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:
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….
The movie ”Huldra” I’ve been working on is a thriller set in the forest in the northern parts of Sweden.
It’s about a young group of old friends who decides to go hiking in the deep forests of the north. When they arrive at the old cabin where they plan to stay for a couple of weeks they soon realizes they are not alone. The wood keeper sneaks around acting weird and a beautiful lady is lurking in the forest and in there dreams. The friendship becomes more and more strained as the days goes by, and they all decides they need to win the mysterious girl at any price…
Gerda – Haralds mysterious daughter. Played by: Pernilla Eriksson
Hippies – Haralds 4 hippie friends from the 1970s. Played by: Natalie Söderqvist, Linus Nilsson, Sofia Bratwall and Joakim Thelin.
Parhaps you need some more pictures from the set…
Then let me just tell you that the past weeks I really learnt how to clean blood of clothes…
*The word ”huldra” is one of the names used to describe the mythical creature called ”skogsrå” (forest nymph) in Sweden.
As taught in school (my remembrance): The Skogsrå was a creature of the forest who used to appear to people who was lost in the woods in the shape of an ugly old woman. If the miss-fortunate traveler showed her kindness and let her warm herself by the fire, she would shift to her beautiful shape and show them the way home. But if she was treated badly she would instead turn them her back and show the big gulping hole and long tail coiling from her spine, and then kill them instantly.
As I mentioned in my last post I’ve been really busy working as a costume designer for the upcoming Swedish movie ”Huldra”.
I originally got the job as costume assistant one week before the shooting started. So I putt all my other work and tasks aside, and traveled to Stockholm to work for a month.
But when I got there, I realized two things:
First -There was no pre-production period, and the first shots where to be taken in less than two days…
Second – The costume designer had no intention on doing any work what so ever, help us or even visit us and the production on set. So I and the other costume assistant (who had no more experiance than me) was left totally on our own.
So with two days to: read the script, brake it down to figure out what was needed for each character, do a budget and collect all the things in time – We didn’t even had the time to panic…
We arranged to meet the actors one by one in the nearest shopping mall, and managed to dress and fit them all in one hour each. And as soon as the stores closed we went back to the studio (or base-camp) and altered clothes, wrote more shopping lists, calculated budgets and tried to figure out who was to wear what when.
In those two days we bought, collected and borrowed almost all the clothing and jewelery that was needed for the whole production.
We both worked so hard, and stupidly thought that the worst was over when the shooting started. But then we learnt the hard way what it meant to work with costumes on a movie set. There was so many things we didn’t know and never would have thought about until someone asked us why we had/hadn’t done this or that.
Thank god the whole team are so wounderful, and once some of them realized we actually had no idea on what we were suposed to do, they explained everything and thereby helped us tremendously.
Stressful as it’s been I learnt so much about both the art of movie making, and about myself and what I can accomplish when I really want and need to.
Now I will stop babbling, and show you some pictures of the behind the camera work going on on set. (un-credited pictures are taken by me).
Next time I will tell you more about the movie and the characters.
This week I missed out on my so far perfekt score of posting something every other day. But I think I’ve got a pretty good exuse.
I’ve been working my as of as costume designer on this new movie “Huldra”, and it’s been taking every bit of my waking hours. In fact the few hours every day that I don’t work, I’m dead asleep.
It is so cool too be part of a project like this, and even though it’s really tough sometimes I love it and enjoy it soo much.
I will tell you more about the project and show some great behind the scen photos when I can get out of the woods an get too a computor. In the mean time you can google “Huldra the movie” and take a look at the trailer/pilot (which I did not have any hand in).