So without further ado, meet Lady Vadore:
And to reward you all for waiting so patiently for her big reveal, I'm now going to inundate you with pictures. John and I spent a few hours Sunday night in our front room working on the best poses, so I have lots to choose from! We didn't have the best light, but considering they're night shots I think they came out ok:
The helmet is most impressive from the side:
The copper swirls started as a joke, since I thought it would be hilarious to somehow add metal Leia buns to the side of the helmet. I experimented with rounded brass mesh and having my actual hair inside them before settling on a more subtle approach.
The chest emblems and chains came from a Epbot reader last year; she sent me a small box of old jewelry and scraps. See? I *do* use the stuff you guys send me!
Here's a modified Hero and an Extra Jaunty:
The jacket is a heavily modified thrift store find. It originally came from Charlotte Russe, so it's extremely lightweight (aka cheap). I changed the collar, added a bustle, sewed the two sides under at an angle, and then added the buttons, trim, belt loops, and epaulettes, which are attached with Velcro so I can remove them for storage and cleaning.
this Etsy shop.
My gloves don't show in most pics, so here's a detail shot:
The cane was a late addition which serves two purposes: it helps me maneuver and keep my balance, and it gives me something to pose with. (Plus I've always wanted to make one. Heh.) We've since gone back and brightened up the interior lights, since they sadly didn't show up at all in these photos. (It looks amazing in low light, though.)
[Update: Cane tutorial here!]
My lower belt is made from the original cowl of the plastic Vader helmet. I noticed the curve fit my waist nicely, so I attached it to a canvas belt, weathered it, added those gorgeous gears from Sharyn, and finished it off with a leather hanger for my lightsaber made from an old belt:
My lightsaber is made from an old flashlight. If you missed it, you can see that tutorial here.
Now here's my favorite part of the whole costume:
This belt buckle is not what it seems.
I was determined to make it removable, so I could do this:
The compact has two compartments: the top only holds a few cards, but I can fit 10 or so in the lower half, which opens with a spring-loaded clasp.
The goggles are vintage welder's goggles, and the only adjustments I made was to trim them in copper, make a new leather nose piece, and replace the dark lenses with a few layers of iridescent cellophane. (I ironed it to get that neat bubbly texture.) I can actually see through them pretty well, but you can't see my eyes at all.
Gratuitous cleavage shot:
The corset is my first real corset, and it's surprisingly heavy, with tons of steel boning inside. I snagged it on clearance from Corset Story for a measly $30 + shipping; it was the very last one, and just happened to be my size. I can't tell you how much I love that pop of emerald green among all the black, gold, and copper. (And John apparently loves squeezing the life out of me while lacing it up; I've already told him he's not making it this tight for the actual con!)
Out of morbid curiosity, I decided to tally up our expenses on the whole outfit, minus the cane & lighsaber. This is what I came up with:
Plastic Vader mask & helmet: 30
vintage welder's goggles: 50
jacket & skirt: $9
trims, buttons, feathers, gemstones, etc: 50
copper piping: 10
faux leather: 15
vintage compact: 3LEDs: 20
I'm sure I'm missing a few things, but I estimated high on the trim, so I don't think I'm too far off with that estimate. Not bad, considering it's a project we've been working on since May.
And now finally finally, here I am dancing with my cane, since after a few hours things got a little punchy at our makeshift photo shoot:
"Hello, my baby, hello, my honey, hello, my rag time gaaaal!"
I'm hoping to get some fun shots at SWC today, since there are lots of beautiful back drops and photo areas scattered around the convention floor.
I'm also planning on wearing this at Dragon*Con, though only for one or two nights, and only for a few hours at a time. If you'd like to see me in it in person - and you're not at SWC today - then look for me at the Time Traveler's Ball!