Croft Couture #24: Linny

The Tomb Raider fandom is full of talented artists, entertainers, and perhaps most notably, phenomenal cosplay talent. “Croft Couture” aims to showcase these lovely and dedicated women, and give Lara costumers a spot to share their experiences while dressed as gaming’s leading lady.

Lady Linny is a classic Lara Croft cosplayer, and webmaster in our Official Fansite Program. One of the very first ladies to step into Lara’s shorts and wield her dual pistols, Linny is without a question a pillar of the Croft cosplay community! 

Fast Stats

  • Name: Linny Shepard (Lady Linny)
  • Country: UK
  • Occupation: Professional Artist
  • Fan Since: 1996 
  • Favorite Tomb Raider Game: The original 
  • Favorite Non-Lara Tomb Raider Character: Winston
  • Favorite Tomb Raider Villain: Natla
  • Number of Lara Croft Costumes: 8
  • First Lara Croft Cosplay: Classic
  • Favorite Lara Croft Cosplay: Classic/Black Catsuit VCI
  • Future Lara Croft Cosplay: As I’m nearer Lara’s real age, I’ve hung up my holsters and backpack. 



What first drew you to the Tomb Raider franchise, and what initially inspired you to cosplay as Lara Croft?

Way back in 1996 I kept hearing rumors of an amazing game called Tomb Raider. I then purchased a charity disc with a free demo of the game for the PS1. To say I was hooked the minute I started playing it was an understatement. My husband and I spent many a night playing the demo until the very small hours of the morning. I can say Lara was responsible for many a snooze on the office desk. At the time memory cards were pretty pricey, so I didn’t have one. Can you imagine what it was like to just get Lara up the stairs, only to have her die and go right back to the beginning! Yes frustrating to say the least! So I eventually got the game and a well needed memory card. The first time I cosplayed Lara was for an on-line competition at a site called Adventurer’s Place, now called Raiderquest.

What Lara Croft costume did you tackle first?

I tackled two at once - First Lara’s Movie Look for Cambodia, and the classic outfit from the first game. I was desperate to get hold of a rubber vest, so while waiting I got other gear from the two outfits together.

What is your favorite Lara Croft ensemble?

Classic by far! 

What Croft costumes are still on your roster?

A lady should be modest about her age, so I am a retired Croft! I still cosplay Lara in miniature as I create Lara’s outfits now for ball-jointed dolls…I still have a desire to cosplay Lara and I love seeing all the new girls cosplaying her.

Which Lara costume was the most difficult to construct? Was it due to a particular garment or prop?

I think they can all be difficult to construct, as you want to do Lara justice and create everything as accurate as you possibly can. For me the gun rigs are the hardest, and the most complicated gun rig by far was the Movie one. Not so much the belt but the “floating” holsters

Lara Croft’s lifestyle is full of intrigue and adventure. Do you have any memorable photoshoots or convention appearances that pay tribute to Lara’s lifestyle?

I think all Lara shoots are pretty memorable good or bad. You learn all the time, how to aim guns straight and be believable, how to hold yourself, how to pose, take an interesting or exciting picture and not just a standard pose. Getting into Lara’s mindset, what would she do? How would she interact with her surroundings? I love conventions ! Bringing Lara to everyone.

Along the same lines, what’s the most exotic location you’ve traveled to?

I think it has to be Florida, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom! The place is made for Lara - they have a ruined Cambodian temple, too!

What about Lara’s physical strength or mental prowess most inspires you? Has this, or your desire to cosplay Lara, influenced your daily life?

I have always been pretty interested in all things past, and Lara really added to that with her no nonsense approach, and her morality. It’s never been about money with Lara, it’s always been that sense of adventure and unearthing the past. I have always admired her so much for her ability to go that bit further, and do what is right. Lara is beautiful but don’t let that fool you. She is tough but she does have a vulnerable side, kind of a Marilyn Monroe in shorts and a backpack. Lara is a great role model and I have seen so a huge number of girls wanting to cosplay her. Lara is an icon, there are many imitators in film and TV, but she is the original one off and others pale in comparison. I was lucky enough to be one of the original Lara cosplayers, and if it were not for her I would not have many of my closest friends I have today. So thank you Miss Croft!