Re: He Looks Like Angel

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He looks like an angel/Walks like an angel/But now we’re wise /He’s the devil in disguise.

Jude Law stars as Cardinal Lenny Belardo who is elected to the papacy as Pius XIII in The Young Pope.  This TV series poses the question: what would happen if someone like Donald Trump became Pope? The answer is “a lot of well-dressed chicanery in beautiful surroundings.”

While the settings are spectacular and painterly, the costumes deserve a mention in their own right.

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If there’s one photo that sums up the series, it’s this one of Lenny casting some shade (literally) in his papal bling and sunglasses. The whole pose has a certain gangster vibe which suits the character.

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Here’s Lenny’s more everyday wardrobe–a white cassock with gold trim and a white shepherd’s hat. Next to him is Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), the foster mother who raised him. If you’re not Catholic, you may be wondering “what sort of awesome outfits do nuns have?” The answer is: “you’re looking at it.” Nuns don’t get bling because women, even a fairly high-ranking woman like Sister Mary, have no political power within the church. With great power comes great embroidery.

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Even when he’s dressed more informally, Lenny wears some version of white–in this case, a cream-colored tracksuit.

The following sequence shows Lenny getting dressed for his big speech to the College of Cardinals.

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He starts with a shirt and knee breeches, adds the shoes, and then goes for the cassock layer.

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Over the cassock goes a second one made of white lace. He then adds the heavy mantle. Lenny is a hyper-conservative traditionalist so he favors very medieval-looking vestments.

 

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And for the crowning touch, the triple tiara representing the pope’s temporal power. Set aside over 40 years ago by a previous pope, Lenny has it returned to the Vatican for his big address.

Finally, here’s the costume (and the actor) in action. Lenny makes a grand entrance into the Sistine Chapel.

 

 

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Re: Miss Fisher’s Mysteries

Range of Phryne's Outfits

“Dot, a woman should dress first and foremost for her own pleasure. Having grown up in second flannels, there is nothing quite so divine as the feel of silk underwear, the touch of soft fox, the slither of a satin skirt. If these things happen to appeal to men, well… really that’s a side issue.” Miss Phryne Fisher, Murder a la Mode

I have only recently discovered the wonderfulness that is Miss Fisher’s Mysteries, an Aussie detective series set in 1920s Melbourne, following the adventures of “lady detective”, the Honorable Phryne (fry-nee, rhymes with briny) Fisher and am totally captivated. Phryne is the woman that we all want to be–witty, resourceful, and fighting for the rights of the underdog–whilst still looking fabulous in a dazzling array of 1920s outfits.

I love the fashions of the 1920s and Miss Fisher’s Mysteries is a buffet of delights. Naturally, the person with the best clothes is Phryne herself played by the divine Essie Davis (The Babadook, Lady Crane on Game of Thrones Season 6).  Phryne’s family, headed by her drunken gambler father, lived in poverty until her father inherited money and a title (the other heirs having died during the Great War). Fine clothes are, in part, Phryne’s way of making up for the deprivation of her childhood. Phryne is a liberal minded woman with an interest in the arts so her clothes reflect her modern, non-traditional, fashion-forward perspective.

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Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) in her linen hat and car coat.

One of the things that I like about Miss Fisher’s Mysteries is that Phryne is shown wearing the same costume items (in several different ways) throughout the episodes just as a real person would. The linen hat and car coat (above) make a number of appearances throughout the series. While Phryne wears a number of different hat styles, the curved brim hat tends to be her signature look. The brim echoes the curve of Phryne’s bob and draws the viewer’s eye to the actor’s face.

Dot and Phryne in her harlequin coat

Dot Williams (Ashleigh Cummings) and Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) in Miss Fisher’s awesome Hispano-Suiza motorcar.

When Phryne first met Dottie Williams, the latter was a mousy maid in an undesirable employment situation. Over the course of three seasons, Dot gradually evolves into a self-confident detective’s assistant. As she does so, her fashions gradually become more modern–although never as modern as Miss Fisher’s–and her colors become stronger.

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Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) in his working day detective garb.

Phryne’s ally on the police force–and her partner in a slow burning and elegantly underplayed tango of attraction–is Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page). Jack is almost always dressed noirishly, a good man walking the mean streets, so those occasions when he appears in civvies are always worthy of note.

 

 

Phryne and Dr. Mac

Fresh off the boat. Phryne Fisher, looking smart in her nautical ensemble, walking arm-in-arm with Dr. Elizabeth “Mac” Macmillan (Tammy Macintosh).

Phyrne as Cleopatra Close Up

Phryne as Cleopatra

Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) rockin’ it as Cleopatra a la Claudette Colbert at her cousin’s fancy dress party.

Phryne Stilleto in Garter

Next to a gold-plated, pearl-handled revolver, a stiletto in the garter is the ultimate must-have accessory for the fashionable sleuth.

 

Re: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Miss Pettigrew Brown Outfit

Miss Pettigrew brown dress.

I’m working my way through Lee Pace’s backlist and while doing so discovered this little gem of a movie, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008). The film is a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1930s with heart, depth, a great soundtrack, fabulous costumes, and splendid sets. Miss Pettigrew (Francis McDormand) is a middle-aged governess who is down on her luck. Dismissed from her last position and desperate to stay off the streets, she wangles her way into the next job the temp agency has open: social secretary to the glamorous American singer, Delysia LaFosse (Amy Adams). Over the next twenty-four hours, Miss Pettigrew defuses a series of crises for her new employer and in the process redefines herself.

When our story opens, we find Miss Pettigrew looking very dowdy in her dark brown sack-like dress and coat. Frances McDormand says she decided that Miss Pettigrew probably hadn’t had any new clothes since she put together her trousseau as a young woman back during the Great War so many of her oufits appear to be stuck in an earlier era.

Miss Pettigrew Blue Scarf

The first change we see is when Delysia gives Miss Pettigrew a blue scarf. The scarf immediately brightens up Miss Pettigrew’s outfit and becomes an important prop later on as we shall see.

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Delysia’s blue dress gives her an all-American girl appearance.

Delysia first makes an appearance in her frou-frou peach dressing gown, then changes into a smart blue dress and hat for her visit to Edith duBarry’s Beauty Salon.

Miss Pettigrew Lingerie Show

Miss Pettigrew Lingerie Show

The lingerie show that Miss Pettigrew and Delysia attend serves as a commentary on the contentious relationship between Edith (Shirley Henderson) and her on-again-off-again fiance, Joe Bloomfield (Ciaran Hinds).

Miss Pettigrew Lingerie Corset Closeup

Miss Pettigrew Edythe duBarry

Edith’s designs are heavy corsets filled with whalebone and steel–a conservative approach aimed at older women such as the two matrons who look so disapproving when Delysia and Miss Pettigrew sit down next to them. It’s implied that Edith is a self-made woman whose worked her way up the social ladder and her lingerie designs reflect her conservative, unsentimental, and business-like nature. Although Joe is an older man, his designs are light, flowing, and very modern. We learn during the course of the scene that it’s Joe who has designed the blue scarf Miss Pettigrew likes so much–and the first point of attraction between them is established.

Miss Pettigrew Trio

Miss Pettigrew as nature intended.

Since Miss Pettigrew’s current ensemble is unsuitable for her current role as social secretary, Delysia and Edith give her a makeover. Miss Pettigrew re-emerges in a simple blue dress, updated but still appropriate for a working woman.

 

Miss Petttigrew Delysia's Cocktail Dress

Undoubtedly, Delysia has the best wardrobe (and the most costume changes) of any of the characters. Here we see her pink dress that she wears to an afternoon cocktail party.

Miss Pettigrew Delysia's Gold Gown

Delysia’s gold gown. Probably my favorite costume in this film.

The piece-de-resistance is her gold evening dress that she wears for her job as a singer at The Scarlet Peacock nightclub. It’s a wonderful Grecian draped, 1930s piece.

Blue Dress Waltz

Miss Pettigrew’s blue velvet dress in action.

Miss Pettigrew also gets an evening wear upgrade, a blue velvet dress with a rose. The small white ruffle is symbolic of her tentative flirtation with high fashion. The waltz with Joe, of course, cements their growing attraction to each other.

Miss Pettigrew Delysia's Traveling Outfit

Delysia’s final outfit, the white traveling suit.

The story ends, of course, as all good fairytales do with the all the lovers reunited. Delysia wears a very smart, off-white traveling suit which suggests bridal wear in her final bow to the camera.

 

 

Re: The Apocalypse Will Not Be Televised . . .

….because, you know, of the collapse of civilization. But how will the survivors be dressed? This article in the Guardian argues that fashion sense will be the first casualty of any world-destroying force. From a stage/film viewpoint, I can certainly see moviemakers’ justification for using punk/tribal costuming for their characters. Black leather, body armor, heavy weaponry, tattoos, and “big, stompy boots” create the impression of a dangerous, anarchic, every-man-for-himself kind of world where law and order have broken down and the hero/heroine is alone in their search for truth, justice, and a zombie-free life.

But movies aside, what would survivors in post-apocalyptic world actually wear? I can see the point of stompy boots–you need sturdy footgear when tromping through the rubble of previously thriving cities–but booty shorts, lace up pants, long dresses, and mini-skirts? No way. Moviemakers tend to take the Western point of view that lack of modern technology equates primitive society. The reality is that any society where the members have the leisure time to paint intricate tattoos on their body and construct elaborate armor and decorative as opposed to practical clothing is extremely sophisticated.

In a realistic post-apocalyptic scenario, people would be living on a much more primitive level. It’s always a safe bet to assume that large scale agriculture and manufacturing have become casualities of the apocalypse so where are folks going to be getting their fabric from? And what about the skill set needed to make clothing items, armor, weapons, etc. from scratch?

Moviemakers usually get around awkward questions like this by setting their films either immediately after disaster or by assuming that their societies have rapidly reached a sophisticated level. For the purposes of our scenario, however, let’s assume that neither of those things has happened. How do people cope in a world where ready access to clothing materials has been cut off?

One way would be to re-purpose pre-existing materials as in the examples shown below:

Street sign armor made by Chain Crafts (see blog here) and modeled by Eric L. Posted to Crafster. Shoulder armor is made from discarded Stop and Dead End signs. Metal was shaped using a ballpeen hammer and an anvil.

Joan of Arc suit of armor made by Obudah (Craftster) from bicycle intertubes. The whole suit took 40-50 hours of work.

But re-purposing only lasts as long as there are stockpiles of pre-made goods. Sooner or later the rubble runs out and people have to generate their own garments (and other objects of daily life) from raw materials. That means re-learning all those pre-industrial, agrarian skills most folks have forgotten. Sure, the sheep may now be mutant and man-sized, but that doesn’t mean one can’t gather their glow-in-the-dark wool and spin it into yarn. (Say it with me now: “we’re going to need a bigger spindle”).

Really, when you think about, costumers and artisans with their hard-won hoard of do-it-yourself skills will be in high demand come the apocalypse.  Yes, it will be artists who rule this brave new world. Mwuwahahahaha!

Re: Hello, Sailor!

Russell Crowe as Lucky Jack Aubrey in “Master and Commander: Far Side of the World”. Not every guy can wear ruffled shirts and make them seem macho, but Crowe carries the look off.

I watched “Master and Commander: Far Side of the World” just recently and was completely blown away by two things: 1) how dishy Russell Crowe looks in 1805 naval gear and 2) the impressive amount of work designer Wendy Stites had put into the costumes.  This eye for historic accuracy is matched throughout the production and you really get a feel for what it was like to work and live aboard a Royal Navy ship during the Napoleonic wars.

Crowe in full uniform as Capt. Aubrey. His ship, the HMS Surprise, is in the background.

One of the most difficult things about costuming a historic period piece like “Master and Commander” is that the costume must be true to the period, but at the same time must say something about the character as well.  Capt. Aubrey is described as a traditionalist, a guy who still wears an old-style uniform, so Crowe’s outfit is copied from Aubrey’s hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Throughout the movie, the wardrobe and makeup people play up the generational difference in fashions. The older men like Jack wear knee breeches and have their hair in long pigtails while young men in the crew have their hair cut short and wear long pants. This is the beginning of the transition in men’s fashions from breeches to pants.

From left to right, unknown seaman, Midshipman Callamy (Max Benitz) and Midshipman Hollum (Lee Ingleby) check the waters for enemy sails. Notice that while the seamen and the officers have similar articles of clothing, they wear them differently. Both have black neckerchiefs, for example, but the officers wear them wrapped twice around their necks (called a “stock”) while the seamen wear theirs tied loosely about their shoulders.

The class difference between officers (usual drawn from the upper classes) and the enlisted men (usually working class) is indicated by their garb.  Enlisted men were expected to supply their own gear and while they might get some second hand clothes, for the most part they cut and sewed their own clothes. I was surprised to learn that there was still considerable leeway for officers to express their individual dress sense and that Naval officers often competed with each other to see who could be the most fashionably turned out.

The Royal Marines, by contrast, were very regimented in their dress. The Marines wore red coats with white pants in summer, blue pants in winter, and a white “undress” uniform which they are seen wearing in the movie while on the Galapagos Islands. In addition to being sharpshooters and a landing force, Marines also served as security guards aboard the ship.

Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin in “Master and Commander”.  I covet his banyan–the loose outer coat that he’s wearing.

As ship’s doctor, Stephen Maturin is one of the few civilians aboard ship. Like his friend, Jack, he wears the old-style knee breeches, but unlike Jack, he has his hair cut short and brushed forward in the fashion of the period. His hairstyle, like the banyan or Indian-inspired jacket that he wears on-shore, indicates that he is an intellectual and a progressive who favors social and political reform.

I was able to find a couple of neat fan-made costumes on the Net inspired by the movie.

Cathy from The Crafty Cattery made the above Jack Aubrey uniform as a Halloween costume. She wasn’t trying for an exact re-creation, just an impression, but I think it turned out great. Click here to read her blog entry describing the project.

Lord MoufMouf did this beautiful rendition of Dr. Maturin’s Galapagos Island outfit. Notice the excellent spats as well as the small cage for live specimens. Dr. Maturin is an amateur naturalist as well as a physician and a linguist.

The folks over at the  Man the Capstan blog make a habit of re-creating Napoleonic garb and have some great costumes to show.

You should check out this small set of exhibit photos from Alleycatscratch (scroll down about 2/3s of the page). The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising also has a couple of pictures here including the only good shot I was able to find of Captain Howard’s uniform.

If you are serious about re-creating one of the costumes from the film, I highly recommend “The Making of Master and Commander” book which has plenty of stills as well as background information. The book is currently out of print, but you should be able to borrow a copy from or through your local library.

Re: No Place Like the O.Z.–The Sequel

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Zooey Deschanel as D.G. in the Sci-Fi Channel mini-series, “Tin Man”. A better shot of the Spanish-style black-over-red dress she borrows to infiltrate the nightclub.

KLCtheBookworm was kind enough to pass on to me some screencaps she had gotten from moirariordan at LiveJournal. The screencaps show some of the “Tin Man” costume details I had been unable to find other photos of.  Enjoy!

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KLC points out that D.G.’s dress seems a little big for her–a detail I had missed–but which is consistent with her borrowing it from DeMilo’s stash.

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“Search your feelings, D.G. You know it to be true.” Okay, wrong movie ….

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I thought initially that the dancers were wearing a one piece bodysuit, but they actually appear to be wearing a camisole top and high cut briefs, Las Vegas showgirl style.

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Love the little poofy sleeves. The beading around the tamborines seems to be the pre-strung beading you can find the upholstery section of large fabric stores.

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I thought that the dancers were wearing metallic caps, but these appear to be metallic scarves instead.

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A brief glimpse of the ballroom style shoes the dancers are wearing (“Tin Man”).

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“They went that away. Let’s get some horses and head them off at the pass.” Actually, a nice screencap showing that elusive insignia (“Tin Man”). See some other views below.

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Ah, a man who enjoys his work. Zero (Callum Keith Rennie) prepares to give Wyatt Cain (lower right hand corner) an attitude adjustment (“Tin Man”).

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“Just click my heels together and I’ll be back in Kansas, eh?” Zero (Callum Keith Rennie) gets up close and personal with Azakadellia’s secretary (“Tin Man”).

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The pin up of the Sorceress all of the Longcoats have in their lockers. Kathleen Robertson as Azakadellia (“Tin Man”) showing her beaded nightdress and mermaid skirt. I suspect that the nightdress is actually an Indian khameez split up the front. The skirt looks to be a simple straight skirt with a line of runching on the front.

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In a later scene, Azakadellia (Kathleen Robertson) is shown wearing a lightweight black robe over her nightwear ensemble.

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Airofday, the Indian fortune teller/informant, that our heroes meet in the Realm of the Unwanted.  Her outfit most closely resembles an Indian-influenced bellydance costume–straight skirt, costume bra, and big, metallic veil draped across her body and over her shoulder. In the movie, Airofday is part of a trio of dancers which would make this outfit a fun group costume.

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A closeup of Airofday’s makeup which we don’t really get to see during the film.  The design comes off as metallic eyeshadow on screen when it is really the outline of an open eye on her eyelid, the pupil done in metallic blue. Very cool, very freaky.

Re: No Place Like the O.Z.

azkadellia-and-her-long-coats

Come to the Dark Side. We have better outfits. Kathleen Robertson as Azkadellia flanked by her bad boys in the Sci-Fi Channel mini-series, “Tin Man”.

Why do I love the Tin Man mini-series? Two words, friends: Steampunk Oz. “Tin Man” is an original mini-series from the Sci-Fi Channel. The mini-series re-imagines L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz as a much darker, more dystopian, yet ultimately hopeful tale. Briefly, the story follows our heroine, D.G., who is transported to the O.Z. (Outer Zone) and must discover her past in order to survive. Along the way, she is helped by Glitch, a former science advisor to the queen who had his brain removed as punishment, Wyatt Cain, a former Tin Man (Central City police officer), and Raw, a fearful, lion-like psychic.

From a costumer’s point of view, the character costumes created by Angus Strathie are delicious. I’m surprised that more fans haven’t re-created these costumes. If you have made a “Tin Man” costume, for heaven’s sake, post some pictures to the Net so the rest of us can enjoy them.

While I’ve written this post from sf/f costumer’s point of view, steampunk enthusiasts seeking inspiration will want to watch this movie repeatedly. “Tin Man” is probably as close as we will ever get to a steampunk documentary. The series covers what I consider to be the “steampunk era” (Victorian/Edwardian, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s) with a healthy dose of 21st century sensibility thrown in.  If you look closely at the Queen’s blue dress, for example, which she wears on her island prison, you will note that while the dress appears Edwardian, the corset which would normally not be seen  is actually part of her outerwear–a nod to the 21st century’s penchant for wearing underwear on the outside.

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Kathleen Robertson (Azkadellia) shows off three of her five outfits, all to die for.

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A photo of the black, feather-decorated dress Kathleen Robertson (Azkadellia) wears in the show.

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A close up of the same dress, showing the cool, multi-colored sheen of the shoulder feathers. The whole outfit reminds me of a raven. Notice the Queen in her blue dress in the background.  Her top looks like it may have been made from an Indian khameez.

In the O.Z., crime does pay–in the form of a fabulous wardrobe. Kathleen Robertson as the sorceress Azkadellia undoubtably has the best clothes in the film. We first see Azkadellia wearing her gold dress with the armored collar. She subsequently changes into her black coat dress, her black feathered dress,  and, for the big finale, her chail mail dress. She also has a wonderful Indian-inspired nightgown which I was unable to find good, clear photos of.

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A closeup of the black coat dress from commercial costuming company, Fan Chaos.

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Although Azkadellia’s outfit appears to be one piece, it is actually a long, black dress-like coat over a fitted peach bustier and black skirt.  The peach bustier suits Kathleen Robertson’s coloring. However, I think it could be changed to pale, true pink and still be recognizable.

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Azkadellia’s tattoos change into flying, bat-winged monkeys–how cool is that? Of course, that means many unneccessary shots of her heaving bosom–can we say “sweeps week”, boys and girls? Yes, we can.

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Photo of the “Tin Man” cast from Alexia Fast’s website. From left to right, Zooey Deschanel as D.G., Alexia Fast as Young Azkadellia, Alan Cumming as Glitch, Raoul Trujillo as Raw, and Neal McDonough as Wyatt Cain.

While Azkadellia’s costumes are probably the most complex in the entire film (leaving aside Raw’s makeup), there are plenty of other less work-intensive choices for the costumer. D.G.’s street clothes, as seen above, could easily be put together from purchased sources. If you wanted to wear something that is more obviously “Wizard of Oz”, try her waitress uniform pictured below. It’s a direct tip of the hat to the original Judy Garland’s Dorothy costume. D.G. wears her Other Side street clothes most of the time although she briefly changes into a red cocktail dress with a black sheer overlay when she infiltrates the Mystic Man’s nightclub. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clear picture of that dress.

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D.G. in her diner waitress uniform (“Tin Man”). A sly wink to Judy Garland’s costume in the “Wizard of Oz”. I’d recommend wearing this outfit with red sneakers, just for fun.

Wyatt Cain’s (Neal McDonough’s) costume is the next easiest to do. Again, most of his clothes can be purchased, although you may have to specifically shop for Western or Victorian wear in order to do it. Cain’s vest and sidearm say “gunslinger”, but his overcoat and slouchy, fedora-like hat say “private eye”.  I wasn’t able to get a good look at his footwear, but my impression was that he was wearing heavy-duty walking shoes, not boots.

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Cain (Neal McDonough) in (mostly) full uniform, minus the hat. The leather vest really makes the outfit.

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Cain, minus his coat, showing off his striped, collar-less shirt. Cain’s colors are very muted–soft greens, olives, washed out blues, and browns.

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Alan Cumming as Glitch. The zipper headpiece really makes this costume and transforms it from “vagabond” to “steampunk”.

Glitch (Alan Cumming) has a very multi-layered costume that has been heavily distressed. He is actually wearing a 19th century frock coat that is very high cut–it stops at the rib cage as opposed to the waist. Immediately underneath his coat is an elaborately decorated red vest which we see clearly only once while he is drying off around the fire after jumping from the cliff. Under the vest is a long-sleeved white shirt and under that is a red and black or possibly red and navy striped undershirt. If you are planning to re-create Glitch’s look, I highly recommend making all the layers very light weight as this costume can get hot quickly.

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Don’t lose your head. Glitch’s outfit and head from a publicity display for “Tin Man” (Flickr). You can just see the edge of Glitch’s vest peaking out from underneath his coat.

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Raoul Trujillo as Raw and Zooey Deschanel as D.G. Sci-Fi Channel photo by Art Streiber. Notice Raw’s furry feet.

Next to Azkadellia’s corsets, Raw’s costume requires the most technical skill because of the makeup and prothesises involved. The actual clothing–furry vest and knee breeches–is not that difficult and you can get a good look at it in the full cast photo above. Notice that in the cast photo he is wearing shoes while the above two-shot with D.G. shows his feet.

The great thing about “Tin Man” is that you have option of doing either “alternate versions” of the main cast or re-creating the striking costumes of the supporting characters. For example, we see Az, D.G., and their mother briefly in a flashback scene with the girls’ tutor.  Those outfits would be a great family group costume to re-create.

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Young Azkadellia (Alexia Fast), the queen, and young D.G.  Part of the queen’s skirt is made of bronze sequinned fabric. I really like young Az’s dress, but young D.G. also has an attractive gown. Photo from Alexia Fast’s website.

Azkadellia’s long coats–her imperial troops–would make another good group costume. The soldiers’ most striking uniform element is their long leather dusters with red/silver ornamentation and occasional bits of body armor. The overall effect is very Nazi storm trooper. The high mandarin collars appear to be part of the coat rather than a separate shirt. Underneath, as far as I can tell, they are wearing sleeveless black T-shirts, black pants, and black combat boots.  I wasn’t able to find a good still showing the insignia, but I would suggest taking a look at the sets in Az’s tower as I think the circle shape is being replicated on some of the screens.

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Some men bring flowers, others bring lockets. From left to right, Azkadellia, her chief hench guy, Zero (Callum Keith Rennie), and her secretary (actor unknown).  I thought initially that her secretary was wearing a variation of the longcoat uniform, but he’s actually wearing a variation of Glitch’s costume–high cut frock coat with a vest and shirt underneath. The coat is leather, but the outfit appears to be very similar to Glitch’s.

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Our heroes are shocked to discover just how good they look in black leather and begin to reconsider joining the imperial guard. Another view of the longcoat uniform.

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Callum Keith Rennie as Zero in all his evil-y goodness. Rennie plays villains so often these days that most people forget he played good guy detective Stanley Kowalski in the television series “Due South”. Notice the half-armor he sports. The armor seems to be largely ceremonial, but Zero does use it to defend himself when he and Cain throw down.

For a colorful and memorable group costume, I would suggest the “Tin Man” Munchkins. Although they only appear briefly at the beginning of the series, the Munchkins are very original and interesting looking. The body paint would take time, but the clothes themselves are relatively simple and have an overall “American Indian” motif.

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D.G. surrounded by Munchkin resistance fighters of the Eastern Guild (“Tin Man”). Notice the Kiowa-style feather harnesses. The buckskin pants and sleeveless shirts wouldn’t be hard to replicate.

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Munchkin leaders interrogate D.G. whom they think is a spy (“Tin Man”). Notice the striking face paint and chest armor.

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“Well, if it isn’t the great and terrible blah, blah, blah himself.” Richard Dreyfus as the Mystic Man (“Tin Man”) flanked by his lovely assistants. Although the dancers have a great number, this was the only still I could find that showed their outfits. The “panniers” they’re wearing are actually tamborines they use to beat out a drumroll for the Mystic Man’s entrance.

As a dancer, I was struck by the Art Deco flamenco costumes worn by the Mystic Man’s assistants in the Central City nightclub D.G. goes to. This would be another neat group costume to do for a duo or a trio.  The Mystic Man is dressed like a very formal 19th century stage magician. He wears an evening tuxedo with a white vest and white pin-tucked shirt. One hand is bound up in a black pouch. I’m still not sure what that is supposed to symbolize. Over the top of his tux, he wears a Chinese robe and a Turkish smoking cap.

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Richard Dreyfus as the Mystic Man (“Tin Man”) showing off his fantastic Chinese robe. I wants it, precious, yes, I do.  Folkwear has a great pattern for this robe (“Chinese Jacket”). I got this photo from the Dye Dept , the Canadian company that did some of the distress work for the series. If you go to their website and look under “textile arts, dyeing, and costume breakdown”, you will see a photo of Glitch’s coat which they also worked over.

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