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Another image from photoshoot collab with LA Fashion Photographer Aileen Luib :iconsingmealullabai:

Probably my favorite shot so far - I can't believe how delicate and sensual Aileen's photographs are. I am not that graceful!!

The outfit I'm wearing is the original Peacock costume I designed and made. I also did the hair (well, wig styling) and makeup. For those who are wondering about the gold lips - I used MAC Amber Lights eyeshadow mixed with clear lipgloss ^_-

From Aileen's portfolio I could see her unique and soulful point of view as a photographer and I was excited to shoot this theme with her, since I don't have many of these types of images in my own portfolio.

Visit Aileen's website, her work is so beautiful! [link]

Here is her facebook too: [link]

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Character: Lady Sif - Thor (Marvel)
Costume made by Yaya
Photography by Kevin Green
Makeup and model: Yaya

Kevin gave me photo CDs from all the cons this year so it was like an early Christmas of piccies! I really loved these portraits of Sif taken inside the Marriott at Dragoncon. The lighting was filtered through the large windows on the 10th floor, making it a nice photoshoot location admist a huge crowded convention. Also, if you squint, the background could pass for Asgard. ^_-

Costume construction notes:
I made this costume for San Diego Comic Con after gathering materials and reference for several months. I love badass warrior girls and the color red, so Sif was a no brainer! I really liked her character in the comic book as well, from the fact that she grew up with Thor and trained along side him, to their on and off romance over the years, and Sif's strong, loyal and courageous nature.
I used a mix of materials for the costume, from suede to leather to metallic 4-way stretch to fur and wood. I drafted patterns for all the pieces and made everything within about 3 - 4 days. The corset is steel boned, and it was fun to make arm and leg armor pieces. I also enjoyed beading the wig and making the adornments on the hips.

Full gallery and thoughts on my website: [link]

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Uploading more shots to round out my gallery. I need to stick my costumes in folders but it's such a daunting task as I have so many...

I love Marvel and X Men, and the 2nd live action movie was my favorite out of the bunch. Plus I totally dig Kelly Hu's outfit, especially the black jacket/corset hybrid and the adamantium claws.

I made the jacket, which was interesting to say the least, what with the leather ribbing and quilting and full corset lace back. I had to pattern it out myself and it took 2 days to sew together. I spent hours on just the sleeves alone.

Brian of BountyHardware.com [link] made the adamantium claws for me, they attach straight to my fingers and are sized to each of my nails.

I was wear contacts for this shoot as well.
You can see more info and photos of this costume on my website: [link]

Photo by Benny Lee :iconbenny-lee:

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Thanks, Kevin Green, for shooting with me! It was hard to find a suitable location for Daenerys, so we just looked for a secluded spot without people in the background.

What to say about this costume... the character is Daenerys of House Targaryen, from the book series "A Song of Ice and Fire", which the TV Show "Game of Thrones" is based off of. I've been a fan of the books for about a decade now, and have planned to make a Dany costume since the first time I read the series. She is and has always been the character I love the most, and relate to the most.

Those who haven't read the books may not get my costume, but this is simply my personal interpretation of the character Daenerys, and I tried to be as accurate to the major descriptions as possible, such as the golden silver hair, silver bells and braids, purple eyes, the colors of the dragon, and costume materials/elements.

To explain a bit about the costume:

I always knew that I wanted to dress in Dany's iconic Qartheen traditional dress from "A Clash of Kings", 2nd book in the series, but for a long time debated how to pull off the look without it being offensive. Women in Qarth wore airy silk and/or lavish samite dresses baring one breast proudly, which reminds me of the breast baring fashion of the ancient culture of Minoa. Literally, breasts (aka WOMEN) were a symbol of wealth and power, not just sexual objects. Daenerys in the books (Minor spoiler! Skip if you want!) loses just about everything and puts all her stakes into the city and people of Qarth, who crown her and acknowledge her sovereignty. To pay respect to them, she dresses in the traditional gowns - a young girl near alone in the world brave enough to expose herself to a city full of strangers, and she does it with dignity and pride.
The feminist in me just loves that about her, and it's always left an impact on me.
So no matter what, I wanted to make the Qartheen gown.

I pulled inspiration from the books (obviously), the wedding gown in the TV show, various artworks of Daenerys and my own fantasy artwork style and costuming taste. I thought lavender would really suit the silvery golden hair and the silver accessories, and I wanted the gown to flow because Qarth would have been a sweltering place to live in, and also because summer cons bear similar climates. So a slight color changing chiffon it was! I made the gown in 2 layers so it wasn't see-through bwaha, and there was a bit of a debate which chest strap to omit O_o. I truly think that there is no universal rule which side to expose, so I went the right side - in line with Valyrian Resin's licensed Daenerys statue [link] and the artwork of Dany on Wikipedia [link]

Also, I am right handed and holding the dragon was much easier with my primary hand.

So the dragon came about because I needed something to cover myself with, in order to be legal in public lol. I meant to sculpt a dragon but 2011 turned out to be INSANE so I bought a dragon statue and altered it with the help from Chris Donio and Brian Boling. Chris and Brian cut the beast apart and repositioned the legs and tail, re-sculpting the details and filling the piece for more durability. Thank you both for all the help! I painted the dragon and had to pick which of Daenerys' three to represent. Drogon, the black and red dragon, is the strongest of the three, but black shows every imperfection and would have looked odd on my very light costume. I thought green would complement the colors of the costume the best, so I made the dragon into Rhaegal!

I should add that the dragon was strapped onto me so I didn't have to use any hands to hold him, rather the cradling pose was for show. And as an extra extra precaution, I wore pasties.

As for the rest of the costume - I made a waist cincher after I found a silver dyed leather hide that still had the fur patches on it. I thought it was so interesting, luxurious yet raw looking that I had to spurge the $80 on the hide. Thank you, Kathy of God Save The Queen Fashions [link] for letting me use her industrial machine to sew the leather.
I also wanted a belt and arm bands so I bought upholstery fabric and various trims and forced it all through my machine (breaking several needles along the way). I spent an evening decorating the pieces with beads and chains.

The wig was two wigs sewn together and it has a lace front for a more natural look. I braided a lattice work into it and sewed more beads and bells into it, so I jingle when I walk :D

The necklace is of Indian heritage because Daenerys as a newly crowned Queen received gifts from all different empires and cultures. Her accessories were diverse and I wanted something decorative on my neck.

For Dragoncon I plan to add more details to the costume, now that I've worn it once and see what's missing. It was an amazing experience to meet GRRM himself as well as the cast of "Game of Thrones" at SDCC. I will make a separate blog soon about the experience, but leave you for now with a shot of Emilia Clarke and me - Dany x 2! [link] She was so kind and gracious to her fans and I really appreciated the opportunity to show her my costume. <3

More photos coming soon, sorry for the mega long description. XD

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See the full costume gallery here: [link]

Character: Yuuko - XXXholic
Costume made and modeled by me
Photos by Mario Vargas

I made this costume in March 2008 - as a long term CLAMP fan, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I cosplayed Yuuko XD. I loved this design specifically for the butterflies.

The photo location is a historical hotel in Mexico City, during my guest appearance at TNT 15.

Construction:
I got a heavy black poly/wool blend for the kimono, and a beautiful burgundy silk for the lining and ruffles. After sewing the outer layer but before putting in the lining, I appliquéd about 14 or 15 butterfly shapes onto it. The pattern for the butterflies was just free drafted - I cut them out of a yellow fabric and after spending a few hours stitching down the edges neatly, I got to paint the details onto the appliqués for the next night and part of the morning lol. I remember watching a whole season of CSI while painting the butterflies, and it became quite the surreal experience. O_O
As the butterflies dried, I made many yards of ruffles and also did my own gold trim for the costume. Stitched it all together with the lining and a big part of the costume was done. I love the fabrics I scored because they are almost wrinkle free, no matter how much I shove the costume into a suitcase.
The waist cincher is made of a burgundy pleather and I plan on remaking it soon. The material was bought in a rush and is not very sturdy. The cincher has a fake lace up front.
Lastly I worked on the wig, which took some engineering. The main problem was balancing the weight of the extension loops on my head, but in the end it worked out great and I can bend over and sway my head without things shifting. The bat crown and hairpieces are made of styrene plastic that's been heat formed.

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New costume debut! Neena Thurman aka. Domino from Marvel's X-Force

Costume made and modeled by me
Photography by Judy Stephens of Marvel :iconthedreamerworld:

I completed this outfit in time for New York Comic Con, and had the opportunity to pose on the Marvel stage for a while on Friday alongside 2 other Marvel cosplayers.
As usual, this costume was created by me. After looking at many different outfits of Domino's, I decided on making the one from X-Force: Sex and Violence, because her storyline with Wolverine is just too badass not to pay homage to.

Since Domino wears a black bodysuit, I wanted mine to look a bit unique but still utilitarian, so I made a suit out of a rubber coated spandex and gunmetal grey knit, in a custom pattern designed by me. Unfortunately it doesn't show up well in photos so in the future I may replace the grey parts with a different, more eye-catching fabric.
The eye tattoo is a silicone patch which I cast in dyed black silicone, so I wouldn't have to paint it on every time.
I did the white face makeup for a photoshoot with Jay Tablante on the Wednesday before NYCC but during the convention I didn't want to paint my face white because right after hall closing, I had a dinner meeting in Manhattan. Didn't want to show up all gothed out O_O.
Gathering the arsenal was the most fun part of the costume I think. I have 2 hand guns, a P-90, 2 sets of throwing knives and a big knife strapped to my arm lol. Felt particularly badass dressed as Domino.

More photos coming soon, until then you can check out Judy's Costuming Recap blog on the Official Marvel website! [link]
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More photo collaborations with Benny Lee of Emanon Designs!

Retro Space Girl costume designed and made by me, also modeled by me

Photography and post-processing by Benny Lee :iconemanondesign:

Benny did such an amazing job with creating the outer space environment for this shoot. I am really blown away!

Costume construction notes: The idea of doing a space girl has been floating in my head for a while before I made this costume. I love old sci-fi movies ala The Day The Earth Stood Still and Barbarella. For my ode to retro futura, I drafted up a bodysuit and made it out silver PVC vinyl. It's fully lined in a comfortable stretch material, and I added pink trim all around the edges and keyhole. I also made my own trim by stretching spandex over batting - yay puffy retro futuristic trim!
The belt, arm warmers and leg warmers were the finishing touches. I lost my cute pink boots from the original shoot, or I would have used them over the flimsy leg warmers. I'm considering getting more vinyl and making boot covers. The wig was bought locally and I poofed up the back for a beehive look. The headset came from Target and I used a nerf gun which I painted pink and silver to match.

More photos and info on the costume can be found on my website: [link]

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Thanks, Kevin Green, for shooting with me! It was hard to find a suitable location for Daenerys, so we just looked for a secluded spot without people in the background.

What to say about this costume... the character is Daenerys of House Targaryen, from the book series "A Song of Ice and Fire", which the TV Show "Game of Thrones" is based off of. I've been a fan of the books for about a decade now, and have planned to make a Dany costume since the first time I read the series. She is and has always been the character I love the most, and relate to the most.

Those who haven't read the books may not get my costume, but this is simply my personal interpretation of the character Daenerys, and I tried to be as accurate to the major descriptions as possible, such as the golden silver hair, silver bells and braids, purple eyes, the colors of the dragon, and costume materials/elements.

To explain a bit about the costume:

I always knew that I wanted to dress in Dany's iconic Qartheen traditional dress from "A Clash of Kings", 2nd book in the series, but for a long time debated how to pull off the look without it being offensive. Women in Qarth wore airy silk and/or lavish samite dresses baring one breast proudly, which reminds me of the breast baring fashion of the ancient culture of Minoa. Literally, breasts (aka WOMEN) were a symbol of wealth and power, not just sexual objects. Daenerys in the books (Minor spoiler! Skip if you want!) loses just about everything and puts all her stakes into the city and people of Qarth, who crown her and acknowledge her sovereignty. To pay respect to them, she dresses in the traditional gowns - a young girl near alone in the world brave enough to expose herself to a city full of strangers, and she does it with dignity and pride.
The feminist in me just loves that about her, and it's always left an impact on me.
So no matter what, I wanted to make the Qartheen gown.

I pulled inspiration from the books (obviously), the wedding gown in the TV show, various artworks of Daenerys and my own fantasy artwork style and costuming taste. I thought lavender would really suit the silvery golden hair and the silver accessories, and I wanted the gown to flow because Qarth would have been a sweltering place to live in, and also because summer cons bear similar climates. So a slight color changing chiffon it was! I made the gown in 2 layers so it wasn't see-through bwaha, and there was a bit of a debate which chest strap to omit O_o. I truly think that there is no universal rule which side to expose, so I went the right side - in line with Valyrian Resin's licensed Daenerys statue [link] and the artwork of Dany on Wikipedia [link]

Also, I am right handed and holding the dragon was much easier with my primary hand.

So the dragon came about because I needed something to cover myself with, in order to be legal in public lol. I meant to sculpt a dragon but 2011 turned out to be INSANE so I bought a dragon statue and altered it with the help from Chris Donio and Brian Boling. Chris and Brian cut the beast apart and repositioned the legs and tail, re-sculpting the details and filling the piece for more durability. Thank you both for all the help! I painted the dragon and had to pick which of Daenerys' three to represent. Drogon, the black and red dragon, is the strongest of the three, but black shows every imperfection and would have looked odd on my very light costume. I thought green would complement the colors of the costume the best, so I made the dragon into Rhaegal!

I should add that the dragon was strapped onto me so I didn't have to use any hands to hold him, rather the cradling pose was for show. And as an extra extra precaution, I wore pasties.

As for the rest of the costume - I made a waist cincher after I found a silver dyed leather hide that still had the fur patches on it. I thought it was so interesting, luxurious yet raw looking that I had to spurge the $80 on the hide. Thank you, Kathy of God Save The Queen Fashions [link] for letting me use her industrial machine to sew the leather.
I also wanted a belt and arm bands so I bought upholstery fabric and various trims and forced it all through my machine (breaking several needles along the way). I spent an evening decorating the pieces with beads and chains.

The wig was two wigs sewn together and it has a lace front for a more natural look. I braided a lattice work into it and sewed more beads and bells into it, so I jingle when I walk :D

The necklace is of Indian heritage because Daenerys as a newly crowned Queen received gifts from all different empires and cultures. Her accessories were diverse and I wanted something decorative on my neck.

For Dragoncon I plan to add more details to the costume, now that I've worn it once and see what's missing. It was an amazing experience to meet GRRM himself as well as the cast of "Game of Thrones" at SDCC. I will make a separate blog soon about the experience, but leave you for now with a shot of Emilia Clarke and me - Dany x 2! [link] She was so kind and gracious to her fans and I really appreciated the opportunity to show her my costume. <3

More photos coming soon, sorry for the mega long description. XD

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*********** Yaya on Twitter [link] ***********


Uploading more shots from one of my favorite photoshoots ever.

Theme: Tribute to Cleopatra
Photographer: Dan Santoni
Hair stylist: Michael Hall
makeup: Yaya
costume design and creation: Yaya

This was one of the most amazing photo shoot days... I shot with two photographer on the same day, from 10am to like 3am, and produced three of the best shots in my portfolio. It was everything from exciting, creative, exhausting, glamorous, painful and satisfying.
The shot above is by Dan Santoni, who is also responsible for the set. His lighting set up was insane - I stared into about 8 lights at the same time, it seemed.

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Character: Original Steampunk Madam
Designed, created and modeled by Yaya
Photography by Anna Fisher [link]

I'm seriously in love with this photo by Anna Fisher. She went through a lot of effort to book space in the Juliet Supper Club in New York City and this was shot on the last day of New York Comic Con.

I made the Steampunk Madam costume a few years ago for Anime Weekend Atlanta, as a collaboration with Danny Ashby of Outland Armor. You can read my construction notes and see more images here: [link]
The opium pipe is antique, the hat is a loaner from the high end hat makers at The Blond Swan [link] costume designed and made by me, and the brass fan was made by Danny Ashby [link] The Madam is a character in Danny's Steampunk world, and I think this shot really summs her up. :D
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