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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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Character: Misato's Plugsuit Dress (based on this collectible figure designed by Shunya Yamashita: [link]
Costume entirely made/modeled by Yaya Han
Photographed by Paul Tien

I remember watching Evangelion as a kid when the first release of good fansubs hit, many years ago. Of course it had a huge impact on me as an anime fan, and artist. Over the years I have always wanted to make a plugsuit from EVA but my favorite character was Misato, who's outfits were simplistic and casual.
FINALLY, someone designs a plugsuit-ish outfit for Misato, and it is very fan service and revealing. But it's probably the closest I'll ever get to see Misato in a plugsuit, and I decided to make the outfit. From the get-go, I wanted to make modesty alterations to the outfit, so my dress is longer and there are no floating boob cups, just flattering princess seams.
I used 4-way stretch PVC to make a base dress with front and side seams, then cut it up to create all the interesting top-stitched seams on the design, while interjecting navy blue faux leather panels. I patterned everything myself, which meant a lot of mock-ups in cheap left over spandex and drawing lines on them. I also patterned and made the thigh highs and arm sleeve things, as well as the hip rolls and all the accessories. I even made my gloves. To achieve the shapes needed, I used everything from EVA foam in various thicknesses, worbla, floral foam, and squishy tube foam. Everything was covered in PVC for that unified sleek plugsuit look. I also cast aluminum powdered buttons and round side pieces. Work in progress collage: [link]

I love my fun futuristic booties, which were a lucky find online.

My wig was sponsored by AnimeStuffStore.com - [link]
I cut about a foot off, and styled the bangs ala Misato.
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Character: Fujiko Mine from Lupin III!
Photograph by Paul Tien
Cosplayed by Yaya Han
Latex catsuit made by Polymorphe [link]
Wig by Arda-Wigs [link]
Gun borrowed from :iconbeautifullytwisted:

This is a closet cosplay in the truest sense of the word. But I had to pay respect to one of anime's original cat burglars/grifters! You know how much I love those....

Also. Gold bars are hard to hold onto when you're wearing slippery latex.

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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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I recently did an awesome photoshoot with Benny Lee :iconbenny-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 :iconrazvan-sedekiah:),
Costume made and modeled by me
Photo by Benny Lee :iconbenny-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 :iconrazvan-sedekiah: 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!

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Last photo I'll post of this costume for a while! It shows off the costume in it's entirety, and even has Roger in it to boot! This cust9om balloon Roger Rabbit was a surprise gift that awaited me at Dragoncon when I came downstairs in this cosplay for the first time. Isn't he cool?

Jessica Rabbit - Who framed Roger Rabbit
Costume made & modeled by me
photo by Brian Boling

Jessica Rabbit has always been one of the most mesmerizing cartoon characters to me - as a kid she made me watch the movie over and over again, and as a cosplayer, she was always a huge challenge for me to portrait. I've been collecting materials for her for almost 2 years, and wanted to make this costume to the best to my abilities.

The shape is not photoshopped, just clever cosplay engineering.
I drafted & made a custom corset to create the extreme shape and then made the dress to fit over it. I engineered 2 Victoria's Secret Miraculous bras into the corset, which is steel boned coutil. The extreme illusion is created by pulling in the waist, padding the top and wearing a booty bump hahaha.
The dress itself is made from a spandex sequin fabric, and 1000+ S20 Swarovski crystals are glued on the fabric for
extra bling, tedious time consuming handywork with help from Mary Cahela. I specifically chose pink instead of red for the dress because in the movie her famous singing scene features a pink dress. I also like the color combo: orange hair/pink dress/purple gloves more than the red dress which can sometimes come across as "lady of the night" in certain lighting. Pink makes the entire outfit look more cartoon-y!
Here is a reference image of Jessica in the pink dress.
Here is a youtube video of Jessica in the pink dress doing her famous stage performance from the movie.
Here is a work in progress collage of my Jessica Rabbit dress.

I adore my wig which is a Matilda from Arda Wigs! Styled with help from Ara Fernando!

I also went with the route of cartoon makeup, covering up my eyebrows and painting over them. It was a risky choice for makeup, and since Dragoncon I got my share of comments about going drag lol, but when I decided to portray such an iconic character as Jessica Rabbit, I didn't want to fall short of the makeup when everything else was so exaggerated.

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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: Lady Sif - Thor (Marvel)
Costume made by Yaya
Photography by Brian Boling
Makeup and model: Yaya

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.

More pics coming soon, and I plan on re-wearing Sif at Dragoncon!

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Character: Wonder Woman -DC Comic Ame-Comi Collectible Figure design
Costume made and modeled by me
Photo by Benny Lee (EmanonDesign) :iconbenny-lee:

I have more Dragoncon photos to share but am too excited about getting Wonder Woman studio shots back to not share at least one of them. Thank you, Benny, for these great photos! You can read about how I made this costume and see more photos on my website: [link] [link]

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