Tuesday, June 9, 2015

BELLDANDY Cosplay

^Ah! My Goddess or Ah! Megami-sama is one of the series that left a mark on me.
I don't remember everything about it, but I remember how I felt about the series.

I remember thinking how wonderful Belldandy was.
Admittedly, Belldandy is not the typical strong sassy onechan type I love cosing.
She is much more docile but still strong in her own way.


Belldandy is a Goddess from Heaven, like for reals, that's how the story goes, she is a Goddess 1st Class 2nd Category with Unlimited License working in the Goddess Relief Agency.

Well, she's a goddess. What else do you need?
hehehhe

Belldandy has a nice round face, not so thin and not really fat and not bombshell sexy, just right. She has long shiny beautiful hair. She's nice, she's caring, she's smart and everybody likes her. She can talk to animals and spirits and ask the elements for assistance.
She can cook, she can clean, she can sew!

She may be a bit naive but overall... I think, the reason I like her so much is because I think Belldandy is the ideal woman who will eventually be the perfect wife and mother.
She isn't just beautiful physically, her heart is so beautiful and capable of so much acceptance and love.
She's nice but you don't mess with a goddess!


hahahahha
That turned out quite long. So, I guess we have established that I really like Belldandy.

Character: Belldandy
Cosplay by: jaRoukaSama 
Series: Ah! Megami-sama / Ah! My Goddess / Oh! My Goddess
Costume: jaRoukaSama and an assortment of local tailors
Make up by jaRoukaSana
Special thanks to Oujihimeshoppe

Our friend Jazz, invited me and Minami to cos the 3 iconic sisters of Norse mythology with her. I naturally jumped at the chance.
Jazz was Urd, Minami was Skuld and I was Belldandy.
Ah! My Goddess; Belldandy, Skuld and Urd


Belldandy was one of my earlier cosplays and it has gone through a lot of revision.

I started working on my Belldandy in 2009 (but we cosed them in 2010), funds were hard as I was still a student. I used some cheap washable hairspray that turned my hair into the color gold but made it look like brittle straw and I ended up looking like a homeless drag queen... ;(

Wigs were so expensive and rare back then... getting your hands on some quality wigs were so difficult as online shops weren't big yet. And even if you found a decent wig, you won't be sure if you can use it since wigs then were restricted to basic styles and colors and were so prone to hair fall orz (manipis na nga naglalagas pa... grabeng aksaya sa pera orz)... People resorted to actually dying their hair or using yarn as wigs.

Ah! My Goddess cosplay group
photo by Jeikarl Morales (2010)
Still noobs at posing and since Minami-Skuld was the youngest but in reality the tallest among us, she always had to sit down for group photos. XDD


The second time, I had made some improvements and gotten my hands on a wig. EXPENSIVE but not as expensive since it was a no brand wig, the length was right but the color was more of an orange than a light brown.
It was ok and a bit shiny, not perfect...

 Some improvements, but still not stellar. Make up kinda OK but eyebrows and wig color don't match, posing still off. and lame editing hahahaha


Finally got the costume down perfectly, but the overall outcome was still far from how I wanted to be. I still wasn't seeing Belldandy come alive.
The frustration got so bad that I decided to hide Belldandy in the farthest end of my cosplay closet.

Years passed and I felt that my make up skills had improved greatly. Made further improvements on the costume and accessories.
By this time, 2012, cosplay was really booming and cosplay shops carrying wigs and more sprung up and online shopping couldn't have been easier. Got me a high quality wig.
And I finally saw myself as a Belldandy I could live with.

Looking back, I now regret selling my costume... now I feel I can do more to really be as perfectly close as possible to my ideal woman... /scratches chin/ Maybe I should make another Belldandy costume? I still have the wig... hmmmmm...

Anyway, let's move on and talk about the costume.

Being a student at that time, back in 2009, my budget for the costume was very limited. Add to the fact that I was also paying for my sister's Skuld costume.

The costume is mainly made of Geena Silk, for both the white and blue parts.
Geena silk is a seriously under appreciated fabric. It comes in a wide variety of colors, is light and airy.
I used geena not only because I got it for 15PHP per yard (yay for suki powers!) but also because I liked the color and I wanted my costume to be flowy as I moved. Belldandy being a goddess who is mainly associated with wind, I wanted to get the effect that my costume moved with air and ease.
Sure there are better fabrics befitting a goddess but geena was the cheapest and it could produce the effect I wanted so I went with it. Again, 15PHP hahaha Try arguing with that. LOL

I saved a lot with the fabric so I decided to have the gold parts of the costume embroidered.
What a hassle that was, finding someone to trust was hard. Constantly coming back to check on the progress and nagging the old lady to do the job was harder coz I wanted it done but I didn't want to come off as pushy and disrespectful. In 2009, the embroidery for the front part of the dress costed me 900PHP from a small shop in Novaliches, Quezon City. 900PHP plus more since I had to go back multiple times. All the embroidery took more than a month to finish although I was promised that it would only take one week...

My sewing skills were still at zero percent then so I had another local manang, sew our costumes.

The accessories were all by me. Most of them were bought then modified. Man, did Belldandy have a lot of them. She had 3 belts, about 3 bangles per arm so total of 6 but you could do more, anklets for both feet, 2 rings, a golden hair tie, multiple earrings, a gold choker and a blue gemstone brooch. Costed me about 500PHP maybe even more...
Belldandy earrings
Never got around to taking pics of the other accessories I made...


Belldandy was also the first character I wore contact lenses for. That was at 600PHP.

Good thing Belldandy didn't wear shoes. hahahaha

Let's try to see how much that is so far.

Fabric - 15PHP per yard x 11 yards = 165PHP
Embroidery - 900PHP
Labor fee of the tailor - 800PHP
Accessories - 500PHP
Contact lenses - 600PHP
Hair color - 250PHP / Wig - 1200PHP

Miscellaneous fees and make up excluded, Belldandy costed me about 4000 to 5000 PHP more or less.

Where did I get the money? Saved up school allowance and birthday money and any holiday money I got. hahahaha Feels so much and so much effort was exerted as back then shops that accepted made to order costumes specifically for cosplay were still basically non existent.

For the face markings, I used blue construction paper pasted to some old phone cards (to make them sturdy and not wilt should I sweat) and attached to my face via double sided tape. hahahah
Now, why didn't I go with make up? Doing the markings by myself in front of the mirror would certainly take time and effort. Asking someone to do it would have worked too but I don't like bothering others.

As I am writing this blog, I am also digging up some of my old cosplay photos.
These photos were so bad that I vowed they will never see the light of day and should they surface, I will deny their existence.
It is kind of funny to look at them now. They are still bad, I think, but it's nice to see how much I have progressed with my cosplays through the years.
I am still rather embarrassed to show these old pics but I want to show everyone the progress I have achieved through the years and to show that you too will get better as long as you keep doing what you love. So don't give up on cosplay and look forward to the time when you too will look at old cosplays and smile at how far you have come. ;D

By, 2012, this is what my Belldandy cosplay looked like:
Many thanks to Aurora of Oujihimeshoppe for helping me out with my awesome wig!
Which is a coserstyle wig, FYI.

Belldandy cosplay
photo by Raisa de Pano
I think this was one of the first shots so still kinds tense XD hahaha

Ah! Megami-sama Belldandy, photo by Raisa de Pano

Goddess Belldandy in the garden, photo by Raisa de Pano

Goddess pose off! hahahah
photo by Jemarc Mojica

Belldandy, Oh! My Goddess
photo by z3LL

Ok, so that's about it for my Belldandy cosplay.
Seems more like a history report than a cosplay write up. hahahah

Again, just saying, cosplay should be something you love.
Everybody starts out as a noob, but through time, we gain experience and knowledge. Just keep moving forward. :D

Happy cosplaying everyone!

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thanks for reading!
 jaa! visit me again, ne!
     arigatou! (*^3^)/~






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