It’s time for another one of my cosplay features! This time I had some creative freedom in fleshing out a feisty aviator by the name of Aetheria Earhart.This costume was fun and challenging at the same time, as it’s not often that I attempt original characters.
After learning a bit more about Aetheria, the costume started to fall into place. I knew I wanted it to remain feminine, but with a large influence from the Steampunk movement. I was on a bit of a budget at the time, so I borrowed a sexy aviator costume from a friend of mine to use as a base. The dress came with the cap and wing pin which got me off to a good start.
From there I started to put things together in a hodgepodge manner. The fishnets and boots came directly from my Zatanna costume, and I added brown knit legwarmers over the top to help break up all the black. The goggles and bullet-belt were originally from my Aphrodite IX garb. The gloves and satchel came from Ragstock, and I grabbed a white scarf from Target in the hopes that it would catch some wind during the shoot. I also picked up a brown leather bomber jacket, which I accidently “distressed” when stupidly attempting to iron on aviator patches. It would have been a disaster, except for that the burn marks looked awesome and I treated the rest of the jacket in a similar fashion. After adding a bit of gold jewelry and donning a black wig, I had the ensemble complete.
The resulting photoshoot is to this day one of the most amazing I have had a chance to take part in. I knew I wanted the photos to be as realistic as possible – meaning I wanted to shoot with real planes. If I have any advice for fellow cosplayers, it is that if you have an idea in mind, it never hurts to ask. I knew of a small airport near my house that had an aviation museum attached to it that would be perfect for the shoot. I shot out an email and was surprised when my request was granted. With one quick question I was given access to a plethora of planes at the American Wings Air Museum in Blaine, MN. These guys deserve more than a quick shout out for how helpful they were. I had an escort to help me in and out of every plane I wanted to shoot in. One of the best moments of the entire day came when I was allowed to touch and pose next to one of Amelia Earhart’s old planes, which by coincidence was housed in my little town.
My amazing photographer was once again Scott Miron, who shot my Zatanna and Catwoman sets earlier that year. I also had a fabulous makeup artist by the name of Masha Chebotayeva, who has done my makeup for almost every single Cosplay shoot I have done in the past few years. I gave her little in the way of direction as to what to do with the makeup – hence the bright colors. At first I was a bit wary about the look because we were doing a retro-themed shoot, but as always, I should trust the professionals. The contrast and pop from the makeup is one of my favorite things about the entire look.
We shot at the airport for many hours, darting in and out of the airplane hanger when the unfortunate rain broke. All and all, I am very happy with the end resulting photos, and thank everyone involved in the project. I would love to bring Aetheria back to life again, but I don’t know how I can top shooting in an air museum. Here is to trying.