From the very first time I watched the movie, I knew I had to make a black swan costume. I loved the idea that a simple make up design and slightly altered ballerina/tutu outfit could become iconic. It also seemed like a costume I could make by bringing together a few simple items.
I ordered a plain black corset and tutu online. These items are available at most lingerie stores. Depending on your costume standards this could be all you need for the body of your costume. I can be quite the perfectionist when it comes to my crafts though, and was hung up on the beautiful bodice Natalie Portman sports in the movie. I bought bags of feathers at my local art store, I think I bought about 4 (they were small pouches), and it didn’t cost me more than $10. I would’ve bought rhinestones but they only had them in bulk, and didn’t have the slightly opaque/chrome/black rhinestones I’d need to imitate this look.
At this point I decided that I’d like to keep the black corset unharmed in case I needed it for future purposes that didn’t included feathers. I took an old pair of black tights and cut them up into pieces that matched the areas I wanted to cover in feathers, the top of the corset, and bottom of the corset where it meets the tutu. I hot glued the feathers to the pieces of tights in a pattern that covered up most of the “stem” of the feather and looked seamless. I made an asymmetrical design on the front that mimics the silhouette of the original. Once I had hot glued the feathers on the tights I simply safety pinned the chucks of feather fabric onto the places I wanted. My bodice was done!
The next part of building this costume is the iconic crown. Again, I was lacking black rhinestones so I had to rely on creating the creepy asymmetric spirit of her crown. I bought an average plastic princess crown at the Halloween store, it cost around $6 and was a bright shinny silver. The first step in its transformation was to be hot glued. Nothing was glued to it, it was just covered in glue. I glued over all of the shapes that were there, and added some peaks and appendages that were completely new. The gooey visual texture of hot glue is perfect for making the crown look like it was sculpted out of molten metal. Once thoroughly pleased with the shape (it took a lot of glue, remember her crown is quite large) and the piece had cooled, I painted over the entire thing with black craft paint. Feel free to do two coats here for a solid black look, or add a hint of silver to get a more chrome color. The final step is spraying the crown with a glossy finish.
For make up I used soft black eye liner to do the out line as well as general lines within what I will call the “eye feather”. Fill it with lots of squiggles to create texture. When done with the eyeliner fill the spaces left with silver eye shadow. Add a nice dose of mascara. I used foundation that was slightly too light for my skin to get the ghostly pale look, without looking like a geisha. This make up will look great for initial pictures, but don’t count on it lasting throughout a long night. It will also look different on you depending on how much space you have between your lid and your eyebrow, so don’t expect to turn out looking exactly like Natalie (don’t we wish).
There you have it! A costume that is sure to be the hit of a party and a great conversation piece.
photo credit http://sanghyuncho.com/blog/