It’s finally here, it took a lot of work but the pattern is now available on Etsy
Here’s another one from the archives, a commission from 2010 to be worn to see Tron Legacy. It did have lights, sadly this is the only photo I still have. Looking back, it’s better than I remembered it, I could do so much better now though. Maybe I will make my own Tron costume one day. Wouldn’t mind being Beck.
This was constructed out of foam, covered in a sheet of latex, the light strips were vinyl.
About four years ago I was studying Librarianship and Record Keeping, and for our prac placement we were to create a project for display. I figured I could put my costume making skills to work here and show the students visiting the school library how foam costumes are designed and assembled. It was a big success, the kids really liked me and spent as much time helping me with this project as they were allowed. They even made a petition to bring me on as a full time staff member. I would have loved that but sadly they hired someone else for the opening they had.
Galactus ended up being the perfect choice, I was looking at all sorts of characters that young teens might like and it all seemed too complicated. Where as Kirby’s classic design consists of a lot of simple shapes. It came together easily and it attracted a lot of attention. Continue reading “Galactus Foam Costume”
The last of the photos from the Detroit: Become Human photoshoot I did back in August last year. I just realised, the August before that, I legally changed my name to Connor after finishing the game. Detroit continues to be an inspiration to me nearly two years later and I plan on making the RK900 jacket.
Since uploading the first series of photos, I have received a number of requests for a sewing pattern for this jacket. I can assure you that I am in the process of making it and it should be available soon. I have a 35″/90cm chest, so it will be quite small, but I will see if I can make scaled up versions or find someone who can.
I have also received requests for the badges. I am not satisfied with the ones I have produced so far, the ones in these photos are made of resin and they simply aren’t accurate enough. In the game they are slim and flexible and conform to the body. They also have a thin black border. All very complicated things to achieve, so I will keep experimenting.
Photography by Marla Bishop
I’ve been playing with this one for awhile, to go with my Data redesign. Lore lacks an iconic outfit, I think his Borg costume was the closest he got but it fell short of what it could have been. It was felt Batman abs. This should be Lore coming into his own, becoming a cult leader, he’s powerful and charismatic. That is all inspiring for a costume designer. With this design I wanted to show that he dresses to look like his followers but the jacket has an air of authority while also being a bit punk. They are a renegade faction of Borg after all. In my TNG universe Data was incomplete, he looks less human than Lore.
Another one from the archives, in 2013 I made my first attempt at foam armour. The Cyberman was a great project for a beginner as it is all incredibly simple shapes. I think the only real mistake I made was not buying good quality thin foam, those areas deteriorated almost instantly. Otherwise the latex paint was very resistant. It was a lot of fun walking around in character all day and interacting with the kids who were so excited to see me (or attack me with their sonic screwdrivers).
Wearing a costume that fully conceals you is a fascinating experience, when people can’t see your face and when you resemble the character well enough, you disappear, all they see is the Cyberman and they are more naturally inclined to play along with the fantasy. I have been looking for an excuse to do full body armour again for years, and I think I might just do that with Isaac from The Orville, perhaps some time next year… If I don’t get distracted by other costumes.
Kroton was an obscure companion for the Eighth Doctor in the comics, a rare Cyberman who retained his humanity. The only thing that made him physically distinct was a black face plate, which I incorporated in this costume.
Throwback to 2016
I’ve always had a thing for redesigning Star Trek costumes, I think because the real ones are quite camp but have a lot of iconic elements. So it’s a lot of fun to play with as a designer. The intention with this redesign was to incorporate contemporary streetwear aesthetics. Something practical, versatile but that still feels like a uniform. It was also fun working with a replica of the velour used in the original series. It’s a textile so deeply stuck in the 60’s, it was a wonderful challenge to try to bring it into the 21st or even 23rd century.
I wish I still fit into that jacket, my chest and shoulders are broader now. Although it’s hard to tell because the jacket was designed to create a square silhouette. I can see where I made mistakes, where my tailoring could have been better. But one would hope to have that kind of perspective nearly four years later. I got a lot of compliments at the convention, including from Troy Baker! People genuinely wanted to wear a jacket like this, which is the best compliment of all as a designer, that it works outside the context of a costume. That’s the beauty of “Cosplay Couture” rather than cosplay, one is about accuracy and attention to detail, this other is about creativity and originality. Both can be equally impressive in their own right. But as a costumer, each allows me to express and explore different facets of my skills.
Costume and make-up by Connor Coulson
Photography and editing by Marla Bishop
Locations: Perth Esplanade, Perth Library
A little over a year ago Detroit came into my life when things were at their bleakest, my relationship with my family was fractured, I was homeless, staying with a friend, and on top of that I was suffering from debilitating ME/CFS. I was convinced I was going to die soon, I was bed bound, and needed a wheelchair just to get around the house. I basically slept all the time and even watching TV took too much energy on some days. Understandably, I was really bored, so I decided to get back into gaming, I got a PS4 on sale and my brother bought me Detroit and I fell in love with it.
I know, it’s not perfect, but I adore Detroit, it’s a breathtaking world, an ideal world I could escape to. A safe haven. It’s everything I love, sleek cyberpunk aesthetics, androids, a fantastic soundtrack, and a complicated choice based narrative, what more could I want? (Well, a sequel or a DLC for a start!) Connor really resonated with me, there were aspects of his journey I could relate to, and in other ways he is aspirational. It was inevitable that I began imagining how to bring his costume to life, it was structurally fascinating and I would fantasise about how certain details could be constructed. But that’s all it was, a fantasy. I hadn’t been able to sew in months, it was too exhausting. However I am nothing if not tenacious, so whenever I had the slightest amount of strength for it I would research and draw the costume and began sourcing materials.
Normally a project like this would take maybe a couple of months at most, but with ME/CFS it took nearly a year. My health has improved significantly this year thanks to the carnivore diet, so I am glad I was able to work on any creative projects at all. I detail the process of creating the costume here.
This costume and this photoshoot represents a triumph to me, there were times I thought I would have to abandon this project, but I got it complete in time to wear to a comic convention, and I managed to attend the entire weekend and was walking unassisted. The response from fans was great, they admired my work and we shared our love of the game. And getting these photos was not something I could have done a year ago, it involved a fair amount of walking and climbing. It feels great to be cosplaying and modelling again, I’m passionate about them but had to give them up for over a year.
Thanks to Marla for the photos, he is also a Detroit fan so he really understood the character and environment and it was an easy collaboration.
This commission included making the shirt and altering the trousers. The shirt was a bit of a challenge because there aren’t a lot of clear reference photos, but I believe I have captured every detail faithfully. The “bib” is an unusual detail and a bit difficult to figure out, especially in regards to integrating it into the collar. The fabric was perfect, the right colour and weight, it was a soft cotton linen that wasn’t difficult to work with. Often linen is “shifty”. The trousers needed loop holes and pockets and a slight adjustment to the jodhpur flaps.
Customer: Luke Maras
Photographer: Marek Parker
Detailed shots of the shirt
This was an order for six identical hoods and matching tabards for LARP. I was following the customer’s design template. I like working in production line style, it makes me feel more productive. Where as working on one garment at a time feels slower. The beauty of working on relatively simple garments like this is I can pay close attention to the finer details, like the bias trims, and almost every seam is flat felled. I was very aware that these items needed to withstand a bit of stress.