Behind the scenes
Have you seen the Showtime series “The Borgias”?
(I know it’s a few years old but I don’t care)
It’s a wonderful series About the 15th century pop Alexander VI and it’s full of betrails, sex, murder but most of all gorgeous costumes.
As far as history is concerned the show does lack a bit (inspired by the life of Alexander, would be a more accurate description), but costume wise they pretty much nailed it. And it looks beautiful.
And before you have to ask, of course I wanted to make my own Italian dress.
After some thinking I narrowed it down to two main inspiration dresses from the series
I actually think it is pretty great that they re-used the dress. No one, no mater how rich you where, could afford a new dress every day and to newer up-cycle your old favorite styles to the current fashion.
I also got tipped of that Showtime was offering this exact dress up for sale on their website.
“Lucrezia Borgia, played by Holliday Grainger wears a sky blue embroidered gown in Season 2 of The Borgias during the baptism of her son, Giovanni. Includes the sleeves later added to the gown.
The gown is impeccably tailored with a full lining. The details are never ending, with each little turn revealing another pristine element. The piece was designed and constructed by expert period costume designer Gabriella Pescucci and worn by Holliday Grainger on set. The dress corset-laces up the back with the outer layer fastening by hook and eye.”
Did I mention these dresses are BEAUTIFUL… 😉
As soon as the last piece was finished, I took my new “Outlander” costume out for some photos.
My fiance helped me, and I must say he did a splendid job both photographing and keeping up the good cheer.
I’m wearing: My new 18th century woolen jacket & skirt over stays, petticoats, bumpad and chemise. And a modern knitted shawl, linen cap, knitted mittens (which where gifted to me by the lovely Helena – Thanks again, I love them) and a basket for accessorizes.
After studying the various looks of the character Clare in the series “Outlander”, comparing them to the fabrics from my stash I decided to go for the simple laced up jacket and skirt that’s became symbolic with the series.
The construction is really simple, since it’s basically two widths of the fabric sewn together and gathered to a waistband.I used some linen scraps for he hem facing and hooks and bars to close the waistband.
Then I started on the bodice.
Using the pattern from the yellow caraco jacket, only changing the front to accommodate a stomacher instead of button closer, and adding a peplum at the bottom edge.
Just the facts:
What: A 18th century jacket and skirt.
Pattern: The jacket is my own draft (yellow Caraco jacket), and the skirt is just two rectangles stitched together.
Fabric & Notions: Skirt – 2,2 m plaid wool, thread and hook & bar.
The bodice: 1 m beige(left over) wool, 1,5 m white cotton for lining and interning, m cotton cord, thread, buttonhole thread, 60 cm plastic boning.
Cost: Everything came from stash but 300 sek would be a fair calculation.
Time: Pretty fast for a complete hand made costume – about 20-25 hours for the whole outfit.
Final thoughts: I really like this outfit. It’s warm and cosy and I really enjoyed wearing it for the photoshoot.
This past year I’ve followed the fenomen of “Outlander” with interest.
I’ve watched the series, read the analysis and discussions about the costumes, and smiled at the world wide drooling over Sam Heughan.
And of course admired all the fabulous recreations of the clothing’s from the show.
But it wasn’t until recently I found myself dreaming of my very own highlander/Clare costume.
It started late august.
I was going through my fabric stash for some creative impulses, when I found a piece of lovely plaid wool, in shades of dark green and navy, that might be just enough for a full skirt.
And there, right beside, a piece of perfectly matching left over beige wool that wouldn’t be enough for anything more then a small jacket, perhaps 18th century…
Yep, you see where I’m going here.
So onto Pinterest I went:
This spring, some of the most awesome historical nerds I knew posted an event on Facebook called:
And described it as a meetup/picnic for everyone who’s tired of the whole “Historical accurate” discussion:
“Trött och ängslig att du inte är HK? Har du innerst inne närt en dröm om att bära den där fantastiska Marie Antoinetteskapelsen i vit glansig nylon? Nu kan du kasta korsett och siden! Klä dig i polyester och kardborrband!
Välkomna till Plastique Fantastique!”
(“Tired of worrying about Historical accuracy? Do you dream about that awesome Marie Antoinette gown in shining polyester? Lets throw away the corset and the silk! Adorn yourself in Poly and Velcro!
Welcome to Plastique Fantastique!”
(Yep, the text’s all about ironic, and humor)
Since I love all the quirky and crazy side of costuming as much as the hand finishing, of course I wanted in.
A quick googling gave me overloads of beautiful (if not totally historical accurate) versions of the 18th century.
Lets start with the o so lovely masquerade costumes:
18th century Halloween costumes – because nothing says 18th century like short skirts and high heels…
(also, read my rant on over sexulized female costumes here)
Gold and bows – what can go wrong?
Then there are some fine examples of movie costumes:Stage costume from “The Phantom of he opera” (2004) – It’s got extra everything! I love it!
18th century Velvet and gold through 1950s eyes.
Pastels, huge hair and heart shaped mouches – whats not o love?
2 years ago I worked as the costume designer for the movie “Huldra – Lady of the forest”, which takes place in the deep northern forests of Sweden.
(you can red a bit more on my adventures during the shooting here: Huldra, Huldra- characters, Huldra – Working hard)
And now it is finally finished.
The trailer looks awesome:
(Official movie website: www.huldra.org)
I’m so happy there’s now a final product for all the hard work we all put in.On set, shooting the last couple of scenes.
And this weekend there was a big premiere/screening for everybody involved in the process of making the movie.
Which of course I had to attend.
So me and co costume designer Kristin decided to go (and to go in style – putting on that extra bling).
left to right: Mirja – who does incredibly nail and make-up arts – cheek her out here,
Fanny – yet another amazing make-up artist, working in both fashion and theater make-up,
Me, and in front, my companion in costuming crime: Kristin – the most fab and well dressed person I’ve ever meet, who’s strong opinions on nature and women’s rights doesn’t leave anybody unaffected (she also have a great eye for clothing and a passion for historical rural costuming).
I wore my old new years dress, paired with boots and a crazy beautiful new vintage bag
(you can glimps the golden strap in this picture).
The theater was full and all 350 seats was taken, not just with people involved in the movie, but also lots of friends, family’s and professional movie goers aswell.
It was such a blast meting everybody again ( I can’t believe it’s almost been two years).
Many, many hours later I finally got home.
Looking at the sunrise from my temporary bedroom window, realizing I’ve been partying for about 12 hours. Ops…
Well, it was so much fun, and totally worth the three hours of sleep I got before the bus was to take me home for real.
What I thought of the movie?
Well, lets just say it was fun watching it all come togeter.
And that me and Kristin could feel really proud of our work – The costumes at least, looked great….
I liked the simplicity of last years costume so much, I decided to do something similar this year.
And the choice fell to “A clockwork Orange”
The weekend after our Halloween party me and my sister went outside to take some photos.
I’ve been thinking about taking pictures at the cementary but when we got there we feelt kind of bad, taking photos and posing amongst the tombstones. But we still manadged to get a couple of good shoots before we hurried away.
Nostalgic musings, on historical clothing, traditional costume, fantasy, photography and history.
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an exploration of historical costume
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Make your own history
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My life in stitches - adventures in the world of costuming...