(cos)WED: Alanna of Trebond by Ginger Armadillo Costumes

Written by Riri (@lillyums)

Welcome to Cosplay Wednesday! We are featuring a returning cosplayer from Ginger Armadillo Costumes. If you recall, they had an awesome Bioshock cosplay in their first feature. They are back to showcase Alanna of Trebond from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet. Tamora Pierce is the author of Song of the Lioness Quartet, which is part of a series of young adult fantasy novels about the protagonist of the series, Alanna of Trebond. The first part of the series follows Alanna's growth as a page in the royal court. She is a tomboy and keeps her gender a secret, while learning to fence, fight, ride, and study alongside the male pages. I've never heard of these books but it sounds like a fantastic story.  Let's see how Ginger Armadillo Costumes killed it!

Cosplayer: Ginger Armadillo Costumes (FB)
Cosplay: Alanna of Trebond, from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet
Photographer: Giosia Photography (watermarked photos) (FB) and Ginger Armadillo Costumes

1. How long have you been cosplaying?
My first official cosplay at a convention was Harley Quinn at ECCC in 2010, but I've been dressing up like a dork my whole life.

2. Why did you choose to cosplay this character?
It is hard to express how influential these Tamora Pierce's YA novels were for me, and for so many girls like me. Her heroines were my first introduction to truly real, human, strong female characters; women who don't just kick ass, but have their own fears and desires and inherently female issues. These ladies were amazing role models during my formative years, and Alanna was my favorite.

Reading 'Alanna: The First Adventure' as a short, stubborn, red-headed twin myself, I had never read a book with a main character who was so like me! I was instantly in love. I used to dress up as Alanna as a kid, back when my "costume" was just a long t-shirt and leggings and a belt. I've always wanted to re-visit her, and I finally had the time and experience to do her justice!

3. How long did it take you to complete?
This costume was completed over the course of about two months. All of the fabric portions were slowly worked at the same time as other projects. The armor and shield were made in one big cosplay push during the last week or so of work.

4. Any difficulties when constructing the costume?
I'd never done any work with EVA foam before, so making my shield was quite the challenge. In particular, I had originally intended to make the lioness rampant look like wrought metal, but using a dremel to shape EVA is NOT my strong suit, apparently. I ended up going for a rough-hewn wooden look instead, to hide my mistakes. Because it was a medieval costume, I tried to treat all imperfections as "period appropriate" and then just weathered everything until I stopped worrying about them.

Crafting Alanna's magical glowing pendant was also a challenge. I ended up making a hollow resin crystal into which I could put an LED pearl. I wish it were a little bit brighter in photos...

5. What do you love most about cosplaying this character?
This costume is actually MOBILE, and I love it! I've done a lot of pleather and spandex, but I've never been able to move properly in any of that superhero getup. It feels awesome to be able to be able to clamber over rocks or hike through the mud or wield a sword. I could climb a tree in it (and I did..)

Minus the purple contacts, this costume is also easily my most low-maintenance in regards to hair and make-up!

6. Where did you debut this costume? If you haven't... where do you plan to debut?
I have only done photoshoots so far. but I plan to debut it at GeekGirlCon this year!

7. What's next? Cosplay related of course...
For GeekGirlCon, we want to do a group of female heroines from classic YA literature (though "classic" mostly means "what we read growing up in the '90s). I will be helping with costumes for Lyra (His Dark Materials) and Sabriel (Abhorsen Trilogy) and potentially more awesome ladies!

This was really beautifully made, what a great cosplay.

Interested in submitting for a feature? Follow the instructions in the link below