Croft Couture #15: Victoria
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 women, and give Lara costumers a spot to share their experiences while dressed as gaming’s leading lady.
Victoria is living proof that games, and the characters within them, can truly inspire strength and courage in us. That’s all I’ll say – Victoria does an eloquent job of sharing how Lara Croft truly changed her life below.
- Name: Victoria Centeno
- Country: United States
- Occupation: Preschool Teacher and part-time model
- Fan Since: 1999
- Favorite Tomb Raider Game: Tomb Raider: Legend
- Favorite Non-Lara Tomb Raider Character: Alister Fletcher
- Favorite Tomb Raider Villain: Amanda Evert
- Number of Lara Croft Costumes: Two
- First Lara Croft Cosplay: Catsuit
- Favorite Lara Croft Cosplay: Legend
- Future Lara Croft Cosplay: Angelina Jolie Movie Version
What first drew you to the Tomb Raider franchise, and what initially inspired you to cosplay as Lara Croft?
In 1999 I was injured in a car accident. My injuries were extensive; two blood transfusions, 17 fractures and three titanium rods were implanted in my body (along with several bolts and screws). At first doctors were not sure if I would be able to walk ever again. When I was released from the hospital two months later, I was in a wheel chair. My mother bought a Playstation and a few of the Tomb Raider games to help me pass the time. It was an amazing experience. Although I was physically trapped in a wheel chair, I was able to walk again through Lara. I could escape the boredom and the depression and travel the world, climb mountains and uncover mystic artifacts. Lara inspired me to get back on my feet. The doctors said if I worked hard I could be walking again in a year and a half, maybe one year. Because of my hard work, determination, and the strength that Lara gave me, I was walking in nine months. Not long after that, the first film was released and people were saying I looked like Angelina Jolie. So I have mum to thank for introducing me to the franchise. I began cosplaying in 2006 and Lara was a no brainer and I eventually cosplayed her.
What Lara Croft costume did you tackle first?
I decided to go with her catsuit. Lara looks like a total badass in that outfit. It’s very super spy/Bond Girl and I had a catsuit from my Catwoman costume so I decided to turn it into Lara.
What is your favorite Lara Croft ensemble?
Ooh it’s so hard to choose! I really love her Legend look and her outfit in Underworld is wonderful.
What Croft costumes are still on your roster?
I would love to do her traditional outfit with the green top! It’s a sin that I haven’t done that yet.
Which Lara costume was the most difficult to construct? Was it due to a particular garment or prop?
This is more of a wardrobe malfunction but the grenades I have for my Legend costume will not stay in their straps! It’s very annoying. At the 2011 San Diego Comic Con they kept falling out so I ended up stuffing them in my backpack.
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?
I think I’ve taken on Lara’s adventurous spirit. I use to be such a shy little thing and was such a homebody. Now I travel the country and I’ve entered the entertainment industry as a model. I’ve really put myself out there and try to take every opportunity that comes my way whether I think I will fail or succeed. I’m daring. I love trying new things.
Along the same lines, what’s the most exotic location you’ve traveled to?
Sadly, I’ve never traveled outside the U.S. but my dream is to travel to Egypt. I am obsessed and fascinated with Ancient Egyptian culture.
What about Lara’s physical strength or mental prowess most inspires you? Has this, or your desire to cosplay Lara, influenced your daily life?
Oh absolutely! Lara inspired me to walk again. It wasn’t an easy process. I worked extremely hard in physical therapy and it was a lot of blood, sweat and tears but I never gave up because Lara would never give up. I would not stop until I was out of that chair. Lara gave me that strength and that is why she is so very important to me and will forever remain my hero. Words can’t express how close she is to my heart.
Photos by Grace Moss | Chip Johansen | Dale Ramp | Brian Green
My pals and I at New York Comic Con 2012. Batman and Huntress costume by: http://www.facebook.com/ragecustomcreations
Sydney Savage and Abbey Chase interrogate J. Scott Campbell on the release of the next Danger Girl book at New York Comic Con 2012! J. was a great sport and let us take this fun pic!
Please vote for my Wonder Woman cosplay in the Wizard World contest! You can vote once a day and voting ends Friday, May 25th. Thank you<3 http://bit.ly/JTU2YT