It all started in 2012 when my local convention, Torucon, announced their theme: Game of Thrones!
I actually chose Daenerys Targaryen at first, I even made her costume, the Dothraki version. However, when I asked a friend of mine to consider Margaery Tyrell for her cosplay, she told me that I should be her instead because I was a spitting image of her. I did see the resemblance between me and Miss Dormer, and people had from time to time commented on it, but that was mostly in reference to the TV show The Tudors. I ended up changing my entire plan for the convention and thus began the long journey to Margaery perfection.
At first I did not care much for how accurate the costume was or what materials were correct for the outfit, but after I made my first dress for Margaery, I was hooked! I begun to look for ways to get the pattern on her dress right, because the first one I simply drew on with fabric pens.
I found out that I could embroider them on, so I did, and I was happy with how it turned out, but not with how my new dress looked overall, so I made a new one.
I ended up making quite a few different versions of her outfits, from embroidering the pattern to having it custom printed, to eventually finding what they had used in the show, and getting my hands on them. It's not exactly cheap, but as my popularity as a Margaery cosplayer grew due to social media and how fast the word about me spread, I felt like I had to give something back. To this day I have two screen-accurate costumes of Margaery, and I have already started to gather materials for a new one.
I got quite obsessed with getting everything in my Margaery cosplays perfect, so I also got a custom-made wig. This transferred into my other cosplays as well, since I am a perfectionist. The most recent cosplay I did this with is with Triss Merigold from the game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
I used many hours online and in stores to get the materials perfect for the cosplay, this pushed me to work with leather and I turned out to love it as a material. I did Triss's leather corset twice before I was completely satisfied. For the first one I drew the pattern on with Copic-Markers, but it didn't give it the depth that I wanted because her top is embossed. So I came up with a different solution: leather pyrography, and that is what I used on the final corset. I also made her shoes, altering an old pair I had, and stretched the leather to make it fit and give them the right shape. This cosplay also had to be weathered to make it look authentic.
I was a little afraid that I would not be able to pull it off the way I wanted to. It's difficult to recreate the facial structures of a gaming character. So I got into contouring make-up, which helped a lot, and I finally mastered the look of Triss Merigold – at least to a standard where I was satisfied, which in the end is all that matters. It's fun to see just how much I can get myself to look like the characters I cosplay.
The amount of work and how much of myself I put into my cosplays has resulted in absolute perfectionism for me while getting the cosplays to look as screen-accurate as possible. It's fun to see how many of my followers take a liking to this, but it has also made me put very high standards on my cosplays. Over the years as a cosplayer, I have evolved my skills in the trades I use, such as sewing and leather-working and using different types of thermoplastics, and it pushes me to new limits and challenges me as a crafter. Hard work and dedications has opened many new doors for me.
Cosplay is dedication and love for the work that you do.
Please take a look at my Facebook page to see more of what I do: https://www.facebook.com/SantatoryCosplay