Sapphire Eve is an English model and cosplayer who takes heavy influence from Japanese culture her work, that’s singing too! If anime is your thing, look no further as Sapphire Eve has done it all, and then some.
Favourite food: Vegetable gyoza
Who or what first inspired you to start cosplaying?
It was actually back when I was 14, I was a little bit obsessed with Black Butler and after searching for my favourite character (Grell Sutcliff) on Google images I saw people dressed up as them. I really wanted to as well but just didn’t have an excuse. After researching a little more I found out about cosplay and Manchester MCM so convinced my Dad to let me do a car boot sale to buy my first ever cosplay! It was amazing going to my first con, even though I queued for around 4 hours to get in (the queues were very bad that year) I was suddenly surrounded by like minded people – as someone who was very quiet at school, suddenly becoming such an eccentric and confident character helped me become more confident too, I’ve never stopped since. Anime made me start cosplaying but my amazing experiences in costume and the lovely people I’ve met along the way made me carry on.
What was your first costume? How does it compare to some of your more recent work?
My first costume was Grell from Black Butler as I mentioned how much I loved them above. Back then it was a fully bought costume with an unstyled wig, I didn’t even wear a wig cap! The shoes were wrong, the gloves were missing but at least I tried making the glasses chain with a broken necklace and skull shaped beads – 14 year old me was very proud. In my more recent work, whilst I definitely wouldn’t call myself a seamstress by any means as I do still often buy costumes, I have become much more confident in posing and performing. As Grell in every picture I clearly can’t contain my excitement at being at a con and being that character but since then I’ve learned so much more about posing and acting to the point I’ve even been asked to do some out of cosplay modelling work! My wig styling has improved a tonne and whilst my makeup definitely isn’t the best it had certainly improved. I’m definitely a stickler for the details now – I spend a fair amount of time remaking (or often making for the first time) details for costumes. I’m looking forward to making the buttons and accessories for Uzuki Shimamura’s limited SSR from The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls but what I’m looking forward to even more is the performance I have planned to go along with this costume that hopefully I can do at Birmingham MCM!
What would you say is your most complex costume to date?
Whilst it wasn’t impressive by any means (and was falling apart by the day of the con) it would definitely have to be Goro Akechi’s Crow costume from Persona 5. I worked out that I made this costume in around 40 hours, it was a busy time at college and I could only make the costume at my partner’s house but when you fall in love with a character from a new game a month before London MCM it has to be done! Without my partner helping me to individually make those tassels that I swear I still see in my dreams (and Matt Mercer cheering us along with a few episodes of Critical Role playing in the background) it would never have been possible. Goro Akechi also became my favourite costume overall – his uniform version, that is. After that mess I’m not sure I’d ever revisit his Crow outfit! Being him also inspired the performance I’m most proud of so far – I wrote a parody to Popular from Wicked sung by him about the events of the game. It was so fun to write and perform and not only did it have some good feedback from the audience on the day, but it has received a fair bit of love online too.
Do you have a dream cosplay you’d like to work towards one day? Can you used anything you learned from Akechi to help you?
Actually one of my dream cosplays is also from Persona 5, but it’s a bit of a spoiler! All I’ll say is it’s the villain with the black mask. Akechi helped me so much with so many things, particularly more androgynous makeup styles, my first few experiences binding my chest (properly, not like the time 15 year old me tried to use cling film – it’s not wise to try that!), posing as male characters and actually being comfortable in my own body, even when I may get a little bit of hate online for the character I’m choosing to be. More than anything my Akechi cosplay taught me just how much of a perfectionist I can be. I tried to make the badge for the jacket 4 times before I was happy with it! But yes, the binding and posing as a masculine character particularly will come in handy for the black mask given that he’s male and it’s a rather form fitted suit. The makeup and contouring I practiced won’t really matter unfortunately given its a full helmet but the androgynous/boyish makeup will definitely be necessary for a lot of future plans!
If you could give newbie Sapphire Eve any advice, what would it be?
Don’t let nerves hold you back. When you want to enter a cosplay talent show or masquerade, do it. When you want to learn Japanese, push yourself. When you want to learn to sing in Japanese, you definitely should. If your props fall apart you can make a better version when you get home. Don’t ever be scared away by what you can’t currently do and there will always be someone better than you – admire them but don’t get hung up on comparing yourself to them. Let them inspire you, not intimidate you. And finally, there will come a time you might choose characters based on their popularity rather than who you love. You will regret it, please never stop cosplaying for you. Keep performing, keep acting, keep singing, keep being weird and keep on being you despite what anyone else might be doing!