It’s Halloween, and there’s no better time to celebrate the magic of costuming and creativity! Though many of you probably spent some time in costume over the weekend or are working on pulling something together at the last minute, I thought it would be an awesome idea to chat with some cosplay enthusiasts who are working on costumes year round and each have their own unique style. Scroll on down and join me in getting to know the ladies behind Donttouchmymilk Cosplay and Nerdette Cosplays, who have both been gracious enough to take time out of their hectic costuming schedules to talk with me about the highs and lows of cosplay, tips for getting started, and some of their favorite costumes.
Hey, ladies! Thanks for taking the time to chat! Would you mind taking a moment to introduce yourselves?
Donttouchmymilk Cosplay (DC): Hey there! Thanks for having me. I’m Donttouchmymilk Cosplay. I’ve been cosplaying since 2008. I enjoy all aspects of costuming, but working with SFX makeup and distressing materials are probably my favorites.
Nerdette Cosplays (NC): Hi, I’m Brianna Reed. Most people know me by my graphic design moniker, Nerdette Designs, but in this case I’ve recently been producing cosplays under the name Nerdette Cosplays instead. I honestly didn’t really get into cosplay until last year or so, although I’ve been familiar with the hobby and culture of it for over 10 years probably.
What is it about your favorite style or genre of cosplaying that really appeals to you? What made you choose those costumes?
DC: My favorite cosplay genre would have to be horror. Not that I don’t branch out, but the creative aspect of making horror cosplays is something I enjoy greatly. Creating creepy costumes often involves a ton of out of the box thinking. And as many of these costumes don’t get done frequently, you often find yourself coming up with new methods to tackle costume aspects.
NC: Most of my costuming work is post-apocalypse themed, partially because I really enjoy this theme (especially Fallout), and also because I often attend events, festival, etc. with this theme as well. So, yanno, a girl’s gotta look good. 😉 Post-apocalypse costuming is often easier to make for people who don’t know how to sew (which I don’t), because you can find pieces in goodwills and thrift stores and just recycle it into something more wasteland-y using paint, dyes, weathering techniques, etc.
What is your favorite cosplay you have done to date? What made it so awesome?
DC: That’s so hard! I love them all. One of my favorites would have to be the Sugarplum Fairy from Cabin in the Woods. So many aspects of that costume were brand new for me, like creating the leotard, tutu, and definitely that mask. The response I got (and still get every time I wear her), were absolutely overwhelming and unexpected. I guess what makes her so cool is the fact that it’s hard to discern my face underneath the prosthetic. It throws people off and turns an otherwise very simple costume into something unique. My other favorite is probably Carina from Guardians of the Galaxy. Trying to figure out how to have an entirely pink body while maintaining a completely white outfit was a big challenge, and I loved it!
NC: Probably my NCR Trooper from Fallout: New Vegas, it’s gotten a lot of compliments and I have a couple of friends who have taken really good pictures of it for me. I’m also proud of a lot of the small details I put into it.
Have you ever had a costume that just didn’t turn out how you wanted? How did you handle the situation?
DC: Oh for sure. I’ve had several blow up in my face. Some I’ve scrapped, but others I’ve just taken a step back from until I found an alternate method to approach my problem.
NC: I’m an extremely perfectionist person, so anything that has ever turned out the way I didn’t want it to either got discarded, or put away to be redone later. I try not to work on projects unless I know I have enough time to get all the details right. For example, I recently decided to put aside an incomplete Ghostbusters cosplay, because although I could probably throw something together last second, I don’t want to because I will just be frustrated that it’s not up to the quality that I wanted it to be. And at this point, I don’t have enough time to get it done, at least not in the way that I want, so it’s being shelved.
Has your cosplaying affected your personal style when out of costume? Do you find that you incorporate any aspects of your costumes into everyday outfits?
DC: I’ve found myself wearing more nerdy shirts than I did in the past, because I’ve become more comfortable with being proud of who I am, and the fact that my inner nerd makes me happy. As for actual cosplay items, I don’t usually wear them out and about. As many of my costumes are dark and spooky, it wouldn’t be very inconspicuous. ;P But I have worn like shoes from various cosplays. Some of those are a bit safer…
NC: I am like, the laziest person when it comes to fashion – lol! – but I imagine if I weren’t, it would. I usually just wear leggings or jeans with a t-shirt and a hoodie, but if I dress up sometimes I wear things vaguely cosplay-ish, or at least related to my fandoms somehow.
What are some of your favorite cosplay events to attend?
DC: I recently went to my first horror convention, which was an absolute blast. Everyone involved was incredibly kind and amazing. I also love participating in Cosplay Chess. Think wizard chess from Harry Potter but with game/comic/anime characters as the pieces. It’s a blast to be a part of, and to watch.
NC: Conventions, for sure, ConNooga and GMX (Geek Media Expo) being two of my favorites. I am probably doing DragonCon for the first time next year, too, as I’m moving to Atlanta pretty soon. I also wear a lot of my costuming to LARP, which sometimes involves taking pieces from my various cosplay projects and cobbling them together into something new and unique.
Do you have any advice or resources for others looking to start cosplaying or who want to try creating their own costume?
DC: Find what makes you happy. When I first started doing horror cosplays, I was afraid of how people would receive me. I was concerned they would think me extra strange, because horror isn’t as popular or mainstream as other cosplayed genres. But when I finally just focused on working on projects that made me happy, I stopped worrying about it. And honestly, that was when more and more people started to join me in thinking the cosplays I love are cool. If you love it and believe in it, other people may too. 🙂
NC: Go to conventions and befriend other cosplayers. They are hands down the best resource you will ever find. Not only can you learn a lot from them, but you’ll have buddies to work on cosplay with, and some of these people will probably easily become your best friends. If you need more step-by-step resources, try YouTube or Instructables. For online communities, there are endless amounts of Facebook groups dedicated to specific types of cosplaying (like Star Wars, Fallout, etc.)
Thank you so much for Donttouchmymilk and Nerdette for chatting with me today! Want to see more photos, see what these ladies are up to, or learn more about their techniques?
You can follow Donttouchmymilk Cosplay on Facebook and Instagram, and you can also find Nerdette Cosplays on Facebook and in person at Fallout: Nukelanta events. Please feel free to leave your own cosplay stories and questions in the comments, and I hope we’ve given you some inspiration for your next costuming adventure!