I loved the Black Panther movie and seeing all the intricate traditional clothing made with a modern twist was inspiring. I definitely wanted to give it a try to recreate the design.
Surprisingly Shuri’s leggings were just as hard to make as the more detailed pieces because of the particular way the straps are supposed to cross over. I hand embroidered the patterns on the layered skirt. There are hundreds of crystal, glass, rock, and wood beads I strung together which came to be a very heavy cosplay. The headpiece jaws are sculpted with clay and attach with a headband and the metal plate on the chest was embossed tin covering on steel backing.
When I made the jaw pieces I didn’t realize the white clay for the teeth was glow in the dark so it made for a scary yet funny surprise when I came into a dark room and all you see is the outline of glowing fangs. Other cosplayers weren’t expecting the pop of intrigue.
I discovered cosplay at the beginning of high school when I started exploring more anime that didn’t just air on TV here. When you look online it would show people dressed as the characters and I wanted to know where people were wearing costumes outside of Halloween. When I found out about conventions I instantly wanted to go to one and started teaching myself to sew.
Raleigh Supercon is a huge, exciting convention for more than just anime. I was surprised by how many mainstream American actors and guests they brought in from different platforms. There are very few cons I’ve gone to that I can enjoy anime, America shows, games and more all in the same space equally. My favorite part of the con is the hilarious improv panels and the massive cosplay contest!