The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is a night I look forward to every December. Mostly because I love the Victoria’s Secret line, but also because Candice Swanepole is my #wce. And as someone who also grew up watching Disney movies, I was ecstatic when I found Archibald’s artwork of Disney Princesses re-imagined as Victoria’s Secret runway models.
Now, don’t get me wrong: there are tons of other artwork out there that depict Disney Princesses gone VS, but they all seem to encapsulate the image of the runway models, not the Disney Princesses. Archibald steers more towards the facial and body visages of the animated Disney princess, which gives the drawings a friendlier tone. He has stated that his art style is highly influenced by former Walt Disney animator Glen Keane.
Archibald is a self-taught artist who depicts life-like interpretations of all our favorite characters from Disney, Marvel, DC, and more. He has twisted the popular Disney princesses to be anything from fairies, mermaids, and now Victoria Secret runway models. He keeps his artwork fun and light, embodying a somewhat real-life adaptation, yet still maintaining that humble, round-out Disney facade.
Cosplay & Coffee asked Archibald who he considers to be his favorite Disney princess, to which he admitted:
“Oh, it’s quite a lot! I’ll just say Rapunzel and Ariel are my favorite princesses. And Candice Swanepole is my favorite VS model!”
It might seem strange to envision our childhood heroins as fashion models who wear extravagant pieces of undergarments, but we all grow up, don’t we? This fun work of art no doubt inspires some seductive cosplay ideas, but it also diminishes the border for cosplayers and encourages them to enjoy more adventurous cosplays and seductive roles (such as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy).
When asked how fans have reacted to his work, Archibald told us,
“I had mixed reactions to these girls; some love it, and some don’t. I just delete the negative comments and focus on those positive responses!”
Occasionally, when this fan artist has time (though, not at the moment), he takes commissions and will turn you into your very own version of a Disney character! For more of his work, check out his social media channels which are listed below. If you want to see more from Archibald, you can support him on his Patreon account where you’ll be invited to view exclusive new artwork!
Recently, I met with Erika Cosplay in Miami to talk to her about her experience as a professional cosplayer. It was fantastic getting to know her out of cosplay. And, as a newbie, I really appreciate her tips on cosplaying (see also, Erika’s Tips and Tricks)!
Get to know Erika in Cosplay and Coffee’s first video interview below. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!
This Halloween weekend, Marie-Claude Bourbonnais will be making an appearance at Tampa Bay’s first ever MegaCon. We had had the chance to interview Ms. Bourbonnais and talked cosplay advice and how to get started.
For those of you who don’t know her, Marie has been cosplaying for over six years and has a social media following of about 500K. She is French Canadian cosplayer who is best known, not just for her glamourous looks, but because she is especially gifted at designing and hand-crafting every inch of her cosplays. Previously, Marie studied fashion design which led to her career producing garments and costumes including swimsuits, prom dresses, and pretty much any other costume designing outlet.
She started off modeling, but became well-known in the cosplay realm after the New York Comic-Con in 2010. Draped in blue latex as Sue Storm, Marie steadily grew into a professional cosplayer and is now known for her unique materials and high quality cosplays and props.
Cosplay & Coffee: How long have you been cosplaying?
Marie Claude Bourbonnais: I started cosplaying and attending conventions in 2010.
C&C: What was your first cosplay?
MCB: My first cosplay was Frost from Mortal Kombat. The pictures were a tribute to the video game that I loved as a teen. I had no idea what cosplay was at that time. It was back in 2009. People’s reaction to the pictures online made me search to understand why the pictures were so popular. This is how I discovered that dressing up as a character was called cosplay. I had never heard of it before.
C&C: What inspired you to start doing this?
MCB: When I discovered cosplay, I was already known to the public as a model, but nobody knew at that time that I had studied fashion design. I had been sewing all my life and was already very skilled as a costumer. I loved Japanese anime, comic books and video games. Cosplay was bringing together all the things that I loved and I simply started making cosplay costumes and attending conventions.
C&C: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Are there any exciting projects that you’re working on now?
MCB: I now have my own workshop where I build costumes, props and sets for photoshoots as a full-time job. I have been collaborating with some companies, like the table top game company Ninja Division, for many years. It’s for this company that I made my two most impressive cosplay projects: two big fiberglass structures, Lug the Robot, (unveiled at Gen Con 2015) and Rachnera from Monster Musume (unveiled at Anime Expo 2016).
I manage everything in my company by myself, making the costumes and props, updating my website and online store, developing the products that I sell online, processing the orders, answering my mail, and even the accounting work for my company. So truth is, I have very little free time. I like to watch anime when I can, most of the time before going to bed. I travel when I’m a cosplay guest for a convention. The rest of the time, you’ll find me in my workshop. I love my workshop. 🙂
Cosplay is still not very well known in the province of Québec, Canada, where I live, so it’s hard for me to share my passion with people around. I’m working hard to make cosplay become more well-known in my province.
C&C: Tell us about one special moment you had while cosplaying.
MCB: When we unveiled my fiberglass Rachnera cosplay during Anime Expo at Ninja Division’s and Seven Seas Entertainment’s booth, I had the honor to meet Okayado, the manga artist who created Rachnera and Monster Musume. He came to the booth and we took a picture together while I was sitting on my huge spider. That was certainly the most exciting moment out of all my cosplay adventures!
C&C: What is something you want to tell all your followers?
MCB: I wish people could see how many hours you really need to build something, all the problems you encounter, all the technical solutions you have to come up with. That hidden side; what is essential in costuming that people don’t see.
C&C: What is something that your fans don’t know about you?
MCB: Many people think that I go to the gym to stay in great shape… Truth is I have no time for that! But I work so much at my workshop. That’s my real training! And yes, I do eat chocolate every day, I’m not kidding.
02.06.2016.COMIC CON. COMIC CON 2016 FOTO:ERICK LOBOS G.02.06.2016.COMIC CON. COMIC CON 2016 FOTO:ERICK LOBOS G.
C&C: What Tips & Tricks would you give to your fellow cosplayers and fans (important DIY materials, where to buy costumes, etc)?
MCB: To the people who want to start making costumes, I have 3 very basic tricks that I think are very important, even if they look simple.
The first trick is to choose a character that they like to start with. It almost sounds stupid, but it’s really easier to stay motivated when you work on something that you like. If something in the costume goes wrong, at least you will be motivated by the love you have for the character.
The second trick is to start by a simple costume, finish it, then move on to something more complicated. Very basic trick, again, but believe me, if you start by an ambitious project, you may get discouraged and you’ll never want to build anything again.
The final trick (and technical one) is to always make a mock-up before making the real, final costume. A mock-up is like a prototype, a ‘fake’ costume done in a cheap fabric only to see if your pattern is alright before cutting the pieces in the real fabric. Yes, it’s long and it costs something to use fabric that you will later throw away. But a pattern is never perfect on the first try. Even I always, always make many mock-ups to see how my new pattern looks like when I wear it and I always have adjustments to make to my pattern before I finally cut the pieces in my final fabric and start to sew the real costume.
This is, by far, is the best advice I can give to any costumer. And good luck with all their projects!
You can meet Marie-Claude Bourbonnais this weekend at Tampa Bay MegaCon. Click here for more information.
It’s not uncommon for a cosplayer to use their skills and character portrayals to make hospital appearances for children with cancer. However, it’s not every day that a cosplayer uses their superpowers to make kids happy while constantly working to raise money for them and their families as they undergo treatment.
Sterling Bailey, also known as Vorian Cosplay, took this noble stride when he developed Cap For Kids: a foundation to help kids with cancer. In a recent interview, Sterling told Cosplay & Coffee his dreams for the charity and his experience as a cosplayer helping kids in the most fun and unique way possible.
Captain America … 2016 (c) Dave Black All Rights Res. ph 719 964 6116 www.daveblackphotography.com
Cosplay & Coffee: So first, how did you start cosplaying?
Sterling Bailey: Well probably — it’s a similar story to how it got started with the charity — I had a few friends who were pro cosplayers and they were like, “Dude, you gotta do it.” And I’m like, I don’t have time. You know I’ve got two jobs and I don’t know when I’ll have time. It seems like a lot of fun and would be really cool, but I just don’t know if I’d ever have the time to take away from work to get it done. So, peer pressure was a little bit of it and then a lot of my friends were telling me like, “You’d make a really great Captain America.” And I was like okay, okay. I could kind of see that.
And then I ran across a story of this guy –his name was Lenny — who would go up and down the East Coast with the whole Batman gear, visiting kids in hospitals (in a Lamborghini, no less). I saw the story and it was just so amazing. And I just got to thinking…well shoot; it’s a really good cause. And if Batman can do it, Captain America can do this. So this whole thing started. With some help from a few pro cosplayers just coaching me along and giving me encouragement, it kind of helped me get to the point where I could actually pull it off. I did my first convention in Denver and Townsend. And that was in 2014? So only a couple of years ago.
Sterling Bailey a.k.a Vorian Cosplay as Captain America
C&C:Why Captain America? Is it just the character you like the most?
SB: Well I don’t know if it’s the character I like the most. It’s a character I’ve liked since I was a little kid. I’ve always loved Captain America and his whole sense of justice and right and wrong. That sort of thing has always kind of resonated with me.
I was never huge into the comic books, but there were a few comics that I got a hold of as a kid and there was a few, of course, shows and cartoons and such that I got a hold of. And so I certainly resonated with the character, and then I could certainly see the resemblance. You know, there was something there. And then as the movies were starting to come out, the whole Avengers stuff for Marvel, I was like: Okay, this is a character I can certainly get on board with.
C&C: So is that the only character you cosplay as, or do you do other ones?
SB: I do a bunch, but that’s the main one, the Captain America one. Primarily because most of the time, cosplaying is spent around the charity. But I do Batman; I’ve got that full suit that I did at DragonCon. I did Axton from Borderlands. That was certainly painful and expensive project, but it worked out and it looks amazing.
C&C: That’s another thing about cosplaying. You want to be good at it so you have to be extremely detailed and you have to be crafty. Which, for me, has been a process.
SB: It’s totally a process. In this whole process, I’ve had to learn how to weld, to do auto paint, to do leather work, to do sewing on a sewing machine… so I had to learn all of this stuff that I had no idea before. And I’m like, well if I’m going to be Captain America I’ve got to learn how to build this stuff.
Hand-made Captain America shield signed by Stan Lee
C&C: One of the reasons I was drawn to your Instagram page is because of the shields you make. Those are so cool.
SB: You know, I was going to do this Captain America thing so I’m like, well I need a shield. And at the time it certainly wasn’t something you could buy because I think now Marvel has this thing where you can buy the plastic one that looks very much like the medal shield. They didn’t even have anything like that back then. So I was happy for that because it made me go down this path. Like okay, now I want to learn how to make a metal shield that is a legitimate movie quality shield.
The replica prop forum was a good start for that. And there was a few guys that had done it. I became friends with Steve Radtke of Valor Replicas. He had done it a bunch and documented the process on the forum. So I got started working with a metal spinning company to get spun aluminum done and then how to make the brackets out of aluminum (I used steel initially and that welding process was fun and interesting, but I don’t think I’ll do that again). I use aluminum now. It’s all about learning how to cut aluminum and shape it.
C&C: So you make them yourself?
SB: I do it at home. I did my first one in my garage. It turned out so well. So for Cap4Kids the charity, I thought, what if we got some of these made and had them signed by Stan Lee? And then we can use those as like a giveaway item for an opportunity drawing.
So I started making a bunch of them. I’ve done nine or something now. I did one special for CNN and they gave it to a superhero. And then another one I gave to my buddy who is my supplier for spun aluminum out of Iowa. He had a sick little girl that he wanted to present that to. So I made that for him for her. I gave one away last year for the charity, a signed one. We’re giving another one at the end of this year. I make all those myself.
I get people on Instagram and Twitter all the time asking me if I sell them. But no I don’t because I don’t really like being sued by Marvel. They’re very very strict about that.
C&C: How did you get the shields signed by Stan Lee?
SB: I started by my first year going to Kamakazi in 2014. Just went through the process of getting something signed like you would at a con, and I got to meet the whole team. It was very surprising, and it was just blind luck I think. I don’t know. Got to meet Stan Lee’s wife right afterwards and chat with her. They really liked what I did and my cause and that sort of thing. So I initially did the normal thing and I paid and got those first few signed. Then after that they’re like, “Oh we gotcha.” So I’ve got four more signed and then four more about to be signed this month.
Cap For Kids Co-founder Rebecca Daniels (at rad.cosplay) and Sterling Bailey (at Vorian Cosplay)
C&C: Tell us about Cap For Kids; What’s your goal?
SB: So Cap For Kids is a nonprofit public charity. Our focus is on helping kids with cancer. We do that in two ways. On one side, it’s character visits (like this past weekend we went to Children’s Hospital Colorado). It’s myself and other Avenger’s and others like Elsa and Anna. So that’s part of it.
The other part is we help the families with the financial burden of the cancer treatment itself because just a bone marrow transplant, you’re looking at a million-dollar bill. So our belief is that if we can help reduce the the financial stress of the families even just a little bit (because we help to the tine of $10,000 per family) it’s great. So each family we sponsor we basically pay hospital bills, mortgage payments, car payments, travel costs, food, you know, any kind of thing that our partner organizations don’t already cover. And so that’s the charity. That’s what we do.
C&C: How did Cap For Kids get started?
SB: Cap For Kids got started…well I kind of told you the story of kind of how we began. I read that story about Lenny. And incidentally, I don’t know if you heard of Lenny’s story at all, but he passed away last year in that car accident while he was working. He was in the Batsuit in the Lamborghini. He had car failure and pulled over and somebody ran right into him.
So it’s really unfortunate that that would happen because he kind of got me started on this. He just didn’t know it at the time. I just saw this as inspiration and something that I could do. And it kind of went from there. It initially started to where I wasn’t sure where it was going to go and I made it so that any donations I took didn’t actually come to my organization. It just went directly to the Children’s Hospital, Brent’s Place (which is a kind of a Ronald McDonald House just for cancer patients). We’ve kind of shifted the focus to where we’re taking in the donations and helping the families directly. So that’s kind of the model.
C&C: So you accept donations to help fund Cap For Kids and your sponsor families?
SB: That’s primarily it. We’ve got a bunch of big events planned now since we’re official, official. We’ve got 5K’s, golf tournaments, and things like that. Our primary fundraising is, and probably always will be, through the pop culture communities. You know, booths and tables at cons like MegaCon and DragonCon. We’ll probably partner with someone for SDCC (San Diego Comic Con).
So that’s primarily how we raise money for Cap For Kids. We have the booth and we have the shield giveaway. That draws a lot of people in because they’re like, “Oh my gosh, Stan Lee signed shields!” And we can talk to them about our charity.
We were at a tiny little con in northern Colorado a few weeks ago and I got a ton of donations just off of people coming up and me telling them what we do. I’ll give examples of the kids that we help and then they absolutely want to help out. A few celebrities like Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica loved what we do. Richard kind of took me under his wing and suggested some things that I should think about. So, just getting attention at these cons and kind of connecting with other people in the geek community. That’s our primary way for getting donations.
C&C: Your charity is so unique. Is there anything else out there like Cap For Kids? I mean, I’m sure there are other charities out there in the pop culture community, especially with cosplaying, but I guess I haven’t seen too many.
SB: It is unique; it’s centered around the pop culture community. So there are a few. There’s Comic Care. They have a focus around just helping kids in general; just any kids in the hospital. The founder looks exactly like Tony Stark. There’s very few that are public charities. But there are some, but very few just like us. And none specifically to help kids with cancer.
C&C: Are there any kids that you see on a regular basis?
SB: We have our one sponsored family, Ella, and we have two more that we’re supposed to take on this year. At least, once we make our funding goals (about $30,000). With some help, we’ll get there. We’re being featured in Geek Fuel and we’ll turn up the volume for the shield giveaways.
But back to your question: Primarily it’s are our existing families, although I would say we do work closely with that organization, Brent’s Place. We get to see the kids there time and again so they recognize us and know us.
You know, it’s tough because if they’re still there and we keep seeing them, it means they’re still battling cancer. But at the same time, you know, it’s great if they can go into remission and then maybe we don’t see them as often (maybe once a year for a fundraiser or something like that), which happens. But every once in a while, we don’t see them because it’s not a good story. So. We lost a couple last year. So it’s always tough.
C&C: That’s sounds like an amazing organization. Where do you hope to see this in the next few years?
SB: Yeah we love it. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love. We took our first official sponsored family just last week. And meeting Ella and getting to know her and her quirky personality, you just fall in love with these kids. You’re just like, Okay, I have to do this. There’s no option. This isn’t like, I don’t feel like doing this today. No, we’re gonna do this.
Right now, we’ve been primarily focused on Colorado, just because that’s easier for us to do being local. My dream is to have a nationwide network of people who are doing hospital visits, who are helping us with fundraising efforts, where somebody could run Cap For Kids out of other states. I haven’t figured out all the logistics in my head yet, but all these other non-profits do it so it’s just a matter of getting some of those folks and figuring out what’s best way to pull this together.
We get cosplayers all the time that say, “Oh, I want to do this!” But you have to make your cosplay on point. The kids are really picky, so it’s gotta look good.
Rebecca and Sterling fighting for kids with cancer
Bailey’s plan for Cap For Kids is to eventually get into the world of big charities to partner with foundations like Make A Wish. They have already plans to work with artists such as, Jason Meents and will be attending plenty of upcoming comic-cons.
Day to day, Bailey works as a Director of Solution Consultant to help pay his own bills along to help fund Cap For Kids. Check out his Instagram page for inspiring stories. You can see this cosplayer’s cancer foundation at Cap For Kidsand find out how you can help!
With Suicide Squad breaking the box office (at this time, an escalating 731 million) and Halloween just around the corner, we found it only prudent to find the best of the best Harley Quinn cosplays on the market. After all we all know what’s coming…
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad is a strange leap from the DC character’s original black and red jumpsuit, but it might be safe to say that the look is appreciated and approved by fans everywhere.
With that being said, the quest to conquer this seemingly effortless, yet chaotic mess of a look is harder than one might think. There’s the intricate earring details, the clown makeup, the tattoos, and the ability to pull off those red and blue shorts. But these cosplayers take the cake for the Top 11 Best Harley Quinns that are out there (so far, at least).
Kamila is known by her cosplay name, Andrasta. She began cosplaying just two years ago and seems to be a natural at it! Andrasta went all out when it came to replicating the tattoos that are plastered all over the Suicide Squad character. Being a makeup maverick also helps, which is why she gets a spot on our Top Harleys.
Whoa, nerd alert! That’s where you can find this awesome Harley Quinn cosplay on Instagram. Like most Quinn impersonators, Cheryl is simply gorgeous, so her DC cosplay seems effortless. However, if you take a look at her photos, you can see how she progressed this Harley cosplay by being as specific as possible to the small details.
This young Californian can be just about any Disney princess, but he also rocks it as Harley Quinn. He brings out each of his characters with eccentric beauty and flawlessness. If there’s one thing that Richard can teach cosplayers, it’s that a wig and a knack for the glamorous can transform you into just about any character you want to be.
With the help of hair legend and stylist, Guy Tang, @SuprMaryFace made this Harley Quinn look fierce! The homemade “Little Monster” t-shirt also goes to show that a little creativity goes a long way. Kudos to her for being crafty!
Mary is an Australian turned Mississippian who cosplays and models. She also makes a pretty sweet Gothic Snow White and runs a Youtube and Twitch channel.
Kristen Hughey’s Quinn look is so on point it landed her on the cover of Cosplay Culture Magazine. She is (of course) a model and was actually featured in GQ Magazine. Kristen goes to many a convention, mostly in this accurate Harley Quinn portrayal and is becoming quite the professional cosplayer!
Anna Faith has been known to accurately pull off all of her cosplays, and has been widely recognized by her 700K fans for her Quinn look. She has a couple different takes on the SS version of Harley, including an everyday look for those who can’t get enough of this crazy character. You can see the comic version of Quinn, along with her other cosplays on her Instagram.
This is one of the most vivacious genderbent cosplays we’ve seen! Chris shows his style in true Harley Quinn fashion, from the bullet belt, the Puddin’ chain, to the suspenders. It’s not specific to the look that’ Robbie declares in the film, but this unique take can only be pulled off with crazy personality.
Chris defines himself as a content creator, actor, singer, anime addict, and Pokémon Master.
A Disney princess by day, Tahnee makes a variety of Harley Quinn looks by night. This cosplayer and LA-based actress can take on any HQ look from the latest film. Tahnee doesn’t limit herself to fashioning in just the red and blue action attire. Besides this atypical Suicide Squal style, she also fixed herself up as a Blue Lantern Harley Quinn!
Heidi’s take on the Margot Robbie look is bright, yet dark and mysterious. Notice her attention to detail with the snazzy gold Quinn accesories like the cuffs and the earrings. Heidi makes parody videos on YouTube and even has her own Joker to cosplay with (who also looks exceedingly similar to Jared Leto).
This cosplayer actually got the opportunity that every Harley Quinn fan hopes for. In a costume contest at the Comic-Con, Heidi and her very on Suicide Squad won and had the chance to meet the entire cast of the new film.
Mykie is a professional makeup artists who’s talent is beyond anything you will see from your every-day cosplayer. Her social media channels are full of useful tips and tricks which can turn dutiful cosplayer into a work of art.
And our #1 pick for the best Harley Quinn is Laura Gilbert. Laura bares an incredible likeness to Margot Robbie, particularly when she dons the red and blue attire. Her quirky smile and overall demeanor constantly reminds her fans of Robbie in Suicide Squad. She’s puddin’ in a lot of competition for the rest of those who decide to go as the super-villain this Halloween!
Like Robbie, Laura is also Australian. She has become quite good at impersonating the fun-loving, crazy character and makes plenty of appearances at comic cons. You can follow her as theInfamous Harley Quinn on Instagram.
Are these some of the best Harley Quinn cosplays you’ve seen? Tell us in the comments below!
Margot Robbie as “Suicide Squad’s” Harley Quinn
[Sources: Instagram, Movie Pilot, Youtube, Twitch, GQ, IMDb, Glam and Gore]