|Time Taken :||4 months|
|With hindsight, this was a ridiculously ambitious first cosplay, both in terms of skill level required and in terms of timeframe. I chose to do Kyoraku as Bleach was the only anime I'd watched at the time, and he was the only character I'd seen whose hair could even be approximated by mine!|
I decided to try and make everything from scratch - from the woven sandals to the straw hat. By the time the beginning of October came, I still had four garments to make as well as starting a PhD! Finally finished the clothes less than 24 hours before getting the train to London, and the hat I only finished the next morning...
The hat was one of the most time-consuming and least satisfying elements of the costume - despite careful planning, the shape ended up too flat to stay on my head properly, so I had to carry it around Expo, and perch it on my head for photos! It was also fraying everywhere, as I hadn't had time to tidy up the loose ends or glaze it to keep everything in place. Pretty much every element had something I wasn't happy with - the hairpiece ended up not fitting at all, I bought the wrong gauge rope for the waraji and so they were unwearable for more than about half an hour, the paint and woodfiller on the zanpakuto aren't even, etc. The captain's haori was probably the element I was most pleased with - it is comfortable and pretty visually appealing, even if it doesn't hang perfectly.
One word describes wearing this costume: HOT! Four layers of garments and six layers of fabric make for a very hot Ed, especially in the middle of a packed Expo hall! Having two zanpakuto poking out of the obi made it very difficult to move, too. The waraji were tolerable when standing still, but unbearable to walk in, and the hat wouldn't stay in place for more than a few seconds, so both were carried in the end. Still, I learned a lot (not to mention having a lot of fun at Expo - never before have so many people wanted my photo!) and would like to take some time to refine the less successful elements to wear again some time.