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Lia de Beaumont, Le Chevalier d'Eon, 2007

I've been doing pretty much exclusively anime costuming for so long that I'd completely fallen out of historical costuming. When I saw Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette," I was completely re-inspired to start making some of the beautiful 18th century costumes I've always admired- and if I could tie it in with anime, so much the better. Lia generally wears a red dress in this anime, but I was more taken by this blue one which appears briefly in a portrait in the first episode. I made some modifications to the sleeves and trim to make it more period correct. Silk taffeta with a little linen on the sleeve ruffles.

The most labor-intensive part of this (besides the wig) was the underwear. Once that was done, the dress itself went together very quickly and smoothly. I'd started on the corset much earlier and chucked it into a drawer because the pattern I was using was so bad, but once I finally dug it out again and frankensteined a solution (it's a verb NOW), the rest was gravy. It weighs several pounds and can sustain a pretty good punch to the stomach. The dress back was something like ten feet across before pleating to fit the yoke. The pocket hoops are functional pockets, reached through slits in the skirts. I keep my cellphone and wallet in there for ballast when I'm wearing it, and that is what seems to impress people the most about this costume. On top of the hoops is a quilted petticoat to help support the lightweight fabric of the dress and prevent the hoops from showing through, which wasn't finished when these photos were taken, because I was using yet another horrible pattern.

This costume won Best Journeyman in the Katsucon 2007 hall costume contest. Studio photography by Aurora Vanderbosch, Grace Notes Photography.

Click to view larger image: Lia Click to view larger image: Back View Click to view larger image: Detail
Click to view larger image: Lia Click to view larger image: Lia

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