Leta Lestrange Cosplay

Hello all you lovely people,
I am here with a new blog post about my first ever cosplay! Yay!!

For years I have been interested in cosplaying. It seems like loads of fun and I've always wanted to try it, but I've been hesitant... For many reasons. One, being that I can't sew. Well... I suppose that's not true anymore, because I did sew! I made a whole dress, from my own pattern and with a tricky fabric, and all the obstacles could still not stop me! I actually made my own dress! I can barely believe it myself.

The second reason why I've previously hesitated to cosplay was that I just never found the right character. I didn't know who to cosplay. As a woman of colour I have always wanted to cosplay a character of colour too. I wanted a character that was a woman of colour, because it is important to me that we are seen! As the massive Potterhead that I am, I've always wanted to cosplay a Harry Potter character, but there hasn't been many options (pre Black-Hermione), and the options I had I didn't quite like. Enter Fantastic Beasts! Suddenly there are many more POC in the Potterverse, and they are interesting characters!

Leta Lestrange interested me from the get-go. Her relationship with Newt is something I'm very curious about and her character seems to be a complex one (which always sparks my interest). When I saw the costume that Zoë Kravitz wears as Leta Lestrange in the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts series; The Crimes of Grindelwald, I knew I had found my character to cosplay!

With the seven photos of the costume that has been released so far I embarked on my journey of sewing myself Leta Lestrange's burgundy dress. It's a very fun design, there's a theme of triangles on this dress. The sleeves have triangular pieces and there's a cape that is attached in a triangle in the back. The dress is however softened by the circular patterns on the skirt and the elegant cape that drapes the back of the dress.

It took me a little more than a week and a half to finish the dress. I won't lie - parts of it was tricky, but it was so much fun, and I really think that sewing can become a pastime of mine. My sister and I defied the cold weather to take some photos at one of the oldest buildings in my town. It was built in the 1920's and currently holds a school. It really has a gorgeous architecture that fits nicely with the era of The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Do you cosplay? If yes, what made you start? And how do you choose which character to cosplay? I had endless fun putting this together, and I do believe I can call myself a cosplayer now. A Potterverse cosplayer, at that! As of today, it is three days left until I see The Crimes of Grindelwald (*excited*), I'm seeing it on the 13th of November and I can't wait! Are you seeing it? When, and how excited are you? And what are your hypotheses on the new characters?

So the dress is made by me, but the wig is from Amazon, and the wand is Leta Lestrange's wand from Noble Collection. The book I'm holding in some of the photos is actually a stationery set made by MinaLima, that I got at the WB Harry Potter studio tour. All the photos are taken by my lovely sister, and edited by her and me.

Much love,


Magical Portrait

Hello all,
Hope you are well. Today I thought I'd tell you about my amazing experience getting my magical portrait shot by the fantastic photographer Xavier Boldú (@xavierboldu). In September my sister and I flew to London, for the sole purpose of the portrait. We did do other things in London as well, we made it into a whole trip, but the main reason for going was the portrait.

Now if you're a Potterhead and don't know about Xavier then you are definitely missing out. Xavier is a freelance photographer based in London, and is currently working on a series of magical Wizarding Portraits. I contacted Xavier after seeing his amazing portraits on instagram, to see if we could work something out, he was the sweetest and I managed to purchase a commission, and with that the excitement started.

In the process of shooting.
Photo: My sister.

Xavier and I planned the portrait together. What is so brilliant about Xavier's portraits is that he finds something about the person in the portraits to include, a characteristic, or a hobby to display. For example for my portrait we decided to go with a potions theme, and portray me as a potions master, because I'm in the laboratory a lot in my work as a cancer researcher. For other portraits he's had bakers and tailors, collectors and merchants.

"The wand chooses the wizard, Harry".
Photo: My sister.

The day of the portrait my sister and I went over to Xavier's flat to take the photo. We were met by Xavier and his assistant photographer Harry (@focusframe_), a whole lot of props, including a beautiful wand made especially for me by Brown and Lobban (@brownandlobban), and the fantastic velvet costume that I would wear for the portrait. Xavier and Harry had earlier on found the gorgeous costume from National Theatre's Costume Hire (@nationaltheatrecostumehire).

 Admiring my wand from Brown and Lobban.
Photo: My sister.

Xavier continued to style every prop in minuscule detail for ultimate perfection. And then the magic of Xavier's work started. I had the best time ever with the boys and my sister. We had loads of fun while getting the portrait up to the standards where Xavier was happy with it, and the results really speak for itself.

The whole experience was one of the best of my life, it was so much fun and magical, and I feel like I made great friends in Xavier and Harry. We had tons of fun, I'm extremely happy with the portrait and will cherish it forever.

Harry, Xavier and me.
Gif: My sister.

The Wizarding Portraits series is still in the making, so I'm leaving all of Xavier's information down here in case anyone, like me, feel the need to contact him for a portrait. I'll say this much: It was some of the most fun I've ever had,  Xavier and Harry are super sweet and the portrait is magical beyond belief. It is also possible to support Xavier's work by becoming his patron on Patreon.

Until next time.
Much love,