Elektra Natchios has always been an intriguing character to me – one of the few females in mainstream comics that is unapologetically violent and brutal. Being one of the most deadly assassins in the Marvel universe, she has a very dark side, but she maintains her femininity. It makes for a very interesting character combination.
This is one of those costumes that is deceivingly simple looking, but was really hard to make. Elektra has several outfit variations, but I like her traditional leotard best. If you have basic sewing skills the costume itself isn’t too hard to make. The problem is that I started Elektra’s garb nearly two years ago – so my skills were considerably less refined than they are now.
That being said, I relied pretty heavily on the help from my uber-expert mother, who is always there to walk me through more difficult projects. It was easy enough to find a swimsuit pattern, which we modified to fit the single shoulder look. The most difficult part was working with the fabric, which had a tendency to snag up if not careful. All in all though, it turned out well enough!
After finishing the leotard, the “skirt,” wrist and arm wraps, head cover and leg bands were made out of the remaining fabric. The entire costume only took a couple of days to complete, but required lots of experimenting to get everything to fall just right. Usually, the less you wear the more work it is.
I took a little bit of liberty altering the costume to include red boots with high heels instead of Elektra skimpy socks, which don’t offer much protection when walking around in the costume. I know the heels don’t help much in the stealth department, but since heroines so often throw practicality out the window, I didn’t feel too bad. I already owned the boots from my Witchblade costume, and they were a perfect match as far as color was concerned.
I randomly found the sais at WonderCon a few years back, and held onto them all this time knowing that Elektra was on my cosplay to-do list. I made sure to get a pair with blunted tips so that I would be able to take them to conventions and so on. The last small detail was the wig, which I ordered from my favorite overseas store on eBay. Then I was done!
I first wore this costume to Free Comic Book Day at The Source almost two years ago, then sat on the costume for nearly a year an a half before finally shooting it. I’ll be honest, part of the delay was motivating myself to get in slightly better shape – the costume is NOT forgiving. During the year and a half gap I began to take working out a bit more seriously, and still do. I trimmed down a bit and put on some slight muscles in my arms and legs, so I am happy I waited till the time was right.
For the shoot, I knew I wanted to do something bloody, to play up Elektra’s brutality. I called on my favorite makeup artist Ali Beuning (from my Poison Ivy and Marie Antoinette shoots) to do the work. I also asked a local model from Model Mayhem, Tracy Charpentier, to join me so we could play up the drama of the shoot. Ali left my actual makeup pretty simple, focusing most of her time in doing prosthetic work on Tracy, and eventually blooding me up a bit. Not as badly, of course, as Elektra was kicking his ass.
For the photographer, I finally got the chance to work with Jeff Spain from Spain Portraits. We had been talking for some time, hoping to work together because of our united interest in comic books. Elektra proved just the chance. Jeff scouted out several locations for the shoot, but we started out in the studio with some shots to show off makeup and costume work. From there we ventured off to what I can only describe as a plant that breaks down used concrete, an awesome urban location for the shots fighting Tracy.
This has to be one of the hardest shoots to date, for several reasons. Like I mentioned, the costume is NOT forgiving, so I had to be extra aware of standing tall and so on. This was also my first time play fighting while posing, and walking through gravel, in high heels, trying to kick someone while balancing and still looking like a model…was tough. Not to mention that this is one of the most outrageous costumes ever. Something was constantly falling down, whether was the arm or leg bands or my top. Seriously, I have no idea how Elektra stays in her costume while fighting. But ultimately I am really happy with the way the photos turned out. I think it tells a neat story and captured some of Elektra’s personality. This shoot wasn’t all about looking pretty like some of my other costumes. This one was about being badass. Mission successful!!!
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