Alice: Madness Returns
Why I chose to make this costume:
Ever since the first Alice game came out, I have been fascinated with the macabre take on the story. I thought Alice's costume was too simple and didn't feel drawn to it, but when Madness Returns came out, I knew I had to make a costume from it. For a while I was thinking about one of the many cool outfits Alice gets in the game, but then I had the idea for a cosplay performance skit and I chose the Red Queen as my costume.
How I made this costume:
I made this costume in 7 days, which for me meant binge crafting for most waking hours of the days. The trick to marathon making a costume "quickly" is to be prepared, get all the materials required in your house, and break down the costume into multiple projects.
The main dress consists of a separate bodice and 2 layers of skirts. I made them with a heavyweight satin, lined and serged. The sleeve ruffles are multiple layers of gathered organza sewn onto self-made padded sleeve puffs, and the stand up collar is made of Wonderflex covered in fabric. The bodice laced together in the back..
The gold designs were drawn out and vectorized by me, then cut out of hot transfer vinyl, then iron formed to the costume. I chose that technique for the violently shiny finish of the vinyl! This was the most tedious part of making this costume, and the most nerve wracking because once a design was down, it could not be moved. I bought my vinyl from Heat Transfer Warehouse.
The crown is made out of Worbla and has magnets embedded inside to click to matching magnets sewn into a pouch in both my wig and Riki's Alice wig. After painting it gold, I decorated it with Swarovski crystals, and resin-cast the heart shapes. The magnets allowed for the transfer of the crown on stage. In hindsight, the thickness of the Worbla weakened the contact of the magnets to my wig and that's why the crown fell on stage when I whipped my head dramatically lol.
The claws are extremely modified Halloween skeleton monster hands! I created an armature inside the fingers so they could be positioned, and cut plastic nail tips into points for the claw look. So the claws would have the same gooey flesh texture as my skit-mate Riddle's meat dress, her husband Chris Donio covered the hands in leftover red urethane rubber as they applied it to the dress mold. The result are some truly meaty sausages.
For the makeup, I used pale creme foundation by Ben Nye and really went for creepy racoon eyes. Add some striking circle lenses and a wig from Arda Wigs, and I was ready to rule!
Click to see progress pics!
Thoughts on this costume:
Here is where I write a novel about the skit!
You can watch the Alice skit we did at Planet Comic Con here
I wrote the script, and we specifically created a skit that was understandable to audiences who have NOT played the game. Skits are very short theatrical performances and, to me, they are more enjoyable when they tell an overall understandable story. We know the Queen is not the "true villain" in the game, but for the purpose of this skit in a contest called "Heroes vs. Villains," the Red Queen fit the archetype character of the villain. Cosplay skits do not always have to be complete re-enactments of their source material; that would be boring and very confusing to the audience. Be creative with your skits as you are creative with your costumes.
We had a wonderful support team for the skit, and the credits are as follows:
Sound track editing - Kevin Spooner (with Yaya fretting next to him)
Voice of Alice - Jen Spooner
Voice of Cheshire Cat - Laura Sindall
Voice of Red Queen - Kelly Jean
We really were so very very lucky to have 3 amazing British girls willing to voice the characters for us. And Kevin was such a great sound guy to make the track for us!
Backdrop printing and insertion of lights - Riki
Backdrop frame build - Brian Boling and Bill Buckley
Backdrop curtains - Yaya
Stage handlers - Brian and Luke (the latter was a great kind guy who stayed with us the whole day just to help Brian get the backdrops on stage and move them at the right cue. Such a gem!)
Costumes made by each cosplayer