After doing some challenging but all soft-fabric costumes, I'm getting back into something a little more multimedia for my current costume project. Ever since I first saw the costume for Eldrad from the classic Who serial "The Hand of Fear" as a teenager, I've been in love with it. I've been toying with the idea off-and-on for years, but I've finally solidified my approach and am getting cracking on it!
For those who don't know the costume, it's basically a walking glitterbomb:
SO SPARKLY. I've heard that the actual costume used vac-formed crystals, and that the actress had to be sewn into it!
My first major decision was what fabric to use for the base suit. The references I have are fairly awful, but to my eye it looks like the original suit is a very vintage sparkle-knit - the very textural sort that is almost tinsel-y in texture. Sacrilegiously, while that works fine on low-res TV, I decided I wanted something that in-person would visually blend more smoothly with the crystals. I ended up deciding on a snakeskin-textured lycra.
I'm using black as my base-color, but when over-painted with silver spray, I'm quite pleased with the effect it gives. I did a quick test with some leftover paint I had on hand.
I also did a quick test of the foam technique I'm going to use for the crystals. Basically, it's the standard PVA technique, but since this will need to be flexible and washable, I've substituted Mod Podge Fabric for the PVA. I had to bend the foam completely double to get the crease you see there, so I think it will be sufficiently flexible.
Funnily enough, I had a hard time tracking down black snakeskin lycra, and the only way I was able to find it finally was in the form of pre-made zentai suits on eBay. Works for me! I was able to purchase an additional yard of the same fabric from the seller, which gives me enough for boot covers, etc.
I've had to do a great deal of modification to the original suit: fitting the torso, realigning the hands, adding shoe covers. Also, since I know a fair bit of the stretch will be lost once the crystals are glued in place, I've had to add five extra zippers at wrist, ankle, and waist to ensure proper fit. The shoes I'm using are proportionately a little short in the heel, but since I'm not sure if I'll be able to sit in the final costume, I was definitely sacrificing accuracy for comfort in this case.
I've also gotten the headpiece mocked up:
Not quite perfect, but with a few tweaks to the angle and fit I think I can work with it.
And that's where I am right now!