Comtesse Seraphine de Vallon Rouge
Last Updated: 03-15-2011
After so much gawking at the awesomeness of the Rennaisance and Medieval tailor websites and making my boyfriend quite the dashing historic vampire costume for the last year, AND having a rarely-worn dress I adore based on a medieval bliaut, I decided to go for a more historic approach to Halloween costumes. Also wanting to prove that vampires AREN'T sparkly things with no substance, plot, or actual fangs.
The result? I created a character based in 14th-century France and my boyfriend also created one to match; Comtesse (Countess, for those of you who can't speak any French) Seraphine de Vallon Rouge (I've got a full bio/description of her in the cosplay journal).
The costume consists of;
-Hair; Throwing historical accuracy aside and just using my hair long and mostly down sans coverings, but dyed darker/redder from my natural auburn. I hate anything on my head besides wigs (and even they are annoying as hell if they're long), can't style my own hair to save my life, and if I'd been sleeping for a few centuries, chances are I'd just leave my hair down anyway.
-Dress/main outfit; A gorgeous dress that was originally made for me in early 2007 for prom; it's based off of a weird cross between a medieval bliaut, medieval cote-hardie and medieval houppelande, except that it doesn't have those horizontal wrinkly portions on the waist that a bliaut has, and the undersleeves are a net fabric that I'm pretty sure didn't exist back in the early 1300s. And by itself, the trim that gives it the illusion of an empire waist isn't exactly accurate. But adding the belt on matches with it nicely to make it look more like the double-wrapped belts and sashes of the time.
-Jewellery; Most importantly my daily-wear pentacle and it's chain. Also a huge ostentatious bracelet found in a thrift shop, another ostentatious Tibetan bracelet, an old gold signet ring to show the "noble" rank, a beautiful pair of Tibetan earrings in silver and garnet similar in design to the bracelet, and a thick band-like necklace I found that looks like silver. I've gotta stop buying more jewellery... or maybe I should start sewing gemstones into the dress until I've turned it into a suit of jewel-encrusted armour to suit my tastes.:P
-Belt; I thought I'd have to make one, but did I ever get lucky; I found a braided silver belt that fits me perfectly, and hooks on with a chain fastener, so when turned back-to-front I can ALSO use it as the chain for my chatelaine.
-Chatelaine (a chain worn by the female head of the house to hang keys and other household items off of, for those who don't know); Just a small chatelaine consisting of keys; thanks to the belt the chain is already "done", I found a good strong key ring, and collected antique keys for it. Luckily I found a lovely little antique shop that had a whole BOX of them for three bucks each. So, I've got six on the belt. They're considerably heavier than modern keys, so I kept it to a fairly small amount.
-Girdle book; Did I ever have fun with this one. I basically made an illuminated Pagan Book of Hours in contrast to the historic Christian ones, using a small blank book as a base and with a braided (with wire attached underneath for strength) leather chain to hang it off my belt, and I went a bit innacurate and made fasteners to close to the book out of straps and snaps. I also covered the entire exterior of the book with black leatherlook vinyl to be able to stick all that on, brass embossed corners, and with a crystal-studded pentacle on the cover (mostly 1 mm rhinestones that were an ABSOLUTE BITCH to put on). I even went all out and illustrated each page with Latin script, illuminated drawings, etcetera. No filler here. I started in January, and completed the 188 pages in mid-October, and the book's cover ostentatiousness a few days before Halloween.
-Cloak; My original plan was a cloak in miniver lining,but expense and time didn't permit it. Instead, it's lined in white chenille (though the hood's velveteen). And in every aspect, this thing is MONSTROUS. It's a half-circle cloak of black sable suede on the top, almost to the floor, and I hand-embroidered the 72 sigils of the demons of the Ars Goetia (part of a very old, dangerous and hard-to-find book of Hebrew ceremonial magick. I don't recommend it in the least if you're not a massively serious student in the occult) in white cotton floss. Strangely, it actually came together quite swiftly. But still, man. If this were cake, you'd be diabetic after eating one piece. And it's by far the coolest embroidery work I've ever done. And it's also heavy, and VERY cozy. And fuzzy. soooo fuzzy. It's like a soft fleecy/furry blanket. Or my mom's fuzzy soft pyjamas. mmmmmmm.
- Fangs; had to buy a new pair, thanks to my shifting teeth. So, Scarecrow small fangs.Though I basically only wore them for five seconds when one person wanted our picture and demanded the fangs in. I find fangs massively annoying to wear for any period of time, and I don't have the other decently-straight teeth necessary for anything involving opening my mouth.
-Shoes; A pair of leather ballet flats that originally matched the dress. With moleskin on the edges, because they absolutely kill my feet to walk more than a minute in.
So yeah. My first foray into more historic costumes. I really do wish my dress were more authentic.:P I got a fairly decent photoshoot in on Halloween, but it was so cold AND on Sunday where everything closes really early, it got cut short. So, chances are next year'll have even better photos.
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