Disney cosplay fans come in all shapes and sizes. Believe me, one look at my Russell costume and you know that’s true. Go to any typical Disney convention like D23 Expo and you’ll see traditional interpretations of characters like Chey’anne Harris’ great work with the Disney princesses. You might come across gender-bending interpretations (like I found many female Russell costumes). And even cross-company interpretations (I once saw a really terrific Jedi Elsa cosplay and a Captain America Stormtrooper). Then there is the sexy Disney cosplay – classic interpretations that are dressed up in alluring ways. As I was doing research on Disney cosplay, I came across this awesome photo of Ivy Tenebrae who came up with her own Minnie Mouse cosplay look.
After contacting her, Ivy was kind enough to let me interview her for Disney Nerds about her reinterpretation of classic Disney characters and her love of cosplay in general. In addition to her cosplay, Ivy is a professional model and a certified Disney Nerd. When you read the interview you’ll know why.
Hi, Ivy! Thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview with me. I first noticed you from a picture someone posted on Twitter of you doing your own take on Minnie Mouse. I loved it. Is Minnie your favorite Disney character? If not, what Disney character captures your heart and why?
My favourite Disney character is Belle. I love the fact that she is completely different to the rest of the people in her town, she has such a kind heart and follows it no matter where that will lead. I love the whole story of Beauty and the Beast. I actually know the film word for word now haha.
You are a professional model. You’ve done a lot of work for different companies – everything from latex to lingerie. Yet you seem to love doing cosplay. What about cosplay is appealing to you?
I love doing cosplay most for a number of reasons. It is so good to have full creative control of my images. I get to design everything from the outfit to make up to photography style etc. It is an amazing outlet artistically for me. I still love to work for a few companies close to my heart but cosplay has that x-factor. You can really delve as deep as you like into a character.
What was the most challenging costume you’ve ever had to put together? Which one do you take the most pride in?
I think it has to be the one I am working on at the moment, Miss Fortune Arcade skin from League of Legends. I am literally making everything for it. It has been in the making for a while, and seeing it all come together is extremely satisfying! I can’t wait to wear it! I was quite proud of my Tifa Lockhart and Harley Quinn as they both involved a lot of sewing!
On average, how long does it take you to craft a new costume? What kind of work goes into crafting an original piece?
It really does depend on the character. I have been working on Miss Fortune for a couple of months now partly due to the fact I always have more than one on the go and partly because this one is going to be the most detailed yet!
Some people go the classic route when doing cosplay, but you have a very sexy spin on each costume. I was thinking of your take on Snow White. How do you decide which elements to keep and which ones you can alter? What makes a look iconic?
I guess it’s all about what the character means to you. I could see a gothic darkness in the Snow White tale and wanted to bring that out in her. She had the allure about her and I hoped to bring that out in the image. Again I address each character as I do them, but I like to inject my own interpretation in there and leave my mark if I can.
On your Twitter feed, you recently posted a pic of your own take of the famous Princess Leia in metal bikini from Return of the Jedi. It looked fantastic but you mentioned this was your first attempt. Does that mean you’ll continue to go back and tweak this design? To me, it looked great. What about it were you concerned with? Is that sort of the nature of cosplay – always wanting to get it just right?
The slave Leia costume I made was my first attempt at using craft foam to make the majority of an outfit. I am very self-critical with what I do so I saw every little thing I wanted to improve on. Ultimately I want to use thermoplastic to craft armour style cosplay because I know that that material is more preferable in respect of its sturdiness. I may revisit it in the future but I have other plans for armoured cosplay before then!
Speaking of Star Wars, you did a fantastic R2D2. I especially loved the blue hair and the matching ring. What inspired you to go that direction with your R2 creation?
That R2D2 was one of my first shoots as Ivy! I made that costume as I always had a love for R2! I used to make jewelry full time so I made matching accessories to give it a more feminine feel. I love to get creative with looks as much as possible. I am so glad people received that so well!
You’ve already done Jessica Rabbit, Snow White, Minnie Mouse, Elektra, Maleficent, Princess Leia, and R2D2. As a fan site dedicated to Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars, what other characters from this realm are you interested in creating?
I have a Belle costume which was part of an exclusive set. I also have an Ariel costume yet to be released. I did an Alice one too which was fun to make. I have a DC Bombshell Raven I’m about to shoot. I’d love to do Black Widow, Tigra, Emma Frost from Marvel. I want to do Jasmine and Cinderella from Disney. And Padme Amidala and more versions of Leia would be cool from Star Wars. I have so many on my wish list though!
Thank you so much Ivy for taking the time to answer some of our questions and we hope to see much more of you in the future.
- Read about Chey’Anne Harris’ classic Disney cosplay on the Disney Nerds blog