Twinkle Snow Miku (2017) - Vocaloid
Costume Made By: Miaowucos
Costume Purchased In: March 2018
This costume came a bit out of left field given that it's not something I made myself. I've been collecting figures and Anime goods for a lot of my life starting way back in the mid-90s when I would collect any Sailor Moon merchandise that I could find and afford. Over the years I started collecting different types of Anime merchandise as my interests changed and around 2009 I discovered the world of Anime figures including Figmas and Nendoroids by Good Smile. My wallet might not be so happy about this discovery, but it sure has made for some interesting displays on my shelves. One character that I've regularly collected figures of over the years has been Miku Hatsune. She's a staple of Nendoroids and Figmas made by Good Smile Company and Max Factory. I've owned a number of fixed pose and poseable figures of her over the years. One of the figure lines of her I regularly follow is the Snow Miku line, which Good Smile releases at Winter Wonder Festival each year. It started out as a simple recolouring of the Miku Nendoroid in a more winter tone and over the years it's developed into a contest open to fans to create a new Snow Miku based on different themes for each year. The best designs are selected to go head-to-head in a vote and the winner is made into that year's figure. The themes have been really interesting and I took special note of the theme for 2017 because it was constellations. The design that was chosen was my favourite for the year. I really loved how flowy it was, how nice the colours looked together and the beautiful music note and star patterning on the ribbons and dress. I picked up the Snow Miku Figma for 2017 last fall and I've been admiring the design every time I look at it. It's quite a detailed outfit, but it really stuck with me as something I would love to wear.
Back in March, quite a few major setbacks hit me almost all at once. It was the 6th month mark from when my mother passed away, someone broke into my family's house and one of my best friends ended up in the hospital and began a journey to deal with a medical issue. In regards to the robbery, thankfully my dad came home before anything was stolen and the robber ran away without my dad noticing them, but it was a difficult time. I decided to treat myself for getting through that stressful period and buy something that I had been debating about for a while. I settled on buying a costume of the Snow Miku design that I so admired. It was something I vaguely wanted to make for myself, but I knew the musical print and the space design would be incredibly difficult to make or hand paint and that was one of the major reasons why I decided to buy it. I researched for around a month before I picked the costume to order. I found an Aliexpress reseller for a Taobao costume that was pretty accurate to the original design. I wanted one with gold trim all around and with nice looking gold stars. The costume cost me $100 when I bought it during a sale period and it's quite detailed for the price. It included everything from the hairclips, armbands, the gloves, even little bloomers. When I received the costume I was surprised by just how much it involved! The only disappointing thing about the costume I bought was that the dress and armbands were not pleated like the design should entail, but everything else looked really nice.
I purchased the wig and shoes from 2 other sellers. The wig and shoes actually arrived fairly quickly. It took a while to get the costume as the seller was a bit slow to even acknowledge my order. It almost voided due to them not contacting me about extending the processing time. The costume arrived by early May anyway. Once I ordered the costume in late March I spent an hour making Miku's baton to use as a prop. I just cut a dowel and shaped the tip with some sandpaper. I used blue and gold paint that I had to match the design based on the Figma. It turned out fairly nicely.
Once I received the costume, I did have to make some alterations to it. The shawl part was too big. It attached with buttons so I decided to add snaps to fold over the extra fabric so it would fit me better. I also added magnets and repaired the stars and diamond dangling accessory on the front of the dress. Adding the magnets kept it from flipping and moving all over the place throughout the con. I have to thank my friend Adrien for using magnets on props I've commissioned from him in the past so I thought of using them myself. I also had to add more velcro to the choker and to the straps on the shoes as they were a bit big on me. The clips on the hair bows did like to pop off because of weak glue so I was kept busy reinforcing things before I debuted the costume.
I did ask my friend Pan for help with the wig, which she kindly helped me trim two weeks before Fan Expo 2018. It was a simple bob with curly pigtail clips. The bob was a bit long so she trimmed the bangs and the back and sides so it was more flattering. I cut and hairsprayed the ahoge to try to match Miku's from the Figma design.
I had the costume sitting around since early May but it took me a while to find an event to wear Snow Miku to. I kind of prefer to wear my own homemade costumes if I have something that's still fairly new to wear. Things got a bit complicated with Fan Expo when my con plans were thrown into flux because Fan Expo cancelled the masquerade (the event I had been volunteering as a stage ninja for since 2016) so my volunteering position was cut. I discussed with my friend Pan about still going to the con so we decided we like enough elements of the convention that we would purchase passes. I didn't really have the energy to go for the full weekend, though, so we decided to go on Thursday and Friday. Going on Friday of the con seemed like a great opportunity to debut Snow Miku. It seemed like a decent costume choice for a summer con and fun for a mixed genre event. It was nice to wear Miku. It's such an eye-catching costume. I got a few compliments on how I looked and I certainly felt adorable in such a flowy outfit. I booked a photoshoot with my friend Amanda so I was excited to work with her and get some cute character photos.
Funnily enough, I had my first surprise celebrity story in this costume. I was walking by the autograph area just a few minutes before Fan Expo 2018 closed on the Friday, when I was stopped by a gentleman for a photo. At this point I had removed my armbands, gloves, hair ribbons and ponytail clips because it was the end of the day, but I was happy to pose for a pic. The gentleman had a security guard nearby and I posed for the pic and thanked him and collected my bag from my friend nearby. Another con attendee quickly came by to ask me if I knew who that was. She was quite animated and was happy to tell me that I had just had my photo taken by Austin Amelio (the actor who played Dwight in The Walking Dead). It was quite a surprise. I haven't seen beyond season 2 of the series, but it was quite unexpected to have my photo taken by one of the guests. Anyone asking to take my photo if always very flattering, but this certainly was a neat con memory to look back on!
This Snow Miku costume marked my first time buying a costume from a Chinese source that makes mass-produced costumes. It'll probably be the last time that I buy one to be honest. I do think that it was well made, but so much of the costume was made to be very adjustable so it has lots of velcro and elastic and in some places itís a little baggy on me. Aspects like the dress are a bit long on me so it's hard to show off the leg garter and the armbands are very long for the length of my arms. Everything still worked and looked good, but it was a bit off proportionally which was to be expected. It certainly was a more than fair price for the amount of detail and pieces involved in the costume. I do prefer the sense of accomplishment I get when I wear my own homemade costumes so I'll probably use this experience to help guide me to keep sewing and working on new projects. I definitely canít complain about the fun times that I had Cosplaying as Snow Miku, though. (^^)
Events/Conventions this costume was worn to
Fan Expo 2018 (Friday)