Customer Spotlight: Sparkle Pipsi

Customer Spotlight: Sparkle Pipsi

Eternal Sailor Venus
Wig style and color: Le Tigre in Platinum Blonde 081
Photo by


This week we interviewed long-time customer, Sparkle Pipsi! See more of her work via her website and facebook!


Q:  When did you start cosplaying, and what got you started?
A:  I had no idea that cosplay was a “thing” until I attended my first convention, which was Anime Expo 2001. My friends and I had dressed up as characters from Sailor Moon for Halloween the year before, so I thought it might be fun to wear my costume to the event. When I got there, I was surprised that so many other people were wearing costumes too, and even more surprised that people wanted to take my picture!! I was immediately hooked. My mom and grandma made my costumes for me at first, but as the outfits I wanted got more complex, I figured I should probably figure out how to do this stuff for myself. A whole heck of a lot of trial and error later, here I am!!


Q:  What is your favorite part of the costume-making process?
A:  My favorite part is probably the brainstorming process; I love that initial excitement I get when I see a design I love and start pondering how to make it happen in real life. I love hunting for the perfect fabrics and coming up with ideas to embellish a design and make it really special.

There’s also this moment that usually occurs about half-way into the crafting process, a sort of “ah-hah!” moment when a costume starts to look like the character I’m going to portray; this usually happens when I complete a special design element that’s unique to that character. For example, with my Mami Tomoe costume from Madoka Magica, it was when I put the buckles and trim on my corset… and suddenly “Ahhh!! It’s Mami!” I always look forward to this “It looks like a thing!!” moment when I’m crafting.

Q:  Which costume are you most proud of?
A:  A couple costumes come to mind for this; my Miki Hoshii “Starry” outfit from The iDOLM@STER 2 (, and Chii from Chobits ( Starry because… well, the entire thing was covered in 200+ LED lights, all of which were hand-sewn to the costume in a specific arrangement so they would light up with a chasing pattern. It was an arduous, torturous process that still haunts me to this day, but the pain was worth it… I think. Chii is special to me because I took a relatively simple design and put a lot of thought and care into all the details and really made it my own. I spent a gratuitous amount of time searching for really luxurious fabrics and trims, and the overall craftsmanship on the costume is my best work to date.

Q:  Do you have a favorite Arda Wig style and/or color?
A:  I cosplay a LOT of blonde characters, and Arda carries my two very favorite shades of blonde; Light Blonde 013 and Platinum Blonde 081! They’re bright, happy blondes that have a nice anime-like yellow hue without being TOO yellow. As a cosplayer from the era of neon yellow blonde wigs, these colors are a god-send!!

As for styles, I’d have to go with the Luthien. It’s so thick, especially for a wig so long, and the waves are luxurious and beautiful right out of the bag! I’ve been using the same Luthien in Light Blonde for all of Miki Hoshii iDOLM@STER costumes for the past 3 years (I have 9 Miki costumes, oops) and it still looks amazing!!

Q:  What advice do you have for new cosplayers getting into the hobby?
A:   The internet is an incredibly valuable resource; you can learn so much from your cosplay predecessors by looking up tutorials online. YouTube specifically is great place for self-taught sewers to learn professional-looking techniques. I’ve learned SO much from watching YouTube, everything from installing an invisible zipper to using conductive thread to sew LED lights into a costume; it’s an amazing resource! Don’t ever let “I don’t know how to do _______” stop you from making something amazing; google it or ask cosplayers with more experience for advice. You CAN do it!!

On the non-crafting side of things, always cosplay what you love and what makes you happy. This may sound obvious, but in my 10+ years of cosplaying I’ve found that simply aiming to have fun is much more rewarding than seeking internet “fame”. Get brave and reach out to fellow cosplayers that love the same things as you do, make friends, make awesome costumes, and have fun!!

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