Cosplay interviews! A weekly feature on Animetion where we talk to UK cosplayers on what motivates them, plus a cool gallery showcasing their cosplays.  Here we talk to cosplayer:

Name:  Rebekah Labertouche
(a.k.a. Silver)

Q: When did you start cosplaying and how long for?

My first outing was the London Expo, 2007. So only a year!

Q: What attracts you cosplay?

I like being creative.  I write and I draw (however badly), I like to sing and perform on stage.  Being creative is a great lease for me and cosplay is just another way I can be creative.  Doing things with my hands makes me happier than I can explain.  I love that immense sense of achievement you get from finishing something you've made by hand, and its even better when its something you love and can wear and show off (without *being* a show off).

Q:  What has been your favourite cosplay?

Oddly enough, Feena from Grandia Grandia was one of my favourite games growing up (overtaking Final Fantasy VII in the "favourites" stakes), so doing a cosplay from it was my little hommage to it.  The reaction I got wearing it is going to stick with me until I'm old and grey I'm sure.  Its not overly complicated, or flashy, and its from a game that the younger generation know nothing about, but its special to me.  So I think thats why its my favourite.

Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?

I have a couple...one that leaps out includes Feena again.  At Amecon 2008, I had been agonising all weekend about wearing it because it was so revealing.  On the Sunday morning I decided to stop wussing out and just wear it, and I am glad I made that decision.  From the minute I walked on campus I had people squealing 'omg its Feena!' and people asking for my photo or hugs, or saying how rare it was to see a Grandia cosplay.  I was amazed, over whelmed and ultimately very touched by the reaction I received that its something I always think of if I feel a bit down.

Another one occured at the MCM London Expo, May 2007.  On the Sunday I was wearing the first cosplay I'd made entirely on my own which was my first version of Rydia.  I didn't expect any one to recognise me and was just going about my business when I heard a 'RYDIAAAAA!!!' from down the corridor and saw a Fire Emblem cosplayer bounding towards me!  It was a wonderful reaction!  It really made me feel good about myself, so I'm eternally grateful to that cosplayer for doing that (and also stopping himself before he ran into me <3)

Q:  Have you had any cosplays go wrong/encountered problems whilst making cosplays?

Oh... do you have a life time?

My sleeves for Rydia took me three months.  Just the sleeves.  I'd never made anything like them before so it was a learning curve.  The sleeves themselves were machine sewn, but the ribbon lining down the edge was hand stitched into place and the sleeves were two metres long.  I was a slow hand sewer, I'm a lot faster now. 

I've had dresses getting eaten up by my sewing machine because I'd applied too much pressure to the pedal.  Also I've had the needle ping off in the middle of something, thread snapping and me not noticing.

The biggest problem I have is just getting general shapes right.  I don't have a natural ability to make costumes just by eye.  I have to think about it, or use a pattern, and the first time I did, I got so confused I gave up.  However, after making failed attempt and not very good attempt after each other, I decided to give them another go and decided the best way to use a pattern was to use the shapes and your common sense.  It makes like easier!

Q:  Have you ever regretted cosplaying?

I don't think I've regretted it.  I've had times when I think 'I can't believe I'm spending X amount of money on something I'm probably only going to wear a few times', but moments like that don't last long.  Its the sense of satisfaction putting the finished product on that gets rid of any would be regrets.

Q: Do your cosplays have a particular theme to them?

I don't think they do.  My sister once said I have a green theme because Rydia, Sailor Jupiter and Feena all contain green in some way, but I do cosplays that appeal to me or are special.  Like any Aeris Gainsborough costume I've done or plan to do is because she is my favourite female character of all time.  Same with Rydia - she's another favourite character because she's a very strong female role model.

Q:  Have you ever done group cosplay? If so how did you find that experience?

I... haven't done a group yet, now I think about it.  As most of my cosplays are fairly obscure.  However I'm involved with fair few groups over the coming year.  I'm Xianghua in a Soul Calibur group at MCM London Expo May 2009 and Ayacon 2009.  I'm also Eternal Sailor Jupiter in an Eternal Sailor Moon group at Ayacon 2009 and MCM London Expo October 2009.  I'm hoping to get a Grandia group and a Final Fantasy IV group set up at some point but I don't mind if it doesn't happen.

Having not actually cosplayed in a group situation, I don't really have the grounds to comment on how I found it, but watching other groups it does seem like its a lot of fun!  It gives more opportunity for group dynamics and poses for photographs!  Plus when you're in a group you meet people you wouldn't necessarily meet the rest of the time and make more friends that way!

Q:  What cosplays are you planning?

My current list consists of (and hopefully where I intend to wear them):

Aerith from Final Fantasy Tactics (Minamicon 15)
Alchemist Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2 (MCM London Expo May 2009, Ayacon 2009)
Eternal Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon (Ayacon 2009, MCM London Expo October 2009)
Rydia Drake from Final Fantasy IV (this will be my third version) (Ayacon 2009)
Xianghua from Soul Calibur III (MCM London Expo May 2009, Ayacon 2009)

And these are ones that have no place or convention/expo yet or I'm planning for fun:
Princess Ailish (Sudeki); MeiLin Li (Card Captor Sakura); Huntress (Ragnarok Online); Priestess (Ragnarok Online); Stalker (Ragnarok Online); Princess Garnet (Final Fantasy IX); Super Sailor Mars (Sailor Moon); Kanonno (Tales of the World: Radient Mythology); Aerith Gainsborough (Final Fantasy VII); Aerith Gainsborough (Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core); Refia (Final Fantasy III)

Q:  Do you have a dream cosplay?

I'd like to do Aerith's default and original design.  But do it well - really well.  Which is why I'm not even attempting it until I feel my skills are good enough. 

Q:  Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?

Okay: I'll say to start simple.  Don't leap in head first with a really challenging costume; no matter how much you might want to do it.  Start fairly easy and go from there, then attempt the harder ones when you're more comfortable.

Q:  Do you have an account with the website Cosplay island?

My personal cosplay website is here: evil-hippo.com/cosspot

I'm also on Cosplay Island as Silver and Coscom as Silveritis

(click any picture for a larger image)

Silver as Amano from Final Fantasy VII  Silver as Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon  Silver as Rydia, Summoner Of The Mist from Final Fantasy IV  Silver as Feena from Grandia

Silver (2nd from right) as Tifa Lockheart from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children  Silver (right) as Sailor Jupiter and GunstarVixen (left) as Sailor Venus, both from Sailor Moon.  Photo by Nert of ManyLemons

Silver (left) as Rogue from Ragnarok Online, right - CowgirlEm as Blacksmith  Silver as Rydia Drake from Final Fantasy IV