Cosplay Couture interpretation of the Bandit from The Fall
Costume (mask, cape, butterflies) and styling by Courtney Coulson
Photography by Luke Milton
Location Karrakatta cemetary
Courtney and I recently watched The Fall together and we’ve both fallen crazily in love with this film. The Bandit has a relatively simple costume but I was determined to find a setting that did the character (and film) justice - not an easy task considering the exotic locales that feature prominently in a film where every single shot is a work of art.
We actually had two attempts at this over the course of two days. Our first idea was to use the “blood” soaked sheet as backdrop but the wind proved to make this a near impossible task. Losing light we ended up shelter in the carport where I was surprised to capture some unexpectedly quirky and colourful shots. It was the second day that we went out on location and ended up shunning perfectly manicured gardens to hunt out pieces of exotic architecture. All of these were small details and corners of buildings that were otherwise completely unsuitable but the bleached surfaces carry the illusion well. If these images intrigue you and you haven’t seen Tarsem’s The Fall then I urge you to do so!
And I got to keep the mask.
- Luke Milton
I’ve long been fascinated by Tarsem’s work since I saw the Cell years ago, he has an incredible visual style that defies comparison, he often worked with the late great Eiko Ishioka, whom I consider to be one of the greatest costume designers of all time. She worked on all of Tarsem’s films, including the Fall where her costumes were integral in establishing sympathetic characters who have very little dialogue and creating a fantasy world that was truly fantastic.
I just so happened to have many pieces in my wardrobe that resembled the Bandit, but masks are always such a challenge, because if you’re just a millimetre off in any way it changes the entire look. I made three before I got it right. I used courdoroy to imitate the texture and I put boning in the “nose” piece to give it shape.
What I love about all the costumes in this film is that each of the characters have such a distinct and dramatic silhouette. The Bandit is very fitted and narrow on the torso, but from the waistdown he has samurai pants and then on his head he has a mask and a wide brim hat. More than any of my other costumes I felt this one could change so much depending on the combination of accessories and what stance I assumed.