Hiroki Nakadoi from Lead

Character Name: Hiroki Nakadoi
Series: Lead (music group)
Specifics: Hiroki's first outfit from the "Brand New Era" concert
Cost: $250
Time: ~45 hours (plus about 9 more hours in planning)
Started: January 2005
Completed: February 11, 2005
Debuted: Anime North's Valentine's Day JPOP Dance 2005



Thanks to Stillvisions and Becky for the photos!

Costume Information

I first saw this costume in a Factory Generation episode about Lead's first concert. Sadly, I had no idea it was their concert so I had trouble finding any images since the DVD wasn't out yet. When the DVD did come out, I imported it and fell in love with Hiroki's outfit all over again.

It took my about four weeks to collect the materials I needed. All the "shiny" material used for the patches and pants is a form of satin. (Sadly, I never did find the sparkly brown material I needed for his "skirt", so I ended up improvising.

A lot of work went into planning the costume. I watched and screencapped the concert and then did some concept drawings of what it looked like. Then I spent a lots of time figuring out the patches on the shirt, how large and what shape they had to be, what colors they needed to be, and what order they had to be sewn on. This took a ridiculous amount of time, but it made my life a lot easier in the end.

The first thing I made was the pants. They were surprisingly simple thanks to a pattern I got off my friend Becky. Next, I made the base green shirt. The patches came next, and they were the most time-consuming part. I had to trace my designs for each of the patches (there are about fifty) onto the fabric, and then hem them all. I really don't like hemming small things because I have trouble keeping a straight stitch and because I have trouble with corners.

Next, came the task of attaching the patches to the base shirt. I ended up messing up my original designs slightly, but didn't mind. The most annoying part of this was the fact that I had to re-thread the machine for almost every single patch thanks to the different colors. On the plus side, I can now thread my machine in record time.

I added the golden shoulder things and then the brown trim on them. They were supposed to be the same sparkly brown material as the "skirt", which I couldn't find anywhere so I substituted the sparkly brown material with the dark brown satin I bought for the patches.

The "skirt" was relatively painless and took only about three hours to do.

The shoulder pad and the elbows pads worked out surprisingly well. I was original planning to cover regular shoulder pads, but after some frustration and three failed attempts, I had to come up with a new plan. I ended up experimenting with cardboard and duct tape. I managed to come up with an interesting mix of cardboard, duct tape, stuffing, hot glue and fabric. Don't ask my how or why, but they turned out really well.

Something to note is that he has two elbow pads (one inside the other), so I had to figure out a way for that to work and stay together. The elbow pads are attached just like his using simple black elastic. The shoulder pad is attached to the shirt via velcro.

The armband was simple. It's just a band of sparkly green spandex that was pinned to my arm to get the right shape, and then sewn together. The black band across it is more black elastic.

There are a lot of little details in this costume. There are five small jewels sewn near the collar, and another on the right-hand side of the "skirt". The "skirt" jewel was kinda my own design. Hiroki's "skirt" jewel only has a pointy shaped silver wire. I ended up making a funky pointy piece out of fimo, which had the general shape of his. I spray painted it gold and glued a small circular mirror to it for effect. It looks really cool, and since I was sure no one would no who I was dressed as, I didn't care too much about accuracy.

The headband is a simple rectangle of brown (again, wrong due to total lack of the sparkly I needed) fabric with a jewel glued onto the center. There's nice gold cording attached to either side so I can tie it around my head. At the ends of the cording are gold beads.

Just when I thought I was almost done, I remembered this costume included chainmail. I bought thirty-five silver keyrings and some low-gage gold wire to attach them together. Sadly, I realized I had underestimated the amount of keyrings I needed so I had to go out and by more that were slightly a different size. Then I laid them out and attached them together so they wouldn't slide around.

First, I used the wire to attach the rings together. At some point I realized that although the wire looked very nice, the ends of the wire would end up scratching my shirt and running my hardwork. Needing a last minute backup plan, I turned to duct tape. Then, I hand-sewed the chainmail to the shirt in many different places just to make sure it was supported and wouldn't shift.

Last, but not least, I made the cape. I couldn't find the fabric I wanted, so I went with a gold organza fabric and cut it to the right shape. I attached it to the back of the shirt, along with a gold tassel (which is practically invisible on his outfit), and added another jewel.

I bought black running shoes (I needed new ones anyway) for his shoes and used a wig I already owned.

I loved wearing this costume. It's comfy and a lot of fun~. :)

I wore this to Anime North's Valentine's Day JPOP Dance 2005. Surprisingly, some people actually recognized me even though I was dressed as something so obscure. The most memorable was a girl who looked at me, did a double-take, her eyes went wide and she pointed at me and exclaimed, "You know Lead!" To which I pointed back and exclaimed, "You know Lead!" XD It was awesome. She was really cool, and talked to me throughout the night. She really liked my costume, and I was thrilled with her response to it.

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