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22 March 2007 @ 01:35 am
Costume breakdown part 1  
Character: Orlouge
Source: SaGa Frontier (Video Game/RPG)
Orlouge is not a playable character. He appears as a major character/plot point in Asellus' quest. I will admit that I normally choose cosplays on the basis of the character. This one is primarily for the art. This is schoolwork, and I needed a design that would conform to what I wanted to accomplish with the "course". Orlouge met all my requirements. I still feel it's important to me to know as much as I can, regardless of what piques my interest, though. To say much about his character, I would have to regurgitate what I've read online; I haven't beaten Asellus' quest yet! Rest assured that I will before I wear the costume (I'll do whatever it takes!).

Illustrations by Tomomi Kobayashi. (Japanese official site)

In-game. Not terribly helpful. I am ignoring the fact that in game he has silver/white hair because I like purple better, and it's not just a shading thing apparently, since it's purple-tinted in both illustrations.

This entry is covering only the sewing and basic accessories, not any of the "hardscape" (? what shall I call it?) elements - the shoe caps, shoulder armor, headpiece, and horns. It's long enough as it is :P
Wig(s): Ordered Sepia "Amanda" and New Look "Punky", both in light purple. I have no idea quite honestly if they'll be the same color or clash. Too bad I can't remember what brand my Ayane wig is, because it's also light purple (Günter's wig is New Look Cher 951). At any rate I'm planning to do some dyeing to both wigs so it should minimize the difference. I'm pretty wary of anything remotely similar to the Sharpie dyeing technique given my previous experiences with it (it works great so long as you don't care what happens to everything your wig touches). But die_sama recommended an alternate technique using acrylic permanent inks (basically colored India ink). Anyway, I am going to think of some way to test it to make sure it will be colorfast but I really want to get some nice gradations in the color and I doubt that Rit (or Dylon) would cut it on the higher-quality fibers.

Boots: Arrived last week. They have some strange topstitching on them and they're only ankle-high, but the line of them is as accurate as I could have hoped - black sole, kitten heel with a flare at the bottom. The boot tops need to be done in stretch PVC if I want them to match, but I'm not too keen on the idea of piping + stretch vinyl . . . if I want to use a non-stretch faux suede, I will have to order it. Probably from Sy Fabrics; Denver Fabrics only carries the $40/yd real ultrasuede. It's definitely much nicer and way more like real suede, but it has a price to match. At the moment I'm thinking of combining the patent PVC with another fabric so that I can keep the shoe looking continuous while minimizing the amount of piping I have to put in vinyl. I have problems with piping on normal fabrics, for some reason.

Jacket: Oh, jacket. You annoy me with your many mysteries. The blue train is probably going to be attached to this layer. It doesn't make sense from a garment standpoint, but I've learned to avoid having unnecessary separate layers in costuming. I've chosen trims to use for the gold sections (two, one for the edging and one for the curliques), but I'm waiting to buy the yardage on the edging until I have a more precise estimate of amount. I've been burned too many times not having enough trim. I think I will break this down into separate issues. I could add the fact that I'm not sure what the garment does in the shoulder area since it's covered by his hair, but I've already figured out what I will have to do for practical concerns (I can't make it float).
1) Edging does not show on the reverse side and design comes to a point. The first part is solvable by using nylon (invisible) thread, but there is a hidden advantage to double-fold trims that wrap over an edge - you can hide raw edges on unusual shapes without hems or facings/linings. I'm left with three possibilities - 1) use a rolled hem and hope the increased thickness does not cause a problem attaching the trim; 2) use a non-fraying fabric; 3) face the triangular sections. I think that 1 is out; rolled hems are time-consuming and the points would not work well. Non-fraying fabric limits me to faux suede, pleather, or vinyl. Vinyl would be "pimpin'" but not right. Pleather would probably not get along well with puff sleeves, and somehow suede does not seem like a sensible choice for the garment type. So, I think I will be using
2) What the heck is going on in the back? The front comes to three points on each side; but what is the design in the back? Zero help from the references. I am thinking doing another three points, with the center one being the longer (and wider).
3)Tassels: I have to make them. Chainette tassels apparently do not exist in 8" length.

Train: Hancock Fabrics is currently carrying a burnout silk which bears uncanny resemblance to the very bottom of the train. But, aside from being $30 a yard, I tried layering it over a blue fabric and it just was not going to look organic enough. Attempting to applique the lightweight silk was going to be more trouble than the benefit. So, I am going to place an order with the inimitable Dharma Trading (no connection with the Dharma Initiative). It's time to try working with silk and resists. I've chosen water-based resist over gutta, but I still have to decide what type of paint or dye to use. Since it's a train, I may not worry about changing the hand. I think I'm going with Dharma's "pigment dye system" over Dye-na-Flow, since it's still heat-set (not chemical or steam) and they claim it has brighter colors and less feel on the silk. I also have to purchase something to use as a stretcher.

Tunic: Likely using a stretch twill I already have since around here it's nigh impossible to find decent midweight garment twill in white. I got some interesting narrow cording, white with silver metallic around it, to do the swirls. I know soutache is the "gold standard" for that kind of thing but I just don't like how flat trims take tight curves. I am wondering now if the silver will stand out too much, though, so I may switch to a narrow cording or rattail. From a design standpoint, I feel it's probably sleeveless and more like a stomacher than a "shirt", and that the black sleeves are part of a garment he's wearing underneath. But I may attach the black sleeves to this part anyway for practical reasons.

Skirt: Just today I purchased two separate fabrics for the skirt, which I'm planning to layer - a jersey (forget what type, non-stretch) and a georgette chiffon. The jersey drapes very well but has enough body that it shouldn't fly around too much; it's also fairly opaque which will work better over black. However, it has an informal look, which is why I decided to put the georgette over the top. Unless it doesn't seem to fit as the costume comes together, I'm planning to do some beading and/or sequining on that layer. I decided against using a pattern; basically we're talking slightly jazzed up rectangles because of where I need the seams to be anyway. I made something similar in stretch velvet for one of my BJDs and I think the position of those slits/seams is critical to keeping it from looking like a) a woman's skirt or b) an overkill loincloth.

Cumberbund: I was originally planning to use a velvet, possibly doing some stamping on it; which would have to be special order since the stores do not carry the right type in black. But now I'm leaning towards using something more like a dupioni silk. I think even though in the illustration it sits quite low, I will put it somewhat higher and bone it for a better line.

Leggings: have only gotten as far as deciding they might look nice in velvet. I'm hoping I can purchase them, but might wind up making them, since the serger makes stretch velvet much easier.

Socks: . . . wait, what? I'm just wearing trouser socks >< Why did I put this on here?

Underthings: I actually do need to post this because I want to remember to get the nifty shirt that Tasu told me of. I'm tired of the Ace bandages.
Current Music: Oddfellows Local 151 - R.E.M.