Monday, May 4, 2015

Tauriel and the Disappearing Skirt Debate

Sometimes, I feel that movie costumers pull some evil tricks on us recreation costumers!

I am currently in the process of my final research before drafting the coat for my Tauriel costume from The Hobbit (more on White Witch later... plugging along on it, but not making my research public until after Dragon*Con) but I've hit a little snag. Parts of Tauriel's costumes like to disappear.

Tauriel basically wears a couple of costumes that are layered up in different ways, and it is also sometimes inferred in the movie that she's wearing one costume under the other, for instance, she enters Bard's home in her green jacket, leather bodice, and travelling coat, but when she's healing Kili, she's suddenly in her crinkled tunic look, as if that outfit was underneath the other one.  In the book, they do admit they had removable skirts because they didn't want a lot of skirt layers.

Here's my predicament. I intend to make the version with the green deerskin jacket, and with the leather bodice once I get to it.

Now, here's the description of this green jacket from WETA's Desolation of Smaug Chronicles book:
"Beneath her coat and cuirass Tauriel wore a fine deerskin green jacket. The jacket had long sleeves made in four parts, exquisitely faggoted together by Katherine Pepperell in gently curving lines down her arms.
The original line of the costume had a smaller collar. Fran liked the line, but wanted a bigger collar, which turned out to be a very good call. From concept to delivery, the entire costume had to be created in just two weeks. We had so little time that we simply added a second collar which unfolded over the top and serendipitously ended up looking very elegant, carrying the line that started down her front all the way up and into her delicate ear tips.
The travelling coat had skirts to it, but when Evangeline wasn't wearing it we had a second skirt that went with her jacket. It would have been too many layers and added too much bulk to have both skirts on Tauriel at once, so she always wore one or the other. We created a subtle leaf-like veining that organically traced its way across the suede and was applied by Johnny Brough and Daniel Falconer in the paint department at Weta Workshop."

Now, here's an interesting picture:

The jacket in picture D is the one that is pictured in the book, and she can be seen wearing just this jacket (with a brown top) when she is talking with Thranduil and with Kili in his cell. I had assumed that they simply added the leather cuirass on top of this same jacket, however, it also said removable skirts. Looking at picture D, you can see a piping/stitch detail that runs the length of the skirt, and starts all the way up past the waist seams, so I don't see how this is removable. If you look at pictures A and B, the skirt on her jacket does not have that seam travelling down the front of the skirt. They made it sound like they had so little time I thought they only made two jackets (one for her stunt double), but perhaps they made one full coat, and one short jacket that the skirts could be switch out (because there definitely is no deerskin skirt tails under her raw-silk travelling coat). Picture C is from a BRoll or production diary, I have no clue if this is showing the jacket without any kind of skirts, but I see no lines from the lacing otherwise. (It might be a version she wears with the stunt harness?)

Things that make costumers bang their heads. Now I can't decide how to build mine since I'd like to wear it both ways, and also with the travelling coat, but I see no way to make the skirts separate!


  1. I nominated you for the Liebster award , you can accept or refuse , detail on my blog about this

  2. I'm tackling this same project and your post was very helpful! I am planning to make the traveling jacket without skirts so I can wear it over the skirts of the suede coat... Hopefully that doesn't look dorky in reality!


Due to people leaving spam comments on my page, all comments will be sent to me before being posted public.