* Best Performance, Novice Division
Bakuretsu Con 2006 * Best In Show
Another Anime Con 2008
Rinoa Heartilly is the 17-year-old daughter of Galbadia's General Caraway and the famous singer Julia Heartilly. After her mother's death, Rinoa abandons her life of comfort and becomes chief strategist for The Forrest Owls, a resistance cell fighting against Galbadia's occupation of Timber. Passionate, stubborn, and a bit naive, Rinoa's ambitious plans often get her and her compatriots in over their heads. Despite her optimism, Rinoa's extroverted personality belies a deep-rooted sense of loneliness and isolation, emotions which allow her to identify with both Squall and Seifer.
This was my very first costume which I made way back in 2003! Final Fantasy VIII was the first Final Fantasy game I ever completed, and I was obsessed with the game for a while in the early 2000s. I also look somewhat like Rinoa anyway, and her outfit seemed like a relatively simple costume for a first try at crafting something on my own. It took me ages to find a light blue ribknit fabric for the duster; nowadays it seems plentiful but at the time Rinoa cosplayers were scrambling to find it - some even resorted to hand-knitting their own! Once the fabric was in hand, I used a three-quarter length sweater coat I owned at the time (high early 2000s fashion) as a pattern for the duster and basically just followed its three panels, two seams design because what the heck did I know about sewing? It was not lined and came out too short - only hitting mid-calf - because that was the width of the fabric I had. WELP. For the white wings on the back of the duster I printed out a popular wallpaper that showed Rinoa back-to, and I blew up the image until the wing was life-sized. I then cut it out and used the image as a stencil to paint the wings on the duster with white fabric paint. The arm warmers have a single seam and thin elastics tucked into the hems to hold them on my arms without slipping.
The tank top, jean skirt, boots, and bike pants were store bought, but I sewed the zippers into the shorts myself. The zippers were originally gold so I spray-painted them silver. I bought black belts at Target and shortened them to attach to the boots. The necklace was the official Final Fantasy VIII one which I ordered on eBay that was easy to find then but difficult now; glad I still have it! Finally I made her blaster edge weapon out of posterboard which I hand painted and then attached to my arm with ribbon and Velcro. Originally I didn't wear a wig with this (it was 2003!) but someone on cosplay.com suggested i use one and after scouring the non-cosplay wig internet for about a year, I found a black one in a similar style, which really added to the effect. I honestly loved this costume except for the short duster and miss wearing it; I have the fabric to remake the duster properly (and the correct length) and can't wait to upgrade my first foray into the cosplay world.