Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Green Fairy

One of the very first costume re-creations I undertook was Kylie Minogue's Absinthe Fairy costume from the wonderful film Moulin Rouge. I made this back in 2005 for Halloween in Savannah, before really getting a feel for the world of costume re-creation. I knew I wanted to make a costume from Moulin Rouge, but I'd made a random can can costume a few years before, and really wasn't ready to make another one. That, and I love Kylie. 

Kylie Minogue as the Green Fairy.
So I went out and bought a few yards of heavy cotton for the corset, about 30 yards of 1 1/2" wide green sequin trim, 3 yards of silk chiffon, and a couple different green silk dyes. (The actual costume was gold, and they turned both Kylie and the costume green in post.)

I started with a mockup of the corset:

Then I built the corset. My very first corset, by the way - and not nearly as scary as I'd built it up to be! And thus, the easy part was done.

After that, I spent dozens of hours hand sewing the sequin trim to the corset. If I had found the perfect sequin fabric, I might have been a happier person, but in all honesty, I'm really glad that I chose this method. The sequins look seamless, and there are no stitching lines to be found.

I mixed two different colors to dye the chiffon (I think a chartreuse and grass green?) and ended up getting REALLY lucky. I was thrilled with the color right out of the dye bath. I haven't gotten so lucky with any other dye experiments since.


I originally stitched strings of sequin fringe along the bottom of the corset, but these were later replaced by beaded trim after I moved to New York. 

I bought t-strap dance shoes with the thought that maybe they'd be more comfortable than regular high heels... Not necessarily true. But they were comfortable enough! I wanted them to be beige, and then, again, revisited and improved them a few years later. This time, I added some Swarovski heat-set crystals in multiple sizes. You know, for more sparkle!

All these revamps were done in 2009, because after much jealous onlooking from afar, I decided to actually GO to Dragon*Con in Atlanta. Cassandra gave me the heads-up about Moulin Rouge night, so I bit the bullet and packed the Green Fairy with four other costumes for one crazy weekend.

With Ashley's gorgeous can can girl.
With Suzanne's stunning Pink Diamonds.

This is one of the many costumes I have that I would absolutely LOVE to do a real photoshoot with. It's all a matter of finding the right photographer and location.


  1. Amazing work. Thanks for posting how you made it :)

  2. what did you wear underneath? I'm making my own costume but i can't find any good shots from the movie showing me what she's wearing for underwear lol