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Lan Wangji

The Untamed / MoDaoZuShi


Brian Boling

Why I chose to make this costume:

Welcome to my rambles about the first Wuxia-genre hanfu I made!
For those unfamiliar with this style of costume, the all-white robe ensemble design is in the style of the Chinese TV show "The Untamed," which in turn is based on "MoDaoZuShi", a massively popular Chinese Wuxia / Danmei novel. I fell down the rabbit hole of MDZS mid 2021 after listening to the audio books and then watching the show on Netflix. 😅
The costuming in "The Untamed" impressed me so much, especially the fabric choices, silhouettes and overall elegance in every shot from static to wire work action. The Lan Sect’s striking white uniforms reminiscent of Chinese mourning wear left an especially strong impression on me. 

Originally, I created this costume without the intention of cosplaying the actual character Lan Wangji - I just wanted to steal his drip - but after getting all dressed up and posing around in it in a gorgeous Chinese garden, I have to admit this IS a female version of Lan WangJi after all.  

So weird how costumes sometimes have a mind of their own lol

How I made this costume:

Now let's talk about how I made this battle swan ensemble! 

First of all, my costume design is very similar to Lan WangJi’s Sunshot Campaign outfit (hands down the best look in the show IMO) with a vest layered over the main robe, but it is not an exact recreation. Rather, I created my own interpretation of Lan Wangji based on the show as well as artwork illustrations of him.

I hunted far and wide for fabrics in order to create texture and subtle color differences in the costume. For example, the cloud brocade was directly imported from China, and I special ordered a luxury home decor fabric for the vest. The main robe is made with almost 10 yards of home decor sateen. 

I drafted a unisex hanfu pattern that I can reuse for future outfits of this style, and with some luck, it will be available as a McCall's sewing pattern in the future. Fingers crossed. The long scoop sleeves are my favorite part and I also love the belt with the hanging front panel. I took my time with the sewing, using an overlock for inside seams and hand-finishing hems with a blind-stitch. 

I straightened and styled a lace front wig from Arda Wigs into a half updo with a bun and made the silver hair piece out of Worbla’a pearly art that I then painted. The signature forehead ribbon was also made by me, though the silver forehead adornment was a very lucky online find. 

I found one listing for a white and silver Chinese sword on eBay and snagged it without hesitation. It is a real steel sword and VERY heavy to swing, but a Lan Sect disciple can't ever be without their sword so I was happy to carry it everywhere with me.

Thoughts on this costume:

It has been so much fun to get back into the Wuxia / Xianxia genre that I used to be so obsessed with as a child, and to express my love for it in the best way I know how - by making a costume. ☺️

It was amazing to stroll about in Chinese Friendship Garden in the Missouri Botanical Garden with the sun kissing down on us. It felt truly otherworldly and like a Wuxia fantasy come true. I think the photos befit Lan Wangji’s title - 含光君 - which translates to Light Bearing Lord.

The "MoDaoZushi" novel is getting an official English release under the name "Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation" and I'm excited for more readers to fall in love with this fantastical Epic.

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