Ariel Costume (Client Commission 2013)
For Halloween 2013, a client living in Canada commissioned me by email to make her a custom mermaid costume, based on Ariel from the 1989 film "The Little Mermaid". She contacted me on very short notice, and using only her measurements as provided through email correspondence, I was able to create a costume that fit her like a glove in less than two weeks.
I had creative free reign in selecting fabrics for this costume. It allowed me to create a costume that really looks like Ariel, without having to run every material choice past the client first. As a result I feel the client is much happier this way, and the costume becomes a little bit more of a surprise.
The bra top was created completely custom to my client. I build it around two molded bust cups, and sewed each piece of the seashell design together before hand-sewing them onto the cups.
Even the band of the bra (hooks and all) is custom built, so there was no risk of it sliding off the client as she walked around at parties. A simple store-bought 32C strapless bra would stretch out and slide down over the years. Using non-stretch silk assures strength and security for the wearing of this costume.
I chose several different textures and layers for the fins, with some transparent tulle accents mirrored on the waistline.
The tail fabric is a shimmer stretch fabric with minimal stretch, which hugs the body but will never distort under the weight of the fins. It gives enough room for movement so the wearer can walk in the tail, but is still structured enough to need a hidden side zipper for ease of wear.
Add a red flowing wig and you're Ariel!