My first-ever costumes were a set of five magical girls –– the main characters of Tokyo Mew Mew. I had sewn a few costume pieces before that, but never a full costume… and in a matter of months, despite having little experience with costuming, I managed to dress myself and four other girls up as magical girls. In 2004, we took them to a convention.
From left to right, that’s Rebecca, Lily, Diane, Kate and myself. We were all 13-14 years old. With a help from the four of them and my mom, I made five costumes.
They weren’t perfect, and for years I’ve been embarrassed by them. We couldn’t figure out accurate shoes for three out of five of them. Three of us were in Halloween wigs. In 2004, a decent quality wig cost $60+ including shipping, and you could only get them from Amphigory… but you had to use Katie Bair as a pushing service, because Amphigory didn’t ship to Canada! I had to make shorts instead of bikini bottoms because my mom didn’t want her fourteen year old going out in skimpy bottoms. None of us really had a hand on make-up or wig styling. Rebecca wore her coat the entire time at the convention, which was a hole-in-the-wall first-year convention of 250 people. All we were running on was spirit and enthusiasm.
But these days, I’m not so embarrassed. I love looking at this picture and seeing how far I’ve come. I started my costuming “career” on magical girls. Almost my entire roster of costumes has centered on young women with incredible power, with very few instances of deviation.
As a result, my heart swells just thinking about our upcoming Madoka cosplay group.
I’m so excited: we’ve basically managed to put together the best group we’ve ever yet done. Everyone in the group is cosplaying their favourite design of the series, and nobody is stuck taking whoever is left over. We all suit our characters and are excited to do the group. It’s coming together nicely and all of my worries thus far have been settled as we finish costume pieces. I’m delighted.
So many costume groups are plagued by indecision and stress. Someone inevitably ends up taking a costume they’re not excited for but are at least agreeable to, for the sake of completing a group. We usually don’t even think much about prop weapons, let alone for a whole group. Someone usually fizzles out. Normally, I’d be terrified to make this post, in case someone really did fizzle out on us.
But this time we’re doing it. We’re going to finish this group and it’s going to happen. We’re pulling together as a group to do it, too: everyone’s doing what they can, everyone’s done research and thought about how to do it. Emmy was figuring out schoolgirl bags the other day, Blackpooled and Christine are hashing out how to do Madoka’s petticoat, and Blackpooled and I have plans to get all of Madoka’s accessories done in a day to lighten Christine’s load. Maya and I are working on Kyoko every Wednesday and should be able to finish it in the coming weeks. Mami should be finished by next weekend!
I’m so thrilled by our progress thus far and I can’t wait to see this group come together even more!
Fuck yeah magical girls.