Final Fantasy Cosplayer, Russia

Our last cosplayer this week will be someone I wasn’t expecting to have. She is from Saint-Petersburg, Russia, a country that I wouldn’t expect to be fond of Cosplay. Her stage name is Shadow Straif a Final Fantasy Cosplayer which envelops different Anime characters as well.

She does cosplays from W.I.T.C.H, DC comics, Child of light and many more. Attending mostly Russian conventions in her vicinity like Starcon and AvaExpo. 

Shadow Straif belongs to a cosplayer group named “Victos Deos” I’m very happy to present you our next participant of the Cosplayer Interview Series with her unique story and discovery of Cosplay.

Let’s hear out her story! be ready and get your self attentive! 

Final Fantasy Cosplayer, Shadow Straif Cosplay

Garnet Till Alexandros XVll

Garnet Till Alexandros XVll by Zero_Tisa

Cosplay is my main passion because this is the awesome way to develop in many areas. The process of creating a costume includes lots of things: sewing, crafting, makeup, wig styling etc.

All costumes I made by myself. I’m trying to find inspiration in many things, but the main are books and video games.

My favorite video game is Final Fantasy VII, I already have one project from it and I have one more in plans.

Cosplay Discovery

Garnet Till Alexandros XVll

Garnet Till Alexandros XVll by Zero_Tisa

My cosplay story starts from a message. I was 14, I used to look at so many beautiful people on the internet, who created awesome costumes, and I was like « Oh, they are so cool! I would never be able to create something like this. »

In those days I didn’t even imagine myself as a cosplayer. However, a couple of years later, I have received a message, from a random girl.

To be honest , I don’t remember how exactly she found me, but she wrote to me, that she was looking through my VK page( it’s a Russian Facebook analogue) and found out that I liked anime and cosplay.

She told me, that she created a cosband (cosplayer group) and asked me if I would like to join their team. I was shocked! didn’t understand why she chooses me because I’m not a cosplayer.

I have never tried it, I haven’t any sewing or crafting skills. but I decided to say “YES”, not sure what motivated me at that time. Maybe it was just an interest, By the way, I’m still a part of this cosband.

First Convention

Aeris Gainsborough

Aeris Gainsborough by Zero_tisa

My first convention was a small Saint-Petersburg festival, which is named « M.Ani.Fest » at 2014. I performed there with my cosband. It was my first time on stage and I was so nervous, but I clearly remember that I was enjoying it.

It is a special feeling, when you are at the stage, understanding that all people are looking at you.It was scary and exciting, at the same time.


My first sewed costume was Aurora cosplay from Child of Light. It was my first self-made cosplay. At that time I wasn’t good at sewing and just a simple dress was a big challenge for me.

Also, some element from costumes were my first crafting works. Sword and crown. For now, I have only 6 finished costumes.

Definition of Cosplayer

Cornelia Hale

Cornelia Hale by D-Maximov

Cosplay means a lot to me. I used to be very shy in childhood.It was difficult for me just to talk with people, who wasn’t my close friends or relatives.

I had social anxiety and cosplay helped me to fight with it. With every convention, I felt more free, more talkative. Yes, sometimes it was hard for me to be in the place where there were many people, but I tried to work on it and now it feels okay.

The best thing in cosplay, in my opinion, is the opportunity to learn something new. With each costume, I achieved lots of new skills.

Worst Experience

It was the moment when I looked at the pictures from the festival and asked myself

“Why am I chose this character? What I was thinking about ?“


Aeris Gainsborough

Aeris Gainsborough by Zero_tisa

I’ve got some cosplayer friends and they are the greatest people. For example PoisonMary, I met her at my first convention and we still visit conventions together.

If talking about my cosplay ideal, for me it is the coolest duo « Narga Aoki cosplay », in Russia someone also knows them as « lifestream cosplay »

They are quite popular with their World Of Warcraft cosplays. Their works are so inspirational, so professional. I really admire them.


I think my greatest achievement, for now, is participation in the BeatDownBoogie`s cosplay video. I always love their works and it was cool to become a part of it.

Advice to give

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy from AvaExpo2015

Don’t be scared, everyone starts small! Only one thing, which you should have is passion.

Be passionate about your work!



Aurora by PrincessLina

If talking about conventions…I hope to visit Russian convention AvaExpo in December and EpicCon in May
In plans for the future, I have two big armor costumes.

It will be a challenge for me and me can’t wait to start working. A little time ago I started a Patreon page, if you are interested you can go and check it. I will be thankful.


Garnet Till Alexandros XVll

Garnet Till Alexandros XVll by Zero_Tisa

Final Fantasy Cosplayer

Shadow Straif Cosplay

Such a wonderful experiences shared with us by our participant. I really like how she discovered Cosplay, see? opportunity knocks on your door without any hesitations! and when you said “YES” you just accepted to enter the roller coaster of life. I just reckoned how I finally decided about blogging as well. 

What an uplifting story to digest!

I could say, she is very beautiful with her passionate style of cosplay, the way she execute those poses? those are just flawless!

I would like to thank again Shadow Straif for making this interview possible. Thank you for you honestly and willingness to share some information about your life and Cosplay life too. I’ll be just at your back, supporting you!

I’m inviting you all to support Shadow Straif Cosplay on her accounts on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, VK PAGE, and don’t forget to visit her PATREON account if you like to give or help her on her future costume making. 

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6 Responses

  1. Travelquartz says:

    Such beautiful costumes props and looks, I was wondering that Alexine, you have covered the best in the cosplayer series… and yes Shadow Straif I agree passion is very important in your work! Nice post and message.Already looking forward to the next cosplayer interview and series with yet another awesome story and inspiration !!

    • Alexine says:

      Thank you so much Travelquartz, those are flattering words coming out from you. I’m so happy to share this another side of my world. I’m so contented that people loved it as well. And for the series there’s more to come, I’m sure you’ll love it!

  2. Aditi says:

    This cosplayer looks so soft and yet conveys such deep emotions through her subtle expressions. I love her barbie doll face. Sweet. Cheers!!

  3. Helene Choo says:

    I find it so impressive that she makes all the costumes herself! That adds so much more work to cosplaying! She’s really pretty and all her cosplays are so polished:) Awesome!

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