A cosplay couture interpretation of Sherlock Holmes
Costume (skirt, jacket, hat and capelet) and styling by Courtney Coulson
Photography by Luke Milton
Shot at UWA
A tribute to one of my all time favourite characters, I made this costume over a year ago out of scraps from a WAAPA production, only got around to finishing it recently. It’s not perfect because I had learned so much in the mean time, but hopefully it’s not noticable in these photos.
It’s actually based on real hunting attire from the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, I think many of these pieces could still be work in a modern context and this was an exploration into that idea of reinventing a classic Victorian character with a very costumey look into something more fashionable.
The most challenging part was the pleating in the caplet, it was a last minute idea to make it more interesting. It ended up involving seven metres of pleating! Took me forever, but I’m happy with how it turned out.
As I was portraying the classic Holmes I really focused on the mannerisms described in the book. He’s highly intelligent, but he also lives for the cases and he has fun solving them, so I tried to convey that intense mind through mostly my eyes but the overall sense is less brooding than the BBC Sherlock.
-Courtney Coulson Shot with no other equipment than the camera, this shoot quickly became about finding and managing light. I loved the railing but it was too dark to shoot with Courtney standing behind it so her sitting on it was the only way to access the light and it resulted in my favourite shot of the shoot. I also like the idea of her tiny form leaning rebelliously in the shadow of a giant Socrates. The light was harsh here, but it’s always fun to take something very contrasty and turn it to black and white. I think black and white works very well at giving a more classic look to the other shots, like they are from some old, forgotten serial or something. I also dig how it brings up the textures on the cloak.
A cosplay couture interpretation of the 11th Doctor
Costume (shorts) and styling by Courtney Coulson
Photography by Luke Milton with Sabatomic Photography
Shot somewhere along Indian Ocean Drive
To me 11’s love for Westerns was something I related to the most and also something that was unique to that regeneration. I think 11 is easily the most schoolboyish, his open enthusiasm paired with his awkward body language definitely makes him “adorkable”. It was fun translating that into this shoot, throwing my posture all about the place! The costume plays up on that boyish theme with the high waisted shorts, the skull bowtie and oversized Stetson. My hair is pretty close to Matt Smith’s so no real challenge there. Like Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Smith has a great character face, so I had a lot of inspiration when it came to the make-up. There’s very little on the eyes but a bright red lipstick to draw the focus to the lower half of my face as Matt is all chin but he has hardly any eyebrows or eyelashes.
-Courtney Coulson Initially this wasn’t my ideal location and I had planned to steer clear of the red dirt and the road, cautious that it might feel too Australian. However, seeing Courtney in context led me to shift plans and incorporate all of it, and I’m really glad we did. I feel like the road lends the image more purpose and helps create a sense of vastness while still keeping our focus firmly on the character and the clothes.
I think I drew the design for this costume about a year ago, then just this past weekend I finally got to bring it to life with a beautifully restored Beetle at my side. I can’t thank my collaborators enough for helping me with this project, it couldn’t have happened without you.
The design process was simple, I envisioned Herbie as a youthful and cheeky tomboy, I took elements from 1960’s fashion as well as race car driver uniforms and accessories. I looked at the likes of Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn for inspiration. I knew I needed a round hat to really evoke the shapes of the Volkswagen, and the dress is a simple A-line silhouette, it was best to keep things clean and minimal and let the stripes do all the talking.
A Cosplay Couture interpretation of the Tenth Doctor
Costume (tailored pre-existing suit) and styling by Courtney Coulson
Photography by Luke Milton
Shot around a graveyard in Nedlands
This was our first exploration into Cosplay Couture, therefore the costume is accurate as I had worn it for a while as a normal cosplay. The reinterpretation all came down to presentation and style. Wedge heels, make-up and hair, oh yes the hair. To me that’s 10’s signature, it had such a presence and we really wanted to play around with it.
The earrings are symbolic, the roses, well they’re a reference to a certain companion obviously and the chain of rings are reminiscent of Gallifreyian font. as well as the general look of 10’s TARDIS.
Also 3D glasses make great accessories!
Our first location shoot ever and filled with happy accidents. The very English-looking doorway featured prominently here was actually discovered while sheltering from the rain but it provides a wonderful backdrop for bringing out the Doctor’s colours. My favourite thing is by far the hair though, which quickly became a character of its own.
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