Elan Vital Media | An interview with a RAW Artist, Cosplay Fashion Designer, Damion Ryura
In interview with a raw artist, cosplay fashion designer, at the House of Blues, San Diego
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On November 8th, I was invited to the House of Blues San Diego, by Fashion Designer Damion Ryura. His cosplay fashion was being displayed on the catwalk, during the RAW Artists Show.
I spent several hours walking around the packed House of Blues. Two floors, packed with artists of all varieties. On stage, Shae Altered was singing to hundreds, as they mingled among tables filled with paintings, photographs, and handmade jewelry.
Closing the show, models walked the catwalk, while wearing clothing designed and made by Damion. His designs were a crowd pleaser. It was very difficult to catch any decent pictures, because the rush of crowds who wanted to be so near! I caught up with Damion about 45 minutes after the show, and we were able to grab a cup of coffee and talk.
Steve: Thanks for taking a quick break to talk with me. First, can you please introduce yourself. Damion: Wow, what a crazy night. Well, my name is Damion Ryura, and I am the founder of Ryura Designs. Steve: How about your social media? Damion: You can find me on Instagram at @showroomofryura, or on Facebook at @Damionryuradesigns Steve: So, what IS Ryura Designs all about? Damion: The name Ryura is a play on the word Ryu, which means Dragon. That’s what a lot of people call me. When I think of a dragon I see a mystical creature that protects its master and those it loves. Like my clothing, it won’t necessarily protect you, but it will give you the courage to take on the world in style. Empowering people to feel their inner warrior, to walk out knowing they are not pretending to be something they aren’t but they found their true self. Steve: That sounds cool! Have you always been in San Diego? Damion: No, I am from the New York, Jersey City area. I felt that what I wanted to become, would not happen there, so two years ago, I relocated to San Diego. Steve: You moved here two years ago, to pursue fashion. How long have you been inspired by fashion? Damion: Fashion is art, and I have loved art since I was a child. It’s safe to say that I have had this passion for nearly my entire life. Steve: Do you do more styles than cosplay? Damion: My fashion is more style, but is inspired by cosplay and cosplay comes from video games and anime. My latest series, Bushido Pride is inspired by the shapes of the armor of the samurai warrior and small hints of a game called BlazBlue. Steve: As you know, I am a photographer with Elan Vital Magazine. It was in our Fan and Support Page on Facebook that I first saw your work. How did you find out about the magazine? Damion: Facebook is a great tool to network, and I believe I first saw a post in a group and followed the page that was posted. Steve: (laughing) That was probably Colt, the editor. Facebook is always banning him for posting too much! So, has his persistence paid off? Have you bought a copy of the magazine yet? Damion: Yes! I have purchased three of the digital issues so far. I think I am missing the first two, but I want to have them all! Steve: Thanks for the support! Yeah, I’ve purchased every copy so far. What was your favorite pictorial? Damion: I’d have to say the one with Mary Anna! [Volume 1, Issue 5] Steve: Ummm, yeah. That was a favorite among most men! It has been years since I have been down to San Diego, and this was my first time to a RAW event. I was impressed! How many shows have you done with them? Damion: This was my second show Steve: Only your second? You had a lot of fans there! Have you done other shows besides RAW? Damion: I have showcased my work in many places outside of San Diego. I have worked with an Art group called The Set NYC twice. My very first show was called “the Night Fashion died” in October of 2012. On Halloween 2015, “Fantasy Galaxy Con” was my going away show. In San Diego, I have done “Art at the Casbah” in April of this year, presented by “Art Unites Group”. I am planning on doing more shows in 2018 in the LA area and planning to be at SDCC. Steve: I’m sure you are fully aware that Elan Vital is having a “Livin’ The Dream 2018 Tour”, kicking off in Los Angeles in January 2018. You didn’t mention that, but are you thinking of attending? Damion: I have heard of the tour, and planning on being part of it. Steve: I assume the first day, with the Cosplay theme? Damion: YES!
Steve: If I could show you a few of the images I shot of your show, can you give me a quick description of each item?
Damion: Sure thing.
A magic user, if you noticed that there are two groups of colors outside of the black, In the world I created the characters there are two clans so she is part of that clan. Most of my garments have flow and drape so think of martial arts. “Be like water my friend” Modeled by: Rita. IG @Tsukixxhime
Warrior inspired with dance, the flaps that are connected to the skirt represent armor and flow with the model’s movement. The character inspired from my own image is an agile warrior who moves swift and fluent. Modeled by Skye. IG @NamasteSkye
There is something special about this look and the last look. There is a group of five that I created called the “Fabulous Five” (again something inspired by anime/martial arts ) they are an elite group that one would relate to royalty so they wear garments that are more textured and elaborate with high collars and other attachments. Modeled by name Samantha S. IG @Arilith
Influenced by the samurai but imagine if they were magic users. So that is what this character is. I wanted to have a look of power and elegance. Modeled by Zen. IG @Zen_arenz
This look is more inspired by full body armor, but instead I did not close the seams to make pants, but because the center back is open when walking it gives the illusion of pants. Now because I thought of body armor she would represent the highest guard in the series. Modeled by Linzy. IG @Linzypanda
This is my “prototype” of this look. I went back to my simplicity of my style, mixing it with magic user character. Keep an eye out for this garment in the future. Modeled by Mica. IG @Meekamica
Ahh my masterpiece! Another of the Fabulous Five and the leader. The red piping is the power that flows through her with the highest collar I can do with comfort. She is a warrior and master of magic someone you don’t want to mess with. Modeled by Mistress Synful Pleasures.IG @xsynfulxpleasurex
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