Feb142019

Lovely Finishing School Group Cosplay by Natalie Gerber’s Sewing Class (Special Extras)

I have made no bones over the fact, Gentle Reader, that I love cosplay.
I may have a contentions relationship with some other expressions of fan love, but never cospay.
I come out of cosplaying extensively as a girl. I enjoy the idea of putting a personal visual spin on characters without risk of trademark infringement, merely out of love.
I relish seeing the creativity, and I generally try to get photographs with people cosplaying my character should I meet them in person.

Group Finishing School Teachers Cosplay (photo by Talon Squires)

However, I rarely have the bandwidth to do dedicated blog posts here on the subject. This time is a bit different.
Natalie contacted me to tell me she was running a course with a group of young scholars (ages 14-18 various skill levels) on cosplay and they were doing my book. I was delighted. She also gave me permission to post about it so here we are!
Students were each given a copy of Etiquette & Espionage. They discussed the book, setting, and impact of social expectations (now and in the past). They had a lesson on Victorian fashions and steampunk. Then they each chose their favorite character and worked on character development and design sketches.
They used thrift stores, home depot and craft stores (lots of re-purposed tablecloths and sheets).
These amazing students did these outfits in seven days (or less). On the last day, the went for tea and a photo shoot.

Here’s Some Costumes in Detail

Teachers

MADEMOISELLE GERALDINE

Meme Geraldine Cosplay (photo by Talon Squires)

  • Is portrayed by the amazing teacher of this course, the lovely Natalie, who relayed to me all the images and the stories from behind the sewings!
  • One of the students challenged her to make a costume too. It was made in three days with student help.
  • The hat holds makeup brushes, a fork, spoon, and eyelash curler.

PROFESSOR BRAITHWOPE

Professor Braithwope Cosplay photo by Natlie Gerber

  • Based design off a line in E&E that mentions a crimson top hat.
  • Sewed the trousers from scratch!

PROFESSOR LEFOUX

Professor Lefoux Cosplay (photo by Robert Yeritsyan) 

  • Coat made from scratch!
  • Carries all the keys to the school on belt.

LADY LINETTE

Lady Linette Cosplay (photo by Robert Yeritsyan)

  • The corset got lots of love proving that there may be a little of Lord Akeldama in all of us.
  • Not pictured is “The Tassel Mobile” a scooter covered top to bottom in upholstery tassels.

Neither Teacher nor Student

PICKLEMAN

Vieve & Pickleman Cosplay (photo by Robert Yeritsyan)

  • The Pickleman’s hat was made using cardboard and fabric
  • Non-canon creative embellishment: The green epaulettes signify rank. Four loops means very high up.

VIEVE

Vieve Cosplay (photo by Talon Squires)

  • Coat and inside of the hat are filled with various tools.
  • Made an obstructor as well!

SOAP

Soap Cosplay (photo by Talon Squires)

  • There wasn’t a student in the class of African descent, but this young man is Korean and related to Soap.
  • Has a bag on his hip with a bottle of soap in it.

Natalie reported:

“When we arrived at tea, he sat by the fire place and would not move until invited to sit by Mademoiselle Geraldine herself. He also kept pocketing sandwiches and scones.”

Which just about broke my heart.

Students

MONIQUE

Monique Cosplay (photo by Talon Squires)

  • The skirt is hand-tufted and the burgundy lace is a subtle nod to vampire ties.
  • Non-canon creative embellishment: Epaulette is one only allowed to older girls, when she was demoted, her’s was removed. She stole it back and reattached (which is why it looks a little tattered).

PRESHEA

Preshea Cosplay (photo by Talon Squires)

  • The crinoline has 50 yards of tulle in it.
  • Bodice and skirt are hand-painted!

SIDHEAG

Sidheag Cosplay (photo by Talon Squires)

  • Has several silver details, in case one of the uncles loses control.
  • The epaulettes hide three wooden spikes.

SOPHRONIA

  • Made one dress out of two because Sophronia was always making over her sister’s dresses.
  • Straps down the front of the skirt can buckle and shorted it for climbing.

DIMITY

Dimity Cosplay (photo by Talon Squires)

  • Wanted to embrace a bold color palette.
  • Hat is affectionately called “The Panty Hat.” (Ordered a corset that wasn’t used. It arrived with a matching thong. The group had a lot of laughs about how Dmity would feel about having a thong. Ultimately, it got made it into a hat and some of the lace also went on the glasses

I have to say this last made me giggle. We used to do something called “iron chef cosplay” at conventions. It was usually:

Gail’s chums make a hat out of anything on this table (in the hotel room) using a hot glue gun, because Gail was an idiot and forgot her hat… again.


This tiny admirals hat was made using a BayCon program, a paper cup, a stapler, scraps of fabric, undies, a badge, and a hot glue gun. Over 25 years ago. It’s still in good working condition.

Gentle Reader, I do hope you enjoyed this particular post. I must say the ingenuity, enthusiasm, and skill of these students made me well up. And perhaps it was partly nostalgia for my early fangirl cosplay days.
I was about his age when I started. I wrote a book about students this age. And now students of that age are cosplaying my characters. It’s all very meta.
And rather wonderful.
I don’t know about you, Gentle Reader, but this kind of thing gives me hope.
Yours in sentiment,
Miss Gail
P.S. If you’re interested in more cosplay my characters, there is both an extensive wikia entry gallery and a Pinterest board.
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UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

  • The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger).
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GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

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28 Of The Best Jobs for Book Lovers of All Shapes and Sizes

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

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Finishing School Fan Art by Willa

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Posted by Gail Carriger

3 Responses

  1. Pingback: The Great Parasolverse Read Along ~ Manners & Mutiny DVD Extras (Finishing School Special) - Gail Carriger - Gail Carriger

  2. Ann Brookens said:

    I absolutely love Soap! The young man who cosplayed him seems to have played him to the hilt, pocketing scones…

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