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Preview shot from my recent photoshoot with LA Fashion Photographer Aileen Luib.

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 ^_-

I really adore the haunting melancholic quality of this photo. 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.

More coming from this shoot!

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

Here is her facebook too: [link]

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New costume debut - Dragoncon 2011

Character: Baroness - G.I. Joe
Costume made by Yaya (moi)
Armor made by Pit Viper Studios
Photos by Paul Tien, thank you so much!

This is a collaboration between Pit Viper Studios [link] and moi. I was approached by Len and Audrey several months ago with the idea of modeling a one-off set of Baroness armor for their prop studio as a way to promote their company and our mutual fandom love for GI Joe. I was honored to be considered! Since I had been planning on making Baroness at some point any way, it seemed like the perfect time to get to work.
Toby and Audrey sculpted the pieces, and Len, Kevin, John and the rest of the Pit Viper crew cast the amazing set of armor for me, made of fiberglass. It is surprisingly comfortable and sturdy to wear and I could move around easily. And it looks totally badass and protective!

I took on the responsibility to put the rest of the suit together. Looking at many many reference images of Anastasia (:iconadamhughes: and :icondiablo2003: amongst others), I decided to put my own spin on her signature bodysuit. My goal was for it to be more than just a spandex bodysuit, so I designed a two piece suit featuring seaming details and quilted sides down the arms and legs, as well as scalloped three-piece sections of leg armor. The material is a rubber coated 4-way stretch spandex, which I chose because I wanted the gloss-coated armor to stand out from the matte-finish suit and contrast each other. I made a pattern for the bodysuit and sewed it from scratch. The wig is a pretty lace front that was sleek and not too long, since I didn't want to cover up the armor too much. The glasses were a surprising bitch to find lol. You can't walk into an Optic store and buy a set of rims, they'd have to do an exam and fit non-prescription lenses in. And I didn't want to have lens-less rims! So after much searching I got these at a Dollar Store.. in Montreal, Canada lol.
The weapons were so much fun to pose with. I borrowed a big ass gun from :iconbeautifully-twisted: since she did Sweet Pea from Sucker Punch the day before. Thanks, babe! I had also brought a P-90 which would have looked cool but I couldn't carry more than 2 guns around. The hand gun is my Amber gun haha.

Honestly the only thing I'm somewhat missing is a belt. I debated for a while whether or not to have a belt because it will break up the stream-lined seams I so painstakingly put on the bodysuit.... then I got stuck in Germany for three days because of Hurricane Irene and lost that time to work on costumes for Dragoncon. So I said screw the belt. But after wearing the costume, I must say it would be nice to have someplace to put my room key/money/phone, so a belt will be made when I find the time!

Check out Pit Viper Studio's work here! [link]
Photos from the Cobra's Finest meet coming soon. Thank you everyone for having me in your group!!

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Eeeeh brand spanking new photoshoot with LJinto, taken this past weekend in New York City!
:iconmostflogged: as Poison Ivy - costume made and modeled by her
Catwoman made and modeled by me.

Jenni took us to this decrepit bridge right by a graveyard with all this graffiti and fences... really great location for a Gotham city shoot. I had to climb all the railings like an idiot while Jenni was all vixen and ladylike. We had a blast posing in these outfits, and the cold, shocked onlookers and low lighting didn't faze us a bit!

Thank you, LJinto, for doing the photoshoot with us, and thanks also to Judy, Adam and Cole for trucking along in the cold and darkness of Gotham.


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See more info and photos of this costume on my website: [link]
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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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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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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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Character: Wizard - Granado Espada
Costume made and worn by me
Photography by Anna Fisher

I always knew that one Granado Espada costume is not enough. The designs are just too heartbreakingly beautiful in this game. I chose another costume of the Wizard because I love her class and style.
I slaved away on this costume for about 14 days, starting around Christmas, then it sat around for while I did my convention tour in January, then I picked up the work again end of January. Detailed construction notes coming soon. You can see the details in the corset, bolero and hat in this great image by Anna Fisher. I should note that the main fabric is an ivory/cream color, not white.

I was channeling Audrey Hepburn's Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady all day in this costume. :)

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My last cosplay of 2011! Litchi has been on my to do list since the first arcade game was imported to the USA at Planet Zero in Houston a few years ago!!! I was lucky enough to be in the area and was one of the first people to try my hands at it. Litchi's design and fighting style with the staff was instantly my favorite. I also really approve of girls in glasses. AND I love pandas, and she has one hanging on her head. It was love at first button push lol.

Character: Litchi Faye Ling
Costume made and modeled by Yaya (moi)
Photography by the talented Elysia of Fenyx Design :iconfenyxdesign:

Costume construction:
In order to translate the design of this 2-D video game character into a real life costume, I knew that I needed a lot of silk. I found this gorgeous deep red silk in the LA Fabric district for the jacket and skirt/tail and paired it with a golden yellow silk brocade for the trim. I made my own bias tape with the gold brocade and used a red Asian brocade for the lining of the jacket/skirt. For those new to making bias tape, it's really simple and can add an interesting detail to your costume if you use fun fabrics. Just by doing a quick google search you can find tons of tutorials on this technique, with photos or video. For example, here is a simple tutorial on how to make your own bias tape: [link]
And how to sew bias tape on! [link]

As usual, I created my own patterns for the garment by drafting them on paper, measuring and chalk drawing on fabric, draping on my mannequin, and altering base patterns heavily., I serged/sewed everything on this costume, making sure it is tailored to me and fit properly. All the garment pieces are lined and finished with a hand made binding.
I altered the jacket design a tad because on the character design it's loose and cut very low. Since I was already going to show a bra, I didn't want the closure to be way low on my torso, so the jacket swoops in underneath the bra and closes via hook/eyes. That's also why I have an extra set of buttons in the front, it would have looked weird just with one row.

After making the jacket and skirt, I tackled the boot covers, which are built over a pair of wedge boots that I completely butchered. I made a pattern by tracing around the boots and created the boot covers with matching silk fabrics. I even lined the boot covers because loose seams drive me nuts.

I chose a decorated bra from VS instead of a plain one because my costume has some texture to it and is made with pretty luxurious fabrics. I thought it would fit the overall look better.

I also styled the wig, with consisted of a lot of razoring and shearing of the bangs into the asymmetrical style, and butchering two long hair falls to make the floor-sweeping ponytail.
I made the ying yang hair piece with a variety of lightweight materials that were laying around my house and hand painted it carefully.
The panda was so much fun to make, and super easy. I even had all the fleece and stuffings laying around already. The leaves are made from left over taffeta from my Peacock costume, and I embroidered them.

The glasses were very carefully taken apart, and, after dremeling off the top bridges, put back together.

Last piece to make was the fighting staff which I didn't want to be too tall, since it's already a pain to carry around. So it's just a few inches taller than me when I'm wearing the boots. It breaks down into three pieces for easy transport and is made from a pvc pipe.

You can see a video collage from Ikkicon with Riddle and me where Litchi is featured here: [link]

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My favorite duo shot from this photoshoot!

:iconmostflogged: as Poison Ivy - costume made and modeled by her
Catwoman made and modeled by me.

Jenni took us to this decrepit bridge right by a graveyard with all this graffiti and fences... really great location for a Gotham city shoot. I had to climb all the railings like an idiot while Jenni was all vixen and ladylike. We had a blast posing in these outfits, and the cold, shocked onlookers and low lighting didn't faze us a bit!

Thank you, LJinto, for doing the photoshoot with us, and thanks also to Judy, Adam and Cole for trucking along in the cold and darkness of Gotham.

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Teaser image from the Christmas themed photoshoot I did with BGZ Studios [link] Since I made this costume ON Christmas last year, I missed the chance to take Holiday photos with it. Was very glad to pull it out this year for some shots.

Darrell came over with giant bags of Christmas decorations, lights and fabrics and we created a very merry set in my living-room. I can still find glitter on furnitures and on the floor lol. Darrell does minimal post-processing so the lighting in the photo is from his awesome set up that day.

Excited to see more shots, I will share what I get back! Thank you so much, Darrell, for the photos and beautiful decorations.
Check out BGZ Studios on Facebook here!
[link]
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Costume Construction:
This cosplay is of Urd, from the classic anime Ah! My Goddess. Many anime girls have little Christmas outfits and I already had the wig for Urd (I've been planning another costume of hers for a while). The design is based on an outfit Urd wears in one of the episodes, but I changed it a little bit to fit my taste in fashion and shape. For example, the neck bow in the design is green and ack I really dislike the green/red color combo, so I changed it to red. And I made flare sleeves instead of gloves because I often have to handle money and sign things at cons, so gloves would have been annoying.
100% of the materials were found at home - the red velour is left over from my Scarlet Witch cape (I loved being able to use up all the scrap!) and the white fur was acquired at a clearance sale ages ago. I even had the boots already from another sale.
Costume constructed in a day over Christmas weekend (after much lint rolling the excess fur off the velour). I made a self-lined corset, top stitched and reinforced, with boning and eyelets for lace up, drafted a pattern for a three panel skirt and flare sleevelets. I also made a matching Santa hat and hand stitched the fur trim onto all the hems.

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