Maleficent, new parks costume, maybe….?

Maleficent, new parks costume, maybe….?

Well it was made for the Social Media Moms’ event so it may or may not be permanent.



The gown in action sheds a lot of light on the train of the original. It fits to the back after all unlike her other robes.

(many more, scroll through to see them all)

And even more, scroll backwards for images from the meet and greet.

So from the recreation:

The gown is less full but is made from a knit mounted over a more stable fabric. The sleeves have extra details to reflect the original gown (deep wedges/notches at the hem of the front of the sleeves.

The headdress appears all in one and has more sculptural lines on the leather parts.

The collar sits wider, possibly not hooked to the choker, which is what I suspect may be needed.

The choker has a centre front seam.

The fabric is not purple but the lighting was used to make it so- another nod to the original.

The hem of the gown and the train is not as large as the original. Makes sense having just tried to wrangle the back alone….

There are skirt gores and they are similar to the ones in the Game of Thrones Westeros gowns. But narrower! There is a sculpted detail like a tail that covers the top of the gores and appears to go through in the recreation, it appears flatter in the original so may just be butted.

The back has a spine of some sort. Probably to cover a zipper- a good quality metal zipper as per the burlesque corset reblogged the other day 🙂  I’ll attempt a sculpted urethane piece.

Why Maleficent? Why that costume?

Why Maleficent? Why that costume?

Costume is art. The costume can tell a tale all on its own.

So take this gown.

Why? The film hasn’t come out and even based on the leaked script (which I haven’t read) I can’t surely be a fan of either the character or the film yet? Well true, maybe not. But costume is part of the art department and what art does in any form is make you think and feel,

Maleficent’s gown is the biggest Eff You I have seen in film for a very long time. It is on the same level of brilliance as Mina’s red gown in Dracula and Michelle Pfeiffer’s catsuit in Batman Returns. It’s on par with the world building the costumes affect in Game of Thrones- where one costume spoilt me months in advance.

When you design you do not just draw pretty things or interesting lines. You have to think about the character, their mind and spirit and how they are reacting to the world they live in. And how that world responds to them

Catwoman’s catsuit was literally Selina tearing down the life she had built, and had others build around her, and reforming it. She took a practical item (at least in this bizarre world) and made it into a symbol. Her costume says yes you objectify me but I will kick your ass for doing so. You treat me like this? I’ll take that and make you regret it.

Mina’s red gown is another iteration of Eiko Ishioka’s obsession with the raw self. Being literally and figuratively ablated, exposed. It’s hard to think of it as part of the same theme as Dracula’s armour from the same movie, or the foam latex muscle suits from The Cell or the lycra and paint/cord/ink piece from Der Ring des Nibelungen. It’s a concealing dress after all.  But the texture, colour and self pattern in the form of organic leaves and striated pleats puts it firmly in place as a reminder that Mina conceals herself in the trappings of the society she lives in. In this gown she is letting herself see who she is and what she feels.

So Maleficent. What makes this gown over all her others so special?

In the world of the movie humans are very much dressed as we expect. At least what we expect from years of what Hollywood has shown us of the past. Which is mostly based on modern textures and materials, foundations and construction.

At the start Maleficent is a child of nature, her clothing is loose and flowing and not made from a drafted, and thus mass produced/industrialised. Even her other gowns seem to flow and drape with little relation to the methods used to create the costumes of humans. She is apart. And clearly so.

The gown she chooses to wear to the christening however is very complicated in structure. It mixes both draping and drafting techniques. It is fitted to the body but does not follow the lines of clothing worn by the members of the court.

Bias cutting alone makes the gown different. Bias cutting is so intrinsically different to even the most complicated multiple panel garment cut on the straight. It shifts and requires exquisite fit and shaping and multiple fittings. It is insanely personal and bespoke.

Maleficent has taken great care to dress herself splendidly for this court. Her fabric even mimics the watery weave of the king’s own robes. But again it is different. The texture is not woven but created by hand, organic and deliberately unable to be copied. A true one of a kind.

Her horns are covered but barely. The threat of nature is present though sheathed.

Her gown is bigger, more sophisticated than any other garment at the court. She outshines everyone. Yet the cut, fabric, and scale clearly single her out. No  one could mistake her as being expected or meant to be there.

Her gown says everything her speech does. It says you tell me I don’t belong, well, that’s true; I am more than you. 



So this is not only great for learning some basics and learning them well and pretty easily, but it’s a fascinating look in to the past. This is for Ontario schools but I have read some similar books for the US, not so much elsewhere. I suspect that is more due to lack of these being shared on sites like Project Gutemburg.

Speaking of which, I have several hundred manuals to link to, I’ll try and do a master list for my site (under the header construction) because wow, seriously wow. Some of these books explain terminology that we still use. And what has been dropped and why- generally many modern fitting woes are down to trying to force more pieces from a length of fabric. A really good item is here: Yep, that is the title, and yep this is the main cause. If you get a good fitting pair of pants for goodness sake take a pattern because you will want to copy it it over and over again. My Regina bodysuit is my go to for four panel bodysuits.

It’s also a really good example of how you can’t just take from a pattern in one place and put it somewhere else despite what a lot of drafting books might suggest.

ebay sightings

Wanna buy some early lace?

Wow,the catalogue is full of interesting pieces. Especially swatch books!

Argh! Who ould do that to a Worth gown??

ooh, funky, Private Collection ballgown



I told KOSHKA_THE_CAT that she was inspiring me to make my dream Worth gown….

And I am. As soon as I get my hands on some reasonably priced silk satin, it’s mine!

I have a feeling with the amount of work involved that it’ll wind up being my 40th birthday dress, but hey! I will make it.

Hmmm I wonder if I should tweak it… I was reading the other night about how he eventually let money talk and copied previous designs for other clients

ebay finds

ooooh, lovely turn of the century skirt
I love the textures! Now *that* I would consider doing.

Ooh it’s for sale here now!
This is what I used for my 1850 Voile dress sleeves.

Another lovely 1840s dress
Sigh, a perfect example of what I love about this period.

Amazing cream coloured silk satin late 1880s gown
I’d like to see the other side though.

Moire and crepe gown
Two shades. 1889?

Yellow! Bodice very late 1890s.
Love it. It reminds me of two of Worth’s Sunburst gowns. The earlier one I think used yellow.

The fabric!!!
It give me an idea for what I can do with my Chinese feather brocade. I was thinking of soemthign like this, but wasn’t sure about the boldness of the pattern. The other inspiration is of Sarah Bernhardt in one of her Frou Frou costumes. The brocade has a smaller more repeating motiffe though.
There is something about this one… I’d say it’s later than the date given, but I can’t be sure of it.

Star burst hair ornament!
Add authenticity to your Sisi costume;)

Zoave Jacket.
We wants. I once saw a wonderful vintage coat that was quite similar but all in black. Ideas for a winter coat are forming…

I admit to a fondness for this style as well

Gold reception gown natural form
The shaping of the train is wonderful

Very cute fluffy polonaise