Ashley Graham - Resident Evil 4
Time to Make: 22 hours (not including knitting time)
Timeline of Construction: September 2007 - August 2008
Award: Hall Costume Award - Con-G 2011
I'm a huge fan of Resident Evil 4. It's one of my favourite PS2 games because it's scary, dynamic and actually gives you enough ammo and weapons to handle the onslaught of enemies. Since I love the game so much, I really wanted to Cosplay from it, but I had a hard time figuring out who I could Cosplay. Leon rocks, but I certainly can't pull off Cosplaying him. XD Ada would also be a stretch for me so I settled on Cosplaying the damsel in dress. I'm not a huge fan of Ashley because everyone knows she's a hindrance in the game, but she also does have her moments.
I had been trying really hard to make this costume as accurate as possible and it, therefore, took me a long time to finish it. My mother knit my orange turtleneck and my brown sweater so they would be more accurate. I felt guilty that she was knitting them for me, but she enjoys knitting when she's watching TV so she really didnít mind at all. :3 I bought my first skirt on eBay but it was a little too big for me and was also pleated and that made it inaccurate. I bought two different plaid fabrics before I finally found a wool fabric on eBay that I felt was somewhat accurate to Ashley's skirt pattern so I could make my own skirt. My friend Kristin helped me make the skirt in August so it had a proper slant hem.
I had a lot of trouble getting the leg bands to work properly. The first time I made them the only fabric that I could find in a nice brown was moleskin so they really didn't look right. (~_~);; Before Ohayocon I bought pleather and although it's a hard fabric to work with (since sewing it creates big holes) it was a more appropriate material to use. I used bits of the moleskin from my first leg bands for the belts on the top of the bands. It's really hard to wear the pleather leg bands though. The shoes were from Walmart. Style wise they really suit Ashley and I'll hopefully use them for other costumes to get my money's worth.
The wig is one of my least favourite parts of this costume since it took so long to find a decent wig. My first wig was a cheap one from eBay that I accidentally partially melted when I was trying to fix a weird wave along one side. (~_~);; I bought a second wig in December, but it turned out to have ugly bright blonde streaks in it so it was a total waste of money. In late June I finally did find a nice wig that is fairly accurate to the character. I learned my lesson from buying cheaper wigs. XD I bought a brown belt at Sears which I wasn't that happy with since it didn't have a silver buckle. I now have a more accurate one that I got at a discount store.
I had issues with figuring out the bracelets that Ashley wears since it's hard to find reference images of them. I ended up altering a bracelet from Walmart for the first couple of times that I wore this costume, but I eventually found new bracelets that are more accurate.
When I first wore this costume to a Halloween dance it still needed a lot of work. I fixed up some of it for Ohayocon but it was still nowhere near done. It's seems sort of silly to put all this money and time into this costume since it's such a closet-like outfit. I did want to make my costume as accurate as possible to properly pay homage to the game. The Mafia Leon (an alternate outfit of Leon's that you get if you pass the game) in some of the photos with me is my friend Zero. He surprised me at the Halloween dance when he wore this costume and he wore it again to Ohayocon for a shoot with me. It was wonderful to have a Leon to cling to!
I'm glad that I finally finished this costume for Fan Expo '08. I got to be a part of a great group photoshoot with other RE Cosplayers that I met at the con. I also took part in a fall photoshoot on Sunday, October 19th, 2008, at the ruins of an old mill in the Rockwood Conservation Area and I got a lot of great photos from my awesome photographer friends. :D
I re-wore my Ashley costume on Saturday night of Fan Expo 2011 along with my friend Jordan (DragoonLance) who was my awesome Leon back in 2008 when I had organized RE photoshoots at Fan Expo. He was wearing the R.P.D. Leon costume that Amber had made for him for our Darkside Chronicles group and since one of Leon's special outfits in RE4 is the R.P.D. outfit, it made sense for me to break out Ashley again to wear with him. Technically my outfit didn't match, but we rolled with it. Jordan really wants me to make the matching pop star outfit for Ashley one day so I'll keep it in mind as a potential future costume idea in the next couple of years. Hopefully my dream of a full Resident Evil 4 character group will happen one of these years, but my dream of a full RE4 group aside, my Ashley costume is now retired since I've made a considerable number of convention appearances in this costume. XD Over the years I've had a blast Cosplaying Ashley and thanks to this costume I've made a number of wonderful friends.
Events/Conventions this costume was worn to
AN Halloween Dance on Friday, October 26th, 2007, Ohayocon 2008 (Saturday), Fan Expo 2008 (Saturday & Sunday), Rockwood Conservation Area fall photoshoot on October 19th, 2008, Youmacon 2008 (Friday), Otakon 2009 (Sunday), Fan Expo 2009 (Friday), Con-G 2011 (Sunday), Fan Expo 2011 (Saturday night), Anime North 2012 (Saturday daytime), Youmacon 2012 (Saturday afternoon), to a private photoshoot in October 2013 & Toronto ComiCON 2019 (Sunday).
Stillvisions, SolarTempest, Amanda, IcePhoenix (aka Juan), CONVOKE Photography, Nesukia & DeathCom