04 June 2013

Daenerys Targaryen - Hair and Patterning

I just made a trip to Santa Fe for costume supplies.  It was kind of a celebration of my tax refund, too, which just came in.  I absolutely love the mindfuck of thinking I have more money than I actually do.
This time I did decide to splurge a little bit.  The last few months I toyed with making a cosplay of Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones, but the problem I anticipated was the cost involved in creating something so intricate.

The dress is simple enough.  The main problem was going to be finding fabric that looks so costly, in the right shade of blue.  The gold pattern is easy enough to replicate using resist.

There's also just so much fabric in this thing.  I finally concluded that the skirt was not trained, but the "cloak" certainly is.  There also seems to be some gradation in the colour, from a sky blue to more of a greyish blue near the hem.

Also problematic will be the shoulder pieces and belt.  A scene from Season 2 shows Xaro Daxos holding this garment out to Daenerys and from that scene it looks quite clear that the belt and shoulder pieces are metal or something equally stiff.  Given the finish and colour, I'd hazard a guess that they are metal.

There is also the mystery of the Colour-Changing Fabric.  In the above photo, the gown is clearly a lighter, grey blue.  Xaro's light blue garment is very similar in colour and style.  There's also the guy whose back we can see to Dany's left.  He is wearing a belt of similar design to hers.  I also see hints of pleats in the skirt and cloak/shoulder drape.  I wonder if this is because the gold splashes on the fabric stiffened the delicate fabric a little bit and they needed a way to fix the way the fabric draped so it would appear flowy instead of, well, stiff.

Yet here the dress is more of a saturated sky blue!  I also wonder if the fabric here is a little more shiny than the lighter blue version.  This is arguably due to different lighting, but I suspect there are two different versions of the dress.  The colour and texture differences are simply too...different.  Also, for some reason I can't figure out who is standing between Tyrion and Cersei Lannister, but jeez he is attractive.  Maybe it's Jaime Lannister?  He hasn't looked that good since he stopped wearing his pretty white armor.  Of course Jon looks just as beautiful as ever.

Relatively this isn't a difficult dress to pattern.  The large pieces are simple rectangles (I've modified the pattern a little since I sketched it out below), with some additional panels added to the cape in order to round it out.

The fabric I chose is a light sky blue habbotai silk.  From my perspective it was a good compromise between the two different fabric colours used for the original dresses.  Let's just say that this is one of the few costumes I feel okay splurging on a little bit because it can easily be worn as a regular party dress/ballgown as long as I design the cloak so it can be either shortened or removed completely.

My bodice pattern is simple.  The planned closure will be installed in the front of the garment and hidden beneath the filigree belt.  In addition, I decided to create the patterning using gold resist sponged on using the stippling sponge from my stage makeup kit.  The blue colour in the photo is a little saturated compared to the actual colour of the fabric.  I really like how the resist gives the appearance of gold leaf somehow being splashed onto the garment.  The bodice and skirt will be gathered into a thin yoke concealed beneath the belt.

I really love silk.  It's so soft and easy to work with.  Above is part of the cloak/back drape after I added the gold patterning.

There's no way I can make the belt and shoulder pieces out of real metal.  Too costly.  Too difficult to work with.  Too much specialized equipment.  Leather will be a reasonable substitute.  I got these scraps from the discount bin at Tandy's.  It's a supple, beautiful leather in a light golden reddish-brown.  Fabric or leather paint will give the realistic impression of true metalwork without being too stiff to wear comfortably.

Now, after all was said and done, I decided to remove the braid from the wig.  Dany clearly doesn't wear such an extremely braided hairstyle with this dress, nor does this hairstyle make it easy to fix the hairline of the wig.

Yuck.  Why can't they make these hairlines at least a little nicer?  It's just...straight.  No one has a hairline like that.  They've already gone to the work of making a skin top wig, so...why?

Unbinding the braid freed loads of hair.

I'm adding at least a partial lace front to fix the hairline and make it more realistic.  I ended up crocheting only a couple square inches of hair into the tulle, nevertheless it looks much better now that the wig is completely styles.  Caterina is hogging my wig stand right now.  Once she's done I'll take photos of how Dany turned out.

That's all I have for Dany right now.  I'm also toying around with another Game of Thrones cosplay, but it's not happening for a couple months at least.  For now I'm going to keep it under the wraps in case I jinx it somehow!