Why Moana?

Momentously, in one year, Disney had launched TWO new "princesses" of color as lead characters- Moana being only jokingly referred to as a princess by Maui, of course. "You wear a dress, you have an animal sidekick- you're a princess." The other, of course, was Elena of Avalor, who I also cosplayed in the same year! It was really special to have two characters be launched at the same time that both represented different cultures.


It's always great to see more diversity in Hollywood, even in the animated films. I wish I had gotten the opportunity to grow up with Moana and Elena as a kid! I spend most of my years relating to Jasmine, Esmeralda, or Pocahontas, since they were some of the few Disney characters close to my skin tone. But now I actually have a character that is Latina like me!


Anyways, less about diversity, more about Moana... although I hadn't yet seen the movie when making my costume, I knew instantly that I would love this character. And I was not wrong! Moana is a great, brave, and clever character. And her scene with Te Ka? LEGENDARY. Absolute cinematic gold. 

Costume Stats

Started: June 2016

Completed: July 2016

Status: active

Wig by: Wig Is Fashion (V1), Arda Wigs (V2(

Worn at: LA CosplayCon 2016, Anime Expo 2016

Awards: Best Hero- LA CosplayCon 2016

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About This Costume

This costume may have come out a little rough around the edges, since I didn't have great references to go off of,  and at the time, didn't have my dress form to drape on, but it came out pretty cool, regardless! The grass skirt is actually a grass table skirt, which I thought would come out fuller and thicker than a cheap party grass skirt. Plus all the grass ones come in bright neon greens, and I needed a natural rafia-colored skirt. So I hand sewed the skirt into about three layers, and I use a string to tie it around my waist.

The top was done out of a seasonal spandex that Joann was offering, and I handpainted the details on. I couldn't find the right kind of shells for her top, so I used stone-like beads instead, and handsewed them on. The top hem of the blouse has elastic in it so that it stays fitted to me, and the bottom scallops were sewn using a facing so that the scallops wouldn't curl upwards, as raw edges of spandex often do.

My white skirt was made of a quilted spandex which I thought added an interesting texture, since I wouldn't be able to find a weave quite like Moana's. I used a soldering iron to cut out the lace designs, and stitched them onto the hems of the skirt. The flowers and designs were done using watered down fabric paint, and the skirt snaps on at the hip to be held in place.

My sash was actually made out of a different fabric than the top, I didn't have enough leftover to make the sash, and the spandex was out of season. The sash is stuffed with batting to give it some dimension and structure, and has hand painted details on it as well!

My first wig was reused from my Miss America cosplay, and then later I replaced it with a gorgeous wig from Arda! My first necklace was beads harvested from bracelets I had on hand and made using an extra gem from my bead stash. Later I replaced it with a shell from one of the Moana dolls- it even lights up too! I attached it to a string from the craft store so that it fit around my neck, since the doll necklace string was fit for a child, and made of flat plastic pieces, haha. Comfy ;P

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