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 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