Ritz Malheur :: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Okay, I’m going to confess something: I’ve never played this video game. Yeah, I’m one of THOSE cosplayers. Not usually, though. I swear! I tried playing the original Tactics, but couldn’t get into it. Just not my thing. However, I’ve researched the character and read about the game so I can at least get into her character when posing. Proof that you don’t have to be a superfan of the source material to cosplay. There. I did it. You can, too.
I saw a pencil board of this character in an import store. I was immediately in love with the design. Bonus: Ritz has a high forehead just like me! I thought I could do an awesome job on this costume since props and armor are my specialty.
I beaded the edges of the neckpiece with bugle beads for extra contrast. The armor, gauntlet, and staff are made out of paper mache and Paperclay. I pintucked the red pleather belt and sewed eyes onto it that I wove leather strips through to make it like the artwork. I made all the pouches and lined them; it was good sewing practice for me, haha! The obi I also pintucked and sewed ribbons onto to create the distinctive design. I was very selective in the fabrics for this outfit; I wanted the costume to have a depth to it, so I chose floral patterns for all the accent fabrics. I sewed 2 packs of extensions into the wig to make it extra thick, and made the barettes out of foamies, beads, and buttons.
This costume is still one of my favorites to this day. Probably because I put a lot of love and sweat into it; I had mononucleosis when I was working on this costume for its debut. I will never forget the agonizing pain associated with making and wearing this for the first time. Ugh; I slept in a tent I made with hotel blankets over the desk in the hotel room so I wouldn’t infect anyone with my mono. That’s hardcore cosplay for you.
Photos by daguru, Kyle Johnsen