A girl of many faces: sophomore Vince Knight dresses to impress


Courtesy of Vince Knight

Sitting on a replica of the world-renowned Iron Throne from the series “Game of Thrones,” sophomore Vince Knight dresses in Renaissance clothes for the annual St. Louis Renaissance Festival. Knight has been cosplaying since she and her sister attended their first convention five years ago. “Everybody’s face just lights up and it’s one of the most amazing feelings in the world just to have people like and appreciate what you’re doing,” Knight said.

Bringing characters like Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III from “How to Train Your Dragon,” Archie Andrews from “Riverdale” and Heather Chandler from “Heathers the Musical” to life, sophomore Vince Knight shares her love of cosplay through the Instagram account @sirknightlancelotcosplays.

“Around the time my sister started getting into animé, I started watching it with her and through the Animé club we found a cosplay convention, and we thought ‘okay this seems really cool, let’s go do it,’” Knight said. “I did a really bad [cosplay of] Light Yagami from ‘Death Note,’ but I thought it was so cool seeing everyone else’s cosplays and I thought, ‘okay this is something I really want to do’ and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Knight uses the hobby as a way to further her interests in television shows and movies, as well as express herself to her peers.

“I think it’s so amazing to dress up as and be this character and have all these different people who are in love with that character too come up to you and talk to you in character,” Knight said. “It’s kind of like an acting thing where you are this character and everybody’s face just lights up and it’s one of the most amazing feelings in the world just to have people like and appreciate what you’re doing.”

Courtesy of Vince Knight
Standing proudly with a friend, Knight cosplays as Lance from “Voltron: Legendary Defender” at the Animé St. Louis cosplay convention.

In order to keep her projects going, Knight emphasizes the need to create and stick to a budget for each character she chooses to represent.

“I don’t have a job so I rely on what I get from birthdays and holidays to then pay for all the fabric, all the foam, and everything else I need to complete a character, but the other part of the challenge is finding the right patterns and designs,” Knight said.

Even with popular characters, like from the television show and four-part movie saga “How to Train Your Dragon,” Knight has found that instructions or aid for putting together a costume design are lacking.

“Because I’m currently working on ‘Hiccup’ from ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ I’ve run into the problem that there are no specific videos out there that I can look at to reference. I’m going off of pictures I can lookup or screenshot and I’ve kind of been hitting a roadblock,” Knight said.

Courtesy of Vince Knight
Showing off bright red lipstick and a blonde wig, Knight poses as Heather Chandler from “Heathers the Musical.”

Because the process for designing and putting together a character can be time-consuming, Knight says she only decides to go through with the cosplay if it is a character she truly loves or obsesses over.

“The first thing I do is I find a character that I love, either the character themself or their outfit because this is going to be a several months long process,” Knight said. “I make a 3D image of the character, then I go out and try to find patterns and fabrics to match. Then I have to make a mockup using spare fabrics, make modifications and then I put the real thing together and make my final modifications.”

Since first falling in love with cosplay five years ago, Knight has attended multiple conventions and made lifelong friends.

“I was introduced to my best internet friend through a cosplay account, so it’s been really amazing to share this interest and continue talking with them,” Knight said. “Cosplay is something I can put all of my creativity into. I love the adrenaline of having completed a project and putting everything on and having the makeup and hair done and it’s just amazing to have the character come to life, but really it’s you.”