* Staff-Vote Hall Cosplay Award
Anime Boston 2006 * Best Performance, Novice Division
Bakuretsu Con 2006
Sorceress Adel was the tyrannical leader of Esthar and the aggressor in The Sorceress War, a brutal conflict in which Esthar attempted to achieve world domination. As each sorceress must pass on her powers to another upon her death, Adel ordered the mass kidnapping of young girls, intent on raising a successor in her own ruthless image. Immoral, power-hungry, and immeasurably cruel, Adel's name inspires terror worldwide; even after her defeat, she is spoken of only in whispers.
I saw many cosplayers emulate the feminine designs of Sorceresses Edea and Ultimecia, but the third in the trio of villains, Sorceress Adel, was almost completely ignored. Her design intrigued me; I especially liked her skirt and unique wings, and I wanted to portray Adel in a way that would make her seem just as cool as the other two. I started with several yards of black casa for the skirt, which I designed as three panels to create a floor length hem in the front and a train in the back. I hand gradient-dyed the white sash with RIT dye and hand-sewed flame shaped appliqués which I had drawn to create the pattern at the bottom of the sash. The leather belt is spray-painted gold with glued-on plastic gems, and it attaches to the skirt with industrial strength Velcro.
For the top half I began with a store-bought white turtleneck leotard and stenciled Adel's tattoos on with black fabric paint using handmade stencils. It was difficult to determine the exact pattern for her tattoos since she spends almost her entire appearance in the game with Rinoa junctioned to her chest, thus covering what her front looks like, so I took some artistic license with the chest design. I used white gloves for her hands, gluing on black acrylic nails and covering the seam with her bracelets.
For her headdress I worked with what I had lying around the house; her black hood was taken off an old Halloween costume, accented with foam and attached at the hairline to a headband with "horns" fashioned out of gold wire. Her earrings are two decorative tassels threaded though wooden beads painted gold. The wig is a red Halloween one which is teased for volume and the plait tied with scrap fabric from the skirt. Finally her wings were drawn by me, cut from poster board in two layers and painted black. I threaded strong wire between the layers of posterboard to help them retain their shape, and then attached both layers together by wrapping them in black electrical tape. To add my own flair to the design, I studded extra black fabric with red gems, covered in in black lace, and attached it to the wings to hang like a train in the back. The face paint was done with Ben Nye clown white and black cream paints. Overall, this costume was a huge challenge for me at the time, and a big step outside of my comfort zone. I learned a lot making her, and I entered her in my first cosplay contest! I also did a walk-on in the masquerade with her. It was so much fun to do a rare character and have so many people recognize her; it was also very rewarding to problem solve this and create something others hadn't tried before. This is a costume I'd love to revisit with my current skill set, I have so many ideas for how to remake her.