costuming meta

Re: Diana’s Head Piece

I think it’ so cool that Diana’s crown/tiara/head piece (sorry I have no idea what to call it) was Antiope’s and that she puts it on only just before she crosses no man’s land. (Like she’s channeling Antiope’s strength) The concept such an iconic piece of her uniform/costume was original someone else aka amazon’s the greatest warrior of the amazons according hippolyta really implies that anyone can be wonder woman especially if they surround themselves with supportive empowering people and draw powerful from your fellow strong kick ass friends and family.

So I had a thought this morning, of how Twelve is much more of an unbuttoned Doctor than Eleven, especially Eleven near the end of his time. Like, yeah, Twelve keeps his emotions reined in because he feels everything so strongly but other than that, his personality rocks out. But Eleven kept nearly everything on the inside.

And I kind of feels that it shows in their outfits. Now, I’m no expert like @silvermarmoset in regards to characters and costuming and what not, but it seems to me that Eleven’s clothes got more, well, austere, more buttoned up, and now Twelve’s like, found his equilibrium between Magician and Just-Rolled-Out-Of-Bed, but it’s still…looser? than Eleven’s fashion choices were. 

Like, Twelve still lives by rules but he’s not necessarily as restricted by them that Nine, Ten, and Eleven felt like they were.

anyway, random Doctor Who meta snippet from me today.


PadMay Day 3. Favorite The Phantom Menace Costume

Okay, this is not my favourite gown or outfit or ‘item of clothing she wears during the film’ (that’s either the light up red brocade we first see her in or the effervescent pale silk we last see her in). But it is my favourite costume in the film.  

First of all, where does she even get it? The Queen’s Wardrobe is extensive and includes matching gowns in various colors for her handmaidens but Padmé’s peasant disguise looks nothing like anything she or any of the others ever wear. The concept art has a few nods to Nubian fashion but they’re left off the final result (which makes sense, she’s not disguised if she’s still wearing a diadem). It does, however, somewhat resemble what Anakin and others on Tatooine wear. This makes it a good disguise. But how does she know that and where does she get it?

I’ve decided she or one of her handmaidens spied on Qui-Gon’s preparations and approximated an outfit to match out of bits and pieces of various individual’s clothing on the ship. Scavenged hand-me-downs explain why it fits so loosely and is made out of rough, simple fabrics. Conceivably, it might even be made out of blankets and miscellaneous cargo (if the handmaidens are as crafty and quick witted as I like to imagine). 

Second, I love, love, love, love, love, that Padmé is wearing the simplest and plainest and commonest outfit we literally ever see her in when Anakin first sees her, and calls her an angel, the most beautiful creature in the universe. I love that he meets her not only not as the Queen, but as a servant, dressed not dissimilarly from himself. In the second picture she looks so young, and fits in with the terrain so well, like she belongs. It makes her approachable to him. But at the same time he sees her – pure Padmé, with no paint or trappings – as a heavenly creature.

It’s all Greek to Me

A Meta/Speculation on the Framework, AIDA, and the Fitzsimmons journey of the 3rd Pod

Hello friends!

I just finished my rewatch of 4.15, and I have a few things to talk about. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

The Ouroboros

AIDA, the flawed architect

During my rewatch, I caught sight of the innocuous little necklace AIDA wore on a close-up.

You can clearly see that it’s a snake eating it’s own tail, the symbol of the Ouroboros.

The Ouroboros is an occult symbol steeped in lore and history, but some of it’s chief meanings and associations are:

  • The cycle of life, death, and despair
  • Alchemy
  • Rebirth
  • Formless disorder and chaos needed for renewal of an ordered world
  • Jungian integration and assimilation of the Shadow-self (the darker nature, the Id, the subconscious, the unrecognized aspects of being)

Consider all of this, in the hands of AIDA, our perfect android, or immanently flawed, almost-human, and then, look at this Greek creation tale, from Plato:

The living being had no need of eyes because there was nothing outside of him to be seen; nor of ears because there was nothing to be heard; and there was no surrounding atmosphere to be breathed; nor would there have been any use of organs by the help of which he might receive his food or get rid of what he had already digested, since there was nothing which went from him or came into him: for there was nothing beside him. 

Of design he created thus; his own waste providing his own food, and all that he did or suffered taking place in and by himself. For the Creator conceived that a being which was self-sufficient would be far more excellent than one which lacked anything; and, as he had no need to take anything or defend himself against any one, the Creator did not think it necessary to bestow upon him hands: nor had he any need of feet, nor of the whole apparatus of walking; but the movement suited to his spherical form which was designed by him, being of all the seven that which is most appropriate to mind and intelligence; and he was made to move in the same manner and on the same spot, within his own limits revolving in a circle. 

All the other six motions were taken away from him, and he was made not to partake of their deviations. And as this circular movement required no feet, the universe was created without legs and without feet.

AIDA is our ‘Creator’, here - our flawed architect, who, very much like the Ouroboros’ creator in Greek myth, considers the creation of a self-sustaining existence, with nothing lacking, no need for reliance on anyone or anything, no movement, simply a stasis, to be the ideal existence. To a robot who can feel no pain, nor no emotion, to whom sustainability of the self is the only goal, this is perfection, achieved.

Now, let’s take a moment to imagine that first creation, that first snake, filled with the emotions and thoughts of any living creature, alone in the universe, trapped in place, with no ability to reach out or scream or cry for help. It’s only action, it’s only ability, to be it’s own self-destruction. 

Imagine the Ouroboros, aware that it is the agent of its own end, constantly in fear, constantly in pain of one sort or another, constantly aware that it will always have to kill itself. That one way or another, it will die, and it’s choice will be the cause, and that either choice, to eat oneself or to starve to death, will always cause pain.

I can tell you one thing - that Ouroboros is definitely NOT in agreement with it’s creator about the ideal nature of its existence.

From this, let’s extrapolate to our pals in the framework.

 Like rats in a cage, they’re probably running the same loops and routines, probably without contact from anyone in their previous/real Shield lives, because to exist as an ouroboros means that you must be totally self-contained. 

This also makes sense when you consider that memory can be triggered by anything. So putting them in a room with people they know in their real lives, the interactions with which have been heavily suppressed, and you’ve got a recipe for synaptical misfiring and software errors. It’s like two versions of an OS running on the same computer. if they hit the same pathways, something’s going to glitch, it’s just a matter of time.

This also tells me that while AIDA, our flawed architect, may percieve her design to be ‘without pain’, in truth, she has removed their joy and condemned them to an existence, as they say in True Detective, of living time as a flat circle. Nothing changing, nothing living.

It also suggests to me that continuing in this existence is going to result in self-destruction, or self-destructive behaviours, which may help to suppress the hidden memories of their real lives.

 Or, in another interesting read, it could suggest an immanent rebellion within the framework, if we consider the Framework to be the Ouroboros, and the agents to simply be ‘part’ of it, like appendages. If the Framework is the Ouroboros, then it, itself, will seek it’s own end. It won’t be able to help it, because that’s just the nature of it’s imperfect design.

The cycle of death and return

Hydra is dead. Grant Ward is dead. Radcliffe is dead. But in the framework, they return, and so do these callbacks to seasons past.

Some people claim this is going to be a ‘greatest hits reel’ before the show goes off the air (as always, we’re on the ratings bubble - They desperately need to fix their ratings system for TV guys. It just does not work! this show deserves so many seasons!!) and I’m not saying that it’s not, but what I’m suggesting is that, moreso, this was an inevitable path for the story to take, because of the nature of the Framework’s story, which is represented by the Ouroboros. 

That’s why we return to Hydra, to Ward, to Inhuman fears, to all the old haunts of our show’s universe.

That which is dead will live again, and that which lives, will die. That’s why Daisy’s old life (her dead life with Ward) was resurrected. That’s why Jemma’s current life with Fitz was killed (Jemma in a grave and Fitz with someone else). 

Which brings us to the next Greek myth tie in…

Orpheus and Eurydice

Fitzsimmons, an Underworld Love Story

Make no mistake, in symbolic terms, the framing of this episode shows Jemma (specifically) entering into the underworld to retrieve her trapped lover. By connecting Jemma’s entry into the Framework with her grave, she is metaphorically entering Hades’ Realm, becoming the gender-bent Orpheus to Fitz’s Eurydice. 

This isn’t a new trope in fiction. It’s one of the oldest, and part of what’s known as the Hero’s Journey, or the Monomyth - which is basically perceived to be the original or essential hero-tale structure. Interestingly enough, we witnessed it last season as well, but with Fitz playing the role of the hero, journeying into the realm of death (the planet Maveth), to rescue Jemma.

However, I parallel this upcoming journey specifically to Orpheus and Eurydice for a couple of reasons (where I would not have classed Fitz’s journey with it in particular).

  • This is an ordered realm in-universe

    Meaning that, like Hades in Greek mythology, the Framework has been designed. It has order, purpose, to each part. Maveth was an organic world created through the mechanics of physics and astronomy. It’s order was purely natural, not imposed by any larger, sentient creator, simply the cruelty of an unfeeling universe.

  • We already have a Hades and Persephone - Radcliffe and Agnes

    Both Radcliffe and Agnes now exist solely (well, sort-of, for Agnes/AIDA) in the Framework, the underworld. Radcliffe is it’s ultimate progenitor, and because of that, I assume AIDA would give him a certain amount of power and control over his narrative within the Framework, making him like a God within the world.

    Agnes, like Persephone, her mythological counterpart, exists half in the Framework, and half outside of it, in the real world. Her physical embodiment, AIDA, is outside. Agnes’ other half, her mental self, exists wholly in the Framework.

  • Like Orpheus, Jemma must enter into the underworld from an impossible ‘back door’

    Orpheus is granted entry into the underworld by the gods, but can only enter through a realm even the gods fear to tread, the Stygian Marshes, which he must cross without the help of the boatman, Charon. Here are some choice quotes about the Stygian Marshes:

    Homer, Iliad 3. 368 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) : “[Athena addresses Zeus :] ‘Never would he [Herakles] have got clear of the steep-dripping Stygian waters [on his journey to the Underworld].’”

    Virgil, Aeneid 6. 323 ff (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) :
    “[The Sibyl addresses Aeneas on their journey through the Underworld :] ‘What you see is the mere of Cocytus, the Stygian marsh by whose mystery even the gods, having sworn, are afraid to be forsworn. All this crowd you see are the helpless ones, the unburied: that ferryman is Charon: the ones he converys have had burial. None may be taken across from bank to awesome bank of that harsh-voiced river until his bones are laid to rest.’”

    Statius, Achilleid 1. 478 ff :
    “Whom else [but Akhilleus (Achilles)] did a Nereis [Thetis] take be stealth through the Stygian waters and make his fair limbs impenetrable to steel?”

    I don’t know about you, but my dudes, that sounds INTENSE. Achilles’ impenetrability was granted by being dipped in its waters, Hercules himself could not have surmounted their challenge. In similar fashion, I wonder if Jemma’s in-Framework ‘death’ makes her, in effect, immortal within the Framework, like Achilles being dipped in the Stygian waters?

    Either way, it’s only through the faith of Orpheus’s love for someone else (there’s that bit about human connection, again, instead of the lonely ouroboros of self-sufficiency) that he is able to surmount the challenge that would have felled the greatest hero of Greek myth. This guy, this musician, who didn’t have any special powers except his ability to wail on his axe (okay fine, it was a lyre or some other ancient Greek instrument, whatever) and his utter, absolute love for Eurydice. 

    Jemma is just a human woman. There is nothing special about her, except the powers of her mind, and her utter, absolute love for Fitz, which has borne her across the universe, back to him, and now, that selfsame love will bear her back to him, through death. Because, nothing can keep their two souls halved. They will always be reunited.

In the myth, Orpheus enters the underworld and seeks audience with Hades and Persephone, appealing to their emotions and explaining the depth of his love for Eurydice. He played his lyre for Hades, who was so moved, he agreed to allow Eurydice to leave with him.

I think, here, Jemma will play her ‘lyre’ - she will draw upon her own gift, her genius in biology/chemistry/science to release the agents from their framework. Possibly, this might involve appealing to Radcliffe and Agnes to release Fitz in particular, and require Jemma to wax poetic about the nature of their embodied love, in scientific terms (much like the law of thermodynamics from season 1). 

But it’s not all sunshine and roses, guys.

In the Myth, Orpheus must lead Eurydice out of Hades without looking back until they have reached the light. If he looks back, trying to find her, he will lose her forever. Orpheus is but a few steps from the light when doubt siezes hold, and without meaning to, he looks back, sees Eurydice as a Shade, who dissolves under his gaze, and traps her forever in the Underworld.

It was Orpheus’ faith and conviction that carried him through realms that Gods feared to tread and that Heroes would crumble within. It was his love that bore him through it, his faith in that love, his conviction in his ability to portray it in such a heart-swaying way that Hades would grant one single soul reprieve. But then, after such a harrowing journey for a single, noodle-armed lyre-playing wine-swilling musician, unused to such rigours of the soul, his doubt begins to unravel everything.

Jemma’s characterization, throughout the entire run of the show, is Atheistic. She believes in the laws of thermodynamics, not in an afterlife, but in a very scientific version of reincarnation. She doesn’t believe the universe ‘wants’ anything. And now, Jemma, our Atheist, must trust in something entirely outside her comfort-zone. she must trust in her Faith. her faith in Fitz, in their love, in the unbreakable, inalienable nature that binds them, that has tangled their souls up.

The thread that began to unravel the moment she was forced to doubt that his LMD double was truly the Fitz that loved her. She was forced to kill the thing that wore his face and spoke with his words. She was forced to sever a connection, no matter how tenuous, with a person she loved, who is now lost in this underworld existence. 

I believe, without question, that Jemma’s biggest obstacle throughout this whole endeavour is going to be her self-doubt. That if she can kill a thing that looks like Fitz, sounds like Fitz, acts like Fitz, and has Fitz’s memories, is she, a ‘murderer’, and worse still a murderer of the person she loves more than anything, deserving of his love? 

I believe Jemma will struggle deeply with these feelings of villainy and murder and that will eat away at her core of self-trust and self-esteem, even worse than last season, with Maveth and the inhumans. 

To end on a happy note though:

The Greeks freaking loved a sad ending, they ate tragedy up with a spoon. Jed and Mo are not ancient Greeks, and they love a sappy, happy ending love-story just as much as we do. 

It will be Framework Fitz that gives Jemma back that part of herself she killed to survive, that belief that she’s worthy of his love. He will start to come back to himself, little by little, and in that same way, come back to her.

I also believe, that, in the end, when they leave the Framework, Fitz is going to see the bruises on Jemma’s neck and go FULL OUT TERMINATOR ON FITZBOT’S ASS.

It’ll be like May vs May but with less nightgowns and more sparks!

I think I might have discovered why Twelve wore the shirt he did in ‘Kill the Moon’. Only took me 3+ years to catch on.

I know Peter used multiple people to draw inspiration when creating the style of the Twelfth Doctor. It was never really discussed which people he used directly/indirectly to create the style, possibly the cool, and sensibility of his Doctor.

If I’m right, I have no way to verify this unless I asked Peter himself. That, or I’ll just have to steal his Doctor Who binder to check. I don’t think I could live with the shame of being the one that stole his binder, so I might just have to summon up the courage to ask him.

Right now, I don’t know. Does anyone out here have theories or ideas or stories on the style of Peter’s Doctor? I know someone may have mentioned David Bowie, but do we see it incorporated into Twelve’s style explicitly?

Padmé’s Picnic Gown

@soulwing3​ requested a costume analysis. As I mention in this post, I chose to highlight the meadow picnic dress because it references Guinevere/Camelot:

On the left is “God Speed” by Edmund Blair Leighton (1900), on the right is “Queen Guinevere’s Maying” by John Collier (1900). While the Leighton is not specifically Guinevere, it is a maid and her knight in the era of chivalry. Both these artists are Pre-Raphaelites and they depict a fantasy version of historic record turned legend. Here are a few more examples:

Keep reading

nettlestonenell  asked:

Any meta thoughts on wig wearing and Turn characters? Particularly in the wake of Hewlett in photos with his real hair? Culpers seem to wear them the least (then again, Richard never wears one), and Hewlett always wore one until he was kidnapped. Andre had his brief debut in one and then never again. And Simcoe--well, what do you think? Does wearing a wig/false hair signal anything to the audience about characters on Turn?

This is SUCH a fun question, thank you! Disclaimer: I am soooo not a fashion or military historian. I’m not any kind of historian, in fact, and as such, I feared I wouldn’t be able to answer because I simply don’t know enough about wig-wearing habits of the 18th century. INCREDIBLY, though, I actually DO know a totally concrete answer to at least ONE of these character’s situations, because JJ Feild told USA Today last year:

[Andre] did have the wig early on, but Feild was able to ditch it after asking executive producer Craig Silverstein, “‘Do you really want that for your seducer/lover for the next three years? And he said, ‘No, not really.’”

So, where Andre is concerned, the answer is — yes! His wiglessness was much more a narrative choice than a historical one, and it absolutely signals something to the audience! It signals, “You Are Supposed To Fall In Love With This Man And His Sexy Hair”!

(pictured: HAHAHA NO.)

Feild also said that he wanted to ditch the wig because he wanted the audience to see Andre, born to immigrant merchant parents, as an outsider among his fellow officers, who are largely of gentle birth. This is more of an in-universe explanation than the sexiness principle, but it was still definitely a conscious choice intended to influence audience perception. So overall, I suppose the question is: Does TURN give its men wigs based on historical accuracy to their social class, military rank, etc.? (Aka, an in-universe justification?) Or is TURN more concerned with the overall impression of a character’s costuming than with strict historical accuracy?

…TURN being not particularly known for its historical accuracy, I kind of already have my suspicions. But I’m also not discounting the historical element entirely; I think that does play a part. Let’s see…

Powdered wigs were expensive and troublesome to maintain. As such, I would expect to see them only on men of means, status, and/or a keen sense of fashion, and broadly speaking, TURN … kind of holds true to this principle. Most of the civilians we see are wigless, as are the Continentals. Makes sense; these are colonists, after all, provincials, many of them country folk. Even GWash powders his own hair for formal occasions rather than donning a peruke. A notable civilian exception is Rivington and a notable Continental exception Lafayette; I think both can be justified in-universe by Rivington’s pretentiousness and Lafayette’s status as foreign aristocracy. (There’s also Freddy! Who’s just stylish.)

Where things might get a little shakier is the British army. While there are background redcoats who wear their natural hair, I’ve seen it opined that TURN honestly features far too many wigs being worn by soldiers who would have more likely just treated their own hair with grease and powder and styled it into some sort of queue or plait. Again, Hewlett and Simcoe we can forgive on the basis of their social class, but what about orphaned Baker? What about all the other background common soldiers in their expensive, troublesome-to-maintain perukes? 

The overall trend — though with definite exceptions — seems to be a not strictly historical effort on TURN’s part to associate wigs with British rule and wiglessness with the colonists. More abstractly, these expensive, fussy wigs are associated with the old-money wealth, social hierarchy, and pomp implied by British rule, while the colonists are made to seem more down-to-earth, more egalitarian, less pretentious. It’s alllllmost a way of coding Good Guys vs. Bad Guys, at least in s1, when that was more clear-cut — but that’s a complicated issue. Again, there are practical, in-universe reasons for this. I mean, the Continentals are broke, they couldn’t afford wigs even if they wanted them! But I really do think that the general principle goes back to what JJ Feild said about Andre. Andre is allowed to go wigless even from the beginning because we’re meant to dissociate him from the wealth, status, and pomp (and … villainy?) of the rest of the British army. Rivington, although a colonist (an English immigrant, but still a colonist), does wear a wig because he’s pretentious and at least ostensibly a Tory. Lafayette’s wig likewise signals wealth and status.

Okay, what about the other exceptions, then. Simcoe and Rogers. British soldiers, yeah. But wildcards. They — and the Rangers in general — are Irregulars, with a sort of wild, woodsy, feral lawlessness that sets them apart from the fussiness and ceremony of the Regulars. Also, as far as I can tell, historical Rangers just legit did not wear wigs. But I still think it fits the theme, especially since historical Regulars apparently probably wouldn’t have either. Certainly Simcoe’s shift from Regular to Irregular is essentially one in which he’s let off his leash, free from the constraints of regular military hierarchy that kept him somewhat in check in season 1.

And then there’s Hewlett. Of COURSE I have thoughts about Hewlett.

Honestly, ever since the photos of him with natural hair came out, my mind keeps going back to that JJ Feild quote. Like, I don’t want to sound like a crazy shipper fangirl here, but the evolution of Hewlett’s wig situation over these four seasons has been notable, and I think that it’s very much been about influencing audience perception of him. I mean, look:

Season 1: The Worst Wig. The poofiest wig. I can’t look at it, it’s so tragic. But it’s also no better than I’d expect, because at this point, Hewlett is essentially a non-villainous antagonist whom we’re meant to find a bit ridiculous — and, of course, the absolute epitome of that upper-class old-money fussiness that’s being contrasted with salt-of-the-earth ‘Merica.

…But then suddenly. Holy shit. Suddenly, someone decides that this guy should be a love interest. A love interest for a major protagonist. And like JJ Feild said, you can’t have your love interest looking like … that. You have to make him attractive! You have to give him a much more dignified, more understated wig that flatters the shape of his face!

And is it coincidence that part of season 2′s process for making Hewlett more likable involves revealing that, oh, actually, he’s not the epitome of old-world wealth and status? That he’s a gentleman, sure, but his family’s broke, and he’s just trying to support himself and his parents, and actually he’s big into the kind of Enlightenment thinking that (particularly in Scotland, which is where he’s, uh, from, suddenly?) was concerned with social progress? …Weird.

As part of this humanization, s2 also gives us our first glimpse of his actual hair, which I am … more than okay with, even considering the circumstances.

Season 3 is either the same wig or a very similar one, which makes sense given that Hewlett does not have any major beats of character development between 2 and 3. But then season 3 smacks him with some MAJOR disillusionment and personal tragedy, and thus … The Hair!

I still suspect that the in-universe explanation for this is that he’s been demoted to some extent, if we’re to believe what he said about resigning his commission and being cashiered. But I seriously cannot shake the sincere suspicion that this development is FAR more about making him more appealing to viewers than about anything in-universe. It’s another step in the same progression of character development that has, since 2.01, been continually positioning Hewlett as more sympathetic, more down-to-earth, more at home in the colonies, and — critically, if my theory about the overall wig theme holds true — less certain about his devotion to the British cause. And if there’s Annlett this season, the hair will also be part of his progression as love interest.

Again, I’m definitely coming at this from the perspective of a storyteller, not the perspective of a historian. I would love to hear from anyone who can give a better opinion on TURN’s wig accuracy and how much of a role historical fact plays in determining which characters wear wigs. But the more I think about it, the more I think that there is some sort of general characterization trend here and that the costumers are conscious of how audiences will perceive men who wear wigs versus those who don’t.

ashgsljghjaskghjash @bellestrashprince​ unknowingly unlocked my secret backstory by asking for my thoughts on the costumes and how they have, as I claimed, no “correlation with actual 18th century fashion“. because, behold: i study costume design for my living. i obviously have loads of thoughts about this

i had to start a new thread to talk about it because the old one was getting long and this will take all day.

overall, i like the costumes. I have issues with some of them. I definitely don’t think historical accuracy should be the be-all and end-all of costumes, but sometimes its helpful to create a cohesive world and I think that was lost, a little, in a few costumes. (Belle’s opening outfit I mostly like. But its shoes [which were like obvious Toms] drew me out of the story for a moment. Or like, everytime I see the picture of Mrs. Potts in her ending outfit, I’m confused by how her headdress feels more 1500s than 1700s.) You can’t make hard and fast rules about how historical accuracy should work in costume design, because it really comes down to what’s best for telling the story. but i think it might have been helpful to have Belle’s clothes grounded a little more in history, even history that’s not the eighteenth century, just to lend more of that “once upon a time,” mashup-of-period-styles that we associate with fairytales (thanks to a long, great history of telling fairy-stories visually). Belle in the original animated movie isn’t accurate, and she’s not accurate here, either—I would have just made a few different choices in how that was approached. Overall I was pleased, but….just a few things weren’t my speed.

i think the servants’ costumes (by and large) do a great job of walking the line between historical accuracy and fairytale whimsy. they believably fit into the world of the movie. Garderobe, in particular, excels: her costumes are clearly rooted in research on eighteenth century fashion, and I believe her style most closely approaches actual historical dress. I love her dress at the end, when she’s tied a ribbon around her hair and is dressed all in blue.

i could list things that straight-up weren’t accurate, but that’s not the point. Did they sell me the idea that this was a fairytale I believed in? Yes, yes. There were a couple fumbles, but overall I was intoxicated by the story. I even wish we could have seen more of the servants in live-action, because their costumes were so fun at representing their objects.

I’m going to quit here cuz i don’t want to go overboard talking about every little thing, but yeah. overall fun costumes, didn’t like some things, mostly not accurate at all, but we fell in love and that’s what matters.
Jupiter Ascending: Balem's voice

For all that we make fun of Eddie Redmayne’s scenery chewing and acting choices regarding Balem Abrasax, the movie may actually address why Balem only whispers/shouts his way through conversations. It’s hilarious, but it may also be the answer to the seemingly dropped plotline of why Caine was booted from the legion and court martialed for ripping out the throat of an entitled one, as revealed by Stinger.

Simply put, Caine attacked Balem in the past, damaging his throat to the point where, even after a refreshing bath in regenex, Balem still has the psychosomatic trauma of his voice. In a world of regeneration how long could that damage have lasted?  Well, in a process of rapid cellular regeneration (or in this case replacement), it would still take some time to fully recover from a grievous throat injury/involuntary tracheoscopy. A healing throat would require time, resting the voice, and would also probably leave a nasty scar. The costuming choice of high, protective collars, despite his exposed midriff, supports this, as despite his confidence in his position, Balem chooses the collar as an appeal to his vanity (in the case of a scar) or the paranoia of another attack. Balem only shouts at the height of his emotional outbursts, as the damage to his vocal cords may limit how willing he is to abuse his voice, even if it has been fully healed.  

Caine claims that he has no memory of the entitled one he attacked, but in the final act of the film Balem is clearly aware of who he is. It could be that Titus, knowing that Caine was the splice that attacked his brother, hired him for that very reason. Who’s better to retreive your reincarnated mother than the man who almost killed your brother? This plays into the sibling rivalry regarding ownership in the house of Abrasax, because according to Kalique “Life is the most precious commodity.” Caine’s presence as the man who almost took Balem’s life adds the element of psychological warfare between the brothers, a reminder of how close Balem was to losing everything.


PadMay Day 21. Favorite Revenge of the Sith Costume

In a way, this dress is the culmination of the other three costumes I chose. Like her handmaiden disguise in The Phantom Menaceit’s simpler than the senatorial gowns she wears in the film. While still clearly aristocratic, it’s a linen in a subdued color with minimal accessories and styling. Like her meadow dress in Attack of the Clones, it borrows from Arthurian fantasy silhouettes. The last image – which, incidentally, is probably my favorite Anidala kiss but I didn’t post it for Anidala Week as it does not actually happen in the film – could easily be rendered as a pre-Raphelite painting of Guinevere and Lancelot. And like her counselor dress in The Clone Wars, this is dark and heavy, with an air of sadness. And it has a very similar style.

I love the dark blue, that can read black, which hints at mourning and twilight and a galaxy and romance about to be consumed by darkness. 

Horns arrived today!  Time to get them off this crappy headband and start painting them.  Well, first I have to decide if they’re getting gold spiralling or going full golden.

I wish my house were just a little bigger or had a garage for a worktable, so I could just make my own horns.  Alas, alas, the woes of tiny living.

clarias  asked:

Your costume post about Padmé and Leia was great but I especially loved your comment that Padmé's costume was your least favourite because it's mine too. I couldn't say why, I just know it offends my eyeballs but I wondered if you had a more insightful reason?

I’m not sure how insightful I can be, but I have a lot - a lot of issues with costume direction taken for Padme in Episode III and fundamentally think that it was the wrong direction, her costumes being completely out of character. The Mustafar costume is, for me, emblematic of these issues. This is whilst acknowledging the skill and craft that went into every costume (nearly every costume - there are a couple where I flat out do not know what they were thinking), and they are beautiful objects in and of themselves isolated from the character of Padme. The cut peacock gown is particularly stunning, but possibly the most baffling. 

Episode II Padme concept art.

In Episode I we see Padme at 14, swathed in ceremonial gowns, handmaiden disguise or ‘rustic’ peasant/spacer garb. These are all assumed roles, donned masks, but she is still identifiably a girl, particularly at the close of the film in her softened look. In Episode II we see Padme as Padme, a senator and an individual rather than a role (or variety of roles.) She is a young woman, she is bright and idealistic and in love. There is an emphasis on elegance, long lines, femininity. A lot of organic shapes and drapery. Volume and silhouettes that shift to suit her situation and practical needs - public vs. private, leisure vs. going to start a goddamn war to save her friend.. Jerseys and chiffons and crepes appear again and again. When she’s in the height of her romance, she wears yellow hues, at her most conflicted she wears dark colours - the blues and purples on Coruscant, the black gown at dinner on Naboo. Blue is her own colour, her most Padme, pale colours for when she is going against everything and taking things into her own hands (a call forward/back to Leia, echoes and future echoes and a noted piece of meta-costuming.)

There is very little cohesion to her wardrobe, which is a common factor for Padme throughout the trilogy as there are just so many influences in her looks. This is a result of the design coming in main from the removed team of concept artists and then being passed onto Biggar and her team for interpretation rather than coming direct from Biggar (and/or illustrators working directly with her, which is the current Star Wars costume department set-up.) This means that costumes get chosen based on aesthetic, and while of course things were not developed in isolation, conversations were had back and forth and concepts and costumes developed and revised. Often there is very little common visual language, the influences disparate and obvious with attempt to filter these influences, to soften and mingle them. It effectively amounts to visual white noise. In AotC, Padme wears a pseudo-Edwardian gown, and the very next scene is in a dress taken from a Russian ball gown. But there is story and narrative and a line can be found as she progresses, and always a root of Padme.

Explorative concepts of Padme in RotS, more delicate looks, more proactive looks, and the final look.

In RotS, however, this comes to a head, and what is left is a collection of beautiful but meaningless costumes. Beautiful white noise. There is some attempt at bringing narrative back into her costumes through the repeated use of blue - Padme herself has always been blue, water, the lakes of Naboo - as she is driven towards her end, but it is messy and inconsistently executed and honestly? The two blue nightgowns in RotS are not good. Otherwise, there is just fabric and heavy heavy drapery. Natalie Portman is very very petite, and they drowned her in fabric as it was apparently her character’s choice to hide her pregnancy in plain sight via mass. 

Now Padme is a senator, is pregnant, is consumed by a secret marriage and a crumbling Republic. She is fighting the losing fight. She is still a young woman, in her late-twenties at this point. She is still bright and fierce, if sad and tired. She is still Padme. She has used and manipulated her appearance like a tool, like a weapon, since she was a girl, there is no way that she would be so clumsy in disguising her pregnancy. I don’t think that she would hide her pregnancy - that feels false and out of character to me for a woman like Padme - but if she did feel the need, this would not be how it was done. There were so many concept explorations (like the ones above) that explored empire lines, panelling, drapery, those same elegant organic shapes of the younger Padme just raised and matured - covered shoulders, raised necklines/stand collars. All within the realm of young, feminine, pragmatic. Padme is nothing if not pragmatic (the woman happily donned a Naboo pilot disguise and flew a fighter escort from Naboo), and every sartorial decision has some sort of purpose (arguably the sudden Russian influence in AotC places her further from her usual Asian influenced wardrobe, all the better for being disguised as the galaxy’s best dressed refugees.)  But no, they went the other way. And knowing that these directions were explored and rejected (or simply handed off to distant background characters like Bail Organa’s aide in the most Padme maternity wear) makes it all the more painful that they went in the direction that they did. 

Padme’s costumes on display at Star Wars Identities at the London O2. There is an identifiable development in the first two costumes, a tony down of silhouettes and shift from ceremonial to practical adventuring, but they are still identifiably for a young vivacious woman. The  costume on the right is one of my few favourites from RotS, but there is a nearly total disconnect between this and the previous two. 

Throughout all of RotS there is this visual tug of war in Padme’s costumes as she is simultaneously infantalised and made matronly. Her necklines are painful awkward too often sitting somewhere in a crew neck. The colours are dour dour dour, there is suddenly a plethora of brocade and velvet. She can’t move, physically, and remember that this was moments after the end of the Clone Wars, in a time of political unrest. Sartorially, she was utterly vulnerable. Cosseted. Trapped in her gowns, in her apartments. Her beautiful hair is suddenly very flat. In a way, this works perfectly but the disservice that the narrative does to her as her political plotline was cut, but if she had been dressed as the senator we all know then some of that would have been softened as her appearance would have been visually communicating with the audience that Padme is being proactive even if we are not being shown this. The audience would have understood something was happening.

And then Mustafar. Finally! Ok, you may say that this is finally Padme getting back on track. She’s being active! As I discussed last week, she’s wearing a practical go-getting costume to go rescue her husband from the brink. Leggings, boots, tunic, is it so different from her Geonosis costume in AotC? Yes and no. Like the Geonosis costume, it is a direct link to her daughter - a piece of meta-costuming, past and future echoes. However, there is a level of pragmatism missing in the skirted tunic (and I believe that in the actual costume, the collar was attached using magnets!), and the costume seems to be made of a number of disparate elements that don’t tell a solid story. In AotC, Padme has already been seen in a practical action costume (the opening pilot costume.) There is a progression there. This costume comes out of nowhere. There is no arc in colour, no narrative in silhouette. It doesn’t tie in with any single thing that she has worn so far.  The short skirted tunic and the twee rounded collar serves to infantalise her, particularly with the belt detailing which one would expect to led her a militarised fierceness (which I touched on last week) but instead… it doesn’t. I have seen it described as having something of the girl scout about it, which I have to agree with. Particularly as once she is in the costume, has been the decision to do something, anything, make things right, she then has her agency immediately ripped from her (arguably never had any given Obi-Wan’s manipulations and his hiding on her ship to confront Anakin. The costume says little beyond about Padme herself.

There is a story there in this costume and all of the rest - if you look hard! There are always influences and character points to be found, stories told, but they are seriously underserved by the decisions made for Padme (and a few others) in Rots and buried deep. Of course, this is all personal opinion but when there are so many examples of what was explored and could have been, it’s hard to not be disappointed by what could have been, what was deserved by the story and character. What we end up getting in RotS with Padme is fragments and half-tales; nothing is communicated proper, and when costumes don’t communicate anything they ultimately fail.

Next Time: The explosive aesthetic of Sabine Wren

Last time: The path unfollowed

River Song's Wardrobe (Updated for “The Husbands of River Song”!)

So after my post on Martha Jones’ wardrobe got unexpectedly loved, and before I wrote about Rose’s Series 1 clothes, I thought I’d continue to put my two favorite things together (costume analysis and Doctor Who) and see what I could come up with. Because this is my specialty, yo, and it makes me happy.

So: let’s do River Song!

Now, there’s a small difficulty here. Either I can analyze River’s outfits in the order we see them, thus revealing the writer/viewer’s arc of her character’s trajectory, or we can look at them in the order River wore them from her perspective, going all in-universe and watching River’s wardrobe progression in the order it happened for her. I’ve decided to go with the second object, because then we can admire how the costume team managed to keep certain threads (oops, pun) consistent in a story that’s all out of order and out of time. And then you can go back and piece it together in order if you want! What nerds we are!

So, anyway, what’s River wearing when we first meet her? Well.

I’m sure it’s the height of baby-fashion, whatever it is. One nice anon pointed out that it looks like something called a Halo sleep sack, though, so there’s a thing for you. Baby fashion, guys. It’s complex.

River/Melody appears a few more times as a child, but her clothes are so little seen that I can’t really build anything solid off of them. River’s wardrobe only really starts to come into its own when she’s under the name of Mels, larking about with her parents:

What a lovely gif. You can’t see the outfit terribly well (because I chose this gif over closer shots, sue me), but it’s a gray tank and a black leather jacket. Not much to go on, but tank tops tend to be for active people and leather jackets always signal “tough person,” unless David Tennant is wearing one and looking like a wet adorable rat.

He is so smoll.

But the color palette for Mels’ clothes is already important: despite being a very colorful person, River sticks to a neutral palette most of the time, relying most heavily on beigey colors or muted earth tones, often with a shot of black to spice it up.

Kinda like the above outfit, actually. While we’re looking at it, note the pattern on her dress: how weird it is, kind of skeletal. It’s bold, but not an easily identifiable print like polka dots or stripes or florals. It looks like rows of spines, or barbed fencing. Something fierce and weird and not to be trusted.

Ah, good, now Alex Kingston is wearing it! Look at how the fit changes: that’s the River Song shape, right there, from the knee-length hem to the v-neck neckline to the drapey bodice. There’s usually a lot of draping in her dresses; I think it’s to add to the drama of it all, that appearance she has of living life on a very great stage.

In the above picture, River’s showing off her great lace-up boots, too. Here is someone who came dressed for murder. She totally looked in the mirror today and said “And that’s how an assassin looks!” to herself, while dancing to punk rock. Or to the screams of horrified civilians, as happens with her next outfit.

Keep reading

OUAT’s Baelfire/Neal Cassidy Costume Meta

This was originally included as a reblog response to this question posed by screwballninja about the men of OUAT and character building/storytelling through costuming.

A lot could be said about Baelfire/Neal’s wardrobe through the years. 

Young Bae’s basic primitive sherte + cape peasant wardrobe visibly improves from ‘horrid poverty’ once Rumple starts coming up in the world following the Dark Curse.

Before/shortly after Dark Curse:


We’ve gained a neckerchief and more elaborate lacings on the shirt–plus, enough fabric for bonus collar.

Dowagers everywhere envied Bae’s post-Dark Curse collection of primitive fur stoles.

When he falls through the portal, we get him as Dickensian street imp, before he gets his pajamas and robe from the Darlings, wearing which he is stolen by the Shadow and taken to Neverland–definitely signalling that he has fallen into an enduring nightmare for those long years as he is held captive and never ages.

Following his stint on Hook’s ship (and Hook’s selling him to Pan), we see our first interesting alteration.

Look at this: I’m a pirate! (Except I’m in my pajamas underneath) 

Baelfire has begun layering his identity.

When he (now “Neal”) meets Emma, he’s in a hoodie/slouchy clothes, scraping by stealing cars, etc. This is clearly a man who probably doesn’t own a belt. (Yes, his jacket is red–does anyone ever talk about this wrt Emma’s fave jackets? Or wrt the red robe above, and the red pirate coat that followed it? This red is the only non-neutral/earth color the man ever wears.)

When we first see him in S2 E1, he’s in that sharp 3-piece suit (which should have clued us in if nothing else, that he might be Rumple’s son, right?), which serves to illustrate that either he is doing much better for himself, or has moved on to more elaborate (and higher pay-out) cons. 

Also, storywise, a suit can be a fairly ‘generic’ uniform; lots of people wear suits, and no one was supposed to feel *certain* after that scene as to who he was (remember how viewers scoured screencaps of his apartment for clues?)

When Emma hunts him down, we’re back to a hoodie, though it’s a less shabby one than their first meeting (zipper!), and his hair and face are better groomed. It’s still A Look, but now it seems to be a put-together one, the jacket over the hoodie is actually structured rather than slouchy. We’re being told Neal’s still kept his cred–but he’s moved on up.

Definitely wearing a belt.

This is the outfit that more or less becomes standard Neal, vaguely NYC, sometimes with a scarf, nothing too trendy–no puffer jackets for example. Urban, but w/o a harsh edge.

He falls through the portal to the EF and meets Mulan and Co, still in a version those duds–a way of saying ‘he’s not from here’.

But by the time he gets to Rumple’s castle and he’s using Blood Magic, he’s stripped the coat away and is just in his very nondescript shirt–looking less and less like ‘he’s not from here’.

Returned to Neverland, still, keeping it back to basics: this shirt. Only the buttons really signal it’s from the World Without Magic. 

What is that, linen? Certainly what a spinner/weaver’s son would choose. (* see also Neal’s usually interesting scarves for more thoughts on how Rumple’s spinner craft influenced his son’s taste and eye for fashion)

And then, later, we get this:

Which I can’t explain. Not at all, other than that maybe Pan’s Curse (Storybrooke ending, Emma & Henry forgetting) that sent Neal back home understood who he was? The father of the Savior’s child? The reason for Curse #1? Was paying homage to his grandfather who cast it? Or understood that you don’t suit up the Dark One’s son in some old rags and expect to get away with it? 

But still neutral/earth tones. 

In short: you cannot imagine Charming wearing this color palette.

It’s far too chill.

Thing is, when Neal gets close to fairytales/to his own past, he’s in that neutral (read: peasant, earthy, regular Joe, non-royalty) color, in a shirt that doesn’t give much away. 

For example, here he is holding Henry’s book. Here he is confessing to Tamara who he actually is. There are almost no fashion/embellishment clues from his shirt to locate it in time or place. It’s a color he would have worn as a child, and the cut (despite its being a stretchy fabric) is as basic as can be.

Notice that this is a shirt that was UNDERNEATH, or hidden by something else (here, his coat)–shoot, there’s yet another shirt under this one! He’s literally had to peel off layers to get to it. This is getting close to his core. 

He’s Baelfire, Rumplestiltskin’s son. 

The rest of his clothing is something he puts on to cover his identity up. (He almost always is dressed in some version of layers, several coats, scarves, extra hoodies.)

A minimum of three layers are needed right before your dad dies while killing your abuser grandpa

I don’t think it’s random that at his most vulnerable–when he’s closest to Emma, when he is the most himself, not the self he tried to create/pass for–he is shown stripped down to nothing but his white undershirt:

Interestingly, when Emma ‘hallucinates’ Neal in S5, he’s back in the bug, in his slouchy car thief clothes. (This time with *new/different* hat–which I’m going to assume was necessary b/c of actor changing his hair)

This could indicate a lot of things.

1.) Neal’s spirit is happiest/was happiest in these clothes
2.) Emma was happiest when Neal was in these clothes and doesn’t recall how long they went between washing…
3.) Emma doesn’t buy into the way Neal’s wardrobe had altered in the intervening years b/c she never believed/wanted to deal with the idea Neal had truly changed.

Vision experiences are hard to read, folks. I don’t know if Emma really encountered Neal’s spirit, if it was instead a sort of visitation or hallucinogenic dream that was only in her head? What I’m saying is, I don’t know if what Neal’s wearing/where he’s appearing to Emma here has more to do with Emma receiving the transmission from “A Good Place” that Neal is in, or more with Neal’s spirit and what translates to him as happiness.

I think this one’s a ymmv, to the power of 10.

But overall, between Baelfire and Neal, this character has to have had (certainly of the men) the most costume alterations, and I applaud the costuming department–who told a great story through them–and only one of them allowed to be ‘fairytale pretty’, at that.


Hannspirations, No. 34

S2E6 - cinematography

Shoes: blue suede and tan leather cork platforms, M&S via eBay

Dress: viscose cobalt tie-waist dress, Jaeger via thrift store

Silver gothic cross ring (not seen), eBay

Mother-of-pearl and rhinestone blossom necklace, Accessorize via thrift store

Acrylic spectacle frames in sky blue and taupe, Ted Baker.

Back to Hannspirations, No. 33

you know i said i was going to make a post about this and then i never did so here we go

i really love the way they seem to have fused the punisher costume with classic and modern design elements? the classic punisher outfit is really good looking, and honestly? it stands the test of time really well. it’s iconic without ever having really been altered over the years, and the only things that have really explicitly changed are the nixing of the white gloves/boots/holster. for the most part, frank keeps with an all black theme and a large skull on his chest, with maybe a looser/less spandex-y looking design. but the general all black + skull + military gear has pretty much stayed consistent. 

but like, if you put modern frank in the classic costume, despite the grit and gristle of the max series and the way frank is portrayed, it doesn’t look strange or out of place. it’s a costume that absolutely works for frank and always has.

obviously the preferred design is a bulkier/more armored look, which makes sense given that spandex doesn’t really scream ‘military background’. the design has only gotten a little smarter over the years. they paid homage to the long black coat look at the end of season 2, but for the most part frank’s modern comic design seems to have settled on the parlov look- dark pants, body armor, leather coat, with a smaller skull on the shirt.

now we dont know if frank is getting a coat in his series (he probably will) but at least from what we’ve seen of his costume, it really is a neat blend of old and new. the long sleeves, the all black, the big skull that’s incorporated into his belt/body armor. white gloves would not at all look out of place in this, and it’s really really nice to see call backs to old and new in the netflix design. military additions on a classic costume that, i mean i know some people stuck their noses up at it, but i think it looks fantastic.

I threw up all the pics of Steve Rogers in his Cap costume across all the movies we have of him so far. 

a.  That Avengers costume is the absolute worst of all of them.  If Coulson had any input on that design, bless you sir but you should never be allowed to design anything for Steve to wear ever again.  I could swear there was more coherent meta on this somewhere else, but just from my own perspective, it renders Steve as the most “cartoon-ish” of all the Avengers and it just looks jarring when everything and everyone else looks solidly real - even Loki with his ridiculous horned helmet. 

b.  Seriously, it says something about that terrible, cheesetastic costume that Steve actually looks more convincing in his soldier’s leather jacket and the silly sweater from the USO stage show. 

c.  The Age of Ultron costume and the CATFA ones are both practical and kickass and if I remember correctly, Steve actually collaborated with Howard in this costume’s design.  I can totally imagine that in-universe, Steve combined the elements of his old and the CATWS uniform and collaborated with Tony to produce this final look. 

d.  Yeah I’m biased but my favorite is still the CATWS stealth suit.  :D