After nearly a year since this costume was posted, I'm finally going to give it a description!
So this costume, along with Rachel as Soah, was a last hurrah deal for us since she was moving to Japan and we wanted to go out with one more competition set. We chose these because we had talked about doing them for several years and just never buckled down and did them. We set out to make them as accurate to the piece of art as possible, but with added textures and details like brocade fabrics and things like that.
All the black on my costume is crepe. The over robe is actually not a robe. The top looks like a robe with the extra white collar, which was also crepe. The skirt attaches at the waist and splits pretty much up to the seam. Everything in the robe itself is serged so the seams wouldn't fray...because crepe likes to fray. The brocade bands on the sleeves is doubled and serged at the seams.
The pants under the robe are just an elastic waistband pair. They are really flowy and extremely comfortable. They also are completely serged.
The shoulder pieces are doubled up with the brocade edges over the raw edges of the crepe. There is a waistband piece under the obi where the front pointed piece connects as well, so it's all one big piece instead of lots of little pieces that would be troublesome to put on and keep in place. For the stencils on the shoulder pieces, I sketched them out on stencil paper and then painted them on. The one on the front of the pointed part was a stencil I found in Hobby Lobby.
The obi was a bit tricky to plan out, but I like how it turned out. It's all shaped and drafted from scratch. The edge around the black brocade is just left over shantung bias I made for my Cardinal Sforza costume. I used red cord and satin ribbon for the smaller details and the medallion on the front was from a necklace I bought ages ago in Target because I thought of using it in an original design head piece. It looked so close to the artwork I decided it had to be used. I added the beads and tassel to thread and attached it to the medallion. Everything is all stitched together in the side seams and has a separating zipper in the left side. Also, to keep the obi from losing it's shape, there is a really heavy stiffening interfacing in it.
The sash around my arms is brocade and lined in leftover red shantung from my Cardinal Sforza costume. I added the beads and tassels to it just like I did the piece on the obi.
The white drapes around the hips and down the front of the costume are just wired satin ribbon. We actually stitch the ribbons down every time I wear it because I can't permanently attach them. The bow in the front liked to do weird things, but overall it stayed decently.
I made my crown out of craft foam. It took a few tries to get it how I wanted and the right size, but once I did, I glued the whole thing together (it's one continuous piece that I carved out), put a small hole in the front, and added a button that I found when out shopping one day. I spray painted the whole thing gold before added the red gem, which was just a stick on, but I glued it to be safe. The stick going through it is actually just some skewers that I painted gold and secured together inside the crown. The tassels were made from embroidery floss and tie on to the skewers. It's all attached to a comb that I broke off from a little Disney tiara I found in a party supply store.
I wore the kung-fu shoes from my old Soi Fon costume and the wig from my Reborn costume. I like being able to recycle some stuff and multitask it.
In the end, one of the things that sealed the deal for the judges at AWA on giving us the award was our use of textured fabrics and adding a little flair to the original design. It made me feel really validated in our choice, and it made for one amazing last hurrah for me and Rachel to actually win an award for our final costumes together (at least final for a while...I can't never cosplay with my partner in crime again).
Best in Show Manga @ Anime Weekend Atlanta 2014