“Only two things matter to me; the taste of blood soaked flesh and revenge upon one man.” -Velvet Crowe
*Header picture by SonicjKevin
My name is Vanessa but my cosplay alias online is xxfruitcakexx cosplay. I’ve been a huge fan of the *Tales* series since I first played “Tales of Symphonia” on the Gamecube. I fell in love with the storyline, the characters, music, and the entire atmosphere of the game, and since then I’ve played almost every tales game I could get my hands on. They’ve provided hours of gameplay as well as replay for me and so you can guess my excitement when it was announce that “Tales of Berseria” was on its way. I was excited for the first few pictures of characters to be released and was already preparing to add to my growing list of cosplays I wanted to do.
Photo by Weneals Photography and Retouching
I’ve always had an interest in cosplaying strong female characters because they always had the best outfits and stories to go with their personality and Velvet was no exception. When the first picture was released of the main protagonist, I was instantly drawn to the character. My sisters also had the same idea and were constantly tagging me in every picture of Velvet as each one got released by Bandai Namco. From each picture, I knew her story was going to be something very interesting and I decided I had to cosplay her.
Two weeks later I started on the costume. First it was finding the right materials for everything and deciding what things were going to be made out of and how everything was going to sit on me. Progress was slow because there were very few pictures released and the ones that were, did not show much of the outfit. There was a lot of guessing and eye balling but when I was satisfied with how everything looked in my head and on paper, it was time to start on the actual costume.
The first thing I started on was her many accessories. Those included all her belts, emblems, and armor pieces. She had a fair amount of accessories which added to her pirate look. I decided to use very cheap materials such as EVA foam, craft foam, googley eyes, paper tacks, thin pleather material, and acrylic paints. Every belt and emblem was hand made by me and even though it was painstaking at times, I was really happy with how it turned out.
The armor pieces on her legs and forearm were probably the trickiest to make. I wanted to keep the design on the back of the leg armor but had to find a way to fit everything, that way I could put it on by myself if I were to travel alone to a con. The armor pieces in the end were made with EVA foam, craft foam, and worbla. The longer leg piece is held by straps that are fastened with velcro and the two smaller leg pieces are held together with elastic, that way I am able to slip my feet into them. The arm gauntlet is also made of the same material and held on with straps. It also has a blade that can be put on and taken off for easy packing.
The red top and the jacket were next on my list. I wanted the jacket to definitely be flowy; for epic wind effects of course. I didn’t want to use a heavy material like leather but at the same time I wanted a shine and texture to the jacket. I decided to use this material I found that i forgot the name of but would describe it as the look of crocodile skin with velvet textures. I also made the design on her jacket with velvet as well since her name was Velvet and I wanted to keep the velvet texture throughout the jacket. Also, I guessed on most of the design on the back with only one picture showing part of her back and I was glad to see later on in more pictures, that I nailed it. Yay for guessing games!
Next was the epic fight! Scissors and fire versus my Velvet cosplay! It was time to make the costume look like it had gone through hell and back and somehow make it look decent. It was probably one of my favorite part to do. Ripping and tearing the fabric and then burning the edges to prevent fraying but also giving the edges a nice burnt look. After that part it was time to tackle the wig. I ordered a long black wig from Arda Wigs and got down to styling. I first sprayed the entire thing in silicone lubricant; something you can find at any home depot. Then I brushed it out, waited a day for it to dry and air out, and then started styling it. It didn’t take too long since her hair was practically a huge loose braid with one smaller braid on her left side and then some bangs. After all that, I was done!
I debuted the costume at Denver Comic Con 2016. It was definitely exciting to wear everything for the first time and seeing everything come together and looking in the mirror gave me a rush. There is nothing like the feeling of working hard on a cosplay and then wearing to see that it surpassed your expectations of how it would turn out. I got great feedback from the community and overall I was super happy with how the costume looked. I was even more ecstatic when pictures started rolling in. Photographers were able to bring the cosplay to life through pictures so well that even Bandai Namco started sharing them. They even reached out to me and I was able to do some collaboration work with them which was definitely a highlight of my year.
Overall, making Velvet was definitely an adventure. To be honest I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of wearing this cosplay. Now that the game is out and I ‘m already 30 hours in, playing the game has rekindled my excitement for the cosplay. Her story is more heart pounding than I had imagined and it adds a depth to her character that I can really appreciate. It has also motivated me to cosplay from my very first *Tales *game, “Tales of Symphonia.” I will be starting on my next cosplay; Sheena Fujibayashi! I hope you all will join me in that adventure! Thank you.
– xxfruitcakexx cosplay
“I will devour them all!!”
Photo by Cocoreccho
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