Cosplay, short for “costume play”, has grown from its origins at fan conventions into a billion-dollar global dress phenomenon. Costuming Cosplay takes us from elaborately crafted DIY costumes to online fandoms, examining how the practice of portraying fictional characters from popular culture through dress and performance has become a creative means of expressing and playing with different identities.
With an approach that ranges from admiration and role-play to gender performance, this is the first book to fully examine the subculture and costume of the Cosplay phenomenon. Drawing on extensive first-hand research at conventions across North America and Asia, Therèsa M. Winge invites us to explore how Cosplay functions as a meritocracy of creativity, escapism, and disguise, and offers a creative realm in which fantasy and new forms of socializing carry as much importance as costume.
Illustrated with color photographs of both celebrity and amateur Cosplayers, Costuming Cosplay is essential reading for students and scholars of fashion and costume, popular culture, anthropology, gender, and media studies, as well as global players and fans of Cosplay.