This is my most challenging cosplay to date. I had never worked with leather before, and decided that every bit of my Mello needed to be covered in authentic leather. For this Death Note project, I wanted organic materials for both its unrivaled beauty, and the energy and meaning it carries.
I made every bit of this coat from scratch, including the patterns. It is completely lined, and was hand painted, stained, and distressed. It is embellished with metal details; real bone, fur and feathers.
On the zippers at the wrists hang Saint Medals - especially that of the Virgin Mary, and her Miraculous symbolic "M". I felt very deeply about this symbolism, and found it very appropriate for Mello's character - and what all this religious imagery might mean for him as he wears them and surrounds himself with them so frequently.
With this coat I wear:
Black leather pants which I distressed, tattered, added depth with darker shades of black that helped draw more light and shine to the garment to make it more stunning and less subdued. I added the lace-up closure in the front, and an eyelet on the back pocket, so that my chains could connect there.
My leather vest was made from scratch, with a pattern I drafted myself. The quilting was done entirely by hand, and was also treated with strategic glossy black to add depth and draw more dramatic lighting to it.
The rosary and matching bracelet I made out of materials I feel a strong connection to - and are complimentary of each other. I used genuine garnet, hematite, sterling silver, red coral, and glass. The center piece of the rosary again features The Miraculous Virgin Mary, and her bold M on the back. I had the most difficult time finding a crucifix that was of good size, design, weight and color. The one I went with was the closest I could get to what I wanted; I am still on the lookout for the perfect cross, however.
For my belt and chains, I mostly purchased the pieces and arranged them the way I wanted. The belt buckle I distressed, painted and added a shinigami-esque skull to the very middle of the design. The chains I added charms, and strings of beads, and linked different kinds of chains together. Those chains are connected to my belt with a cross shaped clip that I made out of leather, metal, clay and coral.
My gloves are purchased, but cut and stylized by me.
Fun Fact: An additional bracelet joins my mini version rosary at my wrist: a red leather strap that ties together -- and when flipped over, bears Mello's full name; hidden symbolically like the secret it is.
Nan Desu Kan's Cosplay Contest 2012 - Best in Show ---
Though it was my first time, I entered into the craftsmanship judging and was placed in the Masters category. I was very honored. <3