Non Star Wars "Angel": Illyria costume help....?

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Qui-Dawn, Aug 10, 2007.

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  1. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    Y'ello there, all you fine costuming gurus....Sister_Sola kindly gave me the go-ahead to ask this here, and actually given the knowledge and expertise present 'round these parts I certainly couldn't think of a better place to be enquiring, but in any case....yes, then, as the topic here indicates - I am looking to put together an Illyria costume, from the latter half or so of the final fifth season of "Angel". Of course her look has always greatly appealed to me, and it's an intriguing and dynamic, evocative character just in general....besides, I also greatly like the idea of looking - well, not at all like my usual self in a costume, is the thing....it seems all about being someone completely *different*, and let's face it, Illyria really is about as different and unique as 'tis possible to get in this world....or any other dimension, actually. ;) Now, it's actually her full - "armoured" look I'm specifically intending to do....

    I know others have done her immediate post-transformation look, to be sure, when she's still clothed as Fred in that shirt and skirt....and I gather it's worked well enough for them, but hey....if one is going to do this thing, then one might as well go proverbially all out with it....what with, you know - wanting to assume that whole new, different identity for the occasion, and all that. :) And there are a great many elements to consider, I know....makeup being a notable one (though just today I was told that MAC cosmetics offers body paint, and if that would work - oh, *must* look into this!) and hair, ditto....but it's the costume itself which I'm focussing on most, just at the moment here, and thus wondering and brainstorming how to do it. I gather that it doesn't necessarily have to be "hard", though it's a look that's supposed to evoke "armour", since Amy Acker's actual costume was apparently made of a breathable cotton material. :)

    But, hey, I am *totally* open and thus eagerly and hopefully seeking any and all info, ideas, suggestions, helpful hints, what have you....for really any and all elements of the get-up, actually, because certainly it could only all help at this point....and did I mention just how eternally and forevermore grateful I would surely be? :) Oh, help me, all ye costuming gurus and experts....you may perhaps be my only hope. ;) And, mmmmmm, also, if anyone happens to know of any sites or resources with some high-quality, well-lit, even hi-res Illyria pics, could they let me know the links....? Again, it could only all help at this point, believe me....


    Dawn.
  2. StormtrooperPrincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 3
    I'm lost. What exactly are you asking about in regards to an Illyria costume?
  3. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
  4. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    Well, as I noted, anyone who I suppose is familiar enough with the character - or, heck, maybe anybody who might just know their stuff and thus have some insight to offer on, let's say....how I might achieve her vividly blue-streaked hair? - and before the question's asked, for instance, my own hair's not nearly long enough....otherwise that would be a heckuva dye job. :) I'm thinking maybe....a wig of some sort?....but again, this is the sort of thing I'm hoping others can shed light on. Or, yes....the matter of the equally vividly blue face and body makeup....surely someone has some insight or even experience with that which they could thus share....maybe evne if they've done something like - I guess Mystique or even Nightcrawler, eh? Like, yes....what shading of blue, for instance, I should be angling towards....I've been carefully re-watching her episodes of late, and am just trying to get a sense whether her look is more turquoise....or royal blue. I'm thinking....the latter?

    Or, indeed, yes - if anyone has any insight or suggestions, hints or whatever - to offer about her more well-known "armoured" look in particular....that's another one I could definitely use some help with, because while I do have some ideas - doubtless others will know more about this sort o' thing, and thus have the insight I'm so desperately seeking. :) For starters, I'm thinking....black bodysuit underneath?....and maybe some sort of pleather material for the outer layer at least, of the costume....? H'm, h'm.... *kicks brain into high gear*


    Dawn.
  5. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    I remember that someone here made an Illyria costume but I cannot recall her name. :oops: If anyone can remember, she was also the one who made that awesome NightCrawler costume. (Wasn't she? Can't remember clearly...it was years ago.)

    Anywho, I think she did use a bodysuit for Illyria which she then sewed either vinyl or pleather pieces on top of for the armor. I wish I could remember her name because she had a great webpage about it. If I do think of it I'll definitely post a link for you.

    I found this sketch on some random Whedon fansite. I'm not sure if it's the original sketch for the show or not but it has fabric swatches that might help give you an idea or two:
    [image=http://fansites.hollywood.com/~creaturesunite/ahitwpic3.jpg]
  6. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    Oh, that's excellent - see, already I feel like that helps me so much, and certainly it's more than I knew before....a black bodysuit, sewing pieces on top of it, that might not have occurred to me before but now that may be something well worth envisioning....thank you, thank you! :) I mean, hey, my take on all this is....obviously the whole costume's a pretty intensive thing anyway, but far as I can tell it's the "armoured" outfit which is the thing I'm probably most immediately concerned about....and should I be able to finagle *that*, then my thinking is that the rest of it will fall easily enough into place, and thus I won't be fretting any longer. Benefits all around, clearly. :) And, oh, also - that site you were mentioning, that sounds like just the thing....I imagine I'd quite like to check that out too, see what it's all about. :) Tah muchly, though....as you can see, I'm already very much indebted. ;) *excited bouncing*


    Dawn. (off to do some wig-searching)
  7. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Hang on, let me translate for the rest of the board:

    1. Any suggestions on the blue-streaked hair? Her hair isn't long enough, so maybe a wig?
    2. Does anyone have experience with the blue makeup/body paint-- maybe someone who's done Mystique or Nightcrawler? Also, thoughts on the actual shade of blue for the makeup?
    3. Any suggestions for the "armor"-- maybe pleather? And a black bodysuit underneath?
  8. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    "Translate"? I didn't realize I supposedly wasn't speaking Earth English. ;) *snickering* I do have two minor notes of success from today's wandering-about, though; 'twould seem that I found some striking blue fake-hair streaks, the kind you can just clip in....with two to a package, I figure I'd maybe need four, five packages at the most, but again that's something which merits a closer look. Still, though, that definitely had me feeling optimistic and no mistake, and....I guess that means the wig itself would be next....no luck on that score yet, but I'll be darned if I'm going to be stymied now. :) Also - much to my surprise and delight, I actually did come across what looked like *perfect* vinyl fabric, and at what seemed a not-bad price, either - $12.90/metre, I suppose that could work, and certainly they seemed in the right shade family.... *shrugs good-naturedly* So-o, yes, it might not be much in the grand scheme o' things just yet, but still I'll take whatever early successes I can get....

    Besides, hey, maybe now it also doesn't seem something nearly so far-fetched or beyond my reach after all....in other words, it actually seems like it could be entirely do-able....and I'm loving that, too. :) Now....wherever does one *find* a black bodysuit-type thing anyway, that's what I was wondering today, and was at a total loss to know where to look, for that matter....hrm. :) And, oh, also - as per usual, then, tah muchly for all the helpful hints, suggestions and whatnot - it's already proving invaluable, believe me. :D


    Dawn.
  9. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    And, whee, further signs of hope from conferring with a friend tonight....he's somewhat sewingly-inclined, if that's a word - works at a fabric store and all, so naturally I figured....why not take advantage of that particular resource, right? :) - and it turns out that he's also actually familiar with Illyria, he knew what I was talking about when I mentioned it....which I'll admit I'd been concerned about beforehand, but hey - the fact that he's at least acquainted with it, knows what the whole deal's all about....so much the better, says I, and so clearly that means I can enlist his efforts. Ehhhhhh-xcellent, then, as Monty Burns would say....isn't it nice when a plan feels like it's coming together decently enough? :D


    Dawn.
  10. madhorizons Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2006
    star 3
    For the wig stuff, you may want to check out cosplaysupplies.com

    They have tons of wigs, extensions, etc.
  11. Jedi-Siri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 1
    Here is the girl's site who made this costume:

    http://www.rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/Illyria.html

    Here name is: Verdaera on the JC boards. She does have a fantastic site. Hope this helps. :)
  12. madhorizons Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2006
    star 3
    After looking at higher res/bigger pics and seeing the detail a little more. To me, it definitely looks like a black jump suit with faux snakeskin on it (most places) and a quilted/seamed (similar to the Vader jumpsuit) elsewhere.

    In either case, good luck.
  13. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    Jedi-Siri, that's not the costumer I'm thinking of, but thanks for posting the link to Verdaera's page. It should be helpful to Qui-Dawn.
  14. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    A faux snakeskin-type fabric, eh....? H'm, h'm - well, the ironic thing is that I'd started looking at some fabric bolts like that anyway, but at the time wasn't quite sure (since I'd no reference pics on hand) that it was actually what I'd be looking for....hey, at the very least, I was sure even then that I remembered a sort of dark reddish shade, almost blood-red reminiscent but darker, although still with that general feel....reference pics or no, I suspect there are some things which are just plain impossible to forget regardless. :) In any case, though, that's an interesting point about the snakeskin, I'd not even been thinking of that....you do have me wondering in earnest, though....darn it, I do need to print out these hi-res/bigger pics, since maybe my TV display is deceiving me a bit here. ;) Up next, I guess, looking for a black bodysuit-type thing....maybe a dance-wear shop will stock something along those lines.... *hopeful expression*


    Dawn. (who wonders whether anyone else, in tackling a particularly ambitious costume, let's say, finds themselves one moment all hyper-eager and enthused, then seemingly the next instant all fretting and anxious-like over it....bit of a rollercoaster ride, it can be, clearly....phew!)
  15. Verdaera Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 1
    Thanks for the compliment, Jedi-Siri!

    Let me know if you have any other questions on how to make this, Qui-Dawn, I think every one else had excellent observations. There are a lot more notes, now that I'm reading my description, that I didn't add. The pleather I don't think is snakeskin, all the "texture" in it is all painted on color. I used a sea-sponge to dab on blue and black and a pen cap to make some red circles in the painted area.

    The weird thing in the middle of her chest between the armor plates is simply a small tube of pleather kinda gathered up on one side and tacked on, to cover up the seam in the front.

    The thing you will have to remember about sewing the pleather armor on is that the bodysuit stretches and the pleather doesn't, so it's best to be wearing the bodysuit while you pin down your pieces to it so when you take it off, it'll still be in the right place. It can be a bit tricky.

    Here's the only picture I ever got of my completed one. Unfort. My mother helped color my hair and she got some blue dye in the unbleached portion. A wig is defiently the least painful way to go

    [image=http://rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/images/illyria/illyrianews.jpg]

    Here's a more hi-rez picture that wasn't loading on my site before

    http://rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/images/illyria/illyria010.jpg

    And here's a couple shots of my costume in progress, you can see how I went about putting it together to shape the pieces and what the back looks like

    http://rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/images/illyria/VerIllyria001.jpg
    http://rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/images/illyria/VerIllyria002.jpg
    http://rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/images/illyria/VerIllyria003.jpg
    http://rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/images/illyria/VerIllyria004.jpg

    PS. Kryolan body paints ROCK!

    PPS. Stupid question for the board at large... how do I make a link in my signature? I tried both the board's mark-up codes and straight HTML and it just shows text. Any hints for me?
  16. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    A-ha! :) *looks appropriately enthused, even a tad excited* See, now, what you're mentioning about mocking-up the "armour" pieces on top of the bodysuit, that's exactly how I'd been presuming it would likely need to be done....'course, I can't imagine how we may manage that without me being poked by a few pins in the process, but ah well....we must sometimes suffer for our art, apparently. ;) Besides, even that would be but a small price to pay, I feel....just have to avoid making *too* much of a pincushion out of me, is all. :) *chortles* Oh, and - you of course raise some excellent points about....well, I *had* been wondering whether it might in fact be snakeskin, but then I was looking at the two small fabric samples I got over the weekend and was ever-so-confuzzled....it makes sense, though, what you're saying - and I do of course 'umbly bow to your greater wisdom and firsthand experience in this case :) - and, hey, if it comes to just dabbing a little paint on the pleather or whatever, well....

    ....clearly, then, that may be one of the rather less time-consuming things to worry about in this case....at the very least, I'm probably at the moment not quite so concerned about that exact detail - it'll come later, I figure - so much as I am about....other things. Or quite possibly all the rest of it....whichever. :) *rueful chuckle* And, oh....you mention also - that thing in between her armour plates on the front, which I've always felt was perhaps intended to be reminiscent of....bone, almost, like a spinal cord or creepy exoskeleton in a way?....I'm not quite sure, how would you suggest goin' about that one again? I'd been musing it over some myself, and had initially come up with the idea of....I don't know, stitching some batting into little rolled-up pleather pieces, if that makes any sense.... *shrugs* ....though, well, hey - remember what I said about....you having already made the costume, ergo - this is me, bowing to your expertise and firsthand knowledge? ;) Mmmmm, yes, very much so. :D


    Dawn. (hey, I just likes all the brainstorming....even though I am getting, I suspect, increasingly twitchy and restless, all eagerly impatient-like, to actually physically get into it....reference material in hand, and to just - start *doing*, then, if you know what I mean....especially since I'm acutely aware that Hallowe'en is only over two months away.... *eeep* ....will not....freak out....will not panic....everything's fine here now....thank you. How are you? ;) :D *phew* )
  17. Verdaera Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 1
    Oh, when I say I put blood sweat and tears into this project, the blood part is quite literal ;) So much so that I'm immune to poking now, I'm just bothered that I have to stop until my finger stops bleeding.

    The thingy down the front, what you do is make a tube of pleather. Basically cut a strip that is about 2 inches wide. Fold it in half with right sides facing and stitch a quarter inch seam allowance all the way down and closing one end. Now turning it right side can be a pain in the arse, but must be done. This needs to be a bit longer than the space you need it for. I'd make it longer than neccessary, you can always trim it down before you tuck in the end and sew. What I did was take clear monofilament thread, it is invisible, and strong enough in the pleather that it won't snap. Run a basting stitch along side the seam (the tube should be flattened and the needle goes through both sides) you may have to do this by hand. Lightly gather the tube. You will want to stitch down the center of the tube where the seam is, over the seam in the center front of the suit, if you have one there. When this is down, flatten the tube with your hands and make sure it looks wrinkly. The seam should be on the underside in the middle, so the tube you almost have to squeeze it so it's hollow and flatten it. In otherwords, the seam in the tube won't be showing. Start tacking down the tube, making sure it all looks random. When this is done, you can lightly brush some black paint in some areas over it. When done, there will also be little brass circle things that are glued down over it, as can be seen in the picture. I found some little brassy things in the scrap book section at JoAnns. Mine looks exactly like the picture so I'm pretty sure that's how it is actually done :)
  18. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    *chuckles sympathetically, understandingly* Blood, sweat and tears into it, you say, and even quite literally at that....mmmmmm, yep, I can quite see that bein' the case. :) I haven't been perennially poking myself as of yet....but, well, there *was* that time a few years back when I actually impaled my foot on a sewing needle....ye-*owch*, indeed, and for sure and certain it's a pretty compelling argument for keeping waaaay better track of one's sewing needles, especially with a carpet on which they can basically disappear. Meep.... :) On the other hand, though, I will say....that local anaesthetic they gave me, then they plucked the needle out, quick as the proverbial wink....ni-ice stuff, that I'll grant you, and very effective at that. So maybe this time 'round I'll go well out of my way to avoid stepping on one, but ahhh well, I suppose to be poked once, twice or even thrice for the sake of costuming....and it *is* for that higher purpose....oh, I guess I can take it then, eh? :)


    Dawn.
  19. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    Whee, success....I found what looks to be the perfect black bodysuit thingie today, and for what seems a perfectly decent deal at that (I was expecting something rather more potentially expensive, so it comes as a nice surprise that it....actually *isn't* so far out o' the realm, then) - it's good and close-fitting snug, it looks like it'll totally suffice....so I guess that makes for one less thing among the multitude and plethora of many to worry about and fret over, then. Of course, we all know what part comes next.... ;) *meep*


    Dawn.
  20. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    I finally remembered the name of the costumer I was thinking of: zamweasel. She did a wonderful Illyria and here is her page about it - http://homepage.mac.com/bohemian_junkie/Illyria.html :)
  21. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    *snaps fingers* Aaahhhh, yes, that's the one....well, it's definitely *another* one, at any rate; and, of course, you know me, I'm just eagerly devouring all the reference material I can get my hands on 'ere, at this point....the more the better by *far* for these purposes, especially considering the fact that my TV display is apparently deceiving me with its sometime-darkness....which isn't a bad thing, exactly, it's just that it would obviously be far more helpful for these purposes to have better, brighter, more clear light shed on the Illyria costume if at all possible....not always easy, I suppose, but still.... ;) But, ye-es, in any case - that *is* looking familiar, though, that website - I think that might've been one I ended up Googling. Tried to get in touch with the gal, but so far no luck, 'twould seem....aaahhhh, but then, I'm of course already forevermore indebted to our dear Verdaera anyway.... ;) :D


    Dawn.
  22. Verdaera Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2005
    star 1
    OK, I took a couple pictures for you so you can see what's going on... sans blue hair and make up of course, but as you'll see, I'm almost pale enough to not need it ;) It's not perfect since I rushed it, but you get the idea. In the second you should be able to see the crinkly tube thing.

    I should have a sketch for you tomorrow as to what the shapes of the patterns would be.

    [image=http://www.rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/images/illyria/verillyria006.jpg] [image=http://www.rebelshaven.com/VersCorner/images/illyria/verillyria007.jpg]
  23. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    *phew* Well, I did pick up that black bodysuit on this past Friday, to be sure, and having shown it to my sewingly-inclined pal it seems to have passed muster....what I'm now wondering and perhaps a mite - well, not concerned or worried exactly, but maybe more just preoccupied and curious about than anything else - is simply the fact that the one I got, it's just a pull-on bodysuit....whereas apparently the actual Illyria one was a zip-up type thing, which I'm now starting to wonder in earnest if....that might actually end up working better, or prove a bit easier to work with....meep. I know they did have ones like that, it's just that they were a mere tiny bit more pricey.... *shrugs* ....still, though, if it'll help under the circumstances, if it'll smooth the way and make things at least a wee bit easier and more feasible, then I'm most definitely all for that. What do we all think, then? Best to go with a zipper, or no? :) (might seem like a relatively minor issue, but hey....)


    Dawn. (who found a simply *perfect* reddish fabric today, looks like it's pretty much bang-on right, and much to my surprise....Wal-Mart actually was the place to find it. I'm shocked, *shocked* I tells ya, albeit in only the best and most gleeful of ways.... :D )
  24. Qui-Dawn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 5
    Okay....so I figure as by and large, maybe I'd pretty much just tacitly resigned myself to, or at least come to peaceful enough terms with, the fact that it likely wouldn't be possible to pick up a set of costume contact lenses which would suffice for Illyria....I know Wild Eyes was suggested at one point, but I gather they don't even offer the appropriate style now anyway, even if that was in fact a worthwhile and recommended option....ah well. :) So-o, then, as a result, I suppose I'd just decided to turn my attention to the rather more pressing and immediate things, and figured that if nothing else, well....Illyria, for her part, could so easily assume the "Burkle persona" anyway, eyes and all, that it would likely work perfectly well to just have "normal" eyes even with the full Illyria look otherwise....that's how one of my friends reassured me about it, anyway, and I felt at least a leetle better considering it from that point of view. :)

    However, well, *this* is interesting....I came across a quirky little find of a Hallowe'en/costuming shop today, and in enquiring even out of idle curiosity about the contact lenses....the guy actually showed me a set of Lestat lenses, a la "Interview With The Vampire", and upon even closer inspection I must say that....they actually look like they could work, you know? They certainly have that startling blue-ish quality, anyway....anyone else seen 'em? If so....thoughts? :) Because now I'm quite intrigued by the possibility of having even the otherwordly eyes to go with the rest of the look, I must say, as perhaps I hadn't even been actively considering it before....would be a bit of a new learning experience for me, to be sure.... :)


    Dawn.
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