Interpreting the Assassin (Ezio Costume, Part 1)

This series about the Ezio costume (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood) was meant to appear on The Wandering Bard’s blog shortly after Greg debuted the cosplay at Emerald City Comic Con in March 2012. Sorry for the delay. 

The internets provided a great deal of inspiration for my project, and I want to repay by sharing my successes and stumbles throughout the process. I hope you find these next few posts useful for your future cosplaying adventures.

This adventure began in the fall of 2011. Greg was playing Assassin’s Creed II: Brotherhood, I was watching and enjoying the story. I wanted to make Greg a costume to wear for the upcoming 2012 convention season, but he couldn’t decide on a character. I can’t remember which of us suggested Ezio, but as soon as the idea was in the air there was no doubt it was the right choice. It was a game and character that Greg enjoyed, and he felt he could pull off the poses.

Inspiration and Interpreting the Costume

Screen-caps are my savior. A quick Google (or Bing) image search for “Ezio Assassins Creed Brotherhood” returns a multitude of screen-caps, drawings, and a few cosplayers.

I printed out a number of screen cap images from the game (particularly the opening cinematic from Brotherhood because the resolution is higher) to identify the components of the costume. How many layers did I see? What did those translate to in real apparel terms? Occasionally I needed to see parts of the attire that weren’t visible in the screen caps, so I asked Greg to move around a bit in-game to let me see how the cape moved and exactly how low the doublet hung.

Then I decided how detailed I was going to be. You COULD make this as one piece (sew sleeves into the outer tunic/doublet and sew a “skirt” to the waist of the doublet instead of a full undertunic). I chose to break it into individual garments for 2 reasons:

1. Ian McKellen—in a behind the scenes costume featurette from the Lord of the Rings DVDs, while discussing discussing Gandalf’s costume Ian McKellen shows us the under tunic he wears. Movie audiences never see this under tunic beneath Gandalf’s outer robes, but the layered garments made the costume feel like real clothing to Sir Ian, which likely assisted with his embodiment of Gandalf.  I wanted Greg to feel like he was wearing “real” clothing.

2. We also wanted this costume to be multifunctional. Based on the level of detail Greg wanted, this costume was going to require substantial time and money, so I wanted Greg to be able to use the various components of Ezio’s costume for other things. For example, he might wear the under tunic with a different doublet to a Renaissance fair. Or wear the doublet (with the hood detached) with other medieval or renaissance garb.

Before I continue,  let me direct you to two of the internet sources that provided a great deal of guidance and inspiration:

I am particularly impressed with Muledex and Forcebewitya. Forcebewitya (deviant art) has made an AMAZING Ezio costume, in fact he has done a couple iterations of Ezio. Take a look through his gallery at all of his cosplay among others. Last I checked, he is willing to sell his pattern of Ezio’s hood and doublet. And Muledex provides video tutorials for all costume components including accessories. He also provides guidelines to build a pattern template from your own measurements. He has created these tutorials for multiple Assassins Creed costumes.

Each cosplayer takes a different approach to the costume construction. Before you start, decide how much time do you have, how much money and effort to you want (are you able) to put into it.

The Components

NOTE: there are a few variations between the opening cinematic, the initial promo images of Ezio (presumably before the game was finished), and the in-game play. For example, Ezio’s undertunic is split in the back in some illustrations and unsplit in others.

When I look at Ezio, this is what I see:

A longer undertunic with baggy sleeves.

  • sleeves have spiral black trim (it looks gray at times, but I think this is an optical illusion)
  • ruffled cuffs
  • ruffled collar lining

A structured doublet (with red lining):

  • shoulder flanges are sawtooth, made of angled rectangles (the shape of this differd between the pre-game cinematic and the “official” marketing shot of Ezio). I ultimately fell somewhere in the middle, guided mostly by what was easiest to sew.
  • that had a lot of  detailed topstitching…if you are familiar with corsets, the structure of the doublet reminded me of that. It was not one solid piece, it was made of sections.
  • tall collar
  • sections at the chest that have some ornate design (possibly this was silk brocade)

“Flaps” (I seriously don’t know what to call these things that extend from his waist, under the doublet)— 4 red with white trim and 2 smaller white flaps.

A half-cape with red lining

A hood (which may or may not be directly attached to the doublet), but nevertheless has to be drafted separate from the rest of the doublet

A red sash beneath the belt.

(Additional hardware accessories are obvious, but not discussed right now. Part of my agreement in making this for Greg was that he would take responsibility for the hardware.)

That adds up to 6 individual garments, each made of mulitiple pattern pieces.

Next installment I’ll discuss my pattern design process.


2 thoughts on “Interpreting the Assassin (Ezio Costume, Part 1)

  1. Thanks for this breakdown. I’m beginning on an Ezio – the black outfit – but needed help breaking down the layers. My list matched yours so I know I’m on the right track.

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