Thursday, 28 November 2013

Casual Cosplay: Clara from Doctor Who

Well, did anyone watch the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special last weekend? I know I did. I watched Doctor Who on a pretty regular basis but I stopper watching around the time the show became more about River Song than the Doctor and his assistants for reasons eloquently put into an article by my husband here. However I was reinvigorated with the arrival of new assistant Clara. But I don't really want to get into the plot of Doctor Who too much on here,  I want to talk about her wardrobe.

Image from
I think Clara's central wardrobe items are dresses, jackets, tights and boots. She seems to have a slightly vintage vibe too, maybe a little 60s with the button up blouses, peter pan collars and her parker or biker jacket. She seems to be dressed in a way that is fairly in fashion now, and I think that says a lot about how retro inspired current fashion has become... dare I say she dresses a little bit hipster (I don't mean that in a derogatory way I don't think hipster fashion is as dire as some people suggest)?

Image credit: Adrian Rogers/BBC Worldwide
So I decided to have a go. Now since I've recently had my hair lopped off I needed to wear a wig so that my hair would roughly be in a similar style. Out comes the Kerry again from Wonderland Wigs, the same one I wore for my Princess Daisy costume, I used a short vintage dress with a jumper for the below look. The dress is from the 1950s and is a lovely fine crepe fabric, it seemed a shame to cover up the rest of it with a jumper, but I don't own a biker jacket so this was as close as I could get.

I do have a black jacket similar to a parker, but it is really just a rain coat and it is very light. I thought it served for the picture but I am on the look out for a proper snuggly fur/fleece lined parker to wear while I cycle to work.

This look I liked the dark blue dresses and the shoulder satchel, I was really intrigued by the whole blazer jacket style effect. To try this out, I actually borrowed my husbands suit jacket, but I have seen some reasonably priced similar to the jacket below in Primark this season.

 Last but not least is Clara's most iconic look, the plaid dress. Tartan/plaid is so in vogue now (I do love tartan as seen here and here) in fact, I believe that Primark (yes, again) produced a very similar dress that is sold out in many stores, but they also made the dress in a few other colours, and a slightly different style with softer lines and a more chiffonny feel (see below). The check is more subtle, but I do like this alternative 'Clara' dress too.

Anywho, that's it for my Clara inspired looks. All in all they're not too different from my usual looks. But it was kinda fun messing around in the wig too. Its just a shame I don't have legs like JLC!

Which Doctor Who assistant is your favourite?

Friday, 22 November 2013

A Pearl Lowe dress, and a pre-haircut photo

Just a quick post today. A little while ago I won a competition to have my hair cut at vintage specialists; Rockalily Cuts in London. I've wanted to have my hair cut there for a while now so this is really an exciting prize for me. I have had a long hard think about what I want doing with my hair and I think I have a rough plan, but I will have a chat with the stylists so that I can get the most out of this opportunity!

Anywho, since the big day is tomorrow I thought I'd post a simple Daily Dresscapade showing the current state of my hair. In all its drab glory. I did this post on a particularly uninspired day and at about 7pm after riging my bike to and from work and just generally getting a bit dishevelled :S

Don't judge me to harshly :(

My outfit isn't too bad though. It is a standard tea dress and chunky vintage cardigan combo that I am so fond of. The dress is by Pearl Lowe for Peacocks, and I got it off ebay before the prices went a bit mental after Peacocks closed most of their shops. I really love their dresses, but it is quite hard to get hold of one for under £20 these days. My advise if you ever see one in a second hand shop would be to get it even if you're not too sure as their resale value is crazy! 

I think the bright roses on the dark background are a lovely contrast and give a very English rose feel despite being wintery.

Here it is without the cardigan:

Oh, and the hair... My fringe is in this rubbish in/out stage and the back needs some serious work to get rid of the drab. You have your work cut out for you Rockalily.

This is very much a 'before picture' hopefully I'll be able to post the after shot this weekend and be able to be proud of my hair.

Wish me luck everyone!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Casual Cosplay: An outfit inspired by Emmy Altava from the Professor Layton games

To celebrate the recent release of the final Professor Layton game I though I would do a Screen Dresscapade based on one of my favourite characters in the game Emmy Altava.

If you've never played a Professor Layton game, I would highly recommend it, they keep your brain active and are great fun in a way that Brain Training never was. The general gist revolves around solving a mystery that usually has more twists and turns than a Christmas special of Jonathan Creek and along the way you solve lots of puzzles. More importantly however, the games are incredibly stylish looking with a distinct retro vibe that takes inspiration from the 1890s-now. And lets be honest any game that features a perfect gentleman in a top hat HAS to be a winner!

Out sleuths on the case...

In case you hadn't guessed, Emmy is the one in the yellow coat. This isn't a cosplay post, so I havent' gone to town on the look, but I went for an 'inspired by' look instead. 

Instead of a yellow coat, I have a vintage yellow dress that was told was from the late 1950s when I bought it. Judging by the quality of the fabric and the cut, not to mention a beautiful lace detail on the back I am inclined to believe that its a fairly accurate date. I did however wear white tights under the dress and I wore a pair of riding style boots from Clarks. I wore a little blouse under the dress and I meant to add a pink ribbon to the neck line but didn't manage to find one in time :(

Anywho, here's the look:

This is one of my favourite dresses at the moment, it is a lovely yellow to help brighten up the cold weather and it fits like a dream! Here is a picture of me admiring the dress while wearing it... you get a pretty good view of the top of my head, which clearly is why you're all here.

Mind you, it would not be Layton without a bit of pointing. Everyone points in Professor Layton. All the time.

I've got it Professor! 

I wore a black coat with this outfit. I sometimes worry that the combination of black and yellow makes one look a bit like a bee, but I think as long as you don't wear stripes its probably okay.

I wore this whole outfit for a trip out to Battle Abbey. It was a beautifully clear day although very cold, but I had to snap a picture of the Abbey. Just look at that sky!

I also stopped off for a cup of tea at M&S. That isn't really an event in itself, but I wanted to share the tiny, tiny christmas tree biscuit! Its so cute!

Thats it for today then.
Have you played any stylish video games?

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Cosplay: Luigi and Princess Daisy from the Super Mario Franchise

Aw, finally I'm getting around to posting this! I think this costume is my finest cosplay moment so far. Just in case you are unfamiliar with who princess daisy is I popped a picture below. Daisy is to Luigi as Princess Peach is to Mario, a sort of love interest for the sidekick. She has been around for a while, but it is only with the multi character Mario games like Mario Party and Mario Kart that she has started to come into her own as a character.

Her iconic costume is her yellow dress that is almost exactly the same as Peach's dress but with a few tweaks in design. I previously posted quite a bit of detail about how I manages to make the dress so I wont bore you with the details in this post.

Instead here are some pictures of the finished costume that I wore to MCM Expo: London Comic Con in October 2013:

The earrings and jewels on the crown were made using clear cabochons that I backed with white foam backing that I coloured in myself to make sure I got the colour just right. The crown was made with a double layer of craft foam that was kept in place with a hair band and copious amounts of hair grips.

The hair was the Kerry wig that was kindly provided by Wonderland Wigs that was already cut perfectly and just needed a little bit of styling to get the perfect shape and those flick side bits. I styled the wig using shockwaves hair wax and found that it was really easy to brush out so the wig lives for another day! I was super pleased with it - I will be wearing it again.

The make-up was most of my wedding make-up (from Mac) with the additions of some silly and super thick faux lashes that I got from Primark of all places (they're the same ones I wore as Gwen Stacy).

Of course being a princess, I had to give a bit of a curtsey. 

Even princesses like to play video games! (Pokemon X and Y looks amazing!)

My husband decided to compliment my outfit by dressing as Luigi! He was always the taller slimmer one when compared to the Mario Bros.

Here's his outfit, he did have a pair of white gloves too but they seem to be missing in this picture.

I made the 'tache with the same type of foam as I made my crown with and used a hi-tech Sharpie marker to colour it black.

Of course, eating with a faux 'tache isn't exactly easy...

Here is a picture of the pair of us together. I must say it was a lot of fun being a cosplay couple, were were asked if we would post for photos quite a lot :D I felt like a celebrity.

I also had my picture taken with Saffy who was organising a Nintendo meet, and dressed as a lady Mario.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Sewing: A home made dress from a 1960s (I think) pattern.

Taking a little break from cosplay before I post the rest of my MCM pictures I wanted to share some images of a dress I made a little while ago. 

I got some fabric super cheap from World of Sewing in Tunbridge wells, it was hugely reduced to £2/m, so I bought 2.5m and decided to make a swing dress. I bought this pattern from eBay to help me with the design of my Princess Daisy dress and I knew that I'd be able to used the pattern again and again as I adore that late 50s early 60s type of sleeveless dress.

I think by using a plain fabric it gives the dress a very different sort of feel, and I was able to add a really cute little lace collar without too much hassle. I'm not sure what the fabric is, a sort of heavy crepe I think, it gives the dress a lovely swing. The skirt is huge and had lots of pleats so I am pleased to say I will never be afraid of sewing pleats again, in fact, I'm not really sure what I was so afraid of in the first place. 

I decided to wear this dress with a long sleeve blouse underneath, since it was cold, but I can't help but feel that it gives the outfit a whole Disney Princess on her day off sort of look... But maybe that is just wishful thinking. The collar on the blouse doesn't really work with the one on the dress, but I think I just about get away with it.

Dress: Home made (~£6)
Blouse: Next via charity shop (£3)
Shoes: Topshop via eBay (£14)
Tights: Primark (£2.50)

As far as my hair goes, I was inspired by blogger Mia Moore and her Maiden Braids. I have experimented with plaits before, but never over the top of my head this way. It reminds me a little of Princess Leia - and I am perfectly fine with that!

Mia's blog is great by the way, especially if you like a bit of a mix of girly style spattered with geekery!

The last thing I want to share is my blue coat. I bought it from eBay just as spring was turning into summer so I got it for £9.99 which was an absolute steal its Monsoon too which makes it a double bargain! Its a wonderfully shaped coat, with a distinctly 1960s sort of feel with the big collar and wide sleeves.

I'm thinking of making a similar shape dress in a red, green and gold fabric to wear at christmas, what do you think?

EuroCosplay 2013 Gallery

Oh its that time again, that time when I get really inspired and a little bit jealous of some of the amazing cosplayers out there. I think it is true to say that cosplay is becoming more popular and as a result the standards of competitions such as EuroCosplay are getting higher too. When you take into account that many of the cosplayers in this competition are not professional costume and prop makers it really is inspiring to see what they can achieve.

It is also a really fun chance to test out some of my photography skills (be gentle I'm still learning).

I have included video links to the performances on youtube too so you can see the whole performances in their glory. I have also done a little research on how the winners are chosen and the judging criteria are 40% construction 40% accuracy and 20% performance so it is really worth taking the performances into account when picking a favourite.

With a lot of years and a lot of practice I might hope to be half as good as these cosplayers. Prepare to be AMAZED!

Eurocosplay 2013: Romania - Diana: League of Legends

I particularly liked this Bilbo cosplay as it was super serious and moody to start, then broke into the Leonard Nemoy song about the character, after all who doesn't love a bit of a dance routine?

Eurocosplay 2013: Germany - Bilbo Baggins: The Hobbit

Eurocosplay 2013: Belgium - Freya: Zangeki no Regenliev

If you follow me on Twitter you may have picked up that I am currently playing Bioshock. I've never played it before and it scared the bujezzus out of me. So far I can only play it in the day-time if my husband is sitting next to me.

As a result this Spider Splicer cosplay based on the brutal concept art for Bioshock was TERRIFYING! At one point the cosplayer even slit her own lip with the hooks attached to the hands and spat blood. With such a frighteningly accurate costume too (and I saw this close up) it is no wonder they came in second place.

Eurocosplay 2013: Poland - Spider Splicer: Bioshock

Eurocosplay 2013: Slovakia - Wizard: Diablo III

I was really pleased to get this shot as the lighting was horrible. But with the pink light I think this is soooo pretty. She had and adorable little moogle too that glowed in the dark :D

Eurocosplay 2013: Hungary - Serah Farron: Final Fantasy XIII-2

This is a terrible picture, but I just wanted to give you an impression of how much detailing goes into these costumes! I would totally wear that jacket in real life too... This skit was lovely, I thought the simple 'getting dressed' idea was sweet and really effective as it made you appreciate how many different layers went into that costume.
Eurocosplay 2013: Finland - Amira Halgal: Otoyomegatari

I don't know much about Assassins Creed, but this guy's glowing orb was awesome.

Eurocosplay 2013: Sweden - Ezio Auditore: Assassin's Creed: Revelations

Eurocosplay 2013: Switzerland - Jin Assassin: Blade and Soul

I spotted a few Toothianas wandering around the convention, but this version has so many small details and such beautiful wings it is not surprising that she came in third.

Eurocosplay 2013: Italy - Toothiana: Rise of the Guardians

I thought the details on this costume were really amazing too, and the 'magic trick' with the fan made me pretty happy.

16 Romania The Sorceress Maggi's Harem

I have no idea how one would go about making these giant armoured costumes. But seeing this made me go home and look it up!

Eurocosplay 2013: United Kingdom - Blood Angels Assault Marine: Warhammer 40K

The scream that went along with this performance was really blood curdling. I liked this costume a lot. Genuinely creepy.

Eurocosplay 2013: France - Aida Atoli: .Hack GU Trilogy

I think this was my favourite costume of the competition, I don't actually know what it is from but I liked the girly style of it combined with the armour. It seems like the kind of costume I would enjoy wearing. I thought the cosplayer played her part really well too. 

Eurocosplay 2013: Bulgaria - Saber: Fate/Stay Night

Eurocosplay 2013: Czech Republic - Aegwynn: World of Warcraft

I've seen a Queen Esther costume in two Eurocosplay contests now, I had not idea who she was first time so I looked Trinity Blood up on Wikipedia and promptly forgot about it. This time I looked it up again ans started watching the series. I will admit I am interested. I have seen many cosplays based on this anime so I am hoping to get a lot of inspiration while I watch it too.

Eurocosplay 2013: Czech Republic - Esther Blanchett Trinity Blood

Eurocosplay 2013: Belgium - Sword Master: Warhammer…

So many arms...

Eurocosplay 2013: Estonia - Mistral: Metal Gear Rising

This costume took serious commitment. Look at the shoes. They have no heels! OUCH!

Below is the winning entry, I didn't manage to get any good photos unfortunately, but the video below will give you a pretty good idea of what the skit was about. It might seem like a more simple costume than some of the others, and as such it was a somewhat controversial winner, but it was the performance and accuracy that really sold it. There were some really awesome props and the use of the stage was really effective, they even coped really well when something didn't go quite to plan. It is a great example of what to do on stage if you are doing a cosplay performance. 

Eurocosplay 2013: Netherlands - Edward Elric Full Metal Alchemist

Just to be clear this is not an exhaustive list of the entries, there were several more that I couldn't get pictures of :( But I thought this would give you a idea of what the sort of standards were like in the competition.

Which one is your favourite?

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