This week’s Cosplay Spotlight goes to a Southern California cosplayer whose can be found on social media as DressesAndCapes.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My cosplay name is Dressesandcapes, aka Lauren. I am an award-winning cosplayer, a style chameleon, and an overall creative person. My passion is creating looks either based on other’s art/creations or my own wild imagination. And finally, I am a big proponent of representation in cosplay and doing a cosplay you love even if you don’t look like the character.
How would you define cosplay?
My cosplay is a bit all over the place, but recently I have been inclined to dress as classic Disney princesses. I love dressing up as a princess because it helps bring greater representation to the Disney and cosplay community and I also love cosplaying anything that allows me to be in a twirl-worthy skirt.
I like to make small tweaks in the design to give it my own unique touch. An example is I recently cosplayed Tinkerbell and added a floral applique detail on the side to give it a little more “pizazz”. I love adding small details that give each cosplay the “me” stamp.
What is your favorite part of Cosplaying?
I think my favorite part of creating cosplay is when I finally see everything I have been working on finally coming together. I am always full of uncertainty as I am working on a project; everything from the choices I make in fabric, adjustments to design, or adaptation of an idea for whatever reason causes me uncertainty. The act of creating something from nothing is such a fulfilling feeling. I really hope everyone can feel this rush at some point during their own creative process.
What are your principles of cosplay?
The main principles of cosplay for me is to have fun and enjoy the process. I know a lot of people put pressure on themselves to make cosplays that are absolutely perfect and screen accurate, but honestly as long as you are happy with how it looks and feel proud of your creation then you have succeeded! I also am a firm believer that you shouldn’t shy away from cosplaying a character you love just because you don’t look like them. If you love that character, or love that outfit, go for it! Cosplay is about having fun and being able to express yourself creatively.
How do you store your costumes? Are there any cleaning hacks you would like to share?
Oh boy! The difficult questions.
Depending on the cosplay it is storing differently. A lot of my cosplay I am storing in bins. For example, my Moana cosplay (based on Hannah Alexander Artwork) is in its own clear plastic bin. She’s a big girl and requires a lot of space. For some other cosplays I am able to store several into one bin, but others need to be hung in clothes bags. I also have several wigs and headpieces that are prominently on display atop Styrofoam wig heads to keep their shape.
As time has passed, I have started to get rid of some of my cosplay. However, most of the time that means breaking it down to get as much reusable material as possible. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, kids.
Tell me about the con-going experience: the positives & the negatives.
Oh wow. I miss cons. Cons are a place where we can be our fully nerdy selves. The troubles of every day can be left at home and replaced with the joy of seeing friends and the fear of a costume malfunction. Each con is an opportunity to bond with friends, showcase your creativity, and express your love of everything nerdy. Going to conventions is the way I am able to see some of my friends who live far away.
What is one of your favorite con memories?
One of my fav con memories was actually in my first year of cosplaying. I was at D23 dressed as Esmeralda – it was a relatively simple take on her classic outfit – but as I was asking a friend to take a picture for me in front of the D23 sign, a man walked out of the building and waved at me. I waved back and he came up to me and told me that he was Floyd Norman, and had been a lead animator on The Hunchback of Notre Dame and he loved my cosplay! He even told me I was about the same size as Demi Moore, and she only looked tall in pictures. It was such an amazing experience.
I have found some of my closest friends at conventions. Two years ago I was able to visit Japan for the second time – this time with my nerdy convention friends – and it was such a different experience compared to my first visit.
I have also been lucky enough to run into some of my favorite creators and been able to share my creations with them, and both of us geek out over something nerdy.
One of the things I do not miss about cons is the creepers at cons. At almost every con you will run into someone who does not respect boundaries. I have had to tell people to not take my picture or that I did not want to be touched. I’m hoping that with quarantine people will be better about this now.
What are some of your favorite anime/shows or manga series and why?
Oh man, there are so many anime/animated shows I love!
Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood– one of the best shows of all time
Jujutsu Kaisen– It has been a while since I felt hype for a show
Cardcaptor Sakura– I grew up with her and she holds a special place in my heart (plus all those costumes!)
Kids on the Slope– Such a sweet slice of Life with music
Neon Genesis Evangelion– It’s kinda a classic for a reason
Ergo Proxy– A lesser-known sci-fi dystopian anime but I still vividly remember it and wanting to cosplay the main female character so badly
Mononoke (Medicine Seller)- One of the most visually stunning anime I have ever seen
DuckTales– The reboot was so good, and in my opinion even better than the original. Also, the cast is a powerhouse of amazing voices
Over the Garden Wall– I watch this several times each year around fall. I also just love Wirt a lot
Infinity Train– I was completely drawn in by the first season and each season drew me in more
Star Wars Clone Wars– I am a big Star Wars fan and Clone Wars introduced me to my fav Star Wars character, Ahsoka Tano
Gargoyles– I bet you are humming that theme song right now?
Tokyo Ghoul– I loved the manga so much (so sad the anime was nowhere near as good)
Uzamaki– I love Junji Ito and this one in particular is terrifying
Death Note– Such a compelling story
Make sure to follow DressesAndCapes on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok to see all her creations and make sure to also subscribe to her YouTube, as she hopes to document and share her creative process soon!