Published on March 23rd, 2016 | by Cheryl CS0
Studio Aranas to host Cosplay and Japanese Fashion Show
Anyone even remotely involved in the world of cosplay can agree on one thing: for many, it’s an art form. It can be as simple or complex as a cosplayer chooses—from throwing together a basic costume to sewing, crafting, and building something from scratch. Thanks in part to cosplay powerhouses such as Jessica Nigri, Yaya Han, and Ivy Doomkitty, the cosplaying world has become synonymous with pop culture, diffusing itself throughout comic conventions and ruling the feeds of more than a few Instagram accounts.
This component of Japanese subculture is so universally prevalent that you’ll likely be hard-pressed to find a millennial that’s never heard the term. A portmanteau of the words “costume” and “play,” cosplay has erupted with the same wave of pop culture that sees the making of multiple Batman movies, anime conventions in western cities, video gaming’s induction into the realm of esports, and a somewhat tenacious dedication to producing a movie about every single character in the Marvel encyclopedia.
Is it any surprise, then, that a Japanese-themed cosplay fashion show should take place in our sunny little city of Edmonton, Alberta?
Hosted by the inimitable Augustine Aranas, who runs a fashion and cosplay photography company called Studio Aranas, the Cosplay and Japanese Fashion Show will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at the studio’s extensive new space on the west end of Edmonton. It will feature designs from a number of local cosplayers and fashion designers, a silent auction featuring some of their pieces, and an open meet and greet with participants of the show.
“What really brought me to host this show was an interest for Japanese culture that I have had for years,” says Augustine. “I know there’s a growing fan base for several of these subcultures and I’ve always been excited to showcase it in some way. It’s going to be incredible seeing everything I love come together to walk the runway next month.”
The show will feature creations by local cosplayers Michelle Everett and Aysha Wu, Carole Yue from Chem Lab, Heather Curtis’ Solstice Ready To Wear line, some traditional Japanese yukata and kimono, and a Lolita fashion showcase.
“I think the real importance of this show’s going to be in showing off more of the really unique and interesting work here that’s underrepresented,” says Augustine. “We’re overflowing with a lot of incredible talent here that really deserves more of a spotlight; particularly with cosplay.”
Michelle Everett, a member of cosplay group Kawaii Baka Neko Desu, is known for creating stunning cosplays from scratch. She is involved in a number of local cosplay-oriented events, such as Edmonton’s annual Animethon convention. Michelle will be showcasing a number of her cosplays during the show.
“My line is going to be featuring costumes I’ve made in the past couple of years,” says Michelle. “Gowns, corset work—I’m very excited to be a part of this project along with Aysha and Augustine. They’re both extremely talented. What I’m looking forward to the most [is] probably spending time with my models! I can never get enough of my friends and this is just another chance to make amazing memories with them.”
Local cosplayer Aysha Wu is also looking forward to showcasing her costume designs for the show.
“One of the biggest things I take into account when choosing what to make is the character itself,” says Aysha. “I feel that by dressing up as them, I’m representing them, so I’d prefer to do characters that I like and identify with. Most of the characters I’ve cosplayed are strong, competent individuals with lots of personality. For me, I consider each costume to be a great accomplishment. They’ve all had their own obstacles to overcome and I’ve spent an enormous amount of time, blood, sweat, and tears on them. This show is such a fantastic opportunity for me to see how far I’ve come and for me to share my hard work with other people.”
Lolita fashion is another interesting aspect of the show, since it comes from the Japanese street fashion made famous in Harajuku. Drawing inspiration from Rococo and Victorian period clothing, Lolita style is recognizable for its modesty and full, puffy skirts. The Edmonton Lolita Fashion Community, which was formed in 2007, will be showcasing Lolita outfits for the show, all of which range from gothic, to classic, to sweet and girly styles.
Doors open at 5:00 p.m. for the show, which begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by the reception at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at early bird pricing ($10.50) before March 31st, after which they will be $15.75—all tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite.
Dress code is semi-casual and costumes are allowed (within reason). Large armour or disruptive props are strongly discouraged.
Cosplay and Japanese Fashion Show
Hosted by Studio Aranas
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
11331 174 Street, Edmonton, AB T5S 0B7
Get tickets here.
View the Facebook event page here.
Visit the Studio Aranas website here.
Cover photo: Aysha Wu | Photo by Studio Aranas