Final Fantasy X
Last Updated: 10-01-2016
Final Fantasy X's incarnation of Shiva is an iconic, challenging design. For the game's 10th anniversary in 2012 I finally felt my costuming skills were up to the challenge of recreating this version. After a brief debut in 2012 in which the wig caused excruciating pain, I struggled for several years with how to support the wig properly. After a failed reconstruction attempt in 2015, my third try in 2016 was a success and this costume is finally enjoyable to wear.
Shiva's skin tone varies from light blue to bright lilac depending on the reference image source, so I choose the color scheme I preferred and went with an ice-blue matte bodysuit for the costume's base. Although I left the bodysuit plain blue in 2012, Sketch airbrushed contours onto the suit while I was wearing it prior to it's re-debut 2016. I also removed the hands of the suit and readjusted the neckline and hood. All of the dark blue and silver body designs, including the breast cups and bikini bottoms, are made from craft foam covered in swimsuit fabric and stretch-stitched onto the costume. I painted the snowflakes on her breast cups with silver fabric paint, and the purple and gold accents on the hands where handmade and are held on with snaps. The side skirt was hand-dyed three times to get the multicolor gradient, then painstakingly hand-beaded. The "ice" on her breast and face was originally made from silicone but were remade with clear worbla which was molded and then airbrushed with white paint. The "anchor" is made out of several sets of rings painted and covered in dyed feathers.
For the wig I started with a computer modeling diagram of Shiva's hair which shows she actually has 15 dreadlocks. I made all 15, sized proportionally using pool noodles and pipe insulation. I ripped apart 9 blue base wigs and seven packs of light and dark extensions to cover the tubing, which is attached to foam rings painted silver and accented with gold tape and ribbons. In 2012 these were threaded together and balanced on my head using a rope harness attempting to direct some of the weight onto my shoulders. Not only was I uncomfortable, but the wig shifted around with the slightest movement. For a second attempt, I tried creating a headband-like contraption which failed, making me realize that the only way to make this work would be if the wig floated slightly over my head, supported by ridged poles that were attached to a back harness. I drew out my ideas and showed them to Sketch, who designed a backpack-like plate supporting pipes and a helmet. We then attached the dreads to the helmet, and I used leftover wig hair to cover the helmet and weave the hair through the dreads so it all blended together. Worn with a color-matched lace front wig, the illusion of a single head of hair was achieved with very little discomfort. It felt very rewarding to finally get this to work!
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