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Thief Cosplay Spotlight: Smish

Posted by Valerie Bourdeau

Sarah-Michelle, AKA Smish, is another in a fantastic line of Fem-Garrett cosplayers. We saw her at Dragon Con and just had to show you her costume, so we tracked her down for a little interview!

Hello Smish! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. In addition to my love for tasty cocktails and bad weather, I’m a photographer who spends most of her free time playing video games, snowboarding, and watching baseball or football.

How did you get into cosplaying?

My younger sister, an experienced cosplayer and fellow gamer, is entirely to blame for this newfound hobby. After a little encouragement and a lot of assistance fabricating weapons, I gave cosplaying a try and was immediately addicted. Soon after, it became our "sister bonding" activity. Nothing brings two girls together like hot glue and insulation foam.

Why did you choose to cosplay as Garrett?

In my opinion, Garrett is one of the most intriguing video game characters. His snarky attitude, stealthy style, and unique weapons are unforgettable. In short, he’s a bad ass and I’m a fan.

What kind of planning did you have to do before getting started on the costume?

The planning took much longer than the actual fabrication of the costume. I have a folder on my laptop with every image of Garrett on the internet (or at least it seems that way). Each picture was used to get a better idea of the individual components of the costume were laced, stitched, and sewn. At first, I was overwhelmed by the amount of detail in each component, from the difference in knee pads to the lacing on the coattails. Countless hours went into sketching versions of Garrett that would better fit a more feminine figure and not leave me a sweaty mess in the Atlanta heat. I have a pile of sketches listing material types, fabric color, embroidery details, etc. As tedious as the planning process was, I really enjoyed dissecting Garrett’s look!

How did you make your costume? Walk us through the steps.

The fabrication process took just over 24 hours, with me finishing up some details at the convention. Garrett is a master thief, and I’m a master procrastinator. :)

Most of the sewing hours were logged while working on Garrett’s corset, which was my favourite and the most intricate part of his look (besides the bow, of course). With 5 different fabrics, a handful of Command Hooks and too many paper brads, I MacGyvered a replica that I was happy with, given my limited fabrication time. I used a carabiner in place of the metal ring holding together his cape. Actually, I ended up wearing more than a couple metal bits from Home Depot.

The bow was my sister's creation and took about a week to make. She used balsa wood, insulation foam, and bottle caps to create Garrett's unique weapon. The arrows were much easier to make, but my next challenge is to figure out how to upgrade a few into convention-friendly fire arrows.

What was the hardest or most frustrating part of the project?

I knew Garrett’s signature bow was going to be the most difficult aspect to make from scratch, so I admit I passed that assignment to my sister. After stealthily dodging that hurdle, the most difficult part of recreating Garrett was fabricating the detailed corset. Layers of leather and 50+ grommets later, it turned out to be my favorite part of the costume.

What was the most fun or surprising aspect of the project?

Hands down, the most fun part of the project was walking around and seeing people appreciate both the work and the character. Taking pictures with fellow fans really made my day! With any cosplay, all the fun comes from sharing your appreciation for a game or character with others.

Where have you shown off your costume, and what reactions did you get from fans?

I was beyond stoked to find heaps of other enthusiastic Thief fans in Atlanta during Dragon Con 2013. A couple people confused me with Dark Archer from Arrow, but I set them straight by swiping their wallets. Don’t mess with Garrett.

Do you have any pro tips for people who want to start cosplaying?

"Pro tips"? I can’t be of any help there! But as someone who just recently started cosplaying, I’d suggest picking a character you’re truly passionate about. Also, let your creativity run wild! You’ll be surprised by what you can make with household objects, hot glue, and good old ingenuity.

What's your next cosplay project?

I’m going to fix up some details on Garrett first, but my next big project will probably be from League of Legends. I’m not sure my Mario Kart 64 Halloween costume counts as cosplay.

I don't know about you guys, but I want to see that Mario Kart cosplay. Does it include the kart? We want to know, Smish! Thanks for sharing your cosplay experience with us.

Do you know more awesome cosplayers we should feature? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or in the forums!

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