featurebanner_hughesww_costumeAMBER LOVE 06-APRIL-2014 Overall this entire ensemble only took about a week to work on if I were to total all the time and sum it up but I was collecting pieces for it for years. The gown and accessories I had to create were about four days. It’s based on the famous poster by Adam Hughes titled WOMEN OF DC and features all the popular ladies in white formalwear except dear Selina Kyle who was added after the fact so he put her in all black (according to some old interview I read). I’ve never been statuesque so being Wonder Woman was something I always did out of my love for her image and what she represents. She can be compassionate but by far the fiercest warrior of the Justice League (maybe next to Shiera/Hawkgirl would be a interesting tie). Women_of_DC_by_AdamHughes

PHOTO BY JFCP. COSPLAY AMBER LOVE
PHOTO BY JFCP. COSPLAY AMBER LOVE

To put it simply, I’m not happy at all with how I look in this outfit. I’ve seen every version of Wonder Woman cosplayed so well (and I know it’s not a competition) that I was always motivated to try harder each time I made a new one. I have to wear a bra with the things I create. Perhaps if I had a professional corset maker at my disposal outfits it would be different but I am extremely uncomfortable at the thought of having “the girls” freely movable unless I’m completely naked. I know that probably makes no sense but I’d rather have everything on display “as is” than wear something that isn’t flattering. I did some fittings before I created the scarf pieces and there was no way I could be comfortable in this without a bra. Since I used a commercial pattern instead of working harder at designing from scratch, the bust pieces are half the length they should be and the bust is the only thing lined in this pattern. That means there was no way to attempt built-in cups to at least be a barrier even if the breasts were “free” because they’d be in the wrong place. I researched low back corsets on many websites. There’s nothing I can trust to fit me without spending a fortune. It’s not like this is getting ready for my wedding so I’m being frugal. I talked to my friends who can relate and opted to try a cheap solution. I bought bra band extensors which go from the hooks to wrap around the torso and hook in front which allows for the bra to criss-cross in the back. I didn’t work. The design of the gown exposes too much in the back. I can’t even imagine if I had done the original design and had the front plunge go crazy deep like Hughes actually made it. I also have no talent for styling hair and wigs no matter how hard I’ve tried. I took some gentle hot rollers to this wig to attempt to loosen the curls so they could hang in bouncy tendrils like the poster. Other than going through an entire package of kirby pins, I can’t say I did anything to help the wig situation. I attached the ponytail extension (gifted by the incredible DJ Spider) and made the top tiara and circlet headband. The top headpiece is craft foam with Wonderflex then spray painted gold. The circlet is really thick interfacing with Wonderflex and I glued a segment of wire to the back to give it some shaping function. It holds in place pretty well with pins if it’s under the wig. The red star on the circlet was my second Sculpey star; the first one burned and nearly caught fire. These pearls are popping off at the gentlest touch. I also couldn’t find the findings to make clip-on earrings. All earrings hurt me so I don’t normally bother trying. I’m allergic to everything.

When I was unemployed I spent a ton of hours watching cable craft shows. Every show praised the wonders of hot glue. This shit is awful. I used it plenty of times before but I have no idea what the hell is wrong with the package I have. I painstakingly glued all these pearls and beads on the clips (for the gown’s straps which I eventually threw out), the tiara and the circlet. The beads keep popping off. I made new clips with artificial leaves instead of pearls. I have no idea what to do with the circlet other than try to find all the pearls on the floor and glue them again. I tried a tube of fun-to-sniff jewelry glue and that was actually worse. My hands were shaking dealing with placing all these pearls individually onto the Wonderflex so I after a few days dealing with, I didn’t want to look at them again. They’re somewhere in my sewing studio. The Hughes design was missing a couple things in my own personal opinion (don’t go fanboy crazy on me). I didn’t like that the lasso was left out so I came up with a solution for that. I added some elegant gold rope trim along the bottom hem which I hated seeing plain. In my head, I envisioned Diana being at a gala where she would wear a gown like this and when some villain crashes the party, she would rip off the trim from her gown and have her lasso ready. The other thing missing was that in the poster you can’t see any way that the gauzy scarf part is attached to the hips so I spray painted wooden stars and glued pin bases to them.

I’m sorry I’m not smiling in the photos. I look miserable because I felt miserable trying this on. The gown looks incredibly gorgeous on my dress form. I was like “Damn! I salvaged it after all!” but then I put it on. I can’t wear it unless no one ever stands behind me.

Update: One week from FCBD 2014. I got the wrap-around bra band straps to try and criss cross the band lower; doesn’t work, still shows. I tried the “X” clip that pulls the vertical bra straps together in an “X” and they still show; maybe because I need someone to do it for me as it was damn near impossible to do myself. I was really hoping my expensive Spanx pantyhose would be worn but the thigh part keeps popping down to the slit in the front even if I pull them up really far; it eventually slides back into place and is visible.

Final outcome was seen at Free Comic Book Day 2014, Comic Fusion

2 comments on “Costume: Hughes’ “Women of DC” Wonder Woman”

  1. LOVE how the final product looks on you, the Comic Fusion photos are great!! Thanks for being so honest about your struggles with creating the costume, it’s very refreshing (and endearing) to hear someone admit what DIDN’T work during the creative process! You look absolutely awesome in this costume, and those Grecian-inspired gold heels are the perfect finishing touch.

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