Friday, 30 December 2011

The Costume construction

The construction of Monkey King cosplay costume

Monkey King during Chinese festival
I planned to construct a cosplay costume for myself to attend the Madman National Cosplay Championship on 25 June 2011 at Supa Nova Perth Western Australia. The character I was planning to be is Monkey King. He is Chinese character who also appears in Japanese anime too.
The construction of this costume began soon after end of 2011 Chinese New Year celebration.
At the beginning of March, the leather fabric with crocodile pattern was scissored.
In just 4 weeks the base costume including the belt were completed. The lion head and the pair of two heads were detached from toys and they were attached to the costume.
Unfortunately, the base costume was a little bit too big for me so I put aside this costume for the time being.
Next was the most interesting and the most unique crown. It's called the Fèngchìzijinguan.
Fèngchìzijinguan means the crown of feathers is the most unique crown only worn by the Monkey King. In the story Journey To The West, this crown was one of the treasures of the dragon kings which was given to Sun Wukong.
The crown was beautifully constructed with details of many beads and gold decorations.
The construction of this crown was not easy but it finally completed without the feathers.
The Fenghuang (or Asian Phoenix) feathers are not available in Australia and they are from one of the protected birds in the world named Fenghuang bird (or Asian Phoenix).
It is very hard and very expensive to get; finally a Chinese online feather shop had its very last stock and I managed to buy it. After that those stocks were discontinued until now due to the law protecting the birds.
Few weeks later I found another online shop which had the same kind feathers; I decided to purchase them just in case the first pair was damaged. But there is a little problem, the online shop did not have those feathers anymore and the number of items in the stock wasn't updated.
Fortunately one of my Japanese female friends was able to get it for me so I have two pairs.
The pants
The fabric for the pants which has Chinese pattern was imported from China. There were several very beautiful patterns in the catalogue and I chose the closest one to the Journey To The west 2009.
Soon after this fabric arrived, the pants were constructed but it was too big for me because of measurement mistake. I went to SpotLight and purchased a glossy red fabric to make the Monkey King red cape.

Red cape before

Red cape after

Few days later the Monkey King weapon "Jin Gu Bang" arrived from China. That weapon was freshly made by LineKong.
With half of everything completed I decided to re-make my main Monkey King costume. This time I did not use leather fabric anymore, I decided to use the Golden Chain Mail fabric this was available at Spotlight, There was only small roll of fabric left and I purchased that last roll.

Making the frill
I went to Rivaaj Tailor shop to ask for a help in connecting all the costume parts including the frill after that I went to Smart Clothing Alteration shop in Bullcreek to sew the orange ribbon around the edge. I also asked them to alter my too big pants.

Part of costume
Part of costume again

Costume 40% completed
The re-construction of this costume was easier because it just followed the leather version which was already completed. This time it's smaller version which fitted perfectly on my body.
I submitted an application to Madman few days before Perth preliminary closing date.

Unfortunately, Madman promotes only Japanese characters in anime and video games. The Chinese origin Monkey King character was rejected by Madman. So I have no choice but to drop out from the National Competition.
Few days later, I decided to enter just the Madman Regular Competition.
I went to SpendLess shoes and purchased a $15 blank white shoes and painted with red colours and lemon yellow from Tamiya acrylic using airbrush system that I used to make my scale models.

In the evening before Supa Nova opened, after I went home from a dinner with my friend Yongky. I managed to finish painting the Monkey King shoes and I stitched the last head armours on the Monkey's shoulder.
At 2:00am I finally finished the costume 100% with great tiredness. I then quickly slept without problem at all.
Costume 95% completed
The next day on 25 June 2011 in the morning, I woke up quickly and went to Napoleon make-up artist. The make-up artist tried to smooth my skin with my Monkey Nose. I quickly went to a shoe shop to buy a pair of white socks.
At 10:45am, I arrived home to render my Monkey King skit-play DVD and put all the costume parts to my car baggage in hurry because the competition registration closed at 12:00 noon.
I drove my car and stucked in a small traffic jam on the freeway. I arrived at Claremont Showground at 11:45am and registered myself in the Madman counter at around 12:10 noon. Thanks God I was in.

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