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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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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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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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Brian took these shots at San Diego Comic Con moments before I met George R. R. Martin in person. I was so nervous! XD

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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Character: Polaris (Lorna Dane) from X-Men (Marvel Universe)
Costume made by: Yaya
Photography: :iconcadha13:
Makeup, styling, Model: Yaya
Photo taken at: Albuquerque Comic Expo 2012

I'll admit, the reason I chose this costume is because I had a great wig for it laying around. Originally used for my Sea Nymph mermaid costume, this green/teal gradient wig was a good choice for Polaris. I definitely appreciate her character's heritage, numerous struggles and relationship with Havok, and I like how the color green looks against my skin tone. Not sure why I'm drawn to cosplay all of Magneto's daughters lol (Wanda, Lorna...), I guess I secretly wished he was my daddy? haha

Last push to make the costume was my Guest appearance at Albuquerque Comic Expo, for which I wanted to debut a new cosplay.

As usual, I made 100% of this costume. I can't believe that after 13 years of cosplaying, people still don't believe that I make my own costumes. Well, let those stand forth who have supposedly made my costumes and show in progress proof to the world.
Yeah. They don't exist, because I'm the one pulling all-nighters creating each costume from scratch.

Polaris was a very simple costume to make and I started it on the Tuesday afternoon before ACE, and finished it up around 5am on Thursday morning. Basically, 2 days. It would have only taken 1 day if I hadn't decided to make the bodysuit structured, lined and insert all those seams and lines. The materials were 4-way stretch metallic spandex (to match the look of this statue), wonderflex for the headpiece, gauntlets & anklets, and crepe back satin for the cape. I kind of took my favorite elements of various Polaris outfits and put them together.

About the photoshoot - it was an impromptu shoot with :iconcadha13: during ACE and this photo was taken in the walkway to the parking garage. The neon lights added a psychedelic effect which I thought worked well with Polaris' power over magnetism. The swirls around my right hand were not photoshopped in but a lucky catch of the light. Unfortunately the low light level inside the hallway affected the quality of this photo.


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I forgot I had these lovely shots from BlizzardTerrak from last Fanime! Thank you!

Character: Original version of Absinthe Fairy
Costume designed, made and worn by Yaya
Photography by :iconblizzardterrak:

More images and construction info to be found on my website: [link]
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I received the first image from Katsucon of the new costume I debuted there on Saturday :)

Character: Wizard - Granado Espada
Costume made and worn by me
Photography by Joseph Lin

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've also never made a mermaid skirt like this before, with a full hoop and petticoat underneath. It's like an umbrella attached to my knees.

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.

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

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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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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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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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