Feb 202012

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Queen Jamillia – the completed costume

(Note: Latest pics of the costume being worn can always be found at the bottom of the page. So in case you’re just looking for new pics, scroll down and skip the rest!)

I finished the Jamillia costume in two steps:

The first was a test run, taking place at the local Carnival (Karneval) in Recklinghausen, Germany. It wasn’t a planned test run. My son is a great fan of the 501st German Garrison and always wanted to see them in person. When I found out that they would have a place in the „Karnevalsumzug“ (which is the German term for the carnival’s parade), I secretly decided that he should see them; particularly he had been working hard at school lately and improved all his grades.
Unfortunately, I only found out about them being there a few days before the carnival; so I only had very few time to finish the Jamillia dress and to make a remotely acceptable Darth Vader costume for my son.

In the end, neither the Jamillia nor the Vader costume were completely finished for the parade. My Jamillia had so many pins in it that I was scared that someone would hug me and kill him- or herself. The Vader costume was missing the chest armor, the codpiece, proper boots and the lining for the cloak; and the backside of the top suit was pretty crudely closed.

Yet and still, that first test run was more successful than I would ever have expected. We stopped counting the numbers of „Oh, Darth Vader!“, „Look, Star Wars!“, „AMIDALA!!!“ (wtf?), „Luke, I’m your father!“ and people humming the Star Wars anthem when we passed them by; also, we were photographed by approximately 200 people. My son almost broke into tears when I spotted the 501st and asked him, „Lord Vader, ready to meet your troops? There’s the 501st coming.“ And we got some very positive „Thumbs up“ by the 501st people; and one of them even left the parade for a minute or two and talked to me and my son.

The test run also showed me some things that I have to change / improve on the gown. For example, the black overdress has a tendency of slipping ‚backwards‘, revealing way more of the white underdress than it should; so I have to add velcro or snaps to keep it in place. And my beaded front piece was constantly slipping to left or right on the dress, so I have to fix that in place, too. Also, the mother of pearl slices at the very top of the headdress are too high, I have to cut them down (and seriously didn’t notice this when making the headdress!)

Here are some pictures of what my son and me looked like. These were taken after the parade. My lipstick has started to run over my lower lip during the parade (that’s something I’ll have to fix somehow, too!). The „glow“ on my collar isn’t photoshopped; it’s a raindrop on the camera lens – it started raining just in time after the parade. Also, in the side view, note my very dirty hem. My son managed to constantly step on that hem during the parade.

And just for the records… here’s my son’s Darth Vader costume. I made everything except the front of the face mask and the boots – he helped a lot, of course:

Step two was my son’s and my visit to the Movie Days 2012 in Mülheim, Germany (more pictures at this link); which happened to be just a week after the carnival.
During that week I made the announced changes; I tacked down the front of the black overdress to the white underdress so it won’t slip back all the time; I cut down the drum wrap parts of the headdress so the shape is correct and corrected the ‚too white‘ color of the drum wrap by basically overpainting the pieces with transparent nail polish; I made a hairpiece so even THAT is correct now – and of course I washed the hems of over- and underdress because they were so dirty. Also, I made a matching handbag – and of course I finished my son’s Darth Vader costume 😉

There is now just one thing left that I would like to change, and that’s the strings of pearls which hang down from the front sides of the headdress. The pearls are MUCH larger on the original headdress. I just need to hunt down properly sized and shaped pearls to do that (which isn’t as simple as it sounds!).

I only got to have one picture of myself taken with my own camera, but here it is:

Queen Jamillia – the finished costume

Here is the same picture, but with the lightning enhanced so you can see the details better:

Queen Jamillia – the finished costume; enhanced photo

Here’s a picture that was taken of me and Corra Sha’Atul in her Padmé Tattooine Disguise costume, which looks fabulous in person:

Me as Queen Jamillia and Corra Sha’Atul as Padmé at the Movie Days 2012

Another picture, showing the top of my costume – including the hairdo and headdress – from side / back; this one was taken by Crosathorian:

I think this was when I explained how LARGE and HEAVY and WORK INTENSE the Jamillia costume is, and how George Lucas seems to have made fun of it by NOT showing much of the embroidered underdress in the movie.
And yes, the ‚back fans‘ of the hair are fake (strands of fake hair which I’ve sewn and glued to a base of craft foam). Just the braided parts at the very back of the head are my own, natural, waist-length hair. Also, I know that Jamillia’s hair in the movie is black wit brown streaks, while mine is more like completely dark strawberry blonde. After dyeing my hair black ONCE for a costume (and taking three years to grow that dye out again…), I don’t want to dye it again, so I went for my own hair color for the entire hairdo.

And here’s a funny one – taken by DangerDogs Tierfotografie – which I seriously consider the greatest pic taken at that convention – me and my son having fun:

The Empire strikes back! Just differently than you’d expect it to strike…

Hopefully, some of the other nice people who photographed me will send me some more so I can publish those, too (or at least link to them).

Here are some more pics of the completely finished costume:

Again (already shown on the ‚embroidered underdress‘ page), just to compare: My embroideries compared to those on the original gown.
I’ve also made a handbag to go with the dress :mrgreen:
The bag closes with a beaded frog closure. In case you’re wondering what’s in the handbag:
Besides my car keys, cigarettes, money, makeup I of course carry reference pictures with me, in case someone doesn’t know my costume so they can take a look and compare.
Then of course there’s the headdress, which I made from thick wire, covered with polymer clay and, in addition, drum wrap, then first painted black and after that wiped with metallic golden paint.
Also, as already mentioned, I toned down the white drum wrap with nail polish:
And yes, the single pieces DO fan out on the original headdress too. Backside of the headdress.
Also, there’s the hairpiece. As also already described, I’ve sewn and glued strands of fake hair down on a base of craft foam, then sewn all of it together.
You can also see the two hair clips which I’ve sewn to the hairpiece, which I use to attach it to my own hair.

Pics of me, my son (Darth Vader) and my father (Emperor Palpatine) at FedCon XXI; May, 2012, in Dusseldorf / Germany:


Last not least, some links to other people who have reproduced the Queen Jamillia costume:

If you, too, have made a Jamillia costume and want to be included in this list, please don’t hesitate to comment on this entry with a link to your website and I will surely add you!

In case you came here over a different link, please consider reading the entire dress diary starting here.

This costume is an approved Rebel Legion Royalty / Senatorial Costume!


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