Cosplay Couture Sherlock Holmes

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.

-Luke Milton

Cosplay Couture 11th Doctor

From the archives, October 2013:

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.


– Luke Milton

Cosplay Couture Herbie the Lovebug

Photography by @itzu.me
Car belongs to @inatski

Costume and makeup by me


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.

Cosplay Couture Tenth Doctor

From the archives October 2013:

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!

-Courtney Coulson

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.

-Luke Milton

Cosplay Couture Sherlock

From the archives, October 2013

A cosplay couture interpretation of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes
Costume (coat and hat) and styling by Courtney Coulson
Photography by Luke Milton

Translating the BBC Sherlock Holmes into a fashion interpretation was surprisingly easy, it’s such a beautiful and iconic costume to begin with. The coat remains relatively unchanged from the original as does the scarf and purple shirt, though they are made of finer quality materials.All I really had to do was add the leather pants and boots to give it more of an edge.

As for hair and make-up, I made my hair as fluffy as possible, though mine is shorter than Benedicts’, the make-up was fun because Benedict’s face has a lot to draw from. I emphasised my cheeks and my upper lip and eyes and yet kept it subtle to maintain an androgynous look.

We shot in various parts of the city of Perth, most of the locations were lucky discoveries, amazing what you can find when you just wander around.

-Courtney Coulson

This shoot was all about exploring the city and poking around all the back alleys that we’d normally quickly walk past. We were focused on a very urban feel, but then it was nice to veer into the more serene setting of the church steps as well. This was the first time shooting while a lot of other people were around but it’s amazing how comfortable you feel and how much you can get away with while brandishing a camera.

I had no other equipment other than the camera itself so shooting on the exposed rooftop was especially challenging with all that direct sunlight. This was definitely a baptism of fire.

-Luke Milton