Cosplay Couture Henry V

From the archives, October 2013:

Cosplay Couture interpretation of Prince Hal from the Hollow Crown

Costume and styling by Courtney Coulson (jacket, t-shirt and cape)
Photography by Luke Milton Photography
Sword by Jack Barbour

Shot in King’s Park

I absolutley love Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Prince Hal/Henry V, I thought his costume was cool too, but completely inaccurate for something supposed to be set in the medieval ages. That said, the clothing of that era is not very appealing so I can understand why they didn’t want to go that direction. Then I remembered that these plays were originally performed in “modern” clothing, so I looked at 16th century costume and decided it made more sense for Hal and I wouldn’t have to deviate too much from the costume in the series.

Just as with all Cosplay Couture, this was about representing not just Hal in terms of appearance but also examining his character, personality and history.
It took me a while of researching before I decide on a punk/glam rock approach.
As a prince he was a scapegrace, reckless and rebellious but as a king he was said to be the epitome of a leader, a particularly defining quote is this one: “Depending on his mood, his eyes flashed from the mildness of a dove’s to the brilliance of a lion’s”

I had a lot to work with, the plays cover a great deal of his life plus he was based on a real person. This was definitely an interesting and complex man and I wanted to represent that duality of who he was as a prince and who he became as a king.

The t-shirt, which I made, then painted and burned has the Lancaster house symbol as well as a bit of bloodspatter representing the Battle of Agincourt. The glove in the belt is a nod to the one he swapped with a soldier in the camp whilst he was in disguise. The jacket came together in a really short time, I worked on it for about two days non-stop. It was based on a doublet but I added modern features like the buttons and the zippers and the printed lining to update it.
The scalemail scarf and the bracers I had in my collection for ages but I like how they walk that line between armour and fashion.

I didn’t have to do much with my hair as I did deliberatley cut it to look like his and my hair is red anyway. The make-up was fun, taken right from the 80’s with the bright clashing colours, to get the lipstick to match the jacket I mixed a red with a black.
In terms of physicality, I again had a contrast of playing regal and a rockstar so I had freedom to get serious or playful.

-Courtney Coulson

I have not yet sat through the source material, but was very much sold by the rock slant of Courtney’s re-design and the possibilities of that incredible jacket.

I am rapidly discovering that, location-wise, the most important thing seems to be finding somewhere with a palette that compliments the character. Even in a place as large and lush as (the aptly named) King’s Park we quickly discovered that not all trees and bushes were created equal, and we really had to hunt for those special spots with particular colours and textures, and shelter from the sun. But my favourite place was probably the sculptural metal wall – not something that immediately springs to mind for Hal, but strangely appropriate when paired with the clothes.

And, no! She’s not Joffrey!

– Luke Milton