So I've been planning this out since about April 2010.
Since then I've been pretty much constantly telling myself "I have plenty of time. I have plenty of time" knowing that the shoot would be held on the 30th of July 2011.http://media.animevice.com/uploads/0/4178/147831-bleach534_super.jpg
Meet my character, Ggio Vega. He's a pretty minor character in Bleach serving mainly as Soi Fon's punching bag in the Arrancar vs Shinigami arc.CLICK HERE TO SEE HIS BEAUTIFUL FACE GETTING KICKED IN.
Of course, as is my magpie-like tendencies I liked him purely for his looks.
When I read about the Bleach Gender Bender photo shoot I just knew I had to cosplay him in a qipao.
The first part I got started on was the helmet. After not having dabbled in paper mache since my days in primary school, I was a little less than eager to attempt it. Nevertheless, I soldiered on and got the mesh base and first few layers of paper mache done in Oct 2010.
Around about the start of July 2011 I began to realise just how close the photo shoot was coming so I decided to get my S into gear.
The modelling clay was purchased a little over a week before the photo shoot and added on the 25th of July. The teeth made the helmet too heavy at the front so I had to add more on the inside of the back of the helmet to balance it out.
It was then covered with two layers of paper mache (26th), a layer of black acrylic paint (27th) and two layers of white acrylic paint (28th and 29th).
I had been drafting and redrafting ideas for the qipao since around about the time I had started to plot this endeavour. I wanted it to be something between a wrap dress and a qipao with a crazy disco collar.
I did not start pattern drafting until about mid-June 2011 and sewing until mid-July.
It turned out to be a complete bodge job.
I ran out of interfacing and had no access to a fabric store so I used felt, the zipper was the wrong color, the "tailoring" was sloppily done but slyly hidden.
I was still sewing up to about midnight the night before the shoot, the final coat of paint drying, my bag already packed for the next day to ensure I would not waste time in the morning running about the house like a headless chicken looking for wig, shoes, etc.
I retired to bed about midnight, deciding that I would finish hand sewing the black lining of the qipao flaps in the morning.
The day of the shoot, I woke up at 4:30am. Don't ask me why. I had intended to "sleep in" until 6:30am (I actually wake up at 5:30am every day) but that day my body decided to troll me.
After a brief breakfast, I finished my hand sewing and was out of the house by 9:00am, bound to get to the location by 10:00am. I applied my makeup on the train and changed in the nearby restrooms then walked the last 5 minutes to the location, earning a plethora of cat calls and questions from passers by. The shoot began at 11:00am.
We dumped our bags in one of the smaller gazebos and walked about the gardens looking for photo opportunities. A group of university students filmed our progress for their documentary assignment about cosplay.
Further problems with the costume became apparent as the shoot wore on. The wig shone reddish-brown in the sunlight, I was no longer accustomed to my circle lenses, the hip-high slits of the dress were causing minor wardrobe implications on such a windy day, the high heels I had chosen were ill-suited to the rocky paths of the gardens and the person to cosplay Soi Fon had dropped out due to work. Not to mention I was beginning to get hungry. And I am apparently excruciatingly insufferable when hungry.
Despite all this, the lovely Shazzie (CLICK HERE FOR dA LINK.)
was able to obtain shots of me where I didn't look, for lack of better terms, like a complete derp case.http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/267367_10150742723605593_853590592_19903238_574673_n.jpghttp://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/224556_10150742723280593_853590592_19903236_4983994_n.jpg
The shoot ended at 2pm and we headed to a Japanese restaurant to have lunch then around the city to revel in each other's company. It was the highlight outing of my year.