Theorycrafting: Lulu Cosplay 1/19/2012
Hey everyone and welcome to Theorycrafting: Cosplay Edition!
This series features my ideas for how to potentially bring a specific character to life for cosplay. My hope is to give people a quick look into my design process and what materials I like to use use when considering building a character.
As always, discussion and recommendations of which characters (from any series/game, etc) you would like to see theorycrafted in future are more than welcome. ^_^
This week’s character is: Lulu (Classic Skin, League of Legends)
Lulu (3D Model 1, 3D Model 2) is an imaginative young yordle. She spent most of her childhood wandering in the forest around Bandle City, which is how she met her best friend Pix, the faerie. Pix was fascinated by Lulu’s childish imagination, so he invited her to the Glade, the home of faeries. Lulu stayed there with Pix for a long time playing faerie games, until it was time for her to go home. When she got home, however, she found that centuries had passed in Bandle City and, in fact, nobody wanted to play faerie games with her. With nowhere else to go, Lulu decided to join the League of Legends, where her talents would be appreciated.
Personally, Lulu is one of my favorite characters in League of Legends. She’s really fun to play, and I’ve been thinking of how to make a costume of her ever since she came out. Plus, you know…SQUIRREL!!!
With this costume, it’s important to keep the sense of scale without dwarfing yourself. Lulu’s hat and staff are huge compared to her, but she also has a proportionately big head, so try to strike a balance between the two. Coordinating the colors between the hat, robe, wig, and makeup is also really important to make a continuous effect. Smaller people would do really well in this costume, especially if it were paired with a Veigar cosplay. ^_^
Some people have already done Lulu cosplays and it is so fun to see them! Two Lulu cosplays that I particularly like, are shown below:
I really like SlaugherTM‘s Lulu, because she made very good fabric choices. I love the texture of the velvet material and it’s nicely offset by the more cotton-like material that she used for the purple stripes. She also did an excellent job with the hat. The scale is well thought out so that it is big and maintains the silhouette, but is not so big as to dwarf her features.
KiraHokuten‘s Lulu is another example of a very well made cosplay. Her fabric choices, though different from SlaughterTM’s in material and color choice, still come together very well. Again, the hat is very well made and the scale reads well with Kira Hokuten’s features and the rest of the costume. All in all, a very well made cosplay.
With these examples in mind, I will now go through how I would approach creating Lulu.
Lulu’s dress has a very particular shape, so you’ll want to plan for creating some form of stiffened or hoop skirt. If you go with a hoop, I would place it at the bottom edge so that you get the swoop and triangle-esque angle of the skirt. If you can, you may want to install the hoop between the outer layer and an inner lining.
For the hoop, I would consider using a stiff steel wire for it so that it doesn’t create a huge bulge, like pvc pipe or a hula hoop would.
Since there is a difference between the splash art and in-game model for the design and look of Lulu’s pants, I think that you could either make your own pantaloons or use leggings. Either way, I would go for either a dark green or a dark brown, depending on your preference.
Lulu’s shoes have a uniquely shaped upturned toe, so you may want to makeyour own shoes, modify an existing pair, or create boot covers. I would personally go with one of the first two options. If you decide to make the shoes from scratch, you could scavenge soles from a pair of flats and build off of that.
For the material, I would go for a soft, dark brown deerskin. If you want a less expensive material, a dark brown canvas may work well.
The hat could possibly be the trickiest thing to construct for this costume because of the odd shape and the issue of scale. On the one hand, it needs to be big, but you don’t want to dwarf your own features by creating a huge hat.
With that said, I would probably use Fosshape to create the base form of the hat since it’s a really light material, which will certainly be nice since the hat is so big!
You could theoretically use other materials, such as insulation foam or just fabric with some interfacing. The problem is that insulation foam would get a bit too clunky and be heavier than the fosshape, since it won’t be hollow, it will have that extra weight and will also be hotter to wear than the fosshape. As for using just fabric with wire and interfacing, you could probably do it, but it runs the risk of not being stiff enough and the hat could get crushed and lose its shape.
For the lacing on the front of the hat, I would use a brown leather cord.
Since most of this costume uses the same fabrics for different items, I’ll write a section on fabric choices! ^_^
I would ideally use velvet for the reddish portions, but if you look closely, the main reddish fabric is actually a gradient between red and purple and velvet does not dye well. In the case of including the color gradient, which I think would be really good to include in the costume since it adds another color dimension, you’ll want to go with a rich looking natural fiber fabric (so that you can dye it).
I would make the sleeves custom, either out of a velvet if you went the gradient dying route on the main dress or a knit cotton if you used velvet for the main dress. This is so that there is another layer and differentiation in texture
I think a gold satin or silk would work well for the detailing and lining. Be careful with the color choices for the gold, though, since I don’t think just a yellow or a bright gold would give the best effect. I think a darker, antique gold color would work particularly well.
There are a number of different methods and materials you could use for Lulu’s staff. You could use pvc or a thick wooden dowel (or wooden broom handle!) as a base. For the bulkier parts, you could use all sorts of materials like paper mache, insulation foam, expanding foam, wood, or you could mold and cast it if you’re feeling brave. I would personally consider using the expanding foam method (explained in the expanding foam tutorials by Kamui Cosplay) and be sure to incorporate a woody grain, bark texture to the staff.
I think you could make Pix out of any number of materials and the decision of how to make Pix is up to you. You could make a plush or a hard, sculpted form. As for how to incorporate Pix into the costume, you could perch him on the hat, your shoulder, or staff. You could also hold him or rig up a clear line or post and attach him to the hat or shoulder, etc so that he appears to be floating.
There is a lot of discussion and forum posts on sites, such as cosplay.com about body paints, such as which ones to use and how to make sure that they don’t rub off, etc. I would just make sure to not just paint your face and hands a straight blue. You’ll want to add in highlights and some other colors, such as purples to help contour your face.
If you want to see some really good League of Legends themed make-up tutorials that address these issues, check out Makeup Disguise’s posts on Glamerous Gamer Girls!
I would suggest using a long, wavy purple wig (much like this one from Arda-Wigs) rather than a straight wig. It will give the costume a little more bouncy, fun movement.
Definitely make the bag! Not only will it be useful to carry things around in, but you can also put things like glitter and fairy dust in it!
If you don’t have green eyes, you may want to consider obtaining contacts since the extra detail can really help make the character “pop”. If you don’t need glasses, you can just get them at 0.0 strength so that they’re purely cosmetic.
That pretty much sums up how I would take a crack at creating a Lulu cosplay. If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, feel free to ask me, or if you have any requests for characters you would like to see, just let me know in the comments!