Cosplaying the 50th Anniversary Rose Tyler and The Moment.
As soon as the photos of Billie Piper were released for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special back in November, I knew I had to cosplay that version of the Rose Tyler character. This was even before we knew who (or what) the character would actually be. But the costume seemed like an easy one (little did I know) and even more importantly, it looked comfortable, so I committed.
If you want the screen accurate breakdown of this costume, this is not it. I couldn’t find any of the pieces and/or didn’t want to pay the exorbitant amounts to purchase them. This was to be a budget costume and my first real challenge as a cosplayer: I was going to put it together myself. Granted, I still owe a great debt to fellow cosplayer, Fallyn Angel, who helped me find some of the pieces and pick good alts.
To start, here is the original costume that Billie Piper wore on the episode:
Obviously, the easiest part of pulling this costume together were the ripped tights. I took a pair of black tights out of one of my drawers and cut holes into them. At this point, I thought “Hey, this is fun.” Then I had to find the other pieces. After hunting online, I came up empty. I knew using alt pieces meant that I couldn’t find perfect matches, but I couldn’t find anything even remotely close! Even the Target dress mentioned on the Doctor Who Cosplay LJ group wasn’t available online.
Fortunately, my family asked me to go shopping and I went solely with the intent of finding some of these pieces. I scoured clearance racks and found an ivory lace dress (sorry, I can’t find photos of it anywhere). The dress was knee-length and the sleeves were short, but I grabbed it as it was close to the Target alt previously mentioned and only $9.95. The long white maxi dress came from a Charlotte Russe clearance rack (again, sorry, no photos of that one either). It’s a little see-through, but has a short slip, so I was satisfied. The only problem was that both pieces were way too light. So I soaked both in a tea bath to stain them and make them look more aged. I also distressed the pieces, using scissors, my hands and my cats (might as well put the animals to good use). I ripped and pulled at stitches until I was satisfied. I also cut the dress shorter and used the spare lace to lengthen the sleeves. I haven’t hand-sewn anything in a long time, so the work is shoddy, but works on this costume.
The sweater sleeves were also a clearance rack item because I wasn’t going to pay over $10 for something I was planning on destroying. Those came from Aeropostale. I tried to tea stain, those, but they’re a synthetic material, so the stain didn’t hold. I think the ivory-beige color that it came with works, though.
That still left me needing the rest of the costume, though. Both the wig and the boots were discovered by Fallyn Angel here and here. I also found the jewelry fairly easily online. The hair charm came from WalMart (I just looked for one with the right shape, as no one is really certain what the screen accurate one looks like). I also got beads for the wig at Hobby Lobby (found here.) The bracelets were an eBay find here and I went with this ring from TopShop. None of these items are exact matches, but with jewelry I’m okay with close enough. I also purchased Opi’s Black Onyx nail polish (which I love, by the way).
That left one item to find: the vest. I found a utility vest on eBay that I thought would work, but when I received it, instead of a light olive green (as pictured on the site), it was dark. So I bleached it. It turned pink. I cried. So I bleached it again. It was still pink. I bought some RIT dye remover and used that… twice… and IT WAS STILL PINK, although light enough to dye. I dyed it… twice. I used taupe, but somehow it looked more brown, than anything. That’s when I started looking for alternatives (and crying because I couldn’t find anything). With more help from Fallyn Angel, I found this, the final piece to the puzzle: River Island Beige Over Dye Biker Gilet. It was on sale for 50% off, so I grabbed it. But I was still pretty sure it wouldn’t work. Fortunately, I was wrong. It worked perfectly and I was finally satisfied with the costume. Is it screen accurate? No. Does it work as a good alt? Heck yeah!
Here’s the whole costume put together:
And even better? This is still the cheapest costume I’ve put together, to date. I’ll be premiering it at Gallifrey One next week, so be sure to look for me and say hello.
Editors note: This costume was fully approved by Billie Piper, who actually thought the boots were the screen accurate ones. Once she noticed the boots, she said, “Oh, those are the boots!” Then she looked at me horrified and asked, “Were they terribly expensive?” I just smiled and said, “Nope, I found them on eBay.” She looked slightly relieved that I didn’t bankrupt myself just to dress up like one of her characters.