Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lolita Lyntha Presents Cosaru

I was first intrigued by, due to their kimono style lolita outfits, which is also known as Wa Lolita. I thought Cosaru’s interpretation of the style was unique. For example one of the outfits had bat wings in the back and another had influences from a maid outfit, such as an apron. Because I myself like Wa Lolita, I wanted to learn more about is an online anime, cosplay and costume store of New York. Not only is it a store name but also it is the owner’s cosplay nickname. The origin of the word Cosaru is from a combination of the words “cosplay” and “saru”, which means “monkey” in Japanese. When choosing a store name, it can represent the store, but it can also represent a person. In this case, Cosaru represents the one and only staff of

“I chose the word "saru" because according to the Lunar Calendar I was born in the year of Monkey.” But wait there is more to the name. “In addition to that, Cosaru also represents me.” When she first opened the store, Cosaru was not completely focused on “oh-yeah-let's-make-some-money thing. Instead, my online costume store was meant to represent myself and share my joy of making costumes with others. I'm managing simply because I liked to sew and make something out of fabric. Yes, I just "like" & "love" cosplay, which is why I named the store, Cosaru. The name reflects one side of me, who just loves to cosplay and make costumes. And I'm sure the people who visit my store have the same feeling about cosplay. If that's the case, the name "Cosaru" is enough to be my store name.”

With her love of sewing and cosplay, Cosaru became a “costume recreator.” Her work includes going to fabric shop to buy wonderful and good quality fabrics and going to USPS to ship out the beautiful costumes and out fits. “Every work is done through my own hands as there is no other second staff at”

It all started with her first costume sale at as an auction. “As more people started to request a commission, I felt that I might need my own website to display my costumes.” became her first priority. “The first and most important goal that made me open this store was that "I want to make quality costumes with affordable price." She continues to do her best following this mission since she started sewing.

So what was the process or steps that led to the fulfillment of “Everything was done by my online research and studying the contents of other websites. In 2002, there weren't many online US commissioners. Most of the websites that I did my research on were based in Japan. Since I'm the only person who manage this entire store, studying based on online resources were a great help to make the next step in building the website.”

Wondering what the typical day is like for Cosaru to work on items and things related to When it is time for her to start a “new costume”; she starts by finding as many “reference images of the specific character and anime series” as possible. This is conducted by searching from one website to another. “Once I'm ready and know what I want to make, I spend the rest of the day drawing patterns and sewing costumes.” Her experience in handling and working on all things related and dealing with has been great. “It's exciting (and busy) work since I'm eager to see new anime and find new costumes for people who visit”

Now 7 years later, her first cosplay related website is still standing. Her success did not come over night though. During the first two years of the “sale record or # of visitors at wasn't successful as it is today.” She learned that “any new website needs wide advertisement,” which helps online users locate her website. Because of the advertisements, for the past three to four years, “I am seeing that has been growing bigger than I expected. So now I'm in the ups!”

Now on to the Kimono Lolita style! According to Cosaru “it's also called Wa-Loli. The top is just the same as traditional/original Japanese Kimono or Yukata pattern, but the bottom is replaced or modified to a lolita style skirt - a big puffy skirt with a petticoat”

Her first encounter to the kimono style lolita made her scream in her head, "I gotta make that!" To Cosaru the “General Lolita style dresses are still beautiful, but they did not have that strong enough pull to my attention and effort of sewing.” So with her mind set on making a Wa Lolita outfits, she has many on her site for sale and display. The completion of her kimono style lolita outfits estimates one to two weeks.

Even though the Wa Lolita style is part of her online store, the kimono style lolita has a personal meaning to Cosaru. “Before I already fell in love with traditional Kimono and its colorful flower motif patterns and prints. The original kimono and yukata are in long ankle-length dress, which may not be comfortable to wear and walk around to cosplay. Then, Kimono Lolita comes up as it combines both traditional and modern side of look. It became the choice that refreshes my sewing and designing experience.”

My final questions to Cosaru was about the Lolita fashion and the US market. What competition does the Lolita fashion, including the kimono style, face in the US market? How does the industry make itself more competitive or overcome such obstacles? This is her opinion on it:
“I feel that Asian and oriental styles are more marketable in US than any other Asian countries. Kimono may be viewed as a unique clothing fashion that can appeal as a special gift and collection.
Lolita fashion has been growing so fast that I see more and more Lolita cosplayers attending at anime conventions. Also, people get so creative that they don't stick to one fixed lolita style, but keep modifying and changing the style to what they want. It is true that there are still more cosplayers who do specific anime, game, and manga characters. While anime cosplay is just fun as to bring anime characters to life, Lolita cosplay is another way of expressing one's creativity. I expect that both Lolita and Kimono fashion will be growing faster than ever as people are seeking something new.”
Thank you Cosaru for participating in the interview and the pictures!
For more information about Cosaru and her outfits please visit
© 2009 Linda Thai

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