About a week ago I did a photoshoot with the completely amazing Darling Army. Darling Army is a geek fashion inspired company that custom makes clothing for their clients based on their size and desires. Here is a direct cut from the About page of Darling Army.
—About Darling Army—
Hello and welcome to Darling Army, the original cosplay apron and pinafore designer!
Darling Army was a labor of love that turned into a business of necessity. Several years prior to opening Darling Army, I would make female versions of male characters from my favorite animes for my best friend and myself.
Femme cosplay was a saving grace for me. Being born with a dark complexion, cosplaying exactly as my favorite characters has always been next to impossible even with the help of stage makeup. On top of that, my favorite characters were usually boys whose costumes consisted of pants and shirts. As a “girly girl” who prefers skirts and dresses for everyday wear, I absolutely hated having to walk around conventions for hours in tight, yucky pants. Thus making female versions of my favorite characters came to be.
Darling Army came years later while I was in the teaching program at my local college. Becuase I was student teaching full-time in the afternoons and going to school full-time in the evenings and weekends, it was impossible to have a job. Once Christmas came around I had no money for fancy gifts so I did what I do best: femme cosplay. Using some scrap fabric I had left over from different costumes I was able to create aprons for my friends, customized to reflect their favorite anime characters. My aprons eventually grew into cosplay pinafores as I realized how ridiculously easy they were to use for cosplay. Now myself and others use them for costuming and everyday lolita clothing.
Darling Army has obviously grown from Christmas presents and only taking a few orders every couple weeks to help get me through school. The DA is still a one-girl show, each pinafore being made-to-order by myself (and sometimes help from my mom). Now, however, the Darling Army is my full-time job until I’m able to secure position as a teacher.
Being feminine is important to me, but I’m more than just a normal girl. I’m an otaku. A whovian. A geek. A nerd. I’m someone who doesn’t believe that the above labels automatically make me unfashionable or a social outcast. My personal belief is that you can be a fangirl and a fashionista at the same time. Who said nerds can’t be cute? <3