them away from too much heat or old since that can damage them. For wigs you need to be careful how much built up of hairspray you got in them. Old hairspray clumps in wig hair can start to become yellow! So try to wash it out before you store them.
What obstacles have you encountered in your journey (costume making, etc.)? Could you tell us all the mistakes not to make ? How did you get out of them?
It is not bad to make some mistakes. We all have ordered fabric and ended up butchering it with bad sewing and needing to remake all of it. And we all already wasted some foam while trying out something new. It is unavoidable to do mistakes. They are good for practice and learning! The only mistakes we should absolutely avoid are the ones that are bad for health. Things like spray painting in closed rooms, using plastidip without a raspirator, heating up foam types that are not supposed to be heated up (yoga mats). Be careful with your health!
With all the activities you have done, what do you like the most?
The moment when you are back home / back in the hotel after a long and nice day of convention / photo shoots and you can just take all the stuff off, have a nice warm shower and order some food.
What is the cosplay you liked the most to make and the one you liked the least to wear?
I actually enjoy making simple costumes the most! Something I am familiar with and can concentrate on making it very neat. It does not feel so stressful making it. It also helps to see the project coming together quickly to stay motivated! Meanwhile with more detailed projects I can struggle to stay motivated and to imagine what the end result may look like.
And my struggle in wearing costumes Is actually heavy wigs! I am suuuuper sensitive on my head and I tend to get headaches very quickly. If the wig is putting pressure on a wrong spot or simply very heavy, I have a really bad time wearing the costume.
With all the stores and products present today, what would you recommend in terms of lenses, wigs and materials?
Try to first check out local shops or shops in your country (or EU shops when you are from the EU). In case something is wrong with the material or the product, you will have much less troubles to get your money back or get a replacement. Meanwhile when you order from the other side of the world, you often have to wait a long time and when you are unlucky with what you receive you might get troubles in getting it replaced. Also supporting local businesses is neat!
Can you tell us about your ECG and WCS experience in which you participated? How did you feel about these competitions?
Both ECG and WCS helped me a lot to develop as a cosplayer and as a person. I originally was a very shy person who is not very outgoing and usually waited that someone talks to them to make friends. WCS was my first time as a cosplayer being put into a situation where I had to communicate with people from different countries and cultures. It helped me a lot to be more empathetic and understanding of others. It also helps to look outside of your own plate to understand problems and people. In my job now I have to communicate with people every day and also have a lot of people with different backgrounds coming to our library to ask for help or a community. The experience I got via my hobby helped me a lot to become better at my job.
I also think that international contests are what made the cosplay community grow together over borders. The first people I met who had cosplay friends from other countries were those who met them in contests. Meeting people from many different countries at the same place, forging friendships and bonds made the cosplay community develop on a global scale. Meeting people from other countries became a lot easier now thanks to social media.
Learning how other people approach making their costumes can also teach you a lot. I learned a lot from other cosplayers around the world. Participating in these contests really helped me to become better in crafting and performing.
With the different countries you visited, are there any cultural differences in cosplay? And is there a country that has marked you the most ?
Many countries have different things in cosplay that are more popular to do or they focus more on it. But in the years lately with the rise of tutorial videos and the availability of materials, the differences became a bit smaller.
I think what still impressed me the most and I still enjoy a lot looking back at it, is cosplay performances in Denmark. They are very focused on making amazing performances.
They even make cosplay contests where you can buy the costume, but only get judged on the performance. It is just SO ENTERTAINING and you have such a nice memory from all the performances. Love that a lot!