24 June 2015

I hope you all had a great E3! There will be more updates from the show appearing on the site over the next few days, but I wanted to take a quick break in the middle of the rush to spotlight a specific fan's awesome work. I really like it when fans cosplay, I'm utterly useless at it myself, but I admire those who do as a hobby. The amount of dedication and accuracy they put into the outfit, searching for the right location, preparation for the photograph; it's a lot of work! Danii, also known as online as Masamune, is a talented Lara Croft cosplayer who has posted a series of stunning photos online via her DeviantArt page.

She recently completed a Lara Croft costume with a twist; combining elements of the classic series with elements of Steampunk. The result is a beautiful original outfit with impressive fine details which you may not pick up immediately, but which add to the outfit. There may be a few Steampunk interpretations of Lara's outfit but the incredible thing about each is the variety; no outfit looks similar and each artist has gone their own different route. Danii's outfit is undeniable beautiful and her ability to capture Lara's personality is a real talent. She makes a wonderful Tomb Raider!

Recently I had the opportunity to talk to her about her work. Read our conversation below!

You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and deviantArt.

 Tell us a little about yourself!

I am a British cosplayer and I have been an avid comic book, video game and anime fan from as long as I can remember. I would get so immersed with the wonderful stories and art. I would always run around in the garden pretending I was from some sort of alternate universe or magical land with super powers!

What inspired you to cosplay as Lara Croft?

I have always been a huge fan of Lara Croft, I have played every game! She is such a strong female video game character and as a young girl I found her very inspiring. I wanted to pay homage to her but also put my own twist on the costume. I love steampunk, so I thought I would have a go at designing my own original costume.

How did you come up with the design for your own Lara Croft Steampunk outfit?

Firstly I decided that I wanted to base my version of Lara Croft on the classic Lara look from the PS1 series. I wanted to make sure that her main elements were featured, in order to make the cosplay relatable, then I added all of the steampunk adaptations.

What has been the hardest part of designing the outfit and how did you work around it?

I think my main hurdle was designing the costume so that it had enough Steampunk elements but was still recognisable as Lara Croft. Which is why I decided to add the steampunk gauntlet and bracer and also the jetpack, which replaced her usual backpack. I also wanted to focus on smaller features, such as adding a silver cog onto her leather gloves and the lace trim I sewed onto her shorts.

There were a few tricky parts. Designing the gauntlets were fun but challenging! Especially deciding on where to add the cogs, keys, clock hands and wire. It was also my first time making a leather bracer. The jetpack was difficult, I went to B&Q and bought so many items to piece it all together. From hose pipes, to plungers, a hack saw, PVC pipe, hose rings, an AC vent and the list goes on.


 What tips would you give someone who wants to cosplay Lara?

I would recommend looking at concept art and as many reference pictures as you can to get a clear, concise idea of her costume. I also spend as much time as I can researching for materials and new methods when it comes to crafting. I also find that listening to the soundtrack of the character I’m cosplaying helps too!

Looking back at when you started cosplaying, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

When I first started cosplaying I hadn’t sewed before so I found that very daunting. Through watching many tutorials and with the help of a dear friend of mine I managed to learn and overcame that problem.

What's the best thing about cosplaying?

The best thing about cosplaying to me, is being able to bring your favourite characters to life and seeing the outcome of all the hard work you have put into the crafting process and also meeting lots of awesome like minded people when attending conventions.

What's the strangest thing about cosplaying?

I think that would be the strange looks that I get on public transport whenever I’m on my way to a convention. Peoples reactions can be very entertaining!


Why do you cosplay?

I cosplay because of my deep undying love for all things video game, comic book and anime related. I love paying homage to my favourite games and characters, plus it keeps me creative and I’m always learning new things.

Where can we follow your adventures online?

You can follow me on deviant art: Masamune Cosplay
and Instagram: Shiro Masamune
and Facebook: Masamune and Nightingale Cosplay
and Twitter: Shiro Masamune

A HUGE thank you to Danii for the interview!


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