In this bold, surreal photographic celebration of the fantastical beauty of cosplay, 70 cosplayers leave behind their everyday existence and become heroes for a day.
Whether it is becoming a fictional character or presenting the ‘you’ the world sees, the craft of cosplay is everywhere. A powerful expression of individuality and diversity, cosplay is a global phenomenon that allows a large number of diverse individuals to join together in one single chaotic but inclusive community. Cosplay allows anyone to become a hero for a day.
After attending a cosplay convention in 2018, photographer Thurstan Redding became captivated by cosplay as a subject matter and embarked on a three-year photographic project to portray cosplay in a way it had never been seen before. In this bold and surprising volume, he captures the transfixing world of cosplay. Brought to life through the presentation of 70 cosplayers in the most unassuming of locations, this exceptional book highlights how creativity can thrive in the most mundane realities: Spider-Man is illuminated by the open fridge in the kitchen, three Alices wait at a bus stop in a desolate Wonderland, Resistance Pilot plays dead on the gravel driveway of a suburban housing estate. Supplemented by commentary from the cosplayers themselves, together with behind-the-scenes pages from Thurstan’s personal diary, Kids of Cosplay is ‘a celebration of ... fandom and allows a glimpse into the world where people are united by their celebration of an art which transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary’ (The Independent).
A foreword by fashion powerhouse Katie Grand, an essay by writer and performer Tom Rasmussen, who discusses the social and cultural context of cosplay, and an illuminating interview with Redding by noted fashion writer Sara McAlpine complete this compelling volume. Sometimes, all it takes is to scratch the surface of our realities to reveal the fantasy that lies beneath.
'Kids of Cosplay celebrates the unique community spirit that exists within this charming – and, the more you look, surprisingly moving – parallel universe of glorious, generous pageantry' - Vogue
About the Author
Thurstan Redding is a British photographer and director, born in Hong Kong and raised in France, whose work applies a cinematic lens to subcultural subject matter. Since graduating from the University of Cambridge, where he read Politics, Psychology and Sociology, he has contributed to Vogue, WSJ, Le Monde, Arena Homme +, i-D and Dazed. He has also shot campaigns for clients including Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Miu Miu.