I usually do something dark or twisted for a Halloween costume but last year I decided to go a little more fun. So who is fun? Who’s off the wall? Who has one of the best costumes in a Sci-Fi/Action movie? RUBY RHOD of course! BZZZZZ! I decided to do a complete female version of Ruby trying to replicate as close as I could the costume Chris Tucker wore in his introduction scene in “The Fifth Element”.
The fabric was the hardest to replicate. The costume in the movie is a slightly fuzzy/fur like leopard print fabric and after searching many fabric stores I finally found one that matched to my satisfaction. It was also the most expensive part of this costume. I bought 3 1/2 yards of fabric and it ran me $15 per yard. But hey, buying a costume in a store can run you quite a bit of money as it is so it was acceptable. I am tall and still have fabric left over. Unlike the movie, I made my body suit in 2 parts, a top and leggings, instead of one piece. I don’t have sewing skills so I bought a plain black long sleeved top at Old Navy and used it as the basis for the top pattern, cutting out the scoop neck and sewing the leopard fabric over the shirt, tucking all the edges under for a clean look.
I did the same with the leggings, using my own pants/jeans as the template. Because the waistline was loose I then sewed the leopard pant legs over pair of exercise pants and the waist to the top of the pants, stretching it as I went. The crotch was troublesome and did not turn out perfectly as I had to dart it to fit properly, but hey, it stayed closed and looked OK so I was cool with it. I hand sewed everything, but you can (of course) use a machine, just don’t forget seam allowance for mistakes. I had issues with things shrinking as I went, but I mark that down to hand sewing and not knowing proper pattern making, I tried things on as I went to make sure they still fit and made adjustments as necessary.
For the lapels and back of the neck on the top, I used soft foam, cut out the shapes to match the movie costume as best I could and covered them in the leopard fabric, I hand sewed it to the pieces, tucking in the edges for a clean line. I then sewed the foam pieces to the top. I was worried about the back of the neck staying up, but there were no issues, it should sit around your shoulders, which hold it up just fine.
For the wig I bought 2 cheap blond Afro wigs. I cut the first one down a bit to get a tighter fro, then used a piece of soft foam and created a tube for the front. I cut the second wig and wrapped it around the tube, sewing it down and stuffing the hair into the front end, sewing a bit to keep it in place. I left the end of the tube with pieces I could sew to the color of wig was wrong so I spray painted it white, then a very light yellow to get a better color. I had to let it air out as it smelled a bit. I also used a spray air freshener on it which after airing, it hid the smell.
For his disco stick microphone I used a dowel from a hardware store covered in the fabric using a long strip of double sided tape. I carved the top from a piece of Styrofoam paper mached it with craft paper and spray painted silver. I attached it by cutting a hole in the bottom, gluing it to the stick with white glue then papering around the end and finishing. I attached a rubber toy snake to it with pins and other bits and bobs to give it detail (Ruby’s has a dragon on it, but I couldn’t find one to fit) I used sprayed silver card stock for the ends double sided taped.
For the necklace I used craft wire, card stock painted silver and red for the center jewel. Attached the two circles with white glue. I didn’t paint the side that touched my skin. For the head microphone I purchased a cheap costume accessory mic and sprayed it silver. For the silver stud earring I wrapped tin foil around a pair of studs I already had. I added the leopard print material to my own everyday shoes using scraps and double sided tape.
For the past couple of years now I go to the Silver Snail Halloween Party in Toronto, hosted by a local comic book store. The costumes there are all outstanding. Everyone goes all out and you will not find anyone who isn’t in a costume, I highly recommend it. My costume went over extremely well, lots of people took pictures of me and I was mobbed as soon as I walked in with my friends. I have never had a reaction like that to a costume before. My friend also went as Leeloo so we made a great pair. There is a costume parade on Halloween night in downtown Toronto so I went to that as well and was mobbed once again, lots of pictures taken that night. I had a blast as Ruby Rhod and intend to try to top myself next year, and do homemade costumes for every Halloween.