Word of the Nerd is pleased to present to you one of our most popular features, Cosplayer Spotlight. We feature new and talented cosplayers from the cosplay community. Be sure to check back every day to catch some up and coming new cosplay talent or get a look at some well established and already famous members from the world of cosplay.
About Iridiel Cosplay
Hi everyone! My name is Francesca. I’m 23 and I’m a student. I have a bachelor degree in Industrial Design and I’m studying for my second degree, this one is in Design & Fashion Design. I live in Bari, a city near the sea in the South of Italy and I love to travel and visiting new places. I started cosplaying in 2009 with the help of my mother and my grandmother, but now I make every costume by myself. I hope to become a set decorator or a costume designer for the theatre or the movie industry one day so I’ll keep improving my skills to make this dream come true!
How did you first get into cosplay?
I’ve always loved to dress up as my fav characters during the Carnival or Halloween holidays and then I found out that there was this amazing phenomenon called “cosplay”. I made some researches and I noticed that there were some cosplayers also in my city so I decided to attend my first convention in 2009.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I’d like to become a costume designer or a set decorator for the movie industry so being a cosmaker and improving my skills in sewing and creating props would definitely help me in the future.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I’d say a hybrid because I like to make all my costumes by myself but sometimes I need help in order to make very complicated props so I ask my friends to let me use their tools or to give me some advice (thanks, Midgar Costume & Props for your lab LOL)
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
I spend at least one month per cosplay! Details are everything and I don’t like to do everything in a hurry and risk to make a bad cosplay. It’s a lot of time, I know, but sewing for the whole night before the convention is not for me LOL
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Hard question! I love every single costume I made but my favorite one is probably Frodo Baggins. I LOVE cross-playing (cosplaying as a character whose sex is different than yours) and Frodo is the protagonist of my favorite saga and also a hobbit, so a special combo for me <3
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
I’m going to mention one of the best moments I had at conventions because I don’t remember anything bad that happened. The best moment happened during a convention in 2010. I was wearing my Toothiana cosplay for the first time and even if it was very uncomfortable, I was very proud and happy with the result. I usually do not take part in cosplay competitions or parade since I prefer to cosplay just for myself, but that day all my friends urged me to sign up for the cosplay parade because I spent so many months making that costume so it would have been a waste not to show it to everyone. I was sooooo scared but then I accepted, just to make them happy. And then? I won a special prize! That was the best time I had at a convention and I learned that sometimes you have to be more self-confident and cross the limit of your comfort zone to make some progress!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Group cosplays are the best part of this community. You team up with people with your same interests and have fun together. I made some group cosplays with my friends in the past years and I’m def going to make new group cosplays in the future!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
As I said before, I love group cosplays, so I’m working with 7 friends on our next group! It would be a Disney Princesses group but character designs are made by an amazing illustrator called Hanna Alexander. She draws characters from Disney movies or video games as Belle Epoque characters!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
“Do you make your cosplay or you commission them to someone?” That’s the biggest issue of whole time. I think everyone should do whatever they want. If they can’t sew but they want to cosplay, why do they have to waste money on fabrics and risk to make a horrible costume? You have to understand what your limits are and then ask for help. The most important thing is to admit it! So, ask for help but then give credits to who actually made your costume or your prop, don’t lie about it 🙂
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I like heroines and fairies (I LOVE WIIIIIIIINGS) but I like crossplay too, so if I like a male character, I’d cosplay him too without problem 🙂
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
My favorite part of the whole process is shopping for supplies! I love fabric shopping soooo much. I could definitely live in a fabric shop LOL
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I usually go for fabric shopping in local markets. They have the best deals, but I usually buy fabrics also on the internet. Everything depends on prices and time!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Definitely being judged all the time. You dress up as your fav character, you go to the convention and then there are so many people ready to judge you. The problem is that they don’t focus on the costume anymore, they judge you because of your body shape, because of your weight and it’s a shame.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
I learned to be more self-confident even if there are people ready to bother you because of your weight!
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Focus on details! Detailing your cosplays will make them even more beautiful! 🙂
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
It definitely grew a lot. I started cosplaying in 2009 and we were just a bunch of people at the park. Now we have important conventions also in our city and this phenomenon included also very young people and entire families.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Right now? The new Belle’s yellow dress from the live action movie “The Beauty and the Beast”. It’s so beautiful and elegant!
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Usually no. I buy very expensive fabric if the cosplay requires it. Yeah, this makes my cosplay very expensive sometimes, but simple cotton is not the perfect choice for everything! Sometimes you need to buy that very very expensive brocade silk fabric you’ve seen in that shop (that really happened LOL).
What does cosplay mean to you?
It means being someone else for a day, it means to escape from reality for a day. It really helps you during very stressful periods of your life!
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
No, not even the financial aspect is important to me because if I want to make a costume, I’d wait even for years trying to save money for this project to happen one day.
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