Salt Lake City was crawling with costumed people attending Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Xperience this past weekend, including Salt Lake Community College students and alumni.
Dressing up is a fun way to express ones freedom of expression and show off one’s creative skills. SLCC has classes that could help cosplayers achieve even greater results in showing their freedom of expression.
“Depending on the classes you take it will give you the knowledge on how to make your own costumes. You can tailor to what your body type is,” says former SLCC student Kristin Fisher. “There is a lot of actual science that goes into some costumes. If you want to make your own gems, you need some of the chemistry to mix different chemicals, to make your gems or to mold them. What fabrics react with what chemicals, to dye them or heat them up to mold them the way you want them to. So, there’s actually not just fashion but a little bit of chemistry in cosplay as well.”
Cosplay has become a common phrase but for those who don’t know, cosplay is a term that means costume, especially a costume that is related to film, comics and comic type characters.
“Cosplay was started by a community of people that wanted to go ahead and portray their favorite characters, and instead of going out and buying the normal off the shelf costume, they had such a big passion for these different fandoms that they decided to go ahead and put their own spin on certain things,” says FanX cosplay producer Ro Mallaga. “These cosplayers do amazing creative things to portray their characters and even make their own little twists and touches on those cosplays as well.”
There are many reasons why people like cosplay; one is to express their creative side, show how much they love a character, or just to be someone else for a day.
“I think it a very human instinct to want to be greater than you are, or have something inside you that you can’t really express, and I think through cosplay, you can sort of find that confidence. You can be a character that is stronger than you… and become a stronger person yourself. And I think the craftsmanship aspect is huge because it’s art, it’s creativity, and I think it’s all-around probably the most creative way of having passion for anything,” says costume designer and cosplayer Yaya Han, who starred in the TV show “Heroes of Cosplay” on Syfy.
The Fashion Institute at SLCC has a program that prepares students in fashion and costume design.
“Being the producer for the cosplay competition for comic con, I am in charge of also putting together the judge’s ballot sheets. So one of the biggest things that we are going to judge is the craftsmanship,” Mallaga says. “If somebody went to the Fashion Institute and learned from the ground up and built a strong foundation, they could take those skills into cosplay or into any other fashion department or genre that they wanted to take it to.”
One of the first classes taught at the Fashion Institute is sewing. In this class, one learns how to make seams to fit the fabric and the pattern.
“I think sewing in itself has a lot of positive aspects to it; from concentration and focus as well as, even like mathematics tying to figure out the different pattern sizing,” Han says. “Sewing is no longer the ‘oh that’s what your grandma did,’ or making a quilt. Sewing is really cool now. It’s really cool to be able to make a corset or make a body suit and have it fit you and I think it’s very impressive, and so for young kids it should be encouraged for them to learn how to design and sew because it leads to so many different creative aspects.”
SLCC has classes that can assist the cosplayer or just expand one’s education and passion.
“SLCC offers a wide variety of programs whatever your passion is,” Mallaga says. “The Fashion Institute is a great place for people who have an interest in it and even if they don’t, I think it’s a place they can go to and have a great foundation for things that they will be able to use later on in life.”