Interview with Elizabeth from Haru House!

Photo taken with Olympus Pen E-P3

Rebel with a cosplay cause

Cosplay retail store owner Elizabeth Seah is a perfectionist. "It's not very nicely done, so don't take close-ups," she says of her custom-made Nako Oshimizu (Hanasaku Iroha) cosplay costume, which arrived with the wrong sleeve trimmings as it was rushed out in 1 day. Elizabeth subsequently scrambled to alter the outfit by hand - alas, not to her satisfaction - in time for our interview. She definitely gives cosplay its due respect, "(When I cosplay) I don't misbehave or sit very roughly. It's a must for cosplayers to do research on the character before cosplaying. Even if the character smokes, I won't do it. It might give the wrong impression to younger teenagers who does not understand cosplay."

Photo taken with Olympus Pen E-P3 The anniversary of your cosplay store, Haru House, is coming up. How does it feel to be in this line for 6 years?

Elizabeth: This business has let me get to know a lot of cosplayers. Before this, I'd never thought about doing retail. My friends always teased me that my dressing was always so different, and I always complained about how fashion in Singapore was boring. If you go to any departmental stores, the clothes are the same. Very typical. I didn't like that. Since I had resources to bring clothes in from Taiwan and Japan, I thought, just bring them in lah.

Photo taken with Olympus Pen E-P3 Let's talk about the cosplay costume you've got on today. Why Nako Oshimizu from Hanasaku Iroha?

Elizabeth: The character interests me - she's shy and timid, she joins a working place because she wants to change her personality.

Photo taken with Olympus Pen E-P3 What do you love most about cosplaying?

Elizabeth: Seeing how I can look like the character, and be the character. You know you've succeeded when your friends call you by your character's name when they see you!

Photo taken with Olympus Pen E-P3 Who's your all-time favourite anime character?

Elizabeth: Uzumaki Naruto. He's always true to himself. He's quite blur and dumb, but he's very optimistic. He gives his best with a lot of sincerity. It's sad that in the world, people may talk to you with ulterior motives, thinking how to make use of you. I appreciate his character.

Photo taken with Olympus Pen E-P3

Elizabeth on...

How to get your makeup to stay: "Put on moisturizer. Daily makeup will wear off easily, you need more coverage makeup, the type they use for the photo shoot and for TV. Always drink lots of water and take good care of your skin, cleanse thoroughly."

How to get your wig to behave: "Our Zephyr wigs from Japan are just $60 - they don''t even tangle. With a cheap China wig, the fibers just drop easily."

Photo taken with Olympus Pen E-P3

Hanasaku Iroha will be launched on 30th September 2011. Read more on Hanasaku Iroha here.