The Husky And His White Cat Shizun (2Ha)
Why I chose to make this costume:
Yay another obscure book costume that no one will understand!
But my danmei agenda is strong and I'm so happy to share my finished Chu Wanning costume from the Chinese novel “The Husky And His White Cat Shizun”!
All you need to know about this character is that he is a beautiful androgynous powerful Immortal with legendary magical abilities... and the most tsundere Master in all the realm.
The novel is over 300 chapters long and Chu Wanning goes through so much character development (in two lifetimes?) that he is forever one of the dearest fictional characters in my heart. I really wanted to pay homage to him by doing what I do best - making a costume.
How I made this costume:
Chu Wanning is described with heavenly white robes that magically clean themselves, so I had a heckin' challenge making another set of white hanfu robes. I took inspiration from various official illustrations of the Chu Wanning as well as the the elusive mobile game but then threw in my own design aesthetics as well.
White fabrics are tricky to mix together because the shades can vary from cold to warm. I ended up collecting about 8 different fabrics from as far as China and Germany, and I made the entire costume from scratch! Wanning's clothing is a legendary item in itself so I really want to make the robes very regal and elegant.
The under robe has a mandarin collar and 2 layers of skirts, made out of this flowy lurex shine fabric and some silk brocades. It zips in the back and has the big scoop sleeves.
The over robe is made with a gorgrous gingko leaf fabric that is meant for home decor so it has a nice weight to it. It is open in the front and has a 2nd set of sleeves with a 3rd chiffon sleeve layer that flutters underneath. The skirt portion is made of flaps that enhance movement.
Over that goes a set of shoulder adornments that Chu Wanning is often drawn with. They really add to the regal factor and give him the Shizun aura. I made the shoulder pieces with 2mm EVA foam and a fabric sleeve over them, detailed with appliques and metal filigrees.
To complete the costume, I made an embellisjed belt with a big tassle ornament and matching arm bracers, as well as chiffon cape panels that hang down the back of the costume.
I styled the wig with a bump in the front and a half-updo with a ponytail clip.
The makeup required a couple of test runs because I got all weird about whether I could pull off his haughty untouchable Yuheng Elder look. Chu Wanning is described with “phoenix eyes” and “sword-like eyebrows” and is a peerless immortal beauty aaaah!
I kinda found my own style of makeup for danmei cosplays (of androgynous men), where I’m not going for realistic or masculine but just trying to be me but handsome? What do you think, did I succeed? lol
Thoughts on this costume:
I'm so happy I not only got to wear Chu Wanning at Holiday Matsuri this year but also had a cosplay partner in Malinda -chan! She busted out Mo Ran, Chu Wanning's love-struck disciple and we got to some shipping photos together lol! We were also joined by Mayo in a mini danmei group with her self-made Wen Kexing from Word of Honor!
Malinda made our Husky and Cat tails while I provided the appropriate ears!
Because we were a group, I really didn't get many solo photos or thought about getting shots that showed off my costume haha. Hopefully I can plan a proper solo shoot soon and create some emo sad but pretty portraits and in-motion photos to show off the ethereal nature of the robes.
I know most of you who look through this gallery won't understand what this costume is from. Well, if ya curious about danmei (Chinese Boys Love) and Xianxia (Chinese world of martial arts, myths and magic cultivation), "The Husky And His White Cat Shizun” is one of the best books I have ever read and the pinnacle of the danmei genre for me personally. The first volume is now available in English (and other languages) through Seven Seas Entertainment and you can buy it in book stores and online!