Entirely Handmade Diva Plavalaguna Costume from The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element is one of my favorite movies of all time so I wanted to do a costume of a character that I not only liked but would be a challenge to make. And this costume is 100% handmade!
The dress was made from a pattern found at a sewing store. There were black fabric cuffs added to the wrists and two padded fabric pieces added to the hips to match the original costume. The collar piece was made from a leather-like fabric that was secured to the dress using snaps. The back spine was made from gardening kneepads from the dollar store and the tentacles attached to that were made from hollow tubes of fabric stuffed with polyfill. The headpiece is my favorite part of the costume. It is made using fosshape (a felt like fabric that hardens when heated with a hairdryer or heat gun). I cut the shape I needed, sewed it together and then heated the shape after stuffing it with polyfill (to ensure the proper shape was held. Fosshape is very lightweight so it wasn’t hard to wear the headpiece all day.
While having this amazing costume come to life was definitely one of the best parts of creating it, the really rewarding part was seeing the reactions to it when I took it to Comic Con. I literally could not take more than 5 steps without someone asking to take my picture. This costume is not one you see very often so the response to it was amazing! I ever met Marina Sirtis (who played Deanna Troi on Star Trek:TNG) and she told me that her friend had created the original makeup for the Diva for the movie and would have been very impressed to see what I had done! That was rewarding in itself!