Created with 200 hours of research, design, and execution this costume is one of the most time consuming to date.
The bodice comes in two parts; the first being a fully lined, sweetheart neckline blouse with scalloped shoulder straps, hem, and hand applied gold trim; the second a shawl with hand crafted piping, kerchief-hem finished capelet, and dip-dyed sleeves. The intricate adornments on the front of the shawl and blouse have been created with a flexible figure-sculpting clay, painted with an ornate design, and finished with a 3D clear sealant. The shawl attaches to itself and the adornment at the center front by a pair of magnets for ease of wear as well as to avoid the use of snaps, however snaps are used to hold the shoulders of the shawl to the shoulder straps.
The skirt consists of a series of wide crescent shaped scales pleated and folded to shape over a sheath slip. The center front panel in white uses several unevenly, gathered segments for a rippling effect, to mimic the sea creature's underbelly. At the bottom of the skirt there are mock-fins, hand-dyed to match that of the sleeves, which allow for free walking and motion. The back of the skirt gathers and meets along a spine of piping made from durable cording to support the weight of the brocade material, beads, and tulle. A custom bumroll was also created to hold the weight of the skirt and act as a defining feature on the back, creating a new silhouette. Each yellow flower of tulle is hand stitched in place with a center of three to five crystal beads.
Most impressive is the tail, which took several smaller attempts before the final appendage was built. Inside the casing is a series of 4" batting shapes ranging from rectangular with rounded edges 16" long to ovals and circles only 5" long. Linked together by a rope, separated by large knots, the tail articulates and is easy to fold, store, or carry--though it weighs roughly five pounds. The main portion of the tail, the casing, is created in the same fashion as the skirt using crescent shaped scales folded and gathered into each other to create a form. Like the back of they skirt, the tail also features a spine of gold piping and many tulle flower petals which mimic the monster's spines. The fin of the tail is adorned with jewels around the corners for added flare.
This wig weighs about eight pounds. It consists of a base wig and the combination of three wefts in various colors to create the final look. To create the bun, a halfcircle pillow was stuffed to fullness and covered in wefts before being sewn into the back of the wig. Additional wefts were sewn into the top and sides of the wig, curled, and styled. The crown and adornments are made of the same flexible clay as the bodice pieces and applied through the hair as permanent fixtures, each being painted uniquely to the design. Lastly, the fins attached to the wig utilize a seafoam green chiffon and are removable via alligator hair clips.