CosBlog #53: Bonnie MacFarlane By Claire Hummel
Bonnie MacFarlane made our list of The 30 Characters who Defined a Decade, and for good reason. Cosplayer and concept artist Claire Hummel obviously felt an affinity for the character, too, putting much effort into successfully recreating Bonnie’s western getup. Read more about the endeavor below.
Who: The Character
The character is Bonnie MacFarlane, the straight-talkin', cow-herdin' ranch owner from Red Dead Redemption.
Why: The Decision
I grew up with Westerns, so I scrambled to get Red Dead Redemption when it came out and fell immediately in love with it. I was completely charmed by Bonnie, a witty and capable foil to Marston's outlaw with a heart of gold, so her costume seemed like a natural fit for cosplay. We share certain physical qualities and personality traits, so it wasn't much of a stretch to get into character.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that most of my costumes nowadays are Victorian, which means lots of corsets and bustles and layers of fabric. I haven't worn a comfortable costume since doing Sarah Connor a few years back, so Bonnie was a breath of fresh air... Literally, I suppose, what with the lack of corsetry and all.
What: The Process
I couldn't bring myself to half-ass this costume by PAX 2010 last year, so I decided to spend my time making it as screen-accurate as I could. The skirt, blouse, and leather vest are all sewn from scratch, and patterned to match the seams/details on Bonnie's costume. I've made turn-of-the-century riding skirts very similar to Bonnie's before, so that was just a matter of adjusting things to match her particular style. The belts and Colt .45 Peacemaker replica were bought, and I conveniently already had the shoes on hand for other costumes.
I'm probably proudest of the necklace, simply because I went out of my way to make it specifically Bonnie's. Finding an appropriate cabochon for that center pendant was a special kind of hell, but it was worth it for the final result.
Where and When: The Debut
I knew I was going to be working a booth at the inaugural Wild Wild West Con this year in Tucson, AZ, so I finished the costume in time to be worn on location at Old Tucson Studios. It's hard to find a better setting for a Red Dead photoshoot than an entire Western film backlot, since it adds an air of authenticity that you can't really find in a convention center. Some of the photos were taken on a set with live explosives, but luckily we only found this out after getting the shots we wanted.
The photoshoot was done by a friend of mine, the amazing Jerry Abuan.
Links: The Cosplayer
I'm a concept artist by trade, so most of my presence online is in that realm. Here's my personal portfolio site...and my more regularly updated DeviantArt page. As to photos, here's the full gallery on Flickr.
Miss the past few CosBlogs? Check out the CosBlog Hub for a full archive of past costumes.