May the Force be with You

I mentioned in my latest entries about cosplay that I would be doing a Star Wars costume to meet Lando Calrissian actor Billy Dee Williams at this month’s Wizard World Comic Con.  This post will just focus on my cosplay, so look for another post soon on the event itself! So here we go…

Yes. I am in fact cosplaying Lando, or at least a female pin-up version of Lando (or Landa as some of my friends like to call it).  And here is why: I believe cosplay is about showing your love of a character or fandom in a costume format. I don’t believe that race or gender have anything to do with these things. It’s that simple. “Cosplay Ambassador” Yaya Han agrees, and expresses this sentiment on her Moulin Rouge Snow White costume page.  And Lando is my favorite character in the Star Wars franchise, quickly followed by Han Solo, and then Boba Fett.

I went for a female interpretation because I also like to cater to my figure, and I thought I could have fun with it. I was also inspired by the recent Playboy Bunny-isation of characters, such as the Avenger Bunnies Initiative.  While normally I strive to be as accurate as possible, when doing a variation of a costume, it’s okay to take liberties, hence a capelet instead of a full cape, halter top, etc.  I love various interpretations of costumes, especially when costumes get the steampunk treatment. I recently saw a steampunk slave Leia and I’m already dreaming about my own take on that!

I had a lot of fun drawing out various options for a female Lando and settled on this pin-up version. But I also did a lot of research on the actual costume worn by Billy Dee Williams, and discovered that the lining of his cape was not just a generic gold brocade, but in fact featured an Asian dragon design and was able to score some on Ebay.  Now, let’s talk sewing specs. The capelet is made from Butterick 6411, which I bought from Miss Betty’s Attic on Etsy, and slightly altered to accommodate the collar.  For the top, I used No. 4 from La Prairie Lady on Etsy, and once again, slightly altered so I could do the black edging around the neckline.  I had a few issues with the blouse, as I altered the pattern to make it a tad bit bigger in the bust, which then turned into a lot bigger. Oops!  Since my Dixie costume was going to be so labor intensive, and I wanted to minimize the work I had to do for this costume, so I chose to buy a black pencil skirt instead of make one. The skirt is by Switchblade Stiletto, which I purchased from Naked City here in Portland.  While the skirt came with a good belt, the buckle was of course not what I needed.  For the buckle, Patrick is the genius behind it and he worked with Polymoph (also known as Friendly Plastic) to create it.  Polymoph is a plastic, that comes in small beads, a bit smaller than a BB, and has a very low melting temperature. Many cosplayers use it to make various costume elements.  This was our first time using it…and while it didn’t turn out perfect, it wasn’t too shabby!  My boots were thrifted, and the E-11 (the blaster normally used by the Stormtroopers, though Lando commandeers a few in Empire Strikes Back, and uses them to shoot their way out of Cloud City) was purchased on Ebay.

My costume I felt was well received. I even had a few people asking for their picture taken with me!  Thankfully, I didn’t get any negative comments, but maybe a few disapproving stares, but I couldn’t be sure. Overall, I had a lot of fun with this, and look forward to taking this treatment to a Han Solo costume in the future!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post with more photos, including some of a few celebrities!

14 thoughts on “May the Force be with You

  1. Holy crap. I don’t doubt you got stares, but I’d bet money they weren’t disapproving.
    Awesome job, and I hope you didn’t give poor Billy a heart attack.

  2. Oh my goodness, I love this idea! Its so fantastic! I was planning on going to the Wizard Con in Sacramento in a few months to see Billy Dee but then I saw the price of the tickets and that plan went out the window. At least I can live vicariously through you, since you seem to be the nerdy-vintage style I love.

    Hellcat Vintage

  3. Great costume, I love the detail and effort that you put in. I’d be very interested in seeing your Steampunk slave Leia if you did decide to make your own version.

  4. Wowza, honey, you look out-of-this world terrific (which is fitting, given the setting :)). Fabulous attention to detail and styling going on here, as well as some really fun, engaging poses – they brought your ensemble to life all the more.

    ♥ Jessica

  5. What a great Cosplay! I love the old films, though I have to admit that I always had my issues with Lando. Maybe because I am a fan of the empire?
    Love your idea of a female Lando-Version, it looks so great on you.
    For already quite some time I am brooding over how to make a Darth Vader inspired blouse, that could be worn as an actual garment and not as a costume. I reallly hope to finally realize it this year.

  6. I absolutely adore your outfit! I’ve never done cosplay myself, but I have great admiration for the people like you who take the time to put together an amazing outfit. I can’t wait to read your next post about the event!

  7. Oh my gosh, I love this costume. I think it’s awesome when cosplayers come up with their own interpretations of their favourite character’s outfits. This pin-up version of Lando’s costume is fantastic.

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