Friday, 23 December 2011

Return of the Mercenary, Sheer Opulence from the Embroiderers and Some Books

I've again found myself neglecting the blog (and emails! Sorry!) but I am back again, with news and photos and costumes.

The rather magnificent green and silver frock coat to the right is one of the new prototypes we've been working on. The Embroiderers seem to have outdone themselves (though in a tragic twist of fate, they have gone out of business, but their machines - along with all the backups - have been bought up by a new company of embroiderers, so we're still in the game). We're still debating whether or not ornamental buttons should be added to the garment (it closes with hooks and eyes). There are vague plans for the embroidery to appear on other garments and new iterations of the embroidered tailcoat from last year are in the pipeline.

There's another dubiously amusing story of mistakes in colours of thread used, but I'll save that for another day. Suffice to say, if you're in the market for a cut price embroidered doublet, it may soon be your day.

Profound Decisions's Empire is glinting at us on the horizon, and at some point, when more information is available, I intend to do sketches for it (like I did Odyssey). But despite all the speculation, there's really a distinct lack of concrete detail to build costumes from. I've heard things like BBC's Merlin and Camelot being cited as potential sources of inspiration, and the word "coolthentic" has been making its rounds, but it's not quite enough to start me drawing. I want the garments to feel like they are grounded in the culture they are supposedly from (even if I'm building an outfit from tat I already own) and I'm not sure I can quite envision it yet.

I've also managed to raid Hilde Bede College's library back when they were renovating earlier this year, so I am sitting on a small mountain of costume books (though many of them are admittedly ancient and in some ways quite outdated in their research). Flicking through them has been very exciting and maybe eventually some of the new sketches inspired from them will make it onto the blog.

I've been indulging in the simple joy of flicking through all the pretty pictures on the various tumblrs on historical clothing, including Dames a la Mode (fashion plates), OMG that Dress, Impersonating History, Costume Reference (does what it says on the tin), The Ornamented Being (pretty things, mostly Victorian) and My Lovely Petticoat. Especially with the tumblrs with an interest in extant clothing, it gets all terribly modern at times (my interest begins to wane once we hit the 1900s), but it's been an interesting pictorial journey.

In other, other news, I've been playing about with Doll Divine's Tudor Scene Maker. It has an utterly mind-boggling number of options and layers to fiddle about with.

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