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EDIT: Here is the reference collage I compiled for Carmilla, for those not familiar with the character.
[link]
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I competed in another contest lol! Truly, I did NOT mean to make two costumes in 5 weeks and enter two giant contests within 3 weeks.... but with how full my work schedule has been all year, there was only a 1 and 1/2 month break available to me where I could work on my own costumes. And all the contests I would consider entering are usually at the height of summer during my busy season, so there is no way for me to prepare anything for them.

So New York Anime Fest came at a great time and the Yume Cosplay Contest was an event with a thoughtful and generous prize from the organizers. No other US convention has been that generous to cosplayers before, and in my opinion, valued our community enough to want to put such an award forth (more often than not, costume contest winners get a certificate, that's it. Maybe sometimes donated items from dealers... I sometimes feel like certain cons don't understand HOW much work all the contestants put into their entries, and don't value Cosplay as an entity enough to put more effort/budget into their contests.) The Yume Prize however means a paid vacation to Japan, Invitation to attend Tokyo Anime Faire and $1000 shopping spree in Tokyo.

I hadn't competed at an anime con for 7 years prior to this past weekend but I was intrigued and welcomed the challenge of creating something worthy of such a contest.

My friend Klytaemnestra (Anna) and I chose Vampire Hunter D and we made our respective Carmilla and Charlotte costumes within a month and a half. Amazingly, we were chosen as the winners of the Yume contest.

I am off to another con right now (Realmscon, Corpus Christy, TX) so I don't have time to make a real construction report right now, but I answered a lot of questions for www.girlsentertainmentnetwork.com and they put up an article of our NYAF Yume experience. It has lots of info and more photos/videos from the contest.
[link]
[link]
[link]

Also, for those interested in seeing our skit, check this link, thanks!
[link]
[link]
[link]

Lastly, thank you, Dressdragn (Anna Fisher), for the lovely (and fast) photos!!!


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

EDIT: Here is the reference collage I compiled for Carmilla, for those not familiar with the character.
[link]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo by Anna Fisher, taken at New York Anime Fest 2009 during the Yume Cosplay Contest.

Costume made by me, for the skit "Carmillas Bloodlust" (based on the anime "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust) performed by Klytaemnestra and me.
You can see a video of the skit thanks to Chibiplum here:
[link]

I'll post construction notes and in progress photos soon, until then, you can read about how these costumes/this skit came to be on here:
[link]

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

EDIT: Here is the reference collage I compiled for Carmilla, for those not familiar with the character.
[link]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo by Anna Fisher, taken at New York Anime Fest 2009 during the Yume Cosplay Contest.

Costume made by me, for the skit "Carmilla's Bloodlust" (based on the anime "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust) performed by Klytaemnestra and me.
You can see a video of the skit thanks to Chibiplum here:
[link]

I'll post construction notes and in progress photos soon, until then, you can read about how these costumes/this skit came to be on here:
[link]

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

I giggle in delight everytime I see this photo, for our expressions are just... too perfect. Charlotte looks terrified and in despair (and she sat like that in a corset for a long time with me grabbing her arm at a weird angle, so - uncomfortable, too!) and Carmilla's hiss... well how would you describe it? LOL

Photo by Anna Fisher, taken at Anime USA 2009. The costumes are made by :iconbeautifully-twisted: and I respectively, for NYAF's Yume Cosplay contest. Character - Carmilla and Charlotte from Vampire Hunter D : Bloodlust". We re-wore them at AUSA on Sunday and snuck off with three amazing photographers in tow to take pictures for a couple of hours. Why didn't we stick around during the con? We had a very hectic schedule all weekend. It takes three hours (down from four, ha!) to get me into Carmilla, and on a crowded Friday or Saturday it would have been tough to do private photoshoots.

Construction note on my site: http:/www.yayahan.com

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Photo by Anna Fisher, taken at Anime USA 2009. The costume is made by me, for NYAF's Yume Cosplay contest. Character - Carmilla from Vampire Hunter D : Bloodlust". I re-wore it at AUSA for sole photo purposes. My skit partner and I got dressed on the Sunday of the con and snuck off with three amazing photographers in tow to take pictures for a couple of hours. Why didn't we stick around during the con? I had a very hectic schedule all weekend, and so did Anna :iconbeautifully-twisted:, my Charlotte. It takes three hours (down from four, ha!) to get me into Carmilla, and on a crowded Friday or Saturday it would have been tough to do private photoshoots.

I love this shot by Anna, it sums up Carmilla's character at one glance. She will do anything to get a virgin's blood and preserve her youth!

Construction note on my site: [link]

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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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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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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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This costume was made in 2005, I wore it to Anime Expo, and again to CMJC, the big convention in Monterrey, Mexico, in March 2006. All these photos were taken by consplayers.com, thank you so much.

Construction notes: I have always loved creator Kosuke Fujishima's beautiful illustrations of Belldandy with the floating bow with sashes, delicate wings and fishtail dress, so I decided to combine my favorite elements into one outfit. I chose light pink instead of white because I didn't want my dress to end up looking too much like a wedding gown, and Belldandy is known to wear pink :P.
The dress has hand stitched pearls scattered all over the front, boning for support and laces in the back. White sheer layers accent the flare at it's bottom as well as the shoulders, with a matching massive bow and draping sashes in the back.
I also made some jewelry for this costume, such as the necklace and some bracelets that I forgot to wear >_< at the con.

To create Belldandy's signature hairstyle, I started off with a multi-toned wig and added an insane amount of hair extensions to it. To match the wig's beautiful streaks and colors, I chose about 4 differently colored extensions and blended them together, cutting and trimming here and there. I then sewed the various pieces into the wig, creating the long bangs and ponytail, finishing everything off with the sheer sashes and flowers.

As for the wings, I made them in a similar way as the "Midnight Wings" black pair, but sticking fairly closely to the signature AMG style angel wings. I also needed these to be smaller, lighter and thus easier to transport. They fold together for transport and are fairly bouncy and adjustable, and the dress laces right over them.
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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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