I first discovered Natascha's cosplay work while scrolling on my Newsfeed on Facebook. It was one of those moments when you literally stop. The German beauty literally looks like a comic book character come to life. With her high quality costumes and stunning photography, Natascha aka Knightess Rouge, has developed a huge following including Batgirl writer, Gail Simone. Natascha took some time to chat with the Confessions of a Cosplay Girl Blog about her craft, the sudden firing (and re-hiring) of Gail Simone and what fasinates her about Barbara Gordon.
Victoria: How long have you been in the hobby of costuming?
Natascha: I'm involved in making costumes for about six or seven years, but started doing superhero costumes and bigger projects only one year ago. The past year made me develop so many new skills and also a bigger interest in costume making. It's been a great joy.
Victoria: Where are you from?
Natascha: I'm from Germany. Living in a small city close to Cologne and Düsseldorf.
Victoria: Do you have any costumes currently in the works?
Natascha: Yes, indeed. I actually always work on a few costumes at the same time. Right now I'm working on a Stephanie Brown Batgirl costume, Firestar, Daenerys Targaryen, Princess Leia, Dove of Hawk and Dove and Mara Jade. Quite a lot! Most of them are close to the finish and some need a little more work. I like to work on many different things to inspire me and keep me working.
Victoria: Tell me about the process of creating your Batgirl costume.
Natascha: It was quite a long process. I started planning and organizing the costume about three months before I started working on it. As soon as my ReevzFX cowl arrived (which is btw. AMAZING. I love his work!), I started working on the bat-suit. It took me three tries with different materials until I got the result I wanted. Fortunately I managed to make the cape without any problems. It's made from pleather and yellow lining and has a little zipper in the back. My belt is made from pleather and the little "capsules" are made from an aluminium pipe and bolt nuts. That was quite a lot of work! It took me a while to find ideas for the belt. I really wanted to make it on my own and I'm proud of the result. I always wanted to make a Batgirl costume since I was little, so it was a big dream to come true. I would've never gotten that far if I didn't have some amazing people around me who gave me tips and helped when I needed help. A big thank you at this point to Janet Drake, Laban & Jaz Boldero, Bob Kieffer and Shawn Reeves.
Victoria: If you could pick one actress to play Batgirl, who would it be?
Natascha: That's a tricky question! Personally I'd love to see Karen Gillian to play the role of Barbara Gordon. I think she'd totally be able to pull off her character and her skills. (Not to mention the look!)
Victoria: Great choice! Do you think Barbara was a stronger, more appealing character when she was working as the wheel chair bound, Oracle?
Natascha: I know there's a lot of controversy about this topic, but personally I find her appealing no matter if she's Batgirl or Oracle. I agree that Oracle had a very important meaning and was a very different character. She gave hope & motivation to many people, but so did Batgirl. Oracle was older and more experienced. It's difficult to compare a teen/young woman to an adult, don't you agree? Barbara Gordon as Batgirl was the very first character I idolized and she'll always have a special place in my heart. I also loved her as Oracle, no doubt, and I think she was extremely important for the comic world, but we have to realize that it's only the beginning of Barbara Gordon's story right now in the New 52. There's so much more to come and I'm sure she'll grow to an even bigger hero. She always managed to fascinate people and so it'll continue. I refuse to only see her as "Batgirl" or "Oracle". I see her as Barbara Gordon in all her variety and how much she means to people. The things that happened in the past are not lost. You can re-read her stories all the time and they'll never disappear. Keep them close to your heart and remember what you loved about her. I always try to be open to her new adventures. They've never disappointed me.
Victoria: What is it about Barbara Gordon that appeals to you?
Natascha: Her stubborness, her strength, her will not to give up. To stand up for the things she believed in and to help people. There's so much about her that I love. There's that normal girl, that decides to fight for justice and help people on her own. What could be more inspiring? She didn't need lots of money or a super dramatic story. What she did was fighting to make the world a better place without a dramatic background story. Just because she felt like it's the right thing to do.
Even after her biggest setdown she didn't just give up. She decided to pull herself together and help the world in a different way. The character Barbara Gordon teaches us so many things. I think there can't be a better role model for kids and young adults. I'm always close to tear up when I get to talk about her. She's so important for me.
Victoria: What are your thoughts when Gail Simone was suddenly fired from writing Batgirl (and later rehired by DC due to fan outrage)?
Natascha: That was a SHOCK. I couldn't imagine someone else writing Barbara Gordon nowadays. We all know how much she loves Barbara Gordon and that she'd never do something bad to her character or disappoint us. The message of her being fired from writing Batgirl made me feel miserable. Who would be able to show us the Barbara Gordon we love, if not Gail Simone? I'm extremely glad she's back now and keeps on writing Batgirl. We're really lucky to have someone, who really loves the character, writing Batgirl. Someone who'd never disappoint us, because she loves her as much as we do.
Victoria: Is it true that Gail Simone tweeted you?
Natascha: Yes, a few times. I always get so exciting when she does!! THE Batgirl writer calling you "the real Batgirl" is about the best feeling ever. I remember almost tearing up when she first followed me and tweeted me. Unforgetable. Sometimes I can't believe all these wonderful memories are real.
Victoria: Where can people go to learn more about you? Do you have a website or Facebook?
Natascha: Yes, I do! I have a little Facebook page for my costuming work. ( https://www.facebook.com/KnightessRouge )
You can also find me on twitter ( https://twitter.com/knightessrouge ), which I use more regularly and tumblr ( http://knightess-rouge.tumblr.com/ ) or deviantart ( http://knightess-rouge.deviantart.com/ ).
Thank you so much for the wonderful questions! I really enjoyed answering them!