Monday, December 16, 2013

Thranduil Takes Fashion Tips from Ronald McDonald

I know, that's a bold statement. The graceful, dangerous, fabulous Elvenking akin in any way to a scary fast-food-hawking clown? But hear me out. In a lot of the first promotional images of Thranduil, we see him wearing his silver tunic-coat and it's floor length in front lengthening into a small train in the back. But then in this newer promo image (and in the movie when he's walking around), we see what looks like the exact same tunic, but the hem hits slightly below the knee. Both are movie canon, so...the only possible conclusion is that Thranduil just has a closet full of these tunics, but all with slightly different hemlines to suit his mood and needs. Just like this early 90s commercial showing a day in the life of Ronald McDonald.

I'm sorry for subjecting you to that horror of that ad, but I had to say all of that to justify my ankle-length version of Thranduil's tunic.

I was originally going to make a more accurate version with the multiple curving panels that run down the front of his tunic, but in the end I just didn't have the time. I figured that, sparkly as this fabric is, such details weren't necessary to get the idea of his character across. This decision made things so much easier, since I just needed to make a dartless, full-length tunic with minimal shaping. I started by cutting out vague me-shaped/-sized front and back pieces and then pinning, fitting, and stitching the pieces together to fit me. I took a page from LiEr's book and just drew a sleeve head that looked about right, muslined it really quickly, and then set it in. Seriously, easiest costume ever. After hemming and hawing about sewing in a million hooks and eyes for the front closure, I decided, to hell with it, he's a party king, we can just go with a metallic separating zipper. Best decision I ever made. When I wear the brooch, it covers up the zipper pull anyway, and with all that silver, nobody's going to notice a thin strip of gold and black.

Metallic jacket zipper from some random bin in the LA fabric district: $1, four yards of embossed polyester/metallic fabric from Jo-Ann's: $20, scrap of horsehair canvas: <$1...DIYing my favorite cosplay ever: priceless.   

The collar was just a taller version of my qipao collar (a slightly curved, five-inch tall trapezoid), interfaced with horsehair canvas to make it stand up. I'm still debating whether to add some lightweight boning to the front edge, though, since that area started sagging by the end of the night. After that, it was just a quick hem and then I was done!

This is where I really take to heart the "costume" idea: I only turned over the edge once (so the raw edge is still showing), but that's with the idea that I'm not wearing this very many times, and I'm certainly not throwing it into the wash...thankfully, the fabric doesn't fray much, if at all. Other cheat: I just extended the front edge of the tunic out by three inches and lined it up with the selvage; this meant that I could just fold over the center opening to make a cheater's facing that was pre-finished. 

Other accessories: shutter shades, Mardi Gras beads, and of course my DIY staff, crown, and jewelry.

Leftover from my mom's company party: Thranduil is into reusing and recycling! Emily and I decided that the "M" on the pink high-heeled shoe stood for "Mirkwood." Because Thranduil is secure in his masculinity, and stilettos are fabulous. 

While we were waiting for the movie to start, I had to at least try to recreate some of Thranduil's iconic promo images.

We call this the Lucius Malfoy pose. I was trying really hard not to laugh. Also, I had just picked up a large piece of red velvet from the free pile at serendipitous! 
Unfortunately, this series of photos all turned out blurry. 

And then there's this epitome-of-fabulous picture:

Hmmm, not quite the same effect...
Possibly I was a little too excited, and therefore twirling too fast...
It reads more like flamenco dancer or bullfighter, and less like majestic, dramatic, kingly reveal. 

And of course, boys and girls, this is not meant to condone unchecked alcohol consumption: a night of wild partying takes its toll, even for the immortal Elvenking...

Exhausted by the twirling and elk-riding, Thranduil passes out on the stairs...

I still want to go back and see the movie again (seriously, cannot get enough of Thranduil...and not just because he's a pretty boy, either! Check out Gingerhaze's post essentially summarizing all my feelings about him), but in the meantime I'll settle for dressing Walnut up...

"In a great hall with pillars hewn out of the living stone sat the Elvenking on a chair of carven wood. On his head was a crown of berries and red leaves, for the autumn was come again."
I'd just like to see you try to take my Arkenstone from me. 
Now that those dwarves are all locked away, it's time to party it up!

Okay, that's enough ridiculous fangirling. I'm sorry (but not sorry) if you're sick of reading about teh interwebs' extreme characterization of this one minor character from a fantasy universe; rest assured that tomorrow we'll be back to normal sewing, inasmuch as my style could ever be classified as normal. No, but seriously, it's a real garment for wearing out on normal days and I promise it will be just as fabulous, but in a different way. Hint: there have already been leopard print and teal with ric-rac versions out there...


  1. Ehhh... "normal" sewing is over-rated. Honestly I started sewing because I wanted to make nothing but costumes (yeah... take a look at my blog and see how well that turned out), but honestly I could read your geeky costume posts every day and be happy. It's like what I wish I was doing with my sewing machine...

    Though I am excited about your hinted at project reveal even if the inspiration doesn't hail from Middle Earth. ;-)

  2. Oooh very dramatic! (but not like a bullfighter, Kitty and I frown upon that cruel past-time). Walnut is sooooo cute, and tolerant, I can't even stand it!

  3. Yep, totally a costumer! Love the last series of Walnut pics - lol!

    ooo I know what tomorrow's post is about without even clicking those links! Can't wait to see yours! (I really need to get some good photos of mine to join the fun.)

    ~ Brooke

  4. Haha, I've actually been wishing for excuses to make more costumes! There's potential talk of me getting to go to a con next year, which would suit nicely. I really want an excuse to make a Tauriel costume, even though she's not technically book-canon!

    Honestly, even in LotR, my favorite characters are the more "minor" ones. Eowyn and Faramir in particular, I will shamelessly fangirl both forever!

  5. Wow, you look amazing! I love your costume! I've been stuck working nights since the movie came out, but I might go see it Friday if I don't end up going to my parent's for early Christmas (because I have to work that too). Stupid work.

    Anyway, your costume is so awesome. Legit Elven king in my opinion!

  6. Just when I think I've gotten over elves, Thranduil pulls me back in. Damn you Elven-King/Elk-RIder! *shakes fist*

    That costume is killer, and Walnut is WERKING though sunglasses. Party on, Walnut.


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