Shushou, Empress of Kyou
The Twelve Kingdoms
Last Updated: 11-02-2009
The entire costume was made from scratch. Shushou's white dress and purple dress/green sleeves were loosely based off of a McCall's pattern (a medieval dress). I had to make my own patterns for the sleeves, the grey "vest", and the collar of the purple dress. I chose the medieval pattern 1) because I already had it and 2) I don't know anything about making period chinese/japanese clothing....so I stuck with what I knew! The white and purple fabric are bridal satin, the mint green fabric is crepe satin, and the grey fabric is broadcloth.
The mauvish fringe and hair ornamentation had to be hand-dyed using a combination of pink and purple. The brown belt was made without any pattern...the rings on the belt were simple silver rings that I wrapped with sports tape, coated with several layers of modge-podge, and painted gold with acrylic paint. I then put a gloss layer over top for extra shine. The olive belt and bow was a bit more difficult. As this was the last piece of this costume that I made, I chose to not do a traditional tie (didn't know how, didn't have time to learn)...so this belt is two pieces- a simple belt and then a bow with craft foam inside that attaches to the front of the belt. The shoes are embroidered satin shoes from China.
The jewelry was not too difficult to make. I had to make the earrings from scratch, since I couldn't find what I wanted in stores. So I found the flower part of the earring in the charms section of Michael's, and attached them to earring hooks. I then painted them the appropriate colors. The necklace consists of glass beads...which I also had to paint the correct colors using a glass paint. The butterfly/bird-like main piece of the necklace is made of craft foam, fabric paint, and multiple layers of acrylic paint with a gloss topcoat. The ring underneath was also bought at Michael's and was handpainted with the glass paint. Kyou-ou's crown is a combination of craft foam and a type of veterinary splint material called "SAM splint". It is a piece of aluminum sheeting sandwiched between layers of foam. I used fabric paint to create the designs and then painted the entire crown with acrylic paint and a top coat of gloss. There is a comb that comes out of the back of the crown that allows it to attach to my head.
The wig...probably the HARDEST thing about this cosplay....and I still don't have it quite the way I want it. This was a Femme Fatale wig from Amphigory, with plenty of hair (good for updo's). I made the bangs myself, and the loop of bangs at the center is actually an extension that I sewed on. The large "side loops" are also extentions, but they are not sewed on...so I can remove them and store them carefully. All loops were coated with a thin layer of modge-podge to help them keep their shape and not frizz with wear. The fan-like hairstyle in the back was created by simply pulling most of the hair into a ponytail and then not pulling it all the way through. I then fanned the hair out and used plenty of freezing spray. The portion of hair at the back of the wig that was not pulled up was actually sewed and then tucked under the back of the wig....creating a nice illusion that all the hair was pulled up. This wig is difficult to get on properly by myself...and in all my NDK pictures, you can tell I had put it on myself (it needed to be pulled forward and positioned better).
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