This issue takes us north of the border as we speak to Vicky from Scotland about her chosen character and the complexity of the world from which she hails.
Who are you wearing?
I am cosplaying the character Yennefer of Vengerberg from the Witcher series. She’s a sassy sorceress who doesn’t take no for an answer and is smarter than many of the men around her. She also happens to be one of the protagonist’s (many) love interests. She always wears black and white.
How long did it take you to complete the costume for this character?
Okay, so I made about 50-60% of the costume. I bought the jacket because I knew I couldn’t sew it myself. However, it came with low-quality fabric that wasn’t right, so I replaced that with velvet. I replaced the gloves with high-quality material and sewed them together. I then bought a basic pair of leggings for the bottoms and sewed the details on to make them accurate, which was quite the challenge due to the stretch fabric. I already had a white shirt and boots. I ordered a replica choker off of eBay for like £6 and then repainted it to make it look accurate to the character. I had to alter the belt that came with the costume because it was too big. So I bought a costume and threw away the parts I knew I could make myself. I only kept the jacket (and tweaked it) and the belt. It was quite time-consuming but I love it! I find sewing and crafting to be so relaxing.
What does this particular fandom mean to you?
I love the Witcher fandom! It’s great because it originated from a book series, so you’ve got this multi-faceted fan base full of book nerds and gamers. It’s full of many dedicated fans who love the lore, the beautiful game design and the moments of black comedy in the series. It’s unlike any other fantasy game as it isn’t your usual ‘go-there-kill-this-get-reward’ game. It tells complex and morally grey stories. Also, I love the real-world and in-game card game “Gwent”.
What advice would you give to anyone who is new to cosplay or anybody that wants to start but doesn’t know how?
Not everyone starts with a glamorous photo shoot and perfect costume. Cosplay doesn’t have to be expensive; there are plenty of characters that don’t require a very specific wardrobe and you can get most things off of eBay for cheap. Remember that things take time. You don’t need to buy that fabric or that wig right now if you can’t afford it. Good things will eventually come if you save up. I sometimes feel intimidated by people who don’t get it. It’s just like drag; it’s a high art form like theatre or acting all mixed into geekiness. It’s worth it when you go to a convention and even one person asks to take your picture or recognises you. Sure, people don’t get it, but who cares? It’s exhilarating seeing it all pay off and getting to be your favourite character for a day. If you love dressing up and escaping and feeling amazing, cosplay is for you.
Vicky Veil shares her cosplay creations via her Instagram account.