This was a dream project in every sense of the word. As is true for many, Wonder Woman was a first for me – the first female superhero I was introduced to in the world of comics. She holds a really special place in my fandom, and while I love the stars, stripes, and satin tights of classic Wonder Woman, I’ve always been drawn to her Amazon origins. I pictured Diana as a warrior first and foremost, and wanted to bring my specific vision for her to life.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was my first, breathtaking step into the dark and dangerous world inhabited by the Belmont clan. I’d always been drawn to the series, much due to the haunting character art by Ayami Kojima. As a completionist, though, I’d struggled with a point of entry to the franchise. I wanted to start from the very beginning, and in a way Lords of Shadow afforded me this opportunity.
MercurySteam made one of the most beautiful games of this generation in Lords of Shadow, appealing immediately to the designer in me. That, coupled with the compelling array of weapons and accessories Gabriele wields, had me itching to recreate his ensemble. Easy enough – add an “LE” and enter Gabrielle Belmont.
Cosplay Feature: Steampunk Lara Croft
Inspired by my desire to realize an original design – and by my perpetual love for Lady Lara Croft – this costume has been gnawing at the back of my mind, attempting to manifest itself into reality, for years now. Most likely from the first time I heard the term “steampunk.”
I’ve been inexcusably slow to finish this write-up, as the task of putting this experience to paper has been daunting. Our Claymore build was the most complex costume I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on. It was also the most rewarding. Hang in there; you’re in for one long blog.
Although my childhood memories are primarily punctuated by cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series, DuckTales, and Disney’s Gargoyles, I was exposed to a handful of anime in my youth. One offering in particular – Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke – resonated with me for years to come. To some degree it retains a special place because it was one of my first forays into the world of Japanese animation, but it additionally warrants fond recollection for a powerful story and moving performances. When I was invited to Katsucon 2012 as a cosplay guest – a massive honor and an amazing experience – it only seemed natural to take on San’s deceptively simple garb from the Ghibli film.
This costume has taken on a life of its own, in a way I never could have anticipated.
I loved making this costume despite the bruises, blisters, and blood. It seems I say this after completing every project, but this is hands-down my favorite cosplay to date.
This has to be one of my favorite costumes to date, and was quite an expensive endeavor by the time all things were said and done. Every penny was worth it, however, when I put the entire ensemble on for the first time.