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Cosplay For a Cause: GSTQ Fashions Interview

cosplay for a cause teaser Cosplay For a Cause: GSTQ Fashions Interview

 

Cosplay for a Cause gathered over 15+ talented cosplayers from various parts of the world and created a calendar that when sold, 100% of all profits will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross to help out with the tragedy over in Japan. What makes the calendar so great is that the photos taken are exclusively for the calendar and each month will also come with a small illustration done by 1 of 4 pro comic book artists involved in the project. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the many cosplayers involved, Catherine L. Jones of God Save the Queen Fashions. Born in FL but living in Georgia, this southern cosplayer got involved in cosplaying when she attended her first Anime convention. Even before that her boyfriend had been checking out the website and saw that a special guest cosplayer, Limebarb, was making a living off of making costumes. At Anime Weekend Atlanta, back in 2007, she was just blown away by the fact that people were dressed up as their favorite anime characters. She took that as opportunity to take her 2 favorite things, sewing and anime, and combine them into her new passion.

What made you decide to cosplay as opposed to donating money to the various organizations out there?
I was approached by Riki Le Cotey to be part of the Cosplay for a Cause project. When she explained her idea to create this calendar I thought it would be an excellent way not only to get the cosplay community involved, but the money raising potential is far greater than if I were to donate or fundraise all on my own.  The goal here is to get the most money to the greatest need, and I think this is a wonderful way to go about doing it.When tragedies like this happen, it affects all of us in some way.  Whether that hits close to home, for example having family in disaster areas, or it simply acts as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have simple things like a roof over our heads and food in our pantry, it is important to realize that everything can completely change in the blink of an eye. 

I am very grateful for this opportunity as it has allowed me to contribute in a truly meaningful way, using skills and resources that I already have.

Have you ever visited Japan and if so how was it and was there anything in particular that stood out about it for you?
I have not visited Japan before, but it is certainly at the top of my to-do list for international trips.  I’ve been very fascinated by Japanese culture for a long time, completely in awe by the beautiful food, clothing, and customs.  I’ve got quite a few more piggy banks to fill before that can happen though!

 

How did you decide your cosplay for the calendar?
One of the things we wanted for the calendar was to put forth images that were not only iconic, but also positive and fun.  So, that meant anything portraying violence, post-apocalypic scenarios, or general saddness was out.  Since I do commissions for a living, pretty much all of my really good stuff gets sent away, so my personal costume collection is actually quite small!  Right now, I have Black Canary, Dark Phoenix, Kei, Chun-Li, and Aang.  Well, we wanted Japanese based characters (video games or anime), so that just left me with Kei or Chun-Li.  Kei really ought to be photographed with her other half (Yuri), but Jia*Jem (who I made a Yuri costume for) lives in Chicago.  So, logistically that just wouldn’t have worked since I live in Atlanta.  That left the Chun-Li costume.  There was another girl here in Atlanta who was to be involved in the calendar, and she had a Juri costume, so it just seemed like a perfect fit!  We needed to make the photos happen fairly quickly, so Jenni Barclay (also featured in the calendar) was gracious enough to lend us her photography skills.  We shot at Pixelette Photography Studio in Holly Springs, GA against a background full of huge paper lanterns.  I think we managed to get some great photos, not that I’m biased or anything!
 

 

Who were the people that encouraged you to cosplay?

My mom has been an amazing source of encouragement.  I never expressed an interest in sewing as a career until I was about half-way through college.  I knew she would always support me whatever career path I chose, but once she started seeing the crazy stuff I was making, I could tell that going down this path really made her extra happy for me.

These days, I get a lot of my inspiration from non-cosplay sources.  I love looking at leather crafts, metal work, and corsetry quite a bit.  I’m also completely addicted to my fashion history books.  I do what I can to bring a realism to my work (especially when translating 2D drawings into real life garments), so I feel that looking at other sources for a creative jumpstart keeps me well rounded as a costumer.  After all, a lot of the clothes we see in anime, comics, etc. were based on, or at least inspired by, some type of real-world garment.  I like having a context for the costumes I make.

 

As a cosplayer yourself you have done a lot of traveling. How has visiting all these different places and meeting all these different people affected your view on the world?

I haven’t actually done a lot of intense traveling for cosplay.  With my work schedule, I do what I can to stay somewhat close to my home base, so I stick to conventions that are within a reasonable driving distance.  However, one thing I have learned through those small travels is that conventions are some of the few places where complete strangers can have fantastic conversations simply because they both like the same video game.  I can talk to people for hours on end, that I’ve never met before, just because we both have an interest in sewing.  People want to learn and communicate with each other, and bringing so many of them with so many common interests is a great way to open that door.

 

Will you be promoting Cosplay for a Cause at future conventions?
Yes, of course!  I promoted the calendar recently at Animazement in Raleigh, NC.  The next conventions I’ll be attending are Dragon*Con and AWA here in Atlanta.  So, definitely look for the calendar there!  By then, we are expecting to have physical (signed) copies available for purchase.
Any final thoughts or words for fans or people who will read this?

Please take some time to check out the Cosplay for a Cause website (http://www.cosplayforacause.com) and get yourself, and maybe a friend or two, a calendar.  If you want to see some teaser images to get an idea of what to expect, you can also check out our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/CosplayforACause).  They’re only $17.99 each and 100% of the proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross.  You can have a whole year of cosplay hotties to look forward to and you’ll be doing a good deed at the same time!

If you’re still jonesing for a cosplay fix after that, you can see more of my work at http://www.gstqfashions.com.

 

 

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Catherine Jones GSTQ Fashions

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1 comment

  1. Jennifer Safanova

    This is wonderful, I would have loved to be part of the calender, if one is ever done again, let me know. I would love to help!

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