Re: Akasha, Queen of the Darned

Barbie, Queen of the Damned.

One of my Middle Easter dance students, Jessica, decided that she wanted to portray Akasha, the lead vampire, from the movie “Queen of the Damned” for her next performance. This isn’t as far off base as it sounds. Aaliyah, the singer/actor who portrayed Akasha, wears a bellydance-inspired costume for much of the film and since Akasha is supposed to have been an Egyptian vampire, there is a Near Eastern element to the music as well. In fact, there is a scene in the movie when Akasha enters a disco and proceeds to do some very bellydancer-type isolations.

Aaliyah as Akasha wearing the iconic costume from the movie poster.

Our first problem was finding some screenshots from the movie that allowed us a good look at Akasha’s costume. You wouldn’t think that would be a problem, but it was. There were plenty of closeups, headshots, and three-quarter shots, but no full length views of Akasha. What’s up with these movie photographers anyways?

A closeup of Aaliyah as Akasha showing the vampire queen’s crown headdress made from what appears to be North African heart-shaped pendants.

The best reference pictures we could find on-line were of fan made versions of Akasha’s costumes, most of them using the movie poster version with the coiled breastplates.

Here’s a nice one. I believe its from a Brazilian carnival celebration.

Another excellent effort. This photo was taken at DragonCon 2006.

Perhaps the best fan effort I’ve seen so far (photo taken at DragonCon 2007). Love the fangs! I tried to persuade Jessica that she needed to wear some Dracula fangs for the full effect, but she refused. Spoilsport.

This fan made costume is a fusion of the movie poster version and Akasha’s copper costume (see below).

Stuart Townsend as Lestat and Aaliyah as Akasha wearing her copper costume from the latter part of the movie.

We finally had to go to the movie itself to attempt to get a good look at the costumes. If you’re planning on doing this yourself, I recommend a remote control with a fast forward button. The dialogue and acting are as wooden as the proverbial stake.

After some consideration, Jessica opted to go with a re-creation of Akasha’s copper costume from the last third of the movie–a sort of the Nefertiti meets Xena, Warrior Princess look. The major part of the costume is a copper collar/breastplate with a matching hip belt. The rest is simplicity itself–a white circle skirt made from what appears to be lightweight white cotton and with matching sleeves attached to copper armbands.

When she gets it built, I’ll take some pictures and post them. Vampire bellydancers–a concept whose time has come.

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22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aeran
    Sep 15, 2008 @ 01:09:02

    i wanted to know where i could find a version of akashas copper costume… i absolutely love it and have been lookin for quite some time

    Reply

  2. civilservant
    Sep 15, 2008 @ 22:15:01

    Alas, Aeran, I have yet to find to anyone who is doing reproductions of Akasha’s copper costume. My advice is to gather up as many photos as you can and have a costumer make it for you. The skirt, belt, and armlets aren’t difficult, but the bustier and headress will require some work.

    Reply

  3. kahlee
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 15:41:44

    I made a costume from the movie I’m soooooo excited but I was really inspired by what I saw here but I have to say mine I believe is the best:)

    Reply

  4. civilservant
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 19:37:45

    Be sure and post a photo of your Akasha costume (and send us the link) so the rest of us can marvel at your handiwork šŸ™‚

    Reply

  5. Pretty Girl
    Dec 26, 2008 @ 04:31:13

    Where I Could Find the barbie plis I Love It

    Reply

  6. civilservant
    Jan 01, 2009 @ 22:45:49

    Re: Akasha Barbie, my impression was this was a customized African-American Barbie doll. I suspect that the artist probably added the fangs and made the costume herself. I don’t think that an Akasha doll was ever produced although I could be wrong about that.

    Reply

  7. Marie B.
    Feb 14, 2009 @ 08:32:37

    Wow, this costume is hard. Praise you for doing it. My friend did a great costume of Akasha. She’s going to help me do the copper one for this halloween.

    Oh here’s her link she loves makin movie/videogame costumes. http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1340818/

    Can’t wait to see yours.

    Reply

  8. Dementia
    May 09, 2009 @ 01:27:45

    Hey! I see a couple of my photos from dragoncon in there that I took šŸ™‚

    Reply

  9. mrspidlaoan
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 23:03:08

    These costumes are awesome. I saw one girl in person in my hometown who had a really breathtaking Akasha outfit. There was an Akasha doll produced that I saw years ago in Porcelain. It used to be linked to on Anne Rice’s old version of her website. I keep looking for an image of it but I can’t seem to track one down again :(.

    Reply

  10. Tank
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 03:53:06

    Perhaps im late in this dying/dead topic but I’m currently working on an akasha costume and I need help with the crown… I dunno what to use so it won’t be too heavy and fall; however I need the material to strongly resemble the one in the movie if anyone has any ideas plz let me know.

    Reply

  11. Nalu Marel
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 13:27:46

    I’ve always wanted to drees up like akasha and now by looking at the fan made costumes, i now know wich one i would like to do the most! they all look so good too!

    Reply

  12. MM
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 20:05:46

    I dressed up as Queen Akasha years ago…I should dig up the pictures. A close friend of mine made the costume from scratch and paid close attention to detail. Coincidentally, her husband was a welder, hence a lot of my costume were made from metal pieces (belt, necklace)
    She did a phenomenal job…hope I can find the pics.

    Reply

  13. civilservant
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 01:17:03

    Your Akasha outfit sounds very impressive, MM. If you do dig up the photos, be sure to send us a link. Akasha is still very popular and I’m sure other people, myself included, would love to see them. šŸ™‚

    Reply

  14. Frances
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 07:21:58

    Is this Akasha Barbie real?? if so I totally want one and would love to know where to buy one. Thanks All

    Reply

  15. civilservant
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 22:48:48

    Hi, Frances–
    As far as I know, the Akasha Barbie is real. No, I don’t know where to buy one, but if you do a Google image search hopefully you should be able to find the original image and trace it back. šŸ™‚

    Reply

  16. Chantal
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 19:32:39

    i really wanna know where that barbie is :DD Shes Soo Gorgeous !!! i dont collect them, but i would LOVE/DIE to have her !!! ā¤

    Reply

  17. Alisu
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 14:17:19

    Where can i put in a order to get Akashas outfit made? More so the Crown? Does anyone know someone or a good websit?

    Reply

    • civilservant
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 22:46:12

      Try Organicarmor.com. They make impressive, metallic-looking bras, belts, and accessories. If anyone can do Akasha’s crown, it’s them.

      Reply

  18. tyra hill
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 21:54:02

    omg….i am now very terrified to do this costume concerdering i am 15…but i have always loved her i wanted to do the copper costume but the top looked just as hard as the other one so now i am going to do the other dress she wore do you have any advise on how to start or where to begin on her costume ??? thank u Tyra :))

    Reply

    • civilservant
      Jun 06, 2012 @ 22:25:29

      Hi, Tyra–
      First off, my best piece of advice is just jump right in and start costuming. If you need some help getting started, consider approaching your art or drama teachers or your local theater group to see if they have an experienced person who would be able to help you over the rough patches. In fact, since you’re still in school, you might look into whether you could get credit for doing this costume as an independent project (hey, two birds with one stone :-). Second, definitely get the DVD to use as a reference. If you are able to do screen captures of her costume, that would be even better. If you don’t know or don’t have the equipment to do screen captures, ask around until you can find someone who does. Third, play to your strengths. If you do better at the crafty kind of thing, start with her head dress. If you do better with the sewing, start with her skirt or sleeves. Fourth, have a deadline. I know that I always work better if I have a firm deadline to get something ready for. It’s not too early to plan on dressing up like Akasha for Halloween, for example. Finally, remember that there is a learning curve with every new project even for experienced costumers. Every costume will wind up teaching you something different. Hope that helps! Best wishes on making your new outfit!–Clothesmonaut šŸ™‚

      Reply

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