In the words of Psycho Mantis, ‘You like Castlevania, don’t you?’
A few months ago while making plans to attend MAGfest, I decided that I needed to put together vampire Mathias Cronqvist. I had previously made a Mathias costume for ROFcon last March, however the costume lacked that added appeal of being able to wear vampire fangs and vaguely creepy makeup, and so began the task of finally making yet another costume I’d been wanting to make for over a decade.
I spent a few weeks over the winter holidays perusing various silks. Jacquard, devore velvet, several hundred sari fabrics. I ordered a few swatches from B & J Fabrics in NYC, none of which were the right shade or design once they arrived. The in-game design is a little different from the artistic rendering, and so I kept deliberating between going with a dark brown for the robe or black.
At this same time I finally acquired a copy of Ayami Kojima’s artbook, and for the first time was able to see the colours of this costume without the distortion of having been scanned and the robe looks decidedly darker if not true black, the colours all a bit more vibrant. Pictured below, the scan that is not true to colour.
The robe was draped from muslin onto my dress form, and patterned out. Due to my petite build, I wanted to keep the robe very slim and fitted through-out, while maintaining the fluid lines of Kojima’s artwork.
The robe is a black devore velvet with emerald green embossed devore velvet as contrast and is lined in a chocolate brown silk fabric to give a little depth to the semi-sheer black devore.
The sleeves are a black silk velvet and accented with custom dyed green silk ribbon and glass pearls. The ribbon was pinned and interwoven together in a diagonal criss-cross pattern on the sleeve before being gathered individually with a needle and thread, and secured with a pearl. This process was extremely time consuming, physically draining, and collectively took 8 hours to complete both sleeves. This process was repeated on the black contrasting lapels.
The robe fastens with hidden hook and eyes, and is accented pewter clasps with antique gold chain.
I wanted to keep the textures interesting and varied, using a coarse raw silk for the faux slashed sleeve accent, and an ivory silk jacquard trimmed in Czech woven ribbon for the sash. I purchased various vintage trims from Etsy to add to the robe, some of which I hand embellished with glass pearls for additional detail.
The cape is 4 yards of black silk velvet lined in dupioni silk and trimmed in black fox.
I wanted to focus on the small details, allow the costume to come to life through textures and accents from the tiny pearls, to the custom chain belt I had commissioned–which I sadly forgot to wear while doing photos at MAGfest. This is why you always look at the reference art before leaving the hotel room no matter how well you think you remember the design. I didn’t realize I’d forgotten to put it on until after our sunset photoshoot when a friend was looking at the all the details on my costume. I was so let down when I realized that I’d left out one of the tiny details because of my own carelessness while putting on the costume.
No one else noticed, no one else would care, or will care, but for me I’m still sort of disappointed in myself whenever I look at my photos.
The wig is an A-Plus Ozone lace front wig in dark brown, and the fangs are custom from Kaos Kustom Fangs, which does mail orders with an extremely fast turn around. I got mine in about two weeks from the day I ordered the dental molding kit and they were delayed a few days by the arrival of Winter Storm Jonas.
We shot at sunset to take advantage of the lighting, and I’ve always been a fan of the Bram Stoker’s mythos of vampires being able to walk in the daylight though weakened as I prefer my vampires eerily human, evolved into something darker, the subtle flash of fangs behind smiles, that even in daylight no human is entirely safe.
Overall, I’m pleased with the outcome of this costume, and look forward to shooting it again when I’m not forgetting part of my costume.
I have such an inexplicable love for this character. A Christian knight with a irreconcilable darkness, driven to madness with the death of his wife, damning himself to become Dracula. Sadly, this may mark the end of my Castlevania costumes, as the series is pretty much dead courtesy of Konami destroying every franchise they held, unless I decide to cosplay Soma Cruz, bringing this whole thing full circle.
Photography by PhotoNinja.