Selecting Material Styles for Cosplays
As I mentioned in last month’s introduction to this cosplay build, I will be walking you step by step through the creation process of Tyene Sand from Game of Thrones. This month, we’re going to talk about the fabric selection process, the next logical step after identifying your project and setting deadlines for yourself. This specific cosplay is being created for use at the Texas Renaissance Festival’s Heroes And Villains weekend, which happens in the sweltering heat of Texas Fall. As such, I had to think long and hart about what fabrics I wanted to use for it. LUCKILY, I chose a character who is from a very hot part of the world she lives in, and as such, it shouldn’t be TOO hard to accomplish something that won’t make me lose several pounds due to sweat.
Since Tyene is both a fighter and skilled horsewoman, her garb requires pants that give her a fair amount of movement and give. I didn’t want to go with something that would be thick and bog her down. It just so happened that a few months back a local fabric store had a closing sale, and the day I walked in most fabrics were between 50%-75% off. I got all of the necessary materials for this build at a STEAL of a price. Check your local fabric stores, most have amazing coupon systems. There are usually post-holiday sales, and I highly suggest planning ahead and trolling the sale aisles as often as possible. Remarkably, in the last year renowned cosplay artist Yaya Han forged a deal with Joanne’s Fabrics, creating a line of specialty cosplay fabrics in a wide range of colors, styles, and uses. CHECK THESE OUT.
These were really hard to find good fabric for. I ended up picking out a faux micro-suede, which was light and velvety soft to the touch. I got almost an entire bolt of fabric for almost nothing, in a rich chocolaty brown. I will absolutely distress this fabric, adding dust and wear marks to it for that lived-in feel. This fabric does NOT have any give to it, which means I might get into the construction part and be forced to go a stretchier direction. We’ll have to see.
Tyene wears a sort of bikini style top, a satiny material that wraps around her neck and secures in the back. It’s not a lot of fabric, so I bought WAY more than I needed just to make sure I was able to properly get the twists into it. I”m also choosing to leave this un-lined, and I will consider whether to leave the fabric as a stand-alone, or to add bra cups for comfort against chafing. After all, I will be wearing this out-doors. The fabric that I chose is a bit of a bolder yellow than what she wears in the show, but I chose it because the chocolaty detailing perfectly matched the shade of the pants fabric, and pulled out the deeper brown notes that I intend on using for the leather pieces.
The last bit of fabric I needed for this cosplay was the draped skirt that goes over Tyene’s pants. In general, I tend to go for more durable fabrics when I’m designing a piece to be used out-doors, since I don’t want to snag chiffon and ruin the look. I chose a checkered organza style fabric, which is tightly woven and MUCH more able to stand the test of time. They had the least amount of this fabric left, so I took all of it. I had enough to drape a whole skirt and leave enough for a second attempt. (I ALWAYS go for redundancy if I can afford it, and the fabric is available). I would also like to note that I often go for more textured fabrics and finishes. This provides more depth and polish for studio shoots. Simple, untextured fabrics can read somewhat flat in front of a camera, so building depth into your project will make your images look rich and lush. I feel really confident about my choices for this project, and am incredibly excited to get started draping!!!
~Stay Tuned next month for Part Three of the Tyene Sand Cosplay Build!~
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