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So Anime Expo has always been my competition convention. I really enjoy going toe-to-toe with some of the best cosplayers in the world and using that as motivation to push and inspire myself. The AX of 2007, they announced a new competition for gothic lolita designs. You had to pick a theme and make both the costumes and a full tea set with center piece based off that theme. I got super excited about it, roped in a few people and started to throw ideas around. While our theme wasn't original at all (wait, Alice in Wonderland and gothic lolita? Never!), I loved my design for the Mad Hatter.

Early on, we decided the color scheme of our group would be black, white, and red for the people from Wonderland and our Alice was in light blue, so she would look out of place. Taking a page from the original illustrations of the Mad Hatter, I wanted my costume to make your eyes bleed with all of the patterns. The lines on each tier of the skirt run in different directions, the vest is polkadot and the coat material was an amazing chance find at Denver Fabrics. Both the vest and jacket materials were sheers, so were flat-lined with heavy satins. The hat was made out of fun foam (my fall-back for almost everything I can't sew). The wig was a Faux Femme Fatale from Amphigory that I stubbed and glued on extensions to. The original intent was to have just a free flowing ponytail, but the loose hair was a pain in the ass, so was braided for my sanity.

The cake is 100% fake; made from cake tins that were decorated with buttons, puffy paint and acrylic paint. The idea was to make a three layer tea caddy, but keep the craziness of the tea party going. The small mouse in the middle was our Dormouse, and had a bit of trim sewn together to make a little dress. The checkerboard blanket was sewn by our Queen of Hearts, Lilacwire (http://fleur-de-cosplay.com/) to be the floor board of our tea set at AX.

Mad Hatter has won Best Individual Craftsmanship as a solo, Best Group Craftsmanship with the group, and First Place with the group at Anime Expo's Midnight Tea Party 2007.

Reference photo and photos 10-18 credited to Digital Dreams Photography, photos 1-5 credited to Consplayers.com, photos 6-9 credited to Idolatry Studios, photos 19-20 credited to Dustin Leitzel, and photo 21 credited to Shutter Crazy Photos.


All characters (c) their rightful owners. All costumes (c) the members of Engi, please do not use pictures without permission.