Prior to the premiere of Kingdom Hearts II, SquareEnix held a Final Fantasy character design competition, promising to fully render the character created by the winner. Video game designer Dion Rogers won with this version of Rinoa Heartilly, and a series of high-res CG images of his Kingdom Hearts Rinoa were created by Square. The design was so popular many mistakenly believed that Rinoa was actually going to appear in Kingdom Hearts II. Unfortunately neither Rinoa, nor the Dion Rogers design, has never been included in any of the games in the series. As a result, the Dion Rogers Artwork is the closest she will likely ever have to an official Kingdom Hearts design.
I found a heavy, rough blue-grey twill for this costume in the clearance section of Joann's that i felt would help maintain the shape of the top and the leg panels well without having to interface it. The top was the most challenging portion to properly fit; it consists of one panel in the back, side seams and two breast panels which connect at the front with a very sturdy hook and eye (as well as a few safety pins as fail-safe precautions) which are hidden with black ribbon. The sleeves are just a single loop of fabric inserted into the side-seam of the top; to keep everything fitted snugly they are tight and i don't have a great deal of range of movement in my arms. The top is fully lined with two white fleece wing appliqués on the back and a black cotton trim. along the top and two layers of black lace along the bottom. The cotton trim was topstiched down and the lace trim was sandwiched into the bottom hem. I also fitted a black bikini top underneath for extra support.
The bottom half is built off of a pair of store-bought shorts which have white elastic lace sewn on which loops over the hips. Double sided tape holds them in place when the costume is being worn. The two leg panels are sewn onto the shorts; both are lined with the large self-patterned fleece wing-appliqués on the outer-facing sides. I love how fuzzy the wings are! The bottom is edged in black lace sandwiched into the hem. The arm-warmer is made from leftover twill and edged with lace while the other arm's black ribbon is sewn onto white lace and is tied closed with a bow. A store-bought belt, boots, and my Rinoa necklace rounded out this costume. The original design gave Rinoa shorter hair, but I kept it long to make her more recognizable; over the years most cosplayers have also interpreted the design to retain Rinoa's original hair. I wanted to make a prop for this costume, and felt this more badass looking Rinoa would wield her own version of a gunblade rather than a pinwheel weapon. it was 2007, so I made the best prop I could, using the handle of a soap bubble blower, painting it black for the grip and trigger, somehow jamming industrial wire inside, and then gluing a cardboard blade to the wire and painting it. It actually worked for the time, though it fell apart after a few convention trips.