CosPlanning: Art Deco Rapunzel

I think in the back of my mind I’ve always been tempted to work my way through cosplaying all the Disney princesses in some form or another (excluding many of my favorites – Tiana, Mulan, and Moana, for example – who I could never do justice, being an obnoxiously pale white girl). But! I don’t actually like the idea of wearing most of the Disney princess gowns! Most of the Disney showstopper outfits are gorgeous but just not my style. Take Belle, for example – I identify so strongly with this fish-out-of-water, empathetic bookworm, but I’m just not jazzed about a huge yellow gown. Maybe a historically accurate version of the blue dress someday, but not that. Ditto for anything of Ariel’s, because my god, that pink gown is a mistake. (I know the parks made her dress seafoam green and I appreciate that, but the damage has been done. Us redheads know how badly those animators and their color choices wronged that poor unfortunate soul.)

The dress is cute, but oh, where are the fairies from Sleepy Beauty to make it blue? (Or green. Or purple. Anything!)

I really, truly thought Anna’s coronation day gown was going to be my first foray into the world of Disney cosplaying. Someday I’m still going to make that dress, because frankly I think it’s stunning and probably the prettiest Disney princess gown, barring Tiana’s Lily Pad Gown. It also intimidates the hell out of me, because I’d need to make a boned bodice, those gorgeous box pleats, and then do all that embroidery and the seed bead embellishments I know I’d want to do. Not quite ready for that.

When I stumbled upon this Art Deco figurine of Rapunzel, however, things clicked. The 1920s have some of my favorite fashion styles, and are considerably easier to wrap your mind around (and require considerably less fabric!). Plus, I feel like the more flowing and independent style of the 1920s would resonate with Rapunzel – it just seemed like a good match all around.

Undeniably adorable, just needs a more fun hem.

Plus, I won’t lie, I am dying to tackle that ridiculous wig. (I love a good, ridiculous, complicated wig project, and want to work on more of them to build up my wig portfolio. And torment my cat, probably.)

Arda Wigs’ fantastic Rapunzel wig tutorial will be my guiding light when I tackle this absurd monstrosity of a wig.  I’m picking up a Ferrari in Pale Blonde, two Jumbo Braids in Cream, and two packs of Long Wefts in Pale Blonde at NYCC and then the styling will commence. (Shoutout to Oliver at Arda who was super helpful in figuring out alternatives for me when my original requests were backordered!)

I plan on destroying this thing with feathers, pearls, and cabochon jewels instead of fake flowers. This is glitzy art deco, and that means feathers, dammit. I’m on the hunt for good cabochons in the lavender, royal purple, and honey-gold color range, which I’ll add feathers to and then attach to bobby pins or hair pins. Basically, I’m making my own feather-look hair ornaments out of more outfit-fitting materials.

Oh, so many feathers. Have I mentioned this wig project is going to torment my cat?

For the headpiece, I’m making it a bit more 1920s-looking. The simple pearl-headband-with-gems tiara is cute, but I can have more fun. I found this gorgeous gold cut-out ribbon at M&J Trimming which will become the base of my headband. I’m going to attach six amethyst-colored gemstones (two large, four small flanking the large ones) on either side of the headband, with paler purple flowers peeking out over the top of the crystals. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to let the ribbon’s tails dangle or if I’ll turn it into a proper headband/circlet thing with a stiff base…

As for the dress, I’ve got a reproduction 1920s dress pattern on hand. I’m going to deviate a bit from the figurine, however, as I’m a sucker for a handkerchief hem. I’m also going to bead all the orange and gold parts. I haven’t decided if it’ll be solid beading or some type of repeating pattern yet – I guess it depends on how much time I want to dedicate to it. If I can figure it out, I might try doing a pattern like the one this dress has along the collar and waist, only making it the Corona sun instead of a flower. I’m also tempted to do some kind of scalloped or vertical striped beadwork on the entire dress, something like this vintage gown, but I’m going to resist that temptation because it’ll be waaaayyy too busy otherwise and I like the idea of the free-dangling pearl strands more than heavy beadwork, anyway.

As for shoes, I’ll likely just grab a pair of purple flats somewhere. Not sure if I’m going to go barefoot for photos or not – I feel like Rapunzel would PROBABLY wear shoes in a speakeasy, but then again, she didn’t in the Snuggly Duckling. Regardless, they’re not really my chief concern here.

Fwoo. Time to start assembling materials. Anyone have any favorite places for buying seed beads, larger cabochons, and feathers in bulk? I’m gonna need a lot of them!

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