Sunday, February 24, 2013

Towards EuroCosplay qualifiers

Last spring I made some costume plans EuroCosplay qualifiers in mind. But I was on the move too late and couldn’t arrange days off from work for Desucon, where the qualifiers have been arranged for three years now. Luckily, I hadn’t started the costume or anything else in that matter.

But having to skip the preliminaries bug me up to the point that last autumn I started to gather materials, fabrics and references for the second act. Last week I also confirmed from my employer that I could have the weekend off even if some of our staff members would be on summer vacation. From last August to this day I have been slowly making something here and there, but now I can say that the work has really begun!

Before I chose the character, I went through different aspects I wanted the cosplay to contain: The costume would suit my skills and knowledge about costume making and also have enough challenge so that I could really push myself to try my best. The character would have similar body type and personality if possible. I would have a rough plot sketched for the performance before constructing the costume and that the character, the story and the setting would fascinate me to the extent that I would be nearly obsessed about it.

Last year I totally fell in love with a certain manga and when I decided that EC it is, I didn’t think too long which character would be suitable for the preliminaries. The character I chose is Amira Halgal from manga Otoyomegatari or Bride stories by Kaoru Mori. I try to keep my calm now, because I could easily flip out from all the gorgeousness the manga embodies and just say that it is well worth reading if you are interested in historical setting and romance with beautiful art and leisured storytelling.

The base for the hat was one of the first things I made last year.

I really want to keep the costume as authentic as I could and also respect Mori’s design and art. The clothes I’m making from wool, silk, cotton and linen but with the shoes and jewelry I’m going to resort to more cosplay friendly and modern materials like pleather and polymer clays. Needless to say, there is lot of embroidery going on right now. I try to do it where ever I have the time to pick a needle in my hand.

For reference I chose cover art picture, where the design and decorations are clearly displayed. I had to use my own judgment on the back; it came together based on the front and how it's drawn on the manga.

What I’ve sewn this far is the skirt, the scarf and the vest. Decorations I’ve embroidered on the hat and on the vest, but there are still meters to go. Today I sculpted the positive mold for the earrings and tried to figure out how the scarf is wrapped on the hat. I swirled it and pinned it and I still got no idea. The top is quite alright, but the back is still a mystery.

There is still much to do, but I couldn’t be more excited about this project! Now that these plans are out, I’m going to write progress updates more often than once in five months.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Snufkin and Alicia at Desucon Frostbite 2013

I tried to write an entry from Desucon Frostbite, but it seems that there is too many diversions at the moment to actually finish it. Like new manga, reference pictures and embroidery to name a few.  I noticed that the first batch of photos was released from Frostbite, so here is photos from the costumes we wore on Saturday.

Big thanks and best wishes to Frostbite's photobooth crew!