The seasons have turned and students across the globe are well in to their school studies. Soon Magic: the Gathering’s wizarding world of Strixhaven will see an influx of students with the new Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign book, Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos available December 7th, 2021.

Every student no matter their background must have suitable robes to attend classes.

Let’s learn from one of the best Silverquill students on campus: LadyLavinias. She stepped out on campus in Spring of 2021 with the release of Strixhaven: School of Mages for Magic with an ensemble ready to sizzle any poetry slam and battlefield. Join me now for an insightful interview where she describes how she made this incredible look from start to finish. You might even pick up an Inkling of her intellect!

Kristys Imagination Photography

“Sharp Style, Sharper Wit”

With only a few general character designs and a sprinkling of upcoming card artwork for Strixhaven, LadyLavinias was compelled to create a Silverquill cosplay from scratch. Let’s dive into the coursework!

Arriving on a new campus, where did you begin?

After carefully studying the Silverquill aesthetic, I starting by gathering materials, in total: three different fabrics, white trim, and two buttons. After looking up preexisting outfits online, I sketched out a design for the base for the outfit and began sewing the fabrics together.

After gathering your school supplies, how did execute your design?

I started with a base of a Victorian style wrap shirt. With that I cut and changed it almost completely before the beginning stages of adding fabric to it. This was my first time creating a design from scratch without a reference picture to go off of. I ended up redesigning the sketch multiple times because some of the fabric wouldn’t work and flow with how it was designed on paper.

The outfit looks stunning—from head to toe. Even your hair matches the styling!

This was also my first time styling a wig! I had to go through quite a bit of tutorials and had assistance from Zabracus on how to incorporate wefts before I was content with the overall look.

I got both my wig and wig wefts from Zabracus showed me how she puts wefts into her wigs and with her guidance I was able to add some black streaks to the white wig. After that I cut it and used “Got2b Glued Freeze Spray” with my hair straightener to get the strong straight angles. (Although most of that was ruined by the intense wind of the photoshoot day!)

I never would have guessed it was your first wig styling! Did you come across any challenges?

My biggest challenge was having to go back and remake a lot of the design when I asked for feedback from the other women working on the project. I was told it needed to be more Silverquill and while it was a bit vague, I knew exactly what they meant and it pushed me outside my comfort zone to add even more sharp white shapes to the design.

Looking back I wish I had either more time to work on the project or tried to base it off one of the actual Silverquill students. The entire cosplay was made within a month and took around 50-60 hours. I think designing it from scratch was biting off a bit more than I had anticipated and I spent a lot of time just thinking what could make it better and stressing over it. I do plan to add a bit more to it in the future when I have some more time, but overall I’m really proud of the work I did.

Kristys Imagination Photography

Your time and effort really shows in these images. Can you tell me more about the photography?

My photographer was Kristys Imagination Photography, which I worked with the previous year as my wedding photographer. I did my own photo editing as I was going for a bit more of a cold style than what most editors would do.

Sounds like some extra homework! How did you make the photo say “Silverquill”?

I edited a few photos for basic color corrections in the style I liked, but the one I focused on the most was the one I submitted to Twitter. I took digital photography and graphic design in college so I was somewhat used to editing photos but it’s been a few years so I had to take some time to relearn a lot of things. I used a mix of png photos online as well as some of the basic tools you can find on photoshop to shape and draw out the inkling until I was happy with it.

The Inkling gives you an A+ Grade, the highest marks. Did you always know you wanted to attend the Silverquill at Strixhaven University?

Funny enough Silverquill has always felt like my favorite. I was a big fan of Orzhov back in Ravnica and it seems to have continued my love for the black and white aesthetic with Silverquill. Based on Gameplay and the amount of limited I played of the set, I found myself either drafting Temur or Silverquill almost consistently. I guess I just really connect with Silverquill overall.

Any advice for a student wanting to excel as a Silverquill?

The number one thing anyone needs to do to embrace Silverquills style is to be confident in yourself. The black and white of silverquill might be striking to look at, but it is the way the Silverquill students and deans present themselves that really holds any weight. Hold your head up and you can be proud to be like Silverquill!

Kristys Imagination Photography

For those looking for examples for other colleges—and Oriq Loremage—there were a total of ten cosplayers involved in Wizard’s Strixhaven promotion:

Lorehold: NissaCosplay
Prismari: AirBubbles & ZBexx
Silverquill: goberthicks & LadyLavinias
Quandrix: MythicMikaela & TappyToeClaws
Witherbloom: TarmoKat & Brttnymchlle
Oriq: Zabracus

With new campaigns and spells awaiting, you can follow in LadyLavinias’ sharp and stylish examples to become a Strixhaven student. Make sure to catch her and playing Strixhaven D&D with other Magic: the Gathering creators on November 15th.

MTG Las Vegas is fast approaching and we expect to see lots of new cosplays and cosplayers! Stay tuned for a first hand look at some of the first in person MTG cosplays since 2020!

Zenaide “ZBexx” Beckham is an Oregon-based cosplayer, gamer, and MTG judge. Her favorite format is Legacy, because just like performing in dance or cosplay she gets to Show and Tell.

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