OK, so I’ve given you some of the tools of the trade to design your own costumes for cos play. With ‘1000 Incredible Costume & Cosplay Ideas’ by Yaya Hen, Allison DeBlasio & Joey Marsocci, you get the opportunity to see the variety of people dressed in such wares, some of which they also created. The three selectors are also cos player designers so have undoubtedly picked out some of the best. You’ll either feel up to the task or realise you have a lot to learn to look as good. When you see the list of people who did the work at the back, at least you’ll know who to contact for advice or pay for their services. Cosplay is becoming a big business now although I hope there is room for the more amateur work. You might just buy this book purely to admire the talented people who do such work and just enjoy the photos. I’ve had a real problem just selecting a few samples to show here.
The book covers cos play from anime, manga, video games, movies, television, comics and even some original creations and props. The first three sections I’m less familiar with but one thing that does tend to sink in is if gifted amateurs can make realistic costumes based off paper art, why can’t film-makers do the same thing? The proportion of women to men is a massive ratio and ethnically, there are a lot of Orientals but few blacks. Whether this reflects the same way at these cos play displays I’m less certain. Certainly compared to samples I’ve looked up on the Net, the models here have the figures to die for to fit in these costumes. It would have made sense to include a far wider body range, even if they might be a little, shall we say, heavier than expected. Hopefully, there should be more books showing off cos players. If there is a criticism, I wish they had included the year the photos were taken to put everything in context.
I suspect that if you left the book on your coffee table, you will have to do body searches to make sure your ‘friends’ don’t ‘borrow’ it because it really is a nice book to browse. Something that did occur to me while reading it is if you combine it with the ‘Steampunk & Cosplay: Fashion Design & Illustration’ by Samantha R. Crossland, reviewed earlier this month, you can play the game of identifying the fabric used and get a better impression of what it’s like posed on a model.
I would hope that the authors might do a follow-up book giving guidance tips in how to put such costumes together if only to answer the questions they are likely to get after you’ve read this book. If you’re into cos play, then you will come away inspired.
(pub: Quarry Books/Quarto. 318 page illustrated oblong softcover. Price: £16.99 (UK), $25.00 (US), $28.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-59253-698-6)
check out websites: www.quartoknows.com/brand/119/Quarry-Books/, www.quartoknows.com/books/9781592536986/1-000-Incredible-Costume-and-Cosplay-Ideas.html, www.yayahan.com and www.drgrymmlaboratories.net