Canadian based model, Bre Poisonne delves into the mixing the worlds of cosplay, latex and lewd art. We interview her over these various topics, her love for 2b from Nier Automata and more.
What got you into cosplay?
I’ve actually been into cosplay since I was a young teenager, who grew up in an incredibly sheltered and restrictive religion, who lived in the middle of nowhere, who didn’t know that Cosplay was A Thing People Did. I just thought dressing up and getting to pretend to be a character was rad. I learned to sew as a kid, and then around 14-15 I realised I could apply that to making costumes, and I started doing that for halloween, which was basically the only time of year dressing up is acceptable in Middle of Nowhere Canada. My first couple cosplays would have been Ada Wong (Resident Evil 4; my friends at the time and I all did a big group cosplay), and Harley Quinn — I still have Harley, and she’s still wearable. That costume’s like twelve years old.
How do you explain cosplay to friends/family member who don’t know this hobby?
Cosplay has recently become my job — I was working with a company that did it for a while and now I’m freelance and doing it for myself — so I mostly just tell people that I’m a Costume Designer if I don’t want to go into it. It helps that I went to University for Fashion Design, so I mostly just cite that, and then we get to talk about why I hated going to Uni for Fashion Design.
If I tell people I’m a Professional Cosplayer, I generally preface with “You know people who dress up as characters and go to Comicon? I do that.” I generally talk about how I try to make everything myself, and how much I enjoy the process and find it fulfilling, because the actual act of making the Cosplay is the part I enjoy the most.
Being a fan of your work, part of your work is latex based. What attracted you to use latex as a material to wear?
As a teenager, I followed a lot of alternative models (back in yon DeviantArt days!) and I always thought latex was really beautiful, so when I was in school I interned with a local designer (now defunct) who made latex clothing. Latex is really different from most fabrics — it’s traditionally glued rather than sewn, for instance — and as someone who isn’t super enamored with sewing, that appealed to me. It’s also a comparatively niche thing which, especially back when I started, about seven years ago, not a lot of people did, which I also liked.
I think I best know you as Latex 2b. Is she your babe you love to cosplay and if so why?
2b is one of my costumes that I’m most proud of, definitely; I think she’s one of my most solidly constructed cosplays. I love her whole aesthetic, and NieR: Automata is up there for one of my most favourite games. (My other cosplay I’m most proud of is Full Life Fibre Synch Ryuko.)
The only reason I wouldn’t class these as my favourite necessarily is because I personally have a hard time wearing full latex for more than about four hours. Wearing Latex can be very physically demanding — it doesn’t breathe, it takes on whatever the temperature of the air is around you, and it can be quite physically restrictive — and there are definitely days when I just don’t want to put 2b on.
As far as characters I just like wearing — hilariously, it’s always male characters. To be honest, I think my favourite character to just wear is Noctis, from Final Fantasy XV.
What has been your favourite 2b photo you’ve shot in and why?
Since she’s one of my favourites I’ll answer this anyway — I think my favourite 2b photo was actually one of the most uncomfortable ones to shoot; Paul and I shot in a manmade waterfall at Yeticon last year, and the water was so freezing cold, but the photos are beautiful.
Have you had any funny stories whilst in latex you can share with us?
After Paul and I shot 2b in the waterfall at Yeticon, there are some videos my partner took of me awkwardly attempting to drain the water out of my suit, because I’d basically just filled up with gross water that had filled my (waterproof, remember) bodysuit and gloves. When we got back to the hotel room I had to take the outfit off in the shower because it and I were both so gross (just covered in dirt and gross, black water) from sitting in the man-made waterfall that I guess humans are not supposed to sit in.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to start wearing latex cosplay?
Do your research on how to care for latex first! It’s an incredibly finicky, and easy to stain or tear material, and it requires a lot of knowledge to care for it properly. Also, if you’ll allow me my soapbox for a minute, Chinese companies knocking off big latex designers has actually driven a lot of latex designers out of business, and many of the chinese companies pay their employees slave wages — in places where the cost of living is significantly higher than what slave wages provides. I get that cosplay is expensive — trust me, do I ever get it — and we all have to cut corners where we can, but try to buy from reputable companies that aren’t knocking people off if you can.
Is there a photographer you like to shot with?
If you look at my work, you’ll notice that I primarily work with the same couple of people — Paul Hillier and Chris Chan, for the majority of my content. We’re all good friends and really have fun shooting together, and I know I can depend on them for quality photos every time.
You also have a Patreon account. How have you found creating content for it?
I really like making Patreon content, largely because I have a very strong philosophy of “I do what I want”, and shoot kind of whatever I’m into at the moment.
But I’ve made a lot of changes recently that have made managing the Patreon account a lot easier for me. I release a pretty significant amount of content every month (generally between 5-10 photosets for $5+, generally 2-3 Behind the Scenes and Cosplay Build albums for $10+, one additional nude set for $25+, and around 4 self-portrait and selfie sets a month for $40+, with privately commissioned photosets factoring in there as well — it’s a lot of photos and videos, is what I’m saying), and it can feel really overwhelming. I try to plan in advance as much as I can, which I think is the main thing — and I mean, months in advance, if I can. Sometimes I don’t release photos for 3+ months.
I also shoot primarily with people I love and trust (see above) or shoot myself, which is, I find, one of the best methods of making sure I stick to deadlines and everything comes out when I want it, and of a quality I’m happy with releasing.
There are many people who use Patreon for various reasons, one of them is for lewd and sexy post. You yourself create content like this, have you had any issues or backlash?
I’ve been making lewd/nude/sexy content for probably about eight years, on and off, in various mediums. I actually nude modelled for my university and several surrounding schools while I was in school to help pay for my education. (My profs who also taught me were always really cool with it, which was nice.)
As with anything there are always some issues. Personally, I find that my biggest issue is generally strangers (men, it’s basically always men for me) on the internet not understanding boundaries. I consider myself an artist, and I make art on the internet that happens to be sexy because that’s what I enjoy doing, and there are a lot of people who don’t understand that isn’t an invitation to try and pick me up in some manner, while I find super uncomfortable and inappropriate at best, and really offensive at worst.
Then of course there’s the issue of people being derisive of “sexy” cosplayers, which I think is ridiculous. Anyone who puts themselves out there on the internet in a costume is brave as hell, and anyone who makes costumes has real talent regardless of whether the costume is “sexy” or not. I’m proud of everyone who does it, regardless of what kind of content they make.
On social media, this subject always seems pop up with negativity. Why do you think there are some people who have such an issue with sexy/lewd posts?
I think the main reasons are, thankfully, ones we’re seeing a major push-back against now; female sexuality has by and large been repressed, and Western ideas of nudity are absurd. There are a lot of patriarchal ideals about women who aren’t afraid to own being sexy that make people uncomfortable or angry and make them lash out and belittle people who do it as being shallow, or less than. There are so many real problems in our world, it just boggles me that people have the time or energy to be upset about boobs. If you don’t like sexy content for whatever reason, congrats, be an adult and go somewhere else, there’s something on the internet for everyone.
Money is no object, which cosplay and location you love to shoot at?
Oh boy, this is a tough one. I don’t do anything that I’m iffy about cosplaying, I kind of just go whole-hog into whatever I’m doing and they’re all crazy passion projects that consume me for a while. I don’t really have a Holy Grail of “one day I’ll do this”, I just have a list of “Things I’m not doing YET”.
There are two cosplays right now that are on my Wish List that I’ve had to shelve for the moment. One’s been there for a while; I’d love to do Kuja from Final Fantasy IX, but there are a lot of things there that I haven’t done before and would be very costly to make. And I’d love to shoot Kuja with some old world architecture — if I could be anywhere, I’d say Paris or Rome.
My other one is probably a lot more achievable but is going to take a bunch of people cooperating to get it done and I kind of hate orchestrating things that I can’t do mostly myself, to be honest with you. I’d really like to do Dabi from My Hero Academia, but I need a forest area where I’m not going to get in trouble for lighting things on fire briefly, chemicals to make fire blue, and a bodypainter.
Follow Poisonne on her various social media links.