Anyone who follows Food and Cosplay will known that there are a few members on the team who have an affinity to Harley Quinn (DC Comics). The rest of the team are partial to Disney. So it seemed only natural to include Ally Way Cosplay who is a perfect Harley Quinn, so perfect she has several versions of her and does a killer Ariel!
Location/Nationality: Ontario, Canada
What is your favourite meal?
My favourite meal if at a con is packed sandwiches, they’re perfect for cons because its always hard to find good priced food and with big lines when you need to go to panels its hard to rush. so i love to bring a packed lunch and snacks and loads of water. otherwise Greek salad.
What inspires you to cosplay?
A lot of what inspires me to cosplay are my favourite characters from comics and movies and other cosplayers. Not only does it allow me to be characters I grew up loving like Harley Quinn and Catwoman, allowing me to feel as confident and powerful as these strong characters but meeting other cosplayers that like. What I like is one of the best way to make friends and learn and share tips and tricks you may never of thought of. Not only making friends in the process but challenging myself to be a better cosplayer and to try new things.
What has been your best experience in cosplay?
My best experience in cosplay was debuting my Ariel for the first time at Anime North 2014. She had been a cosplay I had wanted to do for years but didn’t want to do any of the dress versions so when I thought of the idea of using my chair as an advantage to do a full tail I was so excited, it was the first cosplay I incorporated my chair into by making seaweed and bubble props to decorate it with. I even made the shell top which was one of my first big makes and was so proud of the outcome. The reactions were so sweet and it was surprising everyone loved how I moved my tail and the fact it was full, so many little kids thought I was really her which was so sweet and a lot of fun. I even decided to try my first shoot as her even though I didn’t think I could do one in my chair.
I think you are the first cosplayer in a wheelchair that we have featured as COTW, what has been the biggest challenge you have had to overcome while cosplaying?
The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome being a wheelchair cosplayer is some of the bullying that sadly goes on in the community, especially when you’re first starting out its hard to make friends and being told you’re not a true fan or cosplayer because you cant pose or be a character that isn’t in a chair is hard. But, in the 7 years I’ve cosplayed, hearing stuff like that has only made me work harder and get better. I’ve grown stronger and able to just block it out cause in the end cosplay isn’t about how popular you are or how accurate your cosplay is, it’s about having fun and sharing the fandom.
What is the general reception you get from people when they see you in cosplay?
It depends, I’ve had some cosplayers in the past that didn’t like me cosplaying characters that aren’t in a chair or trying to tell me I’m not a cosplayer but now that I’ve gotten better at my costumes its all around pretty good. I find that unless my costume is centred around my chair, like my Ariel tail, people pay more attention to my costume and they see the work I’ve put into it or a character they like and not just my chair which is always nice.
What advice would you give to other cosplayers?
Advice I would give other cosplayers would be never give up, if there’s a character you truly love no matter if its complicated or people tell you you shouldn’t don’t give up. If you work hard and do a character you love you’ll be so proud and happy that you did that in the end its all worth it. Also, don’t forget your packed food and water for cons! Cosplaying can make you super dehydrated and hungry.
You make a lot of your costumes yourself, which has been your favourite costume to make so far?
My favourite costumes to have made would be a tie between my Suicide Squad Harley Quinn, Injustice Harley and my Ariel. Its really hard to pick because Ariel was loads of fun to make and I tried a lot of new things, my injustice was my first major costume I made from scratch, which really tested my sewing skills, and my Suicide Squad, which is my most recent. I was so excited about doing that I dropped my previous plans to make her in two nights.
What has been the most interesting/difficult technique you have used so far?
The most interesting/difficult technique I’ve done so far would be the one I used for my Ariel shell as well as part of my SSHQ shorts. For my shells I had to make them to fit my size but also look cartoony. I know that most store bought shell bras are very flat and don’t look much like Ariel’s at all so I decided I would make some. Using foam I made my own shape for shells that would fit, cut them into pieces and used glue to stick them into shapes and then onto the bra piece by piece like a puzzle, I also took the paint and glitter and mixed it with the glue to paint the shells which is also what I did for my Harley shorts. It was a very sticky craft and hard to make sure the shells kept their shape but in the end i was so happy with how it looked.
If there is one shop you could recommend for cosplay supplies, what would it be?
The one shop I’dhave to recommend would be the dollar store!! The dollar store is one of the best places to get supplies for almost any cosplay, it has everything from simple clothes you can alter, to paints and clay to even foam and foam board which is great for armor and swords.