The indigo yukata is made of raw silk. With the exception of the sleeve underseam, the entire thing was sewn with French seams. All hem edges are fully enclosed and all that fun.
The snake head designs on the shoulders actually continue onto my back into an original design. Unfortunately, there is no reference for what's actually on the back of his yukata; he's -always- wearing the haori with it. So, I made something up, because I'm anal with respect to realistic details. Anyway, I first drew out the snake design onto cardboard and cut it out for use as a stencil. I used the stencil to transfer the design onto the yukata itself and line everything up to be symmetrical. Since traditional Japanese men's attire, especially that of a lord, had a "mon" pattern (his family crest repeated on his kimono in either 3 or 5 specific places), I also added this twist onto my outfit. Orochimaru is often associated with the triple-swirl dots used in the cursed Heaven seal, so I adopted this, made a stencil, and transfered it onto the shoulder of each front panel, and high onto the center back. (It's technically not inaccurate, because the haori covers everything original that I added. 9_9) All designs were then painted by hand using DecoArt SoSoft fabric paint.
(I'd like to reiterate - 95% of the white painted design on this thing is ORIGINAL. It is MY unique design.)
I also made loose matching pants out of the same indigo silk to wear under the yukata. The leg hems stop exactly where the yukata's bottom hemline is, so they'll never be seen unless I sit down, the kimono falls open, or the wind picks up. (In which case, they won't be that noticable because it's the same color/material.) The waist is elastic, and I included pockets at the sides.
The obi is light cotton twill with interfacing in it. The pink haori is made of flannel, and is fully lined with the same material.
My favorite part of the costume are the magatama earrings. They're thin sheets of copper metal at the core, with several layers of lead-based enamel fired over both sides. Because of their odd shape, I had to fire them while they hung from wires run through their large holes, rather than lying flat. I used two different colors: first an opaque sky blue, then a translucent light grey on top of it. The final result gave me this really neat looking marbled stone look with nice color depth. The magatama are then suspended from shafts made of brass wire twisted together. I drew the wire to a much smaller size by hand, and also carefully twisted it together by hand. I rejoined the ends at the very top and -very carefully- soldered it shut with an extremely tiny flame and extra-easy flow solder. They were then put on clips, because my ears aren't pierced. (The clips are pretty tight, which can hurt after a while and make my ear lobes swell, but at least it insures that the earrings won't fall off.)
At the first con I wore this costume, I had my hands all bandaged up with adhesive bandages. (After that experience, I could sympathize with the character, and was glad they weren't bandaged all the way up to the shoulder >.>) I then later made a pair of skin-tight spandex gloves that go up to the shoulder, so I could have mobility without having to put messy make-up on my hands/arms.
At first I used Kryolan watercolors for my makeup, but that stuff was a huge pain in the ass. After two cons I then switched to Manic Panic brands, and they were completely awesome. Crowbarzero and Forsythia helped me deal with the Kryolan stuff (because I turned out to be largely inept with it, much to my frustration), whereas the Manic Panic allowed me to do it myself. Forsythia helped me figure out how to get the eye makeup done properly, and now I do it all entirely myself.
The wig also went through some evolution. Originally it was wavy as all hell @.@ I off-centered the part and followed Katie Bair's wig-straightening tutorial (dumping hot steaming water over it repeatedly), which got the worst of it out, but still didn't fully straighten it. I cut the bangs myself, but admittedly, I'm not that great with wigs and hair. Just before Anime LA 2006, Forsythia attacked it with small scissors and her hair iron on extremely low settings, got it completely straight, and then layered the hell out of the bangs.
I guess in all technicalities this costume is "complete", because it's complete enough to wear at a con. However, there are a few alterations I want to make to it:
- I want to double the length of the sash;
- add an extension panel at least to the right front side of the yukata to help the damn thing stay shut;
- completely remake the left glove (there's a crappy attempt at a summon tattoo on it, the painting got screwed up, and the paint I used was bad anyway, and it won't come out);
- make a white spandex turtleneck, because Orochimaru isn't supposed to be wearing a shirt under the yukata (however, I get cold easily, and I DON'T want to put makeup on my body where it can rub off onto the silk);
- finish my black ninja sandals (a group project in progress with crowbarzero and First Emperor);
- make either white spandex toe-socks, or a full pair of tights (with the toes individually sewn), so I won't be using socks from my drawer anymore >.>;
- get a new wig, because the one I have actually isn't long enough;
- maybe make the eyes of the snakes a little bigger;
- and add fingernails/toenails onto the gloves/tights. Because I'm a sucker for realistic detail.
Issues aside though, this character is EXTREMELY fun to cosplay. I also look really freakishly different with the make-up on, and many people (including my own mother) don't recognize me while I'm wearing it. And much to my amusement, I apparently scare people.
Pacific Media Expo 2005 masquerade - Honorable Mention, Presentation