Character: Maron Kusakabe (日下部 まろん) / Kaitou Jeanne (怪盗ジャンヌ)
Series: Phantom Thief Jeanne | Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne | 神風怪盗ジャンヌ
Debut: SeishunCon 2010
Awards: Best in Show – SeishunCon 2010 (Solo), Best in Show Master’s – Anime Weekend Atlanta 2010 (Group)
Arina Tanemura’s work is absolutely breathtaking, and I really connected with Maron more than any of her characters. I love magical girls and thought bringing Jeanne’s design to life would be a fun challenge.
For Jeanne, it took a few months just to gather the different fabrics and wig/crafting supplies. I started with the accessories. The gems are cast in polyester resin with opaque dye. I chose that over transparent because I really wanted the colors to “pop” in photos. I didn’t have a mold for the crescents on the earrings, so first I made the shapes out of sculpey, baked to harden them, and brushed layers of latex to make my own mold. The bracers are made from craft foam, shaped with heat, painted with 2 different shades of gold acrylic paint, and fasten with velcro. The cross is also made from craft foam and acrylic paint. I had to do 3 different layers of material for the cross, and it took several times to get the shape of the cross to look nice.
For the costume, each garment is made from a different fabric because I was going for a textured look. The following fabrics were used in construction:
White Outer Haori – Shantung
Red Inner Haori – Casa Satin
Skirt – Stretch Poplin
Red Obi – Flowered Brocade
Gold Obi – Swirled Brocade
Purple Sashes – Crepe-back Satin
Everything is either fully lined or has finished seams. I tried to be as accurate as possible, but also added my own personal touches and interpretations for the costume. The obi has a detachable back bow because Jeanne wears one in the final battle scene of the manga, and a handful of artbook illustrations as well. The sashes have silver eyelets that had to be punched and hammered on — 80 total. (Thanks Yashuntafun for the help!)
The wig was my first big styling project. It started out as a Cosworx “Ivy” in #25, with matching wefted and non-wefted extensions. I had to sew lots of wefts into the wig because it was so thin. After that, everything was pulled into a high ponytail, stubbed with caulk and covered with an egg-shaped foam piece. Extensions were added to the egg, and the ends were curled. The whole process was stressful and tedious. If I were to do this wig over, I would definitely use a shorter, thicker wig. Overall though, it was a great learning experience!
My baton prop was fairly simple to make. I used wooden dowels and other small wood pieces. My husband drilled/glued them together for me and I added paint, shiny varnish, and a thick red ribbon.
Later, I upgraded the costume to compete in a larger competition with my group (with the permission of AWA’s cosplay track director). I made a steel boned corset (that doubled in purpose for my Lilith costume) and the wings. The wings are made from thick wire, chicken wire, closet shelving scraps, tons of turkey feathers, and 8 bottles of E6000.