Oct. 3, 2013
Lolita: Cosplay or Fashion?
A common misconception is how Lolita is categorized. Quite often we see people refer to the popular Japanese Fashion as Cosplay. Is it not cosplay, it is simply….Fashion. Perhaps this issue stems from the fact that Lolita is commonly seen at Anime Conventions, where thousands of cosplayers reside. But make no mistake, Lolita and Cosplay are very different. As different as our JFashion Show is from our Cosplay Contest.
This subject has become sensitive to most people in our Lolita community. For this reason we decided to share an update from our good friend Jessamyn De Vos. The original Facebook update was made in the closed group, Houston Lolita Community, but we believe it is important to educate others (also because Japanese Fashion is an integral part of our convention).
“In response to something that happened recently I have decided to approach the ‘Lolita is not a costume’ issue and try to explain it, and why it’s such a big deal, to some of you that may not completely understand.
The first reason that Lolita is not a costume is because it simply isn’t. Just like how Hottopic doesn’t sell “goth costumes” and Abercrombie doesn’t sell “prep costumes.” It’s a literal fashion. You don’t call the clothing at something like Renfest “Middle ages costumes” it’s called period clothing. That’s simply what it is.
So what is the big damn deal with calling it a costume? Why can’t you just choose to not be offended by this? To me, at least, it’s about being perceived as who I really am. When someone(seriously) calls me by a female specific slur or a gay slur simply because I’m dressed a certain way or they think I’m something based solely on my genitalia I get the same feeling as when they call my outfit a costume. I don’t get as angry or as hurt but it’s the same pit-of-the-stomach type feeling. Not because I take Lolita super seriously, because I don’t, but because I don’t like being called something I’m not based on how you’ve wrongly perceive me. That’s all. I want to be judged based on who I am. Lolita is a part of who I am just like how the rest of my clothes are. Having someone understand who you are and what you’re trying to show them is important.
I’m not wearing a costume when I’m in Lolita the same way that I’m not in drag when I wear my normal men’s clothing. It’s just not a costume.
Lolitas get sick of the constant judgement for simply doing something they enjoy. Being told that they’re wearing a costume is a part of this. Other fashion styles have had to, and still do, face the same issues.
Fashion is important to people whether it seems that way or not. It helps us define who we are and find others that have the same interests. Fashion is one of the most common forms of free speech so when you misidentify someones fashion they are likely to get upset with you.
So, yeah, this is just my point of view but here it is.” – Jessamyn De Vos :link: www.facebook.com/thescout
Oct. 22, 2013
The Anime Matsuri Panel at Oni-conX
We will be hosting an official Anime Matsuri Meetup/Panel during Onicon, on Friday, October 25th at 9pm at the Hilton Galveston Island Resort (next to the convention center), in Crystal Ballroom A.
The Panel will be hosted by John and Deneice Leigh and you can expect exciting announcements and an insight on what to expect from our 2014 event. Please kindly RSVP www.facebook.com/events/575885… so we can keep track of how many people will be attending.
As always, thank you everyone for your support in the growth of Anime Matsuri.
Oct. 27, 2013
My creative side does not let me follow the conventional path to the things I love. The nature of what I do as an artist is in the consequence of my words and deeds and I often find myself asking, from what point of view should I approach an opportunity of expression.
I fell in love with cosplay, not from behind the camera like most of my friends, but from my A/V area behind the mixer surrounded by buttons and knobs while directing the production of our cosplay contest.
A few months back, while discussing with the various people to muster support for our move to the convention center, I came across a situation. Cosplay as an art-from is misunderstood, very often by people outside the community and sometimes even by other cosplayers.
This issue evidently took center stage during the airing of Heroes of Cosplay. I received many emails and messages from attendees expressing their discontent with the image the show was spawning. During one of these moments it dawned on me that perhaps we, the ones who love and understand cosplay, the ones who want to see it credited as an art-form, are not doing enough to express it from that point of view.
Is cosplay art? I answer yes to myself in silence. I know it is but I am drawn to the sense of confusion among everyone around me. I want to help, I want to say something but have no real language to describe it.
A few weeks later, I decide to take some photographs of cosplayers around the Houston Downtown area and present the images in full resolution on a 4k display. I wanted the costumes to be expressed visually on a level of detail and vibrance not commonly seen. I named this project, Lightstorm. I asked other talented photographers to join me in this project and invited cosplayers to participate.
I presented to test shots to my friends, who expressed their emotions with open mouths. “I can see everything down to the fibers” said one of them”. My wife, Deneice says “Let’s display this all around town, perhaps people will be more respectful of the work cosplayers put into their costume”.
We debuted Lightstorm at the Anime Matsuri booth at Onicon 2013 with overwhelming feedback. See Lightstorm next at The Edwards MarqE on Silber/I10 on November 8 and 9 at the opening weekend of Thor:The Dark World and then to the Museum of Fine Arts.
I would like to thank Michael Shum, Sang Le, Julio and Janelle Rolgado, Hung Ngo, Jessamyn De Vos and Alin Danila and incredible cosplay work by Aurum Cosplay, Robbie Lee, Foa Cosplay, Sinnocent Cosplay, lovelyy orange, Shelby Sora, TabbyCatMittens, Shinrajunkie, Holly Gloha, SEC-C Cosplay, Melfina Cosplay, ilikedonuts and Maria Vasquez.
- John Leigh, Director