For those who missed the Hyper Japanese extravaganza at Earls Court last weekend, we brought you a few of the colourful characters that dressed to impress for the occasion. Apart from the food, fun and frolics, the weekend also saw individuals and teams compete to win a place in the European Cosplay Gathering in Paris and represent the UK. Cosplay, short for costume play, originated in Japan during the early 1980s and has since become a huge worldwide subculture with conventions. Shit London’s Patrick Dalton met and photographed some of the people there.
Venus Angelic – Singer, Model, Actress
‘I’ve been doing this since I was six years old. There aren’t many conventions like this in Hungary so I came especially for this event. I tend to buy my clothes instead of making them, most of them online but I bought this dress in Harajuku, Tokyo. It’s really fun to dress up as something you like. When I first watched anime I fell in love with all the characters and just wanted to be like them. I come to these events to meet people with shared interests.’
Wale – London
‘I’m dressed as Zero from Megaman Zero which was a game that was released on the Gameboy Advance back in 2002. It’s difficult to say exactly how long it took to make my outfit, the helmet took the longest, a few months or so. It’s made of paper mache. I made this for an expo I went to in London last May.’
Holly – London
‘This costume is of Miku Hatsune from the anime Secret Police. I made the entire outfit, apart from the wig which I bought, in a couple of months or so. I’ve been to a few of these events so far. The scene is getting bigger and bigger every year. So many people are into anime, cosplay and Japanese culture these days.’
Ben and Josh
Ben: ‘I’m Ghirahim – Lord of the Demons from Legend of Zelda. We cosplay loads, the scene is growing year on year. We make everything ourselves. eBay is great for buying materials. You can follow online guides on how to make things but it’s good to just go with the flow sometimes. At least that’s what I did.’
‘This style is known as ‘Lolita’ fashion but this a special subsection of it called Country Sweet Lolita. I don’t have a sewing machine so I had to buy this dress, I did however make the bow. ‘Lolita’ is different from cosplay as it doesn’t follow specific characters but I cosplay sometimes too. I think the growth of cosplay in the UK is down to the amount of anime available compared to a few years ago. There’s a great social aspect to cosplay and you can win some amazing prizes, just last year I won a laptop! I’m relatively new to the scene to though. I’ve only been doing this for a couple of years.’
‘My character is called is called ‘Garter Belt’, he’s from an anime called ‘Panty Stocking and Garter Belt’. He’s a priest who looks over two angels called Panty and Stockings. All the characters are named after various undergarments, hence why I’m wearing a garter belt now. This was quite an easy costume to make really. I went to a curtain shop, bought the material and just sewed it up. I’ve been doing this since about 2008. When I first did this it was just because I really liked anime and stuff, but now I’ve made loads of friends doing this. There’s a huge social side to this world, everyone knows each other from various meets.’
To see more of Patrick’s amazing photos, head to shitlondon.co.uk.