top of page

CCM Interview with White_Rabbit_Cosplays

Prepare to be whisked away into the exhilarating world of cosplay, where creativity thrives, and characters come to life in breathtaking fashion! Amidst the hustle and bustle of a bustling comic book convention in Philadelphia, a fateful encounter unfolded in 2002, igniting a passion that would shape the destiny of one remarkable individual. Enter Katie, the embodiment of cosplay ingenuity and boundless imagination, known to enthusiasts far and wide as White_Rabbit_Cosplays!


White_Rabbit_Cosplays

From humble beginnings sprung a journey of discovery, innovation, and boundless creativity. Armed with determination and an insatiable thirst for adventure, Katie embarked on a quest to master the art of cosplay, transforming herself into a veritable chameleon capable of embodying any character she dared to imagine.


Join us in this CCM Interview as we welcome Katie of White_Rabbit_Cosplays.


 

Katie, it's a pleasure to meet you! For our readers who may not be familiar with your journey, could you take us back to when you first discovered the world of cosplay? What was it about that experience that ignited your passion for cosplay, and how did it shape the trajectory of your creative endeavors?


Greetings, it is entirely my pleasure. My day of cosplay discovery was a small comic book convention in Philadelphia during my Sophomore year of college. My friend took me along with him because his girlfriend bailed, and he had an extra ticket. I figured why not I like comic books, maybe I could pick up some missing issues. To my surprise, the convention center was the home of not just vendors and comic artists, but the entrance was bouncing with adults and kids alike wearing costumes. Growing up a renaissance fair kid, I asked my friend, “is this like Superhero larping?” After giving up on whether or not I was being sarcastic or not, he simply said, “they are just cosplayers, relax.” My life as I knew it was changed forever. At the time, I was an Illustration major, minoring in psychology. My world existed of analyzing individuals and painting assignments. Cosplay was showing me a whole new artistic medium which would turn out to help me grow in more ways than one.


White_Rabbit_Cosplays

Could you tell us about some of the challenges you faced early on and how you overcame them to bring your cosplay visions to life?


One of the biggest challenges at the time was space and money. I lived in a college dorm and my part time job helped keep me in coffee and turpentine. I started my cosplay journey like a lot of beginners I would think. I went straight to the Salvation Army store to look for a red leather jacket so I could dress up as Claire Redfield from Resident Evil 2. The term Closet Cosplay didn’t exist yet and I could barely sew a button so I had to think about characters I loved but could realistically at the time try and pull off. Being a chubby 20-year-old looking for body suits that would fit wasn’t realistic for me at the time. I very quickly learned that if I wanted to “play dress up” with the cool kids I was going to have to start making stuff myself. 

 

 Your blend of historical costuming techniques with modern character designs is truly unique. What inspired you to merge these two worlds, and how do you approach combining historical accuracy with the fantastical elements of cosplay?


My love of historical sewing came from again, the lack of resources. YouTube didn’t exist, and Google was only giving me so much. I utilized the only realistic resource I had, the drama department. I was blessed to be friends with several drama and musical theater majors who would let me hang out backstage during shows. I picked up a few basic skills interacting with the costuming departments during dress fittings and rehearsals, but I eventually took a costuming for stage and film course my Senior year. This led me down the road of finding Janet Arnold and books from The Royal School of Needlework. I fell in love with the craftsmanship that went into these clothes, but I didn’t want to simply copy the mannequins on display in museums. I am from a historical recreator, but I still wanted to express my love of 18th and 19th century silhouettes in my own unique way. This is how I got started taking mainstream characters and making them “time travel”. My very first venture was my 18th Century Beetlejuice which led up to the massive Robe a la Franchise Lady Loki that I debuted in 2022. 



What kinds of characters tend to hold a special place in your heart? Can you share some of your favorite cosplays and what draws you to these characters in particular?


 I know it is sort of cliche, but I love a villain, especially one with an amazing back story and great fashion sense. In real life, I would like to think I am a kind person, I work in a hospital. I make a living helping people, I play by the rules, but when I’m dressed up as Darkness from Legend, or playing tricks as Loki, I don’t have to worry about the introvert person I am Mon-Fri. One of my favorites is Oogie Boogie. A Nightmare Before Christmas is classic and a craps playing singing sack of bugs is just magic.

 

 What kinds of shows, movies, etc do you gain most of your inspirations from? How have these influences shaped your approach to costume design, and do you have any dream cosplays inspired by these films or designers?


My viewing choices are pretty eclectic since I have gotten older, but growing up I watched Legend every single day as a child, my grandmother thought it was because of the unicorns. As a teenager, I watched Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Cell religiously. I fell in love with every costume on screen and could not fathom that someone created these pieces. Eiko Ishioka was and will always be my biggest inspiration in costuming. She made villains beautiful, the monster relatable, and made watching a film a delicious experience.  Games of Thrones, like most of the world, took over my life for a number of years.  Michele Carragher’s embroidery work is untouchable. I will rewatch episodes on mute just so I can examine all the costumes more closely because every piece is covered in details.

Like most cosplayers, I have a bucket list of costumes I would love to create, but Lucy’s wedding dress from Dracula has been waiting for the perfect moment to come out.


White_Rabbit_Cosplays

Learning new crafting techniques like the ones you use to create your cosplays sounds like an exciting journey! Can you share a memorable experience or challenge you encountered while mastering these skills, and how they've enhanced your cosplay creations over time?


I love texture and beads. After a number of years of mastering my sewing skills, I really wanted to up my game with embroidery. I found an illustration by the artist Noflutter of her take on The Queen of Hearts and it is covered in hearts and roses and all sorts of beautiful applique and all the things that I love but terrified me at the time. I took it as a personal challenge to learn how to make embroidery designs that I could use my machine for and to also get over my fear of using the most hated fabric to exist…Velvet. It took a lot of cursing at the computer screen, snapping of threads, and investing in a magnetic embroidery hoop, but now I feel like I can comfortably create my own unique patterns and I was able to recreate one of my favorite Noflutter designs. My queen of hearts cosplay will always be something I’m really proud of creating.

 

Are there any crafting skills that you still have yet to learn, or any that are your least favorite to do?


ELECTRONICS, how do you all do this witchcraft? The closest I’ve come to having LEDs in my costumes is sewing some fairy lights into a hem.  I’m married to an electrician, I have no excuse, but alas this is just not my wheelhouse.

 

Do you have any secret tips or tricks that you’ve learned over the years that may be useful information for readers?


Iron your seams!!!

 

Recreating Cersei's blue bird dress from Game of Thrones and crafting your Juliette dress from Sakizo are incredible feats of craftsmanship. What motivated you to undertake these challenging projects, and what has been the most rewarding part of bringing these intricate designs to life?


I get bored very easily. I can only hold my attention on something for so long so I tend to be attracted to very detailed and complicated designs, subconsciously I know if I recreate these overly complicated designs, I will not finish halfway because I can’t handle making French seams anymore. I also like that if I get tired of a certain part, I can move on to another piece and restimulate my brain. Making my Cersei blue dress was unique for me because the basic construction is simple and was sewn together by machine, but all the bead work and the birds would have to be done by hand. Cersei was my Covid project. Conventions were cancelled, stores were closed, I worked 3rd shift on a psychiatric unit. I needed something that would keep my mind busy when I was home, something with no deadline cause hand embroidery takes me a long time and ordering beads online during Covid was a process. A week long shipping time now took 3 months. I took my time with her and I think it was worth it.  

   I am presently working on Juliette from the Japanese Illustrator Sakizo. I recently just hit my 1 year mark working on her and she is a beast, but a glorious one. The most rewarding I think for her is that it started small. It started with me knitting some lace on my couch and ordering some silk swatches and going “ I do not care how long this takes me, just finish it and finish it correctly.”

 

White_Rabbit_Cosplays

Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind this cosplay and the process of creating your own embroidery designs for it?


The character Juliette is the heroine from Sakizo’s book, The Engraved Witch in a Fantasy World. Her dress has panels of bejeweled and embroidered pieces surrounding the entire skirt. One of the challenges I wanted to take with recreating my Sakizo is I wanted to be as accurate to the source as possible. I take a lot of liberty in my original designs and can change things when I want to, but for her I needed to make designs that matched the reference. The next challenge was there are multiple variations of the same dress in the book, all slightly different. So, I literally went this picture is the clearest let's go, I started with a lot of sketching and trying to match my style of drawing to Sakizo so I could recreate her designs. After multiple attempts I clean up my finalized sketch and scan it into Photoshop to make a clean outline that I can upload into the embroidery program to turn it into workable stitches. It is a very tedious process, but I think it is worth it in the end.

 

As you gear up to showcase your Juliette dress at AnimeNYC, what excites you most about this upcoming event, and how do you hope your cosplay will resonate with fellow enthusiasts?


This will be my first time attending AnimeNYC so I am very exciting to experience this convention as a whole. I hope to be able to show fellow cosplayers how intricate the art of sewing can be. Unless you are familiar with sewing, most of the time people do not realize how much work goes into making a ball gown. My main goal is to help show what the possibilities are with some fabric and thread.

 

Looking ahead, what are some of your future cosplay plans and dream projects? Is there a particular character or design you've been itching to bring to life, and what challenges or techniques are you eager to explore next?


 I definitely am guilty of having a dream build list a mile long, but the top would be a Sisters of Battle for 401K build. I am not a foam smith in any sense of the word. The most I can do is making horns and simple props, but thanks to a friend I have really been wanting to create a sisters. I found a piece of fan art that encompasses a nice blend of armour, but with a gown base.

 

White_Rabbit_Cosplays

What have been some of your greatest takeaways since becoming a Cosplayer and joining this community that seems to be growing at such an incredible speed?


The amount of friendships that I have made because of the cosplay community is uncountable. The amount of support I have found thru message boards and social media is priceless. Sewing has become my personal therapy sessions. I struggle with depression and anxiety and one of the best ways for me to decompress and work thru any ongoing issues. In a word full of chaos, sitting in my sewing room and sewing is something that I can control.

 

Katie, it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know more about your incredible journey through the world of cosplay. Your passion, creativity, and dedication shine through in every aspect of your work, inspiring countless enthusiasts along the way. Before we part ways, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us. It's been an honor to delve into your world of cosplay adventures. As you continue to embark on new projects and endeavors, we wish you nothing but the best. Before we say goodbye, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers? And for those who are eager to follow your captivating cosplay creations and join you on your adventures, where can they find you online?


 I want everyone reading this to know that whatever you want to do or create, to please go out and do it. There are so many more tools and accessibility for baby cosplayers to learn any skill out there. 

  You can find me on Instagram at white_rabbit_cosplays and if you are interested in joining a community focused on the plus size community, please check out the Instagram group: Plus Ultra Sized. We are an inclusive cosplay group that is about showcasing members of the community who identify as plus size, poc, and/or part of the LBGTQ community.

61 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page