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This is the Dawn costume (based on Joseph Michael Linsner's artwork) I've been working on for a few weeks, for the debut at Dragoncon 2009. I made the costume from scratch, as well as the wings, and that large egg prop I am sitting in. A huge Thank You to the Dawn Lookalike contest staff for allowing me to bring that near 7 foot tall egg on a rolling platform into the competition.

Construction notes: Well, until I do a real photo shoot with this costume, you won't be able to really see the details, so just take my word for it lol. I decided to enter the Dawn contest this year because I had the idea for a concept, a theme if you will, and because I had the time/money to actually make everything. Also, since I am local to Dragoncon this year, I was able to make multiple trips from/to home in order to bring the prop/costume/wings.
My concept was "The Birth of the Goddess", and I really wanted to make this ancient fantastical looking egg which could fit a person + wings. Three awesome friends of mine helped me with the construction of the egg - Brian, Tigger, and Tise. We built a wooden 3-D form first and then painstakingly cast a shell over it with fiberglass and plastic. After cutting and sanding the edges, I covered the egg in felt on both sides and hand painted it for shading and texture. Tise and I spent hours gluing vines and leaves and all sorts of adornments on it, making the shell look all sparkly and magical. Brian and Tigger devised a platform which has a Lazy Susan built in so that the egg could be turned around and rolled, even with me in it. I helped cutting the wood and covering it in green velveteen.

The costume was based around the theme, and I thought a newly born Goddess would be pure and white, with no discernable armor or weapons. I made a steel boned corset with white faux leather, with a bust line that was inspired by many of Linsner's drawings. The trims and lace were all hand sewn on, and dyed/cut/embellished. I drafted patterns for the front tier pieces, choker and arm bands, all of which were made with the matching faux leather. I also draped the skirt. I cast ornament pieces in plastic and painted them silver, antiqued them, and attached them to various pieces on the costume, such as the corset, front 3-tier pieces, choker and arm bands. Much of the time went into attaching matching lengths of chains to the skirts, choker, arm bands and wristlet. I used 4 different sizes of chains. In keeping with classic Dawn imagery, I also used o-rings and o-ring chains. Even my shoes have o-rings on them, lol.
I made my wings based on how Linsner often drew Dawn's wings, with the defined arch, spread position, but long trailing feathers at the bottom as well.
Lastly, I also created the signature rose on Dawn's right arm.
For the day of, I used puffy paint to make the tears, and as usual, I did my own makeup/wig styling for this costume.

It was definitely interesting to try and move in this outfit. The wings had quite a wing span and I felt so bad for taking up space as well as accidentally brushing into people. I also could hardly see anything due to double staked contacts and the hair over my right eye. Not to mention the tight corset and wing harness shoved underneath. But the contest ran so smoothly and I am so grateful for all the help I received backstage. I ended up winning Third Place, thank you, Judges, and congratulations to all the winners. I really loved seeing the different beautiful costumes backstage and only wish that I had been mobile enough to chat more with the girls.
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*********** Yaya on Facebook [link] ***********

This is the Dawn costume (based on Joseph Michael Linsner's artwork) I've been working on for a few weeks, for the debut at Dragoncon 2009. I made the costume from scratch, as well as the wings, and that large egg prop you can see behind me. A huge Thank You to the Dawn Lookalike contest staff for allowing me to bring that near 7 foot tall egg on a rolling platform into the competition.

Construction notes: Well, until I do a real photo shoot with this costume, you won't be able to really see the details, so just take my word for it lol. I decided to enter the Dawn contest this year because I had the idea for a concept, a theme if you will, and because I had the time/money to actually make everything. Also, since I am local to Dragoncon this year, I was able to make multiple trips from/to home in order to bring the prop/costume/wings.
My concept was "The Birth of the Goddess", and I really wanted to make this ancient fantastical looking egg which could fit a person + wings. Three awesome friends of mine helped me with the construction of the egg - Brian, Tigger, and Tise. We built a wooden 3-D form first and then painstakingly cast a shell over it with fiberglass and plastic. After cutting and sanding the edges, I covered the egg in felt on both sides and hand painted it for shading and texture. Tise and I spent hours gluing vines and leaves and all sorts of adornments on it, making the shell look all sparkly and magical. Brian and Tigger devised a platform which has a Lazy Susan built in so that the egg could be turned around and rolled, even with me in it. I helped cutting the wood and covering it in green velveteen.

The costume was based around the theme, and I thought a newly born Goddess would be pure and white, with no discernable armor or weapons. I made a steel boned corset with white faux leather, with a bust line that was inspired by many of Linsner's drawings. The trims and lace were all hand sewn on, and dyed/cut/embellished. I drafted patterns for the front tier pieces, choker and arm bands, all of which were made with the matching faux leather. I also draped the skirt. I cast ornament pieces in plastic and painted them silver, antiqued them, and attached them to various pieces on the costume, such as the corset, front 3-tier pieces, choker and arm bands. Much of the time went into attaching matching lengths of chains to the skirts, choker, arm bands and wristlet. I used 4 different sizes of chains. In keeping with classic Dawn imagery, I also used o-rings and o-ring chains. Even my shoes have o-rings on them, lol.
I made my wings based on how Linsner often drew Dawn's wings, with the defined arch, spread position, but long trailing feathers at the bottom as well.
Lastly, I also created the signature rose on Dawn's right arm.
For the day of, I used puffy paint to make the tears, and as usual, I did my own makeup/wig styling for this costume.

It was definitely interesting to try and move in this outfit. The wings had quite a wing span and I felt so bad for taking up space as well as accidentally brushing into people. I also could hardly see anything due to double staked contacts and the hair over my right eye. Not to mention the tight corset and wing harness shoved underneath. But the contest ran so smoothly and I am so grateful for all the help I received backstage. I ended up winning Third Place, thank you, Judges, and congratulations to all the winners. I really loved seeing the different beautiful costumes backstage and only wish that I had been mobile enough to chat more with the girls.
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*********** Yaya on Facebook [link] ***********

Thank you to FireflyFan on Flickr for this photo, taking during the Dawn Look-A-Like contest at Dragoncon 2009.

Here is my entry - "Birth of the Goddess". I was awarded Third Place!

For my full construction notes, click here: [link]

To abbreviate, I designed the costume based on Linsner's art style, and the theme. I wanted it to be white, to symbolize the purity of new birth. I made the costume from scratch and also the wings and the egg. Thank you again to the contest staff and everyone who helped me get around in this cumbersome costume.

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Photo by Brian Boling
costume/wings/egg made by me
construction info: [link]


This shoot has been planned since Dragoncon, we were just looking for the chance to push the giant egg into the woods lol.
We took advantage of a beautiful warm day in late October and set up the egg prop in between these awesome ivy vine overgrown trees in the North GA mountains. Realizing again how immobile I am in this costume *headdesk*, and how many bugs were flying around us O_o;, we did a fairly quick photoshoot in under an hour. I put on the horns at the last minute because I felt like my head was so bare. They were just stock from my store laying around.
I am very excited about the ivy on the trees as it matched the egg's decoration wonderfully. Got my skirt dirty tromping around in the dirt but it's well worth it.

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Photo by Brian Boling
costume/wings/egg made by me
construction info: [link]


This shoot has been planned since Dragoncon, we were just looking for the chance to push the giant egg into the woods lol.
We took advantage of a beautiful warm day in late October and set up the egg prop in between these awesome ivy vine overgrown trees in the North GA mountains. Realizing again how immobile I am in this costume *headdesk*, and how many bugs were flying around us O_o;, we did a fairly quick photoshoot in under an hour. I put on the horns at the last minute because I felt like my head was so bare. They were just stock from my store laying around.
I am very excited about the ivy on the trees as it matched the egg's decoration wonderfully. Got my skirt dirty tromping around in the dirt but it's well worth it.

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*********** Yaya on Facebook [link] ***********

During the Dawn contest, there were two hardworking and great photographers shooting each contestant on a backdrop backstage. Jesse grabbed these shots of me, thank you so much.

You can see more of the detail in the costume here, including the choker and arm bands dripping with chains. Everything was created by me, and it is an original design inspired and influenced by artwork of Dawn. I made the corset with a custom swooping bust line, and it is designed to make my chest look very full. I mean, it's Dawn afterall! Hello voluptuous Goddess!
So before those types of comments pop up... lol.

My entry was "Birth of the Goddess". I was awarded Third Place!

For my full construction notes, click here: [link]

To abbreviate, I designed the costume based on Linsner's art style, and the theme. I wanted it to be white, to symbolize the purity of new birth. I made the costume from scratch and also the wings and a 6 1/2 foot egg prop that was rolled on stage and that I could kneel in.

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I was so lucky to shoot with both Leonard and Judy on the same day! This photo was taken by Judy outside the convention center. I really like the lighting the dreary background, to match the dark elements of the costume. Again, costume/wings made and modeled by me, microphone by Brian of www.bountyhardware.com [link]

The character is Oruha from "Clover".
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This photo was taken by Judy [link] outside the convention center at Anime Central. I really like the lighting the dreary background, to match the dark elements of the costume.

Construction notes:
The character is Oruha from "Clover". I chose Oruha's signature black stage outfit, because that is her most memorable image to me. I made the corset, skirt, garter and arm warmers with PVC vinyl, but looking at the artwork her billowy overskirt seemed matte to me so I used matte bridal satin with a underlayer of organza for it. I made a mini hoop skirt to go under the satin skirt, and the corset has steel boning in it which help hold the wings on yay.
The wings are alright for being made in such a hurry - I cut out the "blades" in vinyl sheets and sprayed them black, and made a wire frame covered in Wonderflex. I used Barb's Suu wings as a loose size and design reference since I wanted my very very different outfit to match hers in some small ways. The wings separate and fold together and I especially made them small enough to fit inside my suitcase for the plane trip.The wing breast covers are heat formed plastic sheets cut out and glued together, and they velcro onto the corset. For the first two time I wore this costume, I had the vine tattoos all over my neck, but for ACen, there just wasn't time, so I only drew Oruha's clover on my chest.
The beautiful microphone was made by Brian of Bountyhardware.com [link] as a birthday gift. I told him he could pick between the wings or the microphone lol. I am not sure how he made the mic, but it definitely included sculpting, molding and casting and butchering some found parts. The whole thing is plastic and metal, and the base/rod swivels!
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*********** Yaya on Twitter [link]


While we're on Halloween and PVC.... another blast from the past!

These two images are from a modeling shoot in 2005! The photographer is Kevin Stewart of Black Eye Photography, my mentor and eye-opening force in artistic and out of the box thinking when it came to photography.

For this theme, I built an outfit around a skull/cross bone corset I owned - making the gloves, shorts, skirt etc. and I used the wings I had made already for Midnight Wings. We went to a remote location in GA on a cold and windy autumn day and shot this theme on film, which is Kevin's usual choice of photography. There is a depth in film photography that can rarely be matched by digital, though digital can be so sharp and clear. I love both styles!

On, one last thing I should mention. THE GREEN TINT/SATURATION IN THESE PHOTOS IS ACHIEVED BY CROSS PROCESSING, NOT IN PHOTOSHOP. This is how the film came out.
Before comments pop up about over saturation or photoshopping - please look up cross-processing and understand that this is a look the photographer was going for. Thank you thank you.
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Photo by Brian Boling
costume/wings/egg made by me
construction info: [link]


This shoot has been planned since Dragoncon, we were just looking for the chance to push the giant egg into the woods lol.
We took advantage of a beautiful warm day in late October and set up the egg prop in between these awesome ivy vine overgrown trees in the North GA mountains. Realizing again how immobile I am in this costume *headdesk*, and how many bugs were flying around us O_o;, we did a fairly quick photoshoot in under an hour. I put on the horns at the last minute because I felt like my head was so bare. They were just stock from my store laying around.
I am very excited about the ivy on the trees as it matched the egg's decoration wonderfully. Got my skirt dirty tromping around in the dirt but it's well worth it.

Other Deviations of this costume:

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