Power Girl Cosplay Making of – Part 1
Introducing Power Girl
Most of you already know that I discovered cosplay in 2009 with the release of my tribute pics to Mortal Kombat where I was dressing up as Frost. I had no idea at this time of what cosplay was. It’s people’s reaction to those pics that made me wonder why they were so popular and that’s how I found out about the whole cosplay phenomenon, searching on the Internet. Even though I liked to read comics and watch animes, I realized, when I started attending my first conventions in 2010, that there were people out there who were way bigger comic fans, or should I say comic experts, than I could possibly ever be. I grew up in Quebec, my French speaking province, watching Japanese animes translated in French. For those who may be wondering, I watched as a kid Grendizer (in French: Goldorak), Nobody’s Boy: Remi (in French: Rémi sans famille), Lady Oscar, The Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee (in French: Hutchi le petit prince orphelin), the French-Japanese collaboration Belle et Sébastien, and my favorite of all time, the American-Japanese collaboration Jem and the Holograms (in French: Jem et les Hologrammes.) I wasn’t awared of the whole insanely popular American pop culture with all the Mavel and DC superheroes that are commonly known by mostly everybody in the USA. There were some characters that any comic book fan knows and that I had never heard of. Believe it or not, Power Girl was one of them.
I was just starting as a cosplayer when I got my very first interview. The guy’s name was Dave and we later became friends. ‘Have you ever thought of doing a Power Girl copslay?’ Dave asked. I said: ‘Power who?’ I can still remember Dave’s face! He looked at me like if I was an alien! lol No, I didn’t know who Power Girl was. Yes, such human beings do exist. And that’s how I was introduced to Ms Karen Starr. No need to say that once I was back home, I went to my local comic book store and bought a whole bunch of Power Girl comics.
It seems that Power Girl and I share some very similar features, talking about the short blond hair and big… eyes, of course, because the Power Girl cosplay suggestion became a weekly thing in the following months and years. Everybody wanted me to cosplay that character dressed up with the simpler, almost cheesy costume I could think of: white bodysuit, plain blue gloves and boots and the classic superheroe cape. Boring stuff, I thought, in my costumer’s mind in search of a new sewing challenge. But the Power Girl cosplay suggestion continued flooding my mailbox for the months and years to follow.
People often ask how I choose the costumes I will make. There are different reasons that all have one thing in common: I like technical costuming challenges and I like learning new techniques. It can be a character that I personally love, it can be a suggestion from fans, it can be a character that I don’t know but whose costume I like. In any case, I have to be challenged by the costume. What new will I learn making that costume? What new material will I have to learn to work with? Is there an aspect of the drawing that will be particulary complicated to build in real? A pattern making chalenge? But there has to be a challenge. And when I first looked at Power Girl’s costume and at various Power Girl cosplays, I saw no challenge. A stretch bodysuit too often made out of shiny spandex (which is against my religion), blue store-bought gloves (also often spandex gloves, like the ones they sell to go with prom dresses), random blue fake leather boots, or even worst in my opinion, spandex boots or boot covers (it took me a while to forgive the superheroe movies’ studios who started making fancy shoe covers to imitate leather boots, well made, but still shoe covers) and a boring red cape. Here’s your costume, Ma’am. And it will be a hit no matter what because the character is so popular and the window cleavage can only give you more points. Don’t think no more, let’s make a Power Girl cosplay. There was nothing there for me. It had already been done ten million times. Too much, too often, too bad. What more could I do? One more version of Power Girl to offer to the world? Who would notice, anyway? And yet, it happened.
A quick word about spandex
About spandex, I just want to say that I’m awared of the fact that it’s an easy material to work with and that it’s why so many cosplayers use it. As any stretch fabric, it allows you to have a pattern that requires less adjustments. If your patern doesn’t match your measurements perfectly, the fabric will stretch and will follow the shape of your body, so it’s gonna be alright anyway. Plus, it shows the body’s shapes. Very accessible because it’s easy to find and not too expensive, relatively easy to sew when you have a serger and a little experience, adding a sexy touch since its extensibility makes any spandex costume look skin tight, all these reasons make spandex an obvious choice for many cosplayers. I personally hate that material for most of these exact same reasons, but it’s just me. Please don’t be offended by my comments about spandex if it’s a material that you enjoy using. I just think that with all the skills and exerience I have as a pattern maker and seamstress, it would be an act of lazyness for me to use simple spandex when other more complicated options are possible. But this way of thinking applies to me only.
Cosplay for a Cause
My lovely friend and cosplayer Riddle contacted me one day about that new Cosplay for a Cause calendar she wanted to produce. I had been part of the first 2012 Calendar issue back in 2011 when she had thought of doing a non-profit project to help and support people from Japan after the tsunami. She had came up with the idea of a cosplay calendar featuring only characters from Japanese animes that we would all sell and promote in order to give 100% of the proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross Society. The whole thing had been a huge success and the fans had been asking for a new calendar for a while. This time, she wanted to give the proceeds of the calendar’s sales to an organization supporting animals rights, suggesting to present pictures of each cosplayer with a live animal. ‘I’d like you to be part of the calendar’ she said. ‘And we already have many cosplayers who have choosen Marvel characters.’ I knew exactly where she was going. ‘Since Power Girl is a DC character and has a cat in the story…’ She stopped, waiting for my reaction. ‘You would be the perfect Power Girl.’ And I said yes. Guys, you can say thanks to Riki. No one else could have convinced me to build that costume that was still, at that moment, insignificant for me.
And my struggle to build my Power Girl costume will continue in Part 2 of my blog!
For more info about the new 2017-2018 Cosplay for a Cause calendar, featuring an exclusive picture of my Power Girl cosplay, visit www.cosplayforacause.com or order directly your calendar by clicking here. 100% of the profits will go to the WildLife Conservation Society. To buy another autographed Power Girl print, visit my store.