Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cosplay Overview: Howl, from Howl's Moving Castle

Studio Ghibli's "Howl's Moving Castle" made a significant impact on me when it was released in 2005.  I was enchanted by the ever-present charm of Hayao Miyazaki's brilliance; Howl's was beautiful, strange and human.
Though the handsome wizard Howl Pendragon Jenkins appeared to be the hero of the story, he was in actuality the one who needed rescuing.  The young woman Sophie Hatter, after being transformed into an old woman by a jealous witch, teaches Howl about his humanity and learns about her own beauty during their adventures.

The Costume

Howl wears a white peasant shirt, a quilted overcoat that he wears on his shoulders, black pants and black boots.  He also wears green earrings, a blue pendant necklace and a silver ring embellished with a red (and later, blue) gem.  This costume is based on his first appearance in the film. 

Howl and Sophie in the film. (Studio Ghibli)

Costume Construction:

The coat was made by quilting together the diamond pattern from cotton.  I traced out the designs on an over sized coat pattern and cut it into pieces, sewing them back together to give the front of the coat dimension.
I lined the coat in a red textured satin; I happened to have it lying around and though it isn't "screen accurate", it adds a nice touch.  A later of batting sits in between the coat and its lining to give it that "puffy" look.

Quilting detail on the coat with Howl's jewelry.

The peasant shirt was made from white cotton.  A ruffle trim was sewn across the front of the shirt.  The shirt itself is quite fitted, and tucks into Howl's pants.
I cheated on Howl's pants, and sewed buttons to a pair I already owned. 

Howl's necklace was made from a chain ordered on Etsy and beads purchased from my local craft store. The earrings were made the same way.
Closeup of Howl's necklace and earrings.

Howl's ring was made from Instamorph thermoplastic and beads for the cross details.  A red bead was epoxied into the ring.

A plush Calcifer was made from faux fur, feathers and googly eyes.
Calcifer plush. Photo by Vicious Victor's Photography.

Howl was initially completed back in 2009, but I fixed him up and remade a few pieces for 2014.  He'll be appearing at a few conventions in 2015 as well.

The completed costume. Photo by Vicious Victor's Photography.

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