Her cosplays are perhaps the best visual documenting of Alice Liddell from Alice Madness Returns. From the Misstitched version, to the default Classic version, Xrysx from Singapore walks us through the distorted world of her heroine, and offers an insight upon the character in various adaptations, mastering costume-crafting, as well as make-up and acting. And she doesn’t seem to stop here, for she’s willing to jump from the Straitjacket directly into Checkmate!
You did a few versions of Alice Liddell from Alice Madness Returns. Which of the versions you’ve made until now do you consider the most challenging and why?
I started with the Misstitched version because The Dollhouse is one of my favorite stages. I think the dress is absolutely adorable too (especially the sleeve that has bear stuffing spilling out)! Then it is the Straitjacket version, the Late but Lucky version and recently the default Classic version.
Each of them is a challenge! Misstitched was time-consuming because the stripes were sewn manually, and I was fussy with the color combination so I actually re-sew the collars and ribbons because I decided to change the pink for a better matching tone to go with the orange. I had fun cutting the rugged edges of the skirt though. And I was really delighted to use big bright buttons (I love big buttons!) To make the lined stitches obvious, I was basically *sewing* woolen threads with a hairpin through manually cut “buttonholes” (slits).
As for Straitjacket, it was quite an interesting project, as I never really knew how a real one would be (not like I could go to the asylum freely). I mainly did my homework by zooming into the game screencaps and doing online research on real straitjackets. Then stretching it out, making the actual belts and repeatedly trying on myself to get a good fit (I needed to estimate where to punch the buttonholes too, and the belt lengths!) But the real challenge was really the bald head.
It isn’t easy to get professional theatrical make-up items in Singapore, and less to say a good quality bald cap. I dug through a lot of shops here to find a reasonable bald cap; then it was about how to put it on as seamlessly as possible. I could only test liquid latex on my hands so I had to get a friend to help me with it. It was very experimental, we had fun.
Late but Lucky was tedious because it has so many parts. The skirt is pretty heavy-duty as I layered according to the colors (white, green, white). The costume buttons are triangular! I hunted a long time for them. The rabbit paws (for the shoes and the back “ribbon”) were very fun to make, I used cheap towels to make them but the texture turned out great. The toughest part for me was deciding the length of the jacket. Too long will make me look out of proportion, too short will make me look fat (cries).
Alice has other versions as well. Will we get the chance to see you in other versions of her too?
I started Silk Maiden version and Hattress before Straitjacket version (laughs). But I still have half the skirt to paint (ran out of paint, then into the cupboard it went). I’ll be getting back to painting it soon! Hattress would have to take a while because I am still experimenting to get the shape of the skirt right. Checkmate, London, and Siren are on my list too. I’m still trying to work out the light circuit for Siren. Not sure if I would dare to attempt Caterpillar because it’s a horizontal challenge (don’t wish to turn out looking like a specific car part mascot…). My friends are urging me to do FleshMaiden, well, we’ll see!
Elizabeth from Kuroshitsuji has a hair-do that represents a nightmare to many of those that attempt to cosplay as her. Could you tell us in a bit more detail about the process you went through in styling the wig to get the look?
I used a normal boy’s short wig as the base. As for the ponytails, I bought a full wig which I cut into smaller pieces. I cut transparent film strips (as a cheap alternative, I usually use those file folders from book stores) to sandwich wires. Then I bent the wires into the curls. The hair pieces are glued to both sides of the wired film strips. However, it gets a bit too heavy and the *spacing* between the curls can’t hold very well, thus I sewed very thin threads and fishlines between every 2 levels to hold them in place. The two pony tails are then fixed by wires (which are also pasted over with hair pieces to camouflage) to a thin hairband that is of a very similar color to my base wig.
Black Bunny and Morrigan are two choices that stand out a lot among your cosplays. How come you decided to cosplay as them and how did it feel to be in their skin?
I have a liking for strong women (laughs). Both of them are confident and powerful. I’m not exactly a sexy person; I hardly even wear spaghetti-straps tops in real life. Other than the fact that I like these two ladies, in this case it’s the costume challenge that mainly attracted me. The countless times that I had to draft the costumes, sew and try on, and then to make amendments to make the best fit for myself. I’m only feeling “sexy” during the photo-shoot itself because I would be in their skin.
Black Bunny Sheryl is really all about her showmanship, she’s a diva and she’s out to gain your attention. I enjoy cosplaying as her because she’s the “queen” (orders the photographer and helpers around *laugh*). It’s a very “I’m on top of the world” kind of feeling. Well I definitely feel the pain of her being an idol who has to look ever so glam in front of everyone when the costume is actually crashing on her (the headdress and shoulder-cape are really heavy)
As for Morrigan, it’s just in her blood to seduce. And being a non-human being, she’s totally flexible (as how I would imagine). Just like erotic dancers who entice you with their body movements. It was tougher to cosplay as Morrigan compared to Black Bunny, because I had to do a lot of “stunts”. You know, stretching or twisting the body looking forever so elegant while inside screaming out in pain. Cosplayers need to be gymnasts when the time comes.
Until now, what was the most difficult prop you’ve made and how did you manage to pull it off? Can you describe a bit the making-of process?
I can’t remember all the props I’ve made. Each of them is difficult in their own ways. I’m not very good with weaponry though so I guess those are tougher for me. Alice’s knightmare was challenging because it’s a bony structure and hard to make a central weight balance. I used wires and stuck Styrofoam pieces to it to form the base shape, then used masking tape to wrap around them to do the “skin”, after which is the air-dry clay as the final layer. The shape of the horse skull was hard, I researched through animal anatomy images and tried to figure out how to mould it 3d as I put on the clay. I usually make my props with simple house-hold items, I would even use toilet-paper rolls to do little prop details. Prop-making needn’t need to be expensive all the time. Though well yes, sometimes it still burns cash.