RINOA HEARTILLY: Yoshitaka Amano Artwork Final Fantasy VIII
I'd always wanted to do an Amano-inspired costume, and finally felt ready to attempt one in 2006. In designing this costume I wanted to stay away from overwhelming it with beads - a staple element in all of the Amano cosplay designs at the time which didn’t accurately reflect the flow-y fabrics and contrasting patterns of Amano’s paintings. I would use them as a design on the back of the duster but I tried to keep it subtle.
I began with the duster; I’d picked a rich red brocade which had a nice subtle pattern as my base. Using my regular Rinoa duster as its own pattern, I made the top half in three sections and fastened it with a black button and the front. It was my first time working with brocade and I struggled with its determination to fray at every point possible. Finally I got the top to my liking and made two wing appliqués out of white satin which I sewed to the back of the duster. The bottom half of the duster I made from two layers of sheer yellow silk and then embroidered a flower pattern on the back using individual gold beads and sequins. I wish I had time to made the entire thing from beads instead of sequins as the flowers would have looked less tacky beaded. For the arms I made an armband from the brocade with Rinoa’s black ribbon over it for the left arm and an arm warmer from the brocade and yellow silk for the right. I replicated the flower pattern on the silk. I then attached the “wing” fabrics; yellow and red silks of various textures that attached to my arm bands and then circled around to the back of the duster like a cape. The wrap skirt was made of several contrasting fabrics and a brocade sash, held on with a sequined belt I had gotten as a stocking stuffer at Christmas. For the shoes, I took a pair of red ones I had already and covered them with brocade. Finally, I wanted to make Rinoa’s feather wings; I had never made feather wings before and looked at several tutorials before starting. The frame I bent from wire and then covered with white garbage bags. I then shaped about 100 bleached turkey flats which I bought on eBay, arranged them onto the bags and glued them on with gem glue. I then filled in the edges with round feathers. It took a while for it all to dry but I love how the wings came out. They are held on the shoulders with straps.