September 2017 Costume Writeup: Nova

What they're from Tales of Xillia 2 (video game)
Variation Default
Created January 2015
Debuted Ohayocon 2015
Also worn
Katsucon 2015
Otakon 2015 (panel)
Matsuricon 2015
Colossalcon 2016
Groups Trimeriad Cosplay with Tomoyo as Elle and Niho as Victor
Kirameki Cosplay as Vera
Wig Inigo in Black with wefts in Silver and Black from Arda Wigs
This was the first wig I gave a drastic cut, from a shoulder-length wig into a bob. I'm very proud of how it turned out, considering I had no experience cutting hair OR wigs at that point. I learned a lot! I also learned how to sew wefts on this wig; I sewed some in the bottom back for volume (thus launching my obsession with VOLUMINOUS wigs) and some for her bangs. Still holds up!
Special Makeup N/A.
Patterns Butterick B4688
McCall's M5935
What went wrong:
The final version of the shirt is the THIRD attempt at the shirt. I don't know why everything went so wrong, but I tried working with peachskin and it slipped and I accidentally tore open the shirt on the serger's knife. It was also my first time working with a serger, so we didn't get the tension quite right.

What went right:
I'm really proud of the bias tape on this one. As a Tales cosplayer, I had to perfect the technique early. Every corner is mitered the best way I knew how. I'm also really fond of the scarf.

What I'd do differently:
I'd like to make a much better black shirt, particularly the collar. I'd also like to add the little slit on the back of the bolero for accuracy. Maybe next time I also wouldn't make it out of wool, as it takes forever to get the wrinkles out. Also, I still need help when I sew sleeves, don't judge.

Would I wear it again?
Absolutely. I have a blast every time I cosplay an outgoing character. I also designed bunny suits for Nova and Vera that I'd still love to do someday when I'm capable. The only problem is, nobody would recognize me! Maybe at a Tales-only convention?

Why I chose this character:
When bright, bubbly Nova appeared in the game as a loan shark calling you intermittently, I knew people would haaaaate her. But because she's just doing her job, she doesn't deserve to be hated. I wanted to wear this cosplay partially because I'm a sucker for NPCs, partially because I wanted to see how I'd look in a shorter haircut, and partially because I knew I'd have the right mindset interacting with people at cons. I wanted people who hated Nova to come up to my face and think about what they're saying. It's easy to say you hate someone online or scream at a screen, but it's harder to do in real life. I wanted to give Nova a physical presence of someone trying her best so that anyone who said they hated her might get to see another side. This was definitely more of an "acting" reason than aesthetic - in fact, I don't care for baby pinks or pastels as I feel that my skin suits other hues better.

Any other anecdotes?:
This was originally supposed to be constructed for a group skit for Tales of Xillia 2 at Katsucon 2015. However, due to artistic differences and time, we scrapped this project the week prior to the convention. That's why it's constructed so thoughtfully! We still have the audio for that skit provided by Tomoyo. One day, we'd love to share it.

The main awesome story about Nova is that I got Josh Grelle (who voices Ludger) to sign this giant custom check for 20 million gald while we filmed it, thus fulfilling Nova's wish! Josh, bless your patience for my antics.

Oh, and Matt Mercer was there too - he'd already been subjected to my antics months before by signing my Presa book with, "I betrayed you. My bad." These voice actors... they tolerate a lot. I think my requests were well within range of what's appropriate to ask of a guest, but please keep in mind they put up with a lot weirder!

Another super cool thing that happened was that when we were taking pictures in the atrium, Nova's voice actor, Cristina Vee, ran past us and said, "I voiced you! Come find me later!" When I approached her at the end of another autograph session, we took a picture together. I met her again at Matsuricon later that year during a VIP mixer event. I spotted her from across the room; we locked eyes. I came over to her (probably dragging Niho to take the photo) and she said, "hold on," grabbed this wad of cash from her purse, and struck a pose that would create one of my favorite cosplay photos ever. I adore her and I'm so glad she was the one to give Velvet Crowe a voice this year. She gets it!

All photos taken by myself or Niho.
Also, I was definitely not naked in that selfie with the check, but I do appreciate that I have it saved in a folder called "Money Shot." Thank you, past me.

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