Costume (pants) by Courtney Coulson Photography by Luke Milton in collaboration with Sabatomic Photography
Shot in Atlantis, the abandoned theme park
Tintin has such a simple yet iconic look with a very distinct colour palette, which made him a perfect candidate for a couture treatment. The sweater was a lucky find on ebay, everything else came from my wardrobe already, including the breeches which were originally from my Road to El Dorado Miguel costume. Hair was tricky to get to stay in place as it was a windy day, fortunatley it’s behaving in these shots. Make-up is light and all pinks to give a more young, cute kind of look, just like Tintin!
The most hostile environment, where we battled overgrown paths and giant spiders, but what is Tintin without adventure? I was drawn to the odd statues although they are more comical than old-worldly and it was tricky to take out the clues that many of them are near visible shops and car parks. The real treasure was the rocky landscape that we found in the heart of the theme park which looked far more exotic than the rest of it. I think that much of what we shot would look beautiful in black and white but when you lose the iconic colours of Tintin’s costume you risk losing the sense of the character.
A Cosplay Couture interpretation of Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series of games.
Costume and styling by Courtney Coulson Holster by Jack Barbour Photography by Luke Milton in collaboration with Sabatomic Photography Shot in the sand dunes of Lancelin and a rest stop along Indian Ocean Drive
The Uncharted series is my favourite series of games of all time and Drake’s had an influence over my wardrobe ever since. I was wearing daily cosplay couture before it was even a thing. Drake’s look breaks down to a few essentials, a half tucked henley shirt into some cargo pants, the Sic Parvis Magna ring and the horseshoe belt buckle. Beyond that I had a fair amount of freedom. I love his shemag (scarf) that he wore in the third game, so that was a must, the aviator shades were more of a neccessity as it gets damn bright out there on that white sand in the middle of the day, I don’t know how Drake does it, oh that’s right, the badass squint! I gave it a go, think he does it better.
Hair was challenging as Nate wears it very short and neat and overall I wanted the styling in this shoot to look casual, not overly done up or intentional. I went for slicked down at the sides and left the top messy, the wind took care of the messy part! Make-up is lots of bronze and gold.
In terms of physicality I had a lot of freedom there too, Drake can be serious or he can be cocky and playful. He’s got a pretty relaxed posture, but very shoulder oriented. -Courtney Coulson
Two main challenges shooting in the dunes. First is keeping that sense of space and expanse while maintaining a focus on the model – it needs to be about Drake, not the environment, although they have to compliment each other. And secondly the mass of sand and insects that were twirling into the camera. This created a fleet of black spots on all of the images leading to an extensive “Attack of the Clonestamp” scenario. Very happy with the exposure here though, and the lighting owes a lot to Sabatomic’s deft placement of the handheld flash.
The second location was a discovery while stopping to shoot the Eleventh Doctor. It led to a quick change and a stint under a bridge (while trucks roared overhead). Terrifying.
Nearly four months ago I was nearly killed in a hit-and-run, I have no memory of the incident, nor the week that followed. Since then I’ve had to deal with injuries I don’t remember acquiring, it doesn’t feel real. I have two skull fractures, I am deaf in my left ear (hopefully temporarily), I was in a neck brace because of my fractured vertebrae, but the most debilitating part was my broken right leg with severe lacerations along the tendons. I was robbed of my ability to walk for months. Thankfully I wasn’t in a wheelchair for too long, but whether or not I’ll ever be able to walk properly without needing the crutch is unknown at this point.
While I recovered from the worst of my injuries, I stayed with my family, I didn’t have much else to do but play whatever games I had downloaded on my laptop, and that just so happened to be the Phantom Pain. What I got was an intense exploration of pain, loss and grief, I was shown characters who seemed to understand what I was going through and gave voice to these new feelings I couldn’t articulate. The opening of the game alone was some kind of nightmarish re-enactment of my hospital confinement. But it was Kazuhira that became a kind of spirit guide for me, because of him I feel no shame in my current physical limitations, if I need this crutch forever, so be it, no matter what I’ve lost, a Diamond Dog gets up and keeps on fighting.
I still haven’t been able to return to work, my circadian rhythm is completely unpredictable, so while I continue to recover, and when I’m not sleeping, or playing Metal Gear, I find myself inspired to make costumes again. This costume was entirely sourced in op shops, the only sewing I did was attaching the Diamond Dogs patch to the beret, and tailoring the trousers. I’m not so much interested in making everything from scratch and being 100% accurate to the source material. It’s more fun for me to source pieces, the thrill of the hunt, finding garments that evoke the character, and I just so happened to get lucky. I wasn’t going to make this a girly rule 63, that would be tacky, I wasn’t going to make this crossplay and try to pass myself off as male, that would be inauthentic. I just adapted Kaz’s costume for myself, with all the practicality and dignity his costume entails.
Another stroke of luck was the shoot, it had rained mere hours before we shot, but it was mostly clear skies when we needed it. It was cold, perfect for all the layers I had to wear, and just the right amount of wind to get us a few dramatic flowing trenchcoat shots. There also happened to be a real naval ship in the harbour too, although we couldn’t get too close.
It felt good to return to modelling, and I hope I can bring you more Metal Gear shoots soon.
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.
This was a shoot that initially arose from the fact that as my hair has been growing out, I noticed a passing resemblance to Scarlett Johansson’s alien femme fatale in Under the Skin. But then I watched the film again and found myself thinking about it a lot from a new perspective. The film came out in 2013, I had been a totally different person then, I was still a kid with no worldly experience. In the intervening years I had transitioned to male and then one year ago, I detransitioned back to living as a woman. Under the Skin muses on a lot of ideas, and to me now, I see it as reflective of my exploration of gender, and body, and identity. I accept my body completely for once in my life, but how is it perceived by others? Am I the same person I used to be? Am I different? Or am I just treated differently based on the way I look?
This was a heap of fun to put together, I was on @thebatminute and one of the hosts, Niall asked if I could make a Bane costume for the promo photo. I couldn’t resist the challenge, in less than a week (and with less than $10) I had to throw this all together and get photos. Couldn’t have done it without the help of Alex for lending me parts of the costume, and helping me to build the rest (more details on the build in another post). And thanks to @sabkitten for shooting this in my apartment today with the most cobbled together lighting setup ever.
Bane is a character that’s always meant a lot to me, but I always dismissed the possibility of cosplaying as him, I’m just a tiny little girl, that would be ridiculous. But I’m beefier now than I used to be. I’m really happy with how these photos came out, I didn’t want to go for a cutesy or sexy version, I just wanted to be Bane, roided out, balls to the wall insane. He’ll blow up your plane. He’s coming for Bruce Wayne.
Charlie and Bumblebee in his Camaro alt-mode. Photography by Simon Haynes Camaro provided by Clevo Rulz After planning and rescheduling around rain and lockdowns for months, I’m so happy to have finally gotten to do this shoot. Cars are my life right now, so I was eager to model with them. It was an interesting challenge, I wanted to explore a level of intimacy without the usual overt sexuality of car photoshoots. I adore the movie Bumblebee, so when I saw a yellow Camaro at a cars and coffee meetup, I was inspired. And not only did I find a yellow Camaro but a Beetle too! I had never sat in one before but I could instantly see their appeal, there’s a charm in their curvy simplicity. Thanks again to everyone who brought this photoshoot to life, you were all so generous.