Hello dearies! First of all, sorry about my absence this past week. I've been spending pretty much every waking moment this past week crafting like the wind to get ready for Oddmall this weekend, where I'll be selling some of my fun, nerdy things! If you're in the Cleveland or Akron area you can come check it out and you can actually see a few of my props in person (I plan to have a few up for display to let people know I do commissions).
But enough about that, you're here for the cosplay, so I'd like to take a few moments today to introduce you to my next pink, glimmerous fop of a character: Zelos Wilder!
This costume came about as a direct result of my friendship with a dear cosplaying friend. Now I may have eventually made him otherwise, as I love Tales of Symphonia and I do have a not-so-secret love of ridiculous boys in pink (as well as boys without sleeves...).
I met this lovely young woman several years ago at Ohayocon during an Ace Attorney photoshoot and we hit it off pretty quickly. I quickly discovered our mutual love of Tales of Symphonia, and particularly that she had cosplayed Sheena. Sheena is hands down my favorite character in that game, to the point where nowadays when I am replaying it, I immediately switch to her as my primary character when she joins your party.
We were already both planning on going to Otakon that year, and I now was on a mission to get her to bring her Sheena cosplay so I could see it in person. And how did I sweeten the pot, as it were? I said I'd make a Zelos cosplay to counterpoint her character. Little did I know at the time, but my friend is an even bigger Shelos shipper than I am, so needless to say, this tactic was successful.
We decided that his Masked Swordsman was the outfit to go with for three reasons: 1) Zelos was a popular enough character that I'd seen his normal outfit being cosplayed a lot in my short con-going tenure at that point, 2) Sheena would never be seen in public openly with Zelos so the mask seemed all to appropriate, and 3) I really wanted to make that absurd birthday cake-looking hat!
That summer I was working as a stitcher in the Ohio Light Opera's costume shop which meant that making new cosplays was kind of a bus-man's holiday for me but I was determined to make it happen. It was actually quite convenient too because I could use the shop after hours to work on my costumes (which one of my fellow stitchers/cosplayers also did) and I also had the benefit of being able to discuss the dilemma of making his ridiculous hat with out wigmistress, who was also a wonderful milliner.
Creating this costume was definitely a trial of willpower. I wanted everything nice and shiny so I used a crepe-back satin, which was a lot more difficult to work with than what I was used to, and I used a satin ribbon for all of the trim, but unlike bias tape there is no stretch to it so it was a pain in the ass to edge the round parts of the vest. I also patterned out the hat to fit my head, but didn't take into account the wig so it ended up being a bit small on my head (but I was sure-as-hell not making a new one). The last joy of this tale was in making my sword. I set it outside on the lawn for the paint to dry and left it alone for about 10 minutes, and by the time I returned it had walked off... so I had to make second one.
But despite the issues in production, Zelos was finished and I was ready for Otakon! WE met for the photoshoot and immediately discovered how derpy the Tales of fandom is, so we decided to have our own little photoshoot with just the two of us. And it was glorious!
The culminating moment in our little shoot was that last photo, which embodies the issues I had post-production. Sheena was holding my hat in that photo because as stated before it was too small when I wore my wig and Baltimore is windy so it nearly escaped about 12 times. Also, as I squatted to put her back down, I heard a lovely little *RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIP* and suddenly I was wearing chaps instead of pants.
Thankfully it was just the stitching that had ripped so it was easy enough to repair. It still would be several years before Zelos came out of the closet (tee hee) again and came along to Colossalcon last year. I tried doing his full masked version but the mask was being difficult and the hat refused to stay on my head so in desperation I wore his traditional outfit instead. It actually afforded the chance for some good photos of him as I hadn't gotten any of his normal outfit prior to that. If I decide to wear it again, I'll probably try to make his Exsphere because that was the only bit I was missing.
Well, that's our dear Chosen, and what a joy he was to wear!