User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active
 

movie costumes avaThe stage costumes in the recent TV show The Witcher are rather beautiful, skillfully made, and eye-catching. They are a mix of medieval-style clothing, contemporary fashion ideas, and Gothic 1890s and 1930s fashion trends. The costume designer of this series Tim Aslam did his best to make these outfits accentuate the character’s nature, temper, mood, and position. Let us show you all that on examples. This material is dedicated to the movie costumes of characters from Cintra kingdom – Calanthe, Cirilla, Pavetta, Eist Tuirseach, and Mousesack.

This article is based on the video from a YouTube channel “Costume CO”.


Read also: Toss a coin to your witcher! Stage costumes in The Witcher – what problems awaited the wardrobe team?


In this article, we're digging deep into some of the themes of The Witcher costumes, cultural and historical influences on the costume design. And we’ll also analyze the costume styles in Cintra kingdom: outfits of Calanthe, Cirilla, Pavetta, Eist Tuirseach, and Mousesack.

Inspiration for The Witcher costumes

Regarding his design process for the costumes of The Witcher, Tim Aslam says, “I started with in-depth discussions with showrunner Lauren Hissrich about the kind of look and feel she wanted for the show. I came up with a concept which was a mix of contemporary high fashion with Gothic influences from all the periods where Gothic researched in fashion history – notably, the 1890s and 1930s. Plus a lot of ethnic world costume”.

 

movie costumes1

 

Tim says, “The Witcher is set, after all, in a kind of parallel fantasy world, where anything is possible. I have always particularly loved 1930s fashion. So it was ideal to be able to bring in the ‘30s Gothic feel, along with a little film noir feel, to some of the characters’ costumes. The influences came from a variety of designers of the time – Vionnet, Fortuny, and Alix Barton. Plus Schiaparelli, Lucien Lelong, Maria Monaci Gallenga, and a touch of Joan Crawford”.

Gothic Revival, sometimes called neo-Gothic or Victorian Gothic, was an architectural movement that saw a revival of medieval Gothic architecture. In turn, this movement also influenced art, music, literature, and clothing. It was in stark contrast to the neoclassical movement that saws through the early 1800s.

 

movie costumes2
Stained and painted glass panel, 1862, England

 

movie costumes3
Oil on canvas, Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, 1801-02

 

What's interesting about Gothic Revival clothing is that both the 1890s and 1930s share many similarities with each other, but also moral aspects from medieval, although not directly.

 

movie costumes4
1894 dress, Liberty and Co

 

Fashion writer Dolores Monet writes, “Aesthetic fashion [as we see during the Aesthetic Movement] cast off the stiffly tailored garments of Victorian style to embrace softer, more comfortable clothing based on the historic costume of medieval times. The Aesthetics viewed corsets and the rigidity of the day as unattractive and artificial. It was, in essence, a fashion revolution”.

 

movie costumes5
Liberty and Co dresses, 1908

 

Dolores Monet adds that, instead of stiff bodices, the women wore long flowing dresses with soft pleats, folds, and smocking. Dresses offered few embellishments – unlike the heavily trimmed, ruffled, or braided edges often seen in mid-19th-century clothing.

 

movie costumes6
1897 robe, Liberty and Co

 

Dyes were natural vegetable dyes. The Aesthetics hated the new manufactured aniline dyes. Colors were muted, natural tones of brown, terra cotta, russet red, cobalt or indigo blue and sage or moss green.

 

movie costumes7
1910 dress, Liberty of London

 

movie costumes8
1895-1900 silk velvet tea gown

 

Costumes of Cintra kingdom

Cintra embodies the channeling of a medieval nostalgia, while not actually being a purely medieval setting.

This is Tim Aslam's mood board for Cintra.

 

movie costumes9

 

He says, “Cintra was to be rich ethereal colors – golds, bronzes, silvers, and jewel colors. Also, a lot of the backgrounds in Cintra were based on medieval Slavic robes, as well as the look of the crowd”.

Costumes of Calanthe, queen of Cintra

Calanthe, queen of Cintra, is also the mother of Pavetta and grandmother of Ciri.

 

movie costumes10

movie costumes11

 

Many of the Gothic elements, like we see in this silk bias-cut gown, are primarily seen on Calanthe, Ciri, and the other women of the court. The gowns are devoid of elaborate trimmings, similar to the styles of the 1930s.

 

movie costumes12
1930s silk velvet gown, Etsy

 

The Gothic simplicity is from historical examples, like “La Diva” evening dress by Jeanne Lanvin. This 1930s silk velvet gown and this golden bias-cut gown from American designer Valentina, who was inspired by Madeline Vionnet.

 

movie costumes13
Evening dress, 1935-36, House of Lanvin

 

movie costumes14
1939 medieval-inspired evening gown, Valentina

 

Tim Aslam also applied some modern techniques and fabrications, as we see from some of his inspirations in this mood board.

 

movie costumes15

 

Calanthe’s dress is embellished around the neckline and sleeves with the technique called “surface cording”.

 

movie costumes16

 

We also see this same technique applied to Ciri’s gown.

 

movie costumes17

 

Calanthe wears this gold gown to a banquet after battle. It is made of gold sequence, chosen to give the dress its feeling of chain mail as a reflection of Calanthe’s strong juxtaposition of tradition and strength.

 

movie costumes18

movie costumes19

 

She also wears a royal blue velvet cloak with Cintra's iconic gold embroidered lions.

 

movie costumes20

 

This close-up of the gold leather neck gorget features some modern fabric-sewing techniques.

 

movie costumes21

 

Here is an example of a 1930s metallic gold silk lemay bias-cut evening gown that has a similar effect.

 

movie costumes22

 

And here is a close-up of Calanthe’s crown.

 

movie costumes23

 

This is a gown seen in a flashback scene in Episode 4. It’s made of beautiful brocade and has the addition of beading around the torso, cape shoulders, and wrists that creates this almost armored feel.

 

movie costumes24

movie costumes25

 

Ciri, princess of Cintra

Cirilla or Ciri, as she is called, is the sole princess of Cintra, the daughter of Pavetta and queen Calanthe’s granddaughter.

We first see Ciri playing with some boys inside the castle walls of Cintra. She's disguised as a boy dressed in a simple doublet and knickers.

 

movie costumes26

 

She changes for court into this velvet gown.

 

movie costumes27

 

The dress is made from gray silk velvet with a bit of purple for punch.

 

movie costumes28

movie costumes29

 

The silhouette is a callback to this style of evening gowns, like this Madeleine Vionnet gown and this one by American designer Elizabeth Hawes, who use similar design techniques. Both of these dresses are from The Met.

 

movie costumes30
Evening dress, 1932-34, Madeleine Vionnet

 

movie costumes31
Evening dress, 1935, Elizabeth Hawes

 

This 1930s ivory silk velvet dress with its medieval influence is evocative of the silhouette of the 1930s.

 

movie costumes33
1930s wedding dress, Etsy

 

In this close-up, you see that the fullness of the dress is pleated along the bodice, and the sleeves are drawn in at the shoulders with some tight cartridge pleats.

 

movie costumes34

 

Ciri’s travel outfit is a brocade doublet and split skirt trimmed with wide bands of contrasting fabric. The skirt is actually a wide culotte pants allowing for free movement as she faces her long journey to survive. The costume is functional but still pretty enough for a princess.

 

movie costumes35

 

In this image, you can see the construction details of the doublet – contrasting brocade sleeves tapered into a pintuck detail and set into a tailored bronze bodice with a flat-pleated peplum. The doublet is fastened at the center front with a row of metallic buttons.

 

movie costumes36

 

Here is Ciri’s blue cloak, an outer garment that she wears for the remainder of the season. The hooded cloak helps conceal her identity as princess Cirilla. A pleated swirling detail added to the back of the cloak gives it a personal touch of the beauty and otherworldly character that is Ciri.

 

movie costumes37

 

The blue cloak also gives Ciri a sort of an Alice in Wonderland type quality. Tim Aslam says that there was an intention to create this look for Ciri to set her slightly apart from everyone else and convey the kind of confused wonder that she experiences during the season to this world that is alien to her.

 

movie costumes38

 

Here's a close-up of the delicate tone-on-tone soutache embroidery trimming the hood, shoulders, and the front of the cape.

 

movie costumes39

 

This is a similar technique that we see here on two vintage garments from the 1940s.

 

movie costumes40

 

Despite Ciri having one costume to carry her throughout the season, Ciri’s runaway look has 12 repeats, according to Tim Aslam, which are at various stages of distress during her journey.

You can see how much brighter her costume is in real life. Tim Aslam said, “I tried to pump up the color as much as possible, especially as once-through breakdown and with use of filters which darkened and desaturated the color – about 40% is lost in some scenes”.

 

movie costumes41

 

Pavetta, princess of Cintra

Princess Pavetta is the daughter of queen Calanthe and the mother of Ciri. Pavetta only appears in Episode 7 in a flashback sequence, wearing this dress.

Tim Aslam says that “Pavetta’s dress had to be special, it was already described as emerald green. The fact that she is defiant of Calanthe’s wishes as to whom she marries and then takes center stage when the action kicks off meant she had to be the focal point in the scene”.

 

movie costumes42

 

The swirling cut of both the bodice and sleeve heads of the dress were a subtle indication of her powers.

 

movie costumes43

 

The dress is cut to give a swirling effect over the bodice and sleeves and is embroidered with fine golden thread to catch the light. Its overskirts of fine golden vein silk intend to give it a floating effect when caught by a breeze. To add depth, the dress has a gentle ombre of darker green tones added to the hems of both the skirts and sleeves.

 

movie costumes44

 

There are some examples of the type of modern pleating techniques used in the dress.

 

movie costumes45

 

The jewelry worn by Pavetta, along with many in the court of Cintra, is exquisite. Tim Aslam says, “I purchased a lot of jewelry in Turkey from a supplier I had also used in the past on block sales”.

 

movie costumes46

 

Pavetta’s jewelry is similar to the style of South Indian jewelry.

 

movie costumes47

 

Eist Tuirseach, king of Cintra

King Eist Tuirseach is husband to Queen Calanthe and step-grandfather of Cirilla.

Eist wears this high-waisted skirted doublet with a matching cape. He wears this traveler outfit when he returns to Cintra to find Calanthe in a quarrel with Geralt in Episode 4.

 

movie costumes48

 

Here it is on display. Like Ciri’s cloak, you can see how much more vivid the costume is. It is made with a textured heavy upholstery velvet, influenced by medieval robes, Eastern touches, and a nod to contemporary fashion.

 

movie costumes49

 

Like many of the clever fabric techniques used in the show, Tim Aslam explains, “I had a pretty good idea that the basis of the look for the show would be fabric manipulation rather than just adding trim to spice up a garment. In most cases, I had a direction but then, with the respective cutters, we played around with different fabric manipulation to all shapes for sleeves, etc”.

This brocade skirted doublet is used in the flashback scene in Episode 4 for Pavetta’s betrothal.

 

movie costumes50

 

Another King Eist’s Asian-inspired coat. For the sleeves, Tim Aslam took inspiration from Chanel.

 

movie costumes51

movie costumes52

 

Mousesack, court druid of Cintra

Mousesack is the court druid of Cintra and advisor to Queen Calanthe.

His gold costume immediately catches the eye. This type of garment is often referred to as a houppelande, which is an outer garment for both men and women from the Middle Ages.

 

movie costumes54

 

This houppelande, sometimes called the Prague houppelande, is thought to be one of the oldest known houppelandes in existence – dating to 1396 from the Czech Republic.

 

movie costumes55

 

And here are some images of the costume in the wardrobe at the finishing stages.

 

movie costumes56

 

While Tim Aslam took some inspiration from contemporary fashion, this style of overly long ruched sleeves was also all the rage in the late 19th century. Like how we see on these Liberty and Co medieval-inspired dresses.

 

movie costumes57

 

(c) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2WbUeKz9XI

Add comment

NOTE! If you’re the owner of materials used to make this article and you don’t want it to be published here, please let us know and we’ll remove the article or certain photos. But please consider that we always add active links leading to your video. It can help you get more visitors. And video transcriptions increase the validity of your video clips in Google ratings.

Security code
Refresh