Life is certainly strange. To clarify: it’s strange how you can stumble upon someone or something incredibly awesome while not even looking for that particular person or thing in the first place. I was updating my about.me profile and started navigating the site under the tag “cosplay” and somehow I came to Lauren’s profile on the site which led me to her blog. I was captivated and left her a message that very night asking for a possible cosplay corner interview. I love seeing girls and women cosplaying. I also love girls and women taking pride and showing off their other passions. As there is no wrong way to be a woman, there’s also no wrong way to a nerd when you are in fact, female. I’m very proud of how this feature column turned out, Lauren leads a fashion forward life finding a way to showcase not only her love of fashion but also her nerdy interests as well. Enjoy!
BNP: Hello Lauren, please tell us a little about yourself!
Lauren of Dresses and Capes: Hi, I’m Lauren; a fashion blogger, avid movie goer, and casual cosplayer. I work in advertising, but I dabble in blogging and nerdom on the side. I would love to devote my full time to blogging and nerdom some day. As they say, “you never know what the future holds,” so hopefully something new is headed my way!
BNP: When did you first become involved in the cosplay scene and what was your first cosplay?
Lauren: I am pretty new to the scene and actually just started cosplaying last fall. I’ve always admired cosplayers and thought I could never match their skill or talent, so I never tried. Interestingly enough though, Halloween has always been my favorite holidays. In college, one of my best friends and I would make and wear duo costume sets every year, and those moments really developed my love for dressing up. After putting together all those costumes, I decided to try my hand at cosplaying.
My first cosplay was something very simple, River Song from Doctor Who. It was a no-brainer for me because I love Doctor Who and River and I have the same hair! I actually made the whole thing the night before–I was so proud, but looking back I see a lot of things I can do better now!
BNP: The name of your blog is “Dresses and Capes”, combining both your love of fashion and nerdy things. Have long have you been running your blog? Did you run into any opposition/”Fake Geek Girl” accusers at first?
Lauren: I have been running my blog for about 3 years now (time really does fly!). I wish I could say I started my blog in order to take stance against the “Fake Geek Girl” accusers, but truthfully I just wanted to share my passion with others. When I first started my blog I was just hoping to show the world that you can love fashion and nerdy things, you don’t have to choose one or the other. As time has gone by, I have definitely met people accusing me of not really knowing about comics. But, I typically ignore them and just focus on cultivating my blog and honing my cosplay skills.
Someone once told me I was too cute to like comics, and I was taken aback. It’s a ridiculous statement to make – comics and fashion are not two separate worlds. The person eventually apologized after we talked about it, but it’s best to just ignore the accusers out there and enjoy what you love!
BNP: Not only do you attend convention in cosplay, you’ve also attended the Vintage Fashion Expo here in Los Angeles (I lived in L.A. most of my life up until a few years ago and did NOT know there was such a place!) May I ask how long have you had this love affair with vintage clothing and where did you score your latest finds?
Lauren: I love this question! I actually started my love affair with vintage fashion in high school when I started wearing some of my mom’s old clothes – my mom was a very fashionable lady. In college, one of my friends invited me to go thrift shopping at Goodwill. At first I was unsure about shopping through strangers clothes, but once I got there and saw all the amazing items lined up on the racks I was hooked. The thrill of going through old clothes to find that one gem is truly amazing.
My most recent purchase is a leather jacket that I scored at the Fairfax flea market. The Fairfax flea market and Rose Bowl flea market are true treasure troves for vintage clothing and items in Los Angeles, and at amazing prices! I have bought some absolutely beautiful dresses at the flea market and I love the idea I didn’t pay a fortune.
Plus, wearing vintage gives your outfit a unique appeal. I have been approached my complete strangers to just compliment my outfit. Vintage for life!
BNP: I read that you mentioned that it was your mom that first introduced you to the X-Men–so it’s thanks to her that you read and enjoy comics now, I suppose. Is she still a fan and is she supportive of your cosplaying?
Lauren: Yes, my mom came to America in the late 70s and did not know anything about American culture, but she knew X-Men. Even though she was never big into superheroes or the supernatural, when she lived in Belize she used to get the X-men comics, so she had a soft spot for them and loved Storm. When I was young and the X-men cartoon series was on television, she would sit down with me and watch.
As I grew up, my fascination with superheroes and other nerdy things continued. While she didn’t particularly understand my nerdy interests, she always supported me. She would drive me to the comic book store, and drop me off at Anime Expo because she knew I loved it.
Now, she is still supportive. For example, when I was leaving for Comikaze, I sent her a picture of my Dee cosplay she said, “Wow! You look good! But…do you have to show so much leg?” Haha, I love her, and love that she supports my nerdy passions.
BNP: Cool points for Mom! Lastly, please tell us your goals from the future. Also, what convention are you headed to next?
Lauren: Wow, my goals for the future? I would like to somehow move into a career that lets me deal with comics, and I would love to get better at fabrication. My warrior Korra cosplay was actually my first time really fabricating, and it was a challenge. I think I can do better; I really hope so, because my next cosplay requires a lot of fabrication!
I will be at Anime Expo in July. Come look for me! I will be dressed as a Mega-Man version of Sailor Pluto and Dia de los Muertos Maleficent! Can’t wait to see others cosplay! See you there, TTFN — ta ta for now.
Check at more of Lauren’s Fashion and Cosplay Adventures on her blog
All photos supplied and edited by the cosplayer with the exception of the second Lana photo which was shot by Thomas Oed of CosplayFoto.