Featured Cosplayer: Margaret Musiel
This Halloween season we challenged the We Are Cosplay community to post their costumes with the hashtag #wearehalloweenplay, for a chance to be the next randomly chosen featured member. I was personally excited to see the selection as I think the toyline is a fantastic alternative to the traditional options, and we really love the aesthetic of Dia de los Muertos!
Skulls off to Margaret Musiel, for bringing the gorgeous Skelita Calaveras of Monster High fame to life! Now let’s get to know a little more about her… “Muggy” that is.
Character wise, who’s on your “done it” list? Who’s the favorite?
“My done list is pretty extensive [laughs]. But to list a few I have done- Skuld (Ah! My Goddess!), Rena (Higurashi), Asuna (Negima), Hatsune Miku (Vocaloid), Ame Comi Harley Quinn (Batman), Ragyo (Kill La Kill), Stephanie Brown Robin (Batman), and Sakura (Tsubasa & Cardcaptors). Most recently Skelita (Monster High). My favorites so far have been Ragyo, Skelita, Robin, and Harley because of the experiences I have had with others while wearing them, but my favorites to make so far have been all my Sakura’s.”
*How could she forget to mention one of our favorites, San of Princess Mononoke?! 🙂
Your must read/play/watch at the moment?
“I am completley in love with Fox’s new Gotham right now. I can’t miss episodes. I had to emergency drive home just to DVR the latest one so I wouldn’t miss it! Besides that the other shows I have been heavily following right now are American Horror Story, and Gravity Falls. I also recently DVR’d Cartoon Networks, Over the Garden Wall. I hope it’s good!!!”
Who are your favorite artists/writers/publishers/game studio/whatever?
“Many of my favorite artists have been [fashion] designers, such as h. Naoto, and the late, Alexander McQueen. Their designs always push me to go a little bit further out there with the costumes I choose to make and do, and to be a little more creative with my own designs. I am drawn to the more ‘out there’ pieces.”
What got you into costuming/cosplay/propmaking/fx/photography/etc.?
“My mom took me to comic cons at a very young age. I had broken my arm and as a pick-me-up she brought me to Wizard World so I could indulge in my current obsession (Paul Dini’s Harley Quinn). I had started a small collection of items for her such as some figures and the comics that had started to be released. She had heard about the con and thought I’d love it. Boy was she right. Cosplay at that point was pretty underground. There was maybe only a small handful there at the time in costume but I knew the next time I went I needed to make a costume. I self taught myself and started doing as much as I could. I later ran ‘costume crew’ in my high school’s theater, and majored in Fashion in college. I am so in love with the hobby. It’s become a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
What do you think is an important issue in the pop culture sphere today?
“Oh boy. That’s a loaded one. If i had to choose a major one I personally had issues with, it would be, ‘Cosplay is Not Consent’. I am so glad they are pushing for more strict guidelines and have more firm anti-harassment policies in play and in writing at cons. I am glad it has been getting media attention. Because I have seen all different kinds of people at conventions of all sexualities, genders, and races experience harassment. It’s an important issue that I really hope continues to be put in the spotlight.”
What’s your typical process when taking on a new project?
“I normally think about it for a very long time. I gather as many referance images as I can and start plotting out how each part will be done. Then I’ll make a list of everything I need. I normally rely on mental notes, although I mean to write them down for tutorial purposes later. Once I start on something, It just kind of takes a mind of its own. Once I start something I have trouble putting it down for breaks. I just love seeing the finished product.”
Have you met any of the artists/writers/filmmakers/etc. Who’s work your costume is based?
“Yes actually! It was really exciting! We had our Ah! My Goddess! Group at a con one year and the director of the film was there! We waited hours in line to see him only to be told by his handler when we reached near the front that we needed to buy a voucher, which were sold out. We sadly left the line but the director left his table to chase us down for a photo with us! It was probably one of the biggest compliments we’d ever gotten.”
Are your aliases known to everyone, and how do they feel about it?
“I have a cosplay nickname- ‘Muggy’, but its actually pretty common knowledge to everyone. I have the nickname purely because I enjoy it, but not to separate my cosplay from myself. I have been pretty fortunate that work and family enjoy seeing what I make and I even bring in photos. I understand why others need to have the fun and work separated, but I am so glad that I am allowed to be open about something that is a huge part of who I am.”
Most interesting Con story?
“Oh man. I will go with a safe one [laughs]. My most interesting con story has to be last C2E2, as Harley Quinn. No one was ever inappropriate towards me, but one guy stood out to me. He came up to me saying that his friend had ditched him and decided not to go, but that it would make him so jealous to send him a picture of himself with said friends, “love of his life”, Harley. So he sent him a picture of me holding him in a headlock [laughs].
As I was typing that I remembered the other good Harley one!!! A man, with a baby girl and an older son, walked up to me and told me that he named his daughter after me… Harley, and to ask his son. I looked over to the mortified kid nodding his head ‘Yes’. Kids are priceless.”
What Con are you most excited to one day attend, or return to?
What do you like to do when you’re not costuming… other hobbies?
“I LOVE Lolita fashion and ball-joint dolls. I am a huge collector of toys, but Lolita fashion and the dolls are a huge portion of what I enjoy outside of cosplay. But additionally, I also enjoy making plush toys. All of my hobbies involve sewing or dress up in some way.”
Costume groups, or solo- which do you prefer?
“I like the ‘no pressure’ of solo cosplay. But if a group happens to appear, and work out, I am the most excited person! I am very guilty of ‘geeking out’ at other related cosplayers I see at conventions. So, if I ever see you as Batman or Robin while I am Stephanie Brown, prepare yourself because pictures will be needed!”
What’s next? Dream project?
“Pepper Pots’ Rescue suit. It needs to happen. I love attending childrens events, and I want the suit as a more recognizable face for them. I love Pepper and Iron Man, and it’s just a huge dream cosplay for me. Soon.”