Cloud Strife, by Malindachan

This cosplay is of Cloud Strife, as he appears in the PSP video game Final Fantasy: Crisis Core. This game takes place in the years preceding the events of Final Fantasy 7, when a younger Cloud becomes estranged from his SOLDIER employers and takes up Zack Fair’s legacy.

Cloud is cosplayed by the beautiful Malinda Mathis, known online as Malindachan. Based in Chicago, Illinois, she originally studied computer animation, but is currently employed at the Arda Wigs costume shop, and has been cosplaying for almost twelve years. Malinda bases her cosplays on her passion for anime and gaming, and has won several awards for her handmade costumes.

The costume is almost entirely made by hand. Malinda specializes in wig design, and Cloud’s gravity-defying hair is captured perfectly by this platinum blonde wig made of hand-styled synthetic fibres, a little glue, and a light spraying of Got2be hairspray. The jacket and pants were made of blue denim fabric. The harness, leg-straps and gloves are very fancy; made of brown vinyl and craft foam, and finished with studs and buckles, they look truly authentic. The pauldrons were made of fabric scraps using a papier-mâché technique, coated in fibreglass resin, painted, and then finished with a few effects to reflect wear-and-tear from Cloud’s many battles. A similar process went into creating the rifle and knee guards. Finally, a pair of men’s work boots bought from K-mart and a green ribbed-knit cotton fabric scarf completed the costume. A detailed description of how this costume was made can be found here.

Final Fantasy 7 is Malinda’s favourite game, and the craftsmanship of this costume reflects her passion and talent. She plans to visit a number of conventions in 2016, including Anime STL, ACen, Cosplacon, Dragon Con, and Daishocon – as well as a number of smaller conventions around Chicago.

The main image was taken by the extremely talented Rory Pfeifer, from Columbia, Missouri. Donning his iconic feather-brimmed hat and dastardly moustache, Rory takes superb photos through his attention to posture and environment, but rarely makes use of special effects. His work can be found on his Flickr stream, and DeviantArt page. The other photos were taken by Brian Navy, also known as Kuragiman (official website and DeviantArt profile), Joseph Chi Lin, a photographer based in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area (Facebook page and Twitter), and Ashley Johnson.

Have a look at Malindachan’s official Facebook page and Tumblr for her most up-to-date costumes. More info about events and conventions that she’ll be attending can be found on her Twitter. She also has detailed DeviantArt, CureCos, and WorldCosplay profiles. The Synchro Hearts Cosplay channel on Youtube has a few of her earlier cosplays, though unfortunately it hasn’t been updated in the last three years. Such a pity – we want to see more of her cosplays in action!

More information about Final Fantasy: Crisis Core can be found on the official Japanese or English websites.

Cloud Strife by Malindachan

Cloud Strife by Malindachan

Cloud Strife by Malindachan

Cloud Strife by Malindachan

Posted by on 3/31/2016. Filed under Cosplay, Headlines, IRL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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