Pitchfork Cosplay – Lauren

Image credit Ryan Chong

Lauren (Pitchfork Cosplay) is an award winning cosplayer from New York City. Her cosplays have been recognized at national conventions, winning Best Needlework at C2E2, and Best Overall Craftsmanship at AnimeNext. In her work she focuses on accuracy, detail and quality construction. While initially most comfortable behind a sewing machine, Lauren has begun to learn and incorporate a variety of new techniques in order to best execute her vision. Her recent projects have included dying, weaving, 3D modeling and printing, leatherwork, mold making and casting, etching and electroplating.

Makers name: Pitchfork Cosplay

Azura’s skirt is a three-quarter circle skirt. Its base fabric is silk faille with a polyester lace overlay and a silk dupioni lining. The skirt has been gathered at calf level, and the lining has a scalloped edge that I satin stitched using a tapering stitch width. The 16-panel bodice is made from a cotton poly brocade that is lined with coutil, and interlined with faille.

Fully encased spiral steel and spring steel bones support the bodice, and it laces up the back. The choice to create overlapping, topstitched panels on the bodice was an aesthetic choice to highlight Azura as warrior, as well as her floral motifs – it hearkens to the look of a quilted gambeson, while also referencing flower petals. The flower petals on the bust cups, as well as at the shoulders, are fully backed with brocade for a clean finish. I hand fell-stitched the petals closed around the entire edge because they were too close together to allow for a turnable seam allowance when patterning. I created all of the sewing patterns for Azura myself, based on my own self-drafted slopers. Azura’s headpiece is a particular highlight of this costume because it represents three new techniques I learned to bring this costume to life. The head scarf is silk crepe, and the scalloped lace around the edges is hand-dyed to match – my first ever attempt at not just color matching, but also dying! You can also find the lace at the ankle of the leggings. The headband and veil are made using self-digitized machine embroidery and applique.

The veil is silk gazar with a metal lame applique and includes over 36,000 stitches. The same lame is incorporated on the headband, overlayed on a cotton sateen. I am especially proud of the floral background fill on the headband, which tempers the geometric triangles, and reference Azura’s overall floral motifs. Finally, the headpiece includes brass coins that have been embellished with character accurate designs using galvanic etching. As a dancer, I thought it was important that Azura’s jewelry serve as an instrument, to punctuate the rhythms of her movement. The desired jingle could only come from metal. Galvanic etching gave me a safe and easy way to create the pieces out of metal, and I also used this technique for the coins on Azura’s anklet and thigh band. Azura’s wig is an Arda “Delilah” in aqua. The wig comes with bangs, so I hand sewed additional wefts in the front to change the hairline, and I included additional wefts throughout the wig to imbue it with that signature anime volume. To create Azura’s tube shaped hair baubles, I modeled a design using Fusion360, and gilded the 3-D printed pieces using gold leaf. Azura’s pendant was sculpted by hand and cast out of resin.