What is cosplay?
Cosplay is short for “Costume Play“. It is a type of preformance art in which participants wear costumes to represent a specific character.
Cosplayers will often seek to adopt the affect, mannerisms and body language of the characters they portray. The characters chosen to be cosplayed may be sourced from any movie, tv series, book, comic book, videogame ,Visual-Kei rock bands, anime or manga, however the practice of cosplay is most often associated with replicating anime and manga characters.
Most cosplayers create their own outfits, referencing images of the characters in the process. In the creation of the outfits, much time is given to detail and quality, thus the skill of a cosplayer may be measured by how difficult the details of the outfit is and how well they have been replicated. Many cosplayers therefore consider cosplay to be a form of art and so consider themselves artists, some in the more specific subcatagory of Artisan Crafts. Cosplay costumes vary greatly and can range from simple outfits to highly detailed “mecha” suits.
Cosplays may also be bought at either conventions, stores or from online speciality stores. Some cosplayers may choose to custom make outfits by commission and thereby form an income from cosplay.