🎋A Shizun in the making!
I’m thrilled to share my current costume progress of Chu Wanning from the danmei novel “ErHa” or “Dumb Husky And His White Cat Shizun”!
Yes, I'm making another Chinese hanfu set in the fantasy world of Wuxia! And it is another all white outfit whoops! That was not what I had planned after Lan Wangji's costume, but I was deeply affected by the 2ha novel and loved Chu Wanning so much that I had to tackle this hanfu next.
For Chu Wanning's regal robes, I’m taking inspiration from the elusive mobile game design and various official illustrations of the character but then throwing in my own design aesthetics as well.
I collected materials for months but started sewing just recently in August 2022. White costumes are always difficult to color match and I chose fabrics that are only 1 - 2 shades different from each other. The under robe is a warm white while the over robe with the stylized gingko leaf pattern is a brighter cooler white. Layered this way, they contrasted and enhanced each robe.
I made mockups for parts of the costume such as the under robes with the mandarin collar. For other parts like the sleeves, I altered the hanfu pattern I drafted last year, which will be available as a commercial pattern from McCall's SOON! Fall 2022! I don't know exactly when!
After putting the two main robes together, I made a wide sleeve band in the gingko leaf fabric that I attached to the shiny silky under robe's sleeves. I agonized for a while on whether or not to do that because the sleeve band weighed down the sleeves and they wouldn't be as fluttery. But Chu Wanning is a very restrained character in a high social position (Shizun = Cultivation Master) so a more formal sleeve with a fancy band suited him.
This lil video shows the various layers coming together, the belt is a stand-in from my Lan Wangji costume.
This costume has been a very organic process, with me spending a lot of time pinning fabric on the dress form to figure out what I wanted. The design kept evolving and I ended up making sleeves for the over robes to utilize more of the gingko fabric and fancy up the overall look. I also made these funky shoulder armor things that keep showing up in Chu Wanning's mobile game design which also elevated the "air of authority" lol. There is a layer of 2mm black EVA foam inside the shoulder pieces, and I will embellish them for additional detailing.
The last photos shows the simple elegant belt I made for Chu Wanning, which brings up the fabrics used in this costume to 6! And by the time I'm done it'll be most likely 7 or 8...
At this point, I had looked at Chu Wanning on my dress form for a couple of weeks and got all weird about whether I could pull off his haughty untouchable "Yuheng Elder" look. This character is described with “phoenix eyes” and “sword-like eyebrows” and I needed to see if I could do that lol.
So I did a makeup test with a half-styled wig (still need to cut & fluff the bangs) and the unfinished costume just pinned on….
...and afterward I felt so much better about everything, phew!
Every cosplayer knows this feeling. Sometimes you just gotta pin on the costume in progress and take some pics in front of your closet to visualize yourself as the character!
Aaaand that's where I'm at right now! It is mid August and I have no hard deadline for Chu Wanning, but I'm super excited about the costume and will probably finish it sooner than later.
The ErHa / 2ha novel is not as well/known as the MTXT works (nor is it for the faint of heart) but I love it dearly and am so glad to have had this literary experience.
It had been licensed in English and the first volume will come out later this year so I hope more readers will get to experience the brilliance and core-cutting angst of ErHa.
I'll share more progress on Chu Wanning as I make them! And eventually there will be a build video as well! Thank you!!