Written by Riri (@lillyums)
Welcome to our first Cosplay Wednesday feature of 2016! A little late starting, but I figured March would be a good time to start as more people are completing their cosplays for the year. Our first post features a cosplay pair, Emma and Carly, who together go by Carma Cosplay. They are here to showcase their cosplay from Legend of Korra as Korra and Asami. Together, Korra and Asami are incredibly close and care for each other deeply. If you want character development, you'll definitely see how these two grow together as friends and more throughout the series. Let's see how Carma Cosplay pulled this group cosplay together!
How long have you been cosplaying?
Emma and Carly: It depends on what you define as cosplay… Our first convention was Kumoricon 2011, but we’ve been playing “dress up” since we were born and have been making our own Halloween costumes since middle school! We are constantly intrigued by the multitude of mediums we can get out hands on and costume construction was just another artistic outlet that we fell in love with.
Why did you two choose to cosplay your character?
Emma: Because I am Korra, obviously! No, but really, from when I first watched Avatar: The Last Airbender I’ve always thought that I looked like I was from the water tribe. Dark hair, dark skin, and blue eyes aren’t a combination seen that often, even in fiction, so obviously I had to cosplay Katara. When the Legend of Korra came out, I immediately fell in love with the character. She is such a badass! I also love that the creators made her a real person -- she has flaws, and she struggles with her role and her relationships while still maintaining her compassion.
Carly: One of the things about our friendship is that we tend to gravitate towards similar interests and we teach each other about other cool things that inspire us. Emma started watching the Legend of Korra first so she created Korra almost immediately. It was a year later that I finally finished watching the Legend of Korra and was mesmerized by the character Asami and the relationship that Korra and Asami had together. Doing group cosplays brings another element of fun to the table.
How long did it take you to complete?
Emma: Honestly, this wasn’t too challenging of a cosplay to make. I was able to take sweatpants I found at Goodwill and alter them, and most of the rest of the costume was fairly straightforward (although a little weird - what’s with that butt flap??). Probably the most difficult parts were making the white collar on the shirt and trying to figure out how to make the arm bands stay up and not look awkward. I’ve redone some of the elements and made parts better, but overall it probably only took me a few days to complete before the first time I wore her.
Carly: Asami took me about 3 weeks to complete if I were to scrunch the days together over a period of a couple months. There is a lot that goes into making an entire outfit and sewing isn’t even half of it. I am constantly thrift store hunting for clothes, fabric, shoes etc. that I could use to manipulate to fit the right look for any of my characters. Sometimes fabric stores are the only option if I can’t find the exact flavor of garment. Even while I was looking for items for Asami, my brain was analyzing everything I was looking at to see if I could use it for the other lists of cosplays I want to create. Being poor college students, we get creative like using an old fleece blanket instead of interfacing for the cross stitching on her jacket and pants to give the fabric the textured look I was going for, or even using the leather from a skirt to make leather gloves.
Any difficulties when constructing the costume?
Emma: Like I said earlier, probably the most challenging part was making the collar of the shirt. Thankfully, the overall pattern wasn’t too challenging, but making the collar stand up on a cotton shirt was a little frustrating. Plus that white trim?! Weird. I ended up redoing the arm bands, mostly because I was rushed the first time and ended up making one in the car on the way up to Seattle. Plus, of course, animated characters don’t always wear the most logical clothing items, or have bizarre hair. It took some thinking to figure out how to make a hair tie that could hold up my ponytail and still fit around all my hair.
Carly: Every cosplay I come up against, there are always new challenges. There were parts that I was having troubles with but I was able to work through them and find another way around the issue. For me, I think making sure Asami’s entire outfit was as crisp as I pictured her in real life was the challenge for me. I typically like the pick grimy or messy characters because it’s easier to forgive yourself if there is a flaw in your work. But creating pants that don’t exist in real life from scratch is probably one of the hardest sewing experiments I have done so far.
What do you love most about cosplaying this character?
Emma: I like all my cosplays for a different reason, but with Korra, I feel like she is someone I actually relate to and has traits that I value. She is responsible, but not afraid to have fun. She makes mistakes, but learns from them. She values her friends and family, but still holds them accountable for their actions. She is strong and talented, but still vulnerable. She has enemies, but is capable of seeing the world from their perspective. It’s also always fun for me to cosplay a character that is generally friendly and down for a good time, because that is the attitude I try to have at conventions.
Carly: I just love Asami, lol. Every cosplay I have there is a piece of the character that holds a place in my heart. Embodying the character in cosplay form is just another way of saying how much I love the character. And for Asami, I love her tough, but compassionate nature. She’s smart and can catch you off guard but her many talents and skills. She can show you that is okay to be vulnerable and strong at the same time.
Where did you debut this costume? If you haven't... where do you plan to debut?
Emma: I debuted Korra at Emerald City Comic Con 2014, and it was kind of rushed….Like I said earlier, I was still making parts of it in the car on the ride up!
Carly: I debuted Asami at Emerald City Comic Con 2015 with Emma as Korra and our good friend, Julie, who cosplayed for the first time as Mako.
What's next? Cosplay related of course...
Emma and Carly: Honestly, we have a list of so many cosplays that we want to create…. We’ve decided though that for our next new cosplays, we will be creating genderbent Batman villains at Emerald City Comic Con! Carly is planning on being the Penguin, and Emma is going to be Two Face. If we’re lucky, Julie may be able to join us as the Riddler!
We hope we run into you this ECCC in your DC villains group! That is certainly exciting!
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