Me as The Blood Countess Carmila at Fanime. Picture credits: Cosplay.com
Time for my first ever Cosplay/Costume post. I’ll start with one of my earliest costumes since well… it makes sense.
Character: The Blood Countess Carmila
From: Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Why: Because the second I saw here on the screen I wanted to make that costume. I’ve this thing for villains and vampires. Especially if they’re in amazing dresses. It’s just something I love.I also loved the challenge of it.
Hours of Construction: Um… I lost count. Well over 500. Probably closer to 1000. I wore here to Fanime and BayCon several years in a row and kept adding to here as Time went on. So I really don’t know how long I spent on her. I can tell you that the initial construction took about two weeks and that from there I just kept improving here with trims and beading and all sorts of other things.
Details: So you can’t see it in the pictures but there’s little red seed beads on the shoulder things and on the hip puffs. The skirt was made using a pattern from a Renaissance costume. The bodice from a gypsy costume. The Jacket was just a basic balaro style jacket pattern and the hip puffs were taken from a Cinderella costume. The rest (long sleeves, shoulder puffs and collar) were all things I just made up without a pattern.
The necklace, earrings and crown tiara designed and constructed by me.
The fangs are costume fangs. They are plastic but they look like porcelain. I got a lot of compliments on them from a fang maker who thought they were his work so I’ve never felt the need to buy the super expensive ones.
Make up and hair (no that IS NOT a wig. I styled my hair with two pieces of foam, a lot of hair spray and some prayers to the dark gods of cosplay) were designed by me.
The trims on the costume were inspired by the art work of an artist by the name of Shannon Hubbard.
Fabrics: I like to talk about fabric choices because they are important in costume making. The wrong fabric can make a costume look weird.
Carmila was made from red and white satin (bought at the local Hancocks fabrics) some gold curtains ala 1970 something (given to me by a neighbor) and some sea foam green liner fabric (also given to me by a neighbor. As well as some red stretch velvet also acquired at the local fabric store. Gold and black trip, seed beads, crystals and wire all acquired at local crafts stores.
When choosing the fabrics and trims I looked closely at her design and did a lot of research on the character. Who she was, personality, portrayal, role in the film, etc. What I noticed was that she was a very vein and conniving person. She’s seductive and pretends to be your friend just to get what she wants. It was obvious that she was partially inspired by the historical figure Elizabeth Bathory and the book Carmila so I did research on those. I also looked at the costume aspects and found that there was a lot of elements taken from the Renaissance and 1700s. So I chose rich overly lavish fabrics that matched her aristocracy and vainty but also choose some antique fabrics (the curtains and the liner fabric were both old or old looking) since she had been sitting around her palace for a while collecting dust. In the movie she’s sort of a ghosts or psychic projection so I wanted to use fabrics that were a bit out of date when put with the newer fabrics. Just a little off. Like her.
Color Choice was easy, I just looked at the movie and concept art. Found that I really liked the sea foam green color with the vivid blood red and gold. I also wanted to use texture to kind of break it up and make it look interesting.
Awards: I won Best Novice in the BayCon Masquerade and a slew of hall costume awards.
Final Notes: I really enjoyed this costume. Sadly I have outgrown it otherwise I’d still be wearing here. Someday I will remake her but for now I don’t have the time, space, money to do so. One day though.