Spotlight on Lady Di Cosplay
It feels a little bit like Christmas. The jitters and anxiety of a big day, mixed with the excited mystery of what’s to come. Cosplayers all around Ontario are getting ready for Fan Expo. It will be a big day to show off, and be in awe of, the amazing cosplay costumes.
One home grown cosplayer who is gearing up for Fan Expo is Dianne Da Rosa. She is new to the cosplay scene, but has been making the most of her talents with her outstanding cosplay.
We got to sit down with her, and talk about cosplay and Fan Expo.
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Dianne Da Rosa, I am from Cambridge Ontario. I’m a really new cosplayer. I’ve been cosplaying for about a year now. My favourite part is making the props. I just got into sewing, so I like making the costumes a lot. I prefer doing male characters in their female form, because it gives me more room for creativity and room to play around with the costumes. I also really like to cosplay stuff from Pokemon as well, because that game never gets old. It’s an amazing series.
What was it that got you into cosplay?
I was at Fan Expo a couple of years ago, just seeing everyone in their costumes just looked really fun. I really like being creative and making my own things. When I found out I was going to Fan Expo last year, I decided I’d try and make my own. I was watching the show Heroes of Cosplay, which influenced me as well, the craftsmanship was intriguing to me. I thought I’d give it a shot.
What was your first costume?
My first costume was a Dalek from Dr. Who. I was a gold Dalek, I didn’t sew anything for it, but I had made the skirt and everything for it. I wore it to Fan Expo last year, and I only knew of Fan Expo. I didn’t know of any other cons. I found out about different conventions, I ended up going to GenreCon last October in Guelph. Instead of making a new costume, I took my Dalek and made it a battle worn costume, and distressed it very much. It looks pretty epic.
In a lot of your pictures, you do a ton of anime cosplay. Is that where your focus is, or are you all over for costume ideas?
It’s all sorts, I want to do all the cosplay. That’s what it feels like. I’ve been watching anime a lot more, so it has been influencing it a little bit more, than doing something from comics or books.
When you’re making your cosplay, what’s the hardest part about making a great costume?
The hardest part is allotting myself enough time. I’m really really bad for procrastinating. I stay up almost the whole night before a convention, finishing the costume. In terms of the actual construction, for me, it’s the start of it. I’m just getting into sewing, so it’s getting the pieces cut out and sorted. It’s figuring what piece goes to what part. Once I get that all done, the sewing is easy, it’s just getting there is the hardest part.
When you look for ideas for cosplay, what ideas or characters draw your attention for a costume?
For me it would be cosplaying male characters in female forms, it’s one of my favourite things to do. I like to go for the more bad guy type of character, the strong male character, and then put my own spin on it. The cosplay I’m working on right now is Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. He’s very a strong character, with a strong influence, and a strong presence. I like that kind of character, because they draw your attention right away.
You know what they say, a Khal who can not cosplay, is no Khal at all.
Ha ha, yeah pretty much. In my case it would be Khaleesi. I’m pretty excited for it.
For the Khal Drogo costume, what is going into that costume, what type of materials are you using?
Right now, for him, I’m focusing on vinyl. Vinyl has the look of leather, but not the price of leather. Leather is very expensive, so I’m using the substitute. I’m making the skirt, and the arm guards out of vinyl. I’m wearing a corset that I’m covering in patches of vinyl. Yeah, there’s a lot of vinyl going into this thing.
How many hours do you think it will take to complete the costume?
Hmmm, it’s probably been a couple of weeks straight, if not a month. I’m not sure, but it’s been a lot. It’s hard to say, it has been a lot of work though.
You have a broad span of geek knowledge, what was it that got you into geek culture?
I would say the community is the big one. The community of people that are interested in it. If you don’t know people, you don’t know what’s out there. The first thing I ever really liked was Harry Potter. I’m a Potter head at heart. Then I made friends based off of our mutual love of Harry Potter. All of a sudden, they all love something, and they tell you about it, and then you get into it, and tell next person kind of thing. The people you meet, and the conversations you can have with them, and getting to know them, that’s what draws me in the most. There’s such great games, and animes, and shows, that you can’t not get yourself immersed into it. It’s like a point of no return, once you’re in, you can’t get out.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into geek culture?
Do what you love, one character will resonate with you, because you have a lot of the same interests or personality. For example, don’t be afraid to portray who you want to portray. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the right skin tone, or body type, or anything. It’s all about having fun. It doesn’t matter how well it’s made, it’s about putting on a costume, and being your favourite character, and making great friends along the way as well.
What’s your response to people who will critique you for not having the right body image or skin tones?
I think it’s just ridiculous, and annoying. It should be about having fun, and portraying who you want to be. Everyone has different interests, and when you meet people who have some similar interests, they won’t judge you because you don’t look like the character. Unfortunately there are people out there who will, and that sucks; that’s just pathetic. People should be comfortable with who they want to be.
What’s the cosplay community response when they see something like that?
There’s a lot of things that get posted, and for the most part people rally behind the person being victimized. It’s really nice to see. We’re all geeks, we all just want to have fun. There shouldn’t be drama or hate in the background. Trolls are just annoying, and they think they’re cool behind their computer screen, but they’re not, don’t feed the trolls.
Who in the cosplay community do you look up to, or get influenced by?
I have a few, based on different aspects. One of them is Yaya Han, she’s big into the Heroes of Cosplay show, and her work and dedication is amazing. Another one is Jessica Nigri, because she tends to get more hate for her costumes, because they’re more on the revealing side. The way she responds to it is admirable. When you see her on YouTube and stuff, her personality is amazing and hilarious. The other one is Kamui. Her armour, oh man. I’m following them on Facebook, and I see her armour and just think to myself: “Oh my god, if I could do that one day.”
Are you going to Fan Expo to meet Yaya and Jessica?
I fan girl’d really bad when I saw them on the list. I was debating on going to the masquerade with my Khal Drogo costume, if it turns out really well. I don’t know if they’re going to be involved or going to be a judge, it’s a little intimidating.
If you had a chance to ask them a question, what would you ask either of them?
Oh my gosh, I don’t even know. I would probably giggle and fan girl really bad. I would probably tell them how amazing they are, what they do and how much they’ve inspired me as a cosplay role model. I would fan girl a lot, I’m actually fan girl’ing a little bit right now.
Where do see the cosplay community going in the next few years?
I see it constantly rising. There’s always new games and anime series coming out, it can only get bigger from here. The rise in popularity with shows and conventions, just seeing people walking down the street in costume means that it’s getting bigger.
How about yourself, where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I would love to be able to break into the industry. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. There’s so many costumes I want to make, and so little time to make them. I’m dedicated to the hobby, or lifestyle of cosplay, I can’t see myself never doing cosplay.
If there was no limit of resources, and no constraint of time or money, what cosplay would you do?
Oh man, there’s one costume I was thinking about doing, and that’s Mega Evolution Charizard. I did Venusaur before, but Charizard is my favourite. I love the big wings, and I would love to make that. The new Pokemon game is coming out soon, even though Charizard is not in it. It’s been on my mind lately, I would make that costume.
What would you tell people who wanted explore cosplay for the first time?
I would tell them it’s a lot of fun. You meet some amazing people along the way. I’ve met some great friends through cosplay that I would not have ever met if I didn’t cosplay. The community is amazing. There may be some drama here or there with certain people, but there’s always someone out there to support you, and help you out along the way.
Dianne has an amazing eye for colour, and for unique, fun cosplay costumes. Give her a follow, and let he know what you think about her costumes. She will be at Fan Expo, starting August 28th, 2014, make sure to say hello.
Just remember, a Khaleesi who does not Fan Expo, is no Khaleesi.