This is my Kyouya costume made for my UCLA Anime Club cosplay group (set to debut at Anime LA 2007). This is my first real made-from-scratch costume, so the process was long and arduous ^^; But thanks to Hellrazer for her patience and guidance during the whole costume making process. I want to thank her for letting me do most of the sewing without too much hands-on help, even if doing so would speed up the costume-making process =D
As mentioned above, my anime club at UCLA wanted to revive its cosplay program (we had Bleach group at Fanime 2 years ago, and Naruto group 3 years ago) after its one-year absence. We wanted to try something that is not only popular, but also easily standardized so cosplay beginners wouldn't feel intimidated. Our answer was Ouran Host Club. Hellrazer made a prototype; it looked good. The rest of was history.
Most of the materials were from leftovers from Hellrazer's Ouran jacket, so in some pictures you would notice that the color of her jacket and mine seemed a bit different from the rest of the group (whose fabric was later bought from the same source at a later time). So basically my jacket was like a second prototype; we made adjustments for other people's jackets to simplify things (such as not requiring interface and actual pockets).
This being my first real costume, I'm naturally a sewing n00b. I didn't learn to handle the speed of the sewing machine till way later so I often had to re-stitch a lot of places; if you look more closely, you'd see some rather ugly mistakes. I was able to fix them later on when I got more used to sewing, but some parts still remain.
I thought that making a costume that follows a pattern wouldn't be that bad; but well, for me it was! Some of the instructions confused the heck out of me, so I had trouble imagining how the sewn pieces would turn out in my mind. And the pockets, they were extra painful to make. Finishing off the pockets was probably one of the few times when Hellrazer went all-out and spent a lot of time fixing it herself.
Other obstacles included running out of thread, getting the wrong interface, running out of fabric, and a rather moody sewing machine. Heck, let's throw in midterms into the mix too. The original plan was to have it done by PMX but that sure didn't happen.
"Making the Band":
Throughout the fall quarter we entertained the idea of entering the cosplay group into the masquerade. We had 2 choices: dance to boyband music or re-enact Renge's "movie" (you know, with the basketball playing twins and bully Honey and all lol). The latter seemed to extravagent and impractical to fit into 2 minutes, so we went along with the first idea and dance to N'Sync's "It's Gonna Be Me"
Tweetychick630 did most of the choreography analysis (looking at many many many different version of the dance); Jessica, one of our Lobelia cosplayers and tweetychick basically watched hours of video and listened to the song time and time over to figure out dance steps. Without them, the skit wouldn't have been as awesome as it was.
We had about 5-6 nights of rehearsals (average of at least 3 hours each rehearsal) total; the first few few rehearsals were pretty challenging, since we had to learn the steps while continuing to decipher the dance steps at the same time.
kuroneko and doragon couldn't come to rehearsals till the 2nd and 3rd night so we also had to teach them the dance quickly. Props to them for learning in such short time (and adjusting to difficult parts)
Practice was pretty harsh. We initially had a lot problems with timing and synchronization. Luckily filming the practice let us see clearly what we need to work on. And again, thanks to tweetychick for getting us in synch (har har!).
As for the premise of the skit, we didn't we didn't want to make it just a boyband dance. We wanted put a taste of "Ouran" in it, as well as integrate tweetychick (who's cosplaying Renge) into it. The solution was to have a scenario where Renge attempts to direct another "production" after her failed attempt at her "movie." Haruhi would stumble into it, Renge would try to get her into the dance, and eventually the host club takes her in and tries to woo her. With that in mind, we created formations of where specific character would be in different stages of the skit.
Audio was also a challenge. With the 2-minute time limit, we planned to use only the beginning through the start of the 2nd chorus, then jump to the slow interlude to end. However with my inexperience in audio editing, I found it difficult to make the transition. So instead, I threw in a "record screech" sound effect where Tamaki would interrupt the dance because Kyouya was getting too close to Haruhi. The beginning of the skit (before the N'Sync song starts) also contained 4 different sound clips (Ouran music, Renge's Ohohohoho, voice of a girl going "alright! alright!" as if directing a movements, and a "cool down" sound effect that cues the host club to settle down before the dance starts).
AND SO, we went to ALA, we saw, and we conquered! Well in all honesty, none of us expected the skit to draw such a crowd reaction that night. After the performance, I thought we may actually have a chance to win one award. And well, we did...and then we won another one for workmanship.
Hope that didn't sound cocky, because I'm very grateful for the awards and most importantly, the support of the audience, the judges and everyone else who supported us. Sure, I have N'Sync song stuck in my head for weeks and my body would probably start dancing on its own whenever the song "It's Gonna Be Me" is played anywhere, but you know, it was well worth it ;-P
"UCLA Host Club"
Hikaru : kuroneko
Kaoru : doragon
Haruhi: marshmallow mog
Anime LA 2007 Masquerade
*Presentation: Best Group (Novice Division)
*Workmanship: Best Group in Class (Novice Division)