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Unread 06-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
You shiver with antici
haru_sohma_lvr's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Just SO angry about this cosplay, but maybe I'm overreacting

This is a bit of a cosplay-related rant. If it doesn't belong here, mods, feel free to remove it.

I just can't believe any of this. Ugh. Maybe someone can give me perspective, which is why this is here instead of in a journal/the reviews board.

I've been cosplaying for thirteen years now. Unfortunately, due to a disability with the way my brain sends signals to my hands, called dyspraxia, it is nearly physically impossible for me to use a sewing machine/sew things. Because of that, my whole life my mom made my costumes and did a pretty amazing job. I still styled the wigs and created the props, and also designed everything and picked patterns and fabrics and such when I was old enough to do so, but she did the physical work of putting everything together. The cosplays she created for me have won first prize at several conventions.

Unfortunately, she passed away a year ago, leaving me to figure out how to get my cosplay fix by myself. As much as I've dreamed of being able to create my own work well enough to be invited to WCS, I am well-aware that it wouldn't be possible due to the fact that I can't sew.

Accepting this, I set out to find a commissioner for my chosen cosplay this year: Avacyn, Angel of Hope from Magic: The Gathering

After scouring the reviews here as well as on several other cosplay forums, I settled on Cosplay1.com They had a relatively good rating on the Commissioner review thread, and I figured the costume was pretty difficult to mess up, and well within their skillset.

What I got was this mess:

Now, at the time I requested the commission, there weren't many photos of the character available. There were perhaps two or three, but the photo linked above is one of the ones I sent them. I let them know they could have creative freedom for the parts they couldn't see in the photos. But in the photos, the skirt is clearly a dark green and there is obvious texturing on the breastplate. furthermore, I have no idea where they could have possibly gotten the idea for those silver stripes to be anywhere but the skirt. And the boots look absolutely nothing like the ones in the photo.

But as I said before, I'm not here to complain about a bad commissioner. I would head over to Commissioner Reviews for that. I'm simply wondering if it's as bad as I think it is, or if I'm overreacting to all of this. I need other cosplayers to give me perspective, so that's why I'm here. If this should go in Costume Critique, I will be happy to have it moved over there. I just can't decide how I feel about this and if I should send it back and ask for a refund or wear it or try to fix it. I just don't know. The convention is this coming weekend and I've already invested around $400 in the rest of the pieces of this cosplay. What do you guys think I should do?
Proud Magenta, Trixie, and Transie at The Home of Happiness!

Last edited by haru_sohma_lvr : 06-04-2012 at 12:01 PM.
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Unread 06-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
la ctholita
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Honestly? The reference picture you have looks fairly complex. From the commissioner's gallery, I see they've done some detailed pieces with varying degrees of success and could theoretically have gotten a lot closer to your reference than what you got, but I can see why it would be hard for this particular commissioner to parse out enough detail from the references and direction they were given.

From the reference picture you have, I'm guessing most of it is supposed to be metal-- certainly the boots, breastplate and pauldrons, and bracers. Maybe it could have been done in pleather or something like that, but honestly I think this commissioner is probably used to doing characters from Asian media where they're more familiar with it and have lots of reference to work with.

I don't think, based on what it's supposed to look like vs. what you received, that this is salvageable, although if you planned to wear it this weekend and have other pieces on hand, you might as well try to wear it as is and see if you can get better stuff down the line. Next time you might want to try a commissioner who speaks your language fluently, and is willing to draw up some drafts before they start work, just so you can make sure that the two of you are on the same page.
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Unread 06-04-2012, 01:05 PM   #3
Show me where ya noms at.
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I think it looks very tacky. Her outfit looks like armor, not cotton, or whatever that is. If you are not happy I would write them a letter asking them if they can fix it, point out the details that are wrong with it. Most commissioners are willing to do what they can to make the customer happy, but that looks like something Milanoo made (which is by far, NOT a compliment). If they don't I would try and demand a refund. That looks nothing like the photo as far as I'm concerned.
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Unread 06-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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All i can say shame on the commissioner. I second that suggestion Makira had stated above

Hey I know a few good commissioner, I could give you name so you could try buying from them. Trusted, and she delivers .

sent you a pm
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Last edited by Li_Syaoran : 06-04-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Unread 06-04-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
Future Pirate King
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From a professional opinion...it's a wearable costume. But I don't think it's the costume you asked for.

Working from a single reference picture is hard but not impossible. It looks to me like the character is wearing a pleather corset, has bracers and shoulder plates that are definitely armored and not fabric, and has a multi-layered skirt that laps on itself. The sleeves from shoulder pauldrons to bracers are made of a shiny fabric, leather or pleather if not a high-sheen spandex or something similar. I honestly can't tell from the commissioner's pics (due to their logo) whether the costume you have has bracers separate from the rest of the clothing, but at the very least, it isn't remotely like the reference material. Differing materials aside, they essentially gave you a gown instead of a corset, skirt, and armor.

The difficulty in getting satisfaction comes down to just how much you spelled out in writing for them, and how much leeway you gave them. If you looked at the reference and specified that the costume should be made of certain parts (bracers, corset, skirt, boots), or asked for certain fabrics and materials to be used in construction, then you might have recourse. But if you didn't dissect it for them/with them and didn't ask for too many specifics, it might be a lot harder to get a refund. Honestly, I doubt the costume as-is can be salvaged as THAT character, but you might be able to use it for an original design. If the construction is sound, they may not be inclined to talk refund, no matter how wrong for the character the garment is.

I wish you the best of luck in this situation. If you continue to need commissioners to bring your costumes to life, make sure to hire one that will talk through the process with you to make sure you're all on the same page - use someone who has an eye for detail and can understand the differences in materials, and who will ASK you what you want used on the costume, in case they're reading the reference as leather or metal or something really expensive and wonder if that's in your budget. I always begin negotiations by dissecting the costume and asking if I have the details right before I even give an estimate.
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Unread 06-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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Just figured I'd update this thread:

I took the costume to a tailor and we ended up creating a new skirt and adding embroidered fabric to the bodice. It's still not terribly accurate, but it's much better than before.

Except for the part where my zipper broke before I even left my hotel room. Stupid boobies.

Here's how it came out:
Proud Magenta, Trixie, and Transie at The Home of Happiness!
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