Name: Ashlynne Dae
City: Huntington Beach
What was your first Cosplay Experience?
My first time cosplaying was at Wondercon 2013. I went as Lady Loki. It was my first time, so I used a couple of pieces from my wardrobe, but I made the horns, the corset and the cape. I would later revamp this entire costume to be entirely self-made and more accurate, but that was the costume that started my love of creating costumes. I have been cosplaying for a little more than a year now, and I have loved every second of it.
What is your favorite Cosplay you have worn/created?
I love each of my costumes for different reasons, but I think as of today, my favorite character to portray is Merida from Brave. I just adore seeing children’s faces light up when they see me as that feisty Scottish princess, and it is so much fun to interact with them and speak to them in the accent. Little girls who’s favorite Disney Princess is Merida run up to me and hug me unexpectedly and it’s the most precious and rewarding thing that has ever happened to me in a costume. Adult Disney fans appreciate the costume too, but it’s the kids’ reaction that makes dealing with all that hair and long wool dress so worth it.
If you had unlimited resources, what Cosplay would you create?
Oh gosh. This one is tough. I might have to say it’s a tie. Because these two re my “if I had all the money in the world” cosplays. The first is Rapunzel, from Tangled. For those of you who have never seen the movie, her hair is magic and it glows when she sings. It’s also 75 feet long, thankfully she wears it braided for part of the movie, so it’s only as long as her, but about as thick as her too! Given unlimited resources I would want to make the braided Rapunzel wig, but I would want it to glow, with a gradient light starting from the scalp to the end of the braid, with a switch in the braid to turn it on and off. The wig and the dress which has obscene amounts of embroidery which I would need an embroidery machine for, would be a huge cost.
My other dream Cosplay is Ariel from The Little Mermaid. It doesn’t seem like and expensive costume, but I really would love an actual movie quality silicone mermaid tail that looks realistic for that costume, which can be $3000+. I would also need materials to cast my shells out of resin. And the biggest kicker, I want a remote controlled rock that I can sit on while wearing the tail, but so I can still move around at conventions. That is engineering far beyond my capabilities and I would definitely need to pay someone to configure that.
What advice would you offer others trying to break into Cosplay?
My first piece of advice is HAVE FUN! Never let what anybody says put you off wearing what you want. My second piece of advice is try to focus on one project at a time. I find myself getting a little ADD about making three or four costumes at once, and sometimes one of those costumes doesn’t end up happening in the end and I am far too over worked to enjoy wearing the others for the first time. So pick a project and finish it. It will be lovely and you’ll be rested and enjoy it more.
My third piece of advice is ask questions! If you see a fellow cosplayer whose workmanship you really appreciate and would like to know how they did it, ask! I personally am more than happy to share my process with others, and I love to help and teach people. If you are too shy to ask at the convention, ask that cosplayer for their card and message their page with your question. Chances are they will be more than happy to answer.
My last little piece of advice is always have back up. Conventions are typically a very safe place, but there are people who are not awesome out there in the world. Just have someone around who will have your back and you have there’s.
Thanks for making me a featured cosplayer! I hope you all enjoyed reading this!
Photography Credits: York in a Box, Sonny Meas Photography, Craig’s Cosplay Corral, and Chris Alcoran