My name is Alexandria the Red. I’m 21 years old and hail from Southern California. Im a nursing student as well as a cosplaying geek.
The Nerdy Girlie: How did you get into cosplay?
Alexandria: In 2011, I went to the Harry Potter premiere as Bellatrix Lestrange. A few other cosplayers asked me if I went to conventions. My immediate reply was, “THERE’S CONVENTIONS FOR THIS?!!”. I did a bit of research and decided to attend Wondercon 2012 as Black Widow.
TNG: Do you make or buy your costumes?
Alexandria: I make almost all of my costumes. The only 2 that I didn’t make myself of heavily alter are Amber Sweet (made by Castle Corsetry) and Slave Leia (by Jamin Fite). I usually buy costume pieces if I can’t make the item myself.
TNG: Any tips for people just staring out in cosplay?
Alexandria: Just have fun! Don’t feel pressure to cosplay a character just because he or she is popular. Do it for yourself. Also JoAnns offers sewing classes. You never know, you could be a natural. I learned to sew at a local community college for $30.
TNG: How do you feel about people approaching you for pictures? Is there a certain protocol/cosplay code?
Alexandria: I feel that most people do a great job at asking to take photos. My only advice is to have your camera ready. Some cameras take a really long time to turn on /operate. Sometimes I also encounter people who are shy to ask me for photos and “don’t want to bother me” Bother away! I wouldn’t be running around in a ridiculous costume if I didn’t want pictures taken. Another little tip is to ask before touching. You never know if a costume is particularly fragile.
TNG: Any suggestions on where to shop for costume pieces if you are not a sewer?
Alexandria: The best place I know of to procure costume items is Goodwill. They always happen to have exactly what I need.
TNG: Do you think about posing a head of time?
Alexandria: When I first started I never thought about poses beforehand, until I received a really unflattering photo of me JUST STANDING THERE. After that I try to practice a few poses that work well with my character/props
*I was able to briefly talk with Alexandria at D23. I fell in love with her Hipster Ariel cosplay and took the picture featured at the beginning of the post. I cannot wait to chat more with her at a con in the future! Check out ALL her amazing cosplays on her Facebook page: Alexandria the Red. You can also find her on Twitter: @Alexandriathred.*