For our Cosplay Crush this week we’re talking to Andrew aka CoutureFx from Dallas, Texas. He’s cosplayed as Viktor Nikiforov, Ragyo Kiryuin, and Prince Gumball at Animefest, San Japan, Ikkicon, and Akon. So let’s get to know CoutureFx a little more.
How old were you when you started doing cosplay?
I first started when I was 20, about right after my first year out of college. About 4 years now. When I went to A-kon four years ago it was very brief, but I was amazed at all of the cosplay I saw that day and I wanted to get involved.
My first cosplay was a simple waiter uniform as the twins and was thrown together at the last minute, I still had a blast though. I’ve definitely improved, I’ve learned how to do makeup, sew, style wigs and so much more from my time at school too.
What’s your most memorable experience while cosplaying?
Probably all the friends I’ve made from Animefest that year, we ended up making a cosplay group called “Ootori group cosplay” and had several hilarious panels come from it.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay to me is about bringing your favorite characters to life, I’ve always enjoyed finding characters I love and learning new techniques while building the costume, It has really helped me break out of my shell, I used to be very quiet and reserved but cosplay has really been a much-needed confidence booster for me.
What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?
I think it’s important to learn how to love yourself, I have my own insecurities (like acne scars) but I’ve found that I’m often my own worst critic so I’ve grown to love my own skin.
Has being LGBT affected how you cosplay?
I think as far as how it affected me as a cosplayer it made me confident doing cosplays because I’m secure in my own sexuality so I don’t have to worry about what others think of me.
Do you feel like the cosplay world has changed over the past few years? More free and accepting?
It has changed a lot within the short amount of time I’ve started, I think the community has been very accepting since I’ve started but lately I’ve seen guys cosplaying characters that are either female or “flamboyant” and being comfortable about it.
Do you have a cosplay “team?”
Ootori group cosplay, they’re like a second family to me and we’ve done so much together. Probably the first-panel Ootori group did at Animefest. The twins were in sync in answers, kyoya and Tamaki threw shade at each other the entire time, Nekozawa hiding under a table for the longest time until he revealed himself. It was so much fun, I’m not an actor but it was fun casting ourselves into those roles.
What was your most expensive/hardest cosplay you did and why?
I would have to say Ragyo is definitely the most expensive/difficult. It was difficult because I had to figure out how to go about each aspect of the cosplay. I had to learn how to make armor with leather, how to create a gravity defying coat covered all over in feathers, how to wire the lights in the wig, and even airbrushing silicone on a breastplate to have it match my skin tone.
I usually do a mix of building, commissioning and altering. I’ve commissioned someone to draft a pattern for Viktor’s jacket because I don’t know anything about draping patterns, but I did know how to sew and how to dye the fabric to create it. Ragyo’s dress was altered from a piece I found online and then I built the rest of the costume. Prince Gumball’s tunic was commissioned by my friend 5’2” giraffe and then I thrifted the turtle neck and the pants.
If money weren’t an issue, what would be your dream cosplay?
Ooooohhh that’s a good question, I’d have to say my dream cosplay would be Wiccan from young Avengers and to have my boyfriend cosplay Hulkling.
Do you have any cosplay pet peeves?
Just petty cosplay drama really stresses me out. Even if I’m not involved I really don’t want to see it, I’ve made it a choice to just start cutting toxic people from my life and it feels immensely better to get away from it.
Who is your favorite cosplayer?
Definitely, Atelier Heidi, she was a classmate of mine and floored everyone with her talents as a seamstress/draper. If you haven’t seen her youtube I highly recommend it, her tutorials are well done and very useful.
What would you say to a first time cosplayer?
Pick a character that you really love and enjoy, you’ll have a much better experience. Do the research, ask for help, there are tons of sources everywhere if you’re having trouble coming up with a costume. As cliché as it sounds, books are sometimes the best resources to find, it’s where I’ve learned all of my wig styling techniques that I use for myself and commissions.
Where can fans get more of you (social media, websites, etc.)?