Last Updated: 01-01-2011
This has to be one of my favorite costumes to date, and was quite an expensive endeavor by the time all things were said and done. Every penny was worth it, however, when I put the entire ensemble on for the first time.
The original plan wasn’t to cosplay Moxxi at all. Borderlands’ Lilith had all my attention early on. I got so far as to ordering her wig, which I have tucked away somewhere. Still, when Moxxi’s DLC came about there wasn’t much question as to who was the more interesting character. While I love Lilith’s maniacal giggle whenever she pulls off clean headshot, nothing can hold Moxxi back. She doesn’t have any screws left to be loose. And that’s why I love her.
I knew right away that I wanted the jacket to be perfectly tailored and made out of very lush fabrics, so I opted to commission it early on. I might have been able to pull off something on my own, but not to the quality that I desired. Samantha Rei of Blasphemina’s Closet took on the task for me. I provided her with images and screen grabs from every angle, and then we consulted on fabric before going through multiple fittings. The whole process took several weeks, and I was hard at work while Sam was doing the same.
On my end the first purchase I made was the boots, which I found on eBay while searching for “ringmaster” goods. They are spot on and a great find. The fishnets were easy enough to nab at a Party City, but the black and white striped stockings gave me a bit more trouble. I thought I found a pair of thigh-high socks that matched my criteria at American Apparel, only to get home and find out that the non-refundable purchase only had four stripes on the very top – the way it was folded and packaged was misleading. I tried to glue white cloth strips around the sock (while on my leg) to salvage my $20, but it obviously didn’t work. I should have opted to buy the stockings online from the get go, as they were fairly easy to find. I didn’t rip up the stockings till the day of the con to make sure they stayed mostly intact.
Moxxi wears a holster around her waist, attached to a brown belt. I picked up the belt at Target and then scavenged brown material from JoAnns that looked similar to my purchase. I made the holster out of Wonderflex before folding and gluing the fabric around it. If you look extra carefully at some of the videos of Moxxi on YouTube, you can see that her holster reads “Rubi” and has a little heart on it, which I added with embroidered letters. Moxxi’s holster never seems to have a gun in it, however, which worked well enough since it acted as my purse at San Diego Comic Con.
About this time I got my jacket back from Sam. The final piece fit fantastically, and was very high quality. Little details like the missing and discolored buttons made it feel very authentic, as did the custom design on the back and the lining on the tails. It is extra comfortable, too!
During this time I had been looking for materials to start the hat, but as it happened, Sam has a friend who is known for making custom headwear. Megan Bishop of Apatico was up for a last minute commission, and used fabric left over from the jacket to make sure the piece matched perfectly. The playing card and feathers are a perfect match, too. Because I ordered the hat late in the game, I didn’t get to see it till SDCC as it was shipped to my hotel. Opening the box for the first time was a real treat.
I polished off the outfit with a pair of fingerless gloves I already owned, a black bra which I dressed up with some velvet and lace trim, and a black velvet choker that I whipped up. I ordered the wig for another costume I plan to do at some point (Cate Archer), so I already had that as well.
Obviously, the biggest detail left was Moxxi’s megaphone, which I figured early on could make out of a lampshade and a hairdryer. Worked like a charm. I scoured thrift stores and retail locations for weeks trying to find a cloth shade that had the right scallop look to it before settling on the one I used. I used fabric paint to make it a nice pink hue, and spray painted the hairdryer black. I screwed the two pieces together to make sure it was stable enough, and then added black velvet ribbon in the appropriate places to make it match the original design. On the inside, I painted the top to a capsule toy container black before gluing it on to cover the innards of the hair dryer. Lastly, I painted a black gradient on the inside of the bullhorn.
With that, the costume was done and ready to debut at SDCC! I decided to concede the blue panties for the show, and am aware that it is my one big alteration from the original art. Considering that I intended to wear the costume for the first time in a public setting, I didn’t want to risk wearing itty-bitty bottoms and opted for a black leotard instead. I still plan on shooting the costume in the future at a junkyard, and will go for the full ensemble then.
The final touch on Moxxi was her makeup, and I once again relied on Hydred Makabali to pull off the look. We started with a clean face and coated it with white hairspray, before polishing it with a coat of white powder. Lots of black liner, pink cheeks, and red lips pulled the look together. Oh, and extra long lashes.
Wearing Moxxi was a total blast and I was surprised by how many people recognized the character. Even those who didn’t recognize Moxxi seemed to appreciate the look, and I ended up being interviewed for G4 TV and on Maxim’s SDCC Babes list. Very cool.
Like I mentioned, I plan on shooting this costume again sometime in the spring. There are too many scrapyards nearby not to give it a go. Also, I want to build a Claptrap. Why not?
Thanks to Chanh Tang and LJinto for the photos.
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