DO YOU HEAR THE POEPLE SING? SINGING THE SONGS OF ANGRY MEN
at last, my dream cosplay has been realised! Eponine is so dear to my heart and I feel very honoured to wear her. This costume doesn’t really have an official start date because I started collecting research, materials and pieces years ago (although I have updated them) but for the most part I’d say between October 2016 and march 2017 was when I officially started this one.
If you don’t already know, I am a huge theatre nerd and have a deep love for any musical stage show, but none more so than Les Miserablés. I’ve seen the west end show, broadway show, anniversary shows, movie; Have the soundtrack in both English and French. Even seen the anime movie. I Also have the original cast recording on vinyl which was a hand-me-down from my mother from 1985! I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I could probably recite the whole show word for word. Anyway, my dream job would be in theatre costuming, (preferably in this show as it introduced me to theatre costuming amongst other things) so I thought I’d start dedicating some of my sewing work to les mis just to build up my portfolio because who knows, I may be lucky enough to be offered a job with them one day. I know, a girl can dream. I’m also going to be doing a degree in theatre costuming – but that’ll be for another blog post…..
The good thing about cosplaying theatre characters is that there are so many variations that you can just make it how every you want it to look, there’s no concrete look for the characters – sure Elphaba is always green, Enjolras always wears his vest, but for minor details like hair colour and such, it’s up to you. I chose to base my Eponine on Samantha Barks’ as she is my favourite and is pretty much how I’d picture ‘Ponine; She was also the first Eponine that I saw so will always have a special place in my heart. I also strongly believe that it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have found my love for les mis. Shoutout to the 25th anniversary concert. I’m going to be doing the outfit pictured below.
The only pieces I made were the shirt and pants; It’s quite unusual for me not to be making all of the pieces but this made it such a quicker and easier costume to throw together.
- white cotton fabric – 1m
- faux suede fabric – 2m
The total cost came to only £20 because it was made from left overs and thrifted fashion. In reality, Eponine would not have splashed out on her clothing, she lives in the slums of st. Michele’s.
Starting with the hat, I found one at a thrift store back in january, I then used some watered down black paint to make it dirty. OH! and the wig, this is just an old brunette one I have lying around so I’m not sure where I got it.
Coat; my favourite part. The big coat is what makes Eponine – Eponine! I spent months trying to find the perfect oversized beige trench coat and then I finally came across one last month that fit my bill. It was also only £7. Amazing. I am a size UK 6 and this was a UK 14, so yeah its quite oversized. It also grazes my ankle which I really wanted because most of the coats that I found were too short. I used the same watered down paint technique to dirty this, except also adding coffee stains to get that mud effect, and also some fake blood because….you know….Everybody around her is getting shot. Including herself. There’s going to be lots of blood. Ew. Moving on…..
For the shirt I used some scrap white cotton and just made a basic top. Only, I didn’t have the gathered effect that hers does because I was using cotton and it just didn’t work out. I instead thrifted a white T shirt for £3 and gathered the neck and arm holes to make it look like hers. I didn’t even need to hem anything because her clothes are meant to look like rags. I hacked at the bottom of it to achieve those ragged edges and then lightly burned them. Then repeated my paint=dirt technique to distress it.
Pants. I couldn’t find any faux suede pants anywhere so I decided I’d just make them. I used a men’s highwaist period pants pattern for this (for inspiration, I then drafted my own based on it) and although they may not be accurate I loved using a period based sewing pattern because it made the costume feel more accurate as #1. It’s the 1830’s! and #2. Eponine was wearing men’s pants. I’m not great at making pants but they turned out pretty well. They’re just basic high waist trousers with darts in the middle, I also added a zipper in the side to leave the front of any misplaced looking details.
For shoes I just used some muddy black boots – with actual mud, I’d been to a farm a few days before and hadn’t washed the mud off. Yes, that’s gross. But authentic 😉 However I did change these up for some suede boots for the convention just so I wouldn’t get mud on the floors and for comfort.
For some added extras; I added a cockade, even if she doesn’t wear it, the barricade boys do and I really like it so it stays. I also wanted to have Marius’ letter on hand as a prop, I just thought this would be a cute (but also sad) little feature to have. I did initally intend on just using a plain piece of paper but then thought “nah let’s make it authentic” so I copied the words from the show onto paper in some fancy Marius looking writing and even stained it with some blood from Eponine’s fingers. Isn’t that lovely.
This was definitely a great addition to my MCM EXPO line up and out of all of them I enjoyed being her the most. It was far more recognised than I thought it would have been.
Until next time