Costoberfest Spotlight - Bellechere
Hey there! I’m BelleChere, I hail from New England, and I happily work the technical side of theatre - costume design and stage management being my specialties.
How long have you been cosplaying? And how did you fall into it?
I’ve been happily costuming for 8 years now! I fell down the rabbit hole when I was looking to make my own Rogue costume for Halloween. Having never worked with stretch fabrics before (or even really sewn at all), I sought advice online and found a forum for X-Men costuming. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that people donned costumes outside of Halloween, and really had a great time doing so! The forum - now unfortunately closed - was wonderfully helpful, a great community where I met several friends I still have today, and inspired me to craft. For someone who works backstage, ensuring the actors/actresses/talent are dressed well, makeup perfect, without a hair out of place, costuming offers me a chance to dress myself up and take the spotlight now and again.
What was your first costume?
My first costume was Rogue’s, the green and white one she was introduced in way back in the early 80s. No one recognized who I was supposed to be on Halloween, hahah! But I had fun, and wore it to Dragon Con the next year, where people DID recognize who I was.
You make all of the costumes, right? Include us in the process!
I do make all my own costumes, and the process is a wee bit crazy. I’m entirely self-taught, and each new costume I try to challenge myself to learn a new method. I always choose characters that I love, but also choose those that suit my body type. Choosing the right fabric is important for me - I always recommend tons of reference pics, getting fabric samples, and trying to diversify with textures and levels of shine to make a costume really pop. Though a costume may take me anywhere from 10 to a 100 hours, it’s usually spread out over months; I usually have three projects going on at the same time, ditch one when I’m tired/frustrated with it, and go after another one!
How did the Marvel universe suck you in? Who are your favorite Marvel characters?
I was in 3rd grade. All my guy friends were trading the Fleer Marvel collectible cards back and forth during recess and they would give me their doubles. I still have them! My little sister and I didn’t understand the characters or the stories, but we loved the art, and we would take our favorites (she loved Phoenix and Firestar, I loved Silver Sable and Invisible Woman) and play pretend in the backyard, fighting villians (Mojo was the most popular). Of course I loved the 90s X-Men cartoon, too, but it wasn’t until I was in college when I could actually afford the comics. Today my favorite characters are Rogue, Carol Danvers, Storm, Mr. Sinister, Spider-Woman, and She-Hulk.
What would you say is your favorite part about cosplaying?
I love meeting people! I love ‘talking shop’ with other people, on how they made their costume and pouring over the details. I love seeing other people’s appreciation for the characters that I also enjoy. It’s also great getting it in return and, for just a moment, escaping the ‘real world’ and feeling like that character in photography.
Besides cosplaying, what do you do for fun?
I cook. Ooooh, do I cook. And I’m good at it. I also love writing, table-top gaming, playing with my beagle puppy, kayaking, hiking, traveling, and scuba diving, when I can!
Thanks Bellechere! You can follow her on Twitter at bellechere or Facebook at BelleChereCostume.
Photos by Anna Fischer, Guncat Grace of Bodhi Tree Photography, Eurobeat Kasumi, Taliesin and Pete Tsai.
I reblogged this last October, when it was first posted, but I’m reblogging for the newbies (welcome!) and the curious. This answers some pretty common Qs I get.