Everybody like to dress up. Whether we dress smartly for a wedding, wear retro rags for a dance night, or a costume for a fancy dress party, it's all great fun. Some of us even have to do it every day, wearing a tie and tight collar for some arbitrary reason that is now long forgotten.
But cosplay adds a whole new dimension to dressing up. You don't just wear someone else's clothes - you can even adopt their character and mannerisms too. Wikipedia calls cosplay a performance art, and it's true that some people take it very seriously indeed. Cosplay has been around since the early 1990's and since then the market for costumes and accessories has grown into a billion dollar industry.
Cosplay in Adelaide is found most often at special events such as AVCon Adelaide, the annual anime and video games festival. There's also the Supanova pop culture expo in November, and even a cosplay cafe and cake shop in Unley.
Cosplayers and their costumes come in a rich array of colours and styles. Comic book heroes such as Batman, science fiction monsters and mythical maidens, characters straight from fantasy fiction. A combination of makeup, costume and accessories does wonders to create the finished result.
Each year a day has been designated International Cosplay Day by whatever arcane group decides these things. This has been enthusiastically embraced in South Australia, with plans to celebrate International Cosplay Day in Adelaide with a free event in the Botanic Gardens again this year.
Hundreds of enthusiastic cosplayers are expected to flock to the beautiful park setting to show off their latest personas. It will be a photographer's paradise as these colourful creations are incredibly detailed. Part of the trick is to find an appropriate setting for the cosplayers, and Adelaide's heritage buildings have been a boon for groups like Steamkittens. In the past Steamkittens have used iconic former Adelaide asylum Z Ward for shoots with amazing results.
Surprisingly it's not only teenagers who get excited about cosplay in Adelaide. Many of the cosplayers and photographers are aged into their 30's and even higher. While fake weapons are often used as props in Adelaide cosplay, precautions are always taken to ensure that the public are not alarmed by them.
Even if you don't do cosplay yourself, this will be an awesome day for the family to come along and enjoy the colourful performances. The event is being organised on Facebook, here is the link to the event page for this year's International Cosplay Day meetup in Adelaide. You can bring your own food and drink, but the Simpson Kiosk offers a good range of drinks and snacks at reasonable cost.