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This is the Dawn costume (based on Joseph Michael Linsner's artwork) I've been working on for a few weeks, for the debut at Dragoncon 2009. I made the costume from scratch, as well as the wings, and that large egg prop you can see behind me. A huge Thank You to the Dawn Lookalike contest staff for allowing me to bring that near 7 foot tall egg on a rolling platform into the competition.
Construction notes: Well, until I do a real photo shoot with this costume, you won't be able to really see the details, so just take my word for it lol. I decided to enter the Dawn contest this year because I had the idea for a concept, a theme if you will, and because I had the time/money to actually make everything. Also, since I am local to Dragoncon this year, I was able to make multiple trips from/to home in order to bring the prop/costume/wings.
My concept was "The Birth of the Goddess", and I really wanted to make this ancient fantastical looking egg which could fit a person + wings. Three awesome friends of mine helped me with the construction of the egg - Brian, Tigger, and Tise. We built a wooden 3-D form first and then painstakingly cast a shell over it with fiberglass and plastic. After cutting and sanding the edges, I covered the egg in felt on both sides and hand painted it for shading and texture. Tise and I spent hours gluing vines and leaves and all sorts of adornments on it, making the shell look all sparkly and magical. Brian and Tigger devised a platform which has a Lazy Susan built in so that the egg could be turned around and rolled, even with me in it. I helped cutting the wood and covering it in green velveteen.
The costume was based around the theme, and I thought a newly born Goddess would be pure and white, with no discernable armor or weapons. I made a steel boned corset with white faux leather, with a bust line that was inspired by many of Linsner's drawings. The trims and lace were all hand sewn on, and dyed/cut/embellished. I drafted patterns for the front tier pieces, choker and arm bands, all of which were made with the matching faux leather. I also draped the skirt. I cast ornament pieces in plastic and painted them silver, antiqued them, and attached them to various pieces on the costume, such as the corset, front 3-tier pieces, choker and arm bands. Much of the time went into attaching matching lengths of chains to the skirts, choker, arm bands and wristlet. I used 4 different sizes of chains. In keeping with classic Dawn imagery, I also used o-rings and o-ring chains. Even my shoes have o-rings on them, lol.
I made my wings based on how Linsner often drew Dawn's wings, with the defined arch, spread position, but long trailing feathers at the bottom as well.
Lastly, I also created the signature rose on Dawn's right arm.
For the day of, I used puffy paint to make the tears, and as usual, I did my own makeup/wig styling for this costume.
It was definitely interesting to try and move in this outfit. The wings had quite a wing span and I felt so bad for taking up space as well as accidentally brushing into people. I also could hardly see anything due to double staked contacts and the hair over my right eye. Not to mention the tight corset and wing harness shoved underneath. But the contest ran so smoothly and I am so grateful for all the help I received backstage. I ended up winning Third Place, thank you, Judges, and congratulations to all the winners. I really loved seeing the different beautiful costumes backstage and only wish that I had been mobile enough to chat more with the girls.