Item: Sessun Wax Ko Ko African Print Dress
Appearance: Dark Water, Death in Heaven
Combined with: Topshop Green Check-Lined Mac, Dune Amoy Block Heel Lace-Up Brogues.
Original Retail Price: around £150 (according to Lyst)
Materials: 100% viscose
Here comes a dress that is probably on the most-wanted list of every Clara cosplayer, so, naturally, it was also on mine when I started collecting her clothes. I didn’t think I would ever own it because back in summer 2016, it was considered one of Clara’s rarest items. Since then, it has popped up multiple times, so not all hope is lost for those still in search of the dress.
Clara’s dress is a navy and dark, dirty orange or brown kind of colour. The exact colour is quite hard to describe cause I have the feeling that the dress looks a little different every time I take a photo. Sometimes, the blue bits seem to stick out more than the brown bits and on some days, it’s the other way around.
However, there are colour alts available for this dress that have the exact same pattern. I’ve personally seen a blue and white version and I’ve heard from other cosplayers that there is supposed to be a black & white version available as well, but I haven’t actually seen it. I have also seen versions of the dress that have already been dyed by other cosplayers and the results look great! One famous Clara cosplayer I know even coloured the brown bits by hand with a fabric pen before she got the SA dress. So if you can’t find the SA colour, you should broaden your search and look out for those as well because the dyed versions look very convincing.
As I’ve already mentioned in my review of the Sessun Tommaso jumper, Sessun is a French brand and it can be quite rare. You are more likely to find them on eBay or the French Vinted site (and hope for a nice French seller) or even places like Vestiaire Collective than on Depop. I got mine from Vinted for £40 after searching for it on a daily basis for six months. You can get lucky, but I wouldn’t expect to pay less than that. The colour alts I’ve seen on eBay were all between £65 and £100 because Sessun isn’t the cheapest brand to begin with. I think the record price I’ve seen this dress sell for is £420 on eBay in spring 2018. It felt like the entire Clara cosplay community was watching that particular auction just to see how much higher it would go and we were all stunned. Although, we were probably not as stunned as the unsuspecting seller.
When I received my dress in a size XS, I was afraid that it wouldn’t fit me even though XS-S is my regular dress size, but a few months of buying Clara’s clothes and the knowledge that French brands often run small had made me vary. But when it arrived, I was very surprised to see how loosely it really fit. It runs true to size to a bit big because the XS is really rather loose and I think smaller Claras will likely curse this item.
Like many other Clara items, this dress is really quite short and it tends to ride up. I was surprised not only by the size but also the fabric they used on this dress. Looking at it on screen, you might get the impression that it’s made of a rather thick and heavy material, but the Wax Ko Ko might be one of the lightest in my entire closet. You hardly feel like you’re wearing it. The dress has a really long and practical zip in the back and is made from 100% viscose. However, a tiny thing about this dress and the reason I would really advise you not to spend £420: the pattern wears away over time. I bought mine second-hand and when I received it, the pattern on the butt looked a little ‘blurred’ which leaves me to suspect that friction causes the pattern to fade over time. I haven’t seen anyone else with this particular problem and mine isn’t exactly noticeable at first glance, but you do see it when you know it’s there, so it’s become one of those cosplay items I don’t like to wear unnecessarily.
It’s a super cute summer dress and it’s perfect for the warmer days of the year and most definitely a wonderful addition to anyone’s Clara collection. When I was preparing to meet Jenna at FedCon in June, this was my backup cosplay option.