I have often dreamed of a far off place,
where a hero's welcome would be waiting for me.
Where the crowds will cheer when they see my face,
and a voice keeps saying, "This is where I'm meant to be."
~ "Go the Distance" [Alan Menken]
Myself as Suki from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Photo taken by Amanda [Elemental-Sight] at Otakon 2009. Cosplaying Suki has been a dream of mine for nearly two years, and I was finally about to do so this summer! I chose her Fire Nation disguise because I really love the fit and flare of the garments, as well as the colour scheme [which ended up being a HUGE bane, ironically]. Eventually I would like to cosplay all of Suki's outfits. I chose the above quote from Hercules because I think it really speaks for Suki's journey. There is something so poignant to me about those last few coronation scenes. Who would have ever thought a simple girl from a remote island in the Earth nation -- a non-bender at that -- would make such an enormous impact on the war against Ozai and then be lauded the world over as a hero? I know, I'm a dweeb.
The first and most aggravating step in constructing this costume was coming up with a colour key. Let me tell you, I have worked on MANY costumes over the years with inconsistent designs, but these Fire Nation outfits take the cake. The reds are entirely different from scene to scene, and Suki's entire body is never shown in a single frame, except from a distance. Therefore I had to pick and choose from various scenes, some of which had dramatically different lighting. [Some of the best shots of this design come from the "Ember Island Players" episode, the majority of which is set at night and in a dim theatre house.] Once I had my colour key, it was off to Joann Fabrics, where OF COURSE I couldn't find the thousand different shades of red I was looking for. I ended up not only having to resort to broadcloth [which I don't despise nearly as much as other costumers, but would never have been my first choice for this costume], but also needing to tweak my colour scheme slightly in order to work with the reds available to me. A veritable nightmare! Construction-wise, the costume came together fairly easily. I altered pre-existing patterns for the pants, skirt, and shirt, and patterned the armbands, mitts, belt, and collar. This is one of few costumes I've worked on that has consisted almost solely of sewing [ie, there was very little painting, beading, and other detail work involved] and it gave me the opportunity to really focus on fit and drape. I should also mentioned that all garments are fully lined with the exception of the pants. Progress pictures of the wig can be found elsewhere in my gallery, along with a detailed description of its construction. The shoes are an ethnic Moroccan style that I was lucky enough to find on eBay. They were not cheap, but I really could not settle for anything less than violently-pointy-and-ugly. XD They do not flare up at the toes as much as hers do, but that made battle poses a bit easier, so I try to overlook the inaccuracy. Overall, I am very pleased with the end result, and it feels so nice to finally cosplay a character that has grown so dear to me over the years. Amanda did a very lovely job with this shoot, I cannot wait to share more from it!
Please no critiques/criticism. I'd like to keep this gallery happy! <3