Vancouver cosplay enters into a new age

TikTok offers an innovative platform for new cosplayers

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By Nicolette Colosimo

Cosplay, a popular art form of dressing up to emulate fictional characters, has gained popularity online throughout the pandemic.

Cosplayers haven’t lost their creative drive since the pandemic because TikTok opened up a community when everything was closed.

TikTok provides a platform for cosplayers to reach worldwide audiences and more people are joining in on the costume trend.

Using TikTok, cosplayers can fully realize a character by lip-syncing to songs, acting out scenes, recreating catchphrases and creating content with trending audio and sounds.

Shana Edalat, a Vancouver cosplayer, said during the pandemic there have been a lot of collaborative projects on TikTok.

“I’ve seen the community really support one and another and hold each other close through this new online world,” Edalat said.

Sian Evans, a closet cosplayer, acts out her character. Photo: Nicolette Colosimo.

Closet cosplay has also taken off during the pandemic. Closet cosplayers use clothes they already own to recreate their favourite characters’ outfits.

The trend grew rapidly at a time when cosplayers didn’t have access to fabric and costume stores. Closet cosplayers say it’s a fun and cost-efficient way to get creative, turning everything and anything into a costume.

Shana Edalat and Robin Martineau, Vancouver cosplayers, strike a pose outside the convention centre. Photo: Nicolette Colosimo.

Opinions are divided about attending conventions, especially over whether there are enough COVID-19 safety guidelines.

James Ross, a Vancouver TikTok cosplayer, said that conventions are notoriously poorly organized.

“A lot of cons have problems with mask mandates,” Ross said. “Cons are always run by volunteers so there aren’t enough staff to deal with thousands of attendees that aren’t following the rules.”

While some cosplayers are still taking the risk to join in on conventions, others are simply hanging outside conventions or choosing to wait until it’s a safer time to gather in large crowds.

 

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