Plaids and Pallor: Vampires and Street Clothing Cosplay

In the past 48 hours, I have watched two drastically different vampire movies in terms of age, setting, and costuming: Interview with the Vampire and New Moon. Interview with the Vampire spans several distinct clothing periods, regaling the viewer with the best of everything from the era of Louisiana as a French colony to modern day (as of the 1990s), and seduces the eye with lusciously, nearly sexual textures and color palettes as much as with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Antonio Banderas.

On the other hand, New Moon is just the opposite, so grounded and modern-day that Nordstroms sells a line of clothing based on the general costume scheme of the cast (well, of Bella at least. Clothing more in line with Interview with the Vampire’s aesthetics, like Alice’s amazing white trench, are either absent from the clothing line entirely or buried under heaps of plaid and Team Edward tees.)

But my argument with the quality of the Cullens’ vegetarian vampire contacts aside, the clothing of the Twilight saga does have a distinctive and recognizable style, which made me think about cosplaying characters who wear street clothing. Street clothing has a very distinctive, mass-produced (even if it’s tailored or possibly handmade like Edward’s suit jackets) look; people usually don’t notice how easily they can identify street clothing vs. a costume until they notice something’s not right, like a hem or a seam that hasn’t been pressed, or trim that’s been folded over instead of mitered. But whatever it is, is the cosplayer responsible for studying the intricacies of street clothing and replicating it exactly? Do the expectations of creating vs. purchasing your costume still apply the same as the costumer making Armand’s cloak from Interview with the Vampire; does it become more about portraying the character versus putting on the clothes, or should cosplayers do that anyways? Along that similar train of thought, do cosplayers who make their own costumes sometimes use their intricate costumes to get away with not studying the character?

For the curious, the New Moon clothing line can be stared at in intrigue/confusion/etc. here:


About greyrondo

My name is greyrondo. I've been a cosplayer since Fall 2006, and I've noticed that the best conversations I have with cosplayers usually involve the question, 'so how DID you do that?' So after studying costuming and making a closet's worth of costumes, that's what I'd like to help answer. Drop in and stay awhile whether you're a cosplayer or just a curious spectator; one of my musings is bound to be what you're looking for. If you have a question or something to say, leave a comment or contact me! I don't bite, I promise. View all posts by greyrondo

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