Name: Lada Bordewick (also known as) Etaru
Age: 22 år.
Country and current home town: USA, currently in Karlstad, Sweden
Height: 172 cm.
Blood type: B-
I’m a Russian born cosplayer residing in the United States who has been cosplaying for about 6 years, always searching for more challenging projects I can put my heart into. I’ve been published in several international magazines and websites for my works, and have been invited as cosplay guest of honour in the US. I love portraying strong, charismatic and mysterious female characters so that I can truly let go of myself when in costume to become the character completely. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to costume accuracy, but also realize that with a few costumes, it’s important to nurture the creative nature of the costumer in interpreting the design through their artistic liberty. In my spare time I love reading, watching movies, snowmobiling, skiing, and trying new cooking recipes (though sushi is my all-time favourite food!)
And if you could only use one word?
What does Japanese ‘pop’ culture means for you?
Japanese pop culture is something that’s constantly changing and evolving as different influences and artists emerge in the community. It’s the culture of people who are tired of the norm and want to stand out, expressing themselves through every outlet of their being, from clothing, to hair, to music preference, and even linguistically. Pop culture is not necessarily whatever is the most popular at the moment in Japan, so much as a lifestyle followed by those who love it.
Tell us about your first meeting with ‘J-pop’ culture:
When I was a very small girl, I started watching anime like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z, which slowly pulled me even further into Japanese imports like music, fashion, video games, and culture. Eventually, not only was I watching anime and playing Japanese video games, but I would read magazines published at the time like Newtype USA, which reported on the hottest J-pop fashion trends, musicians, and eventually, cosplay. I found myself listening to artists like Ayumi Hamasaki, Megumi Hayashibara, Malice Mizer, T.M. Revolution, and Koda Kumi, feeling their music and emotion even without understanding the lyrics. I was hooked, and early on realized that these products and influences of J-pop culture were very different from what the American music and fashion industry offered.
What do you look forward to experience the most in Denmark?
I am extremely excited to meet Danish cosplayers and witness how European conventions are held, as I’ve been told they’re very different from the USA. I also look forward to seeing the city of Copenhagen with its rich architecture and history.
Favourite series/character’s in anime and/or manga:
I have too many favourites, but a few are Asuka from Evangelion, Alexiel from Angel Sanctuary, Hikaru from Magic Knight Rayearth, and Sailor Neptune from Sailor Moon.
How many years have you cosplayed?
Which awards have you won? (year and convention)
What is the most important thing in cosplay and what is your main focus? (act, in-character, craft):
The most important thing is to have fun and love what you create. As a cosplayer practices the craft and makes more costumes, they will of course become better at it over time, but if they don’t really love the hobby, they won’t enjoy anything they make or wear. We all dress in elaborate costumes not to impress others or to get attention – we do it for ourselves, to feel happy and fulfilled about having brought a 2-dimensional design to life through fabrics and textiles. I also think it’s important, in general, to construct your own costumes, because not only will you learn valuable skills you can apply in other projects, but also gain the gratification and feeling of fulfilment that can only come from making something so dear to you with your own two hands!
Thank you to J-Popcon for inviting me as a panellist and cosplay judge! I’m thrilled to go to my first Japanese culture convention in Europe, and I really can’t imagine any better place than beautiful Copenhagen. I can’t wait to meet all of the wonderful cosplayers and convention attendees, so please feel free to welcome me and say “Hello” – I really enjoy meeting new people!
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