dressing up for grown ups

2020, creativity

Hello!

I’ve been to MCM Comic Con a number of times and as someone who classifies themselves as a full on ‘nerd’, cosplaying is something I’m familiar with. In essence, it’s fancy dress for adults however most of the people who design and make their own cosplays are incredibly talented in making their own clothes, working with a variety of fabrics, making props, working with wigs, doing make-up, some even including mechanical works of engineering in their costumes. Each cosplay is a culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work borne of pure adoration and passion for the character and the story they’re replicating, giving themselves a tiny taste of living in that world for a bit.

Cosplay and conventions have a bit of a reputations for being a bunch of nerds being geeky about things they take too seriously. Granted, it’s kind of true but it’s so much more than that and the community and atmosphere at MCM is incomparable and I hate the negative association of people being passionate about things (especially when football fans rioting when the people didn’t kick the ball the way they wanted it to is apparently okay? Like, seriously?).

When I’ve attended conventions, I’ve always felt like my nerd-ness (it’s 4am as I write this, bare with me) is such a minimum level – there’s so much I don’t know about the shows and films I love, there’s video games I know so little about and the anime scene is a different kettle of fish entirely. My boyfriend and my sister are pointing out the cosplays of characters I’ve never heard of and I’m in awe of the capes, wigs and scythes.

My favourite three cosplays I’ve ever seen, hands down, are (in order) – Toothless and Lady Toothless (sorry I can’t remember her name) from How To Train Your Dragon; those poor people were in fur suits all day in the May bank holiday heatwave posing for pictures and sweating buckets, I felt for them but that has to be the sign of a great cosplay. Then a full on 9 or 10 foot tall Groot, though this may have been a proper ‘character’ rather than a homemade cosplay. And in the top spot – Lego Batman; cardboard lego legs, cardboard lego arms, cardboard lego head and body and it was just fantastic. I wish I had pictures.

So having witnessed thousands of amazing cosplays at cons, spent my entire childhood playing dress up for dance shows and school musicals and having found new hobbies in sewing, cross stitch embroidery and knitting in lockdown, I thought it was finally take my cosplay dreams and make them a reality.

Now, let me disclaim; I’ve never made clothes before. I never really used a sewing machine at school, I don’t own a sewing machine (yet) and I have literally no resources to start with but I have the advice of my cosplay wizard of a sister who’s been swanning around as Princess Anna from Frozen 2 during lockdown and she’s been helping me choose what characters to pick for my first steps into cosplay.

Whenever I’ve thought of cosplaying before, I always think of three characters for the three days of comic con – probably optimistic to have three full blown costumes but in my head it makes sense so I’m going with it. I’ve picked two definite ‘yes’ characters and I’ve got a few ‘maybes’ because my sister says they’re too hard but I want to aim high, so these might not happen ever but maybe one day!

Nintendo Switch - Pokémon Sword / Shield - Team Yell Grunt (Female ...

Team Yell from Pokemon Sword and Shield – there’s hasn’t been a con season since the games came out because of lockdown, but Team Skull from Pokemon Sun and Moon were always really popular at cons because they’re relatively simple. Team Yell also have simple elements – the pink tights, the distressed denim skirt, even the sweatbands would be simple enough. The challenging bit (for me as a beginner) would be the spiky wrist and ankle bands, the sleeveless jacket thing and the hair, though I may take some creative liberties on that.

I really want my first cosplay to be something I don’t just buy everything for, so whilst I can get a t-shirt with the Team Yell design on, I may try painting it on a shirt myself and I think I’d like to try making the sleeveless jacket and the spiky bands. I may even distress the skirt and rip the tights myself but I don’t know if I’m quite that skilled yet.

Dora the Explorer Costume - Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Dora The Explorer – okay, might sound odd. But my fiancé and I (still feels weird calling him that) watched the live action movie recently and I loved it in the most self-aware way. I thought the orange shorts, pink shirt, a purple backpack, yellow socks, white hi tops would be relatively achievable – super easy but super fun! Tempted to learn The Poo Song and the song and dance sequence from the end of the movie but that might be taking it too far…

This one I obviously won’t be making anything myself, but I just thought it would be something light and fun and any costume that has built in storage like a backpack is always a win!

And the three contenders for my last costume:

Sugar Plum Fairy Mercy from Overwatch:

Mercy Sugar Plum Fairy from Overwatch Free 3D Model

I appreciate this isn’t the most photogenic picture of the costume I could find, but it’s good for being able to see the costume and the parts that would make it up. I mostly just want to feel like a fairy and have an excuse to wear ballet shoes, ngl.

Rapunzel from Tangled:

Rapunzel - Kingdom Hearts Wiki, the Kingdom Hearts encyclopedia

Though I’d go for the after-hair-cut (sorry, spoilers) because 1) don’t have to think about a wig and 2) it actually suits my hair length and colour more.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast:

Royalty Free Download Belle Transparent Village - Belle Blue Dress ...

Although relatively simple and definitely not as ‘wow’ as the big yellow ballgown, I love this representation of who Belle is as a character and although the clothes themselves look simple, it could potentially be a good learning experience and starting point for me as someone who has no clothes making experience! I’m sure my sister would tell me otherwise, but I think that’s what sister’s are for.

And any excuse to sing ‘little town, it’s a quiet village…’ around a convention centre is a yes from me.

I think I’ve inadvertently made a decision by blogging about it, but Mercy and Rapunzel are definitely characters I would love to be able to create in the future – perhaps a big ask for my first attempt at sewing!

So there’s a big old ramble about nerds at conventions and cool characters I want to make costumes for. I don’t know how soon I’ll be able to start working on these, but it’s something I’m excited to learn more about! If I can make anything half as impressive as what my sister has made or some of the costumes I’ve seen from the cosplay community I’ll be so proud – my attempt at making an Elsa cosplay out of a dance leotard and a boohoo dress wasn’t my greatest moment…

Though I did sew the leotard and the dress together and added poppers to the cape to be able to attach it! In hindsight I’m pretty proud of what 2016 me made. (We were going for a Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians and Elsa couples cosplay… safe to say these costumes never made it to con!).

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

November Favourites

2016, lifestyle, music, Uncategorized

Hello!

Now that it’s December, it’s time again for another monthly favourites and these are the ten things I’ve been enjoying most this month. You’ll notice there’s no beauty, a lot of TV and entertainment and a camera which translates to: this month I am particularly poor and procrastinating.

img_0186

To do lists – I know, I mention to do lists basically all the time but they’ve saved my life this past month when I’ve been buried under deadlines and stressed and they’ve helped me stay on top of what I need to do for uni as well as not forgetting to blog, making YouTube videos or go to meetings or social events. If it’s not written down there is no way I’ll remember to do it.

img_0193

Panic! At The Disco Winter Tour – this is the second time I’ve seen Panic this year and the first time I’ve seen them since Death of a Bachelor was released fully and it was incredible. We happened to bump into Jack Howard and Hazel Hayes while we were there and it was amazing, it was an incredible concert. And I’m obsessed with this t-shirt, it’s so me.

And yes, I do have more stupid pictures of my boyfriend pratting around posing for this picture.

img_0190

img_0192

img_0207

Also, I have a plant now, his name’s David the Second, he’s a succulent. I picked him up from Ikea, I’m pretty sure I’ve watered him like four times total and he’s not dead. I love him because he’s not a cactus but he’s cute and when I get my own space I’m definitely filling it with plants and succulents.

And why is he called David the Second, I hear you ask?

img_0203

Because this is David.

dodie-clark-teneighty-2016-rebecca-need-menear-05-850x567

I know I already talked about Dodie Clark’s debut EP Intertwined (blog post here if you’re interested!) but I really love it – I’ve had it basically on repeat until today, when I finally broke out the Christmas tunes as I was decorating the flat with the guys I live with today but I’m still obsessed with Absolutely Smitten and I’m trying to learn it on my ukulele. One day I’ll do a cover, but I’m not very good at playing ukulele.

img_0189

Going to sound like an odd one, but cold and flu tablets really helped me get through this month – I just keep getting really bad colds and this one came around one of my assignment presentations which couldn’t have been more badly timed. I did manage to get a first on it though and if I didn’t have cold and flu tablets and infinite tissues I don’t think I would have.

img_0195

I thought I’d have to find a picture online for The Grand Tour but I got this Amazon parcel with Christmas presents in it today so it was perfect timing. The reboot from the Top Gear team is hilarious, everything Top Gear wasn’t with Chris Evans as host and the budget per episode is literally astonishing and it’s worth every penny. Not so impressed with episode 2 if I’m honest but I have high hopes for episode 3.

use-this-one

I didn’t realise how much I loved Harry Potter and the magical universe until I saw this film because I adore it, I love finding out more about the world in which wizards live and seeing it all in 1926 was so much fun. The music is truly astonishing – when Scamander is being taking to the American Ministry MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America, yeah I’ve done my homework) and the string section really hits my heart melts and I want it on loop forever.

I wrote a full review for Solent Journalism and you can read that here if you like!

maxresdefault-2-1

Another TV favourite, a lot of good TV came out in November! I like David Attenborough documentaries but watching Planet Earth with my flatmates is insane because they’re TV tech students so they keep talking about the cameras that are being used and how they got the shots. It’s a beautiful, beautiful show and I’m glad that shows like this are still popular.

img_0197

I’m so lucky – my dad came down to visit last weekend and he bought and gave me my Christmas present early, a new vlogging camera. It’s beautiful, the depth of field is stunning and it takes incredible photos too, I’m so obsessed with it, I’ve vlogged so much more in the past week than I have in the past couple of months and it’s amazing, I love it so much. I have no words.

img_0057

Yes, I’ve talk about Pokemon a lot. I’ve blogged about it on multiple occasions but Pokemon Sun and Moon came out just over a week ago and I love it. I played it a lot on release day and the day after but I’ve had to restrain from playing any more because I’ve had a super busy week and deadlines and lots going on, but December 13th, the day after my last deadline before Christmas, I’m going to wake up, reach for my DS, maybe relocate to the living room and play all day long.

No regrets.

So those have been my favourites this month, let me know of anything I’ve missed or should look out for in December and here’s to getting excited about Christmas!

img_0202

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiecountsclouds/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-3CmMYbZuSV5eSvGgkW5Cg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiealuckett
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sophiealuckett
Snapchat: @SophieALuckett
Uni blog: http://sophieannblogs.blogspot.co.uk/
The Student Seat: https://thestudentseat.wordpress.com/

Pokemon Sun and Moon Release Day!

2016

Hello!

Sorry this post is late and potentially full of errors – I’m writing it on my phone because I’ve been playing Pokemon Moon all day and I’m now playing dungeons and dragons with my friends so I’m writing on my phone! 

My boyfriend has been counting down to this day for literally months, every update video that comes out has been very important and the five days where the game was out elsewhere in the world and not in Europe were agony. 

So this game has been a big build up – I’m a new Pokemon fan, I got into the game because of Pokemon Go because I was totally obsessed with the app over the summer. I learnt the original 151 Pokemon in a matter of weeks and I walked so far to play this game. 

From there, Lucas (the boyf) let me play his copy of Pokemon Y to get used to the game and I played that a lot outside of assignment work and deadlines. I didn’t get to finish the game because uni is super busy and I somewhat have priorities, but I was still super excited to play this game when it came out.

I picked Litten as my starter because it’s a cat, not an owl with a fringe or a flamboyant sea lion and the game is so interesting so far – it’s very different to other games but it’s a beautifully crafted game and the Hawaii-inspired Alola region is so much fun to play in. 

Do I have time to play this game? No, definitely not. Do I have an assignment due next week? Yes, so I don’t think I’ll finish this game anytime soon but I’m excited regardless. 

I know that Christmas is going to be full on playing Pokemon the entire time. So excited to not have any assignments due!

What are your thoughts on the game so far if you’ve played it? What starter did you pick? 

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiecountsclouds/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-3CmMYbZuSV5eSvGgkW5Cg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiealuckett
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sophiealuckett
Snapchat: @SophieALuckett
Uni blog: http://sophieannblogs.blogspot.co.uk/
The Student Seat: https://thestudentseat.wordpress.com/