• Stephanie Dola

Cosplay Diary - Sarah, Labyrinth Part 1: References

Lately I have found myself in a bit of a slump, which is something I do not like nor do I have time for. So what better to get me out of the vicious cycle of spending all day in bed watching YouTube videos than a new cosplay project?

I'm really excited about this one, though I have to admit the first time I saw Labyrinth I wasn't completely sold. From the slightly convoluted plot to the mildly predatory undertones I was a bit put off, though it has grown on me. One of the reasons for my new found respect for this film apart from the quirky characters and fascinating universe is is oh my god the costumes.

They are o-so 80s-fantasy and they are so incredible. Needless to say it was an easy choice to decide to make Sarah's iconic ballgown (left) from the famous dream sequence, though it has not been an easy task...

The first thing I do with any new cosplay project is make a Pinterest board of as many reference images as I can find. I have linked to the one that I have set up for this project here, though I will be including some key images in this post. I have to give a huge shout out to Aria Couture, who posted two incredibly useful blog posts on this costume with some fantastic photos which made up the majority of the reference images I used. She also offers some great insight into the various materials and how the gown was constructed which I will no doubt be referring back to.

After compiling my reference images I did some basic technical drawings of the costume's various elements. I have also included some key points on each of the parts, some of which are abridged from Aria's blog post and some are my own observations.


Key points:

• Base is an 18th century style pannier

• Skirt has a total of 6 layers: (from base to top) muslin, yellow cellophane, dove-grey Chantilly lace, muslin, iridescent cellophane, organza.

• All 6 layers are pleated into the waistband together

• There are a total of 44 Kingussie pleats in the skirt

• The top three layers are hitched up on the left side using a large, diamond-shaped broach.

• The finish on most of the layers is a zigzag stitch (though I will likely ignore this in favor of rolled hems because I'm a rebel)


Key points:

• 7 panels in total

• Neckline at front is mostly rounded with a subtle point

• Neckline at back is rounded

• Hook-and-eye fastening

• 3 visible layers: (from base to top) white satin, iridescent cellophane and silver lace

• Lace appears to have been sewn on top of the base layers by hand

• According to the plaque the bodice was boned

• The edges were piped with a muslin, cellophane and lace covered piping-cord

• Seams at front appear to go into the neckline (which can be more clearly seen in the photo on the right)

• Seams at back appear to go into the armholes

• The sleeves are attached but because they are the way they are I will be treating them as two separate monsters

• Asymmetrical beading in the front

• Small pieces of cut out lace around neckline


Key Points:

• Large puffed outer sleeve with fitted inner sleeve

• 3 visible layers: (from base to top) white satin, iridescent cellophane and silver lace

• Gathers mainly concentrated towards the top

• Puff extends to the elbow

• Cuff is trimmed with additional silver lace

• There are ties in the center of the puff which appear to be attached to the inner sleeve

• Inside the outer sleeve there is a large puff to make it hold its shape


Key Points:

• Sarah wears multiple hair pieces, a necklace, earrings and a ring

• The necklace is asymmetrical and made out of wire with a variety of different beads

• The hair pieces are confusing, from what I could make out there are potentially three

• Two appear to be made out of silver with and adorned with leaves and flowers with long silver ribbons attached

• The third looks like a bunch of silver leaves and flowers over her right ear

•Earrings are silver with clear stones (pictured right)

• Ring is also silver and so hard to find a reference for though someone has made a recreation here

So now that I've completed the visual research the next step is to start making the costume. In my next post I will be talking about the pannier!

Until next time and don't forget to subscribe/follow me on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you fancy!

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