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Lulu (Belt gown) - Final Fantasy X

Complete

Memorabilia/MCM Birmingham Comic Con 2014

MCM Midlands Masquerade judges award


 


So, here comes my notorious costume description, and this time it is going to be even longer, because this new version if Lulu is INCREDIBLY detailed. I decided to do it again and properly, so every little thing was carefully thought about.

Main dress:
The skirt is made of over forty leather and canvas belts which have been woven together and hand stitched to create a sort of cage underskirt. This has also been shaped by two wire hoops (one of my favourite costuming materials- wire coat hangers!) I reenforced the stitched belts with some discreet duct tape for strength, as some fell off during my first con wearing it.
You can't see it too well (that being the point) but I am also wearing a pleather underskirt over the back half of the belt skirt. This is to solve a problem I have seen on a lot of Lulu costumes that use the belt underskirt method- if you use a light fabric, the back of the skirt looks bumpy, as it drapes over the uneaven surface of the belts. Adding this thick underskirt makes the back of the dress look smoother, as in the game where it has a very clear bell like shape.
The overskirt is a pattern I created myself and consists of two pieces (although I sewed down the middle at the front to match the seam seen in the game footage) it has a 15" train trimmed in hand embroidery copied from painstakingly searched for close ups from the cut scenes and artwork. The overskirt was made of stretch velvet matched to the grey of Lulu's dress in the artwork for the game. I chose this fabric partly because it flows really nicely and isn't as stiff as the more commonly used pleather, this makes the sleeves look extra floaty. It also gives it a nice 'evening dress' sort if look, which I thought suits Lulu quite well. I was originally going to make it in suade, as this is what the dress appears to be made of in the official design, however grey suede was hard to find, and I loved the way this fabric sat on the dress.
The sleeves are made from a pattern I took from my old Lulu costume and also trimmed in hand embroidery, I pinned them to the fur scarf I used as the neckline to prevent what happened it two of my last masquerades (my sleeves fell down both times)
The corset part is an over-bodice made from a pattern taken from the steel boned corset I am wearing underneath it to give the costume more shape. It was hand sewn together as my sewing machine was out of action by this point (its suicide, don't do it) and hand trimmed in white velvet ribbon. It is also laced up at the back in thin white satin ribbon. In game, the corset is trimmed in grey and laced in black, although I liked the contrast of the white ribbon so chose it instead- artistic licence! As a subtle tribute to Lulu being my first proper cosplay, I used the black fabric from my old dress to create the new bodice, and the fur scarf is my original one. I also wear black shorts underneath this costume as the front of the skirt is quite short.

The wig:
The wig is made up if three parts, as I really wanted to get the lovely long plaits. I wear a simple black shoulder length wig as a base, pulled back into a bun. I then add a black hair scrunchie to give it some more shape (the bun never turns out very big with this wig). My long plaits that you can see in the picture reach to about my knees- they were actually a really long African style hair extension. Very cheap and the perfect length to sit on the back of the costume neatly without getting in my way. I also made beads out of polystyrene balls as I couldn't find any big enough to go over the plaits they also reduce the weight of the wig. Its still a fairly heavy wig but worth it.

The footwear/legs
I decided to hand embroider the details of Lulu's stockings (unfortunately I have yet to find a way of attaching them efficiently and they kept falling down so I took them off for photos, so you can't see them) I just brought plain poundland stockings (going cheap here because they get destroyed by the belts) and embroidered stocking tops separately. I decided to use purple thread so that they stand out a little more.
I wear simple black combat boots with this costume, largely because they're nice to my feet! When cosplaying Lulu, one does not wish to make the job of walking any harder than it has to be. You also don't see Lulu's feet in the game, so I imagine for all the walking around she does and of course, wearing this huge dress, she would wear practical footwear.

The accessories:
I went to town with Lulu's many accessories, starting with the hairsticks. They were mainly made from wooden chopsticks, embellished with beads, wire wrapping and leather scraps. The yellow one was made with yet another wire coat hanger for an accurate shape.
My earrings and purple necklace were made from bottle caps, bent back and painted- I have a collection of them and couldn't find the right beads! The red necklace is made from handmade paper beads, and the white one from faux crystal/pearl beads.
It can't easily be seen in game footage and pictures (trust me, I tried to find it for weeks) but Lulu wears a ring on her right hand. In some artwork/images it is on her right or left, in some it looks like a wedding band, in others it looks like a black cabachon...sometimes its not even there- the designers couldn't seem to make up their mind. So I decided to improvise. I made a glass cabachon featuring the Yevon script for "Lulu" and wrapped it in dark purple wire. The wire patterns surrounding it were inspired by the lace patterns on her dress. I was determined to include it, OK?
I also wear a chain bracelet with a glass bottle hanging from it that contains a red feather- a phoenix down! I wear this as a cheeky tribute to the old FF joke about the convenience of Phoenix down- it never works in cutscenes or lore- sorry Chappu.
I handmade a little moogle plushie, but he looks like Shiva ate him and spat him back out, he's pretty awful. Sorry, I'm a costume maker, not a toymaker! On the bright side, he looks suitably like a voodoo doll!
Finally, I decided to add three of Lulu's bangles seen in combat in the game. Each was made in the same method Iuse for light armour, thick cardboard with paper mache and acrylic paint. They tie on with ribbon. The transparent part on the pink bangle was made with plastic.

I THINK that's all of it! I will update if I've missed anything.
This is one of my favourite costumes in my collection, despite it being difficult to do basically anything in! A few things could do with some post con TLC but on the whole I am really happy with it! And very glad to call it award winning ;)

Warning to any other cosplayers: in order to cosplay Lulu, one must be clinically insane. Wibble.

Staley-Stuff posted on 20 February, 2015 - 19:22
Hey, I loved your Lulu, so great we both won judges :D

ArcaneArchery posted on 20 February, 2015 - 20:17
Awesome costume and very impressive work on the details

Mungojerrie posted on 21 February, 2015 - 09:45
Lovely Lulu!

CybelleDeHamphir posted on 12 March, 2015 - 20:14
Thanks everyone!

2nd July 2014

New Lulu!!

I'm remodelling my Lulu costume...well I say remodelling, I'm making it again completely from scratch, hopefully for MCM Birmingham in November. Going to town this time on details and accuracy! I say it every time...she's a great character but she has such an inhumanly large bust o.0 The designs are complete, next jobs: Buy fabric, draft/find pattens, design lace trim, finish belt skirt



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