Character: Umi Ryuuzaki
Variation: Armor Illustration
Series: Magic Knights Rayearth
Debuted: Metrocon 2008
Construction Notes: This costume was a big learning experience in armor/prop-making. Moreso on armor and hard surfaces in general. I used Wonderflex, a thin thermoplastic material that becomes pliable when heated, for all of the armor pieces, and craft foam + Model Magic for the surface details. This was also my first time casting gems with polyester resin for a costume.
I already had most of the fabrics left over from other projects. The waist cincher is the same Empress Velveteen I used for my Esther Blanchett trim, but heavily interfaced and lined. I used stretch velvet, again leftover, for the little blouse and the leg warmers. The flowy white fabric over the skirt is swimwear lining (chosen for its light and flowy behavior) and crinkle chiffon for a little added interest over that. Finally, the skirt material is this beautiful crinkle/pre-pleated gradient fabric which was a terribly lucky find at JoAnn Fabrics.
The sword (rapier??) is simply a curtain rod with embellishments for the ornate dragon handle.
Personal Thoughts: I’m so disappointed I didn’t get more photos of this costume. I only wore it to one convention, and many of the pieces need to be touched up after going through some wear-and-tear through travel and con-alike. I love Umi’s elegance and pompous attitude, so I might decide to make another of her costumes eventually down the road. I doubt I will ever re-wear this one, despite how much time and effort I put into it.