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Welcome back to what will be the tentative final installment in this cosplay series! I'll need some time to find variety for future lists, but for now, let's tag along on a galactic journey with:
1. Atelier Heidi and Satchell Drakes as Rey and Finn from the 'Star Wars' franchise (see featured photo)
It's not often that I find people cosplaying in pairs, so I was really happy to see YouTubers and friends Heidi O'Ferrall (aka Atelier Heidi) and Satchell (Satch) Drakes cosplay as Rey and Finn from the Star Wars movies.
The duo dressed up for RTX 2016 in Austin, Texas. It's only natural that they'd come together to pull off this twofold look. The camaraderie is definitely felt here, especially since they both look like the characters they're portraying. But if I'm to be honest, it's as if they aren't in costume, but rather just going about their daily duties in the real world as these characters.
One detail I really like are the blood stains on Heidi's bandages; they definitely give the impression that she's been in battles. It's cool that her staff has them as well, indicating the blood of what must be many on her hands, in addition to the removable strap that resembles a flowing sash from a distance. That would look epic with the deserts of Tatooine as a backdrop. The same can also be said for the authenticity demonstrated in her well-worn, earthly-coloured tunic.
Another thing I noticed is that Satch's lightsaber looks as though it's emitting beams - you won't find anything like it any cheap toy store, that's for sure.
My only gripe with Heidi's attire is that her wig makes her look as though she just dyed her hair, and the "stains" on her forehead are a little distracting. Still, she did a very good job putting together this Spartan-like ensemble that is heroic and functional, but also evokes a touch of vulnerability. I especially adore the leather cuffs; I would absolutely wear protective gear like that for practical use.
Speaking of which, I like how versatile Satch's jacket is. You could wear it wherever and whenever you want and nobody would notice it's actually supposed to be Finn's.
If you are interested in becoming one with Rey, Heidi has uploaded plenty of tutorials and photoshoot vlogs on her YouTube channel explaining how she made the transformation that you could check out. Her adventure vlog with Satch at RTX is, of course, also worth viewing for an action-packed day!
2. Atelier Heidi as Princess Zelda from 'The Legend of Zelda' franchise
I know I talk about Heidi way too much in these posts, but this was actually my most anticipated cosplay from last year. I'd been following her progress on social media since day one and I was so happy with the final product.
What else can I possibly say? If there was a Born To Be: Cosplay Edition, Heidi as Zelda would be featured in the very first episode. It is evident that tons of research and attention to detail went into figuring out which colours, fabrics, seams, and beads, among other materials will best replicate the look and how to assemble them.
Twilight Princess Zelda was the best choice for this project, as all the other Zeldas generally wear shades of pink much too bright to the point of looking cartoony rather than realistic.
If I had one nitpick, however, it would be that Heidi could have probably made it so that the two front strands of her wig didn't appear as stiff as they do. But if that's my only complain, then I clearly have nothing to complain about. Heidi does a lovely job portraying the grace and valour of Twilight Princess Zelda in her photographs all the same.
Something about Heidi I really appreciate is the fact that she takes the time to thoroughly - and openly - talk about her design techniques with her fans via photos and videos, so that others can potentially learn to create their own costumes as well. I highly recommend you follow her Instagram and Facebook page to see step-by-step how she put together this costume and others.
3. Promise Tamang Phan as Princess Zelda
Come on; you all knew this sensational - and not to mention, transformational - makeup artist was bound to make it on here at some point, right?
Promise Tamang Phan is an honest-to-God game changer when it comes to costume makeup - and the crazy thing is, she's not even a part of the theatrical makeup industry. Her face is her canvas, and she just magically recreates a near-mirrored image of any chosen subject.
Her Zelda transformation tutorial on YouTube was the first I'd seen as far as her video game character looks go, and at that moment I was instantly hooked on her artistry. She's also among the first individuals that introduced me to the whole concept of cosplaying, so she's undoubtedly a huge inspiration to me.
Needless to say, Phan's rendition of Zelda remains my favourite of her video game-themed looks to this day.
This is obviously Twilight Princess Zelda, and I think her regal, gracious design in that game suits Phan's own appearance remarkably well. Even though Zelda has a traditionally Elven appearance with pointy facial features, Phan's Asian features and darker skin tone are nevertheless refreshing. They actually give this interpretation of Zelda a friendlier and more exotic appearance.
Regarding the costume, I rather like that the shoulder armour appears larger than on the in-game model, as it pushes for the "warrior princess" aesthetic that much further. Generally speaking, the ensemble is eye-pleasing. I love how all the colours correspond with one another, especially in this lighting.
Now I know what you're all thinking: which Zelda cosplay do I prefer between Heidi and Phan? Truthfully, it's difficult to choose as both looks are essentially telling a different "story." Heidi's is technically the more accurate one, but Phan just brings something so particularly endearing to it that feels really updated and true to the essence of the character's personality. I'll let my readers decide on this one.
Thank you very much for reading and I hope to have more of these ready for you in the near future!