From needle to thread
Some of the best cosplay costumes presented at a Sofia exhibition
19 May, 2017
Have you heard of cosplay? The term is gathering popularity these days. Ani Ivanova from Nakama Club and cosplayer Irina Tsapreva tell us more about this fascinating hobby in an interview with BGNES.
Cosplay is actually a widespread pastime. The word itself is a combination of “costume” and “play”. Cosplayers dress in costumes to represent their favourite characters from comic books, animations, games and feature films. The outfits are personally fashioned by the participants, who know how to cut and sew. Over the years, cosplay has gained global popularity, attracting a growing following. Cosplay is becoming increasingly interesting not only for participants but the people who attend the performances as it offers them a way to “meet” their favourite character.
A special exhibition at the National Ethnographic Museum in Sofia showcases some of the best cosplay costumes and accessories. “These are costumes that have won awards on national level as well as on the international stage of the prestigious European competition Euro Cosplay. This is the first display we have had in a museum. We are glad that this hobby is getting recognition as a form of art on its own right,” says Ani Ivanova.
The various personages portrayed by the cosplayers may be from books, games, manga and anime as well as television and silver screen productions. The costumes have to be personally made by the cosplayers, which involves everything from sewing and painting dresses to forging armour. The materials used are primarily rare fabrics, thermoplastic plastic, Styrofoam and paints. Transforming into a character requires persistence, patience, hard work and some acting chops in order to present the final product at the special masquerade events. Cosplayers often collaborate, creating a subculture. The broader definition of cosplay refers to any costume role play beyond the stage.
“I have always loved making things with my own hands, wearing different costumes. I discovered cosplay by accident while surfing the internet,” says cosplayer Irina Tsapreva. “The first costume I ever made involved many ready-made elements and alterations by me. It was not a very good likeness with the source material. The participant’s idea for a costume will largely determine how difficult it is to make. I have had costumes done in a week and others that have taken me three months to finish,” Tsapreva adds.
Visitors to the National Ethnographic Museum will have the chance to view the Cosplay – from Needle to Thread exhibition and learn more about this special hobby gaining worldwide popularity until 10 June.