So far, this was a bad year for me. I was ill, I was overwhelmed with my studies and work (still am), and so I found time and resources to create only two new costumes this year, up until the beginning of July.
The one I created for Japanizam 2016 was in hand with the con's theme, music.
This new costume I was presenting here was one of the outfits of fabled Japanese rock star, Gackt.
Gackt is an amazingly talented man. He speaks four languages, plays eleven different instruments, he is the owner of his own music label, an actor, a singer, songwriter, widely known womanizer, and God knows what else, in short, a truly exceptional man. I was a fan of his for several years now, and even though I'm really not into Japanese music that much, he is one of the few people from that sphere I adore.
His favorite songs of mine are Ghost, Asrun Dream, Redemption, Episode 0 (- the link song between my Gakupo cosplay and Gackt) and Orenji no Taiyou (which is a duet song with Hyde).
Gackt has a unique combination of styles, which ranges from cyber-futuristic and Visual Kei-Gothic variations to something more traditionally Japanese, often resulting in unique blends for which he is very known, and by which I am amazed over and over again.
What was also very new for me on this project, is the fact that I never cosplayed a live person before, only drawn ones. It's relatively easy to interpret the looks of an nonexistent, made up characters, but cosplaying an actor, musician, or any live person is another task entirely, and I'm not exactly sure how does that look in the eyes of the beholder.
I have decided to take upon a very dear outfit of his - the costume he wears in the music video for the song Redemption.
When I first saw the video, I was amazed and intimidated by all the leatherwork and seemingly complex design of the crosshatch belts on the coat. I was basically unsure of making this for good half a year. However, as the dates of the con drew closer, I decided to actually make the outfit. I started about two weeks before the con.
Hell, that was five meters of faux leather. x_x
My cospartner Hisayume got a gift from his grandma recently - a good old sewing machine from Bagat - Ruža Step. We were a bit scared because we had no idea if the machine would accept sewing on faux leather (some home machines just don't, no matter the needles, threads and settings) My mother's just spits is out in a mess, while my grandma's sews only certain types of it, but not the one I chose for the base of the coat.
My weird realisation moment came soon when I took a closer look at the motif on Gackt's belt - It was the Soldier symbol from Final Fantasy!! Then I did some background research and found out that Gackt in fact wrote this song for the Final Fantasy franchise, and even a popular character, Genesis Rhapsodos, from FF VII was modelled after him!
I used a very weird technique to make the impression of relief in the leather. I have sewn two layers of 2mm EVA foam beneath the top layer of the leather! It turned out pretty cool, actually.
And... here are the sketches for the coat. I always make my own patterns, and I never know how to explain them. Use them if you need them, and good luck. xD
Here's one from night before the con. I was so delirious as the costume making drew closer to an end... Like a sewing zombie. Must... finish... costume... xD
Jokes aside, I managed it. And I owe it a great deal to Hisayume as well, who made the majority of my pauldron and helped a lot with belt cutting, which was probably the most tedious job on the costume overall. I am genuinely satisfied with the result, and can't wait to have some studio shots of Redemption!!
Plus, I levelled up my leatherwork a great deal - the seams and everything on the coat are top notch, I'm super happy ^_^
I'm sure to make another outfit of Gackt's sometime, it's a must