***Shared Costume Description With Red Dress Variant***
I will admit that this costume scared the crap out of me when I decided to make it. First, I had no idea how I was going to make the Witchblade – and considering what a huge fan I am of the comic – I was not willing to do it half-assed. Second, wearing 100% latex is a frightening thought. Still, looking back, the costume was a blast to make and I am pretty happy with the results. I am not completely finished with the costume – I think I am going to add a bit more of the Witchblade armor to the boots and my chest, but I am close enough to done that I am going to keep wearing it out to conventions.
I chose to do this outfit because I think it is one of Sara’s more iconic costumes. Everyone who knows Witchblade knows this costume. She was wearing it when she first came in contact with the Witchblade. That and it was when Sara was still drawn by Michael Turner. Turner made Sara who she is today. It also helped that the dress was a bit more conservative than my other options – as there was no way in hell I was just going to do the metal bikini. How funny is it that a latex dress and thigh-high boots are conservative for this character??
As far as making the costume was concerned, I learned from making my Elektra costume that I am not good sewing with tricky materials. I had a hell of a time sewing spandex, so I knew I was not going to try sewing latex by myself. I found the red boots on eBay a few months back, and decided to commission the dress through an online store specializing in corsets. They were fantastic to work with and I highly recommend them. You can find them at www.pinklabelcorsets.com
I sent them one of my Witchblade action figures who happened to be wearing the dress, picked the color, and they completed it with my measurements. They even made the gloves as a gift – which were made to my size as well. I am really happy with the results, but I might take in the bottom of the skirt a bit more. When I asked the Top Cow guys what they thought of the costume, the said that they loved it – but that it was not tight enough. Easy enough to fix!
For the Witchblade, I thought long and hard about how I was going to approach making it. Eventually I decided to use Wonderflex. However, even after testing, I was still struggling with the fingers. I decided to buy a glove from a costume shop and use it as a base. I started with a plastic gauntlet and slowly added piece after piece to form it into what it is now. When I added enough Wonderflex, I painted it silver and added texture and detail work to the glove to make it look more realistic. I love what the Top Cow crew is doing to the Witchblade in the current story arc – but I prefer the style of Witchblade from the beginning of the series. The current Witchblade is pretty – it has gold and silver and gems and looks like it was carefully forged. The original Witchblade looked raw. It looked like it was alive and it was something that you would not want to mess with. That is the Witchblade I tried to make.
After finishing the gauntlet I added the gems and secured them down with a seal of liquid latex. The gems are just clear beads with red and blue painted on the underside. After that, I was pretty much finished with the costume. I bought a long brown wig because my hair is not quite long enough to rival Sara’s length, but I hope to be able to eventually use my own hair.
As I said, I am going to add some more armor to the costume and shoot it professionally (meaning outside of a convention) soon. I want to mimic the chaos and destruction of the first time Sara came into contact with the Witchblade, so the shoot is going to involve quite a few people. Now that I have the gauntlet done as well, I plan on doing a bit more of a “plain clothes” Sara in her cop garb. That way I can rip up the shirt and not feel bad about ruining my costume! Look forward to that!
So the update is complete! Over the period of several months I worked on improving my Witchblade armor. This included making a breastplate and knee pieces to break up the large mass of red from the boots, dress and gloves. I also reworked the face pieces to make them conform a bit more to my bone structure.
The chest piece was by far the most difficult and I burned myself several times in the process of making it. When finished I glued a protective layer of felt on the inside, as the hardened wonderflex tore up my arms and chest the first time I wore it. Not fun. As a final touch, I took in over eight inches off of the dress around the waist, and shortened it up a bit. The one comment I got from the Top Cow staff at SDCC in 2007 was that the dress wasn’t quite tight enough. Fixed.
Shooting the costume was a blast, as I got to work with my favorite photographer Scott Miron again. He also introduced me to a makeup artist named Katie Ballard, who pulled off the perfect balance of glamour and toughness that is iconic of Sara Pezzini. I cobbled together a plainclothes version of Sara for the shoot, as I wanted to capture Sara in her cop garb. Although it was a much simpler costume–the bracelet took me all of an hour to make–I really enjoyed shooting it and am happy with how the photos came out.
We shot at various locations in Scott’s studio including against a blue background that he uses to add special effects in post production.
All and all I am very very happy with the photos and I feel pretty confident that I captured the character well.