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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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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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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: Wizard - Granado Espada
Costume made and worn by me
Photography by Judy Stephens :iconthedreamerworld:

Time for another Construction Breakdown. I based this costumes off of a beautiful character design sketch: [link]
I had already cosplayed the Wizard once [link] and really love the style and grace of this character. This newer design compelled to me for the intricacy of details, mermaid silhouette, and creme/black color scheme.
I decided early on to make some artistic changes to this design, because I did not like the open stomach and hip exposure. Such design aspect may look nice on paper or rendered on a digital figure, but on a real person the skin exposure would have contradicted the elegant sophisticated overall design of this outfit. I wanted to make this costume look regal and opulent, not show off my belly button and hip flesh.
Whenever I choose to make changes to a design, I try to be very respectful of the original designer and translate their vision to a real life version of the character. In the case of the Wizard, I chose extravagant fabrics and trims, and spared no cost on the materials. I used the most expensive fabric on my record on this costume: $100 per yard. Even the black satin serving as the skirt base was a heavy bridal satin. The creme fabric was exquisite and I couldn't have been happier with it.
I drafted my own patterns and created a steel boned corset, over which a lot of details were hand stitched on. I designed and made a center applique piece in place of the open belly and matching bra cups, all embroidered free-hand on my sewing machine. Just pinning on the trims and deciding placement of each took a good day, and I had to keep walking away from it, coming back, trying it on etc.
Over the corset went a bolero with those weird sleeves. I searched all over for a pleated chiffon and found a semi-sheer pleat at fabric.com finally for the sleeve petals. They were carefully measured (MATH!), cut out and fray checked, and sewn together into sleeves. I beaded glass crystals to each petal tip as well.
The skirt was a fun challenge because it's an exxagerated mermaid shape with multiple tiers. I made an underskirt with a tulle petticoat (hate sewing tulle...), and underneath that I built a hoopskirt from the ground to my knees. Again, a lot of math was used to figure out the right length, diameters etc. of this set up and I had to take into account the 7 inch heels I would have to wear in order to emulate the character design's torso to legs ratio. Anyway, a lot of time later, I had an underskirt and it was time to create the tiers on the overskirt. The bottom black tier is the satin, and I made a circle skirt and the biggest applique set I ever - the snakes. Each applique is heat-n-bonded on, then satin stitched over. The larger twin snakes have an overlay of metallic net as well. I ran out of time to embellish the snakes, was going to bead on them and add crystals as well.
The next tier is my awesome creme fabric, with the gorgeous scalloped edges. Over that went a black fishnet fabric that is heavily embroidered, beaded and sequined. I encased the edge in a binding to give it a finished look. My tiers are a little different from the original sketch, but I'd like to think I kept to the feel of the character while adding some interesting textures and details to the skirt, to match all the stuff that was going on with the corset/sleeves.
I used the same embroidered fishnet to create the under sleeves to again have some of the same reoccurring materials in the top as well as bottom of the costume.
Oh, and for the first time ever I made a bib lol. I mean, what else would you call that rounded collar thing? I was skeptical of the thing the entire time I was sewing it, but with the bolero on it looks nice and finished.

Now onto the rubber snakes on the skirt. They were a focal point in the design and I felt it needed to be accurate, in order for people to recognize this character. So I spent hours sculpting 2 mirroring snake designs out of clay, as well as a matching center piece for the top of the corset with the harlequin face on it. I then made a silicone mold and dusted it with opalescent powder, and cast the whole thing out of urethane rubber. It's an expensive process, over $150 just in materials for the mold and cast, and special urethane adhesive to attach them to my skirt. I think the finished pieces turned out great though, and give the skirt the needed dimensions.

The hat was the last piece I made. God knows why it covers her left eye. I made a pattern, then 3 bases in different sizes in Wonderflex, and covered them in matching fabrics. The hat inside is finished with a felt backing, and I hand stitched various trims on for detailing. I found creme Ostrich feathers and added white and black feathers to them to make a bouquet, which was then attached to the hat as well.

The hair style is created by pinning my Wizard wig from the other costume on my head and blending my own hair into it.

There you have it, phew. Sorry for the wall of text. It was a fun and creative process to make this costume because I took artistic liberties while sticking to the fundamentals of the character design. I loved working with the beautiful fabrics and thank all my photographers friends for taking pictures of me at Katsucon. If I figure out how to air travel with that hoop skirt, I would gladly take this costume to a West Coast con or other events in the future.

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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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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:

You can see the panda and glasses pretty well in this portrait!
Costume construction on this Deviation:

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

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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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Gah, I got so many amazing BlazBlue photos that I can't stop posting them! Hope I'm not boring you guys.

Character: Litchi Faye Ling
Costume made and modeled by Yaya (moi)
Photography by the legendary Maboroshi of RisingSun.net [link]

These images were taken during Sukoshicon in Destin, FL - the con was right next to the beach!!! Of course we had to take advantage of the beautiful weather and scenery. Mab's photography is not only vibrant and vivid, but he also has an innate sense for great composition and an unmatched way to capture a moment. I wanted to do a few action fighto poses and of course Mab always makes me look more badass than I am lol.

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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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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