Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Infamous Stash

I'm starting Spring Cleaning early: today I am cleaning and reorganizing my stash of fabric. Actually, I began this process in November, but now I'm kicking myself in the behind to finish it. We need the family room back. The funny thing is, by now I've emptied all the bins and the bags I had stored away and I know I am missing stuff. I wonder where it all went. Oh well...

Nancy-Raven saw my collection of fabrics last week when she came over and she said it was like going through Ali Baba's treasure cave. So for you my faithful readers, here is my wealth in brocade, jacquard, satin, tweed, organza and printed cotton.

First, I made a pile of all the fabrics that I had never used, or that I had enough left to make something else out of it.

Gwenyver's Stash of Fabrics

Go on, ask me, I can tell you what each is for. I even have some for regular street clothes, believe it or not!

Next, there are the leftovers (I am incapable of throwing away anything - you never know when something will come in handy).

Gwenyver's Stash of Leftovers

On the left is the pile of shapeless pieces. Sometimes there is a big enough square left for crafting, but not always. This is basically all the cutouts I didn't throw away and I accumulated over the years instead.

On the right is the pile of coupons. Bigger pieces which have more chance of being reused.

So now I will be putting away all my fabrics, classifying them by types, in Rubbermaid bins (I have 13 of them), which I will identify to make looking for a fabric easier. Hurray for organization.

Tomorrow, I will attack the two leftover piles. Maybe I can cut the cutouts down a bit (pun intended.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Movie Costumes: Elizabeth – The Virgin Queen, a School paper

I am in no mood to write today, for personal reasons, but I will still leave you with somthing to read. This is a paper I wrote for my Fashion Phenomena class, which I took in Fall of 2008.

Here were the instructions for the paper:

Movie report

Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen (1998) OR Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
Both directed by
Shekhar Kapur, and with Cate Blanchet as Queen Elizabeth.

After seeing one of the above movies, please do the following :

a) Give a short summary of the plot – half a page maximum.
b) Choose 3 different costumes (garment) in the movie, belonging to a minimum
of 2 different characters (they can’t all be Elizabeth!) include a picture from
the movie, and give a complete description, using the appropriate terminology
c) From another source, and for each costume you have chosen, you must find
or draw an historically accurate illustration depicting this type of garment, give
a complete description using the appropriate terminology, and comment on the
accuracy of costume in movie.
d) please make sure to include references for all your written and photo sources.

I choose to do my report on Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen as I own the DVD. So here is what I wrote.

The Movie

Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen (1998)

Set in 16th century England, this movie tells of the young Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne and her early years as Queen.

The movie begins in 1554, when Mary is still queen of England. She is believed to be pregnant and is fighting Protestants as best she can by burning some at the stake. In the political world, whispers speak of a movement to replace the Queen with her half-sister, Elizabeth. Then 21 years old, the young Elizabeth is arrested on suspicion of treason and taken to the Tower of London to be interrogated. Her sister Mary, then Queen of England believes that her sister is planning to take her place as Queen. In fact, all the young Elizabeth seems to care about is dancing and enjoying her country life with her ladies in waiting and her lover, Sir Robert Dudley. One night, she is taken to a very ill Mary who wishes her sister’s promise that if she becomes Queen, she will uphold the Catholic faith, but Elizabeth can only promise to do as her conscience dictates.

Mary will let Elizabeth live, but under house arrest at Hatfield house, where she will learn of the Queen’s death to a cancerous tumour in her uterus. Eleven days later, Elizabeth is crowned Queen of England.

In her early years as Queen, Elizabeth rules more from the heart than from the head. She is unsure and makes mistakes. She declares war to Mary of Guise, Queen Consort of James V of Scotland, mother of the future Mary, Queen of Scots and Regent of the country. Her advisers are also pushing for her to marry so that she produces an heir. To content them, she agrees to have the Duc d’Anjou visit her in England to court her, but her heart still belongs to Dudley. Lord Robert even asks for her hand, but she later learns that he is already married and is so saddened by the news, she banishes him from her private presence. Meanwhile, D’Anjou keeps pushing her for a response. One night, as he does not show up for dinner, she visits him in his apartments where she finds him wearing a dress. Her refusal comes soon after.

All these trials and tribulations make Elizabeth tougher and she slowly transforms into a ruthless ruler. With her new right-hand man Walshingham, she orders the execution of those she sees as a threat to her rule, including Mary of Guise whom Walshingham assassinates personally, stopping an assassination plot that began in Rome with the Pope’s benediction.

In the end, she looks upon a statue of the Virgin Mary and decides to become like her, a virgin and a ruler of men’s heart.

The next time we see her, she has become Queen Elizabeth the first, the virgin Queen, married to no man, but to England itself.

Elizabeth’s Coronation Dress

Cate Blanchet as Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen (1998)

The costume designer for this movie, Alexandra Byrne, chose to make Elizabeth’s Coronation Dress as close to Elizabeth the First’s portrait of the event as possible. As such, Cate Blanchet (who portrays the young Elizabeth in the movie) is outfitted with a gold tone on tone jacquard gown patterned with English roses. The dress features the characteristic squared neck bodice and cartridge pleated skirt. She also wears double-layered cloak: the long cloak is of the same material as the gown and lined with ermine while the second layer is entirely made of ermine. The cloak is fastened with a gold coloured rope finished with tassels. She is also wearing a partlet and a double-layered neck ruff. In other scenes, we can see her smock, or shift, peaking at the cuffs of the dress, which are closely fitted with a series of 10 buttons, as well as the lace around the neckline of her undergarment once the partlet has been taken off. The shape of the skirt when she is standing also suggests that she is wearing a bumroll and a pleated petticoat. Her jewellery includes earrings, necklace and state chain. She also wears a crown and carries a sceptre and orb. Her hair is loose as it was the traditional hair-do for queens at their coronation.

Artist Unknown. “Coronation portrait of Elizabeth I of England”. 1600-1610 copy of a lost original of c. 1559.

The portrait of Elizabeth’s coronation is said to be a copy made in 1600 of the lost 1559 painting. The artist is unknown. The outfit is painted here was well copied by Alexandra Byrne. Still, there are a few differences. The bodice seems very pointed in the front and not at all squared, which can be attributed to the new fashion of the time this copy was made. The cuffs of the sleeves have both ruffs and ermine and no buttons. The cloak seams to be of only one layer, with a large ermine collar instead of the two layered one shown in the film. The jewellery painted features a lot more colour than the one in the movie, but that could e a trick of light. Lastly, the Queen wears no earrings in the painting.

Although buttoned down sleeves were more popular in the 14th century and double layered cloaks were mostly worn by men, one would have to say that this gown is, for the most part, historically accurate.

Elizabeth’s Queen Dress

Cate Blanchet as Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen (1998)

Queen Elizabeth knew how to dress and she dressed to impress. She used fashion to express a sense of generosity and wealth (all the while keeping her actual spending relatively low by reusing parts of old gowns in new ones) for which her people compared her to a goddess. In the movie, once Elizabeth decides to become the Virgin Queen History has known, she literally transforms. She cuts her hair short and begins wearing wigs as well as the white lead base make-up so typical of her reign. Here she wears a silver-white silk satin damask French gown with an opened over skirt and shoulder rolls. Her bombasted sleeves are embroidered to match the forepart of her underskirt, while the coat sleeves are made to match the gown. She also wears a very wide closed ruff trimmed with lace. The conical shape of the dress when she walks up to her throne tells us she is wearing a Spanish farthingale with a bumroll and petticoat. The entire outfit is decorated with silver bows, pearls and glass cabochons. She wears numerous pearl necklaces and huge teardrop pearl earrings. Her hair is also decorated with pearls. Pearls were very popular in the 16th century.

George Gower. “The Armada Portrait”. The Tudor Place. C. 1588.

The dress worn in the movie was clearly based upon the one worn by the Queen in “The Armada Portrait”, a painting commissioned to commemorate the 1588 defeat of the Spanish Armada. Although there are many versions of this portrait, the one showed here is by George Gower. Although the colours are different (the movie’s was silver and white to convey a sense of purity and virginity), it is the same dress.

This makes the movie dress very historically accurate... for the 1580’s. But the movie presents the events that shaped the young Elizabeth. At the end of the movie, we are told that she reigned for another 40 years. As she died in 1603, the movie cannot end later than 1563. For the early 1560’s, it is highly inaccurate.

Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester

Joseph Fiennes as Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I, Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen (1998)

Robert Dudley, as played by Joseph Fiennes, is presented as the Queen’s lover and a bit of a ladies’ man. Although the real Robert Dudley was also known this way, he would have never been caught dead in most of what we see his movie version wear. The first time we see Dudley, he arrives on a white horse (the real Dudley was after all the Queen’s Master of the Horse) like the proverbial “Prince Charming”, with one of Elizabeth’s ladies in waiting. He is wearing nether hose or breeches that seem made of leather, a belt, nether stocks, riding boots and gloves and a linen shirt highly decorated with drawn thread work, worn opened on his chest.

Artist Unknown. “Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester”. Oil on panel. 110 x 80 cm. At Waddesdon, The Rothschild Collection. c.1564.

In this 1564 portrait by an unknown artist, Robert Dudley wears light blue doublet with shoulder wings and skirting, decorated with gold trim and fastened down the front with gold buttons. He also wears breeches and a codpiece. His sleeves, breeches and codpiece match the doublet’s fabric and decoration. A ruff peaks out from the high neckline of the doublet’s standing collar, just as ruffs decorate both cuffs of the sleeves. His head is adorned with a black jewelled and feathered cap, his neck with a necklace, and on his waist, he sports a leather baldric that hold a pouch, a rapier and a dagger. Although we cannot see it, he is most likely wearing a shirt under his doublet, as well as some nether stocks and boots or shoes. Now there is an outfit fit for a gentleman.

It is not that the clothes worn by Robert Dudley in the film are not historically accurate; simply that he is missing a few pieces. No gentleman would go out without a doublet and a cap of some sort. It simply would not have been proper. The movie Dudley always seems to dress down for the occasion instead of dressing up as a man of his rank should.



ARNOLD, Janet. Patterns of Fashion – The cut and construction of clothes for men and women c.1560-1620. Macmillan Publisher Ltd, London, 1985, 128 pages.

MIKHAILA, Ninya and Jane MALCOLM-DAVIES. The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing 16th-Century Dress. Costume & Fashion Press, Hollywood, 2006, 160 pages.


KAPUR, Shekhar, Elizabeth, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, UK, 1998, Colour, English, 124 min.


Elizabethan Costume: History and Technique, consulted on October 19, 2008.

Elizabeth (1998), The Internet Movie Database, consulted on October 19, 2008.

Elizabeth (film), Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, consulted on October 19, 2008.

The Costumer’s Guide to Movie Costumes, consulted on October 19, 2008.

The Elizabethan Costuming Page, consulted on October 19, 2008.

The Tudors: Elizabeth - Portrait of a Queen, History on the Net, consulted on October 19, 2008.

There you have it. I got 100% for this paper you know. So I
hope you enjoyed my analysis, and hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better and I'll be writing something new instead.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kagemusha: 16th century Japanese Garb

Instead of watching Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) for a third time in a row (what, did you think my latest Japanese phase was over? ), I decided to watch a classic Japanese movie instead (which I found in my Sweetheart's DVD pile while looking for something else): Kagemusha (1980) by Akira Kurosawa. The French translation is awful, but the cinematography is magnificent.

Kagemusha (1980)

Did I ever mention that during my Film Study Major, I was in charge of Cinematography for my team's movie? Well I was (I would have preferred the job of costume designer, but it was already taken). I was taking photography classes at the time and as I came from an Art DEC, I had an eye for composition that most of my other team members didn't. By the way, our movie "Un Homme Ordinaire" won both prizes it was eligible to win at the end of year Gala.

Kagemusha (1980) - Dream Sequence

Back to Kagemusha: the movie is set in 16th century Japan and is inspired by Takeda Shingen, a warlord who died in 1573, though the events depicted after his death are fiction written by the movie's director. The story tells of a lower-class criminal who is taught to impersonate a dying warlord in order to dissuade opposing lords from attacking the newly vulnerable clan. The costumes, designed by Seiichiro Hagakusawa are inspired by the clothes worn by the Warrior class in the Azuchi -Momoyama period (1568–1603).

Sadly enough, my Costume History classes in Fashion school did not include foreign fashion; it was focused on Western clothing only. While I do understand the time constraint issue in trying to go through thousands of years of fashion in one or two semesters, the fact remains that Costume History classes are meant to help you recognize certain styles in modern trends (or at least this is how my teacher put it) and these trends will every so often be inspired by foreign fashion, whether in the print of the fabric or in the cut of clothes. I am not blaming my teacher here (I like her too much for that), but the program, which I believe needs to be revised a little.

So I will try to fill in the gap a little.

Kagemusha (1980)

So what did a warrior wear in the Azuchi -Momoyama period? When at home, the warrior lord might wear a Suo, a short coat not unlike a Hitatare, and Hakama, pleated pants. The fashion of the time called for men to shave the top of their heads and for the hair to be tied up into a small Mage (bun like piece of hair in the back). This hairstyle is called Sakayaki.

Statue of Takeda Shingen, Daimyo of Sengoku (1521-1573) in Suo and Hakama - Front View

Statue of Takeda Shingen, Daimyo of Sengoku (1521-1573) in Suo and Hakama - Back View

Kagemusha (1980)

In the movie, we also see quite a few men dressed in Kosode, a Kimono like garment with smaller sleeves, Hakama and Katiginu, a sleeveless jacket.

The Kosode, literally meaning "small sleeves" was worn by both men and women. It first appeared as an undergarment during the Heian period (794 - 1185), but during the period studied here, it was worn as an outer garment as well.

Warrior General in Kataginu and Hakama - Front View

Warrior General in Kataginu and Hakama - Back View

Kagemusha (1980)

The movie also has a few scenes with women, mainly concubines. The first time the Kagemusha (Shingen's double) meets the concubines, two of them serve him dinner and each displays a different style. By the way one of them is played by Kaori Momoi, who plays Mother in Memoirs of a Geisha, but I have no idea which one she is.

Women of the upper warrior cast wore floor length Kosode, often a couple layers of them, held close by thin hoso-obi belts, and an Uchikake coat. The hairstyle, called Suberakashi, is worn straight and long, except for two short pieces on either side of the face which are cut short; these are called binsogi no kami. Fashion of the time required women to pluck out or shave their eyebrows. These were redrawn higher on the forehead.

In the picture showing the concubines, the one on the left wears her Uchikake hanging from her shoulders as such:

Woman of the upper warrior class in ceremonial dress, with Uchikake outer-garment - Front View

Woman of the upper warrior class in ceremonial dress, with Uchikake outer-garment - Back View

The concubine to Shingen's right wears her Uchikake wrapped around the waist, in the summer fashion.

Woman of the upper warrior class in formal costume for summer, with Uchikake wrapped around the waist - Front View

Woman of the upper warrior class in formal costume for summer, with Uchikake wrapped around the waist - Back View

And there you have it: a little overview of the costumes in Kagemusha. Of course, I did not include armour, as I am no expert on the subject, nor did I mention the clothes worn by the peasants.

If you would like more information on 16th century Japanese fashion, there are plenty of web pages on the subject, many of them by SCAdians as the SCA accepts any culture as long as it is pre-17th century. The one I recommend is Woderford Hall by Lisa Joseph.

For those of you who might want to make yourselves a Japanese costume, here is a little gift: Free Patterns! I found the links on Lisa Joseph's page The Kosode: a Japanese garment for the SCA period (on which she also explains how to make one).

To make a Hitatare, go to:,13
To make Hakama, got to:,15

The Hakama pattern will be especially useful if you also like to do Anime Cosplay.

By the way, all of the statuette pictures came from the Kyoto Costume Museum (not to be mistaken with the Kyoto Costume Institute). They have a very large collection pictures of statuettes dressed in the garb of different eras of Japan, from prehistory to modern times. Each costume is very well described with words in Japanese and their literal meaning in English. It is an incredible resource.

I guess I have one more reason to want to go to Kyoto!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Wishlist: Sarah's Ballgown (Labyrinth)

Whenever I'm asked to name my number one favourite movie of all time, I always answer straight away Labyrinth (1986). From the first time I ever saw it as a child (on Tele, translated in French), I have fantasised about the story and the characters. I use to imagine that I was the one who went to the Labyrinth. Like any other girl, I was especially drawn to David Bowie's character, even at age 6: he was frightening, and yet he had a sort of magnetism. It is because of this movie that I eventually became a fan of David Bowie's music, and as it just so happened that my Sweetheart was also a long time fan, we went to see him in concert the last time he was in Montréal. But I digress.

When I was in 8th grade, my English teacher decided to show us the movie (remember: English is my second language). I fell in love again. I bought the video with my baby-sitting money and watched it every afternoon after school for a good two months (I know every line by heart). I would wear a loose shirt and a vest over jeans, and flat leather shoes as often as I could, to dress just like Sarah (I was always a costumer). Sure my clothes were often qualified of "So last decade", but I was already a reject, so I might as well be a happy one.

In 9th grade, I even tried to make a Jareth inspired costume for a Halloween party: my mom let me use an old black silk shirt that I tried (but failed miserably) to transform into a tailcoat, which I wore over black legging and a white shirt. As a kid, my mom had made me two
jabot type accessories to wear with white shirts. They were pieces of fabric with lace sewn to them and had a buttonhole to attach them to the shirt collar. One was long and square and the other was a half circle, so I wore both for this costume. Finally, I tried to do some blue makeup on my eyes, I used my crimping iron on my hair, added some blue streaks with hair mascara. Because I had long, straight hair, it looked bad loose, so I tied them in a ponytail instead. The result was a failure of epic proportions. No one at the party could even venture a guess as to what I was supposed to be dressed as. Asked Nancy-Raven, she was there (although knowing her, she probably doesn't remember).

But of course, what every little girl who ever loved that movie really wants is the ball gown.

Jennifer Connelly as Sarah, Labyrinth (1986)

Many have tried to reproduce it, but I have never seen a version that I found resembled the original in a way I would consider satisfactory (I am very picky, I know). There are just so many layers of details! Often enough, some sort of metallic silver fabric is used for the bodice, but if you look closely enough, you'll see it is in fact silver and gold brocade (at least, it is what I believe). As for the sleeves and skirt, People tend to use iridescent organza. While I do agree that organza is the way to go, I would personally use white as I believe it would come closer to the original look.

Jennifer Connelly as Sarah, Labyrinth (1986)

In the making of, the costumes for the ball scene are described as being inspired by 18th century styles as well as Venetian Carnival costumes and masks. This might be true of some of the dancer's costume, yet, while Jareth's costumes have a much more Regency (early 19th century) look to them, whereas Sarah's dress is clearly Victorian. Just look at this great big skirt supported by a crinoline and those gigot sleeves!

David Bowie as Jareth, The Goblin King, and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah, Labyrinth (1986)

Knowing that I would one day wish to make that dress, I bought an 80's wedding dress pattern some years ago: Burda Couture #4815. The sleeves would need to be modified, but for the rest, it's a good base for this look.

Now let's all watch the Ball scene and dream once more.

Yep! Dressed in such a gown, I too would feel ready to dance with the King of Goblins!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Costumes for Otakuthon 2010

Last night, the dates for this year's Otakuthon, Montréal's Anime Convention, were announced: August 13 - 15, 2010. The event will once again be held at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. I've been bugging Nancy-Raven about cosplay ideas for Otakuthon for over a week, so I am quite happy to now have a date to work with.

Nancy-Raven needs a break, I thought I'd brainstorm a little with my other readers. I have ideas from three different Anime/Manga.

Le Chevalier d'Eon (Shuvarie)

Le Chevalier d'Eon by Tow Ubukata

I'm not especially familiar with this Anime/Manga, but I fell in love with the costumes after seeing Kadajo's fanart of Le Chevalier Sphinx.

Le Chevalier Sphinx, Fanart by Kadajo

There is a good number of costumes to choose from, so both Nancy-Raven and I could pick one we like. I also think we should try to get her cousin to join us because he has the fine traits and the long blond ponytail that d'Eon has.

The story is inspired by that of Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont (1728 - 1810), known as the Chevalier d'Éon, who was a notable cross-dresser. It is set in Versailles (France) during the reign of Louis XV. This means Pannier dresses. Not only can I do that with my eyes closed, but I love this style. As a bonus, I could (in theory) also wear my costume at the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France (which I plan to attend this year too).

On the downside, I don't know what I would make for my Daughter with this theme. She'll be about a year and a half by then, and I bet she'll be running around, but I can't imagine putting her in a big fancy dress yet.

2. The Three Musketeers (Anime san jushi)

This Anime used to play on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. I think it would be fun to make because everyone who sees us will be transported back to their childhood. Also, I have never made a 17th century costume and I am long overdue for one. Once again, there are many choices. If Nancy-Raven decides to join me, I suggested to her that we could go as Queen Anne of Austria and her handmaiden Constance Bonacieux (I would like to cosplay as Constance; I already have the right hair colour and besides, Nancy-Raven is taller than me).

Queen Anne and Constance, The Three Musketeers (1987)

If I go alone with my Daughter, I would choose to cosplay as Milady de Winter instead. I look good in red and I've always wanted an excuse to wear forest green hair.

Milady de Winter, The Three Musketeers (1987)

My Daughter could the cosplay as Pepe, the little monkey.

Milady and Pepe, The Three Musketeers (1987)

Sure she wouldn't fit on my shoulder, but I think it would be cute. I just wonder how I could make her a Galea (Roman helmet)...

3. Cardcaptor Sakura (Kādokyaputā Sakura)

Of course, I could also stick to the idea I had last year: I could go as Sakura and my Daughter could be Kero. This way at least, I know she would be comfortable.

Kinomoto Sakura and Kero, Cardcaptor Sakura

I'm not quite sure how to make Sakura's staff, but I'm sure I can find out. The biggest problem with a Sakura costume is actually choosing the costume. She has so many!

So now you know what was going through my head while my cold kept me awake half the night (every night) last week. As always, I love to get your input. Right now, I'm not sure which one to choose from. Part of my decision will be based on whether or not Nancy-Raven decides to join my Daughter and I for a group costume. (No pressure hon!)

As Andy and Randy Pig (Miss Piggy's dimwitted young nephews) would say, "This job's too hard!".

Monday, January 25, 2010

Confessions of a Costumeholic - now on Twitter!

It had to happen eventually; after all, all of Hollywood, one of my sources of inspiration, is connected. It is true, I have joined Twitter.

Come and follow me! You'll will know to the second when my latest article has been posted, and when I am busy with projects, you can get up to the minute progress report.

Just click on the button on your screen (look to he right, it's the one with the bird), or look for me on Twitter: GwenyverCostume.

Movie Monday: Lucky Luke

This one is for the boys too.

As I once mentioned when talking about Astérix, I grew up with the French/Belgian
Dupuis Bandes Dessinées and seeing their animated adaptations on Tele. Amongst these was Lucky Luke, the cowboy known to shoot faster than his shadow. He wasn't my favourite (I was never a huge Cowboy vs. Indian or Far West stories), but he is still a part of my childhood.

And now, Lucky has come to a theatre near me, portrayed by everyone's favourite spy and surfer,
Jean Dujardin (who is know for his roles of Brice de Nice and Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath a.k.a. OSS 117). The came out in France on October 21st, but it will only make its debut here this Friday.

Let's take a moment to look at Lucky Luke's costume: he wears a yellow shirt, blue jeans, a black leather vest, a red scarf around his neck, a brown leather belt with a holster for his gun, a white cowboy hat and cowboy boots with spurs.

Lucky Luke (2009)

Don't worry girls, we also have some options. We could either cosplay as Calamity Jane...

Sylvie Testud as Calamity Jane, Lucky Luke (2009)

Her costume is basically much worn, dusty, beige, leather hat, fringed jacket and pant. Calamity travels the desert a lot.

The other option, for girls who, like me, like to dress in pretty dresses, there is Belle, the saloon dancer.

Alexandra Lamy as Belle, Lucky Luke (2009)

I see a corset, beading and a feather hair piece. Definitely my choice!

But if you would like to be a little more covered, she also wears a cute pink bustle gown with long sleeve jacket.

The costumes for this movie were designed by Olivier Bériot.

Note: following a discussion with Nancy-Raven, I will from now on make sure I mention who created the costumes for the movie presented on Movie Monday.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Make your own Spats or Gaiters

Although I am watching Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) yet again (this time with audio commentaries), I will try to write about something else for a change. Let's talk Steampunk.

Whenever I look at Alyssa's beautiful creations (she is by far my favourite Steampunk Costumer), I love to look at all the details she has added to her costume. This includes accessories, such as Spats or Gaiters.

Black & White Steampunk Gaiters by Alyssa - Dragonfly Designs

Now you might wonder what the difference between the two is: from what I understand, spats cover the ankle and gaiters can go up to the knee.

Some of you may remember that I own a pair of child size gaiters (see my post Blast from the past), but to make my own, I was a little unsure of how to proceed. I had a vague idea that I would have to use some draping technique, but it's always nice, before starting a new project, when you can find a tutorial. Even better if it is a video tutorial. And if it comes from Threadbanger, you can't ask for more.

Now this is about making spats, but the technique would be the same if you wanted a pair of knee high gaiters. The only thing is, I suggest you drape both sides of your leg to make your pattern as you calf muscle tends to be rounder and larger on the exterior side. Also, it is easier in that case to ask a friend to do the draping for you on your own leg. But hey, if you're flexible enough, I'm sure you can manage by yourself.

Oh Nancy-Raven... Let's go leather shopping! Oh, and I need a little help with this draping...