I confess that I have–despite myself–become quite enamored of the HBO series “Game of Thrones“, an adaptation of the George R.R. Martin series of fantasy novels. When I first heard that it was coming out, I was certain that I absolutely wasn’t about to watch yet another fantasy epic, but my will has crumbled thanks to the characters (darn you, Tyrion and Daenarys!).
No less intriguing than the characters has been the beautiful clothes that costumer Michele Clapton has designed. I don’t think that any costume aficionado could fail to be moved by the challenge that she took on. One of the (many) problems a costumer faces when confronting the task of making costumes for a fantasy world is that the clothes can’t look theatrical in any way. Any false notes and the suspension of belief is lost. The costumes must appear familiar to the audience yet at the same time true to the fantasy world that they’ve been created for. Elements from different cultures can be mixed, but the whole must work together and not look like a mish-mash. In addition, the costumes must be comfortable (as much as possible) for the actors while still conveying something about their characters.
Here’s an interview with Michele Clapton that appeared in the L.A. Times. You know that you’re on a hardcore costuming production when they weave their own fabric. Here is one of the featurettes on GoT costume designs and here’s the other.
Daenerys appears to be fast emerging as a fan costuming favorite and who can blame them? The Targaryen princess turned nomad queen has some fabulous outfits.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) in a simple robe prior to her marriage to Khal Drogo. I like the simplicity and purity of line in this garment.
As Daenarys embraces her new life and grows into her role as khaleesi, her clothing changes. Her Dothraki outfit has “tribal bellydance” written all over it.
Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister. The ruthless patriarch of the rich and powerful House Lannister shows off his striking armor. The Lannister coat of arms is a lion on a red background, hence the red shoulder cloak.
Carice van Houten as the priestess Melisandre. Melisandre is a priestess of R’hllor, the god of fire and light, and is described as wearing red, head to foot. Even her eyes are red. While that spells trouble for Stannis Baratheon’s household, it spells “fabulous bellydance outfit” to me.