Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Legend: Dark Lilly

   Well, I've been plotting this costume for YEARS...I remember this movie from when I was little, and how beautiful it was.  Unicorns, fairies, a princess, a forest-boy, a dark lord, gorgeous settings...what's not to love there?  This dress, though, required some strategy, in more ways than one.
   I used no patterns....that's right, I had to start from scratch for this one.  The 'base' is the bodysuit, which I made using a textured spandex (more April Johnston fabric---I love it!).  It's basically a sleeveless pull-on bodysuit with elastic around the legs to prevent ride-up.  I had to take it in across the shoulders, as it wanted to pucker and not rest across the back.  This part has to be pretty stable, as everything attaches to it.
   Watching the movie, you never get a terribly fantastic view of the dress.  I watched it on the dark dancer, and took many screengrabs.  I did the same when Lilly wore it, and it seems the shoulders have a different silhouette.  Maybe there were 2 dresses made, with little differences.  Who knows?  So I went with the silhouette on the dancer. 
   The shoulderpads are made from 2 layers of thick fun foam sandwiching a stem of steel hoop boning that I cut off to about 14".  It is bent so that it curves upward off the shoulder.  To attach them to the bodysuit, I used wide industrial strength black velcro.Then, to keep them from working off the shoulders (they can be heavy), I strung thin black elastic between them in the back (the elastic criss-crosses across my back just below the neck, and isn't noticable once the collar is on).  That did the trick.
   The collar is 2 layers of thick funfoam reinforced with wooden dowels.  I covered it all in a shimmer black chiffon, then trimmed it out in sequin trim.  A lond wooden dowel runs down the center and extends about 8 inches down the back, keeping it stable.  The front of the collar is part of it, and attaches to the neckline of the bodysuit with the same elastic.  This keeps the neckline very sturdy (I used garment tape anyway, of course, to prevent wardrobe malfunctions). 

 
 
The drapes and skirt are made from an assortment of black silk charmeuse (dyed), black lace, black chiffon, and black sequined chiffon.  It is distressed at the edges, and I even burned holes in the chiffon to create a creepy vibe (I did this very carefully!).  The skirt is gored and quite full, with a drape added which attaches to my arm with a clear elastic band that is sewn in.  The wing-drapes, which fall off the shoulder structure is distressed in the same manner, and attaches to my fingers in the same way the skirt attaches to my arms.  Movement in the dress, then, tends to look elegant and flowy, as it does in the film.
 

 
 
The jeweled sash looks quite beautiful in the film, and is the only part of my version I would like to re-do.  I made mine with silver spandex (dancewear) and covered it in acrylic gems of various shapes.  The top is a ruffled rosette made of the same fabric, and I strung rhinestone strands from it.
 
I actually used chicken wire to make the headpiece, shaping it the way I needed in order for it to wear well and look reasonably accurate.
 
This gown was not terribly uncomfortable to wear, but did chafe my neck a little.  I was very cautious of the neckline, but it all held together well.  I actually edited it a bit, as it should plunge a bit lower.  I also made the collar a little smaller so that I could get through doors and elevators with no problem.
                
photos by David Skirmont
 
Created: Summer of '12
Events: Dragon*Con '12
Awards: Runner-Up: Craftsmanship, Dragon After Dark
               Finalist for Best in Show, Dragon After Dark
 



 
 



17 comments:

  1. Hello!
    This is one of the best recreations of Dark Lily I have seen yet! Legend has always been my favorite movie. I have been on etsy, eBay, asking friends, friends of friends, and I thought I would just go ahead and ask if you or anyone you would know would be willing to make this costume custom? I was talking with a lady on Etsy who has made this costume before, however her etsy site has recently been deleted. I would be willing to negotiate a price point. Any info would be wonderful! My email is heyimjill@yahoo.com Thanks Ashlee!

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    Replies
    1. I am so sorry this reply is sooooo late, but...
      this costume was complicated to say the least. For the right price, I could re-create it for the right fan!
      Should you recieve this message in the future, let me know! Contact me here:
      https://www.etsy.com/shop/arabydesigns?ref=si_shop

      Thank you so much for the fabulous compliment.:)

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    2. where did you get the headdress I cant find one like it pls email at barnes4sheli@gmail.com if you can thanks

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  2. Please don't feel obligated to do this, but I nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger award!

    http://costumersguide.blogspot.com/2013/04/very-inspiring-blogger-award.html

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  3. Gorgeous job! Lily's transformation is one of my favorite scenes and has been since I was little! You have the perfect shape and face to pull the look off elegantly and that stand-up collar...yowza! Again, absolutely beautiful work.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! I actually can't wait to wear it again. It was a great costume to wear-very comfortable, but sexy and dark at the same time!
      I appreciate your comment...it was not the easiest costume to make:)

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  4. I need to buy this in my size somehow...i have no idea how to make costumes :(

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  5. i agree with onthe3rink. I would love to buy this in my size.

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  6. This... is awesome. I have been going crazy trying to find a site that gives pointers on how to make the costume, (especially her collar) and this is the best one Ive seen by far! One person made the colar out of carboard... didnt look quite right. Was kind of boxey in places. But very inventive at the same time mind you. Thank you for being awesome at costumery! :)

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  7. Thanks so much guys! I re-made the collar to be bigger this year, and it does look more accurate, but there are still some changes I'd like to make (like all my costumes lol!!). I appreciate your compliments--I love this costume so much and it is so much fun to wear!

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  8. You did such an amazing job! This is one of my favorite movies of all time and you seriously nailed it!!! I might have to hit you up one day.

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  9. Hi, I know this is an old thread but If you are willing I would be more than happy to pay what you ask to recreate this costume. Please let me know if you are willing, if not thank you very much for this post anyway!

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  10. Hi, I know this is an old thread but If you are willing I would be more than happy to pay what you ask to recreate this costume. Please let me know if you are willing, if not thank you very much for this post anyway!

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  11. Please email me meravina10@gmail.com about the dark lily costume

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  12. I'm very impressed I tried to duplicate this in high school, but I wasn't very good at sewing and my grandma didn't help much either. Needless to say it was a disaster! Everyone thought I was a vampire. Only one strange girl in my class guessed who it was. Great Job! How much would you charge for this?

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  13. Hi!
    I'm a photographer, and I'd love to do a shoot featuring this piece.
    Please let me know if you'd be interested :)
    jessica.n.sterner@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete