I can honestly say this was never a costume I intended to make. Crossplay (gender-bending cosplay) hasn’t been a priority on my list, and in reality I was interested in dressing up as Elika from Ubisoft’s recent Prince game rather than the Prince himself. However, one night while out with my friend Ashley, we came up with the idea of putting together a group for San Diego Comic Con featuring female versions of male video game heroes.
I tossed around the idea of taking on several different characters including Gordon Freeman, Dante, and Altair before settling on the Prince. The stunning art direction of the game was a major influence on my decision, but the Prince’s gauntlet pushed the idea over the edge for me. Having lots of practice making gauntlets for my Witchblade costume (and last year’s Witchblade group) I thought it would be fun to try a slightly more elaborate design.
Redesigning the Prince to be more feminine wasn’t hard. I decided to leave the shirt open as per the original design, but wear a bra underneath for modesty sake. I also made the pants significantly tighter and opted for long hair spilling out from underneath the turban.
I started the costume back in January to make sure I had enough time to perfect it. The first step was securing the long coat. I spent hours and hours sifting through eBay results and hitting up thrift stores looking for something that would work.
After a few weeks of searching, I came across a leather duster with crochet accents that would work perfectly. I didn’t plan on keeping any of the needlework on the jacket, but by removing the ones partitioning the pieces at the bottom, it would mimic the worn and torn look of the Prince’s own jacket.
After receiving the jacket, the next step was to dye it, making sure not to stir it once fully saturated so that it would have a slightly uneven look to it. The Prince has a slightly mismatched and disjointed ensemble, and I wanted to mimic this. After dying and drying the jacket, I removed the sleeves (which I saved for later) and snipped out the crochet pieces holding the bottom of the jacket together. Next, I recruited some help to tailor the jacket so it fit tight around the waist. Lastly, I added a fringed trim around the arms and down the length of the coat to make it a bit more ornate.
I nabbed the shirt at Goodwill – a lucky find since I was very specifically looking for something with embellished buttons. Not much needed to be done with it, other than cutting off the sleeves and taking it in a bit. I already owned the perfect brown bra, and simply added some of the same trim from the jacket to it to make it match.
I had no luck finding orange leggings, so I purchased white cotton ones and dyed them – again not stirring the dye bath to give it a textured look. Moving further down the leg, the sleeves from the jacket came into play. Instead of creating something from scratch, I used the sleeves as boot covers, attaching snaps to the leggings to hold them in place. Additionally, I used some brown fabric and silver buckles for extra detail. For the shoes, I opted for studded brown gladiator sandals.
Aside from the gauntlet, the belt was the hardest part. I sewed the entire thing from scratch with several different types of cording on the edges and in the center. I used a patterned felt for the diamond shapes that hang from the belt. To make the jacket fit slightly better, I attached a pair of hooks and eyes on the jacket/belt so that everything stayed in place. Lastly, I found orange and blue fabric and sewed it together in long, thin strips for the head piece, taking a second to fray the edges of both colors.
With the bulk of the costume done, all I had left was the gauntlet. I started with a leather gardening glove that was the appropriate color, and made it longer with Wonderflex covered in the same brown fabric as the belt. Next, I used paper to pattern out the pieces for the claw, then traced them on the Wonderflex and cut them out.
I made a point to cut and position the pieces so that the fingers would still articulate. From there I heated each piece up and molded it to my hand, which was quite difficult considering one hand had to be in the glove. Once all the pieces were molded, I used Puff Paint to add the texture and patterns. Once finished, I sprayed them bright silver and then used paper towels to dampen the color with a less lustrous metal paint.
Before adding the pieces onto the glove, I sewed some chain on to the tips of the fingers and wove it in and out of the material. I then used hot glue to attach the pieces to the glove and added accents (metal fasteners and circular beads) to mimic the very detailed design from the concept art. Once everything was in place, I finished it off with a bit more paint – using darker colors on the joints of the glove.
I finished the gauntlet just one day before SDCC, so I didn’t get to see the entire ensemble together till I put it on the day of the convention. Just as with Velocity, my friend/makeup artist Hydred Makabali helped with my makeup the day of the show and did a phenomenal job. I asked her to make everything look slightly messy to give the impression that I’d been out in the elements. The best part, hands down, was the scar. Hydred painted it on using a special product that physically puckers your skin, and most people thought it was real. Hydred’s assistant Nesreen helped me tie my turban correctly – something I had been struggling with at home, despite lots of practice.
I am very happy with how the costume came out and even happier with how the group came together. All in all we had eight girls participate: Raychul Moore as Kratos, Ashley Hay as Starkiller, Christa Browning as Link, Emily Husley as Mario, Andrea Fries as Wario, and Candace Miller as Altiar. Also joining us was Jessika Malic as Elika from the Prince of Persia
Right before we made our way to the show floor we snapped some group photos with our friend and photographer Chanh Tang, and then peppered in some individual shots as well. Check out the gallery below to see how everything pulled together.
After walking the show floor as a group (and by walking, I mean standing in one place), Jessika and I met up with cosplay photographer LJinto for a more structured photoshoot. It turns out that the pool of our hotel – complete with waterfalls and a grotto – was a perfect location to snap photos. Jessika and I took solo and group shots, and the resulting images are some of my favorite cosplay photos ever.
Enjoy the gallery below!