It can't have escaped your notice, but somewhere over the last century, cosplay has become a force to be reckoned with! Although cosplay first kicked off in the 1930s, it wasn't until the 1980s that cosplay began to boom in Japan. Nowadays, cosplay is a part of fan culture, and the best cosplays are both expensive, and much-loved by fans.
Over in Italy, one phenomenal cosplayer is Ambra Pazzani. Particularly well-known for her X-23 and Wonder Woman cosplays, Ambra gave me an exclusive chance to talk to her about her passion for cosplay...
Meet Ambra Pazzani
A 23-year-old biologist, Ambra's love of fashion and clothing actually began with cosplay. Inspired by her love of comics, she first began cosplaying back in 2012, to fulfil her desire to create stunning and artistic interpretations of characters she loves. As the years have passed, Ambra has become a major figure in Italian cosplay. She's cosplayed at conventions across Italy, and has appeared as a guest, a panelist, and even as a judge. As she observes:
"I usually go to Cons as a cosplayer. I don't feel comfortable if I don't have a costume, after all these years!"
Ambra's fondest memory from a Con is of the Italian the Festa dell'Unicorno in Vinci, Tuscany. It's a very different Con, dedicated to fantasy and set in a medieval hamlet, and she had the privilege at attending in July 2016. It was actually Ambra's birthday on July 23rd, and she celebrated by meeting major Italian figures such as Yaya Han, Manu Bennet, and Elffi. Most significantly, though, she also met her childhood hero, television actor Giovanni Muciaccia.
X-23 and the X-Men
Over in Italy, Ambra is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Wolverine's female clone, X-23, who's due to make her cinematic debut in #Logan later this year. Ambra's thrilled that one of her favorite heroes is appearing in the movie, even if she is a child (for now). She's always been drawn to X-23 and Wolverine — both characters are flawed heroes, in a way that fascinates Ambra. Reflecting on X-23, she observes:
"Like Logan, she's an experiment, but her mind is garbled because of the conditions in which she grew up. She's a fragile girl that must find the strength to go on. In 'Logan', I think she will find the family she never had in Wolverine."
It seems that Ambra's love of these characters runs back a lot further than X-23, though. Reflecting on Wolverine, she points out that he's not your traditional superhero model; the first drawings of Logan show him as short, wild, nasty and aggressive. It didn't take long for writers like the legendary Chris Claremont to reveal his inner kindness, though, and as the years passed, we learned the painful history that Wolverine keeps to himself.
Ambra's most successful cosplays are undoubtedly X-23 and Wonder Woman, both characters who are set to shine in 2017. As she observes, her love of the characters, and the success of these particular cosplays, means she's sure to do more. Understandably, X-23's costume is much easier to put together than Wonder Woman's, but both take great patience.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Ambra's cosplay is that the camerawork is truly exceptional, often allowing her to strike a pose that's a perfect homage to the comics. She explains:
"Alessio Buzi (Fotomania on Facebook) is the photographer I work with the most. We are friends and have great mental harmony, we know what kind of result we are looking for. The photographer must correct the model's pose in order to achieve the perfect result, and the model has to listen to him, also telling him her ideas."
It's clearly a true partnership, and the effectiveness of their teamwork is easy to see.
- Spider-Gwen Gets The Venom Treatment In This Outstanding Halloween Cosplay!
- First Reviews Of 'Logan' Promise A Bloody, Brutal Western — And A Breakout Star In X-23
- 'Logan' Hugh Jackman's Swan Song — But He's Leaving The Door Open To Return To Playing Wolverine
Ambra clearly loves the whole cosplay experience, and she offers some simple advice to anybody who's wanting to start out:
"Do what you love, don't care about prejudices and don't feel 'strange'. If you are wearing a costume at a Con, we are all cosplayers and we are a big family. Just do what makes you feel yourself and free."
You can check out more of Ambra's stunning cosplays on her Instagram or follow her on Facebook. She's also recently set up a Patreon page, which offers a wide range of rewards for sponsorship - including behind-the-scenes photoshoot pictures, signed prints, and high-res photos!
Are you looking forward to meeting X-23 in 'Logan'?
(Poll Image Credit: Alessio Buzi Fotomania)