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Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Get Your Geek On! Amazing Pinafores By Darling Army + Interview With The Creator!

Legend of Zelda Fandom: Deluxe Hylian Princess Cosplay Kimono Dress [ Buy Here ]

I have been SUPER EXCITED for this post. I wanted to share with you a potential cosplay option made possible thanks to Darling Army. Darling Army specialise in pinafores, which are really awesome because the fact that they wrap around means the sizing is more flexible than a dress. But that's not the best part about them! There's a whole range of geeky pinafores for fandoms that I love. Naturally, my favourite is THE LEGEND OF ZELDAAAAA =D but I also spotted loads of ingenious designs for other video games, cartoons or anime, TV shows and movies.

Legend of Zelda Fandom: Deluxe Hyrule Hero Hooded Cosplay Kimono Dress [ Buy Here ]

Avatar: The Legend Of Aang Fandom: Sky Nomad Cosplay Kimono Dress [ Buy Here ]

Supernatural Fandom: Deluxe Winchester Cosplay Jumper Pinafore [ Buy Here ]

On the Darling Army website, there is a staggering variety of pinafores to choose from including Pokemon, Batman, Assassin's Creed, Captain America, Full Metal Alchemist, Sailor Moon, Ouran High School Host Club, Black Butler, Star Wars, and an entire section devoted to Doctor Who. Each fandom will often have more than one pinafore design based on different characters or creatures.

You can also get just the skirt, or a caplet instead of the full dress.

Frozen Fandom: Princess of Arendelle Coronation Cosplay Pinafore [ Buy Here ]

Doctor Who Fandom: POLICE BOX Cosplay Kimono Dress [ Buy Here ]

Sherlock Holmes Fandom: Sherlock's Hideaway Cosplay Pinafore [ Buy Here ]

One thing I found particularly useful is the Darling Army style guide, which shows you different ways to style a pinafore (it does have a lot more options than a dress). If you're into cosplay, it's definitely worth checking out.

From left to right: Casual, Cosplay, Formal, Lingerie, Lolita, Punk.
Click to enlarge, or click the link above to read the style guide.


As a special treat for the readers of this blog, the creator of Darling Army kindly agreed to do an interview! Thankyouthankyouthankyou. There were some questions in particular I've really wanted to ask.

For one - how long have you been running Darling Army?

I've been seriously running it for two years as my sole focus. Altogether I'd say I've been doing this for a little over three years (the first year and a half were part time while I went to school).

How many pinafores do you make on average a month?

It's actually hard to pinpoint since I limit my orders now. On average I take maybe fifty orders a month, but about half or more of those can be kimono dresses. I also receive maybe ten orders outside of my acceptance dates for skirts and capelets.

Your pinafores are cleverly designed to include the sigils or insignia of whichever fandom the pinafore is representing. What inspires you when you create a new pinafore design? 

Honestly it's usually just dependent on what I'm watching or playing  XD  If you pay attention, you'll notice trends of same-genre designs being released around the same time. For example, when I was re-watching Supernatural, I released the Sam Winchester pinafore, the Impala skirt, and the Castiel capelet all in the same month. Darling Army is very much a by a fan for the fans business; I don't put anything in the store full-time if I am not personally invested in that fandom. That's why you see a lot of League of Legends and Hetalia designs in my commission section, but not in the rest of the store.

What the most bizarre request you’ve ever had?

The most bizarre are usually modifications for sexy time (like cutting out specific holes in the bodice for breasts). While I appreciate the enthusiasm (since pinafores do make wonderful, geeky lingerie), I am a bit uncomfortable receiving measurements for the exact circumference around someone's lady parts @_@

Do you think Darling Army might expand one day, for example appearing at conventions? (Please say yes. <3 )

I really don't think there is any way for me to expand at this point. I'm a free-cutter, so I don't use any patterns. While this works out great for me, it makes it all but impossible for me to bring someone else onboard to help. In addition to the labor and time factor, it's also an issue of budget. On average, cotton pinafores cost me $30-50 to construct with quality materials and kimono dresses are usually double that. Since I do not buy bulk, cheap products from overseas, it would cost way too much for me to create a significant amount of stock that would be needed for a convention. Add in the travel expense and the crazy amount I pay in taxes for being a small business in California, it's just not realistic for me to attend conventions.

Finally; Is there a special pinafore you made for yourself?

I'm guilty of making a lot of the designs in the store for myself  XD  My closet is exploding with pinafores, skirts, and kimono dresses I've made. I have about twenty designs that I've made for myself that I haven't released to the store only because I'm not sure how popular they would be. A lot of these are obscure book characters since I'm an avid reader. I have three designs inspired by the Old Kingdom series alone  XD

Thank you soo much! I adore your pinafores and I hope to get a The Legend Of Zelda one for myself to wear to the Symphony Of The Goddess concert which is FINALLY coming to London! (I can't believe the tickets are almost completely sold out already.)

Batman Fandom: Harlequinn Cutie Hooded Capelet [ Buy Here ]

Want more geeky posts?
To read about Comic Cons: Events
To read about Graphic Novels: Comics

You can find more cosplay and lolita wear, or costumes for fantasy characters on my Pinterest boards. Enjoy!

A quick question to my readers because I am curious: are you dressing up for Christmas, and what will you be wearing?! Will it be geeky? A whole outfit? Just a christmas jumper? Elegant evening wear? Let me know!

And once again, Merry Christmas from,
Ashana Lian .

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