The Countess from American Horror Story
I am not a huge horror fan — I am a big weenie when it comes to scary stuff. And yet, some of my favorite cosplay involves gore and other horror themes (see: my Dany costume). Horror looks are so different to my daily life. It’s really fun to transform and play that role for a little bit!
You may already know I’m a fan of American Horror Story — I did a Zoe Benson cosplay earlier this year. I’m loving the new season, Hotel. I was nervous when I heard Jessica Lange wouldn’t be back, but then Lady Gaga arrived and I adore her acting.
Lady Gaga’s been one of my favorite pop stars since her first album, and I’ve always wanted to recreate one of her iconic looks. When a friend of mine put together an American Horror Story: Hotel themed photo shoot, I saw an opportunity to do a Countess cosplay and took it!
I chose to take inspiration from Lady Gaga’s Entertainment Weekly look, but with her silver glove instead of the black one. Her silver glove is just more iconic. The rest of The Countess’s wardrobe is pretty elaborate, so I knew the simplest outfit would work best for me.
- Wig: Dany from Arda Wigs in Titanium Blonde
- Glove: Modified plain glove with clay, glitter, and paint
- Robe: Target (but here’s the one I really wanted)
- Fishnets: Amazon
- Shoes: Target (Similar)
The biggest component of this costume was the killing glove. I began with a plain black glove, covered it in glitter, then added the individual details made by hand with clay. I painted the clay pieces with Rub ‘n Buff to make them look metallic. The glove was tricky because I had to mold the clay pieces with the glove on so they’d have the right curves, and I had to hot glue the pieces with the glove on. Not ideal, but it works!
The wig was my Dany wig, re-styled. I love it when I’m able to reuse pieces! I brushed it out, moved the part a bit, put the hair in a ponytail, then styled it into a really simple chignon. Easy peasy.
The robe, fishnets, and heels were all store bought or previously owned. I actually had the perfect robe picked out on Amazon, but holiday shipping delays caused my package to arrive three days late. Instead, I used a shorter robe from I bought the day of… that says “BRIDE” in big rhinestones on the back. Not what I expected, but I was able to obtain it at the last minute and we weren’t going to shoot from the back, anyway!
The makeup was also a big component of this costume. I look nothing like Lady Gaga, especially with her bleached eyebrows, prominent nose, and full lips. Her makeup as The Countess is also pretty distinctive. There was a lot of contouring and overfilling of lips involved! To “bleach” my brows, I first covered my own eyebrows with a few layers of a glue stick, then used concealer and a white eye pencil.
The other interesting part about this photo shoot? We shot at a historic bed and breakfast with all sorts of vintage furniture and electronics. It was a beautiful location! The photographer organized the shoot, hired hair and makeup artists, and rounded up models. The shoot lasted a full day. My photos were taken around 4 am — creepy!
This costume would probably never work at a convention — my range of motion is pretty awful with the glove on, glitter was flying everywhere, and the outfit itself is a little risque for a public situation — but it worked perfectly for the shoot and I’m very pleased with the results.
Are you watching American Horror Story: Hotel?
(All photos in this post are by Amanda Rebholz, Darkroom Lament Photography)