Dressing like a Witcher

Jestem Geralt z Rivii: Wiedźmin.

Cosplay08

Last autumn, I did something I’ve never done before: I did cosplay.

Of course, I knew that I wanted to dress as Geralt from the Witcher series. These games, this universe was special to me. They had flaws, and more than a few things that annoyed me, but on the whole, they had that special something that made the switches in my head *click*. Also, swords are cool.

Cosplay10Unfortunately, I don’t have the skills to make something this complex. I’m just the model. But I do know people who can. The blue doublet, in particular, was an important piece to get just right. For this, I commissioned a friend and local costumer, Barbara Toman, to make the piece, and boy did she do a great job.

Cosplay13The doublet is actually made from a sort of denim; not the rough stuff that jeans are made from, but a softer, more velvety material. Happily, it doesn’t look soft in these pictures, which is what I wanted: Geralt is a mercenary of sorts, and deserves a harder costume that looks lived-in. Used. Worn.

Cosplay06The sword strap was made by another local artisan by the name of Jim De Witt. It looks like leather, but is composed of a cheaper material (hey, I’m on a budget here). Fortunately, looks are what’s important. This was an unusual item for him to make (he usually does work for motorcyclists), but it turned out pretty well.

Cosplay11

The only snag for the strap was one of weight, caused by the omission of Geralt’s satchel in the front. With the two swords attached in the back, the strap continually slides upward, a problem I struggled to fix. The eventual solution was the addition of weighted pouches in the front.

Cosplay09Most of the other pieces were purchased from various stores, local and online: the boots, the swords, the hair dye, the wolf pendant. I was lucky to find a nice black leather jacket in a yard sale to use as a jerkin underneath (after removing the zipper and sewing it back up again). What you may not realize, as well, is that only one sword is real; the other is wooden, dressed up with newspaper, vinyl, and paint, and is one of the few costume pieces on which I personally labored upon.

Cosplay12These photographs were taken in October at Pratt’s Falls Park by photographer John Berry. For the purposes of loading data onto the website, I have reduced the quality of these photos.

I was hoping to elicit the feeling you get from the forests of of Flotsam: Geralt surrounded by the old wood, the untamed world that’s been there longer than the elves. The shot above, in particular, is nice in that respect: that huge, broken tree says it all.

Anyway, I hope you liked these pictures. It was an interesting project, and while quite costly, I’m glad I made it happen.

Cheers!

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  1. #1 by Bolton on April 10, 2015 - 2:24 pm

    Awesome work on it, looks great! I also love the quality of the photos… You had a nice cameraman /woman that day! For a first attempt at cosplay this is fantastic… Cheers, and lets both patiently await The Witcher 3!

    • #2 by Henson on April 10, 2015 - 5:07 pm

      Thanks! I figured that as long as I was going to do this, I may as well do it right. That means the pictures were more expensive, but I don’t think prohibitively so. If I were planning multiple shoots in the future, I might look for a cheaper option, but for a one-off like this, quality was key.

      Honestly, though, I’m most grateful for how sunny the day I chose turned out to be!

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