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A female's review of 'Undressing the Art of Playing Dress Up'

The cover photo for the book "Undressing the Art of Playing Dress Up"
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd/ Cosplay Deviants/Troy Doerner http://www.schifferbooks.com/undressing-the-art-of-playing-dress-up-cosplay-deviants-5352.html

The book "Undressing the Art of Playing Dress Up"

Rating:
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In a previous article, this writer wondered if the book "Undressing the Art of Playing Dress Up" would "show tasteful art with the fashions involved with cosplay using sequences of fully-clothed costumes through implied nudes? Or will this book be more like a Playboy magazine for nerds?" We can now confidently answer that question: Mostly the latter. There are some examples of tasteful nudes that are either implied by covering the bits in a seductive and mysterious way or done with the lighting, composition and softness of an art nude style photo. However, the vast majority of the photos are in the style of a centerfold of an adult magazine.

For a review from a male's perspective, read this piece by Boston Video Game Examiner David Leavitt.

Although the book may not be truly "fine art" inspired, it's still a fun four pound tabletop book to surprise your guests when they sit near your coffee table. You may want to warn them about the adult content, but then again, their expression would be priceless should they decide to take a look on their own. Speaking of fine art inspiration and cosplay, if you want an avante garde cosplay look, you should check out Vengeance Designs on Etsy with designer, Kayla Lael.

Due to the nature of the book, we cannot post many pictures, but you can sneak a peak inside the book here. Generally, there are one or two fully clothed pictures of the models in their costumes and then various shots deconstructing their clothing until they bare all. You can see more adult content on CosplayDeviants.com, a subscription website.

The Good Stuff:

  • Fun to guess what character is being roleplayed
  • Large collection of photos from pop culture
  • Some photos are quite captivating, such as a doppleganger for Leeloo of "The Fifth Element"

Areas of Missed Opportunity:

  • No titles to explain the more obscure characters
  • Photographer's index does not explain which models they worked with or credit the page
  • No male models (However, Troy Doerner explains in an interview that they have a gallery of men on their website)
  • Some pictures are pixelated
  • Some pictures have little detail in the white color range (blown out)

6 Examples of Successful Pictures

  • Leeloo of "The Fifth Element" on page 202 and 203. She looks like she could be Milla Jovovich and the bright whites make sense given the environment of the movie.
  • Quorra from "Tron: Legacy" on page 182 and 183. The glow of the suit is perfect and the pose is great for the attitude of the character.
  • Sailor Moon on pages 160 and 161. There's a painterly light and softness as well as an artsy way of intentionally looking away from the camera.
  • Page 123 on the bottom. Clever use of silhouette.
  • Page 125 top right. This looks like a figure art pose.
  • Page 29 on the bottom. This looks like genuine boudoir photography.

6 Examples-Cool Idea, Unsuccessful Execution

  • Pages 66 and 67. The tan lines are distracting and it's low-resolution.
  • Pages 58 and 59. Way too bright, blown out white range on her skin.
  • Pages 36 and 37. If that's Lara Croft, we've seen way better costumes.
  • Page 131. Low-res pictures
  • Page 142. The environment seems a bit bland
  • Page 163. Posing was not ideal for the model's body type.

Overall, I believe this book will be popular with anyone that appreciates the female body form, because this features some pretty ladies. However, it won't be a big thing in the art world.

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