Series: Final Fantasy IV
Variation: Yoshitaka Amano-inspired
Worn at: Nan Desu Kan 2009, Sakuracon 2010, Katsucon 2011, Fanime 2011
Why I made this: I got the idea to make an elegant, Amano-inspired with my own elements Rosa after I started playing the DS remake, and realized the new CG version just did not do proper justice to the beauty of her original design. I started collecting fabrics, beads, and patterns 8 months prior to the finished product, and when I voiced wanting an extended deadline to better do all the little details, Yunie kindly joined in to be my beautiful (shrub) Rydia.
Construction: Probably the most detailed costume I’ve ever done, and that’s saying a lot considering Alexiel’s wings are over 900 hand trimmed feathers. There’s so many little bead work details on this that I couldn’t begin to describe, when over 40 hours of beading were put into the corset, crown, and drapery. Much of the crown and front corset panels are Swarovski, Czech beads, and glass fire polished Precioso, with loose Swarovski beads attaached to each little flower on the cape (which never shows up lol). The corset was made from an altered pattern with complimenting panels that took forever to find and match, with a gorgeous creme organza connecting from the back to lace-up wrist bands (also all beaded). I later added a draping cord of crystals to the arm bands with a small bird cage trinket attached that looks marvelous in photos. The cups were lined with wire to keep the shape, the shirt I self patterned and overlaid with sheer fabric, and decorated with freshwater pearls, glass beads, and fine Czech beads. The crown was the most fun to bead, as I found Swarovski beads in all types of colors at 1/2 off, meaning I could go crazy with the designs following the fabric embroidery; it’s set on a wire headband that holds the shape and looks great, but hurts to wear after a while. The panties were a pain to make, having to hand sew to stop the fabric from puckering, and laying three layers of lace to get the right depth in design, since I found the perfect fabric to match Amano’s art. My armor was a toughie, having to use polyunthane and craft foam for the knees (accented with “phoenix downs” lol and lined in glass seed beads), and polyunthane, plaster, linen, and a silky satin for the shoulders. This made the plates more bendable, but that way I could accent the fabric with beads, and I always imagined white mages to be in leather armor rather than metal anyway. Her hip sash was made with a crinkled pearl sheer, lined on the inside with the same material to not take away from the semi-transparency, and outlined in fake pearls and wire to help hold its shape. The wig was ordered from Cyperous by Ringo, but I assumed it would be a more yellow-blonde shade rather than honey hue with my monitor’s calibration. Though I probably have the darkest Rosa hair ever worn, it worked much better than I thought, especially with Badnewsbear’s gorgeous makeup. I made few jewelry pieces for the outfit, so I decided to complete the look by wearing my favorite Swarovski necklace, now retired by the company, making it even more distinctive. I also sent some accenting seed beads and hand-made necklaces to Yunie (and an adorable “Stardust Rod!”) so elements of her Rydia’s construction would reflect my Rosa, connecting two very different costumes in subtle ways.
Personal thoughts: BEADS. SO. MANY. I’m so proud of everything! I feel I have to add more details to this costume before it’s worn each time just to spruce it up even further (if that’s even possible), and am so pleased with how well Yunie’s Rydia accents my Rosa, but is uniquely it’s own design. The interpretation of this costume is based on many references, and I’m happy that in many ways, it’s distinctly my own – I feel every Amano-inspired costume should be unique to its wearer, since no two will ever be the same, so differences in interpretation should be celebrated, not looked down upon :)