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Friday, June 4, 2021

WandaVision - "Naughty" 1990s Agatha

WandaVision snuck up on me in a big way. I was glad Wanda was getting more screentime, but I hadn't seen much promo material before the show aired and I had no expectations of getting invested in it, let alone recreating any costumes from it. Then Agatha happened.

It really *was* Agatha all along!

While the show has some issues that really don't sit well with me and definitely spoiled my overall enjoyment, I immediately fell in love with Agatha and the problematic elements didn't damper that. I initially planned to do her 1950s dress from the first episode (and that's in the works), but I quickly found myself theorizing and researching *all* of her costumes (and currently planning to do them all, but we'll see how that goes). On mostly a whim, the first I ended up doing was the most gratuitous—it only has about 30 seconds of screentime, if that—but also the easiest: her 1990s purple velour "Naughty" tracksuit from the opening credits of the seventh episode.

I myself have an edgy velour rhinestoned tracksuit, so it was super relatable. And as I'm still in a costuming rut, something easy to make and comfy to wear was also appealing.

Because the costume felt so indulgent and was meant to be a laid-back project, I didn't want to invest a lot of money in it, so I got a tracksuit second hand and some cheaper (but still beautiful) clear resin rhinestones. The lettering could really be done with any uniform size, and that may be how they made hers, but with only blurry references it's hard to tell. So I got 6mm, 5mm, 4mm, and 3mm to give it some variation.

I made a digital template/stencil of the lettering from screencaps and tweaked it to account for perspective. I don't do much digital work in costuming, so it was fun to use a new tool, even for something basic. I sized it based on standard 8.5x11" printer paper and did some (awkward) mock-up tests, and it ended up being pretty perfect.

Using the template as a stencil, I lightly painted the letters onto the pants with silver Jacquard fabric paint. Referring to both the template and screencaps, I started gluing the largest 6mm rhinestones in the places that looked the most prominent, then went down in size filling in more of the letters. I mostly used the larger sizes for the bulk of the letters, and used the smaller sizes to fill in gaps between them and smooth out edges. This gave the letters a really nice shape. I used E6000 for the gluing based on tutorials by the shop I got the rhinestones from, and it worked great. A wax pencil was also very handy.

This was my first time rhinestoning (?) fabric and it was so much fun. I'm already thinking about doing a second Agatha tracksuit but experimenting by filling in the letters with just tiny 2mm or 3mm rhinestones for a more uniform look. 

There are a few wonky spots where I painted outside the lines or had to remove and reglue rhinestones and left some residue, so I might try to disguise that with some purple paint. The tracksuit I bought also fits a little odd—despite being a matching set, the pants are just this side of indecently tight but kind of perfect that way, but the jacket is a good size too big in comparison. So I may take the jacket in so it fits a little more tightly like hers. But it's completely wearable and overall I'm so, so happy with how it turned out.

I already have a white t-shirt to wear under it, and I'll likely improvise the shoes with some generic sneakers (I do have an old pair of Reeboks that might fit the '90s aesthetic). This would be a great opportunity to skip a wig because my hair is the perfect color, but it's also too short right now. I'm in the process of growing it out so I may wait and see if it's long enough by the time I have a reason to wear this.

I have no definite idea when or where that'll be. At the very least it needs a photoshoot. A friend of mine does a wonderful Wanda (in many different incarnations) so when I fell in love with Agatha I told her I'd be her evil counterpart, and she was so excited when she found out I was doing this costume specifically. It would also be fantastic for a lazy day at a con or for staying in costume but being comfortable during post-con evening shenanigans. I may even be bold enough to wear it in Real Life.

As silly as it is, I love this costume and I'm super glad it was my first completed costume build of the year (and of the pandemic!).

Stay tuned!

*Tagging this as "historical costume" feels so... ugh. Not just because it doesn't feel like historical costuming or look like any of the other historical sewing I do, but also because I lived through the '90s and thinking of that as "historical" in any sense is jarring. But for the sake of accuracy and tagging continuity...

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