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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is one of the year’s most anticipated films. All us Potterheads may have thought the movie universe was over with ‘The Deathly Hallows,’ yet were then surprised by the news of not one, not three, but five magical tales of wizardy and beastly exploits would be coming our way.
Detailing the story of Newt Scamander and his adventures discovering, capturing, and studying magical creatures, ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ is sure to be an exciting and a rich addition to the world of Harry Potter. It also opens up a whole new cast of characters to cosplay!
I mean, that’s what we nerds think of immediately… right?
Cosplayer and Fashion Designer
Well it’s definitely what cosplayer and fashion designer Alston Stephanus thought of after seeing the first stills from the film. No sooner had he admired Newt’s waistcoat than he set about creating his very own version of the creature-toting wizard.
Even better yet… he didn’t have to make a costume!
A Newt Scamander Cosplay
Hot Topic may be coming out with a casual cosplay line specifically for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’ but the fact is, Alston actually owned all the items he needed for his Newt Scamander cosplay. He just happens to dress like a 1920s wizard in his normal day-to-day life.
And that’s not a lie. Preferring to dress in vintage clothes and in a vintage style, Alston just had to go through his wardrobe and find similar pieces to the curious wizard. Really, the hardest part was trying to decide which bowtie to use. Given he was just rifling through his closet, the outfit Alston put together is definitely channeling the original costume. It’s his own version of the character; an Indonesian Newt Scamander if you will. Alston said he wasn’t going to get a wig to match Eddie Redmayne or anything, because that wasn’t him. Racebending in cosplay is a wonderful way to show that it doesn’t matter the color of your skin is, you can portray any character, and that’s exactly what Alston has done.
The photographs were shot and edited by Noriko Sugiura who was assisted by Miki Takashima. They have a particularly whimsical nature to them, which perfectly represents the world of wizards and witches that we have all come to love. There’s also a sophistication there, thanks to the 1920s setting.
It’s clear that the photo shoot has something a bit… different about it. The illustrated backgrounds came about actually because Alston unfortunately got ill the day of the shoot sick and thus unable to go with the original plan of heading out into New York City to photograph at actual locations. Quickly brainstorming, Alston and his photographers chose to add to the fantastical element of the project and decided on having illustrated backgrounds in lieu of being on location. And that’s where Lacey James stepped in.
Lacey took each of the photos and created an entire world around them. Looking at the production stills released for ‘Fantastic Beasts’ so far, he drew his own iterations of them, adding to the whimsy of the photo shoot. Lacey has plenty of experience illustrating backgrounds, so it was easy to see why he was chosen to contribute, and he has done a magnificent job.
It just goes to show you that cosplay photos and shoots don’t have to be just point and click… sometimes, you can create something magical with something unexpected.