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In the fall of 2004, I created a character based on the Anime series "Chobits". In this universe, people do not use laptop or desktop computers, instead all computer functions are handled by humanoid female robots with large data ports on the sides of their heads that look like giant ears, called Persocoms (the Japanese contraction for "personal computer"). They come in all shapes and sizes, even down to palm-sized units. There is an urban legend about a persocom that was created that is capable of true Artificial Intelligence - in other words, the ability to learn and feel independent of its programming. This mythical persocom is called Chobits. The legend says that there are only a few, if any at all and most likely only one. I created Chobits #23, a persocom with Artificial Intelligence who has already begun the learning process and is becoming an individual. The costume contains thigh-high black suede boots, a black suede mini skirt, and a sleeveless jacket made entirely of black duct tape, lined with purple satin for accent. It is permanently wired in an "anime wave" to look like I am in motion.
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Then I added silver duct tape to transform the tank top into a duct tape bodice. I chose silver because it was cheaper and I could find it in larger quantities. I saved the black for the final layer. I started with the line down the back of the spine because it was the straightest line.
I continued taping the tank top until it was completely covered in duct tape. Then I cut the front of the bodice into the neckline I wanted and I cut the opening down the middle.
Then I covered the entire bodice with a layer of the slightly more expensive and more difficult to find black duct tape. I used long strips in a vertical pattern to try and minimize the tape-lines and In addition, I added a high "vampire" collar.
I lined the collar with purple electrical tape that matched the lining I would eventually put inside the skirt portion of the trench coat.
Next I turned the coat inside out and attached the skirt lining. I used long trapazoidal pieces of fabric with a wider base than top. I taped the smaller edge to the waistline of the bodice and taped a long seam using silver duct tape to connect each of the panels of the skirt. It is important to note that the long vertical duct tape seam is on the "outside" of the coat, since the purple lining is intended to be seen. Usually, when clothing is turned inside out, it's to make seams and other things that won't be seen. Anyway, the idea was to make the skirt flare out at the base. If I used one wide piece of fabric, it would have hung straight and I wanted a fuller skirt. So the narrow ends of the panels are taped to the waist and the wider ends make the base, with several panels taped together to create the full skirt.
You can see on the image on the left, the skirt sort of bells outwards. When the coat was turned right-side out and taped, it creates folds of the full skirt. Again, I used very long pieces of tape, placed vertically on the base fabric to minimize visible tape lines.
Finally, I placed a long piece of copper tubing (that I just happened to have lying around) at the base of the skirt and bent it into a shape that would mimic the fabric being blown about in the wind as though I were running ... a la a dramatic anime character. I used a very narrow strip of black duct tape to secure it to the coat at the hem.
Finally, the costume was ready to wear. I added a set of thigh-high suede boots and a black suede mini-skirt, somewhat common in anime characters. And, to tie my costume into the show, I had a "chobits" stamp on my thigh and my designation number on my upper arm. I also took scraps from the lining and some more black duct tape to make the dataport ears. I attached them to a headband that was similar to my hair color and added a white thumbtack for the "hinge", as the cartoon shows a large circle hinge on the ears.
Here are some very low res (and low size) images that the Con Photographer took of me. I did not spend the money on the large images, so you'll just have to deal with the small crappy ones. These are as large as they get ... no clicking for bigger images. You can see more (and larger) pictures of me in Chobits on the Necro page, where I wore it for the first time.
The Inn Between © 2004