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Empyrean Eyes


Why I chose to make this costume:

This has been something I have wanted to make for years! Ever since I found out where to buy the peacock feathers, I have had this idea floating around in my head. I wanted to create something elegant, sophisticated and royal. Because it had been a while since I had made an original design, I decided to go ahead and do the Peacock costume this convention season.

How I made this costume:

I kept my eye out for any fabrics that could work with this theme and ended up going on a hunt in the LA fabric district for a two-toned taffeta. What I found was gorgeous, green on one side and purple on the other. In various light the fabric changed in the shades of green, cyan, blue and purple, matching the color scheme of a peacock eye feather perfectly.

I took some time sketching out silhouettes and where I wanted to used the feathers as embellishments. I ended up deciding on sewing a custom patterned corset, a cropped jacket with wide sleeves and upstanding collar, and a fitted mermaid skirt that flared out at the knee. The skirt has a peacock tail attached to it in the back, in the folded up resting position. I went to a nature center to chase and photograph real life peacocks to gain the proper reference for how the feathers lay on the birds.

I used multiple kinds of peacock feathers for this costume—several hundreds of peacock tail feathers with eyes for my tail and throughout the outfit, a number of tail swords for the beaded belt and jacket collar;,and multiple yards worth of thickly-overlaid peacock herl for the fanned collar of my jacket and sleeves. Each eye feather was fitted with a green Swarovski crystal before being attached as embellishments to the costume itself. I debated for a while what head accessory to create, from a retro hat to crown to feather fan, and ended up sewing a tiny hat from a made-up pattern and adding feathers to it. My wig was an old wig that I restyled and curled... I hope to do something better in the future.

Thoughts on this costume:

Despite having planned this costume for a long time, I only had ten days for the execution of it. That was due to my incredibly busy convention schedule all Summer and Fall. I am fairly happy with the end result of this costume, but hope to improve upon it if I ever find a large amount of free time lol. My favorite part about this ensemble is the necklace my mom made for me while I visited her in Germany the Spring of 2007. She was really excited about the idea when I told her and made this jewelry piece for me out of dyed freshwater pearls and hand-blown glass beads!

The lovely lady in the peach gown in the photos with me is M. Alice LeGrow!

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