Way back in late 2017, Good Omens was filming and the first set photos were finally released. They involved Tennant and Sheen posing on set, but it was unclear if these would be the primary looks for Crowley and Aziraphale or not.
At the time I was deep into my Newt Scamander project and truly did not want to get into yet another Tennant costume or expensive screen accuracy rabbit hole, but I was already a fan of Good Omens and, of course, David Tennant, so I thought I would have some fun and do a quick look up of the outfit items. The outfit being relatively non-descript, I couldn’t turn up much (though it turns out that this cropped jacket is one of the only off-the-rack pieces he sports in the series, by Balenciaga) but just for kicks I wanted to see if I could find a similar belt, because that buckle was just so cool. Within minutes of Google searching, I was flabbergasted.
It was an Etsy listing. For the belt. Like, the real one. This was definitely no knock off. The pictures had just come out that day, and this was spot-on in every regard. Not even the fastest RPF propmakers could have done this so quickly. But then I noticed:
There wasn’t even a guarantee that this buckle would be part of his primary look – it could have been a one-off for a flashback or something. I put aside thoughts of ever picking up Crowley. I had enough on my plate as it was. (For the record, actually, my Instagram post on the topic at the time suggests that it was originally $418, so the price has gone up with demand, it seems.)
Fast-forward to the recent present, researching for this project. It turns out that, yes, this is the actual, screen-worn belt, and it was part of his primary look.
I was trying to keep my costs low. But this snake belt is a very prominent feature of his look, and is so unique, I didn’t know what to do. I put the belt problem aside and went to work on the other accessories.
The sunglasses primarily worn by Crowley (to hide his demon eyes, of course) are Valentino VA2003‘s and once identified went quickly out-of-stock. They also ran in the $250 range, which was higher than I wanted to go. But I couldn’t locate a pair anyway, so I needed to find the next best. Thankfully, coming late to the Crowley game meant that some of that hard work had been done for me, and a rather decent pair of knock-offs was ready and waiting for me on the advice of a friend.
The Ronsou knock-offs are ultra cheap and only have two big points of contention: they lack the screws on the lenses of the Valentinos (something most people don’t notice anyway), and they have an extra bridge running across the top. How hard can that be to remove?
Apparently very hard. But after acquiring some bolt cutters (BOLT CUTTERS) I managed to get them off. There are some other minor variations from the Valentinos, but they would be more than sufficient. A success!
Next, and possibly most important, was the necklace.
Necklace? Scarf? Even the RPF wasn’t sure of what was happening here. Having seen it on the display at FIDM (right), I knew it was some kind of knitted metal. Or metal-like material. Was it a scarf? What do I even search for?
Many hours of Google-ing terms turned up very little, but I finally caught wind of a few cosplayers snagging a £14 item from some UK clothing company called Wallis. It turns out that the original find was made by an author and cosplayer named L. D. Lapinski, and I think there is a decent case to be made that it is indeed the SA item. If that is true, it is some kind of polyester fabric scarf with a decorative metal chain attachment on the end, and some gems that required removal.
Now, I’m not fully convinced that this IS the real deal. While examining the original at FIDM, I was pretty convinced the thing was truly made of metal. But the point is moot, as this is, of course, no longer available and impossible to track down.
Thankfully, while ogling the SA snake belt, I fell down an Etsy rabbit hole and managed to come across one of the best replicas I’ve seen to date. For a very reasonable price, I picked one up, and I couldn’t be happier with it. What’s it made of? Well… honestly I have no idea. I does appear to have been handknitted with some sort of… metallic-y… cord. With hardware on the end. I don’t know guys, this isn’t my area of expertise.
My only niggle is that it appears very shiny and silver in comparison to the more steely, dull one used on screen… maybe one day I’ll airbrush it gray, but for now I am more than content and can move on. (For the record, a number of great propmakers on Etsy offer replicas of varying degrees of accuracy – I’d highly recommend shopping there for your own. Support local artists!)
What’s that you notice? The belt in that photo looks like… the real one?
Yeah. I did it guys. I broke my own cost rule and splurged. I could have purchased some knock-off buckles and made my own snake belt for much cheaper, but here’s my thought: I am supporting a local artist with their actual business. The maker, Strange Loop Jewellery, is a London-based craftsman who caught the attention of the production, and made an excellent piece. I didn’t give that $500 to Paul Smith, or Valentino, or, god forbid, some yahoo “collector” who managed to score one for $35 on eBay who then decided to scalp the thing, this went directly to an artist who makes these for a living. It’s a unique original piece, and it came to me wrapped in an old map of Paris with my name written on it in Sharpie marker, and it is a thing of beauty.
This left one more big-ticket accessory – the oft-overlooked watch.
The first time I saw the photo at left, a BTS edited for Tumblr, I thought “What the hell? That must be some kind of magic demon gadget they’ve added for the show… right?”
But actually, no. It’s just a watch that costume designer Claire Anderson thought would be the kind of thing Crowley would wear. After watching the show I was struck by the fact that I actually… never noticed it. Subsequent rewatches show that it does actually get some reasonable airtime. We even get some beautiful close-ups, like this one:
This, of course, makes it easy to identify as a DEVON Works Tread 1A, a rather interesting, modern watch. Also, luckily, still available to purchase!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, for a cool $18,450, a DEVON Works Tread 1A can be yours!
It’s still not as fancy as Tennant’s >$200K A. Lange & Söhne timepiece from Jessica Jones, but $20K is still far beyond impossible for my budget. At some point, I will commission a prop replica. But that is for a later date.
Because I’m a true completionist (okay, maybe not a $20K completionist, but you know what I mean!), the chain necklace also needed to be sourced. I had no interest in trying to track down some unverifiable vintage piece that probably never existed anyways, so I went right to Etsy to follow on the heels of the other accessories.
Man, this “not caring about ultra screen accuracy” thing was really working in my favor!
But there is still one hurdle to tackle for that real spark of authenticity in a Crowley cosplay: The eyes.
As if he wasn’t already beautiful enough to look at, Crowley’s demon eyes are a really wonderful touch to the character, and the kind of thing that can really pull the look together. On the advice of a friend once again, I turned my sights to Uniqso for an affordable sclera option that looked great on other cosplayers I’d seen.
Overall I am very pleased with them, but I do have a concern. I went right for these scleras, as they are a great option for Crowley’s Eden eyes.
But Crowley’s eyes change throughout the series.
It’s a beautiful, subtle storytelling device. When we first meet Crowley in Eden, he’s obviously the Serpent that tempts Eve into eating the apple, so he’s a literal snake. When he becomes “human,” he retains these full, sclera-style snake eyes. But as he spends more and more time as a human – “goes native” so to speak – his eyes actually change and the “snake” part of them shrinks to his iris/pupil area only.
I’m not doing the Eden costume, so a non-sclera option will be needed.
I have done a lot of Googling (again, this isn’t really my area of expertise) and the “cat” eye is a far more popular style than snake, and I’m having trouble finding a lens that really has all the hallmarks I’m trying to hit. The lenses they made for the show are so beautiful, it is hard to want to downgrade to one of these cheaper, flat, cartoony options available online, but I also don’t want to drop huge sums of money into custom contacts when I’ll wear sunglasses most of the time anyway. I have a few options I will be trying out in the next few weeks, so I will update when there is more to say on that front (this is a work in progress, after all!).
Whew! I’ve never had to spend so much time on an area of cosplay I know so little about! For my Halloween photoshoot, I had my sister draw the snake tattoo on my temple. It’s such a cool part of the look. In the future, I’m not sure what I will do, though another lovely Etsy artist makes them as temp tattoos. These kinds of little things are very important, as they really give you that aura of authenticity. Even if the specific “pieces” of a cosplay aren’t perfectly “screen accurate,” having them all together gives an aesthetic that feels genuine. Even having a bunch of SA pieces, but lacking these details, can make your cosplay feel inauthentic, even though what you do have is flawless. So a little focus on these small touches goes a long way.
So, that’s all set to go then. I had exhausted everything non-clothing related about the costume. Next, I needed to decide what to do about the actual outfit itself.
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