Here’s one from the archives, my first photoshoot ever:
Character: Lady Loki (Marvel)
Costume and makeup: by me
Photographer: Jaqueline Auty
This one makes me reflect on my costume history. Technically, I have been sewing since I was taught how to in primary school when I was seven years old (we were making felt picture squares for Christmas, mine was a reindeer), after that point I would make my own plush toys by hand, or use those skills to repair holes or attach buttons to my own clothing. I took home economics in high school, where I ambitiously tried to make a silver trenchcoat (look, I was going through my Matrix phase), the results weren’t too bad, wish I still had photos of it.
I then studied fashion design at TAFE in 2009 and that’s when I began cosplaying. I had seen cosplayers at international conventions and thought they were so cool, but Perth didn’t even get a comic convention until 2008, so I never had the opportunity to cosplay myself, nor see other people doing it in person. Our costumes were all rough as hell at that first Supanova, most of us just lazily slapped on some Joker make-up, myself included. It was more akin to what you would expect from a Halloween party, or maybe a Star Trek convention from the 70’s. A part of me actually loves that DIY, improvised look before cosplay became so serious and competitive. I think that spirit is the one I continue on with Cosplay Couture, accuracy doesn’t excite me, assembling an outfit from found items or customising the costume to suit you as an individual, that’s what I love. Thankfully Marvel canonically did that for me.
This shoot was taken around the time the first Avengers movie was released, so the Marvel hype was at an all-time high, and we all loved Loki. I didn’t have to dress up as the male Loki, there was already a female one in the comics and I really liked her design. I assembled this costume while studying costume design at WAAPA, during the long hours sitting around backstage during rehearsals, I would make the chainmail bodice, the first and only time I’ve worked with chainmail, it was difficult, but the results were great. Back then I had dreams of being a professional cosplayer, so I would spend countless hours trying to make elaborate costumes from scratch, I learned a lot of new techniques through trial and error. I made that helmet out of real leather (apparently money was no object?) I created the pattern and everything by myself. The sceptre was the only thing I had help with, I’m still no good with props.
I’m proud of the work I did, that was quite an impressive costume, maybe one of my best. I’m surprised how natural I was in front of the camera considering I had never done any modelling before that. I am accompanied by Ben Gates as Thor and Alex Suriano as Cardboard Iron Man. I don’t see these guys much anymore, but we were part of such a tight friend group back at uni. Life sure changes a lot once you get into your 30’s, huh? Oh no, I can hear the Stand By Me theme somewhere in the distance, I’ll wrap this up.
Here’s a fun discovery, my old tutorial from my now deleted DeviantART account still floats around online: