Lauren Bregman of Castle Corsetry and Birds of ‘Play is a costuming force to be reckoned with. She has mad skills when it comes to designing, sewing, modeling, and making cosplayers look fabulous. She and many others have worn her costume designs ranging from Power Girl to custom superhero outfits for Team Unicorn.
Even I’ve commissioned an outfit from Lauren! She taught me at least two invaluable cosplay tips. I’ve learned that dance tights are infinitely better than pantyhose for costumes and how to split my thick hair into three sections and braid and pin it in order for it to fit under a wig cap without looking lumpy. Basic advice, I know, but I had no idea and both nuggets of wisdom helped me look better in my costumes.
I’m constantly impressed with Lauren’s creations and presentation. Her cosplay ensembles always look polished from the right hairstyle and spot on makeup down to the shoes. We talked with her to gain insight on her beginnings.
Adafruit: When did you start cosplaying and what inspired you to start?
Lauren: I’ve been dressing up since I was little, but my first true cosplay was Blind Mag from Repo! The Genetic Opera when I started a ‘shadow cast’ show performing it. Her feathered corset at the end of the movie was so inspiring, I just had to make it!
Adafruit: Did you know how to sew before you started cosplaying? How have your sewing techniques evolved over the years?
Lauren: My mom taught me how to sew when I was six. We started with a quilt made from all my baby dresses and advanced to making clothes for my beanie babies and American Girl dolls, then to full historical costuming in high school. She also fully supported my decision to move to LA and go to fashion school at FIDM. During school I worked as an intern for Daniel Franco from Project Runway and in the costume shop at Universal Studios Hollywood. My graduation gift from my mom when I finished fashion school was a corset making class taught by Linda of Farthingales LA. I did so well in the class that Linda hired me as a production corset seamstress, which is where I learned most everything I know now. I am very glad I didn’t waste money on more school, as working in the industry has taught me so much more than I would have learned from a classroom. Now working on so many custom projects, I’ve had to force myself to learn all sorts of weird techniques to achieve the desired results.
Adafruit: Is there a particular fabric or pattern that made you want to tear your hair out?
Lauren: I found out from a corset commission that PVC is literally the death of me. I vowed never to touch the stuff ever again!
Adafruit: You’ve worn some intense wigs. How did you learn to style them and do you have any advice for people who are scared of wigs?
Lauren: Me? Style wigs? I can barely do my own hair!! I commission all my wigs from Traci Hines, Liz Stockton or Stezy Lee.
Adafruit: What advice would you offer to people who want to try cosplaying for the first time?
Lauren: If you don’t think you can make something, call me! (just kidding…kinda) But really, forcing yourself to tackle new skills is very rewarding and makes you add so many new skills to your resumé and bucket list! The more you try, the more you learn! But there’s always hiring me, too!
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