Kaonashi (No Face)

Spirited Away

Last Updated: 03-26-2009

Basically, I've been wanting to make this costume since I first saw the movie a few years ago. Making Chihiro for my niece was the best incentive to get started on No Face, but I wanted a specific look that I hadn't seen with anyone else's so far. I did NOT want a face/mask on a big black tube of fabric... and a lot of fabric texture in sheers and opaque cloth to make parts of it look whispy.
The head is built on a wire frame of circular loops connected by lateral and diagonal strands of wire. I shaped and twisted 14-gauge galvanized steel wire, so each loop is wound with multiple wire strands to make it sturdy. My boyfriend helped out by cutting dowel rods and attaching them inside to a shoulder harness I can just strap on for the costume. He shaped the shoulder harness of out duct metal strips bent to shape over my shoulder, which I then covered with multiple layers of adhesive foam strips and duct tape. There are four dowels; the long pair off the shoulder attach at the top of the frame and the shorter pair come off the chest area to support the front. Just under the face is a sheer fabric that's layered with more sheer scraps for vision, so the mask is a solid piece.
The frame is initially covered in 1/2" foam, then a layer of thick black cotton. I used liberal amounts of hot glue for that, as well as the attaching of exterior fabrics. The face has a wire frame as well, and I used wonderflex as the base of the face. Then there's three layers of white velour to pad out the shape, smooth edges and on top of the whole thing is a final layer of white stretch velvet. The black markings are a velveteen material and the purple is a faux suede. All the markings are prick-stitched onto the velvet, so the cut edges are raw. Raw edges are pretty much an intentional theme with this costume... :) Which is tough for me, as I'm very strict about finished seams and edges. The face attaches to the head frame via two large hooks at the top and velcro along the face's underside.
The fabric covering the costume itself consists of five distinct materials. Two are black nylon stretch fabrics, one a sheer chiffon with silver strands, one black netting with flocked spider web patterns and then this really creepy nylon/polyester material that looks like it's rotten. All were from the JoAnn's black Halloween collection and Walmart, and totaled around 25 yards of material. The base around the bottom of the head frame is seven A-line panels of these fabrics, sewn together with french seams. After that, all the fabric on the costume was attached with hot glue and was jagged strips of various lengths. I had quite a few extra strips left over before the con and I do plan on adding them in to the costume soon since it would only add to the costume's overall look.
The last detail is the arms, which are purchased spandex gloves (full-arm length) that I added strips and scraps of this "rotted" black fabric I found at JoAnns.

It's such a fun costume to wear, and I ended up sharing it with my bf and another friend to wear at Nekocon. After having such a great response to it at the con, my bf and I are planning a few modifications to make the costume a little more comfortable and convenient. We already have a mini-fan wired into the top of the head, but we realized that it's pretty weak and will be adding an additional battery pack to up it from 6V to 12V. We're also thinking of attaching a pencil case or some sort of bag to store keys and a wallet, and maybe a small cup holder into the frame to hold a water bottle. And a bit of padding along the back of the frame behind the head, to cushion our head when we take a break and sit down. :) We estimate the costume weighs about 15 lbs, but any modifications shouldn't add too much weight.


Best Overall Craftsmanship (Spirited Away Group/Nekocon 2007)

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United States


Character Kaonashi (No Face)
Series Spirited Away
Costume Views 2321
Favorites 0
Comments 1
Upload Date 08-18-2007
Debuted Nekocon '07

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