Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tales of Costumes Paaaaast! Titania from Gargoyles.

I'd have to say this was the first intricate costume I ever made. And even though I look back at it and think of all the ways I could improve this costume, I'm still pretty dang proud of it. I mean, I was fresh out of undergrad and just changed my major to costuming. I was still learning how to sew. (My specialty was finding things to alter to look like OTHER things.) This was the first time I had the knowledge on how to build pieces from scratch.
Titania was from a Disney Cartoon named Gargoyles. It aired in the early 90's and I was very heavily involved in the fandom for years. Actually, I still have a good deal of friends I met through the fandom that I  hang out with to this day.  Without going into long nerdy diatribes of the background of the show and its creator Greg Wiseman, I'll just say that Greg loved Shakespeare. And Shakespeare's characters were worked into the show quite often, two of big players being Titania and Oberon from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

What Titania looks like in the Series.

2001. Attempt #1

Dig that sexy Body Paint Job!

Now I'll honestly say that Titania was not my favorite character from the show. She was quite the bad ass and interesting to boot but I hardly fell all over myself over her. But for the Gargoyles convention back in 2001 named "The Gathering of the Gargoyles" I chose her for my cosplay costume. Three reasons for this; 1- I wanted to challenge my new found skills I learned in College, 2- I didn't want to wear a wig and Titania had red hair like myself  3- I wanted to show off. That was a was the big one. I had new skills and suddenly a slammin' bod (in my mind) after working on it for a year. I'm a big freaking showoff and people were just going to have to deal.
Vanity, my motivator.
If only I was so motivated now... at least in the body part.

Yup, I'm green.

The costume was made up of both construction from scratch, followed by finding the appropriate items and altering it to do my bidding.  Most of my effort went into the making the cape. Titania had rather pointy epaulets and a long draping cape. I used buckram to get the shape of the applets reinforced by wire so it would mold to my shoulder shape. The clasp was an old brooch I found. I gold leafed the metal and added the red stone. Getting the fabric to drape correctly off my back and to my wrists took a lot of trial and error. The skirt was built into the belt piece which made it very easy to get in and out of. The closure of the belt was built on my hip to keep my front line smooth. I hand beaded the belt with gold bugle beads and red beads and the center circle piece was made from an old necklace my mom was planning on throwing away. I gold leafed it and attached it to the belt to make the buckle the stone hanging from it is an old earring I found. My shirt was made from a red leotard. I cut it in half and sewed on the green velvet panel and the gold trim.

I painted myself green...probably the ugliest green color you could possibly imagine. I actually looked more grey that green in the photos. It was the only green I could find at the time really and the whole body paint thing was new to me.
Body paint...yeah...never again.
The time it took to just turn the visible parts green? Epic.The ring I left around the bathtub? EPIC. The amount of green I found in my hairline about 2 weeks later? EPIC!!!

2004 Attempt #2

3 years and about 10 pounds later...

Remember how I JUST said body paint, never again?
In 2004, The Gathering was in Montreal Canada. I was on staff again and we managed to get Disney to come in with a film crew to shoot parts to the convention as a special feature for the Season 2 DVD release of the show. We really wanted a good turn out for the masquerade so the staff stepped it up a notch and decided to all go in costume. I was asked to wear Titania again.
Okay granted, I'm hardly a grotesque hog but I will admit I did gain weight during my time in grad school. So squeezing back into this costume was a challenge all on its own. Luckily I still looked pretty decent in it for the most part. I didn't make many changes to the costume other than adding an actual "buckle" on the front of the belt to look more like the picture.

"Hey Fox...your husband is really a woman." Fox is played by my friend, Karine.

The biggest change was the body paint. My friend Jen gave me a tin of her green face paint that was FAR closer to the green I needed. And I managed to also find a pair of elf ear tips to finish off the look.A little shading here and there and I made a far more convincing fairy queen this time around.

Overall, I'm still proud of this one. It was my first time at the cosplay rodeo and I felt I came out of the gate really strong. If I ever did this costume again (which I probably wouldn't because my belly has gotten WAY too gushy) I would probably build the epaulets out of craft foam to make it look more like armor and actually make the gauntlets as well.
I learned a lot in the process too. I still have this costume too. I have constantly told myself that I should dismantle it to use the spare parts for new projects, but I just haven't had the heart to. Titania has a special place in my heart still.
But yeah...not to shabby.

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