Thursday, 30 May 2013

Outfits from Outer Space #2: A little bit of Cosplay fun

I went to Comic Con last weekend!!

Or, as it used to be called back in my days, the MCM London Expo.

I hadn't been in a few years - used to go when I was 14-15 - and it was interesting to see how what constitutes a 'staple', easy outfit has changed. Five or six years ago, the place used to be crawling with (some very last minute) Death Note and the Joker costumes. Now? Batmen, Deadpools, Harley Quinns and Poison Ivies everywhere, and the go-to last minute option seemed to be either Ash from pokemon or Pikachu onesies. Link, naturally, has stayed a classic <3 but I saw a cosplayer portray the PERFECT Link back at my first expo and since then find all Link cosplays unsatisfying. If he gives me the OK I'll post a picture.

Anyway, I decided to cosplay! Because I like to complicate everything i chose to do two costumes over the weekend: Lara Croft - what with, you know, actually being an archaeologist and all - and the Khaleesi, because I have the ultimate girl crush and wish I was her.
But first things first - I imagine some of you have no idea what I'm yapping on about. "Cosplay" is short for "costume play", and essentially is the japanese way to say "I'm dressing up as my favourite character and geeking out about it".

Lara Croft

Ahh... Lara, Lara, Lara. What to say... as much as I do not condone actual Tomb Raiding, she has definitely helped archaeology look a tad more badass to the eyes of the uninitiated. Seeing as how I was actually cursed by Siberian shamans for what they view as raiding their ancestors' tombs, I thought the costume choice only appropriate.
This costume cost me the great sum of £0. I only used things I already had.

Tank top - Primark
Shorts - Next
Pocket belt - vintage
Combat boots - Dune
Necklace - made it meself

The pendant I've got around my neck is an antique chinese coin, courtesy of my boyfriend.

The airsoft gun and thigh holster (thigh holster!) I borrowed from a friend, who has the most amazing toy gun collection I have ever seen, as well as a cool rubber knife which you can't see in these pictures but was strapped to the back of my belt. Guilty confession right here: I love weapons. Of course I don't condone their use, and find the right to bear firearms completely absurd. But there's something so GRACEFUL about the barrel of a flintlock pistol, or the deadly curve or a katana blade. So I was very happy to get my hands on that airsoft gun right there.
That said, cosplayers in general do need to be careful when carrying replica weapons. They have a tendency to wave them about in public regardless of context, which can result in situations like this...

But back to Lara! The task I'd set myself for this costume was to recreate the crazy, nature-defying figure of video games and cartoon characters... I was pretty satisfied with the results.

Naturally such a figure doesn't come without effort, and I was strapped in a steel-boned underbust corset and a very, very padded bra. After all, if you ain't got it, fake it!

Speaking of faking it, my braid was also fake. But shhh, don't tell anyone ;)


And then came Sunday, and along with it the urgency of patching up a decent Khaleesi costume in an hour or less.
I trust you're familiar with the Mother of Dragons. No? Daenerys Stormborn, of the House Targaryen, is the rightful queen of Westeros. She's been in exile her entire life, and is now set to reclaim what is hers by birthright. In the space of two and a half seasons, she's grown from little-puppet-to-her-abusive-brother to the badass leader of a horseriding tribe, three dragons and a plethora of male admirers. Oh, and spoiler alert! an army of 8,000 men. Still doesn't ring any bells? She's also known as "that chick with white hair from Game of Thrones".

Now, see, all I had to start off with was the wig. And let me tell you, that wig did NOT come ready made with the braids and all. It came looking as far off as a platinum fashion wig could possibly get. It had bangs and too much volume and unnecessary layers, and boy was it a pain in the neck to style. Well worth it though.

I got it from Annabelle's Wigs, and quite frankly in terms of quality and customer service they were great, and considering how much I played around with it it's a wonder it doesn't look like a mop yet. A tad on the expensive side, because I got the next-day saturday delivery, but I feel I got my money's worth.

Now, the outfit was a different story altogether. I'd bought a shoulder dragon at the Expo the previous day, from Trollart. It was staring at me with those damn adorable eyes, how could I resist? I'm his mother now. He's called Albert. Albert the Dragon.
But other than Albi, I was stuck. Of course, I could always pull on a brown skirt, a leather top, dub it an approximative costume and be done with it, but my friends were expecting a crappy costume and I wanted to prove them wrong.

Instead, I ran to Primark, land of cheap textile and clothing that you don't feel bad about ripping apart, and bought 20 quid's worth of knitted tank tops, to tear apart and re-use as I please. Want another confession? I cannot sew to save my life. In that respect Dany's costume was the best possible choice, because it only required ripping things apart and braiding them back together - that, I can do. Braids, braids everywhere!

I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen...

...the Unburnt...

...Mother of Dragons...
Adding soot and dirt (read: dark brown chanel powder) to my face was so much fun. 

...khaleesi to Drogo Saxton Hale's riders...
...and queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros

I also shop at my local supermarket.


So many awesome costumes!

My boyfriend Saxton Hale...

Morticia Adams

FORSWORN!!! Best costume ever, absolutely made my week.


Newspapers and party lights

I'm back!! Finally!! Sorry it took me so long, I've been on what can only be described as a month-long coursework bender. Not pleasant, but I've never been so productive in my life. Now I'm free, it's motivated me to spend my summer doing productive things with my summer, unleash my "creative" (read: crazy) streak now I'm free, rather than spend my time consuming consuming consuming. Or gazing into the nothingness of my facebook newsfeed.
Sooo, the moment I was free, instead of sleeping (which is what I *should* have been doing, definitely), I went to the Arts and Crafts shop, where a friend had to talk me out of buying the whole place, and then Boots, which is also an Arts and Crafts shop of sorts, and went wild for a couple of days. I made a bunch of stuff, mostly some origami jewellery for my etsy store (preview coming soon!), but also a bit of nail art:

Newspaper nails

Nail art tip#4: I saw this effect on Pinterest a while back and wanted to try. It's actually really easy. Once your colour base coat has dried COMPLETELY, tear off a strip of newspaper the size of your nail and dip it in alcohol. 70 dregree medical stuff is good, but anything above 40% will do. Me? I use vodka.
Dab off any excess liquid and then cover your nail with the newspaper. Apply pressure for about 20 seconds. Tadaa.
Do apply a top coat though, or the print will rub off when you wash your hands.

For the textured effect you can see in the pictures, I used Barry M's Textured Nail Effect in turquoise.

Party Lights nails

I bought a couple of nail art sticks in Primark - you know, the ones riiight next to the tills? I'm such a sucker for those cheap marketing tactics. Anyway, I wanted to try them straight off, so here goes:

They're not great, but I was being experimental, and I think they could work well for a party or a club night.