The Ministers of Good Taste like to reach out every other work and conduct interviews with fellow cosplayers around the world to see what’s going on. If you would like to be part of CosTalk, or know someone who would – please contact us at email@example.com.
This week we are fortunate enough to be able to interview fellow cosplayer Lavinia Lenza from Italy!
MoGT: Where did your Nerdness come from and what kind of story is behind it? Childhood? Formative years?
LL: I don’t really remember how I decided it was fun to cosplay and I would give it a try! I just remember watching Batman: The Animated Series as a kid of 11, and as soon as I saw the character of Harley Quinn I fell in love with her! At that time we did not have much cosplaying going on in my city, so I satisfied my geekyness by drawing and being goofy. The character helped me to lose a bit of my shyness. I collected comics and watched all I could find with her in it… it wasn’t easy when, in my city, I felt like I was the only one who knew the character! It wasn’t till my trip to Canada, at 23 years old, when I found myself by pure chance at the Fan Expo in Toronto, that I saw a Harley costume on sale and I decided I would try it on. I bought it and I changed into it 5 seconds later, and it was the most fun I ever had.
After that I made some changes to that costume and personalized it to make it mine and unique. I even saw myself another cosplay for the next Rome ComicCon (Romics)… Huntress this time. Now I’m in the process to make my 3rd one….. Shayera Hol, Hawkgirl from the DC Justice League Unlimited! I choose who to cosplay not just for the costume, but for the story! The characters have to really appeal to me.
Usually though, it is an instant like. Apparently all the characters that appeal to me are the most cast-off of the DC universe… but I’m happy about it! 😉
MoGT: What are the shows, comics, books, movies that inspire you to dress up? Role models? Actresses you inspire to look like?
LL: Usually when I choose to dress up, I chose a cartoon characters. It is much easier to be recognized if your clothes are somewhat peculiar… and I really love that sense of complicity that came about between people cosplaying friends/enemies characters! Those are the best pictures from any event! The known poses, not afraid to look ridiculous, always create magical memories.
Then of course there are shows that inspire me, too! The TV show I love the most is Castle, and my favorite character is Kate Beckett, portrayed by Stana Katic. I love strong, independent characters that inspire me to accomplish my goal, to be better. I do not dress up as TV show characters, especially because it wouldn’t be much of a cosplay to be in regular clothes, but I’m inspired by them all the same… but just for fun, let me give you a tip! If one wanted to dress up as an omage of their favorite tv show… the choice can be much more vast then just the characters… I for once, for a Halloween party among friends, wanted to do something inspired by my favorite TV show, Castle, so, instead of choosing one of the characters, I chose to be a Murder Board! It is an easy costume to create even if you’re not good at sewing… just a white shirt and pants, a black marker and some pictures of suspects and murder scenes. I chose to do 2 cases… On the front I had the main case on Castle, to be recognized, on the back I created a case with all my friends present in it, dividing them in suspect, victim and such…try it! It’s a fun idea!
MoGT: When you aren’t cosplaying are you fashion conscious? Do you have any fashion tips? Clothes/style?
LL: I can’t really say that I’m fashion conscious… I mostly just dress how I feel that particular day… but sometime, if I feel down, or if I feel geeky or just need to have a private joke with myself, I add an element that can remind me of my favorite characters. It may be a freaky nail polish, some earing, or just the choice of the colors I’m wearing. That way, when I feel down I can just think or look at them and they will soon make me laugh.
MoGT: What are your biggest pet peeves while cosplaying?
LL: I don’t think I have many pet peeves about cosplaying……I like to see people not just cosplaying in clothes, but in characters. It’s always a success when people really know the character they’re cosplaying as and they can give a more complete performance.
And I like to see personal touches in every costume. The costume can be bought or made (not everybody is good with a sewing machine), but the important is not to keep it sterile, just add something personal that make that costume yours and yours alone!
MoGT: Any good stories about a person or group of people you’ve met while at an event (Comic Con preferred)?
LL: I don’t really have particular stories about SDCC, but I’m always amazed by the kindness of people attending it! Last year, at my first (SD)ComicCon, I stayed in line with my friends from 2am to go into that magic world called Hall H! As morning came and we were all pretty sleepy and hungry, a group of four guys that stayed in line behind us appeared with a big box of pastries for everybody around them! They told us that last year somebody did it for them, and they were passing on the tradition, hoping that next year one of us that received the heavenly sweets would offer them to the strangers around them! 😉
This year I met pretty amazing people, too! I sat in line to wait for Evangeline Lilly autograph, and started talking with the guy in front of me and the girl behind me. The girl was afraid she could not stay in line since she could not buy the book Evangeline was signing, so the man in front of me offered to buy it for her!
I really love this about SDCC. We are all people that don’t know each other, but we all share a same passion, a same dream, and we know that being kind to one another would not cost anything to us, but can make another person day much more pleasant!
MoGT: Can you share how your costume(s) came about? Any good shopping tips?
LL: I’m not very good at creating a cosplay from scratch, so I choose to buy mine. In my country,Italy, I can’t find many places to buy good, affordable costumes, so, since I was organizing a trip to the best place to find them (London), I went prepared. I searched online for the best places to buy costumes and props, and visited all those stores with a list of what I wanted to buy that I previously downloaded on Dropbox and put on my phone. London is a great city to help you fulfill all your nerdy dreams. I recommend the 3 stores I use every time I go there: Escapade, Angel and Party Town. The people are very nice and helpful, with great tips and patience to help you assemble the best costume possible.
MoGT: Do you have any good dating stories about breaking the news that you cosplay? Or how does your significant other feel about your nerdness?
LL: Ha, no, not really… all my friends know about my nerdness, and so do my boyfriends of past… I’m nerdy in all aspect of life, so it is impossible to mistake me for a “normal” person. I was lucky to never meet with any unpleasant reaction from my friends. A few of them were not interested in my cosplaying, others cosplayed with me, and others that are already in the world of comic but just with “civilian clothes” were interested in seeing me cosplay and had fun in going around different Comic Convention with me and my eccentric personality.
MoGT: What are upcoming events or projects you are a part of/or looking forward to?
LL: I live in Italy, and we do have a few nice conventions over there. The most famous one in my city,Rome, is Romics. Our ComicCon are more about comics then panels… we do not have actors there, just sometimes a few international artist and Italian voice actors, so the main event are indeed the comics and the cosplaying! Since my last 3 Romics I’ve been taking one of my nephews with me! We both dress up and have fun for an entire day, roaming the outside and exhibit hall of the convention… I really like that he consider those conventions our special event, that he’s enjoying to play a character(s) he loves with all other people sharing the same passion… and am proud to help create a new generation of nerds! 😉
MoGT: Tells us about what you want your followers to know about you, what are your passions in life?
LL: I’m a dreamer, and I go for what I want in life! I love random acts… all my best experiences have come to me by chance. Just smile and don’t be afraid, and I believe that I can have lot of fun!
MoGT: If your nerd dream came true, what are you staring in and who are you staring with? Actor/actresses/writer/directors?
LL: Well, my dream (not sure if nerd or not) is to be part of the world of artists… in any way! Actor, photographer, writer…all those are big passion of mine.
I’m working toward those constantly, one day at a time!
You should follow Lavinia on Twitter @Lavinia_LL
~ E.S. Norton ~