Croft Couture #2: Anastasya Zelenova
The Tomb Raider fandom is full of talented artists, entertainers, and perhaps most notably, phenomenal cosplay talent. “Croft Couture” aims to showcase these lovely and dedicated ladies, and give Lara costumers a spot to share their experiences while dressed as gaming’s leading lady.
I first discovered Anastasya’s fantastic Tomb Raider tributes through her pitch-perfect Doppelganger garb, and have been hooked to her DeviantArt feed ever since. Check out her photos above, and dig into her motivation below.
- Name: Anastasya Zelenova
- Country: Russia
- Occupation: Student
- Fan Since: 2006
- Favorite Tomb Raider Game: Tomb Raider: Legend
- Favorite Non-Lara Tomb Raider Character: Doppelganger
- Favorite Tomb Raider Villain: Natla
- Number of Lara Croft Costumes: Around eight
- First Lara Croft Cosplay: Tomb Raider: Legend winter outfit
- Favorite Lara Croft Cosplay: Tomb Raider: Underworld shorts
- Future Lara Croft Cosplay: Tomb Raider 2012 (more details) & Underworld’s wetsuit
Website | YouTube | DeviantArt
What first drew you to the Tomb Raider franchise, and what initially inspired you to cosplay as Lara Croft?
My acquaintance with Lara began with Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. It was one of the first games I played on my computer. From the very first location I felt this mysterious atmosphere. I was interested in the character of Lara, and she has become my ideal woman. I wanted to be as strong, brave, athletic, and educated. One day, I saw a picture of a girl dressed as Lara on the Internet. I was surprised. Despite my young age I decided to try it. I’m not going to hide that it was Jenn Croft and Tiphaine! Due to cosplay I’ve become actively involved in sports.
What Lara Croft costume did you tackle first?
I made winter outfit from Tomb Raider: Legend, in which Lara was in Kazakhstan. Just then it was winter and I had my first real photoshoot.
What is your favorite Lara Croft ensemble?
I really love the classic outfit. Especially, Lara’s mission in Egypt. This ancient atmosphere is unique. Also I really like the plot of Tomb Raider: Legend. I really like myths and legends. In this part of the game had so many incredible locations, which I always promised myself to visit!
What Croft costumes are still on your roster?
There are many costumes I would like to realize. I am dreaming of an underwater photoshoot. I think that would be very interesting! In addition, I would like to complete Tomb Raider 2012’s costume and make photos in similar location. I think that the game will be awesome realistic!
Which Lara costume was the most difficult to construct? Was it due to a particular garment or prop?
I think the Legend costume was most difficult because I made costume completely independently. Before, I’ve done all the costumes with my photographer Alexander Stepanov. He really helped me in my cosplay.
Lara Croft’s lifestyle is full of intrigue and adventure. Do you have any memorable photoshoots or convention appearances that pay tribute to Lara’s lifestyle?
When I was trained for a fan-film I completely felt in the character of Lara. I took physical training, martial arts, acrobatics, practice shooting with a weapon, parkour, and more thanks to my coach Dasha Bogacheva. After that I felt myself stronger. All photoshoots are very memorable for me. There were many funny and dangerous situations. I always try to show the action on photos. Always have to climb up and sometimes it’s dangerous. In one of the photo session I fell from the cliff but nothing happened and I got off a couple of bruises.
Along the same lines, what’s the most exotic location you’ve traveled to?
I’ve been to Egypt and Turkey. I was most impressed with the ancient city Hierapolis, the Greco-Roman city (modern Pamukkale, Turkey). It was fantastic!
What about Lara’s physical strength or mental prowess most inspires you? Has this, or your desire to cosplay Lara, influenced your daily life?
Lara really motivates me. I like soundtracks from different parts of the games. I like to listen it, especially while running. When I take part in sports competitions her image gives me the strength to move forward. It gives me faith in myself. I want to improve my physical shape and develop my acrobatic abilities. I hope that I can do it. All difficulties make us stronger, don’t give up!
Photography by: Valeria Beck | Alex Croft