Interview with a cosplayer: Kyla June Hislop

“I have always been interested in costume making since about the age of, probably about 14, my mum had always made good costumes for Halloween. So, there’s always been that kind of creative background” ¬†says cosplay enthusiast and costume maker Kyla Hislop, when asked about how she got into the world of cosplay.

Kyla June Hislop, a fourth year graphics and animation student at Robert Gordon University, had her first foray into cosplay and comic conventions when she first attended MCM Scotland Comic-Con in Glasgow in 2014 with her friends. Since then Kyla has gone on to gain a significant following as a cosplay artist under the name of Lady Hallow.

I first met Kyla back in 2014 when I first moved to Aberdeen to complete my undergraduate degree in Fashion Management. When I first moved here, I didn’t know anyone except my long time best friend and current flat mate. So I decided to join my university’s drama group, as I am a huge fan of theater and acting and had to leave my drama group so I could move to Aberdeen.So it was here that I first met Kyla, who at the time was in her second year of her undergraduate degree.

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Kyla as Johanna The Crusader. Photo credit РAcoustica Photography 

Since our initial meeting those two years ago, I have known Kyla to be an incredibly talented and creative individual whose work is incredibly wonderful to see. So it was an honor that when I got back in contact with her over the festive period, she agreed to take part in this interview for this website.

Our interview takes place on Monday the 9th January at one of the student project rooms in the Georgina Sutherland Learning Centre at Robert Gordon University. It would be the first time I had seen Kyla in at least a year, as we both have been busy with our university work. As I had been in my fourth year last year, my social life essentially went out of the window.

I arrived at university at least an hour before the interview was due to start, so I could get set up for the interview. Whilst sitting at the computer desk I meet up with my friend Adam Johnston, president of RGU: TV and also the Robert Gordon University drama society, who has kindly offered to come along and record the interview.

After Adam has set up the equipment in the project room we wait for Kyla to arrive. Adam chooses to stand outside the room so that Kyla knows where to go. In hindsight, I did pick a project room that was hidden behind a wall, so it wasn’t the easiest room to find.

Just about five minutes later, I hear Adam greeting Kyla outside of the door before they both come in whilst having a conversation. For an interview it’s incredibly relaxed and easy. This could be because the 3 of us have known each other for a couple of years now, as we were members of the drama society.

Once Kyla comes in to the room we all start talking, immediately putting us all at ease. Even though we all know one another, there is still a camera in the room, and that can sometimes make you feel nervous, no matter who you are with. However, once the interview kicks off, I become truly immersed into Kyla’s world of cosplay; and a wonderfully creative world it is.

“When I was about 14 or 15, I was at a sleepover and my friends and I thought let’s think of something interesting. We went to the charity shop and saw fabric there that reminded us of Elizabeth Swan’s dress in Pirates of The Caribbean”

Kyla herself is a massive fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. She smiles as she explains that she and her friends then proceeded to create Elizabeth’s dress which was the first time she had ever created an outfit. I guess you could say that the rest is history.

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Kyla as Blood Elf Tyrande. Photo Credit – Tory Cosplay

Since her first ever Comic-Con attendance, Kyla has gone on to become quite a regular on the convention scene and winning awards for her work’ She has even created her own facebook page for her cosplay persona, where she goes by the name of Lady Hallow.

For a long time now I have always wondered where she came up with the name, so I ask her and she laughs, “It’s completely cringeworthy now, but when I was about 11, I was totally into playing runescape and needed a username. I was thinking medieval times, so I want to be Lady something”, she then decided to combine this with her favourite day of the year, Halloween. When you think about it, it’s actually a stroke of genius.

Check out the the full interview in the video above, where Kyla discusses the world of Comic-Con and cosplay, future characters that she plans on portraying soon, and also at around about 9:45 in the interview, Kyla discusses an incredibly interesting and powerful movement called ‘cosplay does not equal consent’, which is something I think everybody should be aware of. Also near the end of the interview you can check out Kyla showcasing her work that she has created over the years as a costume maker.

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