BLOG: When Worlds Collide: Cosplay Becomes Fashion
Fashion Collection: Vandaline/Photographer: Matt Lassiter /Created by: Vedetta Marie/50% DANGEROUS/ScatterDOT
For years, cosplayers have been a step ahead of the game, and we didn’t even know it. How so, exactly? These days, the fashion world is being infiltrated by looks inspired by anime and video games. In some instances, cosplayers themselves have walked the runway in their own handiwork. Others, professional models have strutted in geek made garb at full scale fashion shows.
Photograph: Leo Photography/Dress design: The Lady Nerd
Fabric: The Lady Nerd and The Nerd Tailor/Dress: Anthony Ladd Canney/Headpiece: Red Hand Regalia/Makeup: Orla Rose
This year featured the second annual HER Universe fashion show at San Diego Comic Con. Models- many designers themselves- showcased outfits inspired by dozens of different fandoms including a Sailor Moon schoolgirl look that “transformed” into a ribbon-embellished gown, formal wear inspired by Princess Leia and Black Widow, and a New Look era-Joker, crinoline and all. You can see the entire collection online at HER Universe. Just a couple of weeks ago, online newsiteKotaku.com reported about a collection of cosplay that was featured on the runway at Western Canada Fashion Week.
With the popularity of geek-branded fashion lines like We Love Fine and HER Universe, cosplay and cosplay-inspired looks are becoming less obscure and in some places, the fashion trend of the hour. Once the haven for 90’s-era goth kids everywhere, retailer Hot Topic is now a go-to for geeky duds. Anime, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Supernatural are just a few staples in their stock these days. Never before has it been so commonplace to walk through the mall, on a busy city sidewalk, or even down a grocery store aisle and see so many geeky duds being sported. If it wasn’t obvious before, it’s next to impossible to ignore now: Geek is Chic.
Photo courtesy of Elle Magazine.
Fashion has been influencing sci-fi, anime, and other geek mediums for years. My favorite example of such is the 2004 anime rendition of “The Count of Monte Cristo”, which fashion designer Anna Sui designed costumes for. Runway trends are mirroring “Star Wars”, with Rodarte’s Mulleavy sisters putting out a collection of beautiful Star Wars dresses, and Preen models walking in Darth Vader printed outfits. As geek becomes the new mainstream we can only expect- and hope- to see more.