Centaur of Attention by Hannah Alexander and Ginny Di originally began as a Kickstarter project. From the initial pitch- a collaboration combining cosplay and gorgeous artwork?!- I was sold. My excitement was not displaced, I am thoroughly glad I decided to back it.
The book is cleanly divided into two sections. First, Hannah introduces the centaurs and explains her design process. Each original character is beautifully illustrated next to a description that provides material and construction suggestions for any readers wishing to recreate the design. While the advice is helpful, I love that she also includes alternative ideas so the design can be modified to suit the cosplayer’s tastes and comfort level.
Second, Ginny breaks down the base costume pieces into step-by-step tutorials. The book includes full tutorials for a wearable centaur body, a flower crown, and how to gradient dye fabric to achieve the ombre effect commonly seen in Hannah’s artwork. All three tutorials have accompanying photographs, which I appreciate as a visual learner. It did take me some re-reading to follow the centaur tutorial. This is in no fault a problem with the writing, Ginny does a fantastic job of breaking down a very complex build into bite-sized pieces, it is just very different from my usual sewing-only costumes. One aspect that I particularly love is that no outside patterns are needed. Hoof templates are printed in the book and Ginny provides charts and calculations for the reader to use to tailor the leggings and centaur body to their specific measurements.
Centaur of Attention is a stunning collaborative effort and I would love to see more books like this in the future. As a cosplayer, I completely enjoyed it despite having no prior centaur costuming needs. This book is brimming with creative inspiration and practical knowledge, and is a welcome addition to any cosplayer’s library.