The most difficult part of making a good Wonder Woman outfit is the armor. It can make or break the whole outfit. No matter how much time and effort you put into the corset and star-spangled-underwear, if your armor is obviously spray-painted cardboard nobody will be impressed. Being the over-achiever that I am, I wanted my armor to be made of real metal. This would be impossible for most first-time cosplayers, however I have worked at Renaissance Faires in California for over 10 years. I know more than my fair share of blacksmiths, leather workers, and armorers. So I put word out on the dust filled streets of Faire in 2011 that I wanted Wonder Woman armor made…
These are the people I choose to spend time with…
… and the amazing Jacques Louis David answered my call. Jacques is an artist and should become very, very famous someday. He makes armor at fair, but his most recent passion is for metal sculpture and installation pieces. He also happens to be a comic and Wonder Woman fan. We met a bunch of times to discuss “the plan” and he was kind enough to hold my hand through the whole process. I know a lot more about armor than your normal (late) 20’s California girl. I own a collection of swords and used to train horses for a jousting company, but Jacques’ knowledge blew my mind and made me consider things I hadn’t even realized were possible. Over beers and burgers, we came up with our design. I had bought a belt at a Thrift store, so that was not something we needed to worry about. We figured out that I needed the tiara, eagle chest piece, bracers, and greaves. If you ever want to commission metal work, talk to Jacques.
For my gladiator type Wonder Woman, I chose to replace the boots with greaves which are basically metal shin guards. They would be much more functional than knee-high boots in an actual battle. I could also lace them on and get a similar look to the era where Wonder Woman wore sandals.
I went with the eagle design for the chest piece because it made the most sense for a real warrior to wear an animal symbol. Although I love the W design, it didn’t really fit with the image I was going for in this costume. This was easily the hardest piece of the project.
We needed the eagle to be fitted to my…ahem… chest. That meant that Jacques needed something the shape of my chest that was hard enough to bang… I mean hammer against. We made a plaster mold of me wearing a corset (the same corset I patterned the Wonder Woman corset from). Jacques then took this shell and made a body-double of me made out of really hard plaster. That gave him the surface he needed to hammer out an eagle in the shape of my boobs.
Wrapped up in getting plastered…
After forming the steel (which is armor grade), brass was added to give a hint of the traditional Wonder Woman costume. The same was added to the grieves and the tiara. The only pieces that are only polished steel are the bracers, which are such thick steel the could probably really deflect bullets. I added laces on those to continue with the theme.
The power of the DC Universe – SDCC 2011
I am incredibly happy with how everything turned out. The metal pieces look amazing and really wow the crowed when I wear them. I really hope that SOMEONE in a film studio sees this someday and realizes that if a middle school teacher can do this in her spare time, they can do an even better job for a feature film.