Ok. I waited a couple days and it hasn't popped up yet and I can't keep hush hush anymore, so I'm just going to start this since I've heard a couple fellow RPF ladies also express interest in the costume.
I'll admit it, at first, I hated it. As in, loathed with the burning passion of a thousand suns. To me, it did not look like Catwoman. It was too basic. Tight, black, matte leather. It wasn't exciting or original...it simply failed to impress upon first impression...
Then out comes the movie...and the way the character was written and wonderfully executed amped up the everything. The suit seemed to take on a life of it's own when embodied with the Catwoman persona. It was probably the quickest change of heart I've ever had.
And so here I am planning for it.
Ladies ( or anyone ), feel free to hi-jack this thread and add your own build progress or any info worth sharing!
( Also, please be gentle, I just bought a house and am trying to keep more within almost impossible budgets than I usually do! x_x )
At the moment I'm simply sourcing items that I can modify. Mainly the boots. I tried to go cheap and found a pair on e-bay in a softer finish synthetic leather...but the platform was wrapped. I literally sat here in my chair for a good half hour just THINKING about these boots. Then I realized 1) shipping to Canada made these cheap e-bay boots not so cheap and 2) her boots actually have a slight tread on the bottom, with a visible platform and having a covered one just wouldn't to.
Then I remembered I had found a pair in my stockroom this past winter that were RIDICULOUS ( as in...thigh high hooker boots ). Lo and behold, I searched them up online, they were still available and were basically perfect.
Stiletto heel - check. Front platform - check. Slight tread - check. Front seam - check. Thigh high - check. Within budget? -$65 - check. ( They are the style Tauarez from ALDO Canada. Some similar styles on the US site are Bullins ( genuine leather but has some more seams for folding the top down ) and Brang ( genuine leather but just over the knee ) both for under $100 )
This was my initial e-bay option.
I did consider leather ( of COURSE I did...but at the moment, I've got most of what I need for the costume at $100...and the boots alone would have been around $195. And still not perfect. So that was that. )
I have a few ideas for modifying the heel to look like a serrated blade but I'll tackle that once they're here. Ideally they'll LOOK legit...but will be safe for me to go party in without being forced to go barefoot in a club.
Here's a great read full of fantastic pics of her boots and more importantly, the heels which are a clear acrylic cast and then painted.
Another important factor in choosing the boots that I did is that the heels are quite thin and I knew they'd be thin enough to build up around. ( They don't look that high or thin in the photo, but having tried them on in store...they are killer. )
Next up, gloves.
I cheaped out. Got a pair of synthetic leather opera gloves for $12 off e-bay. Again considered leather...but couldn't stomach the price to slice and dice them ( since they have her bodysuit material on the upper of the hand ) with the slew of bills on the way.
At this point, as well, synthetic leather at least I knew would be similar enough to the finish of the boots to keep some coherency. I've bought cheap Halloween gloves before and I know they'll need some TLC once they get here, but still a bargain if I do say so myself!
For the mask, I'm following a 'leather look craft foam' tutorial that was posted by the ever so informative MattMunson! And I can't wait to get started on this. I'll be seriously attaching plastic buckles to the sides for the band to go through to lessen the tension on the actual foam....not that I plan on wearing it too tight anyways. No one likes mask lines.
For the goggles, I considered a few options. Ski goggles ( figured they'd be too big/chunky, especially on top of the mask ). Motorcycle goggles ( which I loved the look of...but didn't have one large lens ). ... Giant sunglasses. I think I've settled on this pair of motorcycle glasses which are not only appropriate given her mode of transportation for a good part of the film, but they have one, single curved lens. I'm going to buy a transparent red vinyl to adhere over the smoke tinted lenses to have them dark red. ( Maybe an extra layer of black too ). Again, MattMunson helped me out here in directing me to an automotive store for some rubber trim which I'm going to apply around the edges.
Again, I'll tackle the LED fixtures once I have them on hand. ( Also, can I just say I HATE how her lens looks like cheap bendy plastic? BOOO! )
I believe her goggles have a bit more of a harsh corner on them, but if my cat ears are slightly more curved, I'll be ok with that. I might be able to put some extra foam along the sides closer to the face to make them look fuller when they're on top of my head...'cause let's face it. That's how they're going to be worn 99% of the time. Well...maybe a lower percentage than that since I'll be way more amused than I should be when shining my LEDs at people.
The belt I haven't started planning yet... The actual belt is a leather strip, which you can see in some hi-res shots and I think I have some leftover from attempting to make my Angelica ( PotC ) belts and baldric...but hers is REALLY thick ( I'd guess almost 10mm? ) so I may just buy a new strip.
I might attempt the pouches via leather look craft foam but I have to do some more research here into what would work best. I'd ideally like something more solid. You can buy carbon fiber adhesive vinyl off e-bay for cheap for decorating. ( I really. REALLY. love the carbon fiber detailing. )
And then the biggest and scariest part...the bodysuit.
Some say neoprene ( but I've heard this is a bad idea to wear out of water for extended periods of time ). The costume designer said it was a layer of screen printed material and a slightly shiny fabric ( I'll link this when I find the source again ). It's strange because it looks almost unquestionably textured...but then in the above photo, over the crotch area, it looks smooth under the lighting.
You also have to squint like mad to try to see if anything is raised at the edges...and you usually can't. Is it some optical illusion? Is it some weird puffpaint screenprint? Any insight here would be wonderful!
I considered photoshopping the pattern and having it printed on lycra...but the two issues here is that it would be flat ( texture and finish ) and when stretched, it maybe have splits visible in the print.
I searched for stretch vinyls, pleathers, embossed spandex...everything I could wrap my head around basically. And then considered leather. Again. But again, I can't afford it. And I REALLY like the textured look.
I don't know how I remembered this...but I bought this athletic material for the undersuit when I was planning Quorra ( Tron ... way, WAY on the backburner ) and realized, though not perfect, it's 'free' since I already have it and should have a very similar look. The other plus is that it's stretchy and breathable and because it has nylon in it, it does have a slight sheen. The costume designer also said the material they went with, they did so because it was flexible looking. Something she could sneak around in. In terms of realism, I think my fabric will work alright in that department too! My only concern here is that it's going to have to be a VERY specific fit so as to not overstretch and look transparent in photos.
Here's a photo of the fabric less stretched;
and on a sleeve/glove/unfinished...thing;
( It's not actually overstretched here...it just looks pinkish because of the sheen and my room being...well...very pink. )
The seamlines are also incredibly awkward on the costume...attaching where the ribbon lines the silhouette and having no front center pant seam and no back seam. It's literally going to be a puzzle piece pattern and it's going to take a LOT of trying on and adjusting to get the perfect fit. Or just a really good pair of spanx. Which I'll probably get to sharpen my waistline anyways.
Oh, but I AM going to get real leather for the collar! Ha ha, I know, I know. Big spender.
Planning to have this done for Halloween! POSSIBLY Fan Expo in Toronto...but with moving, I somehow think that is a slightly overly ambitious goal.
DEFINITELY looking forward to the overall comfort of this costume ( cozy, cozy stretchy jumpsuit! ...hopefully! ) and the fact that I literally have the exact same hair cut/colour. Yesss.
Not looking forward to cutting back on the sweets to trim up the legs. Oh well! High heels work wonders... >_>'