What to Consider in Making Your Own AVATAR Na’vi Costume for Cosplay

Brazil inspiration Do you want to cosplay in an AVATAR Na’vi costume, and really make it look good? To make a great cosplay Na’vi AVATAR costume, you need to plan the costume and makeup, and figure out what is needed to make a good reproduction. Licensed costumes are fine for a Halloween party, but no serious fan or cosplayer is going to want to wear one at a convention, or for any roleplay. Here is what you need to consider.

Guest post by Rebecca Scudder

So, you're interested in portraying a Na’vi for cosplay. You looked at the few photos out there of the 20th Century Fox licensed costumes, and they just don’t have the detail you need. At the first sight of a picture of the costumes, if you were lucky enough to see an image rather than a note saying the picture would be forthcoming, you were concerned about the design.

Neytiri’s costume shows her wearing high high heels with obvious human feet in them. Can you imagine her running along a moss covered tree limb in stiletto heels? Not with a straight face! That having been said, the Neytiri wig in these licensed costumes seems to be the only piece with potential. However, from the image, it is impossible to evaluate authenticity and see if there is a long braid in back.

As for the Jake Sully Costume - the mask for his Na’vi AVATAR resembles him, but it is very obviously a vinyl costume mask. It won’t give you the re-creation of reality you are pining after for a Na’vi AVATAR cosplay costume. These licensed costumes are geared for the mainstreamers who want a Na’vi AVATAR costume for Halloween – and they will not likely suffice even as a good hall costume for a serious fan.

We can't recreate ourselves as 3 meter tall and alien skinny Na’vi, but we can make a decent attempt to resemble a Na’vi. So, here is some input about what is needed to make a good, authentic cosplay Na’vi.

What are the Na’vi really like?

Most obviously, the Na’vi have the distinctive medium blue skin with stripes like a big cat or zebra. Their faces have a pattern of white or pearly freckles, and some males have tan marks in a rough V shape from forehead to the bridge of the nose. Their ears are cat or elf-like, and their noses are flatter and broader at the bottom, somewhat like that of a cat. They have long black or dark hair, with at least a long braid going down the middle of the back, and sometimes multiple shorter braids. Because of the lighter gravity of Pandora, they are tall and thin, but still strong and muscular, due to their lifestyle. The Na’vi have tails which help express their mood. They have little body modesty, and beyond a loin wrap what they do wear is mainly decorative. They like jewelry a lot. Na’vi are proud and graceful, and that attitude shows in their carriage and movement.

When they wear more elaborate clothing, it is for ritual reasons. If you are going to reproduce an elaborate ritual Na’vi costume, you are going to need to study to do it properly. Look at pictures, watch the DVD and stop it where needed to see details, if you have the AVATAR game, look at the Pandorapedia at the end, and perhaps even get one of the books showing the art of AVATAR. The 3D version of the movie also really helps in seeing how clothing and accessories fit onto the Na’vi body.

They are skilled in the use of weapons, and some of what they wear is due to those weapons, like the archery bracers on their forearms. Cosplay does not encourage the carrying of weapons that could actually hurt anyone, and some cosplay situations do not even want harmless imitations of weapons. Keep that in mind as you design your costume and accessories. If you are making a Na’vi costume that you are wearing to enter in a cosplay contest, you usually will be allowed to have reproductions of weapons while you are judged, or to enact a skit. So weapons recreation is the last thing to start thinking about. Make yourself a good Na’vi AVATAR costume before figuring out how to reproduce any weapons.

If you are interested in making a simplified and quick hall costume for Neytiri or Jake Sully in either Earth clothing or native dress, see this in-depth article on How to Make Great AVATAR Na'vi Costumes.

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Which Avatar Na'vi character would you like to be?


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A great detailed info on avatar costumes... but I personally think the core ingredients is the blue color and stripes. As for hair, you can just style your hair which ever you like and it will give a variations to avatar characters.

Then again I think your info is great for hardcore avatar fans. Keep it up!

The Avatar Costumes Guy

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