Final Fantasy VIII

Costume Stats:
Costume Completed: 2005
Debut: Bakuretsu Con 2006
Convention History:
Bakuretsu Con 2006
Photo Castmates:
Julia: Carolyne Gallo
Rinoa: Shiva
Photo Credits:
Nick Harrington
Julia Heartilly is a beautiful 22-year-old pianist who performs regularly at the Galbadia Hotel during the Sorceress War. Talented but shy, Julia's dream is to become a singer. She becomes captivated by Laguna Loire, a Galbadian soldier who comes to watch her perform each night. Too timid to admit their mutual attraction, Laguna inspires Julia to write "Eyes On Me" about her feelings for him. She records it after he is declared missing in action, and it launches her successful singing career.

Construction Notes:
Almost as soon as I finished my Rinoa costume I wanted to also make her mother, Julia; she is such an underrepresented character considering she is central to the story arc of the game and sings its' theme song. Her red dress also has such a simple, yet elegant design, that I was drawn to recreating it. The dress originally was a long-sleeve, floor-length dress made from a beautiful deep red velvet which I found for $10 at a thrift store. I took in the seams, added slits, removed the sleeves and reconfigured the bust line into a sweetheart neckline with a scoop back. I used the removed fabric to make the criss-cross straps and arm bands, and I cut up an old black velvet dance leotard to add the black accents on the chest. Gold costume jewelry served as the bangles, and I wore whatever black shoes I had hanging around at the time. A short brown wig capped off the look.

Doing such a severe alteration was a lot of trial and error since, at the time, I was equipped with only scissors, a needle and thread, and a lot of determination, but I was pretty happy with the result. Although few people ever recognized this costume as Julia - most people assumed I was Ada Wong from Resident Evil - I always enjoyed myself wearing it. I even lent it out to a friend once so she could be my Mom when I wore my Rinoa costume. The sewing no longer holds up though I still love the fabric and the coloring of this costume; it's another I'd like to remake now with a machine and advanced sewing skills.

Photoshoot Pics: