Arianna Palumbo (Italy), also known as Demon Cosplay, is a very special illustrator and cosplayer.
After moving her first steps in the world of cosplaying in 2019, she has poured all her dedication into a very special project: a stunning pair of wings.
Measuring a total of 6.22 m (20.4 ft), the prop has broken the record for the largest mechanical wings on a cosplay costume.
Arianna's record was achieved at the end of January 2022, and her masterpiece appeared on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, Milan, last April, cementing her success in the world of cosplay.
Cosmaking is an art often looked down upon.
It takes time, dedication and monetary investment to buy materials and props. It's about being proud of your work - sure it's fun, but it's also about spending several hours working on a costume, finding out-of-the-box ways to build props and, at the end of it all, posing for pictures.
More than anything, often, cosplay is not about comfort.
It was a testament to Arianna's dedication that she met us backstage with a big smile on her face while shivering in the cold Milan winter, after many hours on heels and carrying the massive wings on her back.
Looking at Arianna's hand sown dress, perfectly combed wig and majestic white wings as they gracefully spread in the air is enough to make your breath hitch.
It grants a sense of royalty – almost divine, like a real-life angel – that is perfectly in line with the character she is embodying: Goddess Elizabeth, from the manga series The Seven Deadly Sins (originally Nanatsu no Taizai, 2012, Japan).
In Nakaba Suzuki’s story, Elizabeth is a princess, the reincarnation of a Goddess and the love interest of Meliodas, the series' main protagonist.
However, Arianna designed the costume itself to be unique.
“It was amazing,” she says regarding her record and her appearance at Lo Show Dei Record. “It was a great experience not only to wear my wings, but also to build my wings. To work on them.”
“Now I feel like I’m in the sky, in the stars. I’m excited.” - Arianna
Demon Cosplay, Arianna’s social persona, was born in 2019.
Already a talented illustrator, Arianna hit the ground running from her very first cosplay.
For that occasion, she re-created the armour of her favourite character, Gemini, in the anime Saint Seiya (the world-famous manga and anime series illustrated by Masami Kurumada, started in 1986).
After that, Arianna launched herself in increasingly ambitious creations that she showcased at two of the largest Italian anime cons: Romics and Lucca Comics.
It took only a month to build the wings from scratch, Arianna told us.
"It might be another record," she jokes.
“The most challenging part for this cosplay was the electric part," she added. “I had studied nothing about mechanics and electronics, so I had no idea about where to start.”
However, the internet came to her aid: Arianna watched several YouTube tutorials and asked an electrician friend how to build a battery, and how to make it work properly on the giant structure of the wings.
It was a lot of work, she says, but after a while she started to understand and everything came together.
“And I think anyone can do it with a little bit of patience."
Arianna isn’t only incredibly talented and passionate as a cosmaker, but she is also extremely charismatic.
Looking at her in her silver wings and flashy contact lenses, it’s impossible not to fall in love with her art. However, it took her some time before she started creating her costumes and building her props.
“I've always loved to watch anime all day on TV, but I discovered gatherings and cons very late," she says. "But I also don’t think cosplay has an age.”
“Age is just a number, you can start whenever you want.”
Now Arianna found a positive, encouraging environment in the cosplay community, and looks forward to cosplaying in person and taking part at comic-cons after the pandemic.
Although Arianna is incredibly proud of her wings, she also plans to build a new, smaller version to use for photo shoots.
This way, she’ll be free to enjoy cosplaying Elizabeth without carrying the weight (not only metaphorically) of a record-worthy, massive pair of wings on her shoulders.