Thursday, January 23, 2014

Doctor Who Bells of St. John Costume

Regular readers of my blog (HI MOM!) will know that I am a stickler for accuracy, terminally so. Which is why it came as such a great surprise to my readers (HI MOM!) that I would be assembling a Doctor Who replica costume under the "close enough" guidelines.

The Horror.

I must confess, I am the FIRST person to run shrieking in terror and agony when I see a "close enough" costume, as they tend to teeter on the "not really at all close, but I'm wearing it anyway" category. Yeah, yeah, call me an elitist snob if you want. It's not about them, it's about me. I just like to get as close as humanly possible to accurate. Granted, that usually forbids me from doing a costume in the first place, but that's an argument for another day.

I am of course a big Doctor Who fan, though I must confess that the Matt Smith years didn't really resonate with me the way Tennant and Eccleston did. No big deal. However, one of Smith's costumes really stuck out in my mind as something that was pretty darn good looking. This one:

I don't know if I've got this right, but I'm branding this one the "Bells of St. John's Costume", though I think it is also lovingly referred to as "7b". Please feel free to correct me if this is incorrect. Some of my good pals in the DW Costume scene have done dead on replicas of this suit, right down to having the various pieces made from the exact same fabric used for the screen used pieces, by the exact same tailors and artisans who made them. That's pretty spot on, if you ask me.

Inspired by their enthusiasm and results, yet deterred by the price tag, I decided to undertake the project on a much humbler budget, keeping in mind the expectation that 99.9% of the people seeing the final result won't know the difference between my "close enough" and the more elaborate "Dead on".

I started with the Abbyshot jacket. Abbyshot has a history of producing amazing pieces that are not only of high quality, but are also pretty accurate. While not dead on perfect, this 11th doctor jacket from Abbyshot comes extremely close to the screen used one, while certainly satisfying the casual fan.

Only a tiny cell phone pic so far, but you get the idea.

The shoes worn by the Doctor in this outfit are hand made by some folks in England. They do happen to offer them for sale, but at a price that is outside of my budget for this build.

Fortunately, this style of shoe is fairly common, if you know where to look. Though the details are not perfect, I feel that this pair of Steve Madden shoes I found on ebay for 40 bucks captures the essence of them.

There was a small split in one of the seams along the wingtip, which I was able to quickly repair with some Barge cement and a sewing needle. Consider me a cobbler from here on out. I also painted parts with some purple acrylic paint from Angelus which I picked up from Sav-Mor Leather, a super amazing place in downtown Los Angeles.

I took this picture without a flash, as WITH it, the purple appears super bright and garish. It's actually a very rich and dark shade of purple. These shoes turned out FANTASTICALLY, and I actually enjoy wearing them as everyday wear shoes. Very posh!

Though probably not obvious, I also replaced the laces. The kind I got are not accurate, but they accurately keep the shoes on my feet.

I got from ebay a decent match for the fob chain that the good doctor wears. Shout out to S. Ricks and his blog for pointing me to this piece.

That's all I have for now. Check back soon for more updates and pictures.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, is this the paint you used to dye your boots purple?
I'd rather use something that gave someone else a good result than ruin my boots with some other dye.