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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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This costume is based on the "Witchblade" Series 2 Action Figure "Armor Sara Pezzini", sculpted by Clayburn Moore.
[link]
[link]
I've had both the red dress and black dress figures for years now but never thought to cosplay Witchblade until my friend Meagan VanBurkleo told me about the Witchblade through the Ages group she was putting together for San Diego Comic Con '09.
I had been swamped all year with work, up until the weekend before - Otakon - and didn't think I could get anything done for the group. But when Meagan told me I could borrow her boots/wig/gloves from her costumes, and I realized that I had 90% of all materials needed on hand, I decided to go for it.
So on Tuesday night of Comic Con week I started making the Witchblade glove and face pieces, with what I had laying around like gems, glue, paint, foam.... I stayed up till 7am, took a 3 hour nap, then ran out to buy the one thing I needed and kept working on the glove till dinner time when I had to start packing for my flight out to the con the next morning! I was so lucky to find an old red PVC dress I've had for years, altered the hell out of it by hemming it shorter and using the excess to make shoulder straps and the collar piece, and changing the cut of the dress.

At SDCC on Saturday I met up with the girls, and all 7 of us, posed for photos at the Top Cow booth for an hour. It was so much fun to have the different Bearers together in one place, and everyone at Top Cow were so nice and generous. We all got signed books by Marc Silvestri.

I will post group photos when we get them back, for now these are some quick shots Brian Boling snapped Saturday morning.
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Photo by Benny Lee :iconsekainoichitaka:

Model: Me

Outfit by Lip Service

Hair/makeup/styling: Me

I hosted a Lip Service fashion show over New Year's and had the opportunity to get a couple of outfits. I mainly wanted them for clubbing (love going to the Castle in Tampa) but when Benny Lee and I talked about doing a first photoshoot together, I decided to pull out this ensemble for a fun Cyber Samurai chick look. It was an excuse to play with kabuki-inspired makeup (see next Deviation for close-up).

I think this image could be a fun stock photo for creative artists.

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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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Photo by Benny Lee :iconsekainoichitaka:

Model: Me

Outfit by Lip Service

Hair/makeup/styling: Me

I hosted a Lip Service fashion show over New Year's and had the opportunity to get a couple of outfits. I mainly wanted them for clubbing (love going to the Castle in Tampa) but when Benny Lee and I talked about doing a first photoshoot together, I decided to pull out this ensemble for a fun Cyber Samurai chick look. It was an excuse to play with kabuki-inspired makeup.


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I loved the movie "Perfect Blue" and Mima was such an easy costume to make and to wear around.

Construction notes: This costume came together easily enough, but I had a hard time at first deciding what color scheme to go with. In some scenes, the dress looks light pink with hot pink layers, but that would have been way too pink, even for me O_O. Instead I went with the promotional pictures and made the costume white and pink, with hot pink bows/red shoes. The top of the dress is boned and tailored to me, and I hand-gathered the layers to ensure they ruffled evenly and as per reference. Instead of making the garters out of the same fabric as the dress, I opted for lace, to give it more a lingerie look. The wig was interesting, as Mima's hair is so choppy in the movie. I ended up cutting and styling the hell out of a random black layered wig I found locally. I already owned the shoes, gloves and thigh highs. I got lucky and found a $5 microphone which got cut up and repainted for Mima.

Photos taken at ikkicon 2010 by Pete Ortega. Thank you!
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This is also an older set (5 years old?) but I still love it!

The concept is a Cat Burglar, in full gear rappelling down in Bond film fashion to go after a priceless object. We did the set outdoors with the safe (see previous Deviation [link]), and then moved indoors for the diamond sequence. We had a smoke machine and my gun actually has a laser that made red lines of light through the smoke. The images on the bottom were shot through a ring light that Kevin cleverly used as a "keyhole".

This is shot by Kevin Stewart of Black Eye Photography on film.

Brian had a full rappelling gear and we put this outfit together with things we had at home and pieces from costumes I had already made.

It was harder than you'd image to hold a pose upside down hanging by a rope lol.
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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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Costume made and modeled by me
Photography by Stewart Townsend

Construction notes:
Since I became a fan of the game Dead or Alive and Lei Fang, I have wanted to make one of her regular Chinese dresses. When it came to deciding which color dress to choose, well, I have not seen the blue dress cosplayed personally, and thought that blue and gold would be a wonderful color combination.
Plus, I can not believe I had all the materials needed for this costume! All I had to get were the gold closures and bias tape for the trim.

I made the dress using a rich blue brocade and pale yellow bridal satin for the lining.
I created two Phoenix designs for this costume and they are painstakingly appliquéd on the front and back. With gold thread I satin stitched the outlines and all the feathers over the period of two days.
I also added hundreds of iridescent and gold sequins as well as rhinestones for glamor and depth.
The dress is fully lined and boned for structure, and was tailored to fit me like a glove. The high cut slits made me a little nervous at first but they really are necessary for those crouching poses lol.
The arm cuffs snap on and I already styled a Lei Fang wig for another version of her. I plan on sharing the wig between the costumes so the hair ties will remain gold to match!
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... and stalker victim! Poor girl.
I loved the movie and this was such an easy costume to make and to wear around.

Construction notes: This costume came together easily enough, but I had a hard time at first deciding what color scheme to go with. In some scenes, the dress looks light pink with hot pink layers, but that would have been way too pink, even for me O_O. Instead I went with the promotional pictures and made the costume white and pink, with hot pink bows/red shoes. The top of the dress is boned and tailored to me, and I hand-gathered the layers to ensure they ruffled evenly and as per reference. Instead of making the garters out of the same fabric as the dress, I opted for lace, to give it more a lingerie look. The wig was interesting, as Mima's hair is so choppy in the movie. I ended up cutting and styling the hell out of a random black layered wig I found locally. I already owned the shoes, gloves and thigh highs. I got lucky and found a $5 microphone which got cut up and repainted for Mima.

Photos taken at ikkicon 2010 by Pete Ortega. Thank you!
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