A viral fanart post inspired a cosplay project that feels right out of the pages of an Austenesque novel.
Though the Venn Diagram of Jane Austen fans and Star Wars fans might have a small overlap, both fandoms eagerly discussed a collection of fan art. The drawings are a mashup of Star Wars characters in Regency costumes. Rey is the badass heroine in an Empire-waist-style gown, complete with a lovely saber (that someone actually made IRL!). Poe and Finn are military chums, and we can only imagine how often they trade jackets.
While we all love fanart, there’s another level of appreciation for people who can take that art into the real world. Two cosplayers were so inspired by the artwork that they made the costumes and had a photo shoot (photos by Andrea Gonzales Photography).
Lyn Adams (Kylo Ren) and Elendrial Alastair (Hux) put together a Regency Kyle and Hux that is absolutely brilliant. We got to ask them some questions about the project.
Tell me why you were inspired to do this Star Wars/Regency costume.
Lyn: When ‘The Force Awakens’ came out, I absolutely loved it. Especially the character Kylo Ren. I had seen the Regency fanart by The Real Mcgee, and liked it very much. However, I was never very good at historical costumes. Inspired or authentic. My friend [Elendriel] said if the artist ever made a Hux art, that she fully intended to make it, and that I would -have- to make the Kylo Ren to go with her. The Hux art was released, and immediately I knew, ‘Well, I guess I am making this now!’
Elendriel: I was looking up reference photos for General Hux and accidentally stumbled upon The Real McGee’s gorgeous artwork on Tumblr. I messaged her to get permission to make it and worked with her on the details I couldn’t see in the image. I love replicating detailed pieces and this art was stunning. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could do it.
How long did it take to get together?
Lyn: The coat itself only took a day. I literally locked myself in the sewing room and didn’t come out until I had a finished coat (save for adding the buttons). It was a project that simply fell into place perfectly. I had no issues fitting the pattern, adjusting it, or putting it together. The vest took a bit longer, since I was fully modifying a men’s vest, and added all the top stitching as well.
Oddly enough, the hardest aspect was finding good buttons for the coat/vest. I wanted something that said “Kylo Ren” but not too obvious. I ended up finding vintage buttons on etsy which had a basket weave texture, and painted them black to go with the coat. I also had to be reasonable with materials, since this would be worn in the south during summer, I avoided heavy fabrics and wool. I also took liberties with the lower portion, so the coat is far from historically accurate, but still had the feel of the fanart.
Elendriel: It took a few months to put together. Mostly researching and working out the patterns before I actually sat down and sewed it all together.
What has the response been?
Lyn: Overall positive. The funniest moment came when I posted a progress photo of the coat. My hair was much shorter, and I had many tell me I looked like Darcy from ‘Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies.’ They weren’t wrong. People really enjoy the take on the character and art, both online and at events.
Elendriel: It’s honestly been incredible and more than I could have ever imagined. People really seem to love it and it makes me feel good as a costumer that I was able to bring this art to life.
Do you do other cosplay? What got you into it?
Lyn: I’ve been costuming/cosplaying for 16 years now. I started with anime and video games, but now specifically stick to Star Wars. From time to time I’ll dress from tv shows (‘Riverdale’, ‘Stranger Things’), but for construction aspects, its almost entirely Star Wars.
I got into cosplay through a friend years ago, who told me about a convention in town and how people dressed up for it. I loved dressing up for Halloween, so tried it out. I got hooked!
Elendriel: I actually do a lot of different cosplay! TV shows, movies, some anime, videogames, you name it. I attended a Harry Potter convention in 2002, met some amazing and talented individuals who I now call some of my best friends and it went from there.
What are other costumes you’ve done?
Lyn: Too many to really list. My most popular ones are Kylo Ren (TFA), Anakin Skywalker (‘Clone Wars’), Tina Goldstein (‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’), Bill Weasley (‘Harry Potter’), and various characters from Doctor Who.
Elendriel: I wouldn’t be able to name all of them, I think I’ve made around 500 over the years. Some of my favorites though are General Hux, Loki from ‘The Avengers,’ Ronan from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ the Winter Soldier from ‘Captain America: TWS’ and Midna from Twilight Princess. Those are some of the most difficult ones I made, but the ones I love the most, where I feel I was able to truly bring the characters to life.
What’s your favorite part of the Star Wars fandom?
Lyn: As of late I’d say it would be the creativity within the fans. The art people come up with, the costumes, the crossovers. With Star Wars coming back, it’s really hit a creative spark within the people and I love seeing what it produces.
Elendriel: Getting to meet so many amazing people from around the world, talking theories and ideas on-line and then sometimes even being able to meet up finally in person at events like Star Wars Celebration. This fandom bring together people of all ages, from young kids to adults, and it’s fantastic. There’s some Star Wars for everyone.
Are you into Jane Austen or the Regency era? What do you enjoy about that?
Lyn: Honestly, I’ve not been much into historical or Regency era. Namely as none of those close to me are, so finding that jump to get into it myself hasn’t been there. I am always willing to try anything to see if I enjoy it, but sadly its one thing I just haven’t gotten around to.
Elendriel: I love Jane Austen and I think the part I love most is that her books are about people, sometimes just like you and I, but set in a different period. It makes them relevant even now.
If you could make a story to go with your mashup, what would it be?
Lyn: For most original designs or mashups, I do like to give a backstory to the concept. It helps whenever taking photos, or putting your mind into the right set to portray what you have created. With the Regency Kylo/Hux, we did throw out a basic idea to work with when shooting together. It was a bit fan service, but it helped add an emotional level to the images.
Elendriel: Lyn and I created a small backstory for these two just to help with when we did the photoshoots, but overall I’d say Hux, in this era, would have been in a position of power and what he wore displayed that. It was very regal.
Any other mashups you think would be fun?
Lyn: I’m a fan of the ‘what if’ mashups. What if Ben Solo didn’t go bad? What if this was in modern times and not a galaxy far far away? I’ve done a few versions of Kylo like that.
Elendriel: I love doing mashups and there are so many out there, but one that I think ended up being a favorite as well was when a friend and I did a mashup of Sailor Moon and Star Wars, so we had Sailor Starkiller (Hux) and Sailor Kylo Ren. Mashups are some of my favorites because you don’t have to follow any strict guidelines. You can just be creative and have fun!
Want more info on these two?