Of costumes and cosplays

Meesha Little Shields posing in centrecore at Lethbridge College wearing her costume on Halloween in 2017. Little Shields took part in a costume contest for the school of Media and Design.

Adorned in leather and chains, one Lethbridge resident emanates confidence while wearing her homemade Halloween costume.

Mesha Little Shields is a fashion student at Lethbridge College and has spent the last two months detailing and perfecting her “demon” character.

“I just like making clothing in general. I find it comes easy to me and it’s fun to do,” Little Shields said.

The young woman then said that costume design is a good creative medium, and allows her the freedom to express herself.

Photo submitted by Joshua Normand. Normand posing as Ike for Comic Con 2016 in Calgary.

Photo submitted by Joshua Normand. Normand posing as Ike for Comic Con 2016 in Calgary.

She begins her process by drawing up a design based on whatever character or image inspires her and then goes from there.

“Sometimes the product will look exactly like what I drew, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Little Shield has been making her own Halloween costumes for the past three years. In this time, she has been Pocahontas, Thor and a hunter.

Though Little Shield admits to being interested in the idea of branching out of the October holiday and taking part in cosplay, she said she hasn’t quite got there yet.

For another Lethbridge College student, it is quite the opposite.

Joshua Normand is a cosplay fanatic that has spent a lot of time and effort creating his outfits for comic con. Though he has taken a few years of respite to focus on school, he is no less enthused by the process of recreating iconic outfits his favourite characters have worn.

Normand explained that while he began creating costumes because he was attending events such as Comic Con, he learned along the way that he truly enjoyed the process of creation.

“Honestly, I just enjoy making things with many types of fabrics and other material as well,” he said. “I’ve always had kind of a knack for it, I suppose.”

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Normand said that his last costume took him about a year to create, with most of his costumes averaging six months.

“With using foam, the most recent time was actually a lot of fun to make the shapes and watch it come out and actually look like the image,” the young man said.

Normand says that his favourite part of cosplaying is the sewing aspect, and watching the project come together.

It’s not always easy to get through his projects though, he clarified.

“After making the costume even though you know you’ve done well, you can still see parts of it you don’t like,” Normand said.

A few people work through their own critiquing and end up making viable careers out of their cosplaying. Normand recalled people at the 2016 Comic Con in Calgary asking him for his Cosplay Card as if he was a professional.

“I don’t do this for profit,” he said, “I’m an enthusiast.”

Then his laughter rang out, and he commented that Cosplay Maker would be a cool career.

There isn’t a large market for cosplaying in either a professional and leisurely capacity in Lethbridge, however, the local library does hold cosplay nights for young adults.

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