CosBlog #48: Chloe Frazer By Jessica Steele Allen

by Meagan Marie on Mar 18, 2011 at 05:34 AM

Looks can be deceiving. When it comes to “simple” or “closet cosplay,” most assume that a single shopping excursion to a retail chain is needed. In reality, costumes that appear simple can be deceptively difficult. The cosplayer has less of a visual vocabulary to identify themselves. As such, the final presentation has to be extremely nuanced and accurate.

Jessica Steele Allen’s Chloe Frazer costume is successful on several fronts – in both execution, and because she looks incredibly similar to the character. Check out the surprising likeness below!

Who: The Character
Chloe Frazer from Naughty Dog's PS3 game "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves."

Why: The Decision

I love female characters that can hold their own with the guys; maybe they're a little rough around the edges, sure, but they still manage to stay sexy and feminine while kicking some ass. My first cosplay was outlaw archaeologist-turned-spy Abbey Chase from J. Scott Campbell's comic book series "Danger Girl," so creating a costume based on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves' morally ambiguous treasure hunter Chloe Frazer wasn't much of a stretch! I love Chloe's independence, her confidence, her wit, and her wry sense of humor. Plus, I think she's gorgeous! (I also appreciate that she has a butt and she's proud of it. Hehe!) Both "Uncharted" titles are full of fun, believable, well-written characters, and Chloe was my favorite of them all. I knew she would be a perfect addition to my cosplay collection.

What: The Process

This was a relatively easy costume to create, but "plain clothes" cosplays are, at the same time, deceptively challenging. When you're buying most of your costume components at the mall, you have to pay extra attention to the "little things" so it doesn't *look* like something you just bought at the mall!

The boots, while not the Mark Nason's Lorelei design on which Chloe's in-game footwear was based, were as close a match as I could get without breaking the bank; I was pleased to find some fitted khaki cargo pants that looked good right off the shelf; I used a razor to rip up the bottom of a black camisole for Chloe's undershirt; I altered the red top for fit, as well as to tatter the sleeves and add the blue edging around the collar; and I made all three of the necklaces. Probably my favorite detail, though, is the handgun, on which I painted the same flaming-skull-and-roses design glimpsed on Chloe's .45 Defender during cutscenes.

There are still some aspects of the costume that I'd like to improve -- the main one being Chloe's shoulder rig, which is actually used only for carrying magazine pouches, not her weapon; her holster itself should be worn on the back of her belt -- but, overall, I'm happy with how  it turned out! I'd also like to do a second version in which I distress everything to more accurately reflect Chloe's down-and-dirty look throughout most of the game.

Where and When: The Debut

I debuted my Chloe costume at the unbelievably awesome Dragon*Con 2010, my first time (of many, I'm sure) attending that convention. Most of the photos included here, however, are from an impromptu photoshoot that took place in January 2011 at a local abandoned hotel. When I saw the broken windows, boarded-up doors, and debris lying scattered about, I thought it would make an ideal location for Chloe -- at least until I can find a ramshackle village to take photos in! 

Links: The Cosplayer

The best place to find me is on Facebook, but I'm also on deviantART!

The Gallery
(Photos by Brandon Allen)

Miss the past few CosBlogs? Check out the CosBlog Hub for a full archive and information on how to submit a costume of your own.