A whirlwind of color bubbled with excitement as fans flocked to take refuge from the hot sun in the convention center. Flashes of armor, capes, and weapons blurred by as I caught glimpses of “lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, and skin white as snow.”
“For years, people would tell me I talk and act like Snow White,” said Amber Arden softly.
She wasn’t kidding. Arden who is quickly gaining fame in the cosplay world for some of her outfits, is a living Disney Princess. Her sweet smile and animated personality has charmed thousands in the last two years. Combining her love of designing and dressing up, Arden has quickly become a Cosplay Icon.
Striving to be a Fashion Stylist, Arden has always shown an interest in costumes and designing cocktail hats. Starting straight from her personal inspirations, Arden designed hats that fit any time era. From late Victorian to Edwardian, all the way to eccentric modern designs. Not to mention, she also takes custom orders. Check out all her designs on her Etsy.
“I see all fabrics, patterns, and trims as expression. A hat truly makes an adorable touch to any festive outfit,” Arden gushes about her love of crafting and sewing. “I channeled up my limited skills from three fashion classes and utilize them. It doesn’t matter if it’s for Cosplay, Disney bounding, or all things VINTAGE!”
With her passion for fashion, Arden is the perfect match for the Cosplay world. As it goes for many cosplayers, Arden’s decent into Cosplay started as easily as word of mouth. Misa Kelly, a very good friend, thrilled Arden with tales of conventions and cosplaying as Jasmine. While the concept fueled the fire in Arden, it wasn’t until she was invited to Anime Expo 2013 that it came alive.
The cosplays that decorated the lobby floor had her head over heels in awe. Arden had such a blast at the convention, that only days later she took the trek to San Diego Comic-Con with her fiancé Eric Yaras. Yaras is best known for his amazing photography skills under the name, Fat Man Photography. To their surprise, they were able to grab a last minute hotel. Bags were packed, outfits planned, and hotel confirmed, but they were forgetting one thing.
A ticket! San Diego Comic-Con is known for selling out within an hour after the tickets go live. Arden had been bitten by the cosplay bug bad, because she didn’t care. She was having the time of her life just dressed up, walking in front of the convention, and meeting new people. Dressed to the nines in her 1800’s Lolita dress that is similar to the movie, Gone with the Wind; Arden was surprised to see a worker approach her.
“A worker who had spotted me from afar, asked if we had a badge. I explained that we didn’t and he said ‘You came all this way, just to walk around the front?’ I said Yes…this is amazing!” Arden says with a smile. “I was in total shock, because seconds later he invited us in and gave us two tickets, free of charge!”
Her elaborate costume had earned her two of the hottest tickets in town. Arden was hooked now. As it came time to Cosplay again, she decided to try something new. This time she was going to try her hand at the one and only, Snow White. As she continued to Cosplay as Snow White, Arden started to notice her confidence grow and the happiness she brought to others.
But it wasn’t just the dressing up that had cemented Arden’s love for Cosplay. Through her different rounds at conventions, she had met some amazing people and created lifelong friendships. Cosplayer Joanna Bert inspired Arden through her dedication of cosplaying as Disney Princesses. While singer, Traci Hines, widely known for her Ariel Cosplay, encouraged Arden to be herself. It was with the help of these two ladies and many more in Arden’s new cosplay circle that pushed her to take the plunge at Anime Expo 2014. Showcasing her first real Cosplay and original concept, Arden stole the show with her Snowba Fett.
Arden explains the concept behind one of her most acclaimed designs, “Snowba Fett is a princess who was hunted, who seemed so innocent and helpless; is now the bounty hunter. A princess that is also a badass. But still able to carry that grace and can overcome any obstacle. I also wanted to make this cosplay innocent and conservative, but strong! Proving that sexy doesn’t have to be revealing. Something about the elegance and armor really intrigued me to mashup the two.”
While to many newcomers a cosplay like Snowba Fett might be daunting, Arden didn’t back down. The journey of constructing and making a character come to life, is one of her favorite things about cosplay. But the thing that really seals the deal, takes the cake, and warms her heart is the execution of the entire costume.
With five cosplays down and more to come, Arden cannot wait for the future. Her latest project, which has been in planning for a long time, is almost ready for her to take to Comikaze October 30-November 1. You can find her showing off her new take on Harley Quinn with a very festive mask, roaming around the convention halls on Halloween.
While Arden continues to solidify her place as a Cosplay Icon, she is focusing her spare time on other projects. Arden being the loveable fangirl she is, has teamed up with some new t-shirt companies that sport nerdy designs. As well as expanding on her love of Make-Up tutorials. While her days are filled with things to do, Arden finds every finished project extremely rewarding. That’s good, because between Betty Boop, Wonder Woman, Rags Snow White, and the badass Princess Fetts; Arden’s Cosplay list continues to grow.