Tomb Raider was also my catalyst into the comic world. When I laid eyes on my first Michael Turner cover featuring Lara Croft and Sara Pezzini from Witchblade, I was in love. I’ve been a fan of comic books ever since, and my tastes have greatly diversified over the years. My passion for comics and video games eventually led me to conventions, and ultimately cosplay.
Redesigning the Prince to be feminine wasn’t difficult. I decided to leave the shirt open per the original design and wear a bra underneath for modesty. I also made the pants significantly tighter and opted for long hair spilling out from underneath the head wrap.
Instead of making the long duster from scratch, I sifted through eBay listings for months before finding a perfect leather duster with crochet accents. I removed the sleeves and dyed the jacket, ensuring not to stir the bath so that it had an uneven, worn look to it. I took in the waist to make it fit better, and added trim around the arms and length for an ornate touch.
The shirt was another found item, which was cut up and taken in appropriately. I couldn’t find orange leggings, so I purchased white cotton ones and dyed them instead – again not stirring the dye bath, in order to give it a textured look. I reused the sleeves of the jacket for boot covers, attaching snaps to the leggings to make sure they stayed in place. I fabricated the belt from scratch; the same with the head scarf, fraying the ends as needed.
I had previous experience with gauntlets thanks to my Witchblade costume, so the prince’s glove wasn’t entirely terrifying to make. I started with a leather gardening glove, elongated it with Wonderflex, and used paper to pattern out the pieces for the claw. I made a point to cut and position the pieces so that the fingers would still articulate. From there I heated the pieces and molded them to my hand, and used puff paint to add the patterning. The last steps were distressing the gauntlet with paint, and adding accent pieces and leather to polish off the look.
I had such a great time cosplaying as the Princess of Persia that I opted to debut another crossplay the very next year. Two-Face has always been one of my favorite villains. Instead of replicating the more realistic version of Two-Face from the movies, I wanted to play with the styling from Batman: The Animated Series by contrasting electric blue makeup with the crisp black and white suit. I also thought it would be interesting to try something simultaneously grotesque and glamourous.
In reality, the costume wasn’t that difficult to pull together. It took a few weeks to find similar cut suits on eBay, but the corsets and shoes were easy enough to secure. Non-prescription contacts were slightly hard to come by, and slightly hard to wear considering I had never used them before. Even with the costume done I was nervous that the look wouldn’t come together. As such, I didn’t tell anyone about Lady Two-Face until I stepped out the hotel door at San Diego Comic Con 2011.
I had nothing to worry about though, because Hydred Makabali – the makeup artist I hire for SDCC every year – knocked the look out of the park. It took six hours of applying blue latex, sculpting wax, acrylic nails, and white hair spray to finish, but I’m very, very happy with the result. Lady Two-Face is one of my favorite costumes to date.
Sewing the pants and corset was more time consuming rather than difficult. The armor took months to complete, and choosing the best technique was the result of much trial and error. I ended up using a hybrid of motocross armor, Wonderflex, and craft foam. I actually have no idea what the large circle pieces on the chest are, but I think they’re somehow associated with toilets, as I found them in the plumbing department of my local hardware store.
After finishing the armor, I used a soldering iron to burn in battle damage and make it look worn and weathered. Afterwards I coated each item with black and silver paint. When the paint was fully dry, I sanded it down with a block to make it appear dull and worn. I also stippled a warm brown on top of each piece to make it look dirty. Red and yellow were used in various locations for accent, which I again sanded down. I polished off the look with little flecks of a rust color near any damaged pieces. Everything was then coated with a clear (satin) coat, and again sanded down so that only a few areas looked reminiscent of once-polished armor. The whole process took a week to finish when taking into account drying time.
The team at Epic Games lent me a Lancer replica for the show, and then gifted it to me after seeing the finished costume. It is now the pride and joy of my prop collection.