Yanina Lymar: I use genuine materials for costumes when possible13 March 2017
Earlier, we have introduced readers to Yanina Lymar (Y.L.), participant of the cosplay show within WEGAME 2.0. In the second part of the interview she will share how she manages to combine cosplay and family life as well as details of creating costumes and crafts.
Interviewer: Lidiya Tsenenko (L. T.)
L. T.: How do you manage to combine your hobby and family life and how widespread is the family cosplay in our country?
Y.L.: I excellently manage it. Actually, it’s my life rather than combining things. I mean – people don’t usually ask how you combine trips to your summer house and your main work, right? Just instead of going to the summer house we attend festivals or make costumes. Our daughter likes transformations and gladly plays the characters we offer her.
As for the family cosplay, I don’t have exact figures, but as there is such a notion as geek family, it is probably not a rare phenomenon.
L. T.: Please tell us how you sew costumes.
Y.L.: I try to create costumes as if I was a costume designer. I use genuine materials whenever possible. Genuine velvet, genuine rather than faux leather.
Minimum synthetics, maximum vividness. The ideal I wish to achieve – to make my characters look like they are really from another reality, and not made “from paper”.
As apart from cosplay we are keen on role playing, I am trying to make our costumes as long-wearing as possible: we run in woods, fight in LARPs. They won’t last long in such conditions if sewed hastily.
You can handle any clothing that I sewed in the same way as the one bought in a shop: it can be worn every day, washed, ironed, etc. The first dress that I made is still in excellent condition, although already 12 years have passed since that time.
The second aspect you have to think about is the functionality and weight of the costume. One of the scariest recollections of my life: the child asks to use the restroom, wearing a floor skimming dress and wings. I’m wearing wings, a tail and have an axe in my hands. My husband is holding a photo camera, a hammer, a bag with the necessaries… And almost all fasteners are laced, meaning that it isn’t that easy to take off the clothes.
At such moments, it becomes clear that the desire to achieve vividness should sometimes succumb to common sense, and various laces-buttons-hooks should be replaced by touch fasteners and zippers. So every new character brings some lessons to learn on the way to perfection.
L. T.: What are the strangest and just interesting costumes that you created?
Y.L.: I cannot recall strange costumes, but it was most interesting to create Sister Benedron. Much time, efforts and skills of work with various materials were spent on this character. In particular, wings, a part of the cuirass and axe were made from isolon, whereas chausses, shoulders, bracers and chestplate – from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Clothes – from wool and leather, decorated with pyrography.
Some stages were performed by four hands – one person had to bend the PVC, giving it the required shape, and at the same time another person had to hold the heat gun, used to heat this very PVC. Other stages demanded constant attention: cover with glue, wait for 20 minutes, glue together, and put the next layer. And all these actions were repeatedly performed for several hours in a row.
The same situation with coloration: it takes an hour for an acryl layer to dry, and to obtain a homogeneous coloration you have to make at least three layers. In general, it sounds like a routine, but the result is rewarding. Besides that, you can always gather a pleasant company of friends and do it together.
L. T.: What materials do you usually use?
Y.L.: Wool, leather, flax, cotton – for clothes, PVC, EVA, isolon – for armour. Currently, I would like to focus on EVA, and give up on isolon and PVC. Recently, Kira had the New Year Children's Matinee and she was assigned to act as a Snowflake.
I said “was assigned”, as it turned out that creativity was not valued in the kindergarten. I seized the occasion and made a crown from EVA. The experiment was more than successful, and I will create the next costume only from this material. It is convenient in handling, transportation and use.
L. T.: Do you and your husband create crafts by yourself or order them somewhere?
Y.L.: Of course we create them, as it’s the most interesting part. I would even say – 90% of the whole pleasure. Actually, we not only craft for ourselves but also take orders.