Tell us about your first cosplay experience. Who, what, where, when, and how did it go?
Hey hey! It was 5 years ago. Hum…nope, 6!!! A friend of mine asked me to go to an event to see her as Kurai from Angel Sanctuary. I never found her at the con, but during that time, a blond, sexy, golden woman appeared in front of me: She-ra! She had long, false, red nails and was laughing with Devilman. She turned her cute little face and said, “Hello!”
I am sure I became totally red, but I will remember this day forever! And at that moment, I knew I had to make a cosplay myself! One year later, at the same event (BD Expo 2000), I decided to make a Card Captor Sakura cosplay group with my super sister as Keroberos and two friends as Mei Lin and a friend of Sakura (the one with glasses) and a PomPom Girl costume.
It was one of my best cosplay memories surely because we were so young, impressionable, and excited. We made a little choreography (sigh) on the stage and had a great success! XD
Héhé, that day was my first cosplay experience, and the day I met She-ra for the second time. We started to talk about She-ra dolls and more, and she asked me if I wanted to be part of her cross-over cosplay group: Master of the Universe and Princess of Power. But this is another story…
When you cosplay now, how is it different from the first time?
I think I have lost some innocence. A lot of things happened since my first year of cosplay: I grew up a lot and discovered that all cosplayers have different points of view, different ways of cosplaying.
Plus, I think a lot more about whether my hair is under the wig and if my make-up is ok, héhé!
But most importantly, I cosplay for me which means I do it in a “fun and friendly spirit.” When I began cosplaying, I was very shy and didn’t have much confidence. During 3 years of cosplay, I learned to trust in myself and love myself. I know that I have to work more, but now I feel good in my life, and I know that cosplay helped me a lot.
Which convention is your favorite and why?
Epita! The Epita school is a school of data processing & technology, and each year, they organize a little con. Well it was a little con, like a sort of fair, but last year, a lot of people came to this event because there was no JapanExpo (the biggest French con), and I am a little afraid that Epita will lose the intimate aspect we know.
How do you choose a character to portray? (For example: Do you just see the drawings and say, “Oh that’s cute! I want to make it,” or do you pick your favorites from anime or video games?)
Héhé. The “Oh that’s cute! I want to make it” is exactly me. ^^
I like to cosplay cute characters with pink outfits and long hair. For example, I cosplayed the Heroine from Sword of Mana RPG, but I’ve never played this game. I picked the character only because the artwork was so beautiful, the dress very interesting to do, and most important.. the curly hair! I am in loooove with curly hair! But sometimes, too, I cosplay a character because I like the video game and character itself. I fell in love with Jennyfer Tate from Primal, and this why I decided to do the costume. There are no rules for me to find and choose a costume. I am very open minded and always love to discover new costumes and characters. ^^
Do you prefer to plan cosplay projects by yourself or together with friends?
I definitely prefer cosplay with friends! I love to plan a group of an anime or a video game, to be with all my cosplay friends, to make a little choreography. I think the contact between people is very important, and cosplay is a very good opportunity for that. Also, I didn’t really like to be alone on the stage. Even if sometimes I love making a costume only for me, I prefer a group performance with friends in other anime/manga/video game costumes. ^^
photo by D.Fender
Phot by Ryuu
What do you want to be when you grow up? Will cosplay still be important to you then?
I want to be a web designer, and it is what I am studying. ^^ I am working on my new web site which is why mine doesn’t exist for the moment! I like to make sites for friends, and I am working on Flammechant’s website all in Flash. It’s hard work, but I am sure the result will be ok.
Cosplay is important in my life because colors and forms will play an integral part in my job. And in the future, I think cosplay will still be important because I’ve learned a lot, and this will last for the rest of my life.
When everything around you seems to be going badly, how do you return to being calm & content?
Héhé. My secret weapon is eating chocolate. But warning: This is absolutely not good for cosplay! ;p
What does your family think of your cosplay hobby?
My sister cosplays with me, and she has taught me a lot about sewing. My mother also made some of my costumes. She has always made some costumes for us, since we were babies, so I think this isn’t too different for her. She thinks this is a funny hobby, and even if sometimes she is not very happy when I have a costume to finish for the next day, she always helps me.
The rest of my family just smiles, but I think they don’t understand very well what it is and why we do it.
When you go shopping for costume supplies, what’s the hardest thing to find? (fancy shoes, wigs, unusual fabric, etc.)
Shoes and wigs, definitely! For the fabric, I like to use cotton or other easy materials because I am not a good seamstress at all, huhu! But it is always hard to find good shoes that are not too expensive! The same for wigs: in France to find a very specific wig, you have to pay a loooot of money so I think I will buy wigs on internet in the future because my wigs are always a little unprecise!
Do you use sewing patterns from the store, or do you draw all the pieces yourself?
It depends on the costume. At the beginning of my sewing adventure, I just never knew how to use a pattern, and it was so bad that I had lot of trouble understanding what the “draw” was. Now I have learned a little more, and it is more easy. When I need a very specific pattern, I ask my sister or my mother to help me, but I hope one day I will be able to do it all myself .
How did you learn to sew?
I learned from watching my mother, sister, and some friends making costume for me or for themselves. And of course I made a lot of mistakes. This is the more radical but quick way to learn!
If you could make any costume in the world without concern for cost, size, or gravity, what would it be?
Hum, I always wanted to be Herlock, but I think I will say Seth from Trinity Blood. I did an easy one of her costumes, but I want the one from a color illustration with the red “pompoms!” I think I will never be able to do such a complicated costume because each year, I have less time to make costumes, and I am sure the day that I have skills and money, I will not have time. How difficult a cosplayer’s life is. T_T
photo by Ryuu
Here is your space for additional comments and to dispel rumors.
Hey hey, no rumors or stupid things like that. I just want to thank my friends for being there for me: Rowen, of course, who saved my life; the crazy girls with whom I cosplay: Lena (loos powa hu ^^ ), Kiko, Dole (sometimes far away but always here ^^ ), Ange, Motoko, Mathoz, Clem, Gally, Faye, Yankee.... Clef who’s always there for me, and my Queen even though she has a boyfriend now. T_T
David Karan and Blondine Starcacke and all the Cosplay Factory because they are soooo patient with me, héhé!
And of course Anja, Hyver and C-chan for the great time – Lots of kisses, girls! AngelHitomi who’s so sweet, Paolo so chatty, Sonia so hot-evil XD, and Gisela so sexy in her Roy costume!
Honey bunny and Stephanie my dears; Lynleigh, Laura, and Elysabeth from USA – you all rock, and I am sad to not be able to see you again. T_T
Pioupiou, of course! I hope I have forgotten no one. Kisses everybody! ~Popo
see more of Pauline's costumes here
We love meeting people from around the world here in the Spotlight. The settings may look different and conversation definitely sounds different, but cosplayers everywhere can easily find things in common from Brazil to Boise and Hong Kong to The Hague. Pauline, you are the embodiment of fun cosplay, and we hope the experience continues to serve you well. Thanks for sharing with us a little slice of life from south of The Channel. Vive le Cosplay!