It’s almost universal: no new parent can resist taking photos…
There’s a Batman costume sitting in the back of our bedroom cupboard. I did recently get in trouble for suggesting we move it out of the closet and place it elsewhere, so I’ve learnt my lesson and am keeping quiet now.
You’re never too old for fancy dress. Any Cosplayer can attest to that!
Look, it’s OK if you don’t know what Cosplay is. Let me fill you in. Loosely (as these definitions can be controversial!), Cosplay Models or ‘Idols’ are people who dress up like a character from a manga or anime series, comic book, video game or live-action film.
Think Batman, Incredible Hulk, Doctor Who, Wonder Woman, Superman and far more obscure pop culture characters like those from Guardians Of The Galaxy, No Face from Spirited Away, Goku from Dragonball Z, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider and various characters from World of Warcraft. Yes, playing dress ups as an adult requires the same vivid imagination and gutsy demeanour as a child, but Cosplay takes it to a whole new level – it’s exceptionally well done, sometimes bordering on faultless.
Cosplay also involves performance so, unlike adult fancy dress parties where we all need a bit of dutch courage before even leaving the house and then end up removing half the costume as soon as we arrive at the party, Cosplayers take dress ups very seriously and often interact with each other and carry out role play.
There I said it. Role play. Again, a thoroughly enjoyable activity for kids who love to play super heroes and an equally – although very serious – activity for adults who enjoy dressing up as a hobby, attending public and private Cosplay events as well as large conventions.
A mainstream example of an event is Armageddon which is an entertainment expo (fan convention?) that tours New Zealand and Australia. Hamilton is enjoying Armageddon this month and it will take place in Wellington in July. There is also much excitement about NZ ComicCon 2015 also taking place in Wellington in July. ComicCon is big in the US and the count down has begun for its Wellington counterpart.
Cosplay (short for Costume Play) heavily features photography. Cosplay Models do their thing with every expectation of a) being the centre of attention, b) outdoing one another, c) interacting with other characters as a group and d) getting photographed.
But dressing up is not the sole domain of comic, computer game and pop culture nerds. Every self respecting single man, single woman or dating couple has, at some point, gone to the next level of fancy dress.
At grown up parties, fancy dress gets adults talking with each other. It’s a great ice breaker. In my single years, I happily attended and hosted many a fancy dress party – going that extra mile so someone might notice me and talk to me!
At children’s parties, kids barely even comment on each other’s costumes – they simply go about the business of playing on the swings with Spiderman or Elsa. In fact, for way too long there was barely a day that would go by where my niece didn’t wear her Elsa costume. Cosplayer Model in the making?
Cosplay conventions, fancy dress parties and kids costume obsessions are every hobby photographer’s best friend. There’s no need to file those photos away in a dark place behind the fitness selfies. Hop online and use our photo collage maker to show off that art on a wall at home for all to see. That grand effort, that sense of fun and that youthful spark deserves pride of place. It makes for a great gift for yourself, for a family member or for that special nerdy friend in your life.
Do we ever grow out of fancy dress? Boy, I hope not. What a dull world that would be. And a big thank you to colourful Cosplayers all the world over for doing what many of us wouldn’t have the guts to do. I absolutely love looking at the photos.