Character: Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop) Coostume made by Yaya Model: Yaya Photo was taken at Sakuracon 2011 by Paul Tien, thank you!
Since the year is full swing, I can finally share the photo that I submitted to the 2012 Cosplay for a Cause calendar for month April! Thank you everyone who supported the calendar and helped us raise over $30,000 USD to donate to the Japanese Red Cross!!!
I thought Faye would be a great character to be included in the calendar because Cowboy Bebop was such an influential and iconic Japnese animation series, between the storyline, animation quality, MUSIC BY YOKO KANNO, character development... and Faye is one of anime's all time coolest female characters. The costume itself was fairly easy to put together, I sewed the top and booty shorts, cut and sewed two wigs together to create the signature Faye hairstyle, and altered the remaining pieces such as boots and red shirt.
For those who asked, CFAC is not doing a 2013 calendar but we are hoping to produce another one in the future. I am however offering a self-produced 12 month cosplay calendar for 2013
Character: Psylocke - Marvel's X-Men Costume made/modeled by Yaya Photography by Chris Gomez Photo location: New Orleans
This is a brand new Psylocke costume! I cosplayed Psylocke back in '06 but wanted to make a new version, more grounded in Reality. I drafted my own patterns for the bodysuit, arms/legs, boot covers etc, and sewed everything in a day utilizing two contrasting fabrics, heavy duty spandex & stretch pleather. The only piece I re-used from the old Psylocke costume is the sash.
We also wanted to approach the photo with a more realistic flair, which is why I just used my own hair up in a top knot. The background was a large carpet which Loretta and Brian held up for us while I sat on it. Chris found a Katana for us as well!
Character: Catwoman from Arkham City (video game) Costume made by: Yaya Model: Yaya Photography: Brian Boling Tumbler: The Dark Knight screen-used car, thank you, WB, for letting me pose with it. Location: San Diego Comic Con 2012
This is a preview shot for the new Catwoman costume I completed in time for SDCC. Forgive the crowd in the background, I took the chance to pose with the Tumbler when permission was granted!! When I post closer-up photos of the costume, I will share the construction process in detail. For now, just know this costume was made in 50 hours, but only takes 5 minutes to put on lol. To match the hexagon fabric in the video game, I had the pattern designed by my friend Jinyo and printed up at Fabric On Demand. The secondary fabric is a rubber coated spandex. Cathy of saved me hours of work by graciously letting me base my bodysuit off of the pattern she had made already for this same costume for a customer. I had to redesign most pieces of the pattern to fit my bodyshape and height, but it was nice to not have to make a full mock-up from scratch, and with my tight work schedule, I appreciated every second of time saved. I sewed the costume entirely myself, as usual, making sure to triple-stitch the seams (100+ of them) and also top stitch all of them. I also made the matching accessories such as gloves/hood/ears/sculpted metal bits/altered boots etc. I re-used the goggles from my other Catwoman costume because I kind of hate the design of the Arkham City goggles, and I already made perfectly usable Catwoman goggles before.
More photos and write-up coming soon, also look out for my Journal entry Recap of SDCC!
New costume debut! Neena Thurman aka. Domino from Marvel's X-Force
Costume made and modeled by me Photography by Judy Stephens of Marvel
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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Character: Wizard - Granado Espada Costume made and worn by me Photography by Judy Stephens
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.
Character: Dark Elf - Lineage II (Based on this artwork Photography by Anna Fisher Costume made & modeled by Yaya Makeup by Yaya
I keep meaning to write up the construction notes but I'm constantly rushing off to a con lol. Anime Weekend Atlanta is this weekend so yeah, I'll have to wait till next week to properly write up how I made this costume. But this photo shows off the details well.
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I had the opportunity to shoot with photographer Bernard Schmerl while I was in Germany last week. Since the weather forecast was dreary and I didn't have much room in my luggage, I brought a few fashion outfits to the shoot, including this dress from bebe. (It's only lingerie-inspired XD)
Photography: Bernard Schmerl Model: Yaya Makeup/styling/hair: Yaya
Officially licensed Star Trek The Original Series Uhura's Red Dress Uniform, made by Anovos Productions, LLC
I was asked by Anovos to model for them at San Diego Comic Con and do a photoshoot in the TOS red dress from Star Trek. This company's reproduction is the most accurate in existence, trust me, I've seen one of the screen-used dresses.
Oddly enough, during the 2 hours I modeled for them at their booth at SDCC, Attack of the Show came by with "Community"s Danny Pudy and did a short spoof video with him and me that aired on G4TV that same day. They dressed Danny Pudy as Spock!! I've yet to see the footage since I was at the con that entire weekend, not sure if they have it online somewhere.
Check out Anovos' full production line of licensed high quality Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica uniforms: [link]
I recently did an awesome photoshoot with Benny Lee in a Chinese Restaurant. As you know, the backgrounds settings for the Street Fighter games can be super random, and Benny was ingenious enough to secure a space for us at a local restaurant before they opened for Dim Sum in the morning. Of course we stayed to nom after the shoot!
For this shot I kicked about 30 times lol. In heels and a waist cincher, it turned into a morning work out haha!
CharacterL: Art Nouveau Chun Li cosplay (designed by ), Costume made and modeled by me Photo by Benny Lee Chun Li gallery is up on my website!! Head over to my site to read the full construction notes on how I made this costume and check out my favorite photos of Chun Li.
Costume thoughts: I absolutely loved the design by and thought it was a great stylish translation of an Iconic character. I created the full costume, using luxurious fabrics such as dupioni silk and silk taffeta. All the trims and swirls are embroidered on, free hand. I had a lot of fun making the charms, hair buns and spike wristlets. I read the spikes in the design artwork as ivory or marble instead of metal, and in keeping with the turn of the century art nouveau style, my spikes are an opalescent ivory color. Some people remarked that it looks like I'm not wearing underwear - well, I am wearing 3 pairs of tights so I am decent lol. Again, it's to follow the art design accurately. I also cut up a pair of white pleather boots and embroidered the gold swirls on that. The charms and the boots might be my favorite part on this costume!
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
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]