I haven't had this much fun cosplaying in such a long time! A bunch of good friends wore their Elisabeth costumes for ALA as well, and we had an absolutely crazy time together!
Here are my construction notes (very long, sorry!):
Simplicity 3072 (vest, pants, jacket)
Butterick 3712 (shirt)
This is not the most difficult costume I've ever made, but it was challenging trying to recreate a live-action stage costume based on very dark and somewhat blurry screencaps. Much thought was put into matching fabrics and trying to recreate the costume as closely as possible. Unfortunately, as with all recreations, 100% accuracy is not always feasible. In the instances that an exact match was unavailable, I tried to pick something that was in the spirit of the costume, the character, and the Takarazuka Revue. Generally, this meant using lots of rhinestones or other sparkly accessories. Takarazuka is all about being over the top!
I consider the most difficult portions of this costume to be the wig and anything made with velvet. I did a lot of things I've never done with wig styling, like making wefts from scratch and cutting apart the base wig to make a new part. Velvet is notoriously difficult to sew, and this was no exception. Topstitching the stripes down the sides of the pants was a test of patience. The easiest (and most fun!) portion was making the jewelry.
Every costume I make is a labor of love, but this one is especially dear to my heart because I have wanted to cosplay Der Tod for nearly five years. It's exciting to finally see a dream come to life. I'm also extremely excited to be partnered with a good friend that I introduced to Takarazuka.
Materials used: peachskin, fusible interfacing
Notions used: buttons, snaps, set rhinestones
Shirt was made almost exactly according to pattern. All seams are finished by zigzag stitch. The collar was changed due to the gathered neckline (self-patterned). The gathered portion is detachable and attaches with snaps.
Materials used: velvet, twill
Notions used: hooks
Vest was made according to pattern. It was topstitched around the edges to prevent having to press the delicate velvet. It fastens with large pant hooks in the front.
Materials used: velvet, peachskin, fusible interfacing
Notions used: elastic, zipper
Pants were made almost exactly according to pattern. It calls for a zipper in the side, but due to the stripes on the sides I moved the zipper to the back. The pants were shortened and elasticized cuffs were added because the boots are too tight to tuck in the pants. This left a small gap in the back so I wear black leggins underneath. I made tape out of the peachskin and topstitched it on the sides for the stripes.
The boots were an extremely lucky find at a local secondhand shop. The tops were originally straight but I put in a new seam and cut them to get the triangular top.
I found a circular filigree charm that reminded me of the shape of the broach the actress is wearing in the musical, and glued rhinestones and a safety pin to it with E6000. I chose AB crystals for the larger pieces because I love the way they pick up light. The smaller rhinestones are Czech stones in a unique grey color called "Black Diamond." Because I couldn't find silver buckles similar to the ones on the vest of the actress, I ended up making something similar to the broach instead. I sewed these pieces onto the vest with clear thread.
Materials used: heavy matte satin, taffeta lining, velvet, peachskin, fusible interfacing.
Notions used: shoulder pads
This was made fairly closely to the pattern. I lengthened it because of the stitched parts on the bottom half of the jacket. The collar pieces and pockets were drafted by hand. Hem needed to be handsewed because of the hidden stitches. The designs on the cuffs were digitized by me and stitched on with machine embroidery. These were further embellished by glueing rhinestones with E6000.
I bought a base wig that was white and straight. I purchased black extensions separately and sewed them into a weft that I then used to create a new part in the wig. This was accomplished by parting the original wig with steam and then cutting the top apart. The extensions were sewn into the cut. The part was completed by using more steam to separate the fibers. The front of the wig was recolored black with Sharpies. Some styling was done with heat and hairspray to the front of the wig. The curls were also put in with steam and hairspray.
Takarazuka makeup is very heavy and unique, and while it looks okay onstage it's not very attractive up close or in photos. I chose to do my makeup with similar coloring in the eye area, but used a lighter application. I modeled the coloring after the promotional poster, not the makeup used in the production.
Best Dramatic Skit - Anime LA 2010
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