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Cosmakers Series : Paige Gardener


Cosmakers Series : Paige Gardener


When you see new cosplayers from all around the world, some people will say that it’s rather easy to do it since they always appear happy and look like they don’t have a single worry in the world. However, the amount of dedication many cosplayers put into each and every one of their projects is amazing, and professional cosplaying  requires a fair amount of dedication on their end.

Let’s get to another one of our special costumers who is looking to become the next big thing in the cosplaying world! Let’s take a look at the second installment of Upcoming Cosplayers.

Paige Gardner

Paige Gardner is an award-winning costumer who regularly appears at science fiction and fantasy conventions in U.S. as a guest and presenter on costuming and costume photography. While Gardner has created recognizable Cosplay from the Sci-Fi genre, she is mostly recognized for her steampunk masks, gear and costumes that are constructed from found, salvaged, or vintage items. As a costumer who doesn’t sew, Paige’s humorous approach to daunting projects features shocking shortcuts, fresh ideas, and eccentric tips for building costumes using salvaged items, thrift store finds and other unlikely oddments.

Her costuming specialty is taking existing garments (found items) and re-purposing or reconstructing them into stage-worthy costuming, Steampunk gear, masks, art and props. She does this all, with the most basic of tools and elements.

She tends to refer to it as “no-sew, low-pro” costuming, as she has used everything from safety pins, key rings, wire, grommets, curtain clips, fabric glue and other shortcuts to build her costuming.

Gardner’s costuming work has appeared in national news outlets, magazines, television and independent film. It has also been featured in books, including 1000 Steampunk Creations, 1000 Cosplay Creations and The Steampunk Users Manual (by Jeff VandeMeer). Her masks and gear have also been exhibited at various venues around the U.S.

She is famous for her complex, skilled costumes and the amount of dedication she puts into each one. We have prepared a top list of her cosplays for you to see, and we’re sure you’ll be inspired to get to know her and her work more closely.

1. Warhammer 40K

Gardner explains how this costume took only four weeks to finish because there was such a tight deadline. She needed to come up with a high-quality costume in order to appear in the Dragon Con 2016. She actually didn’t even try the costume on before wearing it to the Con, but everything turned out great in the end.

Her style is immediately recognizable, and this is simply because she loves to wear masks for her cosplays — this really separates her from other cosplayers. The costume is eye-catching and the amount of work needed for this one really makes us wonder how she managed to pull this off in just four weeks.

2. Darth Nihilus ( from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)

Initially, Gardner had made this Cosplay for her son because he loved the costume; however, as fans can see, she has a grown up version as well.

The photos were taken by Dim Horizon Studios, and the crew that worked with Gardner ended up being a bunch of hardcore gamers — which really helped make the whole costume and scenery authentic. The Nihilus mask was crafted with gauze tape, wire mesh and wall putty. The costuming includes layers of circle skirts, a black graduation robe and a black bed sheet.

As you can see, Gardner has no troubles creating art from next to nothing.

3. Steampunk Bird Hybrid

This is definitely one of the most bone-chilling and terrifying cosplays we have seen in a long time. We mean this in the best way possible — Gardner completely nailed it with this steampunk bird costume. With her dedication to this unique style and unparalleled commitment to quality, the end result is nothing short of breathtaking, and she sets the Cos bar very high for others.

Yet again, this is another costume that features Gardner wearing a mask. Notably, her mask adds contrast and brings out the bright green color of her eyes and looks shockingly beautiful.

4. Abbey

Alone, the photo quality of this shot definitely looks amazing, even without considering the cosplay part — proving that Gardner definitely collaborates with professional photographers, who make each and every detail of her cosplays stand out and attracts the attention of her viewers.

This “Abbey” cosplay features Gardner wearing a full armored suit with glass furnaces on her arms and a big one on her head. We can honestly say that no other cosplayer would ever think of an idea similar to this one, and it’s definitely a strong sign of her immense creativity and dedication.


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  1. Paige Gardner

    Hey! Thank you SO MUCH for the kind words and feature! I owe a ton of gratitude to Affiction Cosplay Photography, Dim Horizon Studios and Conography for their talented lens pointed at these projects. They really class up my costumes (which are assembled with the shabbiest resources 😀). All appreciation, Paige Gardner

    • Jonathan Harvey

      This is why we do it, we love to showcase this kind of work! Keep up with the great work, and keep us updated :D!


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About The Author

Vedin Klovo

Vedin is a young man from Bosnia doing all types of freelance writing in order to improve his English knowledge and to make a living with it. Some of his interests include movies, video games, mobile apps and Web design. On his way to becoming a software engineer and he hopes to utilize his skills to be a positive force for others.

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